21st October 2007 With our local race season at an end there was a chance to have a "busman's holiday", taking in the UK Formula Ford Festival and Caterham support events at Brand's Hatch. Spectators weren't disappointed with close aggressive racing in all categories. Some races were decided by only thousandths of a second, while both the Formula Ford finals finished under red flags and controversy. Despite the downturn in Formula Ford grids over recent years the Festival is still a must see, and the one make Caterham series, with more than 130 cars across various classes, a real eye opener for Clubman enthusiasts.

 

 

23rd September 2007 NSW State Championship - Eastern Creek. There was no denying the pace of Anthony Preston in the Miami Ice Cafe MNR in the latest round of the state championship. Qualifying saw Alexander Kenny's Supersport Mallock take pole with an impressive 1.36.3, followed by Ed Gavin's AF2 Cheetah with a 1.37.1. "Presto" was next, and the first of the Clubmans , with a 1.40.2.

Race one saw Kenny and Gavin pull away from the pack, while a slow starting Preston had to fight back for third position. With only two laps to go a slipping clutch put paid to the Vortx's race. In the end it was Kenny from Gavin with third place going to a hard charging Richard Crawshay in his Mallock.

Starting from the rear of the grid "Presto" was up to fourth within the first lap of the 8 lap race. But Crawshay's Mallock had the edge, able to fend off the MNR, but not before some wheel to wheel action!. With Kenny out front pursued by Gavin it looked like a repeat of race one until Gavin's Cheetah was forced to retire. This left Crawshay and Preston to claim second and third.

An incident packed program saw race three shortened to just 6 laps. And it had makings of a cracker. While no one could hope to catch Kenny's Mallock, the run to turn one was going to be tight. But gremlins struck the MNR off the start with a failed gear selector. "Presto" forced to limp back to the pits. But this wasn't the end of the excitement. Kenny's engine dropped power, and Gavin took the win from the back of the grid, while Richard Crawshay's day ended with a blown motor, handing third to Robert Sviderskas in his Elfin 620B.

It wasn't the result we were expecting, but the Vortx's first run at Eastern Creek still demonstrated the car's potential.

 

 

4th August 2007 Eastern Creek Ride Day - Giving Clubman enthusiasts a chance to get close to the action the SCCA's display was a big hit. Manufacturers could showcase their product and put those game enough into the "shotgun" seat to see Eastern Creek at speed. "Presto" was behind the wheel of the Vortx while Don Collyer played chauffeur in his Caterham Blackbird. Judging by the smiles it was a big hit creating a lot of interest in the cars and a promise to do it again. A big thanks to James Stewart at Driving Solutions for helping make it happen.

See a lap of Eastern Creek here

 

22nd July 2007 NSW State Championship - Round 4 Oran Park. It was a mixed bag for the MNR team at Sydney's Oran Park.

In its State championship debut the Vortx RT + secured pole position with a solid 1.13.2 sec. lap, 1.7 sec ahead of David Grant's PRB Birkin. Race 1 saw a slow getaway from "Presto" so the pressure was on. A broken throttle cable on lap five put an end to the MNR's run while sitting in 4th place. Edward Gavin in his Cheetah Mk8 went on to win.

Race two provided plenty of excitement for the crowd as "Presto" stormed off the line from well down the grid, working up to 4th place by the end of lap one. From there the lead pack fought hard, with some tight racing. But once again the Formula 2 Cheetah of Edward Gavin's had the edge over the rest. "Presto" went on to finish fourth.

Race three added more drama with the Vortx given a drive through penalty for creeping at the start. While that potentially put paid to a podium finish "Presto" went on to round up the pack working his way from 10th on lap 4 to finish 5th. If nothing else it gave him a chance to show the car's potential lapping only 0.5 sec off his qualifying time. Alexander Kenny in his Mallock finally got the better of Gavin's Cheetah to take a well deserved win.

As we said, a mixed bag for the MNR team, but a pole position on debut and first place for Class D Clubmans sent us home with a smile.

 

1st July 2007 NSW Supersprint Championship - Round 4 Oran Park. Anthony Preston has scored another win, taking fastest time of day at a cold and windy Oran Park. His 1.15.3 lap gave him a comfortable buffer to the rest of the field. Powered by a stock Yamaha R1 engine, the Vortx has scored three trophies from three starts ( two 1st & one 3rd) confirming its potential straight out of the box.

 

 

16th June 2007 NSW State Championship - Round 3 Oran Park. Torrential overnight rain and a flooded track has delayed the Championship debut of Anthony Preston and the Vortx RT +. Officials had no choice but to abandon the meeting after the deluge swamped both track and infield, raising concerns for competitor's safety.

 

 

20th May 2007 NSW Supersprint Championship - Round 3 Wakefield Park. Anthony Preston has given MNR its first victory in Australia. By lapping the circuit in 64.2 sec. the Sydney cafe owner scored a convincing fastest time of the day in cold and windy conditions. Anthony's first place adds another trophy to the collection started by Ben Morley at Eastern Creek last month. Natsoft Results

 

 

21st April 2007 NSW Supersprint Championship - Round 2 Eastern Creek . Formula Ford 1600 champion, Ben Morley, has taken Redback Motorsport's Yamaha powered MNR Vortx RT+ to a podium finish on its debut outing. Standing in at short notice for regular driver Anthony Preston, Ben's first chance to sample the Vortx was from the scrutineering bay for a few runs up and down the paddock area to practice gear changes. After only a handful of laps he claimed 3rd fastest time of the day with a 1.44.4. Natsoft Results

 

8th April 2007 Redback Motorsport's Anthony Preston completed an encouraging shakedown run at Goulburn's Wakefield Park circuit in the new Vortx RT+. Completing 40 laps of testing, and despite an engine problem, the former Formula Ford front runner took the car to a quickest lap of 63.07, dipping under the lap record for clubman cars.