Honours a shock for veterans

TASMANIAN Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees Geoff Smedley, of Launceston, and Ian Tilley, of Lalla, caught up for a chat last week  at the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania.

Smedley helped to establish the museum.

Tilley said that the pair's paths crossed often enough when they were active in motor sport - himself mostly on motorcycles and Smedley with cars -  but they had not seen each other for ages before last month's induction  at the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport's annual dinner in Hobart.

Tilley said that although he had prepared a few cars in his time, he only ever raced motorcycles.

``My last competitive race was 1976, but a couple of years later I was invited to race at Winton at the Mike Hailwood memorial meeting,'' he said.

``So I dusted my old leathers off and had a go - I managed to qualify for the final and finished midfield.

``I was happy with that and came home, hanging up my leathers for the last time.

``I got a shock when they told me I was to be inducted - I had no idea and never expected anything like that.

``I joined the Tasmanian Motorcycle Club when I was 18 and I've been a member ever since, enjoying the camaraderie and the racing.

 I was delighted to be inducted with Geoff because I've followed his career.''

``Absolutely shocked''  was Smedley's reaction to his induction.

``I received an invitation to the CAMS dinner in Hobart and thought it was a hoax because the RSVP date had already expired,'' he said.

``I got a phone call later ensuring I'd be there and telling me why. I was really stunned: I didn't realise there was anyone old enough to remember me still around.''

Smedley started off racing hill climbs in the early 1950s and had his first ``serious'' race  at Longford  in 1955 with a Triumph TR2.

He raced until about 1962 before working for a range of drivers such as  Tasmanian John Youl with  his Cooper Climax, Victorian Ian Geoghegan  with  his Ford Mustang and his brother Leo with  his Lotus 39.

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