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Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy at Dijon

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The major rainstorms which hit Dijon earlier in the week had turned to hot summer weather by the Saturday of the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or, in time for the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race for pre-1956 sports-racers. At first, the Woodcote Trophy winner looked certain to be the pole-sitting Jaguar D-type of Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson – had it not been for the twin setbacks of a puncture and a stop-and-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane. This meant the pair had to bring their D-type into the pits three times, instead of once…

…giving Irvine Laidlaw and Simon Hadfield the chance to take over the charge – which they did in fine form, taking the chequered flag to win by 41 seconds from the Maserati A6 GCS of Carlo Vögele, who also put in one of the finest drives of the weekend. As Vögele had opted to drive the one-hour race alone, he was subject to a 45-second pit stop penalty for single drivers, which must have cost him 25 or 30 seconds more than the standard driver change – yet he still came back to take second place.

Third over the line was the Jaguar D-type of Ludovic Lindsay and Fred Wakeman, who did well to get onto the podium after a misfire in qualifying put them fifth on the grid, and a bad start saw them drop down to ninth by the end of the first lap. But perseverance saw them creep steadily back up the field to finish 14 seconds ahead of the Monteverde/Pearson D-type.

A superb drive by Nick Adams saw his Lotus X scoop fifth place and a class win, while other class winners included the RGS Atalanta of Tony and Barry Wood, and Chris Jolly’s Aston Martin DB2.