Jump to content


Photo

Longford revisited...


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 24 July 2004 - 13:26

Doug Nye posted this a couple of years ago... but it's unfortunately impossible to bring the thread forward again because it's been archived.

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Sorry, me again, it's 7am and the sun - a UFO in these parts - is streaming in the window. I have driven round the old rural-road Australian GP courses at Nuriootpa, Woodside, Lobethal and Victor Harbour - Lobethal and Woodside both being fabulously evocative, particularly the former - but our stop-off in the boozer at Longford last year was followed by an extremely disappointing look around what's left of the mutilated circuit.

Bernd, when you're there, leave the pub on your right, zoom across the railway level crossing down to the junction with the new major road which crosses left to right. Is this where the old course turned right (i.e. first corner) so that it then followed the track of the new improved three-lane highway, or did it go straight on here where - looking across the new main road - one can see a grubbed-up track curving gently away through the trees, with the river to the right?

Down there across the fields at the end of this overgrown trackway, which looks as if it used to be hard surfaced, it joins another country road at a quite acute right-hand junction. If you take that turn the rural road then bears left before opening out onto a fabulous mile-long straight - which today spears away ultimately to join into the new main road, from the left. What I couldn't work out was whether the surviving rural road is the famous straight - or whether the new main highway follows that line, and has obliterated the old circuit's straigtht????

If you're still with me, at the top of the main road we took the first right turn - but then the roadway runs into settlement and we ended up completely mystified.

We just could not find the return leg heading back towards the viaduct over the river - now long since demolished - and ultimately past 'Mayer's Hump' to the pub. Then we had to leave, or we would have missed our ferry at Devonport.

I'd just love to know how it all worked - we didn't have time there to orientate ourselves at all.

One bloke in the pub told us the Tasmanian authorities had 'maliciously' obliterated the old road network to prevent local ya-hoos racing around the course - mostly at night - and killing themselves and innocent bystanders...plausible, but so sad.

As a travel note to those who haven't yet visited 'Tazzy' - beg, borrow, steal, strive - sometime you just have to drive on that island...


Now, one would have a hard time denying that last bit, to be sure... but that''s not the main thrust of all of this.

I went to Longford three times in the past fortnight. I didn''t find the chance to follow all the way around, but I can clearly explain difficulties people have understanding the place now that I have seen the malicious way in which the circuit has been destroyed.

The location of Mountford Corner is clear, as the big tree that used to be outside it is still there... but the road isn''t. The ''flying mile'' is there and still leads into it, but where that road goes has changed as the road from Perth no longer leads straight onto the ''flying mile''... it curves off towards Longford instead.

So what was the escape road for the end of the straight has been truncated and curved to form a neat intersection with the revised road from Perth.

Importantly, this new road is above normal ground level, well above it, while the original pit straight was definitely on ground level.

So to revisit the circuit, you have to imagine the pit straight linking Mountford Corner and where the new road goes close to the water tower that used to mark the start of the descent to the Viaduct.

There is enough traces of old road further down to see where this all fitted in, but the line of the circuit between the straight and these old bits has been buried forever by the fill that has built up the new road.

After the viaduct, very overgrown but still there, the road proceeds to the edge of the South Esk River and this can be seen from the other side of the river (the town side...) quite clearly.

I suspect that many would look at this next stretch, the run down to Longford Corner, and imagine that there was every reason for Timmy Mayer and Lex Davison to lose their cars under brakes... the hump is huge.

But that's all new topography, and I don''t understand what it's all about. It looks as if they've built a levee bank or something and the road has a hump in it to clear the height required. And it certainly explains why the Mayer plaque has been displaced... it would have been well buried had it not been.

Past the pub and to the level crossing is unchanged, but then it's a matter of the road being built up once again from the normal ground level to make it all look quite different. Of course there is another curve to the intersection with the bypass road, but as has been observed, the old road is clearly visible the other side of that as Tannery 'straight' heads out of town.

As Catalina Park described on the old thread, if you take a right turn a little way further down the bypass road, you can drive in to Tannery Straight and I imagine you'll also find the remains of the approach to the Long Bridge still intact.

Across the Long Bridge is undoubtedly still identifiable, though it's blocked off at Newry Corner by a pile of earth across the road.

This is seen when you come in on the Pateena Road (which used to be the road I used to get from Launceston to Longford) heading for Longford.

What used to be an open spectator area is now filled with some plush homes and gardens. But that's fair enough. There's no reason to spectate there any more... even if the road from Newry to Mountford is essentially unchanged from what it used to be.

Fortunately there is plenty more of Tasmania that is rewarding to the eyes of the visitor so that the trip isn't really wasted if you want to go look at what was once a magnificent circuit.

Advertisement

#2 P4Replica

P4Replica
  • Member

  • 125 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 24 July 2004 - 15:07

I don't know if you've seen this excellent website, which shows some of these landmarks of the old Longford track that you have described: http://www.tasman-se...rd/longford.asp

Also, if you go to: http://www.oldracephotos.com/orp.html, and use their advanced search to search on Ferrari P4 ... You will come up with some nice colour and B&W photos of the Ferrari 350 Can-Am driven by Chris Amon (chassis #0858), taken at Longford in 1968 - including one of him rounding 'Pub Corner' ....

#3 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,722 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 24 July 2004 - 23:25

Thanks P4Replica, the oldracephotos site has a huge amount of Longford photos, many from vantage points I had not seen.

#4 stuartbrs

stuartbrs
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 25 July 2004 - 08:47

One part of Longford which is still very much being used for motorsport is the control tower..

It was moved to Baskerville.

#5 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,668 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 25 July 2004 - 09:10

Originally posted by stuartbrs
One part of Longford which is still very much being used for motorsport is the control tower..

It was moved to Baskerville.

I was wondering that! When I raced a Baskerville (2nd best track in Aus in my view) I thought the tower looked like the tower from Longford but I never asked anyone!

#6 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 25 July 2004 - 12:09

Originally posted by David Shaw
Thanks P4Replica, the oldracephotos site has a huge amount of Longford photos, many from vantage points I had not seen.


Some, of course, are mine...

#7 stuartbrs

stuartbrs
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 26 July 2004 - 03:15

Perhaps even sadder than the destruction of the track itself is the way the races are now almost completely forgotton by most Tasmanians. And the younger generations ( which includes mine and I`m 33 ) have no idea that Formula One drivers raced 2.5ltr Formula One cars here...
Its almost as if its being deliberatley ignored as a part of Tasmania`s history...even in Longford itself ( apart from the Pub of course ). It seems we concentrate so much on the whole convict thing here that anything else is just a small footnote in our 200 year history...very sad, so it suprises me very little that so much of the Longford circuit is gone, the vast majority of people under 50 in Tassie wouldnt even know one existed.

#8 GeoffR

GeoffR
  • Member

  • 481 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 26 July 2004 - 05:54

I can still remember doing laps of the old Longford circuit in the late 1970s with a mate of mine (a Longford 'native') in his RX2.

Earlier this year I spent an afternoon with my 14 year old son trying to retrace the circuit - we nearly walked as much of it as we drove!!

#9 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,668 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 26 July 2004 - 12:38

Originally posted by Ray Bell


Some, of course, are mine...


Sorry, Ray, yours are on the Norm Beechey site! :blush:

#10 Wuzak

Wuzak
  • Member

  • 3,443 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 26 July 2004 - 12:38

I visited the site on the way back from Burnie after a job interview late last year. Without having prepared for the visit, I found it difficult to decipher where the track had gone.

The town map near the park was of little help, either.

Since I was in a bit of a hurry, I didn't stick around there too long.

On a subsequent visit I found the Flying mile, and figured out most of it.

Must remember to have a proper look around one day.

#11 Patrick Fletcher

Patrick Fletcher
  • Member

  • 677 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 27 July 2004 - 10:03

Worth a look - maybe a trip? http://longfordraces.com/

#12 Martijn

Martijn
  • Member

  • 361 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 27 July 2004 - 10:26

And the GPL version is still under construction...
its supposed to be a great track, cant wait to drive it. Having seen some pictures (especially the wooden bridge section), it looks faily mad :)

Maybe that release could bring back some interest from youngsters ( a relative term on this forum ;) )

#13 Bernd

Bernd
  • Member

  • 3,307 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 27 July 2004 - 11:52

Eh Martijn care to help out with it ;)

It's in technical strife and complete hiatus at the moment.

#14 Martijn

Martijn
  • Member

  • 361 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 27 July 2004 - 12:26

well if youre so desperate to even ask *me*, youre not looking for a quick fix... :)

id be happy to try to do some project stuff on it, PM me on RSC, if you have the opportunity (same nick)

#15 longford68

longford68
  • Member

  • 68 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 27 July 2004 - 22:06

Great time next year for some Atlas members to attend this event and for some of us to put faces to names.

#16 Bernd

Bernd
  • Member

  • 3,307 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 27 July 2004 - 23:53

Done Martijn. For those that don't know Martijn is responsible for the magnificent GPL rendition of Clermont Ferrand.

LF68, I was contacted several months back about that event but still for the life of me don't know what that can do. The circuit for all purposes no longer exists! What are they going to do hold Japanese style drift contests around Pub Corner ;)

Is anything more known about the event?

#17 stuartbrs

stuartbrs
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 28 July 2004 - 00:02

I think this event was originally supposed to be held at Baskerville earlier this year..

I`d wondered what happened to it..

Could be worth a trip for sure, Longford is a beautiful place

#18 stuartbrs

stuartbrs
  • Member

  • 682 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:53

Just spoke to a local in Longford about this event. They havent heard a thing about it..

quite curious

#19 longford68

longford68
  • Member

  • 68 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 28 July 2004 - 02:24

Bernd, I went down to Longford in 1995 with Terry Walkers Race track guide in hand trying to figure the track out long before I stumbled upon Atlasf1 in 2000 finding out that some people experienced the same shallow feeling that i experienced that day. As the years have gone on I know now that i wasn't alone in lurking out tracks. Hopefully i will one day post some period slides from Longford from a family friend.

Advertisement

#20 GeoffR

GeoffR
  • Member

  • 481 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 28 July 2004 - 02:52

Just spoke to a local in Longford about this event. They havent heard a thing about it..

quite curious


The phone number listed belongs to a J. Hamilton at Taranna - down Port Arthur way.

My guess is its John Hamilton who ran a replica of one of the works Hillman Hunters in a London-Sydney a few years ago. I think he also ran a mini in Targa one year.

Certainly hasn't been any publicity in Hobart that I've seen.

#21 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 31 July 2004 - 15:32

Tiranna? I went through there!

Longford68... I now have a slide scanner...

#22 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,751 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 27 November 2004 - 10:03

I heard of a marvellous event coming up next year.....the Historic Sports and Racing Car Association (HSRCA based in NSW Australia) is planning a return to Longford event after the F1 GP next year and something like two weeks after Phillip Island Historics.

Big name former racers were mentioned as keen to attend and includes two wheels as well as four.

The event will range over four days and include some Symmonds Plains racing events (wasn't it built as a practice track for Longford??), pub visit and exploring the old track.

I hope someone from the HSRCA gets on here and lets people know the real details as it sounds like a fantastic event that should be promoted to ensure its success.

#23 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 27 November 2004 - 12:04

Symmons Plains was built so there would be a permanent circuit in the northern half of Tasmania... on Boyce Youl's property.

So it basically replaced Valleyfield airstrip circuit, I think you'll find. It didn't exactly provide any practice for Longford...

#24 kevinbartlett

kevinbartlett
  • Member

  • 154 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 28 November 2004 - 00:42

Ray, You are partiarly right that Symmons was not built as a practice circuit for Longford, however there were times some of us took advantage of its closeness to test a repaired car, or run in a new engine whilst competing at the Tasman races at the big circuit. When I visited the old race photo Ferrari P4 site the shot# 622 took my eye, as it appears to be Bevan Gibson striding accross the front of Amon waiting in pit box. What is your considered opinion ? Maybe my old eyes aren't what they used to be. KBjava script:smilie(':cool:')

#25 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 28 November 2004 - 02:19

Oh yes, I am quite sure that old Boyce would have been happy to let testing go on there on the lay Sunday etc...

And yes, KB, that would be Bevan I feel sure.

Lots of good pics in there, I've never looked at them before... did you like the one of your Bathurst co-winner in a wild slide in front of Amon in Newry?

#26 kevinbartlett

kevinbartlett
  • Member

  • 154 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 28 November 2004 - 04:41

Ray, can't find the Tornado (?) what pics number. Brave boy that Gossy in that locally built device. KB

#27 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,722 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 28 November 2004 - 05:54

KB, if you click on Advanced search , which appears between the boxes marked 'Directory' and 'Blog' at the home page http://www.oldracephotos.com/orp.html , and then enter goss in the box next to Search phrase and click the Search button, it will find all photos that have the word goss in the description.

Yes, it's an interesting photo Ray. Was that Falcon motor originally a 170 Pursuit motor?

#28 kevinbartlett

kevinbartlett
  • Member

  • 154 posts
  • Joined: October 04

Posted 28 November 2004 - 10:56

David, I know age is creeping , however I still can't find the Goss crossed up in friont of Chris A. Could make my day! KB

#29 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,680 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 28 November 2004 - 12:35

627... that should make your day...

I don't recall that you raced there, Kevin... but I guess I wasn't there in '67 or '68. Maybe I should have been? Oh, hang on, yeah, I've even got a couple of slides of you in the GTA... one going under the viaduct, one coming off the Long Bridge.

Posted Image

Edited by Ray Bell, 16 February 2011 - 23:11.


#30 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,751 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 01 December 2004 - 09:08

Longford Revisited 2005......

http://www.ten-tenth...&threadid=62655