Cottingham/Girardo take Pall Mall Cup victory on weekend of National action

The Lister-Jaguar Costin pairing of James Cottingham and Max Girardo triumphed over a plethora of Shelby Cobras in the three-hour Pall Mall Cup at Silverstone. While elsewhere over the weekend, there was further racing action at Donington Park and Knockhill

Cottingham/Girardo take Pall Mall Cup victory on weekend of National action

Lister-Jaguars rarely featured in period endurance races, but James Cottingham and Max Girardo reversed that trend on Sunday, outrunning three rampant Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe evocations in the three-hour Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup event, climax of a tremendous livestreamed Motor Racing Legends weekend on Silverstone’s Historic Grand Prix circuit.

The trophy is awarded to teams, however, and Hot Shots – Roy Alderslade/Andrew Jordan (Daytona Coupe), Chris Fox/Nick Pink (Lotus Elan) and Karsten Le Blanc/Christiaen van Lanschot (Austin-Healey 3000 DD300) – outpointed nine rivals.

With damp patches off-line, legacy of a deluge – and mini-tornado – that delayed qualifying, Cottingham forged Girardo’s Costin-bodied car ahead at the start. He spun exiting Luffield, though, under pressure from British Touring Car star Rory Butcher in William Paul’s Jaguar E-type and the 43-car pack, led by Irishman Michael Cullen’s Daytona Coupe and Harvey Stanley in DK Engineering’s Huffaker E-type. “I ran out of lock, reversed off the grass and did a three-point turn,” said Cottingham, who came round 19th.

Butcher then pulled off the Hangar Straight on lap four, triggering a short safety car period. The car was repatriated to the pits, where a broken halfshaft was replaced. Stanley thus led, but Cottingham soon powered back ahead, pursued by Gareth Burnett, charging in Michael Birch’s ex-works/Graham Hill Lotus 15. Miles Griffiths, flying in an Elan, was harassing Burnett when he careered deep into the gravel at Club on lap 14.

Ben Gill thundered his Cobra into fourth before George Pochciol (Daytona Coupe) and Nick Sleep (Cobra) growled past. Burnett relayed Birch and Cottingham installed Girardo a lap apart, with Jordan already middle-stinting for Alderslade. Girardo equalled his partner’s spin tally with a rotation at Stowe before setting into an ultra-consistent rhythm ahead of Birch, who ceded to Richard Bradley after five laps.

Jordan halved his minute deficit to Girardo before Alderslade resumed, with Rob Hall third in French-Lebanese Greg Audi’s Cobra and Jeremy Cottingham fourth in the DK Jag. All eyes were on Bradley, catching the quickest Cobras, with a realistic prospect of a late pop at the Lister. Alas Bradley was squeezed over the kerbs at Becketts during lappery and the Lotus fell to rear suspension failure.

James Colburn (Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT), HRDC Allstars/Classic Alfa, Silverstone 2021

James Colburn (Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT), HRDC Allstars/Classic Alfa, Silverstone 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

The closing stages were gripping as Sam Tordoff (who succeeded Paddy Shovlin in Cullen’s car) and Olly Bryant (who was in for Matt Wrigley in Pochciol’s) reeled Alderslade in. When Girardo put James Cottingham back into the Lister, new tyres were fitted during the mandatory five-minute stop and the Daytona Coupe trio negated their two-lap stagger. Bryant and Tordoff – who set fastest lap – ousted Alderslade, but Cottingham was 47 seconds ahead of Olly at the chequer. Alderslade also went the distance, a lap clear of Audi and Joel Wykeham (who took over Sleep’s Cobra from Alex Montgomery), with class winners Stanley and Marcus Weller, anchoring Will and Michael Schryver’s Elan Shapecraft coupe, seventh and eighth.

Saturday’s Jaguar Classic Challenge was soloist Gary Pearson’s domain, but Richard Kent (ex-Dick Protheroe CUT 7 FHC) snatched the lead briefly, then partner Chris Ward pushed Pearson all the way. Mark Donnor/Andrew Smith completed a Pearsons Engineering 1-2-3.

Diff failure stopped Stirling Moss Trophy race leader Pearson’s Lister-Jag, whereupon Bradley went ahead in Birch’s Lotus. Ward (in Steve Osborne’s Lister, started by Rob Smith) was homing in relentlessly when fuel pick-up issues halted Bradley on the last lap. Second and third were Mark Cole (Lotus 11) and Mike Grant Peterkin/Pat Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper-Jaguar T38), the RAC Woodcote Trophy winners.

Sunday’s Historic Touring Car Challenge was won stylishly on a drying track by Paul Mensley in his Murray Carter Netcomm tribute Ford Sierra RS500 after the Nissan Skylines of Simon Garrad and Ric Wood/Freddie Hunt broke. Top qualifier Hunt, son of 1977 British GP winner James, was shaping up to rob Mensley when fuel pressure issues spoiled his dream.

Richard Dutton (Lotus Cortina) headed the Historic Racing Drivers Club Jack Sears Trophy Pre-’66 saloon set until Jason Minshaw trumped him in Mark Burton’s Ford Mustang. Cortinas were second and third, Neil Brown beating Irishman David Dickinson. Alfista James Colburn jostled through a cracking Dunlop Allstars/Classic Alfa Challenge lead quintet, shading Richard Merrell (two-litre GT Junior) and polesitter brother Ben Colburn (Mini Cooper S).

Donington Park MSVR: Osborne top of Focus Cup class

Jamie Osborne, Focus Cup, Donington Park 2021

Jamie Osborne, Focus Cup, Donington Park 2021

Photo by: Steve Jones

Ginetta Junior graduate Jamie Osborne made it three wins out of three on his debut in the Focus Cup at Donington Park.

From pole, Osborne instantly got to grips with the turbodiesel machinery and made his decisive escape on the opening lap of a wet first race, with Simon Walton heading the initial pursuit from Lewis Ryan. After ousting Ryan on lap three, Simon Rudd reeled in Walton, and took second into the chicane three laps later. But Osborne was a long way up the road, taking the win by over 12 seconds from Rudd, who secured the title. Walton kept Ryan at bay for third.

Ian Mitchell led the opening lap of race two before running wide, and Ryan and Osborne therefore headed a four-car break. Osborne soon got the jump at the Old Hairpin over his rivals, while Ryan, Walton and Rudd slotted in behind.

As Osborne’s lead became unassailable again, second became a four-car battle, with Scott Parkin latching on. Into the chicane for the fifth time, Parkin emerged in third and immediately closed in on Ryan. Within a lap, Parkin was clear in second, taking the flag 4.7s down on the dominant Osborne. Rudd just held onto third from Ryan as the rain returned.

With Osborne starting sixth on a partially reversed grid for the finale, a third win was looking unlikely. Gary Mitchell led initially from Walton, while Osborne was already third by the end of the opening lap. The safety car then made an appearance, and from the green flag Osborne tried to go around Mitchell’s outside at Redgate. As he ran wide on the wet track, he dropped to seventh, with Parkin up to second and Walton duelling with Ryan for third.

With Walton in the Redgate gravel a lap later, Osborne was back to third. He quickly picked off Parkin, before snatching Mitchell’s lead into Coppice with a lap to go to complete his impressive hat-trick. Mitchell was runner-up, while Parkin managed to hold off Rudd for his second podium of the day.

Mark Charteris (Mallock Mk21), Clubmans Sports Prototype, Donington Park 2021

Mark Charteris (Mallock Mk21), Clubmans Sports Prototype, Donington Park 2021

Photo by: Steve Jones

No-one could live with Mark Charteris’s Clubmans Sports Prototype pace. His Mallock Mk21 had already started to build a substantial lead over poleman Mathieu Gauthier-Thornton’s Phantom, which was quicker than the top CSP1 cars in the wet qualifying, in race one when the safety car came out for four laps. From the green flag, Charteris was soon clear again, with Gauthier-Thornton and champion Steve Dickens’s Mallock escaping too, while Peter Richings led a three-way fight for fourth. As the lead trio held station to the flag, Clive Wood’s Mallock hit the front of the pursuers from lap seven of nine.

The second race was red-flagged just before a torrential downpour and it was a lights-to-flag victory for Charteris again. Dickens was second early on, with Richings taking Steve Chaplin (Phantom) for third. But Wood recovered from a first-lap off to claim a late second, aided by Dickens pitting with brake problems. Richings was third.

There was another double winner in the Elise Trophy, with Jason McInulty reigning supreme. He led from the opening lap of race one but, behind him, there was a duel between David Alexander and Alex Ball, split by just 0.218s at the flag, with Mick Edwards a solitary fourth.

Matthias Radestock was in charge in race two, but he couldn’t stop McInulty’s charge through the field. From 10th on the grid, he led into Redgate on lap nine of 12, heading home Radestock, Edwards and Mark Yates.
Chris Bassett’s Peugeot 306 GTI led from the start of the first Track Attack race, but he was almost caught by David Clark (Renault 5 Turbo). Bassett pitted from the lead of race two, leaving Andrew Neal’s 106 with the victory spoils by inches from Clark.

Knockhill SMRC: Weddell lands the Mini crown

Michael Weddell, Scottish Minis, Knockhill 2021

Michael Weddell, Scottish Minis, Knockhill 2021

Photo by: Jim Moir

Knockhill was run in the reverse direction for the Scottish Motor Racing Club’s season finale, but there was no reversal in fortunes for Michael Weddell, who sealed the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup crown in the opening race.

The track was damp and slippery after morning rain and the Scottish Minis opened with the two championships running together, but split on the grid. The Cooper S R53 cars started ahead and Andrew Lamont won both races. But the less powerful Cooper Cup cars had three different winners.

Neil Hose passed long-time race-one leader Weddell on the penultimate lap, but Weddell stayed in second and won his first championship title. Hose also led race two until lap four of 12, before Craig Blake grabbed the advantage and held off Hose and Dylan O’Donnell to win.

The third race featured only Cooper cars and the top six finishers were reversed on the grid. From the second row, Chad Little stormed into the lead, but he spun halfway round the lap, handing O’Donnell the place. But Little was on a charge, recovering to lead by lap six, and then pulling clear to win. O’Donnell and Hose battled over second, until Hose went off at the hairpin on the last lap, so Gordon Long took third.

Oly Mortimer, Scottish Fiesta ST Cup, Knockhill 2021

Oly Mortimer, Scottish Fiesta ST Cup, Knockhill 2021

Photo by: Jim Moir

The Scottish Fiesta ST Cup was dominated by three guest drivers. Multiple saloon champion Oly Mortimer took two good wins with the returning 2013 Fiesta ST champion George Orr second both times. Orr dropped to fourth in race one, then got back to second after battling past Mini JCW racer Liam Lambert, who lost third on the final tour to new champion Steven Gray. Mortimer again got clear in race two, while Orr ran with Lambert on his bumper. But Lambert was disqualified post-race for overtaking during a safety car period, promoting Gray to third.

John Kinmond led from pole in the first Scottish Classics race in his Rover SD1. But Shonny Paterson was on the move in his Triumph TR8, demoting the Porsche 911 of Adam Bernard on lap two, before powering past the Rover for the lead as they exited the hairpin mid-race. Second for Kinmond still gave him the championship, while Andrew Graham put another TR8 third.

Race two followed a similar pattern: Kinmond again led from the start and Paterson outbraked Bernard at the first corner to chase Kinmond. They ran nose to tail for a couple of laps, before the Rover slid wide exiting the hairpin. Paterson dived past in the TR8, and then pulled away. Kinmond kept second despite a late challenge from Philip Russell’s BMW 3 Series.

Scottish C1 Cup rookie Sam Corson took two fine wins. In race one, he led home Kyle Nisbet, Ryan Smith and reigning champion Ross Dunn, with 1.4 seconds covering the top four. Corson took the lead on lap two in the second contest from Nisbet, eventually winning from Smith. Dunn ran a close fourth behind Calum Conway and retained the title. His main rival for the crown, Dan Martin, put in an heroic drive from 16th to fifth but it was not enough.

Reports by Marcus Pye, Peter Scherer and Kevin Pick. Pics by Mick Walker, Steve Jones and Jim Moir. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine.

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