Racing on Silverstone’s 1.6-mile National Circuit, the HSCC championship finals attracted some fine grids with a great variety of cars, most of which were making their last outing of the season prior to the winter lay-up. That’s apart from some of the Formula Atlantic, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 cars that will soon be loaded aboard a ship heading to New Zealand. ‘We were out with our F1 car at Donington last week and are here today with our F5000 Lola T400, and are really giving it a good shakedown before it goes to New Zealand for the winter Tasman Series,’ said Mark Dwyer.
The racing Lyons family, Frank, wife Judy and son Michael had entered their 1974 Gurney Eagle FA74, 1974 Lola T332 and 1974 Lola T400 respectively. ‘We’ve had a really good season and Michael had a win at Monaco in May with his ex-Rupert Keegan Hesketh 30AT, and if you’re going to win an historic F1 race anywhere, what better place than Monaco,’ enthused Frank. ‘Michael also had two wins at Donington last weekend at the Masters and also came 2nd in the FIA modern European GTs with a Ferrari. At the Silverstone Classic we had full grids and a couple of very good races. I’ve had a great year and won almost by default because I was consistent, but felt I’d not been quick enough. I’ve done a lot of racing this year and getting in and out of different cars isn’t maybe the smartest move!’
It had also been a good year for Nick and Al Fleming racing Lotus Elans and an F2 Ralt RT1, with the cars run by Craig Beck Racing. As a little treat, CBR organised some support with the lovely Annabel and Becca to add a touch of glamour to the day’s proceedings. It must have worked, as Nick won the day’s Derek Bell Trophy race in his F2 Ralt RT1!
In total, the meeting featured a nine race programme, each of 20 minutes duration and with a rather wet track there were plenty of spinners during the morning practice session. Dan Cox had already sewn up the Historic Touring Car Championship with his Class B 1965 Lotus Cortina at Oulton Park finishing 13th with a broken gearbox, but nevertheless was still relishing a good outing. ‘I race to have fun, it’s not all about pots, but if they come along then that’s all well and good,’ he grinned! Lancia Aurelia fancier Chris Gawne now lives in Italy, but that doesn’t stop him from flying over and taking to the track in his 1953 Aurelia B20 GT Series III that he’s campaigned since 2002, but hasn’t raced much during the last 18 months. ‘The track is incredibly slippery today and some kind generous person has dumped some oil too, so in places it’s lethal out there,’ he pointed out. ‘My Aurelia hasn’t got a lot of power, but it’s very well balanced and I’m really looking forward to a full season of competition next year.’
Tony Bianchi is a regular at HSCC races with various cars, but today he was driving his 1968 Chevron B8 – its first and last outing of 2012 – giving his Brabham BT5 a well earned rest. ‘We did the Tour Britannia last week in my MGB and survived, so that car has gone to bed now and I’m here today to support Tony’, said his wife Pia.
John Shaw has always driven road going Porsche 911s, so when it came to his choice of racing car, naturally it had to be a 911. He prepared his 1969 2.0 litre car for competition himself. ‘This is only my second year of racing and I’m currently lying first in my class and fifth overall this year and the Porsche has been good,’ he says. ‘I’ve left the suspension fairly soft so it handles reasonably well in the wet, but gives a little away in the dry.’
Whatever your particular penchant may be in the way of track cars, there was plenty of action to enjoy at Silverstone.