TACCOC Spring Clas­sic

Words and pho­tos: Steve Ritchie

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

The Thor­ough­bred and Clas­sic Car Own­ers Club (TACCOC) Spring Clas­sic was the first of the three race meet­ings or­ga­nized by the TACCOC for 2016. Tak­ing place un­der fine skies on Oc­to­ber 8, the meet fea­tured the AES/ Trade­zone and Ar­rows Wheels classes, both of which are un­der the Euro­pean Race Clas­sics (ERC) um­brella, as well as the var­i­ous open-wheeler classes, which in­clude His­toric For­mula Ju­nior and For­mula 3 (F3), Sports Rac­ing, and For­mula Ford, the PPG Clas­sic Tri­als, Tro­feo Se­ries, and His­toric Mus­cle Cars.

Be­ing a one-day event, prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing took place in the morn­ing, with rac­ing start­ing at around 10.30am with the AES/ Trade­zone cars be­ing first out on track. Each race con­sisted of eight laps, with ex­cep­tion of the Clas­sic Tri­als, which were timed at 12 min­utes due to the reg­u­la­tions of the class. All classes were pro­vided with three races apiece. Sev­eral in­ci­dents oc­curred through­out the day, some of which brought out the safety car or red flag. With all the rain in the pre­vi­ous week, it wasn’t a good idea to get any wheels on the grass!

The Aes/trade­zone class had a large 23-car field. Peter North, in a Ford Es­cort RS2000, was in the box seat, as he started from pole and con­tin­ued on to fin­ish the race first. The fol­low­ing two hand­i­cap races were won by Steve Bolton, in his newly re­stored Mercedes 190E, who started sixth off the grid, and Si­mon Mills, in a Al­fa­sud Ti, who started from 14th, gain­ing a place or two each lap.

The His­toric For­mula Ju­nior, F3, and His­toric Sports Cars were three sep­a­rate cat­e­gories but raced within the same field. All three races had stan­dard grid starts, and all three had Keith Main­land in the Van Diemen RF79 For­mula Ford tak­ing over­all vic­tory, while, fur­ther down the field, we were wit­ness to lots of over­tak­ing.

In the Ar­row Wheels races (for the faster ERC cars), Ray Wil­liams was no match for the com­pe­ti­tion, lead­ing from start to fin­ish in race one, while the first of the two hand­i­cap races saw Ricky Cooper take to the che­quered flag first in his Dat­sun 240Z and Mal Clark take out race three in the Rover P6 3500. Adrian Hay­man was one of the many causal­i­ties of race one when he pulled over to the side with a sus­pected bro­ken axle, while the Ohlsen Co­bra of Ro­gan Hamp­son also fin­ished its day early, with Hamp­son’s re­tire­ment bring­ing out the red flag in just lap four.

The Tro­feo Se­ries has four classes — GTA for the real fast guys, GT Ju­nior, Veloce, and Tro­feo. Points are gained from the hand­i­cap races in which all the en­trants have a fair shot at win­ning. Go­ing into this round (round two), Ross Olifent was top of the leader board in his Alfa 33, and with his fourth place in the hand­i­cap race he was able to re­tain it. Phil Neely in his Alfetta was, how­ever, the win­ner of this race, in which he started in fifth place and grad­u­ally picked off all those in front to be in first place come lap eight.

The PPG Clas­sic Tri­als was an­other class to have its sec­ond meet of the sea­son this week­end. Be­ing a tri­als event, it was not about who could ob­tain the fastest lap times to win the race. In­stead, the em­pha­sis was on con­sis­tency, lap af­ter lap, for the 12 min­utes. At the time of writ­ing, the re­sults have not yet been pub­lished.

Fin­ish­ing the day was the field of His­toric Mus­cle Cars and His­toric Saloon Cars. Roger Wil­liams and the mag­nif­i­cent Chevy Ca­maro won the first race, while, be­hind him, Peter Stephen­son (Ford Mus­tang) and Dale Mathers (Mus­tang Boss 302) bat­tled for sec­ond and third place, the for­mer win­ning the sec­ond step of the podium. Race two was a replica of the first, al­though it was a hard­fought bat­tle through­out the field.

The fastest lap time of the day was logged by the For­mula Ford 1988 Swift of Graeme Cameron, with a time of 1min 12.664s.

The next TACCOC event will be the Sum­mer Clas­sic on Novem­ber 27.

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