All-Historic Racing 1-2 September 2018 – Wakefield Park, Goulburn NSW
Wakefield Park’s 3rd annual All-Historic meeting has cemented its place as the country’s only such event exclusively celebrating racing for motorcycles and cars of the type that were actually around when Historic Racing kicked off more than 40 years ago. Catering for Period 1, 2 and 3 only makes the meeting very different from other events that generally focus on the more modern categories. Competitors on Friday’s open practice day had to brave rain and strong winds, with even a light dusting of snow late in the day, but the first day of spring brought dry conditions when the mercury only just made it above ten degrees. Despite the bracing conditions, there were few incidents and a good turnout of spectators to see many bikes that emerged from long hibernation in sheds for the occasion. Saturday’s events were all scratch races while Sunday’s were handicaps starts – a format that works well given the big variation in rider and machine ages. The majority of the fields were content to give old bikes a chance to stretch their legs once again and fill the area with the sound of open megaphones. 81-year-old Ron Matthews has been racing since the ‘fifties and even a recent crash at Phillip Island, which resulted in a stint in hospital, has failed to dent his enthusiasm for the sport. For this meeting, he accepted an offer from Ken Lucas, from Wangaratta, to ride his 1937 250cc Velocette – a marque that Ron raced quite successfully in the early ‘sixties. At 87 years of age, Ken is probably the oldest regular racer in the world, and fronted for the meeting on two of his favourite motorcycles – a 1928 690cc Douglas and a 250cc Manx Norton. As always, there were some outstanding individual performances. Neil May from Condobolin took out the 350cc scratch events without trouble, and did likewise in the 500cc classes with his pair of immaculate Manx Nortons. David Woolsey, from Byron Bay, had his 800cc Triton in top form to take out the Period 3 Unlimited overall win and record the fastest lap of the day. Warren Johnson and passenger Lionel Cornwell were the class of the
sidecar events on their 1962 Norton Atlas outfit. For those not wishing to mix it in actual racing, Regularity events drew healthy fields. Chilly it may have been, but Wakefield’s All-Historic Racing weekend produced some excellent racing and represents a unique opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear.
Ron Matthews fires up the 1937 250 Velocette with help from owner Ken Lucas.
Neil May, here on his 500cc Molnar Manx Norton, did plenty of winning.
RIGHT David Large and Peter Heywood on their 1954 Triumph Thunderbird.
David Pagano with his ex-Tom Phillis 500cc Manx Norton later raced successfully by Len Atlee.
ABOVE Greg Blades’ 500cc Moto Guzzi, built in Mittagong by the late Elmer McCabe. BELOW RIGHT Unlimited P3 winner David Woolsey on his 800cc Triton.
LEFT Jack Petith concentrating hard on his WLA Harley.
David Wayne did double duty on his Triariel outfit and this 350 Gold Star BSA.
Dan Gleeson on his 1939 Norton International.