A full grid of very varied, top-class 1950s sports cars characterised the Woodcote Trophy race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit on Sunday 27 May. Two Jaguar D-types sat side by side on the front row of the grid, with a Lotus X and Cooper Bristol T24/T25 itching to get past on row two, and a diverse mix of Astons, Maseratis, Austin-Healeys and many more lining up behind.
As the race began, it was the pole-sitting D-type of Carlos Monteverde which shot off into the lead, only for him to spin his advantage away at Druids on his second lap. He recovered, dropping to fifth as a result, but had worked his way back to third in time to hand the D-type over to Gary Pearson on lap 13.
By then, the race lead was firmly in the hands of the Lotus X of Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne, the familiar red and white Lotus which was so regularly raced by the much-missed Adrian Hall (and which still carries his name on the side in tribute). As many of the more knowledgeable spectators commented, it was delightful to see the car at the front of the pack, managing to keep even the highly competitive D-type of Adrian Hall’s former co-driver, Nick Adams, and Robin Ward at bay.
But, lap by lap, Gary Pearson was moving up the field and shaving fractions of a second off the Lotus’s lead – so that when the Lotus pitted on lap 19, the D-type took first place and made it stick to the end of the race. Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne, meanwhile, held onto the second step of the podium, with the Ward/Adams D-type in third.
Not all the action was at the front of the grid, however, with one heck of a battle going on between the four Austin-Healeys – which finished one behind the other in 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th places. In the end, it was the 100M of Robert Rawe who led the four across the line, with the 100S of Ian Montgomery and Robert Mills following close behind, and doing superbly well to finish ahead of the other two 100Ms.