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A Classic Weekend for Motor Racing Legends

The new bank holiday date for the Classic proved popular as, for the first time in a long time, three straight days of sunshine blessed the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit for a non-stop weekend of Rocking and Racing. 

The Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy – Pre ’63 GT

James Cottingham and Harvey Stanley Land
The Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy At Last

After several near misses, James Cottingham and the DK Engineering team’s perseverance was rewarded when they won the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy Pre-’63 GT race at Classic Silverstone on Sunday. Cottingham relayed Harvey Stanley into the Huffaker-supplied hooded Jaguar E-type roadster and came home more than a minute clear of Oli Webb/Guy Ziser in the latter’s FHC version.

“We’ve been trying to win this race for 10 years,” beamed a relieved Cottingham afterwards. “After previous dramas, I’ve never looked in the mirrors or at the gauges so hard, but the car ran beautifully throughout.” Ziser, battling on in top gear having lost the others, did well to nurse it home 13 seconds clear of Richard Cook, first time out in the ex- John Razelle Shelby Cobra, recently restored back to its period white but with its mirrors filled with Danny Winstanley’s E-type FHC. Cook held his nerve and kept the Jaguar at bay to win by a tenth of a second!

The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy 

Flying Kiwi Wills and Fisken/Stretton Win ’50s Sports Car Golds

Driving the Lotus 15 which fellow New Zealanders Bruce McLaren and Syd Jensen contested the 1958 Tourist Trophy race at Goodwood, Roger Wills won the Stirling Moss Trophy element of MRL’s Pre-1961 sports car showcase at Classic Silverstone on Sunday. Chris Ward (Lister-Jaguar Knobbly) led initially, but Ollie Hancock, finishing John Spiers’ sister car, snatched second on the final lap from Harvey Stanley in the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro-Jaguar started by pole qualifier James Cottingham.

The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy Pre ’56 battle went to the wire, Gregor Fisken and Martin Stretton winning by a whisker, in an HWM-Jaguar. Gary Pearson and brother John, hounded Stretton down and finished less than a fifth of a second behind in the Jaguar D-type. Fred Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper-Jaguar T38) completed the podium.

Tony Dron Memorial Trophy for Historic Touring Cars 

Middlehurst Soloes Skyline to Dron Trophy Victory

St Helens Nissan Skyline specialist Andy Middlehurst shrugged off a stout challenge from Ric Wood in a similar car to win the Tony Dron Memorial Trophy Historic Touring Car Challenge on the Saturday. Skylines were heading for a top three lockout when Wood’s throttle linkage broke, after he’d led, taking the pressure off Middlehurst in the spectacular green ’93 Japanese Championship race winner. Simon Garrad also in a Nissan won a duel with Alex Brundle in Gary Pearson’s Ford Capri for second. 

The anticipated Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 challenge evaporated at the first corner. As the magnificent 57-car field stampeded away from the rolling start contact between Julian Thomas and David Tomlin triggered a chain-reaction shunt which eliminated Thomas and the luckless Paul Mensley, damaged Sean Brown’s car and delayed Martin Stretton’s. Brown managed to continue and son Daniel brought the battered machine home fourth ahead of the RS500s of Welsh rallycross veteran Mike Manning and Dave Brodie’s son James.  

Marcus Jewell/Ben Clucas (Ford Capri) won the concurrent Tony Dron Trophy Group 1 thriller in which James Thorpe/Sean McInerney (Chevrolet Camaro) pipped Jim Morris/Tom Shephard (VW Golf GTI) to second, despite a second pitstop. Richard Dutton (Ford Escort) took STCC honours while Andrew and Max Banks (Alfa Romeo GTA) won the U2TC. The late Tony Dron’s family turned out ‘en-masse’ at the event to enjoy the moment and present the trophies for this special memorial race.


BRDC 500 for Pre-War Sports Cars 

Fisken fires Blakeney-Edwards to BRDC 500 Win

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Gregor Fisken won the BRDC 500 Race for Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports-Cars.  It was Gregor’s first race in a Frazer Nash Supersport, but rather than being a baptism of fire, he revelled in the challenge. “It was a wonderful experience, but I was surprised at how physical it was,” said Gregor.  Fisken kept German Rudi Friedrichs’ rorty Alvis Firefly special in sight to the mandatory stops, whereupon extrovert Blakeney-Edwards sprang aboard and twitched the 1928 car to victory.

Gareth Burnett finished an adventurous third in John Ruston’s Alta despite stopping on Hangar Straight on lap one to discover a broken rear suspension mounting plate. Having ascertained that it was still drivable, he calmly continued. “It was a bit wobbly in right handers after that,” he smiled. Ross Keeling/Calum Lockie (Delahaye 135), Clive Morley (Bentley 3/ 4/1/2), Michael Birch (Talbot AV105 Brooklands) and Alan Middleton (Aston Martin ‘Red Dragon’) made it seven marques in the top places.

Race Results from the Classic Silverstone weekend are available in Entries and Results