HMRAV Southern Classic • 3-4 November, 2018 – Broadford, Victoria
2018 was the 37th running of the Southern Classic, an event run by the HMRAV for period 1 to period 5 race bikes spanning 1920 to 1980. Also included were sidecars, including Formula 2 outfits which resulted in 240 competitors over the 2-day race meet conducted at the Broadford road race circuit. The Southern Classic was first held at the Winton Raceway in 1982 before shifting to Broadford a few years later, where it has been ever since. The only time it visited Phillip Island was in 1986. Friday was an MA practice day but inclement weather restricted track time. Saturday morning was practice and qualifying followed by two legs of racing. Considering the number of events and the possibility of down time due to an on track incident, the officials decided to shorten all races from 5 to 4 laps in an effort to complete the events in the allocated time. As part of the riders briefing on Saturday morning there was a minute’s silence in memory of two HMRAV stalwarts, John Trease and Robert ‘Buck’ Peters who had recently ‘passed under the chequered flag’. Buck was a long time sidecar racer with his brother Tony on a bright pink outfit, christened The Pink Pig. Sunday saw a couple of memorial laps by the sidecar fraternity in honour of Buck with Tony leading in the Pink Pig with all sidecars sporting a sticker ‘in memory of Robert ‘Buck’ Peters’. Sunday heralded another fine day for legs 3 & 4 along with some ‘alternate’ events which included the Fastest 40 race for P3 solos won by Garth Francis on his 750 Norton, the Ray Kelly Handicap for P3 sidecars won by Geoff Allport and Toby Frisch, and the Lindsay Urquhart Handicap for P4 sidecars won by Tim Loone and Clint Chegwidden. One of the events is for Class C bikes comprising mainly Indians and Harley-Davidsons built up to the early ‘fifties. Class C came about as a result of the depression of the 1930s in the States which was basically for stock standard bikes off the showroom floor. Today the rules allow 750cc side valve 3-speed, hand shift, foot clutch and rigid rear ends with minimal engine mods. The riders have even created their own championship, the Hand Shift Battle.
As is usual for classic racing, the speeds and lean angles don’t quite mirror those of WSBK or MotoGP but what is present in abundance is the camaraderie between the competitors who are only to eager to lend a hand, a part or some advice when it comes to fixing the old dungers. Post racing, at least for those not carrying out running repairs to the bike, is a quiet ale over a meal before ‘partying’ to the live music provided by the organisers. For the spectators, Broadford offers more than a few vantage points to watch the racing plus the chance to wander the pits and camp grounds for a chat to both the owners and riders.
For full results go to www.computime.com.au n
Noel Fernando & Phil Watson, 650cc 1960 Triumph.
Fred Schaffer, 1970 750cc CR Honda. Melissa Foot, 1977 125cc Honda.
Ross Bolding, 350cc 1967 Aermacchi Alad’oro.