The Amaroo Circuit (South) hosted the second Festival of Sporting Cars ( FoSC) event for 2014 on the June Queens Birthday weekend. Known as the Queens Birthday Invitational the event was held under grey overcast conditions however the threatened storms held off until the final chequered flag fell. The event ran over the 1.9km circuit, utilising the new challenging 800m winding track layout.
David Nichols, President of FoSC, said:” We are thrilled to have a bumper field attend this event at Sydney Motorsport Park, we weren’t sure how many would come, but this roll up is terrific. We are also excited to welcome our feature events for the day, rounds of the Excel Championship and the Historic Touring Cars Association Championship, both events being run inside our FoSC programme.”
Also on the programme were races for Historic and Invited Racing Cars plus Historic and Invited Sports and Touring Cars. The Regularity category was underlined by two good-sized fields – with a diverse mix of vehicles, including some beautifully restored classics.
There were also two non-racing but still very successful events. The first was a Come and Try event which is a soft introduction to would-be hopeful racers giving them a chance to drive on the black top circuit with the assistance of an in-car mentor. The entrants here were given two opportunities to practice their skills over the course of the day. The “newbies” gained valuable experience with the expert advice of the likes of Master Drivers’ Mal Brewster and Ray Gulson. These gutsy first-timers rolled up in a Jag, Volvo, Renault, Austin Healey and even a Datsun Sunny. “Its not about the car, its about the fun,” said one entrant. Another happy newcomer commented …” FoSC must be the best-kept secret in motor sport.”
The second non-racing event was the “Partners Parade” in which a spouse, friend, child or significant other gets a chance to come out in the car on track with you, either as a passenger (in the case of the 10 y.o I saw) or if they have a licence they can have a drive themselves. This was a particularly enjoyable part of the day for those family “pit crews” who do all the backup work race after race. It was a great inclusive event to make it a fun day for all.
As you can imagine, with nearly 130 entrants across six racing categories plus Regularity and the non-racing events, the pits, paddock and grid were abuzz with frenetic activity. One thing to appreciate with the FoSC is the amazingly wide variety of sporting cars that grace this event. Several entrants that caught this reporters eye were Dave Lawrences’ beautifully restored Red 1955 Austin Healey 100, which is still his daily driver, and Alan Morrins’ Ford 1984 GT40.
Excel Series racing was a hotly contested affair, with close bumper to bumper action between all three of the Team AGI cars of Nathan Gotch (#66), Nick Filipetto ( #77) and Glenn Smith ( #44) . Nathan took the major honours of the day with two wins and a second place, whilst Nick got one of each, a first, second and a third. In the Historic Touring Championships Wayne Rogerson (Mazda RX2) was too hard to beat, laying down three straight wins, followed by John Wright ( LJ Torana XU1) with two second places.
The FoSC has enjoyed nearly ten years of offering affordable racing events, with its mantra of “helping racing enthusiasts to get into and enjoy motorsport with a minimum of money and red tape.” FoSC pride themselves on being able to offer a fuss-free way to go racing. President Dave Nichols wished to thank all the regulars and new comers alike for making this event at Sydney Motorsport Park a huge success.
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley