Soon after finding the article about Dave Carpenter’s Mk1 Cortina in a pile of old Street Machine magazine out popped this 1986 race report from the first round of the JWR/SM Rover V8 Championship held in conjunction with the NDRC’s North Weald meeting on 7th/8th June. Here’s some of the highlights:
This meeting became the first round proper after the aborted meeting at Santa Pod (guess it rained then?). Eight cars entered but there were two noticeable absentees - Steve Green & George Leitch. Steve had apparently wrecked another rear axle and had put a piston through the block at a Pod meeting in May. In the meantime Edinburgh’s George Leitch was discovering that the VW transaxle was not up to the power he was extracting as, after a sensational 12.08/119 mph at York Raceway, he broke two gearboxes trying practices launches outside his workshop and he didn’t make the two South.
In the event, six people made qualifying attempts although Martin Cowell bent all his pushrods on his first pass and was unable to race. Qualifying ended up like this.
1, Martin Cowell (‘65 MG Midget) 12.98/101
2. Tim Hines (MK1 Escort) 13.13/103
3. Steve Richardson (Morris Marina) 14.37/95
4. Phil Herrick (Sprite) 14.68/99
5. Neil Hall (TR7) 15.84/86
6. Caroline Grace (Morris Minor) 16.10/81
Because only five cars showed for the first round there were three byes, and only one race between the two slowest qualifiers. In a tight finish the TR7 of Neil Hunter just squeaked past our first female racer, Caroline Grace in her Morris Minor ‘Minor Seduction’.
Tragedy struck Steve Richardson’s Marina when he ripped the centre out of the clutch after a 14.22. This gave the semi final opponent Neil Hall a bye into the final to meet Tim Hines with his 100- Escort who easily disposed of Phil Herrick’s Sprite (sorry Phil), 13.31 to 14.14.
The final looked to be a foregone conclusion, and so it proved - Tim waited for a definite green, allowing the TR7 to gain a slight advantage out of the gate, but the time show the margin at the finish, a winning 13.67/99 to a losing 15.89/87.
Winner Tim Hines was understandably pleased to pick up the £100 from JWR but runner up Neil Hall with his dead stock engine was also happy, “Just to compete and have fun”. Nice one Neil.
Points after round 1
1. Tim Hines 32 points
2. Neil Hunter 20 points
3. Phil Herrick 12 points
4. Steve Richardson 10 points
5. Caroline Grace 0 points
Low ET in Competition: Tim Hines 13.31 secs
Top Speed in Competition: Phil Herrick 103 mph