Taking a look back to: 1978/1979

Max Kiddle was the inaugural winner of the ACSA Australian Title event held at Brooklyn Speedway. Kiddle was kind enough to share his story with us. In this particular event Kiddle was driving a homemade tubeless Chassis (which Kiddle built with Ken ‘Titch’ Radcliffe in the back shed.)

This chassis was one of (if not the first) electric welded as prior to this most compacts were brazed as far as Kiddle can recall. It was also one of the first compacts with 4 wheel brakes.

The power plant was a 1-litre Hillman IMP. Kiddle states Rootes Group built a copy of a Climax Motor with a single overhead camshaft, all aluminium producing 875cc. Kiddle was able to get Rootes Group in England to provide him with ‘go fast’ bits to build it up to 1 litre specifications. It turned out to be a very successful little engine!

How did the race go?

I remember it like it was last weekend! The track was good except for pit turn (turn 4) which had a bad rut. I started at the back with John McFarlane from QLD. In the early laps, McFarlane had an incident with a car in front that caused that car to spin around, causing a stoppage. Trying to brake and avoid other cars I managed to break an inside shock mount. I was able to restart but going through the rut would bounce the car about a car length up. Eventually I led McFarlane through traffic to the front with Streader 3rd but fading from memory. I felt comfortable in the lead with McFarlane really only troubling me in the pit turn. We got to the last lap and McFarlane made a wild dive underneath in the pit turn. We came on to the main straight even and raced to the line and I got him by half a length!

Was there a point in the race where you thought, ‘I’ve got a good chance of winning this?’

No! Not until I went across the line! Had I not had a broken shock perhaps I could have won by the length of the straight as McFarlane was able to close up in the pit turn but I was able to hold him off around the rest of the track.

Do you remember your first thought after you had won the Title race?

Not sure! I was pretty pleased. I thought I drove well with my brain in that race. Looking back on my career, I didn’t drive at a pace just fast enough to win. I’d get to the front and go fast and there was a few occasions where I made mistakes. Had I raced a bit smarter I may have got some better results at times.

Are you still involved in Speedway?

I still go occasionally! Went to the 50 lapper – what a race!

What other racing did you do?

I raced on the asphalt from 1975 – 1980. I started racing back in 1964 and raced 19 years straight. I won the title towards the end of my career. My son Bryan built a car and I had a few drives of that until I retired in 1983.

What might we find you doing on a Saturday night?

Up at the RSL Club enjoying a few schooners and the music!

What advice would you give to those competing in this year’s ACSA Australian Title?

Put your foot down! Obviously, a lot has changed in how the grids are drawn compared to when I raced.

The 2017/2018 ACSA Australian Title is sponsored by 1 Stop Property Services|Thomo’s Ca$h for Scrap and supported by Motosign.com.au|Meguiars Car Care Products|Pearce Performance Products|Street Appeal Detailing|Indy Race Parts|Max Dumesny Motorsport|American Tire & Racing Services| Wangaratta Central Motel