The 25-minute Sussex Trophy race for sports cars raced between 1955 and 1960 witnessed a bewildering number of lead changes. Fan favourite Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, whose first race was way back in 1957, led the early stages after getting the jump on pole sitter Jamie McIntyre’s 4.6-litre Chevrolet V8-powered Lister ‘Nobbly’ at the start.
The roles were reversed shortly between half-distance as journalist Mark Hales closed in on Williams’ Tojeiro-Jaguar aboard Derek Hood’s Lister-Jaguar. Former GP driver Jean-Marc Gounon was on showboating form aboard Sir Anthony Bamford’s Ferrari 196S Dino and soon deposed Julian Majzub’s thundering Sadler-Chevrolet V8 for fourth. The French star then set about dragging himself onto the tail of the squabbling leading trio.
McIntyre was made to work hard as his pursuers threatened to pounce and lost the lead after avoiding an errant backmarker, and dropped to third. Williams retook the lead with nine minutes to go with Hales sliding inside towards Fordwater only for McIntyre to take both of them as they exited three abreast out of the corner in what may well be the move of the weekend. Hales took Whizzo into Woodcote, the septuagenarian ace’s Tojeiro losing ground to a hard-charging Gounon who was sensational under braking. McIntyre looked as though he’d dropped the ball on the last lap after a very sideways moment but the supernaturally brave Scot held on for the victory from Hales while Williams fended off Gounon to the end. Majzub was fifth from Maserati ‘Birdcage’ driver Alan Minshaw.
When asked after the race about his epic overtaking maneuver, McIntyre laughed: “There wasn’t a lot of room but we just got past. I’m a relative newcomer but it was a great privilege to race against people who I admired growing up.” Hales quipped: “I’ll have to let down his tyres in future!” Whizzo said: “Age and cunning was beaten by speed and youth; I buggered the tyres and brakes. The boys drove a brilliant race and kept it clean.”