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2011 Review

posted Dec 30, 2011, 7:26 PM by Rod Lisson   [ updated Jan 3, 2012, 7:36 PM ]

THE 2011 ‘Smarter than Smoking’ FORMULA VEE WA SEASON 

The 2011 Formula Vee season commenced at Barbagallo raceway on Saturday 12 Mar 11 with the
‘alcoholthinkagain’ night event; the Vees were not racing at night so the usual tight pit stops between races were required. FVAWA had secured championship sponsorship from Healthway so the ‘Smarter than Smoking’ season kicked off with qualifying at 1425, the pressure was on and the year had finally
commenced. Fourteen cars rolled down the south ramp for the first 10 minute session of the year,
surprisingly there were seven cars from both 1200 and 1600 classes.
Karl Hashfield made what was to be his only meeting for the year and qualified fifth, a significant result bearing in mind he had never raced in Vees before. Ben Riley used a
tow from DC down the hill on lap 4 to ease into the 1.08s, leaving the rest of 1600 field spaced out to the 1.12s. John Cousins #7 worked his FI/FO roster from a rig in the sea 2000 km north to be in Perth and set the pace in the 1200s.
Race 1 was won by Jacob Parsons with Cameron Edwards not starting. The 1200s were having a great battle with Robert Lambe #18 showing what he can do by winning the 1200s after a great chase of Campbell Gow #17 in the ever improving 1600 Stinger.  Race 2 was a chance for Ben Riley to return to winning form; both Jacers went into the last corner side by side with the Stinger right behind. Jacob half spun on the inside causing DC to lift and Ben to run for the line. Steve Williams secured the 1200s by 9 seconds showing his potential for the rest of the year.

The final race was clearly won by Jacob Parsons #41 with Cameron Edwards #2, Ben Riley #1 and David Campbell finishing in that order but all crossing the line within 0.3 of a second, close racing with millimetre

 perfect car placement showed what was in store for the spectators in Formula Vee for 2011. Jacob took the meeting win with Ben Riley second and DC third. Steve Williams was pushed to the line by David Gourbould but managed to hang on to take the meeting win in the 1200s with Robert Lambe second and David Gourbould third. A great start to the year for Formula Vee, despite with the low sun down the hill on race 3. Spare a thought for Andrew Calvert who pushed hard but only managed to finish one race.

Round 2 was at Collie on 14/15 May and part of the FVAWA championship but not the State championship. A few drivers decided to stay away as the track had debatable reputation for damaging cars. Only eight teams made the journey south and Brett Scarey did not manage to start. DC lost power with an unseated valve on the Saturday causing him a
trip half way home to meet up with Linda who had brought a new cylinder head from Derek Burn’s garage in Woodvale. With a typical Formula Vee can-do attitude, work by Derek, Josh and Stewart had the 58 car running again by 2200. It all proved to be worthwhile as DC won the 1600s and Steven Williams won the 1200s. Stewart Burns #92 scored his best results of the year at Collie and a race win. This was the first race for Nordine El Hafidoun #98 and Collie was a great baptism for him, especially as he carried about 10kg of parts from DCs trailer to get up to minimum weight. Neville Bettridge #38 also starred as he won his first 1200 race in race 1. Collie was great fun, a satisfying change from Barbagallo and no major breakdowns were caused by the track.

Two weeks later we were back at Wanneroo for the Torque Trophy. Fifteen cars qualified, Bruce Welsh made his first event of the year and John McDonald made a guest appearance from Victoria in Neil McLay’s Mako #9. Bruce was dominant winning every 1200 race with David Gourbould the three times runner up. Cameron Edwards narrowly won the 1600 event with Jacob close behind; Ben Riley was going well but did not finish the last race.

Round four is a FVAWA favourite as we present the Morton Plate for the winner of race 3 for 1600s and the Zamels Plate for the 1200s. These plates are on show in McCracken house most of the year. The WA Historic event was held on 26 Jun and Vees were first on the damp track following the June rain. The notoriety of the event even enticed ex-FVAWA President
and club champion Myles Lockett to return to the track in Brett Scarey’s Elfin Crusader. This was also the first race for new boy Rod Lisson #57 in the very fast ex-Riley Sabre. Jacob Parsons showed his car control in the wet to qualify first, as did Scotty Evans in the 1200s. Bruce Welsh did not start race one and Ben Riley won the 1600s following some very cutthroat racing with the top four all crossing the line within 0.5 of a second.

Jacob lifted across the line causing DC to turn hard right onto

the grass, spinning a full 360 across the track and then continuing. Steve Williams #28 again scored maximum points but was beaten in race 2 by Bruce Welsh who started at the rear passing 7 cars by the finish of lap 1. Cameron Edwards #2 won races 2 and 3 to take the round from Ben Riley. The Morton Plate was awarded to Cameron Edwards in the pit lane and the Zamels plate went to Steve Williams.

The GT Tander Trophy round on 17 Jul provided another opportunity for drivers to get their cars ready for the Nationals in October and also to qualify for a refund of an entry fee from FVAWA if they competed in all of the remaining four 2011 rounds. This enticed 17 cars to qualify but Robert Lambe DNS qualifying but was allowed to start at the rear of race 1.DC nursed a spark plug issue for the first three laps dropping to sixth and both Robert Lambe and Rod Lisson did not make it past four laps. Allan Yeo #77 was going well in his newly acquired Vixen but stopped after six laps. DC changed his plugs for race 2 and finished third to Ben and Cameron who led from start to finish. Bruce Welsh again dominated in the 1200s. The final race showed again how close and fast the Vees are this year at Barbagallo. Cameron squeezed ahead of Jacob with DC within 0.5 of a second of the leader across the line. Congratulations to Bruce Welsh for a dominant win but Steve Williams again scored valuable championship points in second.

07 Aug saw the Spices Cup at Wanneroo and an increasing number of entries preparing for the Nationals. Liam Gretgrix flew in from Victoria to race Neil’s Mako and Andy Stevens #15 made his first entry in a Formula Vee in Bruce Welsh’s Repco. DC obviously missed Andy as his regular pit crew and snapped the rear suspension arm on race 1 spinning off in front of Stewart Burns. Campbell Gow finished a personal best of third and David Gourbould #91 eased in front of

Steve Williams #28 to finish third 1200 by 0.091 of a second – very close racing. Josh and Stewart, remember them from Collie, got to work with the Fastlane welder and fixed DC’s suspension – the second time these two superstars have got DC back on the track – so DC started last on race 2; a sample of what reverse gridding might be like next year for DC. Cameron and Jacob repeated the 1-2 of race one and DC managed a distant third. Nordine pushed through

to third 1200 behind Steve Williams and the ever consistent Bruce Welsh. Unfortunately it was to be no finishes for a disappointed Andy Stevens due to mechanical issues – the wheel fell off. In race 3 DC tried too hard and spun on lap 4 from third and never recovered. Campbell Gow benefited and finished third for the second time taking out third overall and receiving his first event trophy – Rookie of the Year in the making. Cameron rounded off a perfect weekend with three wins and Jacob had three second places. Bruce #26 completed the 1200 with three wins, Steve Williams #28 second and Brett Scarey third.

Tim Riley caused a stir in the pits before we had taken to the track on 11 Sep by passing out and banging his head hard on the concrete. After some first-aid by Ben and DC he went to hospital and recovered later that day. Ben Riley was at hospital for race 1 but made it back in time for the other races. The 96FM event had started with a bang. DC #58 qualified on pole for the first time with a 1.09.00 so perhaps the motto is – learn first aid if you want to win’.
James McDonald #5 brought out his Elfin in preparation for the Nationals, Rhys Lilley made his debut in the Vennom, Derek Bromlewe returned in his Borland Sabre, Andrew Calvert #23 made a welcome return to racing and we had 18 cars on the grid. Significantly, Steve Williams made it into the 1.11s to qualify ahead of Bruce for the first time. Andy Stevens was a non-finisher again and Rhys Lilley #44was pleased not to be last in his first race. Bruce led Steve and a
resurgent Derek Bromlewe in the 1200s. Andy Stevens did
finish his first race in race 2 and Steve Williams pushed ahead of Bruce to take the 1200 win by 0.1 of a second. In race 1 DC spun on lap 2 pushing him back to eleventh and Jacob #41 managed to win the battle for the lead with Cameron by 0.02 of a second. Campbell Gow was beginning to show he was now a contender with a solid third place. DC recovered to third in race 2 with Jacob again taking the win from Cameron after a huge fight.
Only 12 cars finished race three and the front four fought tooth and nail to cross the line within 0.5 of a second of each other. Jacob took the podium with Cameron then DC by his side. Steve Williams made his mark but was still second to Bruce Welsh with Derek Bromlewe showing he still had what it takes to be a racer in third.
 FVAWA hosted the
‘alcoholthinkagain’ National Challenge at Barbagallo on 15/16 Oct and another report covers the weekend in detail. In summary 9 drivers travelled interstate, fourteen 1600s and twelve 1200s qualified. The winners were Daniel Reynolds in his Sabre and Derek Bromlewe #53 in his Borland Sabre 1200 – from now on he is known as #1 – arguably first National Formula Vee champion from WA.
Formula Vee racing was recognised as one of the most entertaining and competitive classes at Barbagallo by the category delegates at a recent WASCC meeting. The close racing and constant position changes throughout the field are exciting for both spectators and drivers. The spread of winners and the opportunity to learn and develop as a racing driver are second to none.
No review would be complete without thanking the many people who support Formula Vee in WA but who do not race. A special thanks goes to the two car and engine builders, Gerry Prosser and Chris Scoble, without whom our racing would not happen. Everyone who helps, either at home or on the track, is appreciated and recognised by all the competitors and drivers.
2011 was a great year for Formula Vees in WA.



Morton Plate

Cameron Edwards


Zamels Plate

Steve Williams



Jonesy Award

David Gourbould



Jim Lees Award

Derek Burns


Jerry Prosser


Rookie of the Year

Campbell Gow



FVAWA 1200 Champion

Steve Williams




FVAWA 1600 Champion

David Campbell




State 1200 Champion

Bruce Welsh




State 1600 Champion

Jacob Parsons