Wakefield Park Enjoys Best Ever Historic Race Meeting

Competitors and spectators who attended the weekend’s 40th Anniversary of Australia’s first-ever Historic Race Meeting at Wakefield Park are hailing it as the best ever historic event held at the venue.

A large crowd turned out to enjoy an assortment of pre-1961 cars and motorcycles both on and off the track, while specially-produced commemorative T-shirts and programs sold out across the two days.

Wakefield Park operations manager Matt Baragwanath said the historic race meeting was a win for both the venue and the Goulburn community.

“Overall, it was a sensational weekend and we achieved one of our best-ever spectator attendances on Saturday,” Mr Baragwanath said.

“Even with the wet weather conditions on Sunday, a lot of enthusiasts braved the conditions and were treated to a very skilful display from competitors, just to keep their machines on the track.

“A number of people travelled long distances to attend this meeting – some came from as far away as Queensland and South Australia – and there’s no doubt the attendance delivered a significant benefit to the local economy.”

The cars were grouped into pre and post-war regularity categories, along with race categories A, B and C depending upon lap times.

Driving his 1917 Model T Ford, Andrew Brown was the most consistent driver in one of the pre-war regularity runs, while Bob King and Steven Figgis also achieved pre-war regularity victories.

In post-war regularity, there were five different winners from the five sessions with Ron Townley, David Lawrence, Peter Lubrano, Matthew Liersch and Greg Snape each recording the most consistent times in the respective sessions.

The Group C scratch races were won by James Elphick (1956 Gazelle Ford) before Rees Mackay (1933 Riley 9/14) took out the handicap race.

In Group B, it was Simon Pymble who won all three scratch races aboard a 1958 Hamilton, before Ian Edgar drove his MG TC to the win in the wet handicap race.

Dick Willis (1959 Mildren Cooper) and David Reid (1959 Faux Pas) battled hard in the first two Group A races before Mal Reid (1955 Prad) came through to win the third race, in slippery conditions. The handicap race went the way of Jim Russell in his 1939 Ford V8.

Bob Sayer (1962 Norton Atlas) looked well placed in the 500cc and Unlimited motorcycle races after qualifying on pole position, but a crash in Race 1 eliminated him from the weekend and enabled Garth Francis (also on a Norton Atlas) to win the first three races before Stacey Heaney (1958 Royal Enfield)  won the final race in wet conditions.

The first three 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and Class C motorcycle races were taken out by Jonathan Houston (1962 Motobi) before Eric Salmon (1962 Honda CB77) won Race 4, and Charlie Palmer (1942 Harley Davidson) took out the last race.

The sidecars produced entertaining racing all weekend, the combination of Garth Francis/Paul Kenny (1960 Triumph) dominating the first four races while Greg Freeman/Scott Freeman (1960 Triumph) were victorious in the handicap race.

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