Flashback Friday – MSCA Mallala Circuit Sprints

Sprite Club of SA has always had a strong representation at MSCA Mallala Circuit Sprints

On the eve of the return to Mallala for the MSCA Supersprints after a four month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to “Flashback” and have a look at the Sprite Club’s involvement at Mallala and circuit sprinting.

Sprites and Midgets were by design always going to be used for competition. From motorkhanas, racing and circuit sprints the Sprite Club of SA has always been involved with some form of competition.

During the early days of the Sprite Club members competed at both Adelaide International Raceway and Mallala Motorsport Park. While AIR was used it had a very long straight and lots of concrete walls, the open track at Mallala was more suited to Sprites and Midgets and but was licensed only for Club events and not races.

It was originally an RAAF Air Force base and was converted to a racetrack during the early 1960’s as a replacement for the Port Wakefield circuit. During the 1970’s restrictions to prevent motorsport activities were placed on the land and circuit. When Clem Smith purchased the circuit his first task was to remove these restrictions. By the early 1980’s these were removed and the circuit re-licensed to hold major race meetings including the Australian Touring Car Championship. He also invested many dollars into the circuit surface and other infrastructure. The improvements are evident in the various photos here, showing the openness of the pits and paddock and lack of sheds, etc in the early 1980’s.

The MSCA was formed in the early 70’s to give the smaller Sports Car Clubs of South Australia the opportunity to compete at the Mallala Motorsport Park and in Motorkhanas and Hillclimbs. With only a low number of members competing from each club, the individual members joined the M.S.C.A., allowing those drivers to compete in their cars. This organisation was the association of clubs such as Bolwell, Alfa Romeo, Fiat-Lancia, MG, Austin Healey and Sprite Clubs. This association has now increased to 18 clubs with Mazda MX-5, BMW and Nissan-Datsun active member clubs. Members could join the MSCA and compete in a range of events, saving each club hiring the circuit for just a few members. Now they could have a larger number of competitors at any time and share the expenses, reducing the entry and operation costs.

The Sprite Club of SA members have been actively involved with the MSCA as both competitors, members, delegates and particularly on the organisation committee. During the past 20 years Sprite Club Life Member Sue Stephenson, supported by her family, has been the MSCA Competition Secretary and has operated the timing for these events.

The MSCA circuit sprints have grown from events of approx 20 vehicles during the 1980’s, when we parked on the side of the circuit where the pit lane is and lapped with only three vehicles on the circuit at any time.

The MSCA was instrumental in developing the Supersprint format where up to 18 vehicles can be on the track at any given time, The cars are released in pairs and can have a drag race to Turn I, from then it a race against the clock to try and obtain the fastest time. There are also awards for the most consistent driver over the Supersprint Series.

Now there is a cap of 120 entries with a diverse range of vehicles competing, from pure race cars to standard street spec vehicles. During the 1980’s the fastest time of the day was Keith Rilstone’s V8 Bolwell Nagari lapping in the 1.25’s. Todays the Clubmans are lapping in the 1.15 – 1.18’s, Dean King’s Rotary-powered Sprite has clocked times even faster!

Super Sprinting is a reasonably safe way of competing, but occasionally something may go wrong either mechanically or sometimes there may even be contact with a concrete wall.

The Sprite Club members also assist with flagging at specific events each year and it is a chance to get up close to the action and assist the running of the event,

Driver Training sessions and Come’n’Try days often form part of the current MSCA Calendar to allow new competitors the safe way to try circuit sprinting and learn driver and car control at the same time, Many junior members and wives have also been actively involved with circuit sprinting over the years, so it not just something for the guys!

As the Clubbies SA group expanded during the late 1980’s they joined the Sprite Club to gain access to the MSCA and now form a large component of the Sprite Club’s representation at the circuit sprints. Quite often these and other Sprite Club members take home numerous trophies from the end of year presentation event

Super Sprinting as a ideal way to become involved with Motorsport competition, and the MSCA Supersprints at both Mallala and now The Bend Motorsport Park, provide an opportunity for Sprite Club members to become actively involved in both the organisation and most importantly getting your vehicle on the track.

To all of the competitors who have entered for this Sunday’s event we hope you have a great day!

The Bend Classic | 4-6 September 2020 | Invitation to Enter!

from Pat Miller

Good Afternoon, 

We would like to formally invite your members to join us at The Bend Classic, to be held at The Bend Motorsport Park on September 5-6, 2020. 

Featuring an eclectic mix of historic and significant vehicles, it’s an event not to be missed! 

The event will be a Supersprint format run on the West Circuit configuration (3.41km). Optional private practice will be offered on 4 September 2020. 

Competitor entries will open tomorrow morning (Friday 10 July) via The Bend Website (https://www.thebend.com.au/2020-bend-classic). 

Further information regarding the event can also be found via this link & the attached Supplementary Regulations. 

If you would kindly share this on our behalf to your club, groups & networks, we would be most appreciative. 

We hope to see you there! 

Kind regards, 

CHARISE BRISTOW
EVENT OPERATIONS MANAGER 

THE BEND MOTORSPORT PARK

543 DUKES HIGHWAY
TAILEM BEND SA 5260

P  08 8200 5247

E  C.BRISTOW@THEBEND.COM.AU

W THEBEND.COM.AU

  

Awards ES Vers2

signature_695899408

MSCA Supersprint Round 2 – July 26th

Good news at last – Round 2 will be running on July 26 – supp regs are now available on the MSCA web site, and entries are open via Motorsport Australia.

http://www.mscasa.com/

https://motorsport.org.au/

Note that changes have been forced upon us by Motorsport Australia because of the COVID-19 situation. Entry procedure will be a bit different – entrants will have to complete extra forms, supply copies of your MA licence & club membership cards with entries, and there will be self scrutineering. There will be no sign-in, and no drivers briefing. All forms required are available on the Supp Regs / Entry Forms tab, then the COVID-19 Related Forms link on this site. Please ensure you read the supp regs carefully.

All competitors – to reduce congestion & time taken at signing, please print & fill out the Mallala waiver form, available also on the web site under the Supp Regs / Entry Form section

Helen Stephenson the Quckest from SA. Being held up by David Low.


Sundays in the Shed

With the sun shining and a cool morning it it time once again to grab a cup of coffee and head to the shed and see what some of our members have been up to during the past few months.

Peter Stanley – Mk IIA Sprite

Peter’s Hillclimb Championship Winning Sprite has been undergoing a few updates while waiting for the Collingrove Hillclimb season to resume. Looking forward to seeing the Sprite back in action……….

As Peter states:

Not quite self isolation, but isolation from any motor sport…..
I have had the chance to refurbish the rear suspension and fit a long overdue Panhard rod. The whole exercise started out because of a broken wheel stud and just grew from there.
Maybe the old slug will behave in a more Spritely fashion. 
Hope everyone is keeping healthy
Pete.

Pat Miller – Ford Special

As many members are aware Pat has been building various clubman and other style vehicles for many years and his current project is slightly different to the two clubman style vehicles he competes at Mallala.

I will let Pat continue the story:

This my Ford special being tested at Mallala by the engineering team from Motiv Engineering. I had tried to get the car registered through the hot rod association but the man at DPTI decided that the car is a clubman and therefore requires  very expensive engineering certification. No it did not pass, being the first time it had ever been driven a few gremlins showed up. The engineers did not like the feel of the brake pedal and the front suspension rubbers were too compliant. I noted a lot of things I did not like. All of the above are being rectified during the current confined to barracks situation.

The car is built on a 1948 Prefect ute chassis, boxed with new cross members. The body I built based on a 1927 Ford T. The grille, inspired by a 1937 Ford, once again hand built. The engine is the SOHC 2 liter Ford from the Anglia I used to race. It runs a mild cam, head work, Mhale pistons, steel flywheel, comp clutch, twin throat Dellorto carbs, etc,  trans is Cortina 4 speed, diff is a refugee out of a Toyota Hiace van, it has the biggest drum brakes I have ever worked on. Front axle originated in a 1940 Ford I adapted GM spindles AU Falcon brake rotors and lightweight Holden calipers. The rack and pinion steering is another Cortina refugee attached directly to the axle. On test it proved to feel too light and too slow. The steering column  was a leftover from the same Nissan Skyline that was the source of the drive train of my Irukandji Clubman. Wheels are standard pre AU Falcon 15” x  6” running 205 Yokahama  tyres. Paint is 2 pack, brightest red I could find. Trim by Cool Trimmers. As I intend to give a bit of a seeing to at a super sprint meeting I fitted what would be a CAMS approved roll bar, attachments are built in so that a full harness seat belt can be readily fitted.  I have not weighed it but my guess is around 800kg

Despite not achieving the engineers big tick I was not disappointed with the test. Sitting in the seat beside the test engineer with no helmet the wind blast on the main straight at Mallala nearly blew my face off. For car powered by an ancient  2 liter engine it flies. I hope I will get a degree of understanding when I turn up at sports car cruises in this machine.

Pat Miller.

Grant Stephenson – Ford Escort

We visited Grant last time in the shed to look at his Bugeye , but while there we also had a past look at his Ford Escort. This started life as mudsprint vehicle and evolved to an Improved Production Race Car (Club Car). Here are a couple of snaps from the mud sprint days at Southern Districts Car Club’s track at Old Reynella (now the track is covered with houses).

Stay safe and will see you in the shed soon….

Vale- Tony Guest

Tony Guest (right) presenting David Low a trophy at the 1994 Sprite Club Display Day

It is with sadness that I write to inform the Members of the Sprite Club of South Australia of the passing of previous member and past President Tony Guest.

Tony and his late wife Sally joined during the late 1980’s and were active members in all aspects of the Club, social, car displays and competition events. Tony was elected President in 1994.

Tony and Sally were also regular entrants and supporters of the All British Day, regularly displaying their vehicles over many years and proudly wearing the Union Jack of their home country.

Tony and Sally’s early 1958 Bugeye Sprite

Tony and Sally had an rare early 1958 “9-Stud Windscreen” Bugeye Sprite that Tony restored twice during his ownership and also owned a Mk IIIA Sprite that was his daily driver and evolved into a competitive Sprite for MSCA Sprints. This Sprite is still in the Sprite Club having been restored by Chris Brine and currently owned by Patrick Kukla.

Tony and Sallys MkIIIA Sprite with the 1989 MSCA Class A Trophy on the bonnet

Tony interest in competition included MSCA Sprints and Bordertown motorkhanas. Tony was awarded the MSCA Class A Champion driver in 1989 and also was awarded the Sprite Club’s Sprite of the Year and Sprint Driver of the Year.

On behalf of the Committee and the Members of the Sprite Club of South Australia we pass on our condolences to Tony’s daughters, Louise and Samantha and their families.

Tony’s Mk IIIA Sprite leading Gordon Boyce’s Bugeye at Turn 2 – Mallala 1990

Wanted

Wondering if anyone might have a king pin reaming tool I could use for disk brake stub axles? Or know an anyone who might be able to do it for me?
Cheers Chris contact chris.brine@gmail.com.au O4198O2163

National Challenge 2021

2021-National-Challenge-Flyer

Dear Sprite Members
PLEASE NOTE THAT I HAVE SENT THIS MESSAGE TO ALL MEMBERS THAT WERE GOING TO ATTEND THIS YEAR.
National Challenge 2021
The Sprite Car Club of Qld. Committee are pleased that we can confirm that we will host the Challenge at Easter 2021.  Dates are from Thursday 1st April to Monday 5th April.Morgan Park Raceway & Motels have been rebooked.
Basic weekend details will be Thursday night welcome BBQ.                                           Friday night, Dinner at Morgan Park                                           Saturday & Sunday night, Dinner at Warwick Golf Club.Competitors, Morgan Park racing Friday & Saturday & on Sunday Motorkhana.
Social Activities for non competitors on Friday & Saturday will have organized bus trip & a navigation run.
Sunday is Concourse & Motorkhana for everyone to attend.
All breakfasts, lunches & dinners will be organized, so all you need to do is come along & have a great weekend.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FLYER IS ATTACHED.
Please reply to this email if you would like to attend.

Regards
Keith Gordon

Membership Manager

The Sprite Car Club of Queensland inc.

Track Day – 4 july the Bend

On the Fourth of July some of us ‘hesterical’ blokes are having a track  day at the bend East track

We have space for up to twenty so come on down

Last run we had about a month ago was great

Entry on The Bend website

Gerard Miller info@marquerestoration.com.au

The Bend Motorsport Park

Catering for Austin Healey Sprite and MG Midget Enthusiasts