Spring has sprung, and vintage race preparation is full-on

In a new series, we follow successful vintage car racer and Vintage Sports-Car Club member Justin Maeers as he prepares for 2022 both on and off the track

Justin Maeers historic racing driver

Justin Maeers is a VSCC stalwart, competing in trials, hillclimbs and races

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January is a funny old time for us at the Vintage Sports-Car Club. While a lot of clubs are still a few months away from their first events of the year, we hardly ever stop! We’re not just a racing club, and we hold multiple events right through the winter, such as trials, rallies and tests, which makes it a real juggling act when you’ve got both cars and events to prepare for.

 

Winter fettling

1921 GN

Maeers’ 1921 GN on the Lakeland Trial

I’ve been racing for 38 years and have been very fortunate to build up a small collection of cars that I look after – wherever possible – myself. I have around 13 of all shapes and sizes, from aircraft-engined Parker-GN (Godfrey Nash) and Frazer Nash, to Triumphs, Coopers and even a Lola T70. I fettle the cars right through the winter so there’s always something going on in the workshop, and I use many of them regularly on the road or at hillclimbs or trials, so things don’t tend to sit static
for too long.

 

New driver needed

You may not think it initially, but the VSCC has a very strong following of competitors and spectators aged under 30. And we’ve built that because we have a range of incentives to help get young people involved in the club and in vintage cars in general. We offer half-price race entries to those under 30 and stage dedicated races for younger members (there’s one coming up at our Cadwell Park meeting in April – more on that later).

I’m also a big advocate of helping young people get into the sport. When I was 18 I built a car called the RIP Special, which is basically a Morgan three-wheeler combined with parts from a chain-driven GN. I salvaged the remains of a three-wheeler and fitted a GN solid rear axle to make it a four-wheeler and used it extensively in hillclimbing. I now loan it to young drivers to help them get started and it’s been driven very successfully in recent seasons by a chap called Charlie Martin. He’s done so well that he’s now starting up his own business running and supporting drivers of both vintage and Pre-66 grand prix cars. This does mean that I’m now on the hunt for another enthusiastic and deserving young driver to pilot the Special. So, if you know anybody, please do come and find me in the paddock…

Lola Mk II

Maeers also races a Lola T70

 

Pomeroy awaits

Our first race event, the Pomeroy Trophy, takes place at Silverstone on February 19 and I’d encourage everybody to come and have a look, and those with a race licence to enter (see VSCC Website). It’s wonderfully eclectic and we get a huge mixture of cars – from hardcore racing machines to road-legal racers, original vintage machinery and post-war stuff. We run a mixture of tests during the day, such as acceleration, braking and handling tests but the highlight of the event is a 40-minute ‘sprint’ around the Grand Prix Circuit.

Laurence Pomeroy’s formula is incredibly complex and takes into account many different engine, braking and mechanical aspects designed to essentially create handicaps that put all cars on an even footing by setting them a target number of laps that they should achieve during those 40 minutes. Do less and you get penalised, do more and you get penalised. It’s a really unique event, and a great way to kick off our circuit racing season.