The 29h running of the B.C. Historic Motor Races (BCHMR) took place August 20-21, 2016, at the Mission Raceway road course along the Fraser River in Mission, British Columbia. A field of more than 60 vintage and historic racers from B.C., Alberta and Washington state were greeted by yet another hot and sunny weekend.
The event’s four race groups included Group A (fast cars), Group B (faster cars), Formula Ford and Formula Vee and the Exhibition Group for purpose-built racecars. Each group had four regular races over the weekend as well as feature races on Sunday afternoon for the combined fast and faster cars, the Exhibition Group and the Hagerty Formula Festival, a combined Formula Ford and Formula Vee feature race with the Westwood Trophy for the Formula Ford winner — Alan McColl in his 1977 Tiga FF — and the Abbotsford Trophy for the Formula Vee winner — Paul Higgins in his Protoform P3.
In the Formula Ford race McColl dominated the race from start to finish. After having a couple of great races the previous day with Washington’s Dave McKay’s when they were never more than fractions of a second apart all race long, Dave’s weekend unfortunately ended with a trip into the tire wall in Turn 9. The top three finishers were McColl, Alberta’s Doug Lorraine (1978 Lola) and Jim Bradley (1973 Elden).
The BCHMR had lots of exciting racing for the Fast & Faster groups of closed-wheel Vintage Production-based and Improved Production racing cars with a combined race for both groups Sunday afternoon for the historic SCCBC Trophy. Washington’s Kevin Estes was the 2016 race winner in his 1984 Porsche 911, following a great battle with Dennis Repel (1974 Chevy Camaro) and Geoff Tupholme (1973 Austin Mini).
The third major group was the Exhibition Class, which included all purpose-built racing cars. The most spirited performance in the Exhibition Class where the winner, John McCoy (1986 Mallock Mk27), was presented with the Pete Lovely Memorial Award. The race and Chairman’s Trophy were won by Collin Jackson in his beautifully restored 1973 Brabham BT40 Formula Atlantic (above), Keray McEwan (1996 Van Diemem FC) finished 2nd, followed by John McCoy in his Mallock.
Several racers from Washington’s SOVREN racing group made the trek north across the Border to take part in the racing action, and from all accounts had a fantastic time. The SOVREN Canada trophy for 2016 went to Charly Mitchel and his 1969 Triumph TR6.
The other award that no one really wants to win is the Battered Cup. This year’s recipient was Steve Clark, who found out at the last minute that the Lola he was going to bring had a broken gearbox spline, so he brought out his Lotus 23B, which burst its fuel bladder, and then his Elva Courier broke its driveshaft. Not a great weekend for Steve, but he’s planning to come back in 2017.
The highlight of the race weekend for many was seeing Ian Wood in his recently restored Can-Am McLaren M12 running demonstration laps on both days. Lots of noise and horsepower always gets everyone excited.
The event also had the very popular “Ride in a Real Race Car” event. Fans for a donation to the Mission Hospice Society could go for a ride on the track in an actual vintage racecar with its owner/driver during the lunch break on both days. The looks on the faces of the fans who took rides told it all, smiling faces on everyone getting out after their thrilling rides. The rides were sold out both days and, including an auction, $4,800 was raised for the Mission Hospice Society, a win-win situation for everybody involved. At the end of the weekend everyone went home looking forward to next year’s 30th running of this longstanding event.