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Motor Racing Legends 50s Sports Car grids all set for stunning season opener at Donington Historic Festival

Just two weeks remain before we head off for our season opener at the Donington Historic Festival on 4-6 May, and both the 50s Sports Car grids look set to put on a stunning show at the 3-day event.  

In the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy, supported by EFG Private Bank, we have another strong grid headed up by four Jaguar D-Types and three C-Types. This exceptional Jaguar line-up includes regular podium visitors Gary and John Pearson, Ben Eastick driving with Karl Jones, Rod Barrett and Jay Shepherd co-drive in Robert Lewis’ D-Type and we are delighted to reveal Steve Brooks is due to bring out chassis XKD558  – a ‘short-nose’ D-Type – for its debut outing after a lengthy restoration in his own garage.

This year, new regulations allow Cooper Bobtails to join this grid, and these lightweight rear-engined machines will be mixing it with the more powerful front-engined sports cars. The Cooper T39 of Robi Bernberg & Paul Ugo have been the first to take advantage of this new rule.

Amongst the sports car battles going on right the way through the grid, it is great to see both some old friends returning as well as some new faces joining us. We’re delighted to see the return of Chris Jolly along with David Reed co-driving with Peter Snowdon and Chris Drake all in Aston Martin DB2/4s with Marc Mezey flying in from Hong Kong to race his Austin-Healey 100M. Also, look out for the Jowett Jupiter based on a 1951 Le Mans class winner, piloted by Richard Gane and Kevin Zwolinski.

The Woodcote Trophy race is a one-hour race scheduled for 15.10pm on Saturday 5 May.

In the Stirling Moss Trophy, supported by JD Classics, we have a superb line-up of stunning Pre-61 sports racers. If you cast your mind back to last year’s race, you may remember that it was the JD Classics’ Lister Costin which was the outright winner after a hard-fought victory with Will Nuthall in Tony Wood’s Lister-Jaguar, even though Will ran out of fuel on the last lap!

Well, we can expect another exciting battle as both are back, with Chris Ward piloting the JD Classics Lister (Knobbly this time) and the Wood/ Nuthall combination are back in the Wood’s family Knobbly. Jon Minshaw is set to join the action driving with Phil Keen in his Lister Knobbly and Andrew Smith will co-drive with James Cottingham in Mark Gibbon’s Lister Chevrolet.  

The Lister entries can expect some fierce competition from other marques, including father and son duo Grahame and Olly Bryant in the family Lotus 15 and Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards fielding the Cooper T38 – normally a Woodcote Trophy front-runner but now mixing it with the big boys thanks to a new 3.8 litre engine.

In amongst the small but swift ‘terriers’ of the grid, we have no less than seven Lotus XI with drivers joining us from around the globe – Italy, Belgium, Hong-Kong and the USA. Making up a truly cosmopolitan grid, we look forward to meeting and welcoming all our international drivers.

The Stirling Moss Trophy one-hour race starts at 15.10pm on Sunday 6 May.

After Donington, the 50s Sports cars head to Hampshire for the special Thruxton 50th Anniversary Celebration meeting in June.  We recently sent out a note about testing at Thruxton which will be limited. If you missed it here is the booking form

All our Entry Forms are available to download from our website and there are still a few slots available for some last minute entries. Click here

The Donington Historic Festival is shaping up to be a very busy week end with some fabulous racing and socialising – we’ll be hosting a drinks reception for everyone on the Friday night and are very much looking forward to catching up with you.