THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.9
  September 2000

Vol.2 Home Page | Index Page

Pit Stop.
Lakside Raceway....May 1967.
Another Classic Race.
Lakeside public relations men seem to have devised an ingenious formula for bringing up gate takings. At the May 7 meeting they turned on elephant races, a girl in a bubble bath and “live” cigarette and movie advertisements to ensure the not so enthusiastic enthusiast’s two bucks worth.

Despite the Indainapolis type hoo-haa, Lakeside offered an excellent 12 race program that day. By the end of race day, thousands of bare feet had squelched the place into a huge gluey mass resembling porridge. It had poured all the previous day. Despite their discomfort, the spectators saw a good show for their money.

Geoghegan managed to score up 1:10.2 on his fourth lap out on the wet track. This eventually was the fastest of any car in practice, but a long way from his touring car record of 1:3.6. Norm Pete Geoghegan’s Mustang at KLG Corner. Beechey’s Chevy Nova reeled in a best 1:11.1.

Beechey’s Shell team mates Jim McKeown in the Lotus Cortina BRM and Peter Manton in the Morris Cooper S, also were getting beaten by their rivals. And there was Brian Foley clocking 1:10.9 with Manton a second behind. That incredible 1100cc Mini of John French was almost within snapping reach of the front runners with 1:13.7 in the wet! Yet another local driver, Jack Lacey, showed skill and valor by doing 1:15.3 in his series production Cooper S. As well as being pretty fast for a series S in the wet, Lacey had an enormous lead over any competitor.

Minis in action – Hunt leads, Tapsall, Lacey, Camilleri and McGregor.

The Lakeside people had given Beechey a great build-up for the big race, the crowd’s old favorite had a good chance of winning. But poor Beechey didn’t finish the first lap of his heat before a con rod came adrift, causing damage he had no chance of repairing before the main race.

The heat for the small cars was also a led-all-the-way win for Brian Foley. In this race he scampered his Mini over the six laps safely ahead of Manton, French and Rout (1275 S). The field lost Humphreys (1098cc Cooper S) in a big spin in the back section of the circuit on lap three, just as Foley recorded fastest lap of the race at 1:5.9. Sydney-sider Phil Barnes (1310cc S), whom everybody thought would be right up front of the pack, was driving a decidedly nasty handling car and it wasn’t until the third lap that he took the 998cc Cooper of Fred Sayers in the elbow. The faster Minis looked happier on the moist track. The two leaders shot way ahead, putting the straight’s length between them and French, and on lap five gathered in Don Selby’s 1100cc S.

The third heat of group E cars, saw Jack Lacey on the front of the grid get left at the start by Hunt (Cooper S) and Tapsall (Cooper S). After a bit of poking his nose in through the fast back section, Lacey passed Tapsall and made after Hunt, catching him on Neptune corner on lap four. On lap five both McGregor (Cooper S) and Mathison (Cooper S) moved passed North Queenslander Joe Camilleri (Cooper S) and started to do battle with Tapsall in third place. The fray finished with Lacey first, Hunt second and McGregor pipping Tapsall for third in a photo finish. After the heats, 17 cars made the grid, two to a row, Geoghegan, Foley (Cooper S); Michelmore, McKeown; Manton (Cooper S), French (Cooper S); Rout (Cooper S), Lacey (Cooper S); Humpreys (Cooper S), Thomas; Hunt (Cooper S), Tapsall (Cooper S); McGregor, Littlemore (Cooper S), Ryan; Reilly, Camilleri (Cooper S).

Eight previous races had thrown off the mud left by spectators cars and dried off the track, except for a few spots where run-off drained across the surface. But, nothing could have been simpler for Geoghegan. He won the start and with the full 30 laps to go, the race was his.

McKeown followed him off the line, then Foley, Michelmore, Manton, French, Rout and Thomas. Geoghegan had 100 yards’ lead on the field at the end of lap one. The race finished with Manton’s Mini just 13 sec behind Geoghegan and with the two locals, Michelmore and French filling third and fourth places. The four place getters won four of the five improved production classes, with the fourth going to Thomas, in the only remaining Holden EH. Littlemore brought in his series production Mini for a class win over Frank Hunt.