Two young lions showed their speed and ability in the Pre ’63 GT race at the Donington Historic Festival and, ultimately, it was Jack Minshaw who joined his father Jon atop the podium after a hugely impressive debut in historic racing.
A truly wonderful grid lined up for the DK Engineering supported race and while his father travelled back from holiday Jack Minshaw did a fine job by securing pole position on a damp track. His achievement was all the more meritorious as Simon Hadfield and Nigel Greensall qualified second and third.
Minshaw junior duly started their Jaguar E-type and quickly established a lead in the early laps of the hour-long race. However, prolific Formula Ford winner Niall Murray from Dublin was also starring in the E-type of Niall McFadden. Their qualifying had been limited to five laps after a fuel problem and so they were due to start from tenth place on the grid.
However, the car was late to the assembly area and Murray started from the back of the grid. He promptly turned in a sensational drive to fight through and take the lead shortly before the round of pit stops. Once back out, Jon Minshaw took control of the race and stroked the E-type home for a fine victory, while McFadden slipped back a little to fifth place.
Meanwhile, Hadfield brought the Aston Martin DB4 of Wolfgang Friedrichs up into second with a few seconds in hand over the E-type of Greensall and Chris Milner. Greensall never gave up chasing the Aston but a top end misfire cost him any chance of attacking for second place. Gregor Fisken and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards took their E-type to fourth.
Martyn Corfield went solo in his Austin Healey 3000 and delivered a fine run to a class C-winning sixth, ahead of the similar cars of Alex Bell/Julian Thomas and Crispin Harris/James Wilmoth. Chasing the Healeys was the gorgeous Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta of Christian Dumolin/Pierre-Alain Thibault. For many laps, the Ferrari was in the midst of a varied and spirited midfield battle. More class victories went to solo drivers Marc Gordon (Lotus Elite) and BTCC racer Sam Tordoff (Porsche 356).
Report: Paul Lawrence
Photos: Oliver Flower, Dave Brassington, Jeff Bloxham