AROC On Track has been hailed a fantastic event. The event was organised as part of the Classic Touring Car Racing Club Festival, with 28 AROC racers taking part. With the AROC qualifying and races all on the one day, we attracted over 300 Club members along to support the re launch of AROC on track.
The grids featured a wide variety of models with the spoils for the first 'Classic' race going to Richard Drake in his Sud Ti and Bob Trotter's Alfetta GTV in the second.
The second race included two red flags but none the less, both races included exciting racing and close battles right down the order. The fastest Alfas from Class A1 were included with the Classic Thunder grid and acquitted themselves superbly as expected.
Away from the paddock, the Club had the Alfa Romeo Hospitality unit, kindly sponsored by local dealer Chris Variava, as a focal point for the 170 + AROC member cars all parked next to the track on the start/finish line.
A lunchtime cavalcade around the track included 25 AROC member cars, representing a comprehensive range of Alfas.
AROC Club Manager, Nick Wright, said "The event has been hailed a success by the competitors and spectators alike, and I would like to thank both these groups for their support of the event. Thanks also go out to the sponsors Chris Variava for their display of new Alfas, Rusper Alfa for the Pace car and AROC driver awards. Also, all those from CTCRC and AROC involved, including the Central & East Midlands section for arranging the member parking, displays and parade.
Jonathan Griffin reports:
The double headers at Mallory Park on Sunday 19th June were an excellent spectacle and fantastic publicity for the club. The grid featured a variety of 105 coupes (the tangerine Rozola Racing GTAm stood out), Peter Shaw's rapid blue Giulietta Sprint 1300, Alfettas, including Stephen Chase’s Napolina GTV and Ralph Ledamun in a GTV6 (having his first race in an Alfa for 25 years! Ralph raced various Alfas including a notoriously fickle Alfetta GT Turbo in Club events in the 70s and 80s), 75s, plus Sud Ti, Sud Sprint and a 33. Sadly there were no Giulia saloons and I got a bit of stick for not having my Super ready for the meeting – hopefully I can put that right “next time”. Here are some results (from memory – correct me if my eyes deceived me!) (See download of race results in sidebar – Ed.)
First All-Alfa race was won by Richard Drake in the Sud 1.5 Ti; he finished a very close second on the road behind Mike Watson’s similarly-engine Sud Sprint, but Mike was judged to have just jumped the start and a 10-second penalty dropped him down the order. Second place was inherited by Bob Trotter’s Alfetta GTV with Jon Wagstaff third in his RoadSports 2000GTV.
The fastest Alfas from class A1 were included in the Classic Thunder grid and acquitted themselves well, despite having to start from the back – Roger Evans a fantastic 3rd in his GTV 3.2 in the second race against the fire-breathing monsters. That showed’ em! (Sorry, I didn’t see the first race!)
The grid for race two was based on race one results and on the front row for the second All-Alfa race were Bob Trotter and Jon Wagstaff, Richard Drake having handed the Ti over to Steve Wyatt, who would start at the back. Close to the front were Alexander Childs in his rapid 1600GT Junior and Mike Watson, hoping for a clean getaway in the Sprint. In the event, it all went wrong at Gerard’s on the first lap… there was a bit of contact in the mid-field and Richard Ibrahim’s 33 was unfortunately spun off the track; the race was then red-flagged for the marshals to recover it from a potentially dangerous position. The cars formed up for the second start, still to be full race distance as lap one had not been completed when the red flag went out.
The race restarted but was red-flagged again after only a few laps for retrieval of another car. The remaining 8 laps were run in sunshine at the very end of the day and turned out to be a real humdinger of a sprint. Jon Wagstaff gave the 2000GTV the full right foot trying to find a way past Bob Trotter but Bob held a tight line round Gerard’s to fend him off. There were some good battles down the order; a car on the move was Dave Messenger’s 75, several neat passes putting him on Bob Trotter’s tail with about 3 or 4 laps to go. There was only a car’s length or less between the leaders as they sped down the start-finish straight, under the bridge and into the braking zone before turning into Gerard’s. If you've raced there you'll know the long right-hander requires maximum commitment; it looked as though Bob was wringing as much from the Alfetta as it had to give, throwing it in on the power in an effort to stay ahead of Dave for the last couple of laps, smoke pouring out from somewhere under braking. What a great battle to watch… it was close at the flag, but the Alfetta went the whole distance and Bob took a well-deserved win. I guess it’s rare nowadays for an Alfetta 2.0 GTV to take an overall race victory!
There was a lot of enthusiasm from both drivers and spectators for the event… just goes to show that it is possible to run a well-supported “historic” Alfa race if the circumstances are right. Respect is due to all the people who organised both the racing side of the day and also the Club hospitality. And what a nice, tidy, grassy, friendly place Mallory is these days!
On a personal note it was great to see many old acquaintances but especially good for my enthusiasm levels to talk racing and car specs with some of the very welcoming guys from the 70s RoadSports. Thanks Jon (Wagstaff) and Jim (Nairn).
Peter Shaw's Giulietta Sprint leads a GTV 2000 and Alfetta GTV through the corner.
(Photo K. Carrington)
Roger Evans's GTV 3.2
(Photo K. Carrington)
GTAm of Roz Shaw and Andy Harrison
(Photo K. Carrington)
Mike Watson in his Sprint
(Photo J. Griffin)