Simon Taylor's notebook

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

HSCC Roadsports is one way you can go historic racing without a millionaire’s budget, or a trailer

The generally accepted wisdom is that if you go motor racing it will cost you, and if you go motor racing in an old car it will cost you a lot. At the major historic meetings, priceless cars arrive in huge transporters operated by hired hands who maintain and mend. The owner just turns up to drive, and to pay the bills. And the car he races may well be worth more money than most of us will ever earn in a lifetime.

But if you feel it’s only a lack of dosh that’s keeping you off the starting grid, take heart. You too can go circuit racing. Campaigning a classic car need not involve a giant outlay, nor spare engines, skilled mechanics, racing tyres or trailers.

The Historic Sports Car Club runs race meetings at most British circuits, not just for old sportscars but also for saloons and pre-1980 single-seaters, right from Formula Ford to Formula 5000. Racing is both close and highly competitive, but it’s all meant to be good clean fun. Race director Grahame White, who has seen it all before in a long career of race organisation, will have a quiet word with anybody driving over his or her head and spoiling it for the others.

I like to get to an HSCC meeting from time to time, because the racing is always entertaining, the cars interesting and the people friendly. And it was high time I went back to Mallory Park: I hadn’t been since I raced a single-seater there 32 years ago. But I had fond memories of the days when top drivers didn’t just do one race a year in this country: I saw John Surtees win an F1 race there in a Lola, Bruce McLaren in one of his first outings in the Zerex Special, and drivers such as Clark, Stewart, Rindt and Peterson in F2.

Years ago Mallory Park used to be part of the Brands Hatch group, but it is now totally independent and belongs to former racer Chris Meek. Ron Overend, who ran the circuit for so long in concert with his sadly departed wife Edwina, is still in charge, along with his son David. I was delighted to see that the little circuit is unchanged in layout, apart from a couple of chicanes for the bikers which do not affect the car circuit. Steady rain somehow only served to add to the atmosphere of grass-roots British club racing as it always used to be.

The HSCC hires the circuit — Mallory’s fees are reasonable — and recoup their costs out of the entry fees charged to the competitors, which are £140 a race. Every driver gets a 15-minute qualifying session and a 15-minute race, and the eight-race programme included events for the likes of Classic F3, Historic Racing Saloons, Formula Junior and Historic Roadsports.

This last is particularly attractive for shoestring racers. It’s open to production sports and GT cars built between 1947 and 1969, and 1970-79. The key is they must be road-registered, taxed and MoT’d, and be running on road tyres. No nonsense about trailers and tow-cars — you drive the car to the meeting, and if you don’t you earn fewer championship points. The entry was a motley mixture: Jaguar E-type, MGB and Lotus Elan, of course, but also XK120, Turner, Marcos, Triumph GT6, Lancia Aurelia, Datsun 240Z and even Pontiac Firebird. They run in classes according to capacity and type so, despite wide performance differentials, almost everyone seems to earn points.

Some of the humbler Roadsports cars could be put on the grid for less than £5000 and, given a reasonably reliable and accident-free season, a year’s racing needn’t cost much more than a smart two-week holiday for two. There is also a ’70s Road Saloons series, which could be even cheaper. Many of the drivers have come to racing comparatively late in life, after mortgages and families are sorted: a market gardener, a doctor, a criminal lawyer. Several raced in their youth and are returning to it in middle age. One man raced his 1300 Mini in the 1960s, then put it away and somehow never got around to selling it. Now he’s dusted it off and is racing it in the Historic Saloon Championship.

So if you’re about to sign on for that holiday cruise, or order your new BMW 3-Series, don’t. Spend that money on a tired TVR, or a doggy Alfa GTV, or a wobbly X1/9. Clean it up a bit, put in a roll-cage, and go motor racing.

You may also like

Related products