Friday, 20 April 2012 23:32

Roycroft Trophy Meeting Hampton Downs

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Roycroft Trophy Race Meeting Hampton Downs Motorsport Park - 14/15 April 2012 This story would not have been produced without the aid, information, guidance, and genial support of Richard McWhannell The Waitemata Branch of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand, in association with the New Zealand  Classic Motorcycle Racing Register and The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club (Inc) presented the Roycroft Trophy Meeting,  April 2012.
 Star of the meeting : the thundering Alfa Monza leaving the opposition coughing in its wake.
Hampton Downs is 60 km drive south of Auckland on State Highway No 1, on the North Island. The purpose-built track is only a few years old, and all the facilities and service areas are pristine.The complex is set in 450 acres of rolling hillside.  Many of the photos shown in this artiicle reflect the beauty of the location.The circuit is a bit under 4 km long. The main straight is 1000 metres long, with a kink in the middle with 11 metre rise and fall. The back straight is flat with a length of 800 metres. Circuit direction is clockwise.
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 Allard Spl  - much as Sydney's original trials car  unlisted 'sharknose'  Marcos  Rob McNair's 1931 Riley Spl
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 John Hancock's 1933 K1 MG  The 1938  Lagonda's engine  Grant Cowie and admirers Danny Ryan's 1919 Lancia Kappa 
 richardpits  annwithboy  redmidget  Norton
 Richard McWhannell #27  Anne Thompson 1906 Darracq GP  Midget  dirt track racer - display  Norton - girder forks
Fom its conception, the design took into consideration both FIA specifications and the views of drivers and teams. Corners and straights were to provide safety, good racing, and spectator enjoyment. The writer of this article enjoyed it. Trackside, overlooking the main straight, is a set of modern apartments built during 2004. Many of these are offered to rent. They accommodate up to six people, who can choose to sit out on the balcony with an uninterrupted view of the circuit and immediate access to the fridge. By Sunday afternon quite a few folks were out on the balconies, looking down over the whole circuit, and  enjoying themselves extremely well.One of these days, so the brochures tell, the complex will include a swimming pool, tennis court, fitness club and restaurant. Ah, the Pacific.
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    Peter Sundberg (Alfa Romeo, left) and Ann Thompson (1906 Darracq)
The Motormarques team arrived in Richard McWhannell's Suzuki towing his Austin 7 Dieppe Sports car on a hired trailer. We came to a wide 'official' concrete area that was lined with competition cars. A scene of bustling activity. Crews were preparing for the day.A pretty girl dressed in a high-fashion prewar outfit was dashing about on a bicycle delivering official messages from Central Command. An awestruck teenager was helping his father tune the polished engine of his vintage racing car.  Grant Cowie was the centre of an admiring throng. Ann Thompson was lifting children on and off her 1906 Grand Prix Darracq. A jolly chap sitting in a single cylinder car built before the turn of last century was explaining to the press and other onlookers the intricacies of starting and running his five MPH machine.  A 12 seater Renault Charabanc spent the day ferrying sightseers around the pits.And a very swinging Jazz band played Duke Ellington classics fom the 1930s.
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 Tony Bushell, MG A (left)  1958 Buckler RichardDurber Ian Garmey  1960 Cooper FJ  ? Formula Junior  Richard McWhannell - 1929 AustinAustin 7 Dieppe Sports 
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 ? Formula Junior  ? Formula Junior  Lancia Leviathon - 1919 Kappa Sport  Ian Williams 1938 Austin 7 Spl
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 Oliver Midgeley 1929 Ford Model A  Gerald Watson 1932 Riley 9  Lagonda (left) and  MG   ? Formula Junior
The history of motorsport in New Zealand begins on the south island. Canterbury, was in the lead in organised motorsport as public entertainment in the late 19th century.The organisers (Pioneer Amateur Athletic Club - formed in the 19th Century) held their Annual Gaslight Gala Meeting at Lancaster Park in Christchurch on 13 November, 1901 with accompanying fireworks display and band music. And on this occasion they staged a race for motor vehicles, the first such contest in Australasia. The handicapping was a little awry: the committee being understandably unaware of speed potential of the competing vehicles. The diversified field consisted of four vehicles - a Benz motor car from 200 yards, a motor bicycle 150 yards, a motor quad from 120 yards and a motor tricycle from scratch. "The 5000 or so spectators were treated to a good race which was a triumph for R.H. Every, the man who was riding the motor bicycle, and who started from 150 yards back. He won by 1/4 mile in eleven minutes, 18.2 seconds. There was a tussle for second place, Lowry's quad running 20 yards ahead of Shaw's tricycle." The Benz finished well back.Whilst on the subject of the early history of Austin 7s - Malcolm Campbell took an Austin 7 to Daytona intending to put the speed record up to 100 mph, but succeeded only in reaching 94.3 mph  
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 1938 V12 Lagonda

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