The Allan Streader 34

We’re joining the NSW Compact Speedcar Club to celebrate the contribution of a legend, Alan Streader, across two events this season.

During the running of this coming season the New South Wales Compact Speedcar Club celebrates its 60th birthday. This is a very significant milestone in speedway history as there are not many clubs that have been around as long.

And it is only fitting that in this 60th year the NSW Compact Speedcar Club, in partnership with the Victorian Compact Speedcar Club have come up with an event that will become one of Compact Speedcars most prestigious Blue-Ribbon events. “The Alan Streader 34”. This event will celebrate and honor this class’s absolute legend, Alan Streader.

Alan, a Life Member, has been, and still is an integral part of this proud division having been one of the driving forces in the formation of this club back in 1959 when the front engine TQ’s separated from the rear engine cars to stand proudly as a class in their own right.

Alan was also instrumental in forming the Australian Compact Speedcar Association by bringing New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, who were all running very similar cars, together, under the one set of specifications and rules.

As a driver Alan Streader is a true legend winning countless championships and continuing to race well into his seventies. I still remember his last race meeting in a Compact. It was at Cullen Bullen and Alan showed he had lost none of his prowess behind the wheel. Reveling on the dirt, he was the only one to use the high line, searching for that heavy dirt and making those outside passes.

If it wasn’t for Alan Streader many drivers from many open wheel speedway classes would not have progressed as far as they had. A self-taught fabricator, Alan built his own engines and chassis as well as for numerous other racers. He modified VW gear boxes and turned them into quick change diffs. During the seventies these were all the rage weighing more than half the weight of the more fancied Morris and Austin diffs which were pretty much all that was on offer at the time.

Alan was famous for his red helmet and red scarf, hence his nick name “Red Baron”. This event will be run over two meetings, the first at Sydney Speedway on October the 12th 2019 and the second at Wangaratta on the 9th of May 2020. Each feature will be run over the distance of 17 laps, totaling 34. The place getters of each feature will receive a red scarf as a part of their prize. More details will be posted shortly.

New VIC Committee

On Saturday, we held our AGM for the upcoming 2019/2020 season.

First of all, a big thank you to those on the committee who won’t be continuing, and more specifically, Butch and Lynne for all that they have done in the role of President and Secretary.

We are delighted to announce our new committee for the season. Thank you to those who are continuing, and of course, the new people on board!

The elected positions are:

Herbie Hecker – President
Mark Hutchinson – Vice President
Carolyn Hutchinson – Secretary
Gin Turley – Treasurer
Mark Hutchinson – Chief Scuitineer
Brad Day – Drivers Rep

General Members
Jack Day
Butch Hutchinson

Bring on the season!

New NSW Committee

A new executive committee was elected at out AGM last Sunday and it was pleasing to see a couple of new faces putting their hand up to take the NSW Compact Speedcar Cub forward in this its 60th year of operation.

Andrew Coppock is the new President, now in his third season with Compacts, Andrew feels he has something to contribute.

Ben Fairfax has assumed the role as Secretary. Ben has been around Compacts since he was sixteen and has a real passion for the class.

Donna Eyeington returns to the committee as Treasurer bringing many, many years of experience with her.

Richard Elliott remains as a committee member and he is joined by Alan Day who returns after a couple of seasons off.

The members would like to thank the outgoing committee for their efforts over the past couple of seasons.

An award that is bestowed on only a select few is that of a Life Membership. An award that is not given lightly. Having been a dedicated member for close on 40 years, Alan Day was gracious in his acceptance of Life Membership to the NSW Compact Speedcar Club.

Mark Puts The Heat On

Australian Compact Speedcar Title Shoalhaven Diesel Tech Nowra Speedway,
20-4-19

Mark Heaton, N#26 won last weekend’s Australian Compact Speedcar title at Nowra Speedway. He started out of Pole Position after scoring 2 wins and a second place in his heat races.

The feature race ran 25 laps flag-to-flag, without stoppages and Heaton was never seriously threatened. In winning the title, Heaton, became the first NSW driver in 19 years to stand on the top step at the Australian Title. The last NSW driver to win A1 was Tony Absom in 1999.

Defending champion, Victoria’s Justin Paull, was the best of the rest but he had to watch as Heaton motored off into the distance.

Heaton was in a class of his own and even when lapping the tail-enders towards the end of the feature, he seemed to unerringly pick the right line whereas Paull was baulked on a number of occasions.

Filling the final spot on the podium was NSW’s Ayden Elliott. For a relatively new driver in the division, Elliott was all class, scoring two 3rd places in his heats and easily taking 3rd place at the end of the feature.

As always, there were the customary hard luck stories.
Rob Rawlings Snr was certainly a hot favourite, scoring a win, a 2nd and a 3rd in his 3 heats. But, towards the end of his last heat, smoke was seen coming from the engine of the #15 car and he was a non-starter in the feature with a blown engine. Once again the curse of having the title decided on the one night hit Rawlings hard.

The grid for the feature was Heaton, Rawlings Sr, Paull, Elliott, Hudson, Francis, Rodriguez, O’Brien. Then Lahiff, Unwin, Hutchinson (B), Zarb, Allen, Hutchinson (M) and Brown.

Victoria’s Gary Hudson, who has come so close to an Aussie title on so many occasions, should also have been a favourite. A brand new car and a good lead-up to the event meant that he was in the fame. But the night just never went Gary’s way and, apart from a win in his first heat, he never looked like lifting the #1 plate.

Others who figured well in the heats but couldn’t carry the form through to the final were Victoria’s Louis Rodriguez, veteran driver, Rod Francis and Nathan O’Brien.

But the night belonged undoubtedly to Heaton. He has been the form driver of the division this season and justice was probably done with him taking “the big one” given his excellent season in the lead-up to the title.

The track was in perfect shape with all of the drivers complimenting the track curator at Nowra for preparing a surface worthy of a title meeting.

A big crowd enjoyed the spectacle and the celebrations in the Compact Speedcar pit were loud and long and filled with good humour.

Congratulations to the NSW club for staging a meeting worthy of an Aussie title and congratulations to Mark Heaton, a thoroughly deserving A1.

Write up courtesy of Phill Hall

Rodriguez wins 2018/2019 Victorian Title

Well, the dust has settled on the Associated Powder Coating Victorian Title, and what a night we had!

18 cars braved the Wangaratta heat, but in the end it was our own Louis Rodriguez who claimed the VIC1 Title in a flawless drive in the final. He didn’t put a foot wrong on a slick track, holding a 3-5 car advantage for the green flag running. He held off a fast finishing Gary Hudson, who impressed in his first outing with the Victorian club, claiming second.

It was great to see so many NSW drivers make the trek down. Ayden Elliot and Rod Francis both out in solid showings to claim 3rd and 4th respectively. Butch Hutchison rounded out the top 5.

Speedcar driver Ash Booker showed great pace all night, taking out two heat wins and the Kitten Car Care Products best presented car, but luck wasn’t on his side in the final, losing a sump plug while running third in Brad Day’s car. Justin Paull also didn’t get the rub of the green despite showing good pace early. Pole sitter Mark Heaton’s night came to an end at the start of the title race with fuel pump issues.

A big thanks must go out to everyone that helped make the meeting possible, our naming rights sponsor Associated Powder Coating, and of course, the drivers, crews and families.

Taking a look back to: 1996/1997

Darren Vine won the first of his 8 ACSA Australian Titles in the 1996/1997 racing season at Wagga Wagga. Vine was generous to share with us some details of his first Compact Speedcar Title win.

What was your car/motor combination?

This was the first car I drove (see picture.) I believe it was built on the Gold Coast by a Kiwi. We modified the frame to work better with the chain drive.  It was powered by a 2 valve Suzuki GS1000 (no turbo)

How did the race unfold?

I don’t remember where I started. The track was tricky with long straights and tight slick corners. We had a great car for the feature and was battling with Paul Raynes for the lead. Paul unfortunately broke his diff and pulled infield. At that point I knew, “I can win this,” and just kept up a good pace.

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

The feeling was unbelievable. As this was my first meeting back after my big crash at Lismore 4 months earlier where I was put in an induced coma from getting head injuries. I had nerve damage to my left hand and was learning to walk again as my left leg would not move. Also, while I was in hospital, the title was being run in Bendigo, Victoria, and as the feature race was lining up for the green it rained and was called off as a non-event to be re-run at a later date and venue. I was given clearance to race from the neurosurgeon a week before Wagga was to host the re run title.

Are you still involved in Speedway? If so, what divisions?

I’m still racing Compacts but my focus is now more with racing midget speedcars.

What are some highlights from your Compact Career?

Highlights are the way it unfolded to win my first Aussie Title. Winning 8 Aussie Titles and every one of them had its own challenges to overcome. Knowing you can do it again and it was no fluke is a very satisfying feeling.

How many years have you been racing?

24 years racing. Not retired yet!

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

Do as many laps as possible. Never stop thinking of ways to improve your car and driving.

Any other comments?

To hold the record as most Australian title wins in the history of Compact Speedcar competition is very important to me and my family who have supported Compacts for many decades through my sister Julie, grandfather Don and my dad Mike.

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

 

Taking a look back to: 1983/1984

Ron Hutchinson won the first of his 3 ACSA Australian Title races in the 1983/1984 season and was generous with his time to tell us about it.

Hutchinson had purchased an ex Alan Streader compact speedcar (after 16 years of karting at the top level) in the lead up to that title race which was run at Liverpool. It was powered by a 900cc injected Kawasaki.

Here is Hutchinson’s recollection of the race. “I settled into the sport quickly & won my first Australian Title 3 months later. On the morning of the race I took delivery of a new compound Dunlop slick inside rear, after the heats I knew I had a real chance of a win. I started at the rear, got a blinder of a start taking the lead after lap 1. I had an enormous lead till lap 12 where there was a stoppage & subsequently another 3 stoppages. Streader put it to me all the way. It was a great result as to beat the great man with his old car you knew you did a good job. After this race I was offered a drive in the USA by a visiting American but unfortunately had to decline. At least I had the offer I am grateful for.”

Hutchinson was honoured to be inducted into the Liverpool City Raceway Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2015 Peter White’s Speedway World publication recognized Hutchinson as the only speedway driver to win 3 consecutive Australian Titles on 3 different track surfaces.

Hutchinson’s advice to those racing in the ACSA Compact Speedcar Title:
1) Races are won in the workshop. I recognized this while competing at the 7th Hong Hong Kart Prix in 1973.
2) Races can’t be won in the 1st corner… only lost there.
3) Safety is paramount. Do not leave your brains in your toolbox! It’s important to come home safely.
4) Enjoy the ride regardless if you win or loose.

Should you be around the Bathurst area you may wish to view Hutchinson’s restored 1st Compact from his first ACSA Australian Title at the Bathurst Motor Museum.

Hutchinson wishes everyone a safe journey and a great Australian Championship.

Photos attached are of Ron in his winning 1983 car, 1984/1985 Compact and his Australian Speedcar Grand Prix Car.

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

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

Taking a look back to: 2011/2012

Justin McMinn took out the ACSA Australian Title event at Redline Raceway in the 2011/2012 season. McMinn was driving a Suzuki Swift powered Pearce Chassis with some modifications. McMinn was happy to tell us about his title experience.

Tell us about your race.

I started out of position 3. I managed to get into 2nd at the start of the race. The track went away pretty early and I felt I was faster than Gary Hudson who had led for the first few laps. I managed to get by Gary on the bottom, settled into a rhythm and opened up a gap on the field. I’m not sure how many laps into the race it was but a caution came out bunching the field back up. This was the start of a run of restarts, so many that I can’t remember! I just remember thinking that I had to make sure I nailed the restarts to avoid one of motorbike engined cars getting by, which could typically restart much better. On one of the stoppages, the track curator came over to the car and said “hang in there mate, you’ve got this”, he was probably trying to calm me down but if anything it just made me more nervous! After many more restarts the white flag came out and I kept it together for 1 more lap.

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

I always thought that we had a good chance to win. I tried not to think about it and just keep focused on putting in good laps.

What was your first thought after winning the Title?

Just that we had done it! Many people had put effort into that car and to get the job done in the biggest race of the year was amazing.

What were some of your highlights racing in Compact Speedcars?

It was good fun, I made a lot of friends that I am still friends with today. I really loved the variety of cars and engines and different approaches to making a race winner.

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

These days I like to pride myself on preparing the best I possibly can before the race meeting, something I only got my head around at the end of my Compact Speedcar days. Make sure the car and you are 100% ready before you go the track.  Also focus on what you need to do, don’t concern yourself with what your competitors are doing.

McMinn is still competing in Speedway piloting the #V12 Speedcar. Check out how McMinn is going by visiting his Facebook Page

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