Thinking About Racing HQs it’s… “affordable excitement!”
It may be easy to drive a fast car quickly, but driving a nearly standard HQ Kingswood, complete with 3.3 Litre 6 cylinder and 3 speed manual, now that’s a challenge! The concept of racing HQ Holdens was “invented” in Tasmania and introduced to mainland Australia by the Sporting Car Club of SA, who promoted the first mainland race at Mallala in 1989.
This category has redefined the term “close racing”, with racers diving 3 abreast into corners with amazing regularity. The best part for would-be racers is that, in relative terms at least, racing a HQ Holden is an inexpensive way to enter into competitive motor sport. After the initial purchase of the car, strict regulations ensure that maintenance and modification costs are kept to a minimum.
With everyone using the same cars, there’s no shortage of advice for newcomers from experienced racers on how to tune cars and improve lap times (although not too much!).
Before you even get to the track there are a few steps you need to go through to start racing. You will need to not only find a car but also arrange a Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) Licence. Once you have completed the online tutorial and received your Pre-Licence Authority, you will be able to do an Observed Licence Test (OLT) during practice at your first race meeting. Successful completion of the OLT will earn you a Provisional Circuit Licence.
After completing 6 race meetings and having your licence signed off by the Clerk of the Course, you can get an upgrade to a National Circuit Licence after some marshaling experience, which will enable you to compete at all major race meetings in Australia. Imagine racing at some of the most iconic racetracks in the country, like Bathurst!
While you are going through the process of getting your licence, there are some other things that need to be done. You must be a member of a CAMS-affiliated car club like us… HQ Victoria will give you the support and backing needed while starting out.
By now you still may not have sourced a race car. There are a number of ways to find a car. Depending on your budget, they range from about $5,000 upwards. You can look on websites like www.my105.com or take a look at our classifieds for a car that meets your requirements. Some people sell their cars complete with spares and a trailer but it really comes down to your budget and exactly what you are after. All cars need to have a CAMS logbook and comply with Group 3H Technical Regulations. Maintaining your car is important and getting the most out of it and keeping it looking great will require some hard work.
Preparing your car for an upcoming race meeting varies from competitor to competitor. What you want from HQ racing, whether it is a desire to become State Champion, a stepping-stone into another category, or just going out and having some fun, will determine how much you will spend. Having a reliable car, even if it isn’t the fastest car out on the track, is the best way to enjoy your racing. As you gain confidence and get more laps under your belt, you will find that you will be quicker.