A description of the Nationals Vintage A Teamrace held at Albury/Wodonga on the NSW/Victorian state border, commencing December 2002.

2002 Nats photosGreat weather greeted contestants early on Thursday, January 2nd,2003 for the start of Vintage A team race, traditionally one of the most hotly contested control line events at a Nationals. This year was no exception with just seconds between the top five teams.


1.  Brian Hoggan pictured warming up his good looking Nike.

2.  Graeme Wilson /Mark Ellins entry, a Voodoo 5 with an original Oliver Tiger Mk 3 specially prepared by Andy Kerr.

3.  The fleet of racers brought by Queenslander Mark McDermott to mount his challenge. Timmy Tiger powered according to the advert on his shirt.

4.  The all white 'Elliptical' built by Peter Camps for the second placed Camps/Pilgrim team.

5.  A happy Ric Justic and Andy Kerr, pleased with the way their model was performing.

6.  The winner, Keith Baddock's superbly built Voodoo 1 flown by John Hallowell.

7.  And yet another Voodoo, this time Steve Rothwell's Voodoo 5.

Dual winners Paul Stein and Rob Fitzgerald were nowhere to be seen in the line pits. Paul had to work and so Rob assisted Glenis Ray to run the event. Interstate rivalry has always been part of Vintage A and it was good to see the Nationals was flown in a highly competitive yet friendly and good spirited way.

Peter Camps and motor guru Stan Pilgrim have always performed well at major meets, rarely missing qualifying for the last three. Just like last year, they blitzed the field in 'the fastest time of day' stakes with an impressive 3.26.32. These two have not yet won a Nats. They surely will sometime. Could this be the year?

Mark McDermott has reeled off a stunning world's best 3.16 heat a few months ago back in Queensland, but he had a few problems in Albury such as a loose needle valve. Despite Harry Bailey's best efforts on the handle, a best 90 lap time of 3.31.09 tipped them out of 4th place by 9/100th of a second.

Steve Rothwell has been working hard on his original Oliver replica project. Of the initial run of 50, most have now been ordered. Delivery will be during this year. These exciting new motors are certainly impressive, being very fast with excellent laps. The best time for Rothwell /Hines team was 3.31, which was just 1.25 secs shy of the time needed to make the final.

Brian Hoggan was smart enough to enlist the flying services of a top flier like Hugh Simons, the current World Junior F2A Champ. However, Brian's good looking Nike was not going as quick as the setup he used to win a recent Vic. State title with and had to be content with a 3.41.

Andy Kerr and Richard Justic were right on the pace as usual. The Voodoo 5 and Andy's specially prepared original Oliver with APC 7 x 7 had heaps of laps in practice, recording over 80 on one tank... hey Andy, you only need 60! In the heats, they slipped under 3.30 by .25 second. Good enough to be among the top three.

The NSW challenge was taken up by Victorians John Hallowell and Keith Baddock who realised after the first heat they needed to make something happen. A bold decision to 'up the comp and lean the needle' paid instant dividends with a 3.29.56 in the second round.

Previous winners Graeme Wilson and Mark Ellins were down a touch in speed as they became familiar with the settings of the new motor that Andy Kerr has tweaked for them. With another second for 10 laps airspeed, they would have been in with a big chance.

Of the other Victorians, Jim and Colin Ray were also going very well in practice. In the heats, the 'Cosmics' recorded a PB of 3.40. Part of Australia's very first 3 up Vintage A team race in October,1988, the 'Dream Team' of Ken and John Hunting have often tasted success. This time they had a morning they would rather forget. As the song goes, "Some days are diamonds, some days are stones... ' And race day was rock bottom for the Dreamers.

It was great to see the West Australian contingent competing. Richard, Bob, Jim and Alasdair kept everyone honest, but did not manage to scare the pants off any of the top teams from the eastern states. Their best bet would have been to beg, borrow or steal that magnificent near scale Hawker Tempest Vintage A racer from Charlie Stone and Norm Kirton. From what I hear, it's a definite winner and should be a big threat at the next Nats at Easter, 2004 in the picturesque state of W.A.

The final was going to be a beauty. There was the new all white Voodoo1 of John Hallowell and Keith Baddock using a motor with an old 'Timmy Tiger' piston and liner fitted by Robin Heirn to one of his MRS modified CS Olivers. Stan Pilgrim was using one of his specially tuned motors in a nice looking 'Elliptical' and looked a big chance with his tall pilot Peter Camps. Andy Kerr and Richard Justic are the record holders in this event. They were always going to be a big threat if they can get over 60 laps and eliminate a stop. Andy is renowned for high lappage with his original Olivers.

At the CD's shout of 'Go', all mechanics had their racers quickly away. All models were fairly even with very little difference in speed. The race then began to unfold. Andy had pushed the limits of his settings a fraction too far and his motor went off. Richard's grimaces in the middle told the story. Then the Camps/ Pilgrim model came in first , obviously short of the expected laps. Hallowell / Baddock continued circulating and came down around 50 laps. At least their race was going to plan. Keith had given his pilot a near perfect setting. All John had to do was keep the Voodoo in the air.

And that's the way it finished. With John & Keith romping home absolutely delighted in 7.12 to win by over 20 seconds from Peter and Stan who ran out of fuel 2 laps short and Richard and Andy who lost their setting and any chance of a victory.

Results of Vintage A at the 2002/3 Albury Nationals:

 1.  Hallowell / Baddock        3.43.12     3.29.56     7.12.78
 2.  Pilgrim / Camps            3.26.32     3.39.16     7.33.00
 3.  Justic / Kerr              3.35.84     3.29.75     7.48.31
 4.  Rothwell / Hines           3.31.00     3.57.15
 5.  Bailey / McDermott         3.44.81     3.31.09
 6.  Wilson / Ellins            3.38.81     3.39.51
 7.  Simons / Hoggan            3.41.09     3.46.40
 8.  Ray/Ray                    3.40.32     3.44.59
 9.  Wilson / Van Meurs         4.15.10     3.55.75
10.  Bellis / Stivey            4.40.00     4.19.78
11.  Fry / Taylor               5.38.65     4.33.19
12.  Hunting / Hunting          6.04.41     DNF
John Hallowell
VH 1984.

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