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The Rose City 10,000


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 22:40

Back in the late seventies the little country circuit of Winton began holding an annual race.

The cars invited were Formula 5000s, the rorty, fast and difficult machines that fired the imagination of the drivers, spectators and promoters. Unfortunately, not enough sponsors were equally fired, but the category raised the level of participation in front-line openwheelers in Australia considerably, and brought us cars not too far removed from the current F1s... for a while.

Winton, tight, short... not really suited to these cars, but as a place to race in difficult times (read: when everyone only wants Touring Cars), it was a place to be.

But in 1979 there were moves afoot to have Formula Atlantic or Pacific (same thing... almost) replace the 5000s. Strong feelings were evident, and the Rose City 10,000 brought them out.

Those returning from the race (I couldn't attend) told me tales of the goings on and I recorded them in verse. Then I lost the poem, finding it again about 17 or 18 years later. I've added two verses, as you can see...

The facts in this poem are all correct. Most protagonists have received a copy at some time, none have given any indication that there is anything untrue, so please enjoy a bit of the spirit of '79 with this little tome... for some it might be a good idea to go to my notes* below to help you understand some of the characters first...

WINTON, 1979 – a true story told in verse

"Now listen here, John," said Larry, forlorn
that he couldn't leap in for his cause
at the sideshow at Winton, the politics borne
of the confronting of cars of two laws.

It would grow in excitement as the weekend progressed,
and the fur it would surely fly thickly,
as the fives and Atlantic men put to the test
their aims, which I'll tell you of quickly.

It was "Rose City" time at that place in the South,
where the bitumen winds around tightest,
and the thundering roar of the Chevys was loathe
to give in to the Ralt, which was lightest.

Paul England was there, in his best stirring mood,
But his Chevron was giving him trouble.
Bespectacled Larry, though, hurled all this brood
as usual, as if on the double.

Jon Davo moved in with the new A F One crowd,
determined to make his own mark.
(Not hard for him, as his talking is loud -
a dog he don't need for its bark!)

Signs were put up to show all that came
the pit spots for all the top cars -
with the best spots reserved for the five thousands lame.
Then Paul said: "Let's fix this farce!"

He'd been camped there all week, in a spot that was marked
for a Lola equipped with an eight,
next to Graham McRae, who became very narked,
As also was Seaton, his mate.

For a musical sign game had Paul England played,
including Smith's Ralt just for fun.
John was given the spot Graham's sign was displayed,
Right up alongside the Chevron.

An argument flared up, it needn't be said,
between Graham and John (still recalling
that rash moves at Repco had near left him dead,
at Sandown, where fives were all falling.)

"TOO OLD," was the cry that came from Smith spry,
we could see that the Kiwi was shattered,
then Lee Seaton jumped in, fists ready to fly,
it was young John who almost was splattered!

The "Cowangie Kid" had to break up the fight,
at great risk to his sole pair of glasses;
So obvious was Mister England's delight
that he came out unmarked from these passes.

The next step, of course, was Larry's retort
when told that officials would fine him -
for having no licence, ("never been bought")
Of a frame-up it was much reminding.

Russell Lanyon said: "Yes, I'll give you a note
to tell them that CAMS got your dollars."
But later on - "No!" was the message he wrote -
the working out doesn't need scholars.

For big brother John (and his mates with the big cars),
had made Russell retreat from his pact -
go back on his word for these childish beggars -
it was such a despicable act!

Larry stood for his rights, his feet planted firmly,
and insisted his money would stay.
"I don't care," he said, "how you wriggle your wormy
way out of this mess, I won't pay!"

And so they relented, as Larry kept shouting
"This just doesn't happen in Britain!"
The compromise called for an end to this doubting,
by which deal he wasn't so smitten.

Then on into the night time, when the Mayor failed to show,
and so left them alone, to themselves,
so by the end of the evening (with shouting from Davo),
they near woke up all Hoot Gibson's elves.


Then, putting an end to the chaos he'd started,
Jon calmed them all down in the dark.
"We'll display our wares well," he now imparted,
"For our dough!" was his final remark.

The parade went like clockwork, impressing the throng
lining the streets to observe.
An outward appearance of a formula strong -
nobody showing their sore nerve.

And the race, yes the race, like fury and fast,
Thrilling the crowd and the viewers.
John Bowe led from Alfie, but it couldn't last,
Smith next in the Ralt so much newer.

It astounded the crowd that a car of that size
could press hard on Alfie - their hero -
but push him it did, while Bowe looked so wise,
and spun back to fourth - almost zero.

Back in the field Paul Hamilton lay
ninth in an Elfin so aged,
Until Butcher came up to a lapping game play
and chose the wrong side, it is wagered.

The Lola was out as it speared off the track,
the argument later was friendly.
Rob then was more certain of how he should act
when waved through on roads that are bendy.

Smith got beside Alfie, a few times at least
and set fastest lap in the trying,
but the power of the Chev, oh, such a beast
left him each time, almost crying.

So the win was Costanzo's, again out in front,
with the little cars filling three places
before Bowe came along, now bearing the brunt
for the damage he'd done for no aces.

As Hamilton finished (it is quietly said),
Smith's crew gave him great accolades,
'xcept the car he had tangled was the wrong Lola, red,
still left in the Winton grass blades.

But it still wasn't over, or not at least
till conspiracies 'mong all the CAMS men
had worn out their spirits and had all their feast
at the cost of the little-car men.

"Let's pull the thing down, and make sure it's right,"
said Russell Lanyon at last.
But despite all the sweat, Larry reached a new height,
and he gave him o-o-oh such a blast.

"Now show me your name in this programme I hold,
in the scrutineer's list just for preference!"
But his name wasn't there, so Russell was told:
"Get out, or I'll show you the difference!"

The programme did name, among others, Mick Ronke -
"Sec. of the Meeting," it said,
But still unimpressed, Larry was cranky.
"There's not a 'scrute's' tag on his head!"

The poor scrutineer, under orders rebounding
seemed to favour young Larrikin's tones.
But in the end, Perkins notwithstanding,
he pulled the cars down to their bones.

They were legal of course, and who would doubt that,
so's the action that Paul England's taking
Against Davo, but then, we'll not mention that,
for sub-judice laws we'd be breaking.

Now years have gone by, most forget this weekend
Even Larry, who drove Elfins later -
And the argument's over, for others contend
new issues o'er tintops and "data."

The Gold Star limps on in the shadow of tourers
costing millions to put on the track.
Oh, for the days of the open-wheeled furores,
Days that - sadly - we'll never get back.

Ray Bell


Perhaps I should help those who don't know the players:

Larry - Perkins, ex-Surtees & BRM F1
Paul England - engine builder and car owner
Davo - Jon Davison, son of Lex (four times Australian GP winner) and presently runs Sandown Park
John and Russell Lanyon - racing identities tied to organisers of the time, also involved with Ansett Team Elfin
Lee Seaton - Graham McRae's sponsor
Hoot Gibson - old Winton stalwart, helped keep the circuit going for many years, see obit in 'More from Shane Cowham' thread:
http://www.atlasf1.c...=&postid=269322
Gold Star - Australian Drivers Championship
Rob Butcher - 'privateer' Lola T332 owner
Paul Hamilton - 'privateer' F/Atlantic owner
Alf Costanzo - top line driver of F5000 and later FAtl...


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#2 Buford

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 22:51

Congratualtions. At a rough figure of 2 minutes per post (some probably just a few seconds to do, and some several minutes, but let's just say 2 minutes), you have now wasted nearly 14 full 24 hour days of your life.

#3 condor

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 23:34

Lovely poem Ray :cool: and congratulations on your 10,000 post.
A remarkable achievement :)

#4 Buford

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 23:44

I'm sorry. I guess I was supposed to be reverent at this solemn occasion. I have wasted several days of my life posting on the internet too.

#5 FordPrefect

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 23:49

class way to hit the big one.

#6 Dimo

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Posted 16 May 2001 - 23:52

Congrats, Ray!

10,000 is a truly amazing feat. Especially when it's not about numbers. From my brief experience here I've found that your posts, whether humourous or serious, are always well thought out, honest, and from the heart. That makes it all the more meaningful.

Congratulations again, and thanks for all your contributions to this forum.

#7 Gary Grant

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 00:04

Indeed, before I got to bed, congratulations are in order. (And a very clever post to take you to the hitherto mystical 10,000 mark too :) ).

Although we sometimes may joke, this BB wouldn't seem the same without you. *chokes back tears*

As for F5000, sadly I'm too young to remember it, but my favourite racing period was the early 70s so I have a wealth of material on the subject, though it has to be said that this is the first poem. :)

Here's to another 10,000 posts and a full month wasted on the Internet..... Who knows, at the rate I'm going, I may even have caught up with you by then.....

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 00:34

Just as I wish I had been present for the shenanigans that led to the poem, I feel sad for anyone who never saw a bunch of F5000s at full gallop...

You'd agree, wouldn't you, Barry?

Let's make this a thread for anyone to post their feelings about F5000... how about that?

#9 Buford

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 00:51

I drove one in a club race but couldn't air it out long before we began lapping the little tiddler formula cars and I was afraid I'd squish one. Did you ever see the Sam Posey, Ron Courtney fireball pictures from Riverside?

#10 Zawed

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 01:20

Congrats on the big 10k, Ray.

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 01:22

No, I didn't...

I can imagine the pain at having such a beast at your fingertips and having to weave your way through tiddlers...

Phillip Island was a place that made them look really good.

#12 Buford

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 01:28

Ron Courtney spun just over the crest of a hill and Posey came over and hit him broadside. The cars erupted in a fireball. Posey got out but Courtney was in the fire a long time before they could get it put out. He survived but his face was burned off and he was left appearing essentially like a walking monster. Don't know if he is still alive. There was a big photo spread in "Car and Driver" and I think it was "Life Magazine" at the time. Some photgrapher caught it all in graphic pictures. That was in the SCCA FA or F5000 Championship series, whatever they called it at the time.

#13 Zawed

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 10:39

Dissappointing to hear about Ray's banning from atlas. Lets hope for a speedy return.

Bring back Ray!

#14 Flicker

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 14:28

O, Ray !!!

10 000 :stoned:

... honestly... NO WORDS !
:eek:

#15 condor

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 18:42

I feel a dreadful sense of loss - now that Ray has gone - I think everyone would agree he was the lifeblood of this Forum. Atlas is a far poorer place without him. Goodbye friend.

#16 BuzzingHornet

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 19:03

As FordPrefect said, very classy.
Hope we'll see Ray back soon

#17 fines

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 20:07

Why is he banned??? :confused: :confused: :evil:

#18 Drinky

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 20:12

Apparently he made some remarks about Atlas' new subscription model which the admins didn't take too kindly. I haven't read it, but it is said he addressed them personally or some such and was found in violation of the BB rules, as he had been warned before about it. Does anyone have more info, e.g. the offending post? I too hope we'll see Ray again, meanwhile you can still find him on Ten-Tenths boards.

#19 fines

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 20:29

What a shame!!! :( :( :( :( :( :( :cry:

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#20 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 17 May 2001 - 22:24

Originally posted by Dimo
Congrats, Ray!

10,000 is a truly amazing feat. Especially when it's not about numbers. From my brief experience here I've found that your posts, whether humourous or serious, are always well thought out, honest, and from the heart. That makes it all the more meaningful.

Congratulations again, and thanks for all your contributions to this forum.


Dimo has said it perfectly. And to think that I was all set to forward my subscription. I do want to show support to Don Capps and the many other terrific people who are active in Atlas F1. I think, however, that I will resist that instinct until I hear from Ray.

#21 Allen Brown

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Posted 18 May 2001 - 13:22

Much as I like TNF, I like Ray more.

My subscription is also now on hold.

Allen

#22 condor

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Posted 18 May 2001 - 21:42

Ray's still not back yet - How much longer do we have to wait?:(
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

#23 Buford

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 09:36

Mine too. I really like this site but Ray is responsible for my being here. I wish they would all stop pissing on each other over minor bullshit and we could get back to having fun.

#24 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 10:28

Amen to that Buford!!

#25 Barry Lake

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 10:33

To All

Don't think Ray is sitting around feeling unhappy about all of this.

I have known him for 30 years or more and I can tell you he absolutely loves a drama such as this.

And it's not the first time he's been thrown off.

You will be hearing from him again soon - one way or another.

#26 Flicker

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 11:14

Barry Lake!

IMHO, You are quite right!

"For whom the BELL rings..." :cool:

and... just check http://www.ten-tenth...d=12&styleid=37

here resides Leif's forum "Historic Racing & Racing History - The Golden Era" and... our Ray!:)

#27 condor

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 04:03

Originally posted by Barry Lake
To All

You will be hearing from him again soon - one way or another.


But he's still not back yet :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:


#28 Bernd

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 11:22

Come on Condor it aint that bad. Go and soar over Machu Pichu or something that will make you feel better.

Ray will be back!

#29 condor

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 14:24

You're right Bernd - It's time I came out of this gin soaked depression - and attempt to fly again. :cry:

#30 condor

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Posted 21 May 2001 - 13:35

Originally posted by Barry Lake
To All

And it's not the first time he's been thrown off.

You will be hearing from him again soon - one way or another.



Ray tells me that he's never been banned before, threatened yes, banned no. He also has had no indication whatever, that this is a temporary thing.

#31 Barry Lake

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Posted 22 May 2001 - 06:54

My apologies.

I thought that he had been thrown off temporarily. It must have been just a series of warnings.

#32 cosworth bdg

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 01:32

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Just as I wish I had been present for the shenanigans that led to the poem, I feel sad for anyone who never saw a bunch of F5000s at full gallop...

You'd agree, wouldn't you, Barry?

Let's make this a thread for anyone to post their feelings about F5000... how about that?

What a good idea................................

#33 275 GTB-4

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:32

How disappointing....the title of the thread is right but nothing about this race series at Winton :rolleyes:

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:40

Well, Mick, I'm at a loss here...

You dig up a thread from 2001, one which hasn't seen a post since 2006, add nothing to it and then claim it isn't about the title.

I suggest you go back and read the poem. It's totally about the 1979 Rose City 10,000.

#35 HistoricMustang

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 21:27

Ray, I believe this be she.

Henry :wave:

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#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 22:48

That's it, Henry, but you have to forget about the loop to the lower part of the pic...

Unbelieveably, on a circuit already crowded with slow corners, when they decided to extend it to the whims of the V8 Supercar crowd they made more tight corners. The sweeper in the middle of the old track is a gorgeous corner.

The circuit, by the way, is built on a Common... Government owned land originally set aside for travelling stock men to rest and feed their animals.

#37 Catalina Park

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:16

Why did they build the pits next to the treatment works?

The extension actually improves the track but it also takes away the entry to the esses. The longest two straights are the new bit. It is a harder track on brakes now. All the new corners have hard straight braking areas.
I only did one meeting on the long track but I did a couple of thousand laps on the old layout.

My favorite time at Winton, during one of the 24 hour relay races.
I got chucked into a strange Commodore in the middle of the night after the owner of the car couldn't keep up the pace. I was told to drive the car and try not to lose too much time. I had never driven the car before but out I went to try and learn a new car in the dark, in the fog and in the drizzle... on slicks! :lol:


#38 eldougo

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:28

Well, Mick, I'm at a loss here...

You dig up a thread from 2001, one which hasn't seen a post since 2006, add nothing to it and then claim it isn't about the title.

Why did you not combine the together RAY.???

#39 Derek Pitt

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:39

That's it, Henry, but you have to forget about the loop to the lower part of the pic...

Unbelieveably, on a circuit already crowded with slow corners, when they decided to extend it to the whims of the V8 Supercar crowd they made more tight corners. The sweeper in the middle of the old track is a gorgeous corner.

The circuit, by the way, is built on a Common... Government owned land originally set aside for travelling stock men to rest and feed their animals.


I think u mean Crown Land Ray..

Turnball hasnt made us a banana republic yet!

derek

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#40 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:31

Originally posted by eldougo
Why did you not combine the together RAY.???


Combine what, Doug?

And Stan (if I can address you as Stan), as I was addressing that post to someone not of the Commonwealth, I thought it better to phrase it that way.

#41 David Shaw

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:15

And Stan (if I can address you as Stan), as I was addressing that post to someone not of the Commonwealth, I thought it better to phrase it that way.


Somewhere in the Long Paddock then.;)


#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:32

Adjacent to it... yes...

But unlike the 'long paddock', there was an appointed trust to administer it, a bunch of trustees who did that job and guidelines they had to follow.

It's probably the most-used common in all of Victoria.