Posted: June 23, 2016
Another of the VRCBC’s many globe-trotting correspondents has just filed their latest report. Ann Peters was in an Italian village in May, just in time to watch this year’s version of the Mille Miglia go past. At one time, the Mille Miglia was probably the most prestigious of the long distance ‘real’ road races. Competitors set off at fixed intervals and raced against the clock from Brescia to Rome and then back again along a different route, all in one day.
The modern Mille Miglia follows the same route but at a much more sedate pace, taking four days to complete. It features a wide range of classic racing and touring cars of many different vintages – some famous and some more obscure. Ann has posted some of her photos of the cars on Dropbox (here). See how many you can identify. Thanks Ann!
Posted: June 22, 2016
Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit held its official grand opening on June 6th. The Circuit invited some VRCBC members – and others – to bring their racing cars to do some demonstration laps as part of the ceremonies. Paul Bonner was there and sent us these photos – thanks Paul. See how many cars, motorcycles and famous personalities you recognize.
Updated: June 16, 2016
Sadly, one of the original members of the VRCBC passed away suddenly on June 8th. Adrian Ratcliff had appeared to be in good health until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer only a few weeks ago.
Update: A Celebration of Adrian’s Life will be held on Sunday, June 26th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the Semiahoo Fish and Game Club, 1284 – 184th Street, Surrey, B.C. All friends are very welcome. Adrian’s family has requested that guests arrive in a classic car, if at all possible.
More recent members of the VRCBC know Adrian as one of key members of of our excellent BCHMR commentary team, always contributing knowledgeable and witty comments – better known as ‘Adrianisms’ – about the on-track action. Older motorsports enthusiasts however, remember Adrian for his own racing exploits.
In the words of his longtime friend (and one of the founders of the VRCBC) David Birchall:
“His driving style was spectacular! On the original 165 x 400 mm Michelins he campaigned for many years, usually sideways … I recall at the 1979 Portland Historics the organizers called him in for a “discussion”, never having seen anyone drive in such uninhibited style! “Corner? What corner?” he would say, the car sideways with smoke pouring off all four tires.”
Adrian raced that Alfa Romeo, nicknamed ‘Piggy’ for many years. David again:
In 1985 Adrian rolled ‘Piggy’ during a race at Westwood. He was lucky to survive. With no roll bar and only a lap belt when the driver’s door came open as the car rolled, he was thrown from the car during the roll and was lucky not to be crushed – I kid you not. He was sucked back in by the grace of… ‘Piggy’ was not so lucky and never ran again.
Long time racer and VRCBC member Leigh Anderson remembers that incident very well:
Adrian’s superb controlled slides in that Alfa were pure magic. The day he rolled the Alfa at the Westwood hairpin is still a vivid memory for me as he rolled it because his brakes failed, and he was about to rear-end me at a very high rate of speed as I braked for the hairpin in my little sports racer. I probably would not be here talking about it today had he not risked his own life.
Adrian had also raced an (in)famous Lotus Elite during this period. It was famous because it had originally been owned by Innes Ireland (who apparently disliked it intensely) and it was infamous with Adrian because it seemed to be continually plagued with bad luck.
Adrian replaced ‘Piggy’ with a Lotus Cortina, which he continued to race until Westwood closed. Adrian was a ‘larger than life’ personality and his old friends have many more great stories about him.
The Genie Can-Am car that Adrian restored so beautifully – he called it ‘the Old Girl’ – is now owned by Mac McGarry of California. Mac has forwarded us this photo of the Genie in action last year.
All of the members of the VRCBC offer their condolences to Adrian’s family and his many friends.
Posted: June 13, 2016
The third CACC-sanctioned race weekend of the 2016 season at Mission Raceway Park Road Course was held on June 11-12. The SCCBC named this the Mission Hospice Charity Weekend, with various fund-raising activities in support of the Hospice. The Vintage REVS races were held as usual, on the Sunday.
The complete results for all of the weekend’s racing are available on the SCCBC website (here). The Vintage and the Open Wheel / Sports Racer results are also available in PDF under the 2016 Season menu on this web site (here).
Our next Vintage races will be on the Sunday of the August 6-7 weekend. See you there!
Check out Brent Martin’s photos of the Vintage action below. (Thanks Brent!) His complete gallery of photos from the weekend will be available on his web site (here) soon.