Tag Archives: Wessex

Securing The Boondocks – Hullavington Wessex Sprint

On Bank Holiday Monday the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club ran it’s Wessex Sprint at the Hullavington airfield, normally a site open to the public, today’s random selection of photographs were taken in between keeping the perimeter road free of dangerous mowing tractors, cyclists, joggers and dog walkers.

Van Diemen DC 93 M, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

It was a thrill to finally catch sight of Dave Cutcliffe’s much modified Formula Ford Van Diemen DC 93 M which is powered by a turbocharged motor cycle engine, Dave was disappointed to be a second off fastest time of the day, but given he had an ECU fault in the morning had to settle for fastest in the top racing car class.

Peugeot 309 GTi, Ray Sissins, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

Ray Sissins from nearby Devizes is seen above negotiating the second chicane in his 1987 #21 Peugeot 309 GTi.

Audi Quattro, Andy Trayner, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

Andy Traynor celebrated what would turn out to be the fastest time in his class with 11 seconds of lawn mowing before the second chicane on his final run of the day in the Audi Quattro he shares with Tim Clarke.

Andrew James, Nissan GTR, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

Andrew and Robert James brought their Nissan GTR all the way over from Bridgend and secured the top two spots in the top Road Going Production Class with Robert pipping Andrew seen above running the #35.

Radical SR4, Stewart Lillington, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

2nd in the Sports Libre Class was Stewart Lillington seen above driving the #77 Radical SR4.

Hawke DL16, Jeremy Hawke, Hullavington Wessex Sprint

Regular readers might remember blogs about Jeremy Hawkes MG J2 and MG K3, he also runs this #91 Hawke DL16 thanks to his Dad who helped him out with the costs towards the engine and gearbox.

Jeremy is particularly keen to hear from any one who has a photo or photo’s of Jan Lammers driving a #36 Hawke to a 19th place finish in the B.R.D.C. Vandervell British F3 Championship at Donington Park on the 27th of August 1977, chime in below if you can help.

Thanks for joining me on this “Securing The Boondocks” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be returning to this month’s Le Mans series. Don’t forget to come back now !


Race Winning Body – MG K3 #K3001/K3003

In October 1932 MG launched the K-Type Magnette at the London Motor Show, featuring a 48″ track and either a 94″ or 108″ wheel base the chassis was powered by a 6 cylinder 39 hp 1087cc / 66 cui motor with a cross flow cylinder head that originated from the 1930 Wolseley Hornet.The K1 Magnet was fitted with a saloon body on the 109″ wheel base and in all 181 were manufactured up to 1934 in KA, KB and lastly KD specifications which reflected a series of motor upgrades during the production run.

In 1933 the K2 a two seater on the 94″ chassis was launched, 16 were built with KB spec motors and 4 more with KD motors and pre selector gear boxes.

MG K3 K3001, Prescott

The princely sum of £795 could secure a supercharged K3 racing variant, as seen driven above at Prescott by Brandon Smith – Hillard, at first, as above, fitted with Powerplus superchargers just below the radiator and later with Marshall units. Fitted with pre selector gearboxes three K3’s including #K3001 above were entered into the 1933 where George Eyston and Giovanni Lurani driving chassis #K3003 came in 21st behind Tazio Nuvolari in an ALFA Romeo but took a class victory with Earl Howe and Hugh Hamilton coming in 22nd overall and 2nd in class in #K3001.

Subsequently #K3001 was raced at Brooklands, shared for the Shelsley Walsh by Land Speed Record holder and Mille Miglia class winner George Eyston with MM team mate Giovanni Lurani, raced throughout Europe by Bobby Kolrusche in 1934.

The Mille Miglia chassis #K3003 meantime had been given to the great Tazio Nuvolari to drive in the 1933 Ulster TT which he promptly won outright beating two 8 cylinder ALFA Romeo’s running in the 3 liter 183 cui class.

At some point after 1934 and before the commencement of the 2nd World War the body from the Mille Miglia and Tourist Trophy winning #K3003 replaced that on #K3001 which is how #K3001 appears in the photo above one of just 33 K3’s to have been built from 1933 to 1934.

My thanks to Ed of the Wessex MG Club Newsletter for details about this chassis.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Race Winning Body’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !


Quintessential British Sports Car – MG J2

The MG J series produced from 1932 to 1934 came in 4 distinct models the J1 a 2 door 4 seat open or closed sports car with a 847 cc / 51 cui motor, J2 a two seater open only version, as seen in todays blog, of the J1, J3 similar to a J3 but with a 750 cc / 45 cui supercharged motor and the J4 a pure racing version of the J3 with a 72 hp supercharged motor.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The 1932 J2 is easily distinguishable by the front cycle style mud guards which in 1933 were replaced with front mudguards joined by running boards to the rear wings a feature that was to remain with all subsequent MG sports cars all the way through to the TF model which was manufactured until 1955.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The 36 hp motor, was similar to that used in the earlier M-Type looked at last week, featuring a cross flow cylinder head and twin SU carburetors but only a two bearing crankshaft which had a limited life at maximum rpm. The Castrol GTX oil breather catch tank is a relatively recent requirement for competition.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

Lifting the side opening bonnet panels of the J2 reveals the four speed gearbox and foot wells. The steering column operates Marles steering gear and the drivers side front brake cable can be seen emerging from the chassis rail above.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

The two humped dash scuttle of the J Series would turn out to be another trade mark MG feature that was continually carried forward over twenty years to the 1955 MG TF. Note the how the potential crankshaft saving engine revolution counter dominates the dash board instrumentation.

MG J2, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

Just over 2000 J2’s were built out numbering the combined total of all the other J series MG’s by more than 2 to 1, this particular example, seen at last years Wessex Sprint, was acquired by Mike Hawke for £85 in October 1953, the car cost just short of £200 new in 1932.

Mike is known to have campaigned this car successfully at both Castle Combe and Silverstone before passing the car on to his son Jeremy who won his class at Castle Combe on the day these photo’s were taken.

Thanks for joining me on this Quintessential British Sports Car edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be featuring a hot version of “The car you always promised yourself. Don’t forget to come back now !


2011 GALPOT Review #4 – Motor Sport

Today I am reviewing some of the competitive events covered on GALPOT over the past 12 months.

GN, Dundry

The GALPOT motor sport year started with the Cross Trophy a production car trial organized by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club at the farm belonging to Duncan seen at the wheel of his air cooled chain driven GN in the photo above.

Richard Craddy, Ralph Colmar BPMC AGM

Above Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Vice President Richard Craddy presents yours truly with the Cross Trophy and Mug.

(Photo Courtesy Martin Baker)

I’m not to sure how I ended up competing in my land ladies 20 year old Volkswagen Passat but I am pleased I did, I got a welcome dose of beginners luck and ended up winning the event out right ! Unfortunately the Passat was replaced soon afterwards and I am not too sure how I’ll defend my trophy next year.

Backdraft, Shakespeare County Speedway

When I met ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in the back of a bus on my way to Race Retro I became totally infected with his enthusiasm for Drag Racing, at the end of May I managed to catch up with Chris and his classic sling shot dragster Backdraft at Shakespeare County Raceway. Catching him popping a wheeley proved quite difficult so I am looking forward to catching him again next year.

Porsche 911 RSR, Caterham 7, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

I got to see several events at Castle Combe courtesy of Simon Lewis of Simon Lewis Transport Books including the Tour Britannia event which featured a cracking race between the front row starting ex New York cabbie Danny ‘spin and win’ Sullivan in his Porsche 911 RSR and the ex private airline pilot and Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley who started on the back row of the grid in his Caterham Super 7. I still pinch myself when I am reminded the 1985 Indy 500 winner visited our local track this year !

Hawk HF3000, Sheepcot Farm

A couple of weeks later I returned to reality with a bump when I entered a Kia Picanto in the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Gymkhana held in the hills of the Welsh border just out side Chepstow. The little Picanto had a huge weight advantage over the Passat but had absolutely zero traction in the long grass. My run of novice success was over I came in 10th out of 11. But I still had fun sitting in the passenger seat of Alan’s Hawk HF3000 seen above which finished one place ahead of me.

Ferrari 458, Castle Combe, Britcar

At the end of July it was back to Castle Combe again courtesy of Simon Lewis for the Britcar 2 hour endurance race. What an experience it was with the early leaders eventually giving way to the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 being shared by Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw who set a new record for most laps covered in a single race at Castle Combe. I believe this was also the first time I have seen a Ferrari win a race outright in person.

Formula Ford, Castle Combe

Three weeks later I was back at Castle Combe for the August Cup meeting which was overshadowed by the death of Pete O’Shea who suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his Formula Ford car. The meeting was hastily rescheduled after Peter had been taken away. A cracking weekends racing ensued as if to do the memory of Peter proud. There were several Caterham races featuring race long wheel to wheel battles through out, but it was the Formula Fords who celebrated their fallen comrades life with the most scintillating display of all as Rob Hall, seen leading above from Felix Fisher and eventual winner Ben Norton, were joined by Steven Jensen in an entertaining four way shoot out.

BriSCA Formula 2, Mendips Raceway

On another diversion this time twixt airport and home I managed to visit my local short track Mendips Raceway for the first ever, last time I saw anything like this was over 30 years ago and most entertaining it proved as the ever present short track conundrum about inside lane of inside lane was repeated again and again. Liam Rowe is seen getting airborne above going for the inside lane.

'Dick' Terrapin Kawasaki, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

For my final two visits to Castle Combe this year I volunteered to be a marshal. At the Wessex Sprint I was assigned to the start line team responsible for ‘staging’ the cars. I loved every ultimately exhausting minute of it. Shame I only got to take photo’s during the occasional unscheduled breaks but if you love motor racing I can’t recommend marshaling highly enough as a great way of getting close to the action.

Lola T400, March 79B, Oulton Park, Gold Cup Classic

Over the August Bank Holiday I made it up to Oulton Park for the first time since the early 1990’s, the facilities and track have been considerably improved since my last visit but the circuit still has the same atmosphere. The feature race of the meeting was the Derek Bell Trophy race for the open wheelers dating from the 1970’s back to the late 1960’s. Michael Lyons in the Chevy powered F5000 #64 Lola T400 lead for most of the race but towards the end Richard Evans giving away a 3400 cc / 200 cui advantage managed to line Micheal up for a clean pass in his Formula Atlantic #54 March 79B a couple of laps from home and hold on to win the race.

Volvo 144, Castle Combe, Regency Laundry Sprint

I was a corner marshal for the Regency Laundry Pegasus Sprint during my last visit to Castle Combe for the year, again this proved to be a very entertaining way to get close to the action, the TVR’s seemed particularly difficult to drive, while ‘stood down’ from marshalling duties I managed to take a couple of photo’s of the cars in action of which, as a previous Volvo 144 owner, I found the example driven by John Dando particularly appealing.

So there it is my motor racing year started by winning a cup in a muddy field and ended as a corner worker in the sunshine at Castle Combe with all manner of entertainment in between. Life can’t get much better than this can it ?

My thanks to BPMC treasurer Martin Baker for the use of his photo.

Many thanks for joining me on this Motor Racing edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be reviewing the 2011 GALPOT Fridays. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

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Wessex Sprint – Castle Combe

This week I will be catching up with a couple of days activity at Castle Combe, a morning at Mallory Park and a visit to the Bugatti Trust at Prescott.

A couple of weeks ago I took some advice from our Prime Minister, David Cameron, and had great fun doing my bit for the motor racing community by marshaling at the Wessex Sprint, organised by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, of which I am a new member and the MG Car Club (SW).

A sprint is an event in which competitors race against the clock on this occasion around a single lap of the Castle Combe Circuit. Here are a few snaps taken during the lunch break and suspension of the competition.

MG J2, Castle Combe

Jeremy Hawk told me his MG J2 above has been in his family since 1953 when it was acquired for the princely sum of £85 some years later it made STD at a sprint at Castle Combe just like it did last week.

Peugeot 309 GTi,

This #73 Peugeot 309 GTi was shared by Tom Siebert and Henry Siebert Saunders was completely stripped out and running with plastic side window’s to reduce weight.

Audi Quattro

Car of the day IMHO, if only because of the sound of it’s 5 cylinder turbocharged motor, was the #75 Audi Quattro shared by Tim Clark and Andy Tanner, wondering if anyone knows if this a genuine works car ? It certainly looked and sounded the part. Andy just beat Tim to win the Modified Limited Production Class.

MGB Kayne Special, Castle Combe

The Rover V8 powered MGB Kayne Special shared by John and Jonathan Biggs ran in the Sports Libre Class.

Terrapin Kawasaki, Castle Combe

Tim Moreton and Dean Robertson shared the ‘Dick’ Terrapin a Kawasaki powered vehicle with a Wharholian paint job.

Royale Vauxhall RP 30

I do not remember the last time I saw a Royale RP 30 in action, but the first time was around 31 short years ago ! This example driven by Bob and Anne Adams is powered by a Vauxhall 16v motor in place of the Ford Pinto with which it was originally supplied to race in Formula Ford 2000 events. Bob took the Racing Cars over 1600 cc class honours.

Pilbeam Vauxhall MP62

Proudly displaying it’s V8 kills from a couple of years ago was the similarly Vauxhall, 4 cylinder, powered but methanol fuelled Pilbeam MP62 chassis #14, built in the late 1980’s, of Kevin Lealan who won the Fastest Time of the Day award.

Start line marshalls

Running cars one at a time in batches of four meant my fellow start line marshals and I only got a break from the action for lunch, very nice sweet and sour chicken with rice & chips, then again later when the weather turned sunny, the sunlight interfered with the timing beam until the beam receiver was fitted with a shroud and on a couple of occasions when the Castle Combe farmer wanted to cross the track in order to bring in his hay bales.

I would recommend volunteering to be marshal to anyone who is interested in getting involved in motor sport, you will probably have a fun day and get to make a few good friends in the local motor sport community.

Thanks for joining me on this Wessex Sprint edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at this weekends racing at Castle Combe. Don’t forget to come back now !