Last weekend’s “end of term” races at Silverstone for those involved in the Historic Sports Car Club championships closed out the club’s Golden Anniversary year. VR’s European team was there in full force with photographers out on the circuit and the promotional team in the paddock.
Utilizing Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National Circuit, the normal one-day event was extended for its 2016 edition to two days for the first time. Racing involved a panoply of formulae from Historic Formula Fords to the F2s and F5000s of the Derek Bell Trophy, and from Historic Touring Cars to the high-revving sports cars of the Guards Trophy, which generated a great display of outstanding racing. While bright but cool weather played its part on the Saturday, the heavy clouds and rain did what it could to spoil proceedings, but continuing racing through the lunch break allowed organizers to recover time lost to the inclement morning.
Purely by numbers and equality of power, the Formula Ford races (above, Pete Austin photo) proved to be spectacular, particularly in the second of four races where 12 cars vied for victory. In the end, however, the top place was reserved for Callum Grant (Merlyn Mk20) to take championship honors. The Derek Bell Trophy, decided over two races, was the first on a damp-to-drying track and was won by Mark Dwyer in a Formula Two March 742. Jamie Bradshaw took the flag in the second race with his F5000 March on a dry track, with Dwyer just beating Neil Glover in the Chevron B37 that regular readers will remember being profiled in the August 2015 edition of VR.
In the Historic Touring Car races, Mark Jones (Lotus Cortina) and local man John Milicevic (Mini Cooper) went head to head in the first race, again on a damp-to-drying track, with Jones edging out Milicevic for the victory. The second race was more clear-cut as the Ford Falcon of Mike Gardiner simply flew forward to the flag on a completely dry surface. Martin Stretton excelled in the Guards Trophy until a brake caliper issue caused him to retire, his Mk7 Elva fending off the challenge of the Chevrons of Mark Colman and Will and Michael Schryver, with Colman ultimately taking victory. Complete detailed results of all races, including qualifying, at the HSCC finals weekend can be found at www.mstworld.com/results/event/10
The HSCC Championship ensures that the life and quality of historic motor racing is very much alive and well in the UK. The finals weekend was simply a great treat for all fans — for an end of term account it’s therefore a top of the class report for Grahame White and his staff at the HSCC in their 50th Anniversary year www.hscc.org.uk