Ellery Motorsport Newsletter - October 2019
Another month has come and gone and the racing season is starting to slow down. This month we have made some fantastic progress in the workshop and also competed in a range of events.
October in Australia is highlighted by the annual "Bathurst 1000" which is a big deal for the local Motorsport community. Thankfully this year, we had a chance to actually sit down and enjoy it on TV, a pleasant change from previous year when we are usually trackside.
This month we continued on with a pair of restorations, two Cosworth-powered Ralt RT4s. Richard Davison's Ralt is edging towards its first start-up in more than 30 years, while the ex Keke Rosberg Ralt is coming along rapidly, with the engine and gearbox already mated up to the newly rebuilt tub, plumbing and suspension are now coming together.
This month featured a spike of activity in preparation for the "Historic Sandown" race meeting organised by the VHRR.
Sports 2000 regular Trevor Ross brought his beautiful Royale in for a setup prior to the race meeting. Trevor made the most of the slightly stiffer setup and managed to set a new P.B. around Sandown, a solid result for him.
We had David Roberts driving for us at Sandown, David was once again behind the wheel of his sister Di and brother-in-law Pete's Swift FB89, a beautiful car that always turns heads around the paddock. Pete embarked on the journey down to Sandown to support Dave and had the opportunity to experience some of Melbourne's finest weather.
Dave was quick straight out the gate, setting some rapid laps during the practice sessions on Friday. Unfortunately, a shortened qualifying session hindered his chances for a first-row start. David still managed to qualify the Swift in 4th position.
The qualifying session was red-flagged and cut short due to a crash that involved Will Faulkner's RF86 on the entry of turn 6. Will, who has worked with us on a few occasions this year, was taken to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and suffered an injury to his left foot as a result of the contact against the barriers. We wish Will all the best for his recovery and look forward to seeing him back on his feet.
Any further racing was canceled for Historic Formula Fords on Saturday afternoon, in an attempt to recover the two-hour delay caused by a barrier repair at turn 6 after Will's crash in qualifying.
David started Race 2 on Sunday (de facto Race 1) from the second row of the grid and finished 10th, after a 5-second penalty for rolling on the grid at the start. During the race, we noticed a visible lack of power from his engine and post-race checks showed that he had in fact bent an exhaust valve after a missed gearshift in qualifying. We knuckled in and removed the cylinder head to replace the bent valve. We had the head back on and the engine running smoothly again in time for the Trophy Race on Sunday afternoon.
As Formula Fords were sitting ready on the outgrid for the Trophy Race, the heavens opened and a sudden rainstorm covered Sandown Raceway. The 5-lap encounter was held in absolutely atrocious conditions, with cars spearing off the track at every corner. This was David's first race in the wet with the new Avon ACB9 compound, also the first time in proper wet conditions since his return to racing! Dave had an eventful run with a few spins, however returned the car in one piece.
As we were racing at Sandown, our friend and long-term customer Richard Davison was competing in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, representing Australia in one of the most important Formula Ford events in the world. Richard will also be competing in the Walter Hayes Trophy this weekend at Silverstone. You can follow his endeavors from the UK live at this link, or results will be available at the end of each session here.
We are currently getting ready for our last event of the season, the "Island Magic" race meeting organised by PIARC and held at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on November 22-24. Malcolm Coleman will be reunited to our Spectrum 06b for this event, joined by Luke for a one-off event at Phillip Island.
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