A wonderful field of 43 pre-1956 sports cars embroiling 12 famous marques ensured that the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race would be among the Silverstone Classic’s most photogenic. Pre-event favourites, the Pearson brothers, duly won it in their Jaguar D-type, but the local lads had to toil for glory come Sunday morning.
Gary P. qualified the British Racing Green streamliner on pole position, but Chris Ward lapped barely a second slower in JD Classics’ hot Jaguar C-type. It was to be started by John Young, who would then clamber into its Cooper-Jaguar T33 stablemate that lined up third with Scot Andrew Smith aboard.
Also within two seconds of pole was the mighty Kurtis 500S of Welshman Geraint Owen, which had Brazilian Carlos Monteverde’s ex-Border Reivers/Jim Clark D-type, German Wolfgang Friedrichs’ Aston Martin DB3S (qualified by Simon Hadfield) and the ex-Mike Anthony Lotus-Bristol 10 of Rick Bourne/Malcolm Paul snapping at its heels.
The colourful pack included a pair of Richard Gaylard Shattock’s RGS Atalantas (‘Whizzo’ Williams joining Tony Wood in the finned version), the McWhirter family’s unique Lagonda V12 Le Mans, the ex-Tony Crook Cooper-Bristol of John Ure/Nick Wigley, ex-British GT Champion Bradley Ellis sharing Simon Arscott’s ex-Cliff Davis Tojeiro-Bristol and a host of Austin-Healeys and Aston Martin coupés.
Gary Pearson was already a few lengths clear as the peloton – compressed by the tricky infield section between Village and Aintree corners – blasted onto the Wellington Straight for the first time, whereupon pursuer Owen’s Kurtis gyrated like a top across the track, delaying everybody else. “Geraint was sideways in my mirrors as I changed up, and when I looked again he was still spinning,” chuckled Gary afterwards.
Once the dust had settled, Smith led the chase, with American Fred Wakeman gunning his sleeker Cooper-Jaguar into third, ahead of Young in the bronze C-type, Bourne’s Lotus and Patrick Watts’ Allard J2. Monteverde recovered from an early spin, but stopped a lap too early for Pearson, thus the Brazilian had to go round again while the leader came in at 10½ laps – the timing line being after Club, while teams worked out of the traditional pits.
John Pearson resumed third, behind Smith and Wakeman, and regained the lead from Young (now in the silver Cooper-Jag) on lap 20. But Ward was bearing down on them both in the C-type and a lap later passed his team-mate into Stowe. Chris then threw caution to the wind as he homed in on Pearson in a succession of opposite lock flurries. John’s focus remained steadfast, though, and despite the growing threat he crossed the line 0.429s ahead, relieved that the race didn’t go another lap. Generic Levitra all packages are available online on this site http://www.bantuhealth.org/levitra-generic-buy/ for US customers.
Young thus finished second (with Ward) and third, ahead of spinner Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (in for Wakeman), while Gary Pearson and Simon Hadfield hauled their partners’ cars brilliantly back to fifth and sixth, the latter having made up a lot of time.
Young/Ward, Friedrichs/Hadfield, Ure/Wigley and Mark Midgley/Chris Woodgate (in the Aston Martin DB3 which won the 1952 Goodwood Nine Hours with Peter Collins and Pat Griffith) won their classes. Best of the Healeys was the Martyn Corfield/Jeremy Welch 100/4 in 17th place, although Welch (in the car shared with Swede Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus) had previously enjoyed a terrific 100M tussle with Mike Thorne’s closed version and the hairy Harvey Woods.
Alas, David Wenman’s Jaguar C-type took a wallop from Nick Ruddell’s Aston Martin DB2 when a suspected mechanical threw the Jag into a spin at Becketts on the opening lap. The Kurtis didn’t last much longer, another lairy rotation (out of Luffield this time) persuading Owen to throw in the towel.
TOP FIVE FINISHERS
- Car no.7 – Pearson/Pearson, Jaguar D-type
- Car no.51 – Young/Ward, Jaguar C-type
- Car no.54 – Smith/Young, Cooper Jaguar T33
- Car no.11 – Wakeman/Blakeney-Edwards, Cooper T38
- Car no.5 – Monteverde/Pearson, Jaguar D-type