Silverstone GP Meeting – a Stunning Finale to Motor Racing Legends 2021 Season
The Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup three-hour endurance race provides yet another thrilling contest with Max Girado and James Cottingham victorious in their 1959 Lister Costin.
Motor Racing Legends closed the 2021 season with a spectacular weekend of historic racing on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on 30th – 31st October. Two days of racing with a wealth of stunning machinery, featuring eight of MRLs series plus two support races from the HRDC, shone through in a weekend of wildly varying meteorological conditions.
The headline-race was the Royal Automobile Pall Mall Cup, sponsored by DK Engineering, three-hour endurance for Pre ’66 GT, Sports and Touring Cars and 50s sports cars, with a sublime grid of everything from humble MGBs, Triumph TR4, nimble Lotus Elans, Porsche 911, TVR, Jaguar E-type , Ford Mustang and Falcons, Austin Healeys to a battalion of AC Cobras and Shelby Daytona Cobras. The ace in the pack however proved to be the Lister Jaguar Costin of Max Girardo and James Cottingham which romped away at the start before the tricky track conditions saw Cottingham in a rare rotation. His recovery benefited from a short safety car period and he soon picked off the leaders to stretch into a dominant lead – team mate Max kept pushing enjoying every minute of his glorious 1959 sports racing car on the 5.89km circuit.
‘Young-guns’, George Pochciol, Oliver Bryant and Matt Wrigley had a great afternoon negotiating the slippery conditions in their Shelby Daytona Cobra to finish second just five seconds ahead of the Michael Cullen, Paddy Shovlin and Sam Tordoff in a similar car. They lost power for fifteen seconds mid-race so were dreaming of what might of been although still thoroughly enjoyed the contest.
The Team Award went to the ‘Hot Shots’ comprising of Roy Alderslade and Andrew Jordan, Shelby Daytona Cobra / Nick Pink and Chris Fox, Lotus Elan 26R and Karsten Le Blanc and Christiaen Van Lanschot, Austin Healey 3000. With teams comprising of cars from a different classes, team ‘Hot Shots’ collectively completed the most amount of laps (67). The Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup proved a hugely a popular conclusion to a busy season and there was a buoyant atmosphere as cars returned to the pits in the dusk with headlights ablaze for one last time before being tucked up for winter.
A second DK Engineering supported race, the Amon Cup for Ford GT40s was a stunning spectacle under the last sunset of British Summer time. Miles Griffiths and Gordon Shedden kept the race ‘in the bag’ with pole and the win in Phillip Walker’s silver and yellow striped car that won the inaugural race at Donington Historic Festival back in May from the Richard Cook/David Cuff and 2021 Spa Six Hour winners, (in the Bryant GT40) Oliver Bryant and James Cottingham driving James’s Goodwood Members Meeting 2021 Gurney Cup winning car . The sight of the racing Ford GT40s being enveloped into the autumnal sunset was one that will not be forgotten and there are positive aspirations to develop this series for the future.
Paul Mensley had been gunning for a win all season and he held fast in his Netcom Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth to dominate the Historic Touring Car Challenge. Recovering from a spin down the pit-straight in the midst of a mini-tornado that passed though during their qualifying session he passed Ric Wood’s Nissan Skyline which Ric was sharing with the indomitable Freddie Hunt on the opening lap and then scrapped with Simon Garrard’s Nissan until Garrard tipped himself into a spin. Robert Oldershaw won the Tony Dron Trophy in his 1981 Rover SD1 and David Dickinson headed the U2TC battle to Richard Dutton, both in Lotus Cortinas.
Gary Pearson enjoyed a close battle in the Jaguar Classic Challenge in his 1963 E-type against Richard Kent, partnered by Chris Ward in ‘CUT 7’. A hat-trick of Pearson Engineering prepared cars filled the podium with Mark Donnor home third in his red semi-lightweight E-type.
The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy for 1950s Sports Racing Cars was a thriller with the Robert Smith/Chris Ward Lister Knobbly on pole but third placed qualifying man, Richard Bradley looked set for the win in Michael Birch’s Lotus XV until an overheating issue forced a disappointing retirement on the final lap. Smith and Ward went onto win the Stirling Moss Trophy to Mark Cole’s plucky Lotus XI. Patrick Blakeney-Edwards and Martin Grant-Peterkin held Woodcote Trophy rights in Fred Wakeman’s Cooper T38 with pole and the win, finishing an amazing third overall in the race unchallenged after Gregor Fisken and Martin Stretton’s HWM Jaguar was forced into retirement with a rare steering wheel failure. John Clark and Gordie Mutch did a brilliant job to bring their Cooper Bobtail home second. Peter Ratcliffe completed the Stirling Moss podium in third and father and son, Paul and George Pochciol were a brilliant Woodcote Trophy third, first time out in their Jaguar D-type.
Race results and the photo gallery from the weekend can now be viewed on www.motorracinglegends.com or follow the links below.
Of course you can still re-live the weekend’s races on the Historic Motorsport TV You Tube channel which was live streamed over the weekend supported by DK Engineering.
The full race report from the weekend will be published soon. Motor Racing Legends look forward to publishing their 2022 calendar imminently.