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Two Go Mad in Frazer Nash


Eighty years after daredevil aviator and racing driver Richard ‘Mad Jack’ Shuttleworth won the first Donington Grand Prix in his Alfa Romeo Tipo B (P3) the Historic Festival’s traditional Pre-War Sports Car race on Monday, May 4, was again named in his honour.

The Old Warden airfield-based collector’s founder died, aged 31, when the Fairey Battle aircraft he was flying crashed in Oxfordshire.

A fabulous 25-car entry set out for practice in which German stalwart Rudi Friedrichs sprang a splendid surprise recording the quickest lap of 1m32.786s (76.78mph) in his rorty Alvis Speed 20 SA. The spindly Frazer Nash Super Sports models of Fred Wakeman/Pat Blakeney-Edwards and Blakeney Motorsports’ employee Eddie Williams/Andrew Hall ran him closest, with Richard Pilkington’s glorious 4.5-litre Talbot on their heels.

Behind the top quartet, Martin Halusa’s Bugatti T35C was dwarfed by the quickest Bentleys, the 3/4¼s of Clive and James Morley and Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley – separated by 0.187s in the 1m39s bracket – who had former BTRDA rally champion Richard Iliffe for company in his Riley Kestrel, another Vintage Sports-Car Club regular.

Also in the eclectic field, which embraced no fewer than 14 car marques, were Neil Perkins’ beautiful FN BMW 328, Chris Ball’s low-chassis Invicta S-type, the mighty boat-tailed Lagonda V12 replica of Robert Lewis, the rare Squire of Richard Wilson/David Brazell, Nick Pellett’s famous green Talbot 105 ‘GO 54,’ a trio of Aston Martins, a brace of Morgan 4/4s, an MG K3 Magnette and the gallant Austin Seven of Chris Pearson/Steve Robinson, which was sadly unable to start.

Friedrichs led from the start but Williams and Wakeman refused to be shaken off. Indeed, having just set the race’s fastest lap, Eddie grabbed the lead briefly at Redgate Lodge on lap three. Rudi retaliated, but as he accelerated past the pits onto lap 5 the Alvis’ engine fell silent and he pulled off forlornly after the exit road. Already there was the Bentley 3/4½ of Duncan Wiltshire, which lasted but one lap. “I stopped to refuel – with brandy,” smiled our event organiser.

That left the scrapping Nashes clear of ‘Sergeant Pilko,’ the silver Morley/Morley Bentley, Halusa and Iliffe before the mandatory pit-stops, at which soloists (acclimatised to track conditions) were obliged to remain stationary for 15 seconds but second drivers could resume without penalty. Halusa and the blue Hudson/Morley Bentley were the first in.

Wakeman, who had darted ahead when Williams slithered onto the grass exiting the chicane in heavy traffic on lap 8, stopped two laps later than his team-mate, whose bolide had a flapping front mudguard removed before Hall could be relayed. That gifted Blakeney-Edwards a big lead, although “major gear selection bothers” slowed him, thus Pilkington eroded the deficit to just 2.5 seconds a couple of laps from home, despite his Talbot misfiring and running hot. Learn here about where to buy generic Lasix legitimate.

Blakeney-Edwards had something in reserve though, opening the rasping Meadows engine up again to take the chequered flag 6.969s clear of the septuagenarian, with Hall a further 10 seconds behind in third. Iliffe, Halusa and the Hudson/Morley Bentley also finished on the winner’s lap.

A lap down, Philip Champion/Sam Stretton (FN Super Sports), Perkins, Channel Islander David Ozanne (Aston Martin Speed Model), Lewis and the Ball pere-et-fils Invicta were blanketed by 14 seconds. Adrian van der Kroft (Morgan 4/4 TT Replica) and Richard/Andrew Frankel (MG K3 Magnette) enjoyed good runs, improving from 19th and 22nd respectively on the grid to finish 12th and 14th.