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Silverstone Classic 2010: Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy

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Sir Stirling Moss, in his first race since breaking both ankles in a fall down his lift shaft earlier this year, made a glorious comeback at the wheel of his little OSCA FS372 in Saturday’s Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic. Enjoying a friendly ‘grudge match’ against rock star Chris Rea, who was driving a Lotus VI in the same class, Sir Stirling drove with characteristic speed and professional precision, much to the delight of the crowds.

Although Chris Rea and co-driver Richard Hodson qualified nine places on the grid ahead of Sir Stirling and co-driver Ian Nuthall, Moss’s familiar red OSCA climbed steadily up the field, until Sir Stirling was leading the class. But, with just 10 minutes of the hour-long race still to run, he was forced to pull into the pits and retire when his gearbox stuck in fourth – gifting the class victory to Rea and Hodson. “We were flying and I really enjoyed it,” said Moss afterwards.

At the front of the 48-car grid, the competition was just as fierce, with the pole-sitting Jaguar D-type of Gavin Pickering and Spencer Marsh holding its own to claim victory against an incredible performance by Will Arif and Alex Buncombe, who brought their drum-braked C-type to an impressive second place – ahead of the Maserati A6GCS of Lukas Huni and Gary Pearson.

Among the many close battles taking place, one of the most exciting to watch was the ‘ding-dong’ between the Lister Bristol of Stephen Bond and the Allard J2 of Patrick Watts – with Bond just squeezing past on the final lap to finish fifth. There was also some nail-bitingly close action between the Aston Martin DB2 of Andrew Sharp, which just pipped the similar car of Chris Jolly… and between the Montgomery/Mills Austin-Healey 100S and the 100M of Robert Rawe.

Other class winners were the Ferrari 750 Monza of Andrew and Richard Frankel; and the Aston Martin DB3S of David Bennett and Chris Woodgate.

The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy is run by Motor Racing Legends and supported by