On Saturday, the 13th of April, 2019 we headed to Sydney Motorsport Park for Round Two of the 2019 Historic Group N Association of NSW Series, hosted by Festival of Sporting Cars at their one-day MRA meeting.
The day started rather cool and crisp, but soon fined up and turned into a very pleasant day. There was a good attendance from all groups, including Super TT, Clubman, Alfa Veloce, MX5/Group N and Nissan Pulsars.
Representing Group N for HGNA was Bob Munday, Ford Mustang, David Stone, Paul Tierney, XU1 Torana, Steve Pitman, EH Holden and Ray Dean also in an EH Holden. The balance of the field was made up of a small mixture of Group Nb and Nc, cars as well as MX5s. Most races got off to a good start with the Super TTs taking the record for most red flag incidents.
All categories qualified well, outside of the Super TT event which saw an FX Holden erupt in a cloud of smoke at the end of the main straight. There was no major damage to the car or the driver, and both continued to take part in the rest of the day.
Unfortunately my black EH Holden developed a massive oil leak and left significant amounts of lubricant on the black stuff. After attempting to rectify the leak, my car deposited more oil and smoke into the cabin after turn 1, making it hard to see and once again depositing lubricant onto the track. This sadly forced me to retire and watch the race from the wall at turn 2. Disappointing, but in consolation I enjoyed a great view!
The Clubmans enjoyed some great races, with the exception of the last event, in which two of them came together on the main straight at high speed. They demolished the 150 metre braking marker before careering off the track, hitting the wall and ending up on the other side of the track. One driver was trapped in the car requiring treatment by paramedics. He was removed OK but somewhat shaken. Both cars were severely damaged creating an extended delay for the remaining events.
Our group had good starts and for most of us good racing and extensive track time. Paul Tierney’s XU1 Torana also experienced the rear main seal leak, which caused oil to burn on the exhaust and led to him retiring early.
The EH Holden of Steve Pitman proved to be the most reliable of our group, finishing all of the events without any mechanical issues. He did navigate some potential drama, however, when an MX5 vehicle stalled on the grid on front of him. When Steve moved over to avoid the car, Ray Dean’s EH Holden was caught off-guard and almost removed the driver’s side door handle from Steve’s car. These sorts of starting line incidents are very scary indeed.
These one-day events, although not as high profile as others, offer excellent value for money and a huge amount of track time. They’re highly recommended, and we would love to see Group N competitors supporting them in the future.
Thanks to all those who supported the event, as well as the volunteers and organisers at FoSC who put it on. I’d also like to thank Dave Roberts for his attendance and support of our group during the event.