Sydney Motor Sport Park, August 30th to September 1 2019
By Stephen Pitman
Images thanks to Mark Walsh / Throttle Jam Photography & Seth Reinhardt
In 2019, Muscle Car Masters became known as Sydney Master Blast, bringing a few new vehicles into the fray along the way. It was held at Sydney Motorsport Park over Muscle Car Masters’ traditional Father’s Day long weekend, the 31st of August and 1st of September.
I am writing this report from the aspect of the HGNA involvement in Sydney Master Blast, as it is known now. Firstly I will reflect on the positives. The number of cars competing in the wide variety of categories made for some great on-track racing, although some races by race completion had spread out considerably which is not a great look from the spectator point of view. I think Group N should concentrate on closer racing keeping in mind the no contact stipulation.
On the other hand, the inclusion of superkarts and racing motorcycles did not really fit the concept of the event as we have known it, nor our usual category mix. I am sure the entry could have been bolstered with additional historic or muscle car entrants.
Support for the HGNA came in the form of a good number of competitors as well as their family and friends. Paul and John Battersby brought along three Mini Cooper S race cars, one racing in Group N and the other with the Heritage Touring Cars in Groups C & A - an exceptional effort. Sadly, in typical Mini fashion, Paul was involved in some considerable running repairs over the weekend.
Also supporting the HGNA and sponsor Statewide Car Couriers was a mixture of interstate and local competitors including David Stone in the Ford Mustang, Ian Sawtell with his Torana, Rob Smith and Mark Blyfield from South Australia both driving Toranas, Steve Taite with his magnificent Chevrolet Nova and Wayne Rogerson in the Mazda RX2.
Bob Munday in the yellow Ford Mustang also represented the HGNA banner and had a very successful weekend. There were some great shots taken of him, especially during the night race when Bob’s car was captured extruding flames from the exhaust under deceleration. Bob went on to record some great finishes as he diced with the Lotus Cortina of fellow competitor Mathew Windsor.
Jenny and Paul Tierney, Elizabeth Wilks, Alan Mayne, Bruce Whitford, Ian Johnson, Larry Loydd, Michelle, Dianne and Graham Cocks all attended to lend much appreciated support to drivers, friends and family.
The gesture from the ARDC to donate a memorial trophy to celebrate the contribution that Ray Dean made to Group N motorsport was greatly appreciated. The trophy was presented to the first EH Holden to finish in the Ray Dean memorial trophy race and went to a very deserving winner - Claude Ciccatelli from Queensland.
The HGNA corporate marquee did not go to waste and provided some welcome relief from the windy unsavory weather on Friday and Saturday. It also catered for the Saturday afternoon meet and greet with interstate competitors, who were greatly appreciative of the food and drinks on offer.
I am not going to elaborate on the racing results for group N as these can be found readily elsewhere for those who were not present.
In summary, the meeting was very successful. In particular the night events were a lot of fun and seemed to attract a reasonable spectator swell once the Saturday afternoon 3.00pm window opened. I’m not sure on the change to the event’s branding, nor its new name - maybe the team can come up with something more appropriate next year.