HSCC Season Opener Historic Meeting: Silverstone March 28th
Even with Silverstone resembling a building site in places, while the new section of the Grand Prix track is being built and it being bright but bitterly cold, (thankfully the forecast rain held off) The first official race meeting of the year provided some excellent racing, courtesy of the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC).
The afternoon kicked of with the Historic Road Sports with Zircotec race, James Paterson in his Morgan plus 8 (92) finishing a comfortable 24 seconds in front of Dave Randall’s Ginetta G4 (5) who took C class honours. Chris Phillips rounded out the top 3, despite a spin at Becketts, in his beautifully prepared Morgan plus 8 (16). Class victories went to Ben Adams in his Turner (86) G class, Rebecca Huff’s Porsche 911 (21) D class and Richard Owen peddling his Triumph TR2 (91) to F class honours.
The pair of Classic F3 races provided the same top three in both races. Defending champion Bill Toombs taking a brace of wins in his Argo Toyota JM6 (1) resplendent in its original Gloveroil colours for the first time since David Sears raced it in 1980. A fighting second in each race, Benn Simms’ Marlboro sponsored March Toyota 803B (2) as raced by the BBC F1 pundit and former team owner Eddie Jordan back in the day. Third spot taken by Paul Smith and his Martini Toyota Mk31 (82).
70’s Road Sports was next, the victory being taken by Paul Conway’s Morgan plus 8 (3), despite making a hash of the start and having to fight his way past Paul Anderson’s Gulf Sponsored Porsche 928 (64). The final podium spot being taken by Peter Shaw’s TVR Tuscan (7).
Historic Formula Ford 1600’s fielded some of the most beautiful cars of the days racing, looking like mini F1 cars from the 60’s. Darren Burke scurried away from the pack to take a dominant win with his Macon MR8 (64). Second place was fought out for the entire race in an enthralling battle between the Alexis Mk20 driven by Benn Simms (5) and the Merlyn Mk20 of Simon Hadfield who eventually took the flag to a fine second place. Ian Ashley went from zero to hero during the race, after missing his braking point at Beckett’s on the first tour, spinning his Lola T200 (62) causing Hadfield to take avoiding action and taking away the chance of a battle at the front in the process. Ashley rejoined at the back of the field but recovered to an astonishing fifth by the time the flag fell after 19 laps.
The ‘ByBox’ sponsored Historic Touring Car Championship race gave the hardy spectators a real treat with a brilliant race won in fine style by Roger Cope driving his new for this year BMW 1800 (23). The man from my home town, Banbury, drove a near faultless race, even having time for some show boating towards the end of the race wagging the tail of the German saloon coming out of Beckett’s. He finished 13 seconds ahead of the huge Ford Falcon (68) pedalled by Ben Shuckburgh, who took the place from Peter Hoare’s Lotus Cortina (49) with a couple of laps to spare. Further down the field Peter Ebdon driving a Mini Cooper S (77) tangled with the Alfa Romeo Guillia Sprint GT (4) of Rob Ballard coming out of Maggots both leaving the track on the outside of becketts while the recently dug ground halted the Alfa with out drama, Ebdons Mini dug in and rolled.
Race 6, the HSCC Classic Racing Cars with Chartland Properties Ltd, to give the series its full name, was a Brabham festival, seven of Black Jack’s creations finishing in the top 10. In a tight battle, Ian Gray in a BT16 (2) collected the laurels by just over a second from Michael Scott’s BT30 (88) with the Lotus 27 (77) of Michael Schryver rounding out the top 3 over 30 seconds down the road.
The Guards Trophy championship is specifically for Sports racing and GT cars built before the 31st of December 1965. 25 cars took to the grid for a frantic race from lights to flag. Graeme Dodd in a well turned out Ginetta G16 BMW (45) won a close battle after deposing Steve Hodges’ Chevron B8 BMW (24) after an extended safety car period needed to remove the Morgan plus 4 (27) of Mark Hoble after its front suspension collapsed on the exit of Becketts. Third place went to another Chevron B8 BMW (42) driven by Nick Fleming. Michael Schryver, out to play again, took the B1 class win with his Lotus Elan 26R.The Formula Junior Championship race saw, Jon Milicevic driving a Cooper T59 (63) take a well judged win over Michael Hibberd’s beautiful Lotus 27 (51) with the final podium spot being Simon Diffey’s equally Gorgeous Lotus 20.
All in all a good days racing. Next Race report will come from Silverstone this weekend with Classic GT cars and GP masters….