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Champions crowned at HSCC and BRSCC meetings

National champions were crowned up and down the country last weekend, as the Historic Sports Car Club and British Racing & Sports Car Club were in action at Silverstone and Snetterton

GUARDS 11 Simon JACKSON 146 steve nuttall 003

Peter de la Roche’s Guards Trophy title aspirations may have dwindled alarmingly when his Lotus 23B spun into the Luffield gravel bed and was hit by Dan Balfour’s Chevron B8, damaging its steering. With joint second-placed John Davison absent, a class win for Stephen Nuttall would equal de la Roche’s score, but his B8’s engine blew spectacularly, reprieving Peter, one of five Historic Sports Car Club champions crowned on its Silverstone finals weekend.

Four Lenhams in the top six at the flag was unprecedented, Simon Jackson winning from Rob and Ben Tusting. Ross Hyett’s Ginetta G4R topped the GTs. De la Roche had won Saturday’s pre-1961 Formula Junior race from Ray Mallock (U2), Andrew Hibberd (Lola Mk2) and new double champion Nic Carlton-Smith (Kieft). Graham Barron (Gemini Mk2) led the front-engined championship into Sunday’s decider, but diff failure at the start meant ‘Il Barrone Rampante’ could only watch as Mallock (71) used his guile to defeat de la Roche and snatch the title.

A broken carb float stopped Jack Moody’s Lotus Cortina under the strain of keeping Neil Wood’s pristine Ford Anglia in check in the Touring Car opener. Beating British Touring Car racer Adam Morgan, debuting dad Russell’s Mustang, was a proud moment for Wood. Young Harry Barton (BMW 1800Ti) sealed the title with a careful class win, then pipped Nick Paddy (Cooper S) to third behind Wood and Lukas Halusa (Alfa Romeo GTA) on Sunday.

Craig Dolby was leading the Classic F3 opener in Ian Ingram’s Ralt-VW RT3 when it was red-flagged with title aspirant Stephen Barlow’s RT3 in the gravel at Luffield and Richard Trott’s ex-John Lewis/Barrie Pusey Chevron B43 parked, having jumped out of gear. Dolby’s engine overheated before the restart, won by Trott from the Argos of Paul Dibden (ex-David Sears JM6) and Louis Hanjoul (JM1).

Trott’s retirement from the finale left Dibden and Barlow, then Richard Cooke and Hanjoul running in pairs. Only by setting fastest lap near the end did Barlow outpoint Dibden, rewarding Graham Brunton’s team, which had repaired the ex-Neto Jochamowitz Ralt after Stephen bent a front corner in testing.

Second in a frenetic B-Sport (Formula Ford 1600-engined) division to rival Clive Wood was sufficient for Tom Muirhead to retain his Classic Clubmans crown. Wood, Muirhead and Barry Webb’s arrival at Becketts abreast on one lap was sensational! Mark Charteris and John Harrison lapped the rest in their 1700cc A-Sport cars.
Enjoying his ex-Bill Gowdy Ralt, Marc Mercer harassed Neil Glover in Saturday’s Aurora Trophy race, until a loose wheel prompted Glover – carrying a 10-second jump start penalty – to park his F5000 Chevron after Copse, triggering reds.

Rory Smith (Ralt RT4) and Matt Wrigley – giving his ex-Giacomo Agostini Chevron-BMW B42 an outing – led the chase. “On a mission”, Glover charged from the back to win Sunday’s twice safety-car-disrupted sequel, from Mercer and Martin Wood.

Outgoing champion Graham Fennymore (Reynard SF81) and successor Benn Simms (Reynard SF77) battled in Historic FF200

Outgoing champion Graham Fennymore (Reynard SF81) and successor Benn Simms (Reynard SF77) battled in Historic FF200

Photo by: Mick Walker

With 20 Reynards among 30 Historic FF2000s – and designer Adrian Reynard in the thick of the fight – two stirring races fell to the past two years’ outstanding combatants. Outgoing champion Graham Fennymore and successor Benn Simms each beat the other in tight, clean, duels. Simms made the score nine-six on Sunday, when he removed his car’s nose undertray and gurney flaps to meet 2023 regs, and set another fastest lap! Ian Pearson (Royale RP30) and Ollie Roberts (SF79) led the chase, but seventh and fifth secured third in the table for grafter Lee Bankhurst (RP30).

Runaway Historic Formula Ford champion Samuel Harrison imperiously chalked his eighth and ninth round victories onto the class’s blackboard. Saturday’s margin was exacerbated by the lapped Zoe Newall, between Harrison and chasers Sam Mitchell and Rob Smith (Merlyns) during a full-course caution. Having not linked the crocodile, Newall was dilatory at the green, which cost them several seconds.

Mitchell was almost 18s adrift at the chequer, clear of Matt Wrigley, Simon Toyne and Smith. Sunday’s race followed Saturday’s pattern, but Mitchell and Wrigley were penalised five seconds for exceeding track limits, promoting Smith and feisty Scot Ross Drybrough (March 709) to second and third.

As understudy to British GT racer Michael O’Brien, competing at Donington Park, teenager Harrison hopped into SpeedSport’s Brabham BT6 and won both Formula Junior rear-engined races on an impressive class debut. Alex Ames (ex-Mike Hailwood BT6) forged ahead briefly on Sunday, and kept the Yorkshireman honest as his seasonal tally eclipsed 20 wins. Without first gear, Sam Wilson started his ex-Gerard Racing/John Taylor T59 from the back, catching third-placed Andrew Hibberd (Lotus 22) on Saturday and grabbing the place on day two. Benn Simms (Caravelle) dominated his division.

The Classic FF1600 races reminded onlookers of period BRDC aces, with Richard Tarling playing (the spectating) David Wheeler in an SDC Royale RP26, 2021-22 conqueror Jordan Harrison taking 1978 champion Peter Morgan’s Lola T540 role and Rick Morris as himself in a Royale RP29 liveried per his original. Tarling won the opener from Harrison and Morris, and Sunday’s mesmerising thriller finished similarly, before Tarling was protested for exceeding track limits at Copse and Becketts and fell to third.

Julian Barter battled past Andrew Wenman – whose Morgan +8 retired – to win the 70s Road Sports round in his TVR 3000M from Nic Strong (Marcos 3000GT) and William Pratt (Morgan). Jim Dean hammered past Howard Payne in their Lotus Europa Class C duel after pacemaker Will Leverett’s Elan fell. The best dice featured Gary Thomas (Lotus 7) and David Tomkinson (TVR Vixen) inches apart disputing Class E before the latter spun at 100mph exiting Copse.

‘KeKi’ Kivlochan’s AC Cobra repelled a phalanx of five Morgans – initially Will Plant, Oliver Pratt, Peter Garland, John Shaw and Wenman – to snare Historic Road Sports gold from the first four Moggie men, with Robert Rowe a fine sixth in Larry Kennedy’s Elan S1. Johan Denekamp (TVR Tuscan) is provisionally champion.

Snetterton BRSCC: Mazda champions decided in thrillers 

Will Blackwell-Chambers took
the Supercup title to go with his Mk1 championship crowns

Will Blackwell-Chambers took the Supercup title to go with his Mk1 championship crowns

Photo by: Richard Styles

New champions were crowned at Snetterton in each of the British Racing & Sports Car Club’s Mazda MX-5 championships.

The closest contest came in the Supercup for Mk3 machines, where Will Blackwell-Chambers added to his previous Mk1 crowns. He won Saturday’s opener after Ali Bray lost a maiden victory when his car failed technical scrutineering for non-compliant cam timing, but Bray has subsequently appealed the decision. Title challenger Colin Bysouth could only manage fourth as he struggled with understeer.

New tyres ditched, and with further set-up tweaks, Bysouth’s car was transformed as he won race two. Starting sixth, he had overcome polesitter Blackwell-Chambers for the lead by half-distance. Seventh for the partially reversed finale, and with nine points to make up, Bysouth’s chances looked over when first-corner contact pitched him off.

As Blackwell-Chambers battled Nic Grindrod and Michael Knibbs for the lead, Bysouth charged from outside the top 20 to fifth by the penultimate lap. While Grindrod beat Knibbs for a maiden win, Blackwell-Chambers slipped behind Mk1 graduate Jack Brewer, but fended off Bysouth for the title.

Having wrapped up another 750 Motor Club MX-5 Cup title, Ben Short returned to the BRSCC’s Mk1 championship as a guest driver and claimed a commanding hat-trick. Steve Foden battled for three second places but couldn’t deny Fraser Fenwick the championship. With a healthy pre-weekend points lead, 19-year-old Fenwick avoided trouble on his way to a third and two fifth places. Sebastian Fisher twice edged Callum Greatrex to the podium.

Brian Chandler was a comfortable victor in the Mazda Endurance

Brian Chandler was a comfortable victor in the Mazda Endurance

Photo by: Richard Styles

In the MX-5 Clubman Championship, Jon Pethick passed Declan McDonnell to claim the opener as Chris Dawkins was penalised for track-limits offences, dropping him from first to third. Dawkins made amends to hold off Jack Warry’s charge later in the day, while McDonnell clinched the title with a cautious drive to fifth.

An end-of-season 40-minute mini-enduro featured cars from each category, as well as the fledgling MX-5 Trophy for Mk4 models. Showcasing the Mk4, Brian Chandler was a comfortable victor over the similar car of Ben Taylor. Tom Seldon teamed up with team boss Luke Herbert – the three-time champion making his first MX-5 appearance for two years – to take third in their Mk3.

Alex Sidwell took his Holden Commodore V8 Supercar to two Super Saloons wins. Starting third, Sidwell’s path was cleared by wheel bearing failure preventing Mark De’Ath’s Subaru Impreza from starting and damage to Rod Birley’s Ford Escort WRC after he ran into a hole exiting Wilson. Having gone home to borrow a replacement from his road car, De’Ath cut through the field in the sequel but couldn’t stop Sidwell.

Emax Motorsport’s father-and-son pairing of James and Jake Little made it four consecutive C1 Endurance wins with another double in the three-hour races. JW Bird’s Phil House and Nick Beaumont also repeated their pair of runner-up finishes from Croft.

Reports by Marcus Pye and Mark Paulson. Photography by Mick Walker and Richard Styles. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine

Emax Motorsport’s father-and-son pairing of James and Jake Little made it four consecutive C1 Endurance wins

Emax Motorsport’s father-and-son pairing of James and Jake Little made it four consecutive C1 Endurance wins

Photo by: Richard Styles

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