Archive for November, 2017


Sandown Historic Races 2017

It has been some time since I had been to a race meeting of any kind at Sandown to spectate in fact the last time was 2014, again, for the Historic Races! This was a really great day filled with fantastic cars, old friends and competitors. After my visit to Sandown a few weeks ago it was good to get back there to watch and see what people do and approach the circuit! I must admit there were times that I cringed to see how incredibly cautious some of the drivers were!

There were 12 x F5000’s, a March73S that was an ex Niki Lauda / Jody Scheckter car, plenty of Sports cars and open wheelers and of course the Touring cars! John Bowe was kept busy having a drive of a F1 March and a Matich F5000 in consecutive races!

I had a lot of my time there Looking at the displays, talking to many old friends and seeing the quality of and interesting cars both on display and in the car park! These days always  bring out interesting cars and people!   It never ceases to amaze me at the level of presentation with the competing cars in all the categories it is a joy to see and hear these cars in such a great condition! Saturday which is the only day I will be able to attend unfortunately was mainly a day of practice testing and qualifying with the majority of races Sunday.



Racetracks I have driven Chapter 3 Hume Weir


I had always heard of the Hume Weir Circuit and was very aware of the racing held there as well as the people who had raced there! The Weir (as it was, known) was host to most of the Australian National Championships in cars and bikes. It was located just out of Albury on the border of Victoria and New South Wales at the Hume Weir, the site was a disused quarry, which was a left over from the construction of the Hume Weir. The Hume Weir, or Lake Hume, is a water reservoir near the beginning of the Murray River and construction took place, between 1919 and 1931.
The circuit originally opened in November 1959. At that time, it was unsealed and had a length of 1.26 Km. It was, used for a short time in that form and in 1960. It was then sealed, and extended to 1.6 Km, one of the highlight meeting there each year was the Boxing Day Meeting! The final open race meeting was held there on March 27, 1 977, the final outright lap record was established on June 15 1975 by Alfredo (Alfie) Costanzo in a Formula 2 car. After its closure to open race meetings, the Weir was, then used for rally stages, and some club events up to the mid 1980’s!


The above pic is going into Scrub Corner you can clearly see how tight it was and the phone box!

My one and only visit to Hume Weir was exciting as I knew it would be probably the last time it would be available for club sprints or anything much at all for that matter and time would prove that to be correct! At the time, I was a member of the Ford Four Car Club, which at the time was one of the bigger Car Clubs in Melbourne! As a club, though their focus was mainly on Rally rather than Racing!

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The Hume Weir circuit at that time, about 1984 or 1985 was still relatively intact even if the infrastructure was not in great condition it was still there! The track surface again was intact but it had weeds growing through it, the track edges were breaking up and it had the appearance of being once loved, then abandoned! There was a feeling of history and almost sadness, looking around the property seeing the surrounds and knowing we would be some of the last to breathe some life into the place! Walking around the track seeing its features like Scrub corner, the wall between the front and back straight, the telephone box, the Lukey Mufflers sign across the track. This brought back memories of the articles I had read and the photos I had seen and stories I had heard of this great little and challenging track.

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Driving impressions, well the lap distance was about the same length as the original Calder Park except the Weir was tighter at each end and far less forgiving! The pit area was Located inside the track and the start, finish line was between the pit area and the road. From the start you had a long run into the first corner or a tightening curve this lead into a very tight corner which was probably the slowest corner on a racetrack in the country, called Scrub corner it was very appropriately named as you disappeared into the scrub/ bush and did a right hand U turn! Exiting Scrub corner you faced a sweeping left hand corner that opened out onto the back straight, which had a long curve in the second half of it! This was where the concrete wall divided the two straights on the track and it was possible to see the cars on that part of it as you went in opposite directions! Also in this section is where the Lukey Mufflers sign crossed the track between the walls of the quarry! So that whole area was quite confined in some ways or at least gave that feeling! This section lead into the loop, which was quite deceiving in that you had the impression you, could brake much later than was really possible, particularly at that time! I proved that later in the day by actually out braking myself and ended up going into the shallow dam in a friend’s car I was trusted with for the day, Alan was in the passenger’s seat with me! Thanks and sorry again Alan Sornig! The loop was a lot of fun when successfully negotiated and it led to the esses which was a medium speed set of corners again fun and fast when taken correctly! Then the next lap was under way and through that tightening curve again and into Scrub which as with most of the rest of the Weir had little or no runoff areas this was the way, it was at the time though! I clearly remember the trees and bush right on the edge of the track and even tree trunks on the edge of the bitumen! I thoroughly enjoyed the day we had there or at least most of it! To me it was a great little track to drive that was a challenge and rewarding as well as technical!

November 2017


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