Allard J2's were again successful with a class win and a 3rd place finish in the 60th Anniversary Geelong Speed Trials in Australia.
The 2016 Geelong Australia Speed Trials (Revival) was held over Nov 25-27 weekend along the original Geelong Waterfront Speed Trials course as set out in 1956. This year, two Allard's were on the podium for the quickest 1/4 mile times for the Sports, Specials and Racing Cars 1941-1960 over 1500cc. It is noteworthy that the two 1950 J2 Allard's of Graham Smith (1st place) and Ian McDonald (3rd place) are both circuit racing cars, and street driven, which competed against the specially constructed sprint (drag race) cars of the period.
Besides being a spectacular venue for a classic vintage event, the 1/4 mile Geelong Speed Trials course has always had a slight "right bend" mid-course to contend with at speed which has proven over the years to be very interesting for the drivers. This year the racing was single car passes, as opposed to the two-car side-by-side races of previous years, in the interest of safety for the aging cars and spirited drivers.
The Allard Hero's of the Weekend
Graham Smith, Bellbrae AU, 2016 Geelong Speed Sprits Revival Vintage Class Winner 1950 Allard J2, 13.00 sec/160 kph (99.4 mph) 1/4 Mile. Ex-Hawkes/Stan Jones Chassis #1731, Australian GP Contestant. One of the Original Entrant Cars in the 1956 Geelong Speed Trials invited to return for the 60th Anniversary Celebration. (Early history of J2 #1731)
Ian McDonald, Melbourne AU, 2016 Geelong Speed Sprits Revival Vintage Class 3rd Place 1950 Allard J2, 13.35 sec/154 kph (95.7 mph) 1/4 Mile. Ex-Murray/Firth, Chassis #1698, Bathurst and Australian GP entrant. (Early history of #1698)
Ian and Graham lining up in the "bowl" for the 1/4 mile pass along the waterfront strip of the Speed Trials run since the first event in 1956.
Both Allard's (Smith and McDonald) had their fastest pass in Run 2 making both Allard's podium finishers for the 2016 Speed Trials.
Graham Smith waiting to move into the pits before the Event for the day. The invited period cars were displayed in a pre-grid along the beautiful Geelong Waterfront Road adjacent to the track at the starting line "bowl" where the thousands of spectators could see the cars before the sprints commenced on the 1/4 mile street strip with a "bend" in the middle.
Geelong Speed Trials Overview
The Geelong Speed Trials was one of the rare occasions in Australia where you could see an array of awe inspiring vehicles in action, hear and smell their roaring engines while experiencing the carnival atmosphere of classic sprinting, held in a spectacular temporary venue along the waterfront in Geelong's redeveloped district.
If cars and motorcycles aren’t enough to get you excited, classic boats and vintage aircrafts will also be on display, so make sure you look to the seas and sky! Take a step back in time into our vintage lifestyle zone featuring live music, trade stalls, delicious food and entertainment. The lifestyle zone wouldn’t be complete without our Vintage Caravan Display and of course the National Vintage Fashion Awards, a crowd favorite! Motoring enthusiasts can top off their weekend in our trade expo zone, featuring great displays, sales and unique demonstrations.
Not only were there some of the most amazing vehicles, many of the world’s best drivers including Sir Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Dick Johnstone, Jim Richards, Glen Seton, Craig Lownes and Formula One greats Alan Jones and Mika Hakkinen also competed at the event.
The Geelong Speed Trials were based around the popular Brighton Speed Trials held in the UK. This event began back in 1905 and is regarded as the longest running motor event in the world. Like Geelong, Brighton is also a seaside town and offers spectacular vistas of the seaside; a perfect setting for such an event.
The Geelong Speed Trials were held along Richie Boulevard and took advantage of the heavily sloping amphitheater overlooking the track below. Each year the event attracted thousands to the palm shaded lush lawns in a family atmosphere to watch an incredible and quiet unique day of motorsport. In some of the later years crowd numbers in excess of 30,000 were reported and the event was regarded as the largest historical motor sporting event of its type in Australia.