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 Glenn Bransby

Reports on
SSME tether car action

2016 Season

L to R Glenn Bransby Maggie James and Mark Osborne
Photo: Allan Barnes
Glenn and Mark along with Rick Munro and 1.5cc record holder Kevin Barker who used to run at the old Ashfield facility

March open day and W.G. Sinclair Memorial Meeting

It's been a while since my last report as I have had a battle with prostate cancer and radiation therapy. The good news is all is under control, so I am back to racing tether cars and teaching my nephew Jyai Bransby how to be a tether car racer. In February we had the pleasure of a visit by Tonu Sepp and Paul Otto Stroebel. I didn't attend the meeting as I had family commitments. Fastest speed on the day was Tonu with his Class V car at 336 kph and Paul Otto ran his new carbon fibre car.

March open day began with a cool start then turned warm and humid which made all cars run rich in the first round. We only had 17 cars entered for the event, still we made the most of things. Carol, Maggie and David James did not make the race meeting as David became ill so best not to push his luck. He is all OK now, so we missed the ‘three James racing team’ members with their Class V 10cc cars. I entered my 10cc car after working on the body to replace the torn out tail skid, a little structural epoxy works wonders and is so tough. After much thinking I made adjustments to the front shock travel and oil choice to lower the front end of the car so the air would not get under the car and make it wheel stand. I admit I was a little worried, but to my surprise the car ran well and stayed on all four wheels. My first run was at 312kph but the timer didn't record the time, still I am happy. The second run was better after a tyre change to 89 mm. I watched the speed build up to 315 so I pressed the timer only to have the post of the glow plug make a loud pop after 4 laps, ended up with an average speed of 298kph and still happy, no damage done. The front shock needs a bit more fine tuning then it will get better speed.

Doug Sinclair fuelling his 10cc Australian built car Doug Sinclair's new Wayne Burns built 3.5cc M class car One of Karl's 1.5cc pistons after conrod blow up Kevin Barker prepping his
1.5cc cars

Had no success with my Class 2 car, simple bad plug choice and the Stelling 2.5 ran miles too rich and no time recorded. The 1.5cc Class 1 cars  have little to offer, with Karl Sepetauc taking out first place at 149kph and Kevin Barker recording no times. Next combatants on the track were 10cc Australian Built class with Doug Sinclair and Karl Sepetauc.

After two rounds Karl won the day with a speed of 163kph and Doug ran second at 151.9kph. Next class being 5cc B grade and to do ballet there was Doug Sinclair, Craig Tulloch and Glenn Bransby. Doug took out top honours with a speed of 169.6kph, second was Glenn at 167.3kph and Craig Tulloch ran a not too distant third place at 162.9kph.

Doug Sinclair and Jyai Bransby hard at work Karl Sepatauc and his 10cc Australian build car

All three of us could win any event as the cars are all Super Tigre rear intake side exhaust engines from the 1960's and 70's. The cars are around the same time and still going strong. It's great fun when the three of us are good mates and help each other while running the old 5cc cars.

Doug Sinclair on centre pole duty Craig Tulloch push starting his
Class V 10cc car
Jyai and Glenn Bransby Glenn's 10cc Class V car
undergoing tyre change

Last group of cars to run on the day were 3.5cc M class, and again the racing here for the top three places was very close. Doug Sinclair running his new car took out 1st place with a good speed of 181.1kph, 2nd place went to Brian McKeller at 175.8, also a new car to the section and an older version of a Wayne Burns built car. Filling 3rd place at 172.6kph was Craig Tulloch. Being my nephew's first race meeting and running my 3.5cc hot rod Jyai finished 5th and recorded a speed of 165.7kph so I am one very proud uncle and it is good to see his father Nathan there to watch Jyai do so well. Now he wants another car from my stable, maybe another 5cc B grade car I need to repair so no excuse on my part.

3 Australian made 3.5cc hot rods

A few Aussie 3.5cc M class cars ready to run

Now for the all important W.G. Sinclair nominated speed event. All three guys were very very close to their nominated speeds and people know how fast their cars will do in an event like this. 3rd place went to Brian McKeller who nominated 176.5kph and he was off by .685kph, 2nd placing went to Doug Sinclair as he nominated 170.2kph, Doug was out by .554kph it was Doug that won his grandfathers speed event last year for the first time and gave it a good shot this year, so to 1st place with a nominated speed of 166.5kph and only .495kph off his speed was Glenn Bransby. I want to thank Craig Tulloch and Doug Sinclair for their assistance during the day as Craig did most of the center pole work and helping Karl with his 1.5cc cars. We all had a fantastic day.

On the same day the 1/4 scale RC speedway cars ran their nationals at the Luddenham track so we finished our day's racing, made a cup of tea and sat outside overlooking the speedway track to watch the final of the 1/4 scale sprint car race over 30 laps with heaps of thrills and spills, so ending a fantastic days racing.

Pre Season cable testing

Battery pack for our hydraulic test unit and you can see the ram under the drivers station. Craig Tulloch made the test unit using old electric fork lift parts. We have to be careful as we can overdo the pressure on the cables. Funny we have tried to break an old 1-5mm red cable with no luck, the poor thing just laid out dead straight on the ground.


Alfie Lee Memorial Competition

April bought about the Alfie Lee Memorial competition for outright speed and nominated speed racing. Being autumn here and very warm and dry made for good racing. The numbers of competitors was down with illness and family commitments so we still managed to have our competition. 10cc Class V only one entry being Glenn Bransby finished the day with a speed of only 309 kph.

2.5cc Class III, again only one person running again Glenn Bransby who won with speed of 235 kph. I don't recall a 1.5cc car getting a speed but the guys tried hard.

Glenn Bransby Doug Sinclair Jyai Bransby

We ran the Australian Class cars with 10cc Australian built, only two cars entered by Doug Sinclair and Karl Sepetauc and Doug took first place over Karl. The battle in the 5cc B grade again being fought out between Doug and Glenn with Doug Sinclair getting the better of me as our speeds are very close most of the time. Doug's speed at 170 kph and mine with a 167 kph. 3.5cc M class was won by Doug Sinclair, Brian McKellar ran second and in his first full competition third place went to Jyai Bransby at 172 kph. We ran a second round but not much to report from that as speeds didn't improve and some cars broken from round one. Jyai's second run with my hot rod ended with the engine going to full revs so the car was shut off very quickly. On inspection after the racing we found no teeth left on one gear, as it seems they had been over heat treated and became brittle but that was good experience for a young member to learn from. Nominated speed went to Doug Sinclair first place, Jyai Bransby second place.

Wot, no teeth? A bit of winter sunshine

It has been a few months since I last wrote for OTW and I am sorry for being so slack. Moving house and going to doctors for check ups slows down your progress. Now I have a quiet night to myself I can relax and write my reports.

Vale: Stewart Cobcroft.

It is with sadness that the Australian tether car group has lost one of its more colourful people with the passing of Stewart Cobcroft in the last few weeks. Stewart was a member of the old Ashfield SSME club and then at Luddenham Club grounds, it was Stewart and a couple of other guys that found the 25 acres of land back in the early 1970's to build the new SSME setup as it is today. Stewart will be missed by all the members from both clubs as Stewart in his later years joined the Brisbane club with his renewed interest in the cars. He was a perfectionist with every car, boat or aircraft he built.

May Open Day

The weather was windy and cooler, still we had sunshine all day. May bought out more people to race with the James family bringing out three 10cc Class V cars and turning in some good speeds. A 327 kph with Carol James’ car and David and Maggie in the 320 bracket.

Class V A Grade 10cc cars

Ready and waiting

Craig Tulloch ran his 5cc Class IV car but without much speed as the car has recently been overhauled with an older OPS 29 engine. 2.5cc Class III, Glenn Bransby ran 238 kph and it gets boring racing yourself, still trying to get back to my record speed of 260 kph with my old Stelling car. Need heaps of work on suspension and pipe, throw in some other things and yes it will find the speed again. Class I 1.5cc, not much to report again as no cars entered. 10cc Australian built went to Karl Sepetauc and Doug Sinclair was second. 5cc B grade had Doug, Craig and Glenn running cars with my car splitting the tank seam.  Doug and Craig played with head settings on his new Wayne Burns built 3.5cc M class and gained more speed reaching 192 kph, still room for improvement. We are using the 3.5cc GO engines now in the M class cars as we can get them for a good price. That makes building this class of car more affordable to new members and Wayne builds a good, quick car. We had Dave Williams turn up with his new 3.5cc M Class car still having teething problems so the car was handed over to Doug and Glenn to find and fix the faults.


June Practice Day.

The day started off with a cold south westerly wind blowing and sunshine which was warm when you got out of the wind. Being the Queen’s Birthday, long weekend here, the same old faces turned up to have a bit of fun. Doug ran his M class Burns built car and recorded a best speed of 194 kph average. Doug and I worked on Dave Williams car on Saturday to fix the shut off switch that allowed fuel to flow when shut off. Some filing work on the blade fixed that problem. We ran the car but kept blowing plugs, much to the frustration of Jayi as we had him push the car, with his car being almost ready to run. We packed up the car as it became colder in the afternoon. Monday we took the head off and found 6 thou (0.15mm ouch) head clearance so no wonder the plugs blew up. Head now set at 16 thou (0.4mm) and see what happens next time out. Bench running the car didn't blow the plug and motor still has high compression.

To end the day Doug, Karl and myself decided to teach young Jyai how to centre (horse) a tether car. We used Doug’s 3.5 M class car without a plug so Jyai could start to feel what it's like to hold the cable and start to whip the car around. We will keep teaching him so he masters the art of a pole man. At 15 years of age he has a long future ahead of him.

What else is there to do on a wet Sunday?

Glenn with Class V car Jyai gets to grips with the calculations

It's all here somewhere?

A perfect opportunity to get into the workshop and prepare cars for the next competition at the end of the month. Glenn was joined by Doug Sinclair and nephew Jyai for this session, the more cars, the more work! Glenn has now obtained new suspension parts for his Class V car and is eager to see what effect they have

Doug Sinclair and Jyai McCoy 'Teardrop'

June Open day


Cold and frosty track grass area at 8-15am and 1 degree C

Sunday morning and when I walked out my front door all I could see was my Falcon ute covered in frost and the colour changed from blue to ice white at 2 degrees C at 7-30am and freezing. I guess this is a close to snow as we get down here not like Europe and the USA. Arrived at the track by 8-15am to see the grass in the track centre white with jack frost and a distinct cracking sound under my feet as I walked over the ground, time for a hot cup of tea and to defrost ourselves.

Glenn's Falcon ute at 7-30am and very icy Alan Barnes, James Tulloch and Mark Osborne McCoy hot rod from the Zetterstrom collection

The number of cars entered for the Owen Wuillerman Nominated Speed event could have been better but the cold, and some members having family commitments didn't attend, so the same old faces had all the fun. It is really good to see Mark Osborne back racing with us as he said his old job at the pub was not worth all the trouble with the late hours and working all weekend. Plus, having Craig and James Tulloch back racing adds to our numbers and a better show for the public to see tether cars at full speed.

There were four Class V 10cc cars, one Class IV 5cc, one Class 11 2.5cc car and a mix of the Australian class cars ranging from 10cc C grade and Vintage, 5cc B grade and 3.5cc Monza's. First up was Class V and because of the cold conditions only two cars started, being Craig Tulloch and Mark Osborne. My car didn't like the cold so no run in either round.  Mark Osborne took first place at 303kph with Craig second. Craig won Class IV with a speed of 240kph. Class II 2.5cc won by Glenn Bransby at 232kph and I am surprised this car even started let alone obtain a speed on a cold winter’s day. Karl Sepetauc and Doug Sinclair fought out 10cc Australian built with Karl the victor over Doug at 157kph.

Mark Osborne making a welcome return Glenn's tear drop and Alan Barnes' 'new' hot rod Sample of Craig's collection

10cc C grade, one car entered thus the winner being Rick Munro. 10cc Vintage won by Glenn Bransby at 134kph. 5cc B grade went to Doug Sinclair as my old Super Tigre engine decided to give up the ghost and the piston jammed half way up the liner, now where did I put that spare piston and liner, a new one at that.

Craig's car failed to start both rounds. I almost forgot, no 1.5cc Class I cars entered on the day. 3.5cc Monza class went to Doug Sinclair at 167kph, second was Glenn Bransby at 164kph and third being James Tulloch at 154kph.

General shot of pit area bench Rick Munro's new 10cc C grade car

The nominated speed went to Doug Sinclair, second was Rick Munro and third was Glenn Bransby. I would like to thank Wendy Sinclair, and later Andrew Young, for timing duties on the day and David and Carol James for track cleaning on the Friday before race day. Last time the Team James ran three cars they damaged three Picco engines and were not impressed with the result.


July open day report from Sydney

Still in winter down here so blessed to have a warmer winter’s day to run cars, top temp of 19 degrees C and no cold southerly wind to freeze us as we sit prepping cars.

The number of girls and guys to run was light in numbers as Mark Osborne, Kevin Barker and Glenn Bransby attended without cars to race, most of my cars are under repair and yes, I destroyed and the set of spur gears in the 3.5cc hot rod.
 

Right: Glenn and Mark

Mark Osborne became Karl Sepetauc's apprentice for the day with the orange 1.5cc class 1 car, the car purred along at 144kph and too rich, still, nothing broke in the engine, just got dammed hot when I took it off the cable. Maggie James popped in to say hello and let us know David and Carol James are fine as David has been in hospital again and doing ok.

Doug Sinclar and his array of Wayne Burns built 3.5cc cars

Brian McKellar arrive at the same time Glenn did and he had his 3.5cc M class car along with Doug Sinclair and his fleet of M class Wayne Burns built cars. I became Doug's helper for a few hours as I left early due to family commitments. It's no fun at all trying to push start a car with the engine being so tight it squeaks. We managed to get the car running on a very rich setting to help free the piston and liner, tyres are too big but we will attack that problem next running day.

Good to see Mark Osborne back in action with his latest project under way, a Dooling F copy that will house a Super Tigre 60 engine. The pan and gearbox are designed by John Uden with the intent to make it easier to machine the pan and gearbox. Knowing Mark this will be one very well built and thought out tether car.

I know someone who can spray paint a bit if Mark needs a coat of colour on the Dooling F pan and body.

Terry King and Dave Williams turned up to pay their club fees for the next year along with John Waldock. Andrew Young bought out his older 5cc class 4 and 2 cars, but as I left early I don't know the outcome of his efforts. That's about all to report this month, now summer is a little bit closer then we will complain about running cars in 30 degree plus heat but that is the name of the game for all of the tether car people around the world.


August track day and a workshop session

Getting warmer here and first day of spring tomorrow which brings bush fire season a bit later on. Sunday morning and walked out my front door to an icy blue car again and blue sky above so looking like a good day to race tether cars at Luddenham in Sydney. I arrived at the track around 9 am and a little cool to start the morning. A hot tea or coffee fixed this problem then all the guys down to getting cars ready to run for the day.

I am pleased to see more race people attend the open day and on duty we had Doug Sinclair, Craig and James Tulloch, Mark Osborne, Karl Sepetauc, Rick Munro suffering the flu and asked to keep clear of the healthy guys, John Waldock, Brian McKellar and last but not least turning up at 2-05 pm we had Kevin Barker so yes a good roll up for a good days racing. There was a decent mix of cars on offer to run. Doug and Craig with their stable of cars. We ran the 3.5cc M class first to warm up the air and then you see the members of the public come running to the fence to see what all the noise is about, I always get a laugh watching this and the look on peoples faces to see something so small go so fast.

Left: Glenn Bransby Saturday night prep time for Sunday

Next car to run was Craig and his Class 5 car and a slow run to start the day needing a few tweaks here and there. Then John Waldock tried to run his 1.5cc car but no noise yet sounded good on the bench, later in the day John ran the car again and managed to get it running and do around 110kph so he was happy to see it run, this is a much older style of Class 1 car but it has promise to run faster. John tried to run his Dooling F car with the new engine and the car would not keep running, needs more fine tuning. Craig ran a lot of his cars throughout the day and some didn't want to run and some ran well, his Class 5 car did 305kph by the end of proceedings.

Ready bench with 3.5cc M Class
and 1.5 Class cars.

 Ready bench with a good mix
of cars to run

Craig Tulloch's Class 5 car

Doug was up next and with some help from his mates we managed to run his M class car to a speed of 192kph the fastest this car has reached to date and a very happy car owner. Doug has three new Wayne Burns made M class cars one car is his new toy and the two remaining cars we are setting up to sell for when a new member wants a cheaper car to break into the hobby. Glenn Bransby is helping set up the orange car and Doug is busy with the blue and red cars. We are very close to having all three cars up and running so setting up the Go engines has had it moments. We now have the head clearance where we want it, now playing with tyre size and needle settings, the orange car is a bit of a pig to get going as the piston is so tight it's hard to push start, then if it floods that's the ball game. By the end of the day we had runs from all the cars. A bit more adjustment here and there and the cars will be doing 190 kph plus.

John Waldock and his Dooling F car with Super Tiger 10cc and Mark Osborne helping cable hook up.

Ready bench with 10cc and 5cc cars, Mark Osborne's and Glenn Bransby's Class 5 cars
in the back

James Tulloch, Karl Sepetauc
and Craig Tulloch

Mark Osborne ran his Class 5 car but not the speed he wished for, ran just under 300 kph. The car is wheel spinning and the tail of the car hits the track thus removing speed. Glenn only took his Class 5 car to race and after many teething problems, mainly the rear shock setup, walked away with and average speed of 315kph. Mark ran his car for a second run only to get wheel spin and a broken tuned pipe just in front of the stinger. Karl ran his old Pedro Class 4 car without much luck, only ran at 110kph. His orange 1.5 car didn't want to start on the track so Karl being Karl packed it away then said his good by and went home. Last of all we had Kevin Barker run his blue and silver 1.5 Class 1 car, it started ok and was building speed and sounding very strong engine wise then at 186kph the plug decided to blow up and that was it for the days running at Luddenham. Now we all look forward to the end of September for the Peter Larsen comp day.

Glenn's new piston and liner for Super Tigre G21/29 not too many of these left in the world nowadays

Old piston and liner, got to hot and now out of round

Saturday night prep time for Doug Sinclair


September open day and Peter Larsen Memorial Competition.

The morning started on the cool side and now spring is here the days and morning will warm up even more, yes reminds me of the 40 degree C days trying to race tether cars at Luddenham, Sydney. Again the number of cars and drivers was down still the same old faces of the section or the back-bone here. Some members have illness to deal with and family members that come first and the rest of the guys wish them a speedy return to the track.

The tether car section held a meeting to elect the positions of section leader, board rep and TRCAA reps for the next one to two years. Glenn Bransby has been re-elected as section leader and Craig Tulloch as assistant section leader. Board rep to the SSME is again Doug Sinclair and last the TRCAA reps are Doug Sinclair as president and Mark Osborne as his assistant from October 2016 till 2018. We would like to thank the Sydney members for their support over the past year and the up coming 12 months to 2 years.

Mark O pushing Karl Sepetauc's 1.5cc class 1 car Mark Osborne and Doug Sinclair Doug in the middle
whipping cars

In attendance we had Karl Sepetauc and his helper Mark Osborne, Doug Sinclair, Craig and James Tulloch, Brian McKellar, Kevin Barker and Glenn Bransby. The number of cars was down so it made it easy and more relaxed to run the days events. First cars out to run were the 10cc Class 5 cars with three cars entered. Glenn was first car out for round 1 of the day and recorded 315.070kph then Craig and James Tulloch, their cars started OK but didn't run to speed and a disappointed father and son team.

Brian McKellar preps his
3.5cc M Class car
Kevin Barker with
1.5cc Class 1 car
Father and son team
Craig and James Tulloch
Craig T starting 5cc Class 4 car

Class 4, 5cc ran next with the Tulloch boys to fight out the positions for both rounds. Craig's car showed no joy then James had his run with a much older Denneler car built back in the late 70's early 80's. James did 191.550kph to take first place in the class. Class 2 only one car in the field that being Glenn Bransby's, the car started OK then went off tune and ran too rich so no speed recorded and the car retired for the day.

Class 1 the babies of tether cars the 1.5cc, we had two entries being Karl and Kevin. Karl ran first only to have his engine fall silent very quickly and he thinks that another rod broke inside, so no more running for the day with the orange car. Kevin Barker had a good run with his blue and silver ex Karl Sepetauc car. After much work to car and engine Kevin ran a good speed of 214.005 kph, this is his best speed in a long time. Kevin gained 1st place in Class 1, 1.5cc.

New Wayne Burns built 3.5cc M Class car for sale to attract new blood to the hobby. Doug Sinclair's new Burns 3.5cc car

10cc Australian built class with two cars to battle it out being Doug and Karl. Doug ran first and reached a speed of 146.687kph a lot slower that his nominated speed, Karl had no luck with no time recorded. Next class was 10cc B grade only one car to run that of Craig Tulloch and his speed was 246.774kph that earned him first place in class.

Then we moved on to 5cc B grade with three guys to fight it out and all cars recording speeds and close together again. Glenn ran first with new piston and liner in the Super Tigre engine and with some help from Craig we managed to clear out the flooded motor and run a speed of 166.790kph, Doug ran his former Cobcroft car at 167.597kph then Craig was last out with his speed of 163.829. Placings went to Doug first, Glenn Second and Craig third.

Doug Sinclair's Meteor powered Australian built class car Glenn's Class 5 car undergoing tyre change

Last cars to run were 3.5cc M Class and four cars in the field. Doug Sinclair had two cars entered and went first to the track only to record a no time, James Tulloch then came out fighting to record 160.427kph and down on his nominated speed, Brian McKellar who had his first run for the day did a good speed of 184.388kph to take out first place in M Class. Doug's second car suffered the same fate as the first with no time recorded which was a surprise to all of us, but that happens at times in tether car events.

Pit area mess Glenn B and Craig Tulloch at the presentation Superb ground level railway track

We ran the Peter Larsen Memorial Nominated Speed event so first place went to Craig Tulloch with his 10cc B grade car and 1.959kph off his nominated speed of 244.815kph. Second place was taken by Doug Sinclair with his 5cc B grade car his nominated speed being169.91kph and he was out by 2.313kph. Third place went to Brian McKellar who ran 4.921 off his nominated speed of 188.5kph. There was a rain shower as we had lunch so the second round was cut short and a lot of cars didn't make it to the next round. After lunch and waiting for the track to dry out we went for a walk to the boat pond as there are more boats running now with the weed removed, then Craig, James and Glenn decided to go for a ride on the steam trains, something I have not done for years so there is a photo for you to see.

Steam train at the station Craig Tulloch and Glenn Craig and James Tulloch Photo from the train ride
Steam boat on the boat pond bench More radio controlled boats

We started the second round, and with less cars to get through we finished by mid afternoon. Glenn Ran his 10cc Class 5 car and improved the speed to 316.344kph. That was the end of competition so the track was open to anyone who had cars to run and put on a display for the public. I want to thank Craig for his hard work in the middle with Doug helping and Mark Osborne for the timing on the day. Now we move to the October competition and much work to be done to repair cars broken in the chase for better speed.

Glenn Bransby,

SSME Tether Car Section Leader.

Calendar and results from Sydney and Brisbane www.trcaa.org
Sydney Society of Model Engineers inc              www.ssme.org.au

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