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Wet race meetings in Australia


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#1 DanTra2858

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:54

Would the first race meeting at Warick Farm be the wettest meeting ever in Australia or is there another ?

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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:43

A couple of Bathursts were very wet. The one where Jim Richards made his infamy was very wet at that period.

Or the late 90s as soon as I took my car out of the shed it rained! Though never super badly.
The wettest I think I ever competed at was the Touring Car round when Lowndes and Bowe took each other off at Lukey. But it very often rains at Philip Island!

#3 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:02

The opening meeting at Eastern Creek was very wet, with parts of the track flooded at times, there was a river of mud flowing down the main straight and into the pitlane. It was a shocker.


I did a wet night meeting at Oran Park and just to make the last race of the night more interesting a thunderstorm rolled in. It would have been the wettest race I ever did. It was a huge amount of rain in a short time, by the end of the race parts of the track were flooding.
The lightning was quite a buzz! You can't see a damn thing and suddenly you can see everything and then nothing again.

Edited by Catalina Park, 26 March 2012 - 08:05.


#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:55

I wasn't at the first Warwick Farm, but I'd reckon it would have had to be atrocious to be any worse than the '73 Tasman Cup meeting...

There are photos around of people sloshing through mud in the pits, the rain bucketed down much of the day and I'm sure it was wetter than the '69 (Rindt) meeting.

#5 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:20

I have seen film of the opening Warwick Farm meeting and it looked very, very wet.

#6 AnnieOz

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:07

We had a meeting actually cancelled at Mallala - mid to late 80s, Formula 2 cars with water above their skirts in the pits! The puddles were deeper than our shoes. Mallala Pub did a roaring trade.
Worse than the infamous wet Adelaide GP

Edited by AnnieOz, 26 March 2012 - 11:07.


#7 Repco22

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 13:07

The annual '6-Hour Le Mans' races at Caversham in the fifties and sixties were held in early June and were traditionally wet. Spectators expected it as much as the drivers and were not deterred. In fact the rain guaranteed them plenty of 'incidents'. One particularly wet year there were vast pools of water on the straight which caused Ron Thorp to back right off as his Cobra's wide tyres were aquaplaning. Minis wre flashing past him! :|

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:40

One of the 24 hour relay races at Winton in the early 90s was very cold and very wet. I called in at Repco in Benalla and got heater hoses and a weathershield for my HQ Holden. It was quite cosy flogging around the track at night, it was probably the warmest and driest place in Winton!

#9 Team Result

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:46

Wow, so much rain during race meetings for such a dry continent! :lol:

'course up north we had real rain....plus a little breeze if it was cyclone season.

Case#1 In another thread I made mention of the famous Gold Star round at Lakeside (1967?). Kevin Bartlett won it after driving most of the race with his googles around his neck (care to comment, KB?). The relevant RCN has a cover painting depicting Greg Cusack with heaps of opposite lock on while racing under Shell Bridge. I can attest to the fact that most of the top runners were doing the same and that is not a place for the feint-hearted to do so. Of course the run in to Hungry was flooded, as usual. IIRC, it rained heavily non-stop all day resulting in the last race of the day for touring cars being held in extremely damp and gloomy conditions. In fact, from our sodden viewing spot on the Eastern Loop, only the cars' headlights were visible as the field splashed under Shell Bridge. Suddenly one pair of lights turned red as John French's Mini turned 180 in the second lake as the field braked for Hungry. Big Pete drifting the 'Stang beautifully, even at corners he didn't usually, won the race and everyone was thankful they could go home and dry out.

Case#2 (and #3, #4, if you like) Cyclone season in Qld is around early February and when was the Queensland round of the Tasman Ch'ship traditonally scheduled??? I (sort of) remember the 1973 (or 1974) round when three or four inches fell on the Gold Coast on the Friday & Staurday of race week. I recall we paddled around on our buffed BFGoodrich T/As in qualifying on Saturday as it was a round of their Touring Car Challenge. Though the rain went away by that evening the race meeting had to be cancelled as the drainage canals around the back of the circuit were threatening to overflow and that would have submerged most of the track (as well as the nearby housing estate)!
While the Internationals got up to mischief at Chevron Hotel on Sunday, BF Goodrich generously invited drivers and crews to their hospitality room at Surfers Raceway where we consumed copious amounts of food and beverage meant for their dealers and other VIPs who were, of course, no-shows due to the meeting's cancellation. Before? partaking, I actually unloaded our race car on the main straight and drove it around the track (in reverse direction) for friends to take some publicity pix. I noticed then that the entire back section of the circuit now resembled a swamp with the actual racing surface the only part of it that seemed above the waterline! :drunk:

Alan Jones could also testify as to how wet it got at Surfers Paradise Raceway during a much late International Series round there!

Edited by Team Result, 27 March 2012 - 11:47.


#10 GMACKIE

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 20:57

One of the 24 hour relay races at Winton in the early 90s was very cold and very wet. I called in at Repco in Benalla and got heater hoses and a weathershield for my HQ Holden. It was quite cosy flogging around the track at night, it was probably the warmest and driest place in Winton!

Lucky you, having a heater! I co-drove Keith Walter's HQ recently at Wakefield Park [Hopwood 100], and there were a few 'rivers' across the track. As this was my first ever drive in an HQ, and the rain was as heavy as I've ever seen, it was quite exciting......especially when the wiper stopped working. :eek: The car was aqua-planing most of the time, but stayed on the track - except once, when [with some help from a thump from behind] I ended up in the wet grass. The race was finally 'Red Flagged' after less than 40 laps. We managed 8th, which was at least not a DNF.


#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 21:33

If you see any rain down there, do - please - send it up here...

DCN

#12 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 21:50

Lucky you, having a heater! I co-drove Keith Walter's HQ recently at Wakefield Park [Hopwood 100], and there were a few 'rivers' across the track. As this was my first ever drive in an HQ, and the rain was as heavy as I've ever seen, it was quite exciting......especially when the wiper stopped working. :eek: The car was aqua-planing most of the time, but stayed on the track - except once, when [with some help from a thump from behind] I ended up in the wet grass. The race was finally 'Red Flagged' after less than 40 laps. We managed 8th, which was at least not a DNF.

My only wet race ever in a HQ was at Mallala. And like everyother racecar I have ever driven the water was sloshing around inside making the screen fog up. At least the demister worked!! Sort of.

I helped on the Rosenberg owned VP driven by Mark Poole at Sandown about 96. Every race the car came back filled with water. Keith Poole and I spent quite a lot of time mopping it out all weekend. Amazing how much water gets in through the floor on tintop racecars.

#13 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 21:52

If you see any rain down there, do - please - send it up here...

DCN

Just relocate the UK to central Qld, it would fit on a couple of cattle stations though it may sink under the volume of water coming down the last couple of years.

#14 GMACKIE

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 22:03

My only wet race ever in a HQ was at Mallala. And like everyother racecar I have ever driven the water was sloshing around inside making the screen fog up. At least the demister worked!! Sort of.

I helped on the Rosenberg owned VP driven by Mark Poole at Sandown about 96. Every race the car came back filled with water. Keith Poole and I spent quite a lot of time mopping it out all weekend. Amazing how much water gets in through the floor on tintop racecars.

Lee, you're right about the water in the floor well [a good word for it]. Under brakes, the incoming 'tide' would fill my shoes with water. The only time the car in front was visible, was when the brake lights came on. Wow, you had a demister?

Edited by GMACKIE, 27 March 2012 - 22:07.


#15 launchpad

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:17

As a photographer, and standing outside in the weather trying to convey the "atmosphere" , I seemed to attend a lot of wet meetings.
The ones that I found to be worthy of mention were: Longford 1968, Warwick Farm 1969 and 1973, Bathurst Easter 1972 and Bathurst 1000 1972.
Here are some photos from my point of view.

Longford 1968

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I think this may be Greg Cusack or otherwise a BRM.

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This is Jim Clark at the start of the Flying Mile.

I will post some other pics later.


Copyright Rod Mackenzie.

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:05

There's a photo in RCN of two or three of the drivers at that cancelled meeting at Surfers...

They are standing waist deep in water!

Were you there for the 1963 Lakeside International 99 (or was it 1962?) when John Youl led the field a merry chase? That was pretty wet, I understand.

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:13

The above post was intended to have been posted last night immediately after Ross Burbidge's post...

Now I'd like to respond to:

Originally posted by launchpad'
As a photographer, and standing outside in the weather trying to convey the "atmosphere" , I seemed to attend a lot of wet meetings.....
.....Longford 1968

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I think this may be Greg Cusack or otherwise a BRM.....


Not Cusack, he went flying on the Saturday, as I recall, and it was all dry until then. Greg retired from racing after that episode, sadly.

It's a Repco V8, not a BRM, and that narrows it down to John Harvey or Leo Geoghegan. I'm pretty sure it would be Harves, it's on Pit Straight is it not?




#18 timbo

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:03

I can't remember if it was the 21st or 25th anniversary meeting at Oran Park, but this is about as good as it got all day.

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

#19 gtsmunro

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:28

There's a photo in RCN of two or three of the drivers at that cancelled meeting at Surfers...

They are standing waist deep in water!

Were you there for the 1963 Lakeside International 99 (or was it 1962?) when John Youl led the field a merry chase? That was pretty wet, I understand.

Ray,
Wasn't there a record set by a boat at Surfers Paradise???

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:54

I don't recall hearing about that...

But it's certainly not impossible. But in what class was it running?

#21 launchpad

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:03

Quote name='Ray Bell' date='Mar 28 2012, 17:13' post='5633185']


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Not Cusack, he went flying on the Saturday, as I recall, and it was all dry until then. Greg retired from racing after that episode, sadly.

It's a Repco V8, not a BRM, and that narrows it down to John Harvey or Leo Geoghegan. I'm pretty sure it would be Harves, it's on Pit Straight is it not?
[/quote]

Thanks Ray, I had thought BRM for a long time and realised it was a Repco V8 when I uploaded it. I know It is Leo or John Harvey - but probably John Harvey. It is almost halfway down the Flying Mile as I walked back to the pits for the end of the race and presentations. It was WET!

#22 launchpad

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:10

Another wet day - Bathurst 1972

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Brock leads...

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John Goss along pit straight....

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Other spectators who found it damp...

Copyright Rod Mackenzie

Edited by launchpad, 29 March 2012 - 10:46.


#23 eldougo

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:15

Ray,
Wasn't there a record set by a boat at Surfers Paradise???


A record set by a boat when the track flooded back in the late 60,s it was under a meter or so of water . I think it was Fred Williams the owner that took one of his water ski boat for a trip around and record a time. (time unknown).

#24 René de Boer

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:20

On Feb. 26th, I had the pleasure of attending my first-ever race in Australia, the Bathurst 12 Hour. The weather had been fine on the days before for practice and qualifying, but it was wet for most of race day. Here a photo I took of the winning Audi R8 on the main straight with plenty of spray:

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#25 LittleChris

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:14

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the 1991 Australian GP in Adelaide. Looked pretty damp to me ( from several thousand miles away mind you ), was stopped after 14 laps and not restarted.

#26 Pat Clarke

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:18

There's a photo in RCN of two or three of the drivers at that cancelled meeting at Surfers...

They are standing waist deep in water!

Were you there for the 1963 Lakeside International 99 (or was it 1962?) when John Youl led the field a merry chase? That was pretty wet, I understand.


I was at thet meeting, or at least intended to be there!
I was in Qld on business and my wife flew up on Friday night. It was raining so hard, I was genuinely worried about her safety. They closed the airport immediately after her flight landed. I asked if she was scared, but she was more upset because John Goss was hitting on her for the whole flight.
When we got up Saturday, the whole place was flooded, so as any young married couple would do, we stayed in bed =]

Pat

#27 seldo

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:37

There's a photo in RCN of two or three of the drivers at that cancelled meeting at Surfers...

They are standing waist deep in water!

Were you there for the 1963 Lakeside International 99 (or was it 1962?) when John Youl led the field a merry chase? That was pretty wet, I understand.

There was a very wet meeting at Surfers in early '67. Myself (Volvo 122s)and Dick Johnson (Holden EH) in Division 2 were quicker than Pete Geoghegan (Mustang) and John Harvey (Cooper S) in Div 1, although it just bucketed down all weekend. That was a time when having little power was quite handy.... :)

#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 20:33

Originally posted by LittleChris
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the 1991 Australian GP in Adelaide. Looked pretty damp to me ( from several thousand miles away mind you ), was stopped after 14 laps and not restarted.


See post 6.

Pat, wouldn't you have taken some time off to chide Gossy for his behaviour?

On second thoughts, no, of course you wouldn't...

#29 LittleChris

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 20:53

See post 6.


Oops


#30 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 22:48

Lee, you're right about the water in the floor well [a good word for it]. Under brakes, the incoming 'tide' would fill my shoes with water. The only time the car in front was visible, was when the brake lights came on. Wow, you had a demister?

Yeah my HQ had all options which worked!! Mind you with the floor all wet and the exhaust heat condensing the water on the floor it was working hard.
My sports Sedan was a little more rudimentary, a piece of demister hose from the [remains] of the original plenum kept some of it off. Then push the seat forward and I could just reach the screen with a piece of rag I kept on my lap.
RainX helps a LOT in those conditions, especially on the outside. Shampoo smeared on the inside of the screen is surprisingly good to stop it fogging.
In the Sports Sedan the exhaust heat used to blister the paint on the floor for most of its length asit was so close to the floor.That and a lake of water running through the car was not good for demisting, especially with a perspex screen.

And Seldo, All things being equal you or Dick may have won a major race if their was no Div 1 or 2. Rain is very much an equaliser.

Cameron Mclean won a Sports Sedan Championship in the early 90s with an M3 BMW Gp A. That year it rained most races and the Badday Sports Sedan wet most of the front runners at the time were trying to use were about a 1000% worse than Cams lovely modern Pirelli wets. Little car, good driver, great tyres let him win at ease. Though he was way down the order when it was dry.
At PI[non championship] I out qualified him by several seconds in the almost dry but as soon as it rained bye bye.Though my Dunlops were far better than the Baddays! That was the meeting Lowndes and Bowe took each other off at Lukey heights. Cameron probably could have won that race too.

#31 DanTra2858

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:53

I was in a Race at Oran Park on 18th March 1990 which was a 12 lapper but Red flagged after 5 laps due to very heavy rain, lighting & hail, the worst part for me was that the windscreen foged up as did my glasses, rotary powered car are a little hot inside.

I remember turning into BP on the slow down lap at near walking speed only to have the car carry on towards the wall but we made it without damage, the corner was ankle deep in water.

#32 Terry Walker

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:59

Australian Sports Sedan Championsip Wanneroo: is this wet enough for you?

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#33 launchpad

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:54

I wasn't at the first Warwick Farm, but I'd reckon it would have had to be atrocious to be any worse than the '73 Tasman Cup meeting...

There are photos around of people sloshing through mud in the pits, the rain bucketed down much of the day and I'm sure it was wetter than the '69 (Rindt) meeting.


These photos show the Warwick Farm pits in 1973.

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Kevin Bartlett navigates through the pits...

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Graham McRae - is this a four-wheel drift???????


Copyright Rod Mackenzie.

#34 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:49

I have seen pics like that of old Sandown pits.
We had less mud than that at PI late 90s below the tunnel. Most people there were towing their racecars out. The open wheelers had the better spots higher up the hill.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:10

I thought most of the old Sandown pits were covered in coarse blue metal?

Certainly they weren't as flat and therefore the water would run away.

That pic of McRae is very similar to one used in the RCN report...

#36 Repco22

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 23:52

Australian Sports Sedan Championsip Wanneroo: is this wet enough for you?

Posted Image

BTW, Bob Kingsbury has moved 'up' from racing cars and dinghies. Last week, octogenarian Bob flew down from the Serpentine Aero Club in his lightweight plane and 'buzzed' our place! :up:

#37 seldo

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 00:47

Yeah my HQ had all options which worked!! Mind you with the floor all wet and the exhaust heat condensing the water on the floor it was working hard.
My sports Sedan was a little more rudimentary, a piece of demister hose from the [remains] of the original plenum kept some of it off. Then push the seat forward and I could just reach the screen with a piece of rag I kept on my lap.
RainX helps a LOT in those conditions, especially on the outside. Shampoo smeared on the inside of the screen is surprisingly good to stop it fogging.
In the Sports Sedan the exhaust heat used to blister the paint on the floor for most of its length asit was so close to the floor.That and a lake of water running through the car was not good for demisting, especially with a perspex screen.

And Seldo, All things being equal you or Dick may have won a major race if their was no Div 1 or 2. Rain is very much an equaliser.

True -In winning the Div 2 race I was 3 secs quicker than Pete and Neil Allen in the Mustangs, and the main race was won by Phil Barnes ahead of Laurie Stewart's Mini, although later in the day when it dried a bit Pete set a new record in winning. BTW - The meeting was Jan 67 and reported in RCN of Feb 67.
The wet doesn't always favour the brave though. I qualified on pole in a wet Oran Park meeting in late 79 early 80 in our 1600 Gemini and then when race day dawned fine I had a field of huge V8 sports sedans and also Moffat's first go at a PP RX7 all behind me. I told all behind me that I would keep as far as possible to the left on the way into the first corner but Moffat and Delforce started a bit of argy-bargy behind me resulting in me being tipped end for end down the track...:(

#38 Wirra

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 00:50

These photos show the Warwick Farm pits in 1973.

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Kevin Bartlett navigates through the pits...

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Graham McRae - is this a four-wheel drift???????

Posted Image


Copyright Rod Mackenzie.

Both made it to the track.

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 00:52

Moffat and Delforce...

Always a team to remember!

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#40 BMH Comic

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:26

Australian Sports Sedan Championsip Wanneroo: is this wet enough for you?

Posted Image


I Think this one went trough to the keeper Terry, Most didnt get it that this was at the circuit and Im told that the racing went ahead, is that true???? Interseting to see the muddy paddocks elsewhere, pity we can not get much clay here! Sandown photos reminded me of New Zealand 2010 when after 65mm of torential downpour on the neddy track it drained straight through the pits onto the racing suface. That was game over.

Edited by BMH Comic, 31 March 2012 - 11:31.


#41 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:32

I thought most of the old Sandown pits were covered in coarse blue metal?

Certainly they weren't as flat and therefore the water would run away.

That pic of McRae is very similar to one used in the RCN report...

The pic is one of the works of JK Stoneham. It defenitly looked like that. I never went there until the 90s with the bitumen pit area outside the track.
PI had crushed rock in the lower pit area but was still plenty muddy though with a bottom. Though not a very nice place to dry and drive a slick shod racecar out of.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 31 March 2012 - 11:36.


#42 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:34

Both made it to the track.

And probably wondered why the hell that they had bothered.

#43 cheapracer

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 13:32

One of the worst was a ATCC round in 1988 at Wanna'roo (no thanks, just ate one).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I8lz4ka5sM

Names such as Moffat, Brock, Richards, Bond, Johnson, Bowe, Grice, Perkins, Longhurst, Noske, McLeod, Carter, Miedecke ie; the cream of Australian racing and others all spin off within 2 laps of each other, I doubt there has been such a level of top drivers to go off in one race.

I seem to remember a couple of bad ones at Silverstone as well, one was the F1 race and another a RAC Touring car race early 80's? Both races ended with many cars in the catch fences.


#44 Geoff Smedley

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:13

The above post was intended to have been posted last night immediately after Ross Burbidge's post...

Now I'd like to respond to:



Not Cusack, he went flying on the Saturday, as I recall, and it was all dry until then. Greg retired from racing after that episode, sadly.

It's a Repco V8, not a BRM, and that narrows it down to John Harvey or Leo Geoghegan. I'm pretty sure it would be Harves, it's on Pit Straight is it not?


Good memory re. Greg Ray! I would suggest it was Harv's as Leo only did one test lap and declined to start as I was his call-in spanner man on that weekend, Several drivers followed suit and that was by far the wettest meeting I ever attended and to make it worse the bridge had been on fire earlier in the day, all this providing a ticket into history for the wonderful Longford Circuit

#45 launchpad

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:31

Good memory re. Greg Ray! I would suggest it was Harv's as Leo only did one test lap and declined to start as I was his call-in spanner man on that weekend, Several drivers followed suit and that was by far the wettest meeting I ever attended and to make it worse the bridge had been on fire earlier in the day, all this providing a ticket into history for the wonderful Longford Circuit


I have to agree - it's John Harvey: - as this second shot confirms the high set of exhausts anf the (just) visible brace from the exhausts to the gearbox.
I think Longford was the wettest I've ever been. Other races have been in downpours, but Longford was wet most of the day, and the race was run in the rain.

Posted Image

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Rod Mackenzie.

#46 ellrosso

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:54

Few more from Longford 1968. One of the problems was blocked drains not allowing the water to disperse properly. Aquaplaning was the big issue.

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#47 launchpad

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:37

Both made it to the track.


Here is another pic from Warwick Farm 1973. Frank Gardner interviews Sam Posey. Why I don't know.
But you can see how wet the ground is - it was wet out on the track too.

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One more - even the grid girls had to jump rivers in the pits.

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Copyright Rod Mackenzie.

Edited by launchpad, 06 April 2012 - 05:38.


#48 eldougo

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:36

Top Photo with Frank on the microphone an Max Stewart with the B&W check cap,waiting to go out or not.

#49 Stinky

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:01

Hullo All;
That picture of the pits at the Farm in 1973 bought back a rather funny memory.
As you would recall it was bucketing down and we were lined up at the office to sign on with Mary.
A few models etc were swanning around (sorry) in white gear and one of them was pretty sarcastic to some of the regulars.
Nearly all the wives, girlfriends etc were sartoially attired in oilskins and Wellies
One of these models made a vey bitchy comment to one of the regulars about the way they were dressed.
Along the lines of "Is that the lastest fashion you are wearing??".
From memory it was Bob Muir,s wife Judy in her usual quiet manner said.
"No Dear, What we are wearing on our feet are called Slush Puppies.
Of course all the officials roared laughing.
Exit one VERY red faced model!!
Cheers.
Roger.

#50 MCS

MCS
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 17:40

I can't remember if it was the 21st or 25th anniversary meeting at Oran Park, but this is about as good as it got all day.

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Wow. So, turn sharp left when you get to the end of the straight - but are there any barriers? Is there a run-off area? Yikes.

Those F5000 "mud" pictures are insane, but great.

Like many others, I am looking forward to the F5000 book. Some very good F5000 photos posted by Andrew Kitson elsewhere earlier (taken by Mike Dixon) illustrate the effort that was required from the drivers (much like the Goss shot on the other thread). All hugely enjoyable.