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Race Report Round 8 Celebration Mosport Oct 2-4th - TQLA President Chris Haley

Well the 2010 race season has now become history and with it came the final race weekend for Bob Long after a stellar amateur racing career that spanned some 50 years and touched 7 decades (1959 – 2010). It was an interesting weekend to say the least as it turned out that due to a number of on-track problems on Saturday (none weather related for a change) all Formula Libre/F4 races were run on Sunday. They got practice and qualifying in on Sat but had to run all 3 races on Sunday beginning at about 8:45am. I was only able to attend on Sunday so it worked out just fine for me!

A huge thank you to the Barker/Adams clan who worked like dogs over the two weeks between race weekends to get Penni’s car ready for Michael to drive for the weekend. He was hoping to get a taste of these cars in combat and also it would have allowed Bob the pleasure of racing against Father, Daughter & Grandson, unfortunately the motor expired during practice day on Friday. Its efforts like this that makes F4 a great place to race.

As I was writing this report I got the following note from Peter asking that these people be acknowledged for providing parts and/or assistance in getting the car ready for Michael:

Mike Hall - for providing slicks, belts, battery and delivering them Sean Davies - for rain tires Doug Berner - for his skill with the tools Steve Adams – ditto plus a bob or two Paul Gibson - a neighbor, karting and racing friend, family friend, and can be found looking after an FF with Brian Graham Racing most weekends. Not widely known amongst our group, Paul has the most hours in after myself in getting the car ready. Marlene - for keeping all fed and watered.

“I am sorry the engine went sour. Best fire the engine builder, yours truly! I think we all would have loved to see Michael out there with our stalwarts; Bob, Jim, Richard & Graham.”

Peter Barker.

Race 1

This was the first race of the day after a 10 minute warm-up for the Formula Fords was run under bright sunshine but quite cold and breezy conditions. There were the usual suspects in F4 (Jim, Bob, Richard & Graham) as well as the usual selection of sports racers, a couple of vintage Fords and Vees as well as Johnny DiBenedetto and Mario Urbano with the Formula Renault cars for a field of 16 cars!! I got there just as the race started so I am not sure of the exact qualifying order but Nick was at the front and set off as usual with Jim Bruce Gregory (Sports racer) Bob, Mario and the rest in hot pursuit. It always seems to take Mario a few laps to get up to speed but once he did, he got by Bob and settled in behind Jim. Jim spent a great deal of the race trying to get by Bruce while Nick managed to turn a 1:23.1 on the second lap of the race and just disappeared. Richard and Graham were having their own battles a little further back with a couple of the sports racers and as at previous events I think they had the best actual races of the weekend. The race settled down and was fairly uneventful with most people holding station and running to the end. The final F4 results for that race were Jim Morton 1st, Bob Long 2nd, Richard Walker 3rd and Graham Dewhurst 4th.

Race 2

Again we blessed with good weather although a little cool and this one started with Jim on the front row after Nick opted to start from the rear of the field. The front 2 rows were Mario and Jim, Bob and Bruce. The green flag fell, the front four took off and Nick started to “work” his way through the field. I believe it was about 5 laps before he managed to get to the lead but talking to him afterwards he said it was a lot of fun and he had a couple of hair raising moments when people spun in front of him during the 3rd and 4th laps. Seems that about that time people were spinning off at a regular rate between turns 2 & 5. Graham came into the pits on lap 4 wanting me to check his car to see if something broke as he said it just all of a sudden spun going down through 4. A few moments later Johnnie D, spun in 5 and couple of cars went off at the bottom of 2. Just as we were all trying to sort out what was happening, Dominique Lebreton in his FV1600 came into the pits with an engine sounding like it was going to be quite expensive to fix and dripping little bits of fluid as it went by. That answered that question quite quickly as to what was going on as in talking to him later he said the engine started to smoke a bit coming out of 3 and went bad at the end of the back straight. Richard was again have a good race with one of the Sports Racers (John Cosgrove I believe and Graham was circulating around still not quite sure of what may have happened in turn 4. Nick had taken over the lead from Mario with Jim a few seconds behind after a good run with Mario and Bob a little farther back. The final F4 results for this race were the same as Race 1 – Jim Morton 1st, Bob Long 2nd, Richard Walker 3rd and Graham Dewhurst 4th.

Race 3

The start of this race was slightly different than most. As it was the final race for Bob before his “retirement”, many of the drivers came over to congratulate him before hand the Grid Girls had made up a sign for him, thanking him for all his years of racing. We got some pictures of them with him and will post those on the website in the near future. The next tribute to him was suggested by Francios Bordeleau and approved by the race director – when the Grid Girls flagged the cars out onto the track, Bob who was starting from 4th place on the Grid was flagged out first to lead the pack around the track on the pace lap behind the pace car. Although I wasn’t able to see it, I understand all the workers were clapping as he went by, thumbs up and many of the marshals had the flags going. Thanks to Francios for all his efforts in getting all the drivers onside, to the race organizers for allowing this to happen and especially the Grid Girls for all the efforts to be sure it went off as planned. Bob dropped back into his rightful place in the pack at the end of the back straight and the race was on. As is normal, Nick vanished off into the distance with Jim in second, Bob in third and Mario in forth. Jim was flying this race with a best time of the weekend at 1:26.238 as the car looked like it was working very well and he was driving the wheels off it. Jim spent much of the race in 2nd overall before being caught and passed near the end of the race by Mario. Bob and Mario were having quite a race with Bruce in the Sports Racer and I was a bit concerned a few times that they were all going to trip over each other and end up in a ball of parts somewhere. Luckily cooler heads or dumb luck prevailed and everyone sorted things out as the race progressed. Once Mario got the tires warmed up (and probably the driver) he started to turn quicker times and headed off after Jim. Richard was having a great race again with I believe John Cosgrove’s Sports Racer and they were nose to tail for much of the race with Richard asking John at impound to check for yellow paint on his gearbox. Graham was a few seconds behind Richard and keeping himself out of trouble and waiting for something to happen ahead. This was the best race of the weekend for all concerned I believe as there were a lot of individual races going on and everyone seemed to be doing their best times of the weekend in this race. The final F4 results for this race were the same as the previous 2 - Jim Morton 1st, Bob Long 2nd, Richard Walker 3rd and Graham Dewhurst 4th .

So as this race drew to a close so did the 2010 ¾ Litre Championship and the CASC Formula Four Championship (nice to be a real class again!!). It is with great pleasure that I announce that the 2010 ¾ Litre Association and CASC F4 champion is Robert Long. The final results for both ¾ Litre and CASC were:

1st – Robert Long
2nd – Jim Morton
3rd – Richard Walker
4th – Graham Dewhurst
5th – Craig Hall

So an era has come to close for Bob and myself but F4 is still very strong with people like Jim who is going faster every weekend with a stellar car, Richard who has touched 6 decades of racing, is a staunch supporter of F4 and continues to have great fun with his water buffalo car, Mike Hall who has spent the past month or so accumulating engines for his car and plans to be out at the start of next year, Aldo Stracuzzi who was busy renovating a house this year but plans to be back out next year, Sean Davies who has been working on his car, got it running again recently and hopefully will be out next season and hopefully a few of the younger people who have been around the paddock this year and shown some interest in the class.

On a personal note – I know there have been a lot of “thank you’s” in this report but I would just like to thank Bob for allowing me to help and be involved directly as crew for the past 20 some odd years (25 I think). Also for being a wealth of information when I was running my own car in the 70’s as well as for the year and a half that I drove for him. It’s been one hell of a ride! I have been involved with F4 since 1971, will continue to be involved and have enjoyed every minute of it (well most anyway…..).

Enjoy the off-season, see you all at the Banquet on Oct 23/10 and get ready for 2011.

Chris

 

 

 
 

       

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