Race 10: Oulton Park 25.08.19 – Result

Image: Paul Lawrence

If it’s the August Bank Holiday then it’s the fabulous Oulton Park Gold Cup, this year featuring truly wonderful weather and watched by an enthusiastic crowd who lined the circuit with an eclectic mix of classic cars and picnic baskets brimming with tasty treats.

Download: Full race results

POS NO CLASS DRIVER CAR LAPS GAP BEST
01 72 C Jim Dean Lotus Europa 15 00.000 2:03.235
02 24 B Charles Barter Datsun 240Z 15 01.794 2:04.170
03 52 I Jason Minshaw Escort RS2000 15 06.663 2:04.401
04 01 C Jez Clark Lotus Elan S4 15 06.713 2:03.500
05 20 C Mark Leverett Lotus Elan S4 15 16.569 2:05.482
06 131 A Mark Bennett MGB GTV8 15 1:00.203 2:07.638
07 91 I Steve Worrad Datsun YB110 15 15.068 2:10.821
08 128 B John Hall Datsun 240Z 15 12.393 2:10.808
09 17 I Gary Thomas Lotus 7 14 -1 Lap 2:10.296
10 07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 14 03.015 2:14.504
11 28 D Simon Baines Porsche 924 14 37.041 2:16.839
12 76 D Dave Erwin Alfa Romeo GTV2000 14 23.117 2:17.589
13 10 C Nigel Ashley Lotus Europa 14 07.804 2:12.086
14 56 D Sarah Hutchison Lancia Beta 13 -2 Laps 2:20.382
NOT CLASSIFIED
DNF 101 I Peter Bowyer MGB Roadster 12 -3 Laps 2:11.026
DNF 69 I Peter Head MGB Roadster 11 -4 Laps 2:26.572
DNF 03 D Pete Connell Porsche 924 08 -4 Laps 3:11.044
DNF 02 A Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type 03 -12 Laps 2:06.970
DNF 11 C Howard Payne Lotus Europa 03 -12 Laps 2:06.971
DNF 19 C Will Leverett Lotus Europa 03 -12 Laps 2:03.520
DNF 37 B Nic Strong Marcos 3000GT 03 -13 Laps 2:06.526
DNF 98 A Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 02 -13 Laps 0.00.000
DNF 56 D Mark Oldfield Porsche 924 02 -13 Laps 0.00.000
FASTEST LAP
72 C Jim Dean Lotus Europa 02 78.64mph 2:03.235
24 B Charles Barter Datsun 240Z 05 78.04mph 2:04.170
52 I Jason Minshaw Escort RS2000 09 77.90mph 2:04.401
02 A Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type 02 76.32mph 2:06.970
07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 10 72.05 2:14.504
28 D Simon Baines Porsche 924 06 70.82 2:16.839

Race 10: Oulton Park 24.08.19 – Entry List

Usually the highlight of our Classic 70s Summer of events, a 30 minute race around the wonderful Oulton Park circuit which follows the natural contours of the Cheshire countryside.

The two main contenders in the title race Adam Bagnall with his Jaguar E-Type and the Lotus Elan of current champion Jez Clark both have class rivals who will be pushing to take championship points away from them at every opportunity. Kevin Kivlochan and Mark Bennett have both beaten Adam in recent races whilst Will Leverett is currently providing Jez with some serious opposition.

With qualifying on Saturday with racing Sunday the circuit will also be hosting Classic Car Displays and an Artisan Market, celebrating 60 years of the Mini and if you like you action to travel sideways Heritage Stock Cars and Rally Car demonstrations are always spectacular.

Saturday Qualifying: 14.50 – 15.05
Sunday Race 1: 13.50 – 14.20
Live timing: https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

NODRIVERCARCLASSPOINTSCLASS POSITION
01Jez ClarkLotus Elan S4C99C-01
02Adam BagnallJaguar E-TypeA102A-01
03Peter ConnellPorsche 924D15D-11
07David TomkinsonTriumph SpitfireE49E-01
10Nigel AshleyLotus EuropaC16C-06
11Howard PayneLotus EuropaC49C-04
14Chris HollandLotus SevenC20C-05
17Gary ThomasLotus SevenINANA
19Will LeverettLotus EuropaC60C-02
20Mark LeverettLotus ElanC55C-03
24Charles BarterDatsun 240ZB42B-02
28Simon BainesPorsche 924D26D-3
52Nigel ParryEscort RS2000INANA
56Sarah HutchisonLancia BetaD10D-13=
57Mark OldfieldPorsche 924D18D-08=
68Jon WagstaffAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVD76D-01
69Peter HeadMGB RoadsterDTBATBA
72Jim DeanLotus EuropaC07C-08
76Dave ErwinAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVD10D-13=
91Steve WorradDatsun YB110INANA
98Kevin KivlochanMorgan Plus 8A69A-02
101Peter BowyerMGB RoadsterI NANA
128John HallDatsun 260ZBTBATBA
131Mark BennettMGB-GTV8A55A-03

Race 9: Croft 04.08.19 – Result

Will Leverett made a break whilst Keki Kivlochan and Jez Clark kept each other occupied. Great battle between Mark Leverett who came through from the back, Howard Payne and John Williams. The mid field from 12th – 16th were separated by less than a second after 12 hectic laps.

Download full weekend results

Image: Charlie Wooding Photography

POS NO CLASS DRIVER CAR LAPS GAP BEST
01 19 C Will Leverett Lotus Europa 13 00.000 1:38.360
02 98 A Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 13 05.221 1:38.377
03 01 C Jez Clark Lotus Elan 13 01.830 1:38.169
04 20 C Mark Leverett Lotus Elan 13 29.751 1:39.380
05 11 C Howard Payne Lotus Europa 13 11.914 1:39.343
06 30 B John Williams Porsche 911SC 13 04.928 1:39.343
07 37 B Nic Strong Marcos 3000GT 13 01.126 1:42.203
08 02 A Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type 13 02.321 1:42.229
09 35 A Robert Gate Jaguar E-Type 13 16.180 1:43.261
10 14 C Chris Baxter Lotus Seven S4 13 26.534 1:44.771
11 146 I Tris Simpson Ferrari 308GT 13 07.031 1:44.262
12 06 1 Johan Denekamp TVR Tuscan 12 -1 Lap 1:45.624
13 68 D Jon Wagstaff Alfa Romeo GTV 12 01.168 1:46.413
14 12 D Neil Brown Lotus Eclat 12 00.192 1:46.547
15 61 D Lawrence Alexander Alfa Romeo Alfetta 12 01.090 1:46.803
16 07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 12 00.796 1:46.812
17 57 D Mark Oldfield Porsche 924 12 12.658 1:47.464
18 28 D Simon Baines Porsche 924 12 11.305 1:46.704
19 03 D Pete Connell Porsche 924 11 -2 Laps 1:58.613
NOT CLASSIFIED
DNF 121 I Adrian Smith Fiat X19 02 -11 Laps 2:08.171
FASTEST LAP
19 C Will Leverett Lotus Europa 09 77.77mph 1:38.360
98 A Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 12 77.76mph 1:38.377
30 B John Williams Porsche 911SC 12 76.55mph 1:39.930
146 I Tris Simpson Ferrari 308GT 05 73.37mph 1:44.262
68 D John Wagstaff Alfa Romeo 2000GTV 10 71.89mph 1:46.413
07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 10 71.62mph 1:46.812

Race 8: Croft 03.08.19 – Result

Living up to expectation as one of our Classic 70s Summer events, featuring a three way battle for the lead just grabbed by Jez Clark. Lots of action mid field, considered to be the ‘race of the day.’

Download full weekend results

Image: Charlie Wooding Photography

POS NO CLASS DRIVER CAR LAPS GAP BEST
01 01 C Jez Clark Lotus Elan 12 00.000 1:38.551
02 98 A Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 12 01.500 1:38.500
03 19 C Will Leverett Lotus Europa 12 00.459 1:38.169
04 30 B John Williams Porsche 911SC 12 15.348 1:40.246
05 11 C Howard Payne Lotus Europa 12 02.146 1:39.744
06 45 I Rupert Ashdown Lotus Elan 12 01.509 1:40.174
07 37 B Nic Strong Marcos 3000GT 12 22.669 1:41.907
08 02 A Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type 12 01.143 1:42.157
09 35 A Robert Gate Jaguar E-Type 12 08.600 1:40.717
10 146 I Tris Simpson Ferrari 308GT 12 27.173 1:44.280
11 12 D Neil Brown Lotus Eclat 12 05.519 1:45.543
12 68 D Jon Wagstaff Alfa Romeo GTV 12 01.038 1:45.093
13 61 D Lawrence Alexander Alfa Romeo Alfetta 12 09.241 1:46.258
14 14 C Chris Baxter Lotus Seven S4 12 03.999 1:45.353
15 06 1 Johan Denekamp TVR Tuscan 11 -1 Lap 1:46.626
16 07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 11 01.558 1:46.537
17 57 D Mark Oldfield Porsche 924 11 04.243 1:46.770
18 28 D Simon Baines Porsche 924 11 10.393 1:47.629
19 03 D Pete Connell Porsche 924 10 -2 Laps 2:02.565
NOT CLASSIFIED
DNF 20 C Mark Leverett Lotus Elan 04 -8 Laps 1:39.544
DNF 121 I Adrian Smith Fiat X19 04 -8 Laps 2:02.565
FASTEST LAP
19 C Will Leverett Lotus Europa 09 77.92mph 1:38.169
98 A Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 12 77.66mph 1:38.500
45 I Rupert Ashdown Lotus Elan 12 76.36mph 1:40.246
30 B John Williams Porsche 911SC 04 76.31mph 1:40.246
68 D John Wagstaff Alfa Romeo 2000GTV 12 72.79mph 1:45.093
07 E David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire 10 71.80mph 1:46.537

Croft 03/04.08.19 – Entry List

One of the standout events of our Classic 70s Summer, the annual visit to the Croft Retro and Classic Weekend. Now into its ninth year, and established as a major highlight on the North-East region’s social calendar.

The evocative 70’s Road Sports category features a mouth-watering array of iconic cars, including a number of British favourites, such as the Jaguar E-Type, Morgan Plus 8 and a wide range of classic Lotus’s including Elan, Europa, Seven and Eclat. Fans will also have their heartstrings tugged by a cavalcade of Italian Alfa Romeo’s including an Alfa Sud Sprint and three Bertone bodied GTV 2000 plus a trio of Porsches will add German engineering excellence to an exciting line up.

Things are hotting up in the battle for the Championship with just five points separating the E-Type of Adam Bagnall from the Lotus Elan of 2018 Champion Jez Clark at the halfway point of the season. John Wagstaff will be looking to consolidate his lead in Class D, but will need to work hard to keep his Alfa Romeo ahead of the potentially quicker Lotus Eclat of Neil Brown.

The two-day event will showcase the very best in historic racing featuring saloons, sports cars and single seaters providing fun for all the family, with retro trade stalls, auto jumbles and a variety of vehicle displays all forming part of this years Croft Retro and Classic extravaganza – a weekend not to be missed!

Saturday
Qualifying: 12.15 – 12.30
Race 1: 17.40 – 18.00
Sunday
Race 2: 15.50 – 16.10


Live timing: https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

NODRIVERCARCLASSPOINTSCLASS POSITION
01Jez ClarkLotus Elan S4C72C-01
07David TomkinsonTriumph SpitfireE29E-01
11Howard PayneLotus EuropaC36C-03=
12Neil BrownLotus EclatD27D-02=
14Chris BaxterLotus SevenC05C-07
19Will LeverettLotus EuropaC36C-03=
20Mark LeverettLotus ElanC42C-02
28Simon BainesPorsche 924D13D-07=
30John WilliamsPorsche 911B26B-03
34Justin WilsonAlfa Romeo 2000GTVD02D-16
35Robert GateJaguar E-TypeA07A-04
45Rupert AshdownLotus ElanINANA
57Mark OldfieldPorsche 924D06D-14
61Lawrence AlexanderAlfa Romeo AlfettaD09D-11
67Tim HayesAlfa Sud SprintINANA
68Jon WagstaffAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVD47D-01
76Dave ErwinAlfa Romeo 2000GTVD04D-15
98Kevin KivlochanMorgan Plus 8I39A-03
112Johan DenekampMarcos 1800GTINANA
121Adrian SmithFiat X19INANA

Races 6 & 7: Anglesey 13/14.07.19 – Entry List

The Historic Sports Car Club’s first race meeting at the spectacular Anglesey track in North Wales on 13-14 July is set to be a great weekend by the sea. With a full programme of 20 races, a total entry of more than 170 cars, the weekend will be a very special tribute to the life of Welsh racing driver Tom Pryce 

The 70s Road Sports Championship races are likely to be close between the current champion Jeremy Clark, Lotus Elan and the Datsun 240Z of Charles Barter. Jim Dean will be hoping to repeat his form from Brands Hatch, whilst any slip from the leading trio will see the Lotus Elan of Mark Leverett, Adam Bagnall’s Jaguar E-Type and Kevin Kivlochan’s Morgan Plus 8 move into contention. 

Class D have really embraced the spirit of this event which includes four Bertone styled Alfa Romeo 2000 GTVs a Lancia Beta and the British Racing Green Triumph GT6 of Martin Dyson.

Saturday Qualifying: 09.50 – 10.05
Saturday Race 1: 13.35 – 13.55
Sunday Race 2: 11.55 – 12.15
Live timing: https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

© Tom Pryce image LAT
NODRIVERCARCLASSPOINTSCLASS POSITION
01Jez ClarkLotus Elan S4C51C-01
02Adam BagnallJaguar E-Type S2A63A-01
07David TomkinsonTriumph SpitfireE21E-01
18Martin DysonTriumph GT6D00D-00
20Mark LeverettLotus ElanC30C-04
24Charles BarterDatsun 240ZB41B-01
28Simon BainesPorsche 924D23D-04
30John WilliamsPorsche 911B12B-03
34Justin WilsonAlfa Romeo 2000GTVD00D-00
44Tom OwenDatsun 240ZBNANA
56Sarah HutchisonLancia BetaD10D-07
68Jon WagstaffAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVD27D-01
71Jim DeanLotus ElanC00C-00
76Dave ErwinAlfa Romeo 2000GTVD00D-00
77Simon HolmesmithAlfa Romeo 2000GTVD05D-14
91Steve WorrardDatsun YB110INANA
92Brian JarvisPorsche 924D00D-00
96Anthony RossAlfa Romeo SpiderINANA
98Kevin KivlochanMorgan Plus 8A27A-03
101Peter BowyerMGB RoadsterINANA
131Mark BennettMGB V8B36B-02

Race 5: Brands Hatch Superprix 30.06.19 – Entry List

70s will be returning to the magnificent Brands Hatch Superprix for the first time since 2017 the 30 minute race will be a wonderful challenge for competitors taking place towards the end of a full weekend of historic motorsport organised by the HSCC.

Sunday qualifying for 70s begins at 10.25 for 15 minutes
Round 5 – Sunday: Starts at 16.50 for 30 minutes  

Live timing will be available to view at: 
https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

Image: Martin Cooper

NO DRIVER CAR CLASS POINTS CLASS POSITION
01 Jez Clark Lotus Elan S4 C 37 C-01
02 Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type S2 A 51 A-01
03 Pete Connell Porsche 924 D 03 D-11
04 Ken Rorrison Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV D 11 D-05
10 Nigel Ashley Lotus Europa C 12 C-06
11 Howard Payne Lotus Europa C 30 C-02
14 Chris Holland Lotus 7 C 15 C-05
19 Will Leverett Lotus Europa C 27 C-03
20 Mark Leverett Lotus Elan C 23 C-04
25 William Jenkins Porsche 914-6 I NA NA
28 Simon Baines Porsche 924 D 00 D-00
30 John Williams Porsche 911 B 12 B-03
42 Dave Karaskas TVR 3000M B 00 B-00
44 Tom Owen Datsun 240Z I NA NA
45 Rupert Ashdown Lotus Elan I NA NA
56 Sarah Hutchison Lancia Beta D 04 D-10
61 Lawrence Alexander Alfa Romeo Alfetta D 00 D-00
72 Jim Dean Lotus Europa C 00 C-00
73 Jason Brooks TVR 3000M B 00 B-00
74 Mike Neumann Alfa Romeo 2000GTV D 00 D-00
76 Dave Erwin Alfa Romeo 2000GTV D 00 D-00
96 Adam Ross Alfa Romeo Spider D 06 D-07
114 Jai Sharma Ferrari 308 B 00 B-00
128 John Hall Datsun 240Z B 00 B-00
131 Mark Bennett MGB GTV8 A 32 A-02
151 John Dickson Ferrari 308 B 00 B-00
308 Greg Thornton Ferrari 308 I NA NA

Race 3 & 4: Cadwell Park – Entry List 15/16.06.19

The first double-header weekend of the 70s Road Sport season on the twists and turns on the wonderful and picturesque Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire. A full grid, plus the exciting prospect of John Hillon in his freshly prepared VW Scirocco GTi.

Saturday qualifying for 70s begins at 09.00 for 15 minutes.

Race one – Saturday: Starts at 13.10 for 20 minutes.

Race two – Sunday: Starts at 09.55 for 20 minutes

Live timing will be available to view at: 
https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

 

Midfield battle between the Lancia Monte Carlo of Mark Oldfield the Alfa Romeo of Mike Neuman, Will Morton, Porsche 924 and the TVR 3000M of Dave Karaskas

NO DRIVER CAR CLASS POINTS CLASS POSITION
01 Jez Clark Lotus Elan S4 C 10 C-03
02 Adam Bagnall Jaguar E-Type S2 A 31 A-01
07 David Tomkinson Triumph Spitfire E 07 E-01
10 Nigel Ashley Lotus Europa C 09 C-04
12 Neil Brown Lotus Eclat D 01 D-10
14 Chris Holland Lotus 7 C 07 C-06
19 Will Leverett Lotus Europa C 12 C-02
20 Mark Leverett Lotus Elan C 09 C-04
21 Will Morton Porsche 924 D 09 D-03
24 Charles Barter Datsun 240Z B 14 B-01
26 Glynn Evans Porsche 914-6 D 07 D-04
28 Chris Baines Porsche 924 D 07 D-04
30 John Williams Porsche 911 B 12 B-02
37 Nic Strong Marcos 3000GT B 00 TBA
45 Rupert Ashdown Lotus Elan I NA NA
55 Steve Bellerby TVR 3000M B 00 TBA
57 Mark Oldfield Porsche 924 D 00 TBA
64 Roger Sparrow Porsche 911 I NA NA
65 Steve Cooke Lotus 7 S4 C 00 TBA
67 Tim Hayes Alfa Romeo Sprint I NA NA
77 Simon Holmesmith Alfa Romeo 2000GTV D 05 D-07
81 John Hillon VW Scirocco GTi D 00 TBA
91 Steve Worrard Datsun YB110 I NA NA
98 Kevin Kivlochan Morgan Plus 8 A 00 TBA
101 Peter Bowyer MGB Roadster I NA NA
131 Mark Bennett MGB GTV8 A 19 A-02
151 John Dickson Ferrari 308 B 00 TBA

Race 2: Silverstone International 18.05.19

After a six week break competitors will assemble for the second round of the 70s Road Sports season on the 18 May for a 30 minute race on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit with a fine entry of 35 cars featuring three Ferrari 308s, three Porsche 914/6’s and a Mazda RX7 plus numerous Alfa Romeo Sprints, Spiders, GTVs and Juniors.

Qualifying for 70s begins at 11.50 for 20 minutes and the 30 minute race starts at 17.30

Live timing will be available to view at: 
https://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/hscc

Competitors poised for action at Silverstone
NODRIVERCARCLASSPOINTSCLASS POSITION
01Jez ClarkLotus Elan S4CTBATBA
02Adam BagnallJaguar E-Type S2ATBATBA
03Pete ConnellPorsche 924DTBATBA
04Ken RorrisonAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVDTBATBA
10Nigel AshleyLotus EuropaCTBATBA
11Howard PayneLotus EuropaCTBATBA
12Johan DenekampMarcos 1800GTINANA
14Chris BaxterLotus 7CTBATBA
16Richard GubePorsche 914-6INANA
18Robert PomeroyMorgan Plus 4INANA
19Will LeverettLotus EuropaCTBATBA
20Mark LeverettLotus ElanCTBATBA
24Charles BarterDatsun 240ZBTBATBA
25William JenkinsPorsche 914-6DTBATBA
26Glynn EvansPorsche 914-6DTBATBA
28Chris BainesPorsche 924DTBATBA
30John WilliamsPorsche 911BTBATBA
35Robert GateJaguar E-TypeATBATBA
37Nic StrongMarcos 3000GTBTBATBA
44Tom OwenDatsun 240ZINANA
45Rupert AshdownLotus ElanINANA
50Adam GittingsMG MidgetETBATBA
57Mark OldfieldPorsche 924DTBATBA
61Lawrence AlexanderAlfa Romeo AlfettaDTBATBA
64Roger SparrowPorsche 911INANA
66Trevor TaylorMazda RX7INANA
67Tim HayesAlfa Romeo SprintINANA
68Jon WagstaffAlfa Romeo 2000 GTVDTBATBA
69Peter HeadMGB GTINANA
70Steve SkipworthLotus EuropaCTBATBA
71Jim DeanLotus EuropaCTBATBA
96Adam RossAlfa Romeo SpiderDTBATBA
100Drew NicholsonAlfa Romeo GT JuniorINANA
114Jai SharmaFerrari 308BTBATBA
131Mark BennettMGB GTV8ATBATBA
151John DicksonFerrari 308BTBATBA
308Greg ThorntonFerrari 308INANA

Race 1: Donington Park – Report

And breathe… Time doesn’t stand still when preparing a race car for a new season and actually seems to travel a x2 speed, recording your efforts on an video phone then play it back at half speed doesn’t help at all. Two weeks before the Race 1 of the 2019 70s Road Sports season current Champion Jez Clark had the body of his Elan hung from his garage ceiling like a side of venison.

Early start for the first race of the season ©martincooperphoto

Scott James Temple was trying to navigate through a DVLA quagmire to get his Porsche 924 onto the grid and Mark Oldfield had a screw loose which prevented his new challenger from taking part so transported a pair of deckchairs to the circuit instead, Steve Bellerby appeared to be ready the day after the Silverstone Finals then spotted a fleck of dust on a drop link which threw all his plans into disarray although he was almost certainly the first 70s competitor through the newly installed Donington Park gates on Friday morning.

Peter Connell was trying to track a mysterious wiring problem and in some strange quirk of fate David Tomkinson had four wheels on his car but no engine. After a brief diversion to move house mid-week David had the engine installed back in the Spitfire a comfortable 12 hours before scrutineering, leaving himself plenty of time to fit the exhaust and replace a seized extinguisher cable. Will Morton moved some sheep pens in preparation for lambing season, spotted a Porsche 924 and in the hope that his sheep could keep their legs crossed for one more day loaded it onto the trailer, the result of all this activity was that 27 race cars presented themselves for scrutineering early Saturday morning.   

In the past competitors arriving at Donington Park in late March generally had their senses assailed by the heady aroma of hi-octane aviation fuel and fried onions blown in on a biting wind from the east, but now Garage 39 had become a welcoming feature in the centre of the paddock and this year even the weather was surprisingly pleasant, warm sun shone on competitors who picked up conversations that were left open last October and eagerly went about the business of fiddling and fettling, checking tyre pressures and oil levels in a strangely mesmerizing process mirrored by every competitor up and down the paddock. It is an unwritten law that seatbelt adjustment is always left until the Assembly Area.

Class of 2019. Colour diversity & fun fuelled competition. ©charliewooding

And so with the turn of a key, the flick of a switch or the press of a button the new season began in a flurry of colour, hunting exhaust notes, spitting carburettors and anticipation. Despite the five and a half month gap since the end of the previous season it looked as if we had never been away, although as most competitors posted their quickest times right at the end of the session the suggestion was that more time had been spent during the off season winning favours with close family members than honing the reflexes of a hawk.

Will Leverett’s Europa moved quickly to the top of the timesheets only to be pipped by John Dickson’s Ferrari 308GTB on the last lap of the session by 0.027 sec with Jez Clark’s Elan and the TVR 3000M of Dave Karaskas, hanging on closely in their wake. It was good to see such a variety of cars chasing top honours with Mark Leverett separated from the flamboyantly driven Porsche of John Williams by just 0.044 sec.     

The Cambridge Regional College Team Lotus Europa of Howard Payne qualified ahead Rupert Ashdown’s Historic Road Sport Lotus Elan, the quickest of the invitation class racers, ahead of first two in the big engine Class A, Mark Bennett’s MGB V8 and the E-Type of Adam Bagnall. It was a surprise to see Nic Strong languishing in 11th on the grid as his Marcos 3000GT had been lighting up the speed traps like British tourists on the A16 Autoroute racing across France to catch the last ferry out of Calais at the end of the Easter holidays.

Although qualifying a racy 12th, Steve Bellerby was an unfortunate casualty of the qualifying session when an innocent off track moment resulted in his TVR striking the parked Triumph Spitfire of David Tomkinson which had been sidelined early in the session by a broken gear linkage. Robert Gate was the third of the Class A runners in 13th with the next seven cars covered by 0.800 sec, a menagerie of sports cars that would in period have been representative of the legendary Chequered Flag Garage forecourt. Peter Bowyer’s (Invitation) MGB Roadster headed the group from the Class D leading Lotus Eclat of Neil Brown ahead of Nigel Ashley’s Lotus Europa, invitation regular Tim Hayes’ Alfasud Sprint, Drew Nicholson’s Alfa Romeo GT Junior, the Lotus Seven S4 of Chris Holland and Will Morton’s Lychen Green Porsche 924.

It was a surprise to find Sarah Hutchison’s Lancia Beta another half a second from the back of this group as the Beta was running well and looking fresh and lively. Jon Wagstaff was strangely out of sorts in his Alfa GTV but ahead of Glynn Evans in his tricky Porsche 914-6 which spent part of the session extracting itself from the Old Hairpin gravel although qualifying ahead of Simon Holmesmith’s Alfa GTV 2000 and Adam Ross in the family Alfa 1750 Spider. Pete Connell was probably pleased to get a full qualifying session under his belt after the challenging seasons with his TVR and completing the runners was the non-running David Tomkinson.         

Adam Bagnall’s E-Type at speed during Donington Park meeting ©martincooperphoto

Competitors huddled in groups eagerly awaiting the time sheets like GCSE students on results day to see if their efforts translated in lap times despite a total lack of revision. As Steve Bellerby was unable to satisfactorily repair the TVR, he and Andy set about helping Dave Tomkinson with his Spitfire although the broken gear linkage appeared to be an insurmountable problem. As is the way with 70s a resourceful person wanders up with a solution, on this occasion Adam Bagnall offered to remove the linkage from a GT6 he had sitting at home in his garage.

Outside 70s this might have seemed an optimistic suggestion but Adam had a secret weapon, his son Luke, one of the quickest drivers ever to sit on a 70s grid. A gifted racer who used ‘the limit’ as his baseline then went quicker, if his car wasn’t at the point of throwing itself into a wall at high speed then there was clearly more grip to be found. Returning from a 60 minute journey in 40 minutes with the appropriate part enabled David’s Spitfire to be ready to go with a whopping five minutes to spare. 

Sadly it was in those five minutes that Jez Clark discovered his Elan had an oil leak from a snapped oil pressure sender and was regrettably forced to withdraw from the race.

John Dickson had a great idea to broadcast the race live from his Ferrari, as he sat at the front of the grid the camera pointing at an empty track the start light sequence provided an interesting distraction before the 20 minute race but if John intends to make this style of race performance a habit then perhapshe should stick a hula dancing doll to his dashboard to provide viewers with something to watch.  

John Dickson’s Ferrari 308GTB was dominant at Donington Park ©martincooperphoto

If you ever want to know how to launch a Porsche, John Williams is your man and he was quickly into second position from the third row, pushing Will Leverett back to third, although equally quick off the mark were the E-Type of Adam Bagnall and Nic Strong’s Marcos resulting in Mark Leverett finding himself floundering around in seventh by the end of the second lap before making a good recovery systematically working his way to fourth on the road. Meanwhile Will set off after John’s Ferrari with his usual exuberance, delighting the spectators on the banking with his three wheeling antics. Initially it looked as if Will was closing the gap but 1.4 sec was as close as he got before John eased away from him at a second a lap.  

Dave Karaskas wrestled with his TVR manfully, adopting a driving style resembling the drumming technique of Keith Moon to keep the car in check, until his engine made a noise, not so much a tuneful noise that could be associated with Stevie Nicks but an unsettling discord perhaps better associated with the self-destructive Sid Vicious. The cars of Howard Payne and Robert Gate looked quick and sounded crisp but could not quite maintain the pace of the leaders finishing fifth and sixth. After showing some good early pace the Marcos of Nic Strong began to slip down the order before retiring on lap 10.

A great drive from Mark Bennett in the MGBV8 saw him finish fourth overall ©martincooperphoto

Adam Bagnall and Mark Bennett also found themselves embroiled in an entertaining battle in the second half of the race, which was very much enjoyed by Adam judging by the enthusiastic celebrations as he crossed the line to take Class A honours. As suggested by the qualifying times the mid grid were set for a race long battle, although Drew Nicholsonretired at the end of the first lap and was later seen walking down the pit lane carrying his oil catch tank, it’s wasn’t clear whether this was the only bit of the Alfa he had left or the only bit he thought worth saving. 

Jon Wagstaff found the pace that was missing from qualifying and dragged Sarah Hutchison with him towards the back of Will’s Porsche Morton with the invitation Alfa of Tim Hayes and Glynn Evans 914-6 joining the fun.

Competitive racing throughout the grid with Jon Wagstaff, Alfa Romeo taking the Class victory from Will Morton’s Porsche 924 ©martincooperphoto

Although after a couple more excursions one wondered whether Glynn’s main priority was simply to collect gravel for a garden project. Neil Brown had initially disappeared into a comfortable lead in Class D but his progress was halted on lap five due to a broken fuel pump, leaving a surprised Jon Wagstaff, who jumped past Will Morton mid race to take the Class D spoils with the quote: ‘Just to prove you can make a mess of the day and still come out smelling of roses.’ finishing a credible 12th from  20th on the grid. 

Nigel Ashley and Peter Bowyer also enjoyed an entertaining race and as these two are also business partners it added a bit of extra piquancy to the battle. Unfortunately for Peter having tried every move except under or over to get past Nigel’s Europa, he finally made a move stick two laps from the end only to visit the Redgate beach undoing all his hard work. David Tomkinson suffered a shortage of stopping power from early in the race but after the dramas of qualifying was pleased just to complete the distance satisfied that at least his new engine appeared to be performing well and finishing ahead of Pete Connell who was probably happy to complete a full race distance but will be looking for more pace from his Porsche 924 as the season progresses.

As competitors wound down and filtered into the pitlane there was a sense of a race well run, many looking forward to a celebratory beer although there is always a hint of apprehension whilst waiting to clear post-race scrutineering. Rumours began to circulate that the Leverett’s cars had been held for closer examination, idle speculation suggested wrong colour Martini stripes or that Will had been caught wearing his lucky Guardians of the Galaxy underpants.

Finally it was announced that the Lotuses had been excluded for 1mm oversize choke tubes, Mark and Will were left devastated and feeling very upset and embarrassed. A specification sheet from their engine builder which had been supplied to the HSCC Office and Nigel Edwards clearly specified the correct choke sizes and the Leveretts had trusted the information provided to them. In hindsight Mark says he should have double checked the detail but most of us have jobs, families, a limited amount of time and simply rely on the integrity of our engine builders and preparation specialists.

Whilst most competitors will agree that enforcing rules consistently and impartially is important for the credibility of the Championship,they will also hope that Will and Mark will bounce back with their usual infectious enthusiasm for racing. In light of this experiencewe would suggest that all competitors should check their cars just a little more thoroughly before Silverstone.

Howard Payne, Class winner at Donington in the Cambridge Regional College Team Europa ©martincooperphoto

Howard Payne was awarded the Class C victory, whilst probably not how he would have wanted to win it did provide a nice link as his Europa was featured on the event programme cover.  

Watching the in-car video from John’s Ferrari suggested that his performance was quite dominant but experience tells us that any prediction made after the first race is rarely correct. Despite a healthy grid there were some notable competitors missing at Donington and rumours are that some very interesting cars will be joining the Championship as the season progresses, it could be an amazing year, looking forward to Silverstone already.     

Footnote: 
Following post-race checks instigated by himself John Dickson became aware of a technical issue with his Ferrari that may not comply with the Championship Regulations. In the spirit of competition, rather than quietly take advantage of the situation John has requested that his entry should be reclassified and placed into the Invitation Class and that he should forfeit any Championship points scored at Donington Park.   

With thanks to Martin Cooper martincooperphoto.co.uk and Charlie Wooding www.charliewooding.co.uk for the images.