The Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series race at the HSCC International meeting on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on 16 May enjoyed a little extra spice when, for the first time in the series’ history, a special ‘invitation’ class saw selected, early post-War sports cars competing against the pre-War entries. This new class was for cars built before 1953 – and with performance broadly in line with the pre-War machines – but the post-War weren’t eligible for podium positions.
So it was that Tony Wood’s RGS Atalanta crossed the finish line first, but it was the second-placed Alta that was declared the winner – and saw Gareth Burnett taking the top step of the podium. A highly deserved victory, given that he’d conquered all but one of the post-War cars. Third over the line was another post-War car – the Allard J2 of Malcolm Verey – but second and third place in the Pre-War race were awarded to the Talbot 105 of Alex Ames, and the amazing, 1928 three-wheeler Morgan Super Aero of Sue Darbyshire, with its tiny, 1260cc engine. Both were also class winners. When Darbyshire was pulled aside at the end of the race to take her place on the podium, she had no idea she’d finished third – and, assuming some infringement of the rules, asked “What’s the matter?”
Darbyshire’s regular sparring partner, Jane Varley, came fourth in her 1937 Aston Martin Speed model (and first in class), picking up the ferocious but very friendly rivalry that marked the pre-War race at last autumn’s Algarve Historic Festival. Also winning his class in the 25-car race was John Polson’s Talbot 105.
The invitation class for early post-War cars proved hugely successful and very popular with the racers, hence it will repeated at the next round of the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series, at Dijon on 19-20 June.