Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Initial Canopy Tests Go Well

Marty Knoll demonstrates how the new clear canopy complements the already excellent aerodynamic characteristics of the 1993 Reynard 93H Formula Atlantic that he chauffers for the Tom Johnston Racing Team – IWE photo

Posted: August 25, 2017

The VRCBC took advantage of the BC Historic Motor Races to carry out some initial testing of the new clear cockpit canopy being proposed for introduction with the 2018 Open Wheel Vintage Racing rules on April 1st.  The design work was done by the (in)famous ‘Arold’s Engineering of Chipping Sodbury.

Further information will become available once Tom Johnston Racing completes final wind tunnel testing in North Vancouver.

The VRCBC is Middle-Aged!

Ivan Lessner first raced his 1958 Austin Healey 100-6 BNG at Westwood in 1987 and has raced it with the VRCBC every year since. – Brent Martin photo

Posted: November 28, 2016

We have just been reminded that the VRCBC was ‘born’ on November 28, 1976. In the words of David Birchall, one of the founders and now one of our BCHMR race commentators:

‘The call went out to all the one make car clubs and Colin Fitzgerald hosted the initial meeting at his house. Subsequent meetings were at Peter Price’s palatial premises, Sports and Vintage Cars at 393 Powell Street in the downtown east side.’

That means that the VRCBC is now 40 years old, which by some definitions is the beginning of middle age. That will be a comforting thought to many of our current members!

Happy Anniversary to us! Here’s to another 40 years!

Adrian Ratcliff (1940 – 2016)

Adrian Ratcliffe - photo courtesy GVMPS

Adrian Ratcliff with his Genie Can Am car, which he had personally restored over several years. – photo courtesy GVMPS

Updated: June 28, 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. A Celebration of Adrian’s Life was held on Sunday, June 26th at the Semiahoo Fish and Game Club in Surrey.

More recent members of the VRCBC know Adrian as one of key members 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 Ratcliffe demonstrates how to take Turn 2 (Clubhouse Corner) at Westwood in his Alfa 2600 while racing with the late Ray Clarke in the Cobra circa 1981. - photo courtesy David Birchall

Adrian Ratcliff demonstrates how to take Turn 2 (Clubhouse Corner) at Westwood in his Alfa 2600 while racing with the late Ray Cooke’s Cobra circa 1981. – photo courtesy David Birchall

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.

Mac McGarry in his Genie Can Am, formerly owned and restored by Adrian Ratcliffe. - Bert McBride photo courtesy of Mac McGarry

Mac McGarry in his Genie Can Am, formerly owned and restored by Adrian Ratcliff. – Bert McBride photo courtesy of Mac McGarry

All of the members of the VRCBC offer their condolences to Adrian’s family and his many friends.

The BCHMR Web Site

The BCHMR has its own web site. To see photos of all the action and check the results of the 2017 event, just click here:  www.bchmr.ca .

Club Membership

Interested in becoming a Member of the VRCBC or just want to renew your current one? Just go to the Membership page here.

Starting Vintage Racing?
Are you interested in Vintage racing but don't know where to start? Check out the 'Starting Vintage Racing' page here.
VRCBC Facebook Site
Click here to go to the VRCBC Facebook site. If you would like to join the Group, just make a request.
Vintage Racing Car Coverage
Long time VRCBC supporter Hagerty Insurance is now offering fire and theft coverage for Vintage Racing Cars in British Columbia. Click here for details.

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