Flashback Friday – 6-Hour Relays, Races and Regularities

On the eve of the MSCA Peter Hall Memorial 6-Hour Regularity Relay it is timely to have a look back at the Sprite Club of SA’s involvement with this type of event.

During the early days of the Sprite Club, competition was a strong part of the Club’s events, so the 6-hours became part of this activity. The Triumph Sports Owners Association of Victoria ran very successful 6-hour races at Calder Park, north west of Melbourne .

These events were scored on a handicap system, to ensure the drivers could maintain a constant lap time, losing laps/scores for going to fast. This handicap allowed the slower cars and teams to compete for outright honours. Being a relay race, a sash was carried by the driver for each lap they completed and handed to the next driver before they entered the track. If there was a breakdown the sash had to be returned to the pits before the next car could enter the circuit.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gordon

These events during the mid 1970’s included the following cars and drivers – note some of these (members and cars) are still in the Club! Team was Richard Stokes – Lightweight MG Midget (ex-Surfers Paradise 12 hour car), Reiner (Joe) Walker – 1275 Midget (RGX-781), Dean King – Mk1 Bugeye with Galant motor (SUS-600) and Peter Smeets – Sprite MkIIA with a Corolla Motor.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gordon

The Austin 7 Club of South Australia organised similar events at Adelaide International Raceway during 1976-1978, and once again the Sprite Club entered a team. Working on the handicap system the Sprite Club was quite successful, coming second place in 1976 with 244 laps, and third place in 1977 with 245 laps.

There was a gap for a few years and during 1988 – 1992 Club members Dean King (and then Rob Peckett) in the Toyota Sprite and Gordon Boyce – Bugeye Sprite joined the teams of the Victorian Austin Healey Sprite Drivers Club to make up teams for the Mini Club of Victoria 6-Hour Relay Races at Winton.

These teams had the various vehicle make-up of Sprites, Midgets and assorted associate vehicles. The team names included The Bent Brothers, The Twisted Sisters (all female team) and Roofless Racing. There was also a specific All Sprite/Midget team for the AHSDC’s 25th Anniversary Year in 1991. Other members joined in with the AHSDC for Winton 6, 12 and 24 hour events during the latter part of the decade.

MSCA President, Peter Hall had competed in these events in his Datsun 1600 and knew the importance of these events for the “Car Club Competitor”. He therefore, with assistance of the MSCA Committee a Plan to run a 6-Hour Relay Sprint at Mallala for the local car clubs and their members. This evolved into a Regularity Event, meaning competitors only required a Basic/Level 2 competition licence, and the speed of the cars could be limited. It was aimed at the usual road going or slightly modified cars that could compete, rather that the out and out racing cars.

And the concept grew, teams from all of the MSCA clubs became involved, Sprite Club, MG, MIni, Alfa Romeo, Fiat/Lancia, Bolwell and later MX-5, Lotus and Porsche. There is also a large support of club members who help with Team Manager, timing, lap scoring, general car maintenance and repairs, as well as feeding and watering both the cars and the drivers. This adds to the spectacle of the day and the event.

In recent years, members from the AHSDC have travelled over the border, entering teams in the event as well, with these team often placed in the top 3 teams, also worked on a the handicap system. For the 2021 event there are three teams from the AHSDC competing!

We must also include the Clubbies SA teams that are also a part of the Sprite Club and have been entries in most of the MSCA 6-Hours. These guys and girls have a lot of fun and the team name “We’re In It For The Beer” adds to this.

So if you heading to Mallala this weekend, either as a driver, official, supporter, timer/lap scorer or spectator, you are being part of an important chapter in the Sprite Club of SA’s competition history.

MSCA Peter Hall memorial 6-Hour Regularity Relay

Sunday May 2nd is the annual MSCA Peter Hall Memorial 6-hour Regularity Relay at Mallala Motorsport Park. After a postponement , it is back on this year with a total of 22 teams competing.

One Quarter of the field has a Sprite Club association with the Red Heifer Racing with Pat and Gerard Miller and We’re in it of the Beer with Sean Power and the Clubbies SA team.

Add to that three teams from the Victorian Austin Healey Sprite Drivers Club, Darkside, Spritely Gentlemans Racing and AHSDC Sprite Team 2 make up a total of five Sprite teams.

As well as our 2020 Lady Driver of the Year Helen Stephenson has joined with four other lady drivers to form Driven Women.

Each team is required to supply a volunteer to help with the running of the event. Each team will also need support with the replenishment of both cars and drivers, so if you have few hours spare your assistance will be gratefully accepted by all teams.

The 6-hour will start at 11.00am and will conclude with a trophy presentation at around 6.00pm.

This is a great day of motorsport and is also a great Car Club day, please assist if you can, either with the teams or just as a spectator.

“What Do You Do On The Weekend?”

Kimberley Franklin hosts the “What the Hills” Community News and Current Affairs program on Lofty Community Media 88.9fm and lofty.org.au every Monday from noon. During the program she catches up with local Adelaide Hills events, activities and people.

During the recent Over COVID Rock’n’roll Festival at the Lenswood Oval, Kimberley interviewed event coordinator and Sprite Club member Garry Beaton and President Gordon Boyce about the festival and particularly about the Sprite Club of South Australia.

The program went to air this week and is available as a Podcast via the usual platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts and Audible.

You can also listen via the link below:


McLaren Vale Vintage And Classic

The Annual McLaren Vale Vintage and Classic event was cancelled last year, so on Sunday 17th April, the 2021 event brought together new entrants as well as the seasoned regulars from all Car Clubs.

The cars met at Serafina Winery and paraded down the Main Street to the enjoyment of the many onlookers and members of the public who came out to enjoy the day.

Car Clubs are allocated to various wineries, and once again the Sprite Club of SA were on display at Fox Creek Wines. Here music, food and various wines were available.

The weather was favourable which allowed many people to inspect the cars on display and enjoy the event.

Thanks to Robin Dunk and Tina Brine for the use of the photos.

Re-United, Re-Union, Re-Visited Dinner Plus Stars and Their Cars

The 2020 Sprite Club Annual Dinner was put on hold last year due to COVID-19 , so a Re-United, Re-Union Dinner was planned for November, but it also was cancelled due to COVID-19. So the Committee, guided by Social Coordinator, Michael McClaren, planned a Re-United, Re-Union, Re-Visited Dinner at the Sporting Car Club at Unley.

Also incorporated with the event were the Stars and Their Cars Display, with the vehicles of Peter Dineen (MG Midget), Darrel Hanna (Sprite Mk III), Steve Leane (Sprite Mk II) and Gary Brock (Holden Tigra) displayed on stage as a backdrop to the evening.

The Dinner started with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, after the usual COVID QR sign-in and it was a chance for many members to catch-up and socialise, some we have not seen for over 12 months. Then the catered Roast Meal was served and there was a vast array of meats, salads and vegetables for members to enjoy. This was followed by an assortment of desserts, tea and coffee.

President Gordon Boyce acted as MC and Interviewer and had the various members up on stage and talk about their early motoring history and about their specific cars. There was a theme with many owning Austin/Morris/BMC vehicles with the occasional Holden thrown in. Many of these cars had Twin/triple SU carbies fitted and the usual bits and pieces a new owner will add to their first pride and joy!

Each of the Member’s cars had a Re-United, Re-Union or Re-Visited theme as well. Peter Dineen’s Midget had been previously owned for 40 years by Richard and Mandy Stokes, so Richard was re-united with the Midget and joined Peter to talk about the car’s early life.

Steve Leane’s Sprite Mk II had previously been owned by Kurt Heinrich, so it is good to have the car’s re-union with the Sprite Club. Steve had slowly been doing bits and pieces to the Sprite since joining the club in late 2020. It is also a very early 1961 Sprite Mk II, so was celebrating it’s 60th birthday as well.

Many has last seen Darrel’s Sprite Mk III as a stripped bodyshell on a rotisserie at the visit to Marque Restorations last year. Gerard Miller and the team have done a fantastic job, and the Sprite has been re-united with Darrel and is looking just like to did when it rolled out of the factory many years ago. Also has the “optional” child’s seat located behind the seats, although it would require a very small child to fit in this space.

Gary Brock’s Holden Tigra was awarded Peoples Choice at the Over COVID Festival at Lenswood Oval recently, so was good to be re-united with this interesting vehicle and it’s electric roof. Gary was proud to show the retracting and raising of the roof, although too many operations can cause the battery to go flat!

There was also some trophy presentations for 2020 Lady Driver of the Year – Helen Stephenson and the 2020 Encouragement Award – Michael Doube. Congratulations to both winners!

Special thanks to Michael McClaren for his organisation of the event, and must also include thanks to partner Pat plus Chris and Tina Brine for the set-up and assisting with the dishes, etc. And thanks to Gary Brock, who magically produced one of his famous “Gary’s Quiz” to keep the members entertained between food courses.

April Bugeye Burble and Coming Events

Here is the April Bugeye Burble and Coming Events………………………

Keep an eye on the Sprite Club Website, Email Postings and Sprite Club Facebook Page for more information…………

17th April                        Re-Union Re-Visited Dinner with the Stars and Their Cars – 6.30pm for 7.00pm

We will reunite and revisit our Dinner from 2020. Added with the Stars and their Cars plus trophy presentations from 2020, will make it a very special night

Buffet Spit Roast Dinner plus pre-dinner drinks – $40 per head

Sporting Car Club at 51 King William Road Unley

17th/18th April            All Historic Race Meeting – Mallala

Mallala All Historic Race Meeting will return in April 2021 celebrating historic motor racing and classic cars.

The Sprite Club has been invited to join the SCCSA Classic Section for a Run to the Races.

Meet at the SCCSA Clubrooms, 51 King William Road Sunday 18th April at 8.15am for 8.30am departure. https://www.sportingcarclub.com.au/event-details/all-historic-mallala-2021

18th April                        McLaren Vale Vintage & Classic

The McLaren Vale Vintage & Classic is a great family day and celebration of vintage and classic motoring.

After the Parade the Sprite Club will be displaying at Fox Creek Wines, with food and music available. https://www.vintageandclassic.com.au/

24th April                        Hillclimb Multi-club 1 – Collingrove Hillclimb – Note this is on Saturday 24th April

2nd                                    MSCA Peter Hall 6-Hour Regularity Relay – The Event will start at 11.00 am.

The Annual 6-Hour Regularity Relay attracts teams of cars from all MSCA Clubs, as well as interstate. Come along and help our Clubman and Sprite Club teams including three teams from Victoria, with various tasks, as well as spectate this interesting Club and Teams Event.

3rd May                           General Meeting

Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton Park.

19th May                         Mid-Week Meander – Eastern Edge Encircle   Meet 9.30am for 10.00pm departure

Russell and Judy have planned another run for this Mid-Week Meander.

This time the route will be “dropping over the Eastern Edge” and touring some well and not so well used roads. Note: there will be approx. 7 km of smooth dirt road in this Meander.

Meet 9.30 am at the Main Oval Gates, Onkaparinga Valley Road, Balhannah for a 10.00 am departure. BYO morning tea/coffee, etc and Lunch will be at a local motoring named hotel.

Please let Russell and Judy know if you are attending for catering purposes – 0403 151 715

URGENT Re-Union / Re-Visited Dinner Incorporating Stars and their Cars

URGENT Re-Union / Re-Visited Dinner Incorporating Stars and their Cars

17 April at Sporting Car Club clubrooms

Text Box: *** But if you haven’t done so, now is the time to RSVP for everyone planning to attend this club event.   RSVP to : social@spriteclub.com.au
It’s the only way we can handle catering numbers.
Thanks to all those members who have responded.

*** But if you haven’t done so, now is the time to RSVP for everyone planning to attend this club event.   RSVP to : social@spriteclub.com.au

It’s the only way we can handle catering numbers.

All you need to know:

Date:               Saturday 17 April 2021

Venue:            Sporting Car Club at 51 King William Road Unley

Time:               6.30pm for 7pm

Cost:    $40ph  Note if the Club is holding your payment for our cancelled “Namaste” dinner you do NOT have to pay twice.


BSB:  085-005

Account Number: 20-743-2628

Peter Hall 6 hour Relay

MSCA Peter Hall Memorial 6 hour Regularity Relay which will be run on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

Supplementary Regulations are up on the MSCA website.  http://www.mscasa.com/suppregs/6hourreg/supp_reg.aspx, entries are open and to be lodged through the Motorsport Australia Entry System.

Please get a team or two organised and come and enjoy the day with us this year, alternatively contact Pat Miller for Team info for the Red Heifers.  Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, NO DINNER will be held on Sunday night but presentation will be conducted about 6:00pm on Sunday 2nd May 2021.  Mallala Motorsport Park will have a practice day for cars only on Saturday 1st May 2021.  Cost not included in entry.  Refer to home page of the MSCA website sight for booking details.  Scrutineering will be done via the MA Self-Scrutineering Checklist & MA Self Statement of Vehicle Compliance which need to be submitted with the COVID-19 checklist & Mallala Waiver forms to comp@mscasa.com prior to entering.  Form B’s which are available on our website need to be submitted by the Team Manager.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information by emailing msca on comp@mscasa.com

Catering for Austin Healey Sprite and MG Midget Enthusiasts