The Festival of Speed on Tweed - September 20/21, 2003
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Ty Hanger once again took out the fastest time for the weekend in his March Formula Pacific with a flying lap of 37.46 seconds

The streets of Murwillumbah in Northern New South Wales set the scene for the second running of the Festival of Speed on Tweed on September 20/21. The huge entry list was selectively reduced to a capacity field of 166 starters, covering a broad range of competition and road vehicles dating from 1926 to 1982.

The format to this event is a little different to the normal, with the cars only being divided into a small number of classes and then running in year model order. The track layout was basically unchanged from last year's event, except for some minor re-surfacing and the revision of barrier placement in a few areas. The exit of the bus stop received most attention with the aim of preventing the cars from using the grass verge to cut the final corner.

The course winds its way from the start line at the Murwillumbah Showgrounds and up through the streets of the town. There are around eight or nine turns (depending on how you look at the "Bus Stop") which give great variety to the circuit, with a mixture of left and rights, uphill and downhill, some negative camber in places and a nice spot to get airborne if you try hard enough as well! It therefore suits proper competition cars extremely well, as it is a real test for all aspects of the car's (and driver's!) performance.

The circuit winds its way into the heart of town
and then right up the main street!

The cars start in year model order, with a good variety of pre-war cars to fill out the field.

Special attractions this year included the appearance of two significant Ferraris courtesy of Sydney enthusiast Guido Belgiorno-Nettis. These were the ex-Alboreto Ferrari 156 F1 car from 1985, and a beautiful 1966 Dino 206S, one of only six examples produced.

Guest of honour was Frank Gardner, who ran demonstration laps in David Bowden's immaculate Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing. Also in attendance was the Richards/Skaife R32 GT-R Nissan which won the 1992 Bathurst 1000 and now owned by Terry Ashwood. Dean Butler brought along the impressive Offenhauser powered four wheel drive Miller racer, and Rob Harborow ran the ex-Stan Jones Maybach, which not only looked good but sounded magnificent with it's supercharged 3.8 litre Maybach engine.

Kenneth Philp "two wheels" the 1932 Morgan Supersports around the first turn

The ex-Stan Jones Maybach sounded impressive as it howled through the bus stop

The weekend's runs proceeded relatively smoothly, with only some minor holdups due to the inevitable over-exuberance of some drivers. There were a few crumpled left front corners which the local TAFE team rapidly straightened out to keep everyone going for the duration of the weekend.

As at last year's event, the open wheeled racers proved to be the fastest on the day, with Ty Hanger once again taking out FTD in his March Formula Pacific with and incredible run of 37.46 seconds for the tricky 1000 metre course. Hot on his heels were Chris Farrell in the BT30 Brabham on 39.54, Bill Norton in the GRD Ford on 40.15, and Dick Willis and Geoff Wiseman tying 4th place at 41.14 in their MK6 Cheetahs.

There were of course many impressive times put up by competitors right through the classes, and a full listing of results is available on the Speed on Tweed website at However, this is one of those events where the results are not so important, as the majority of competitors are there in the true spirit of the event, just to have a go and have a good time.

Once again the organizing committee led by Event Director Roger Ealand are to be congratulated on an excellent job, and from what was said over the weekend I gather that everyone concerned enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to next year's event.

Alec Lowe wheels the Citroen Light 15 through
the heart of town and up the main street

Bruce Bunch puts in a flyer in his
immaculate Morris Cooper S

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