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Pre-War Cars at the Algarve Autodrome

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It looks like a misprint but it’s not: in the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War race at the Algarve, first and second places were both taken by a Talbot 105 driven by Alex Ames and Gareth Burnett. Quite how they timed their pit-stops to allow the two drivers to swap cars rapidly enough to retain the lead is hard to imagine, but they managed it, and finally passed the chequered flag in first and second place – with just three tenths of a second between them.

One minute behind the Talbots, at the end of the hour-long race, was the 3-wheeler Morgan Super Aero of Sue Darbyshire and Gary Caroline – always an entertaining car to watch, but nowhere more so than on the sweeping hills and tight turns of the Algarve circuit.

But while these three cars took the podium slots for the pre-War race, the grid included three post-War cars, running in an invitation class – and these had a podium all of their own. Scooping the victory in the post-War category was the 1952 RGS Atalanta of Barry Wood and Barry Cannell, with Malcolm Verey’s Allard J2 hot on their heels. The third post-War podium place was taken by the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica of Richard Parsons and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards.

Back in the pre-War category, also giving much pleasure to the spectators was the battle between Paul Chase-Gardener in the e-Car Insurance Aston Martin Speed Model, and Nigel Batchelor’s 4½-litre Blower Bentley. The two cars were seen swapping places several times a lap throughout the first half of the race, before the Bentley developed engine problems and was forced to withdraw.

Meanwhile, among the class winners not yet mentioned was the BMW 328 of Richard Wills and Paul Baker, who finished 10th overall.