Sunday, 5 June 2011

Winning at the Killarney Race Track

The chequered flag fell for me in my 998cc Hillman Imp race car as I passed the finish line on lap twelve,so why did I get the cup for second?

The silver cup on the left is dated 18/03/1972 its inscribed for second place but in fact I won the race,so what happened?

The race was titled an Allcomers Race,meaning it was open to any class of car with four wheels I assume,I was in the Argus Saloon Championship class F car,which was a Hillman Imp with a 998cc Rootes Compettions equiped engine that I had built myself on a Mk1 block from imported parts.

The car would do around 1 minute 47 seconds to complete one lap,the faster cars were a good 20 seconds faster? that was the theory anyway.We had to post a practice time with no Sand Bagging as if we went faster by more than 5% in the actual race we would be placed further back in the final positions.

This was my own cars engine,all parts were imported from the UK and the Rootes Competition Dept,Des O Dell was the manager then? based on a std Mk 1 block,fitted with 998cc steel liners and pistons,the Mk 1 Imp head was developed to take a set of very large valves from a Mini Cooper S,the car was tested on a rolling road just once,it gave an impressive 86hp at the wheels,so a lot of power from a 1 liter engine unit.

The Hillman Imp 998cc based on the early so called curly motor,named such due to the shape of the top edge of the cylinder block.

I did my usual times and started in the first group to be waved off,as the 1000cc class was the smaller class on the day.The race was posted as a 12 lap race and as no one had passed me after 12 laps the guy with the chequered flag jumped up and waved it for me,I can see him now standing on the left of the track from me and the car.

The organisers had other ideas,it seems they got their calculations wrong and waved us all on for another lap,it made little difference as I was still only passed by one car.At the after race party at the WPMC I was called up to recieve my cup,it was for second place only,was I robbed,I believe so,I still got that chequered flag though!


(working with Hillman Imps for 47 years now)

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