First blood to Cammish in Porsche battle as Mondello holds opening 2021 meeting

A number of TOCA supports got underway last weekend at Snetterton, including the highly anticipated battle between Harry King and Dan Cammish in Porsche Carrera Cup. There was plenty of silverware for Tiff Needell at the Thruxton Historic and Mondello Park finally held its first race meeting of 2021.

First blood to Cammish in Porsche battle as Mondello holds opening 2021 meeting

Much of the pre-season Porsche Carrera Cup GB attention was focused on past champions Harry King and Dan Cammish, but the opening Snetterton round was the perfect demonstration that this is far from a two-horse race. Young chargers Lorcan Hanafin and Kiern Jewiss both laid down significant markers and showed they cannot be discounted.

Hanafin was elated with his performance in qualifying. His pole time was 0.4 seconds clear of Cammish, while King languished in sixth after a gearbox issue curtailed his session early. “All the publicity went to Dan and Harry and I was lurking in the shadows,” said JTR driver Hanafin. “The team’s given me such a great car.”

Hanafin was eager to make a good start and proved a little too eager as his creeping and then rolling back meant he copped a 10s penalty for being out of position. This left him third in the final classification, little reward after controlling the race with a pace that neither Cammish nor King could match. Cammish inherited the win but said he struggled to perfect the set-up on his car, while King admitted he dropped too far behind Hanafin and Cammish in the early stages to challenge them.

The reigning champion saved his new tyres for the second race and put in a classic King display. He stormed from fifth to first within two laps and it looked like job done. But he was guilty of pushing too hard and was handed a 5s penalty for abusing track limits, dropping him to third – his worst-ever Carrera Cup finish!

King was angry at the penalty but it meant Jewiss’ excellent defence from Cammish, who had also made progress through the field, netted him the win. “No, I didn’t expect that,” said 2018 British Formula 4 champion Jewiss. “This weekend was all about learning, gaining experience and seeing what we could do.”
He and Hanafin certainly proved what they can do is give Cammish and King plenty to think about this year.

Lewis Brown, Mini Challenge JCW, Snetterton 2021

Lewis Brown, Mini Challenge JCW, Snetterton 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Lewis Brown took two victories in the entire 2020 Mini Challenge season and he matched that tally after the opening event of the new campaign at Snetterton.

Brown’s wins were not straightforward, however, as he had to battle the fast-starting Sam Weller for each. The rookie was instantly on the pace and stormed into the lead from second on the race-one grid before Riches. But his advantage did not last long as polesitter Max Bird grabbed the place back on lap three through Brundle and Nelson, with Brown also pouncing. Brown then made his winning move on the next tour at Wilson and that was how it stayed.

Weller again grabbed the initial lead in race two but this time it lasted less than a lap before Brown fought back out of Murrays to claim another win.

The partially reversed grid for race three set up a battle between Jim Loukes, Brad Hutchison and Ronan Pearson. Hutchison made the defining pass on the second lap, forcing Loukes out wide at Agostini, while Pearson also barged ahead at Oggies.

That was how the top three remained but further back Dan Zelos was on a charge. The 2020 runner-up had only managed a pair of fifths, but made a number of well-timed overtakes to claim fourth in the finale.

Matthew Rees, British F4, Snetterton 2021

Matthew Rees, British F4, Snetterton 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Matthew Rees’ double pole in the opening British Formula 4 race at Thruxton was an impressive achievement for the racing rookie. But an unfortunate wrong call on a 50/50 wet tyre choice left him on the back foot and unable to convert his qualifying pace into victory. But, at Snetterton, he did just that.

The JHR driver made it four out of four with another double pole – and this time he stayed in front. Rees said one area he had been particularly practicing was race starts. That preparation paid off as he made a brilliant getaway in the opener and quickly pulled 1.1 seconds clear.

Thruxton star James Hedley grabbed second at Wilson but was unable to escape from McKenzy Cresswell, leaving Rees to scamper away. And it was the same story in race three. Rees again made a strong start and pulled a gap as Marcos Flack battled past Cresswell.

The reversed-grid second contest was entertaining, with around 10 cars all running line astern in the fight for fourth. Tom Ikin, Kai Askey and Georgi Dimitrov had pulled ahead of these, and Dimitrov grabbed the win with a brilliant double pass around the outside of Turn 3. Zak Taylor worked his way onto the podium with a succession of impressive passes to finish behind Ikin.

Liam McNeilly, Ginetta Junior, Snetterton 2021

Liam McNeilly, Ginetta Junior, Snetterton 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

Liam McNeilly proved at Snetterton that you don’t need to represent the R Racing or Elite Motorsport battalions to enjoy Ginetta Junior success by taking his first win with the Fox Motorsport squad.

The 15-year-old, whose dad runs the team, jumped polesitter Tom Edgar at the start of the opener. Edgar muscled his way past at Agostini in a move that dropped McNeilly to fourth, and opened up a large lead. That was until Edgar’s R Racing team-mate Callum Voisin got into second. Voisin was slashing the gap when the safety car was called due to Elite’s pre-weekend points leader Seb Hopkins, trying to recover from a poor qualifying, crashing at Riches.

The flatbed finally rumbled in from a distant land, and time ran out for a restart, seemingly saving Edgar’s victory. But he was penalised to fourth for the move on McNeilly, promoting Voisin to the win from Will Jenkins.

Voisin had a great battle with McNeilly in race two, before fading with a problem at the left-front. McNeilly therefore won from Edgar and Jenkins, and Voisin was excluded due to a discrepancy with his cam timing, giving Hopkins fourth.

Edgar had McNeilly and Jenkins hard on his heels for much of the finale, which was interrupted by a safety car following a first lap that warranted a few detentions being handed out. The Northern Irishman beat McNeilly by just 0.258 seconds, with Elite’s Jenkins third.

Adam Smalley, Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Snetterton 2021

Adam Smalley, Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Snetterton 2021

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey

It was all going so well for Adam Smalley in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup. Pole position by almost half a second. Two commanding lights-to-flag victories in the opening two races. And then he was challenging for the lead in the partially reversed-grid finale.

His bid for a hat-trick had been aided by polesitter James Blake-Baldwin not starting with a drivetrain problem. Smalley was then up to second after jumping Elite team-mate Josh Rattican off the line. And soon he was challenging Tom Hibbert, who had shadowed Smalley throughout the opening races.

Smalley made a fantastic move down the inside at Riches on lap six of 12, but Hibbert fought back on the exit. He made repeated contact with Smalley around the Wilson Hairpin, for which he was given a formal warning, and retook the place. But they were still side-by-side through Turn 3 and Smalley pulled fractionally ahead into Agostini before Hibbert just tagged his rival, leaving Smalley out.

The delayed Hibbert was passed by Rattican, the 2020 Ginetta Junior runner-up going on to take an impressive win on his maiden weekend of senior car racing. Even with his race-three woe, Smalley is only 18 points behind Hibbert in the standings and already looks to be the driver to beat.

Thruxton Historic BARC: Five podiums for star Needell

Tiff Needell (Jaguar E-type), Thruxton Historic 2021

Tiff Needell (Jaguar E-type), Thruxton Historic 2021

Photo by: Steve Jones

“Five podiums, what a weekend,” beamed Tiff Needell, having topped his Thruxton Historic haul with a resounding Jaguar Classic Challenge victory. E-type owner John Spiers’ tactical decision to dart in from fourth when the pit window opened made it, as a safety car led the field past the entrance.

Unfathomably, nobody followed and, after the mandatory 90 seconds stationary, Needell joined
the crocodile’s tail without losing a lap.

Hampshire-born Needell won his first race at Thruxton 49 years ago, in his Autosport competition prize Formula Ford Lotus 69. FF2000 and Thundersports successes followed there and Tiff achieved the dream of competing in an F1 World Championship race – the 1980 Belgian Grand Prix, in Mo Nunn’s Ensign – and finished third at Le Mans in 1990 (Porsche 962C). Thousands of laps as the white knuckle ride car driver at Britain’s fastest circuit have subsequently served him well.

Back to the Jaguar race, in the E-type’s 60th anniversary year, and Needell found himself approaching half a minute ahead when pursuers Jon Minshaw and Gary Pearson emerged from the pits. The soloists could not possibly erode that advantage.

Finishing Spiers’ Lister-Jaguar – in which John won Sunday’s Historic Racing Drivers Club Allstars race, picking off Adrian Willmott’s hairy Studebaker Lark and early pacemaker David Smithies’ misfiring Daytona Cobra – Needell was third in the Stirling Moss Trophy set in Saturday’s 1950s sportscars race. Chris Ward and series newcomer Rob Smith in the latter’s Lister and James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley (Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro-Jaguar) were beyond reach. Fred Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards claimed RAC Woodcote Trophy gold in the Equipe Endeavour Cooper-Jaguar T38.

Another result for the versatile Spiers/Needell combo was aggregate victory (and fifth overall) in the Tony Dron Trophy Group 1 1/2 division of the Historic Touring Car Challenge in a Hermetite Capri. Four of the Essex V6 cars were embroiled in this, Needell besting George Pochciol/James Hanson on Saturday, but ex-European Touring Car racer Hanson growled past Spiers when they switched driving order. Rapid Ben Clucas (in Marcus Jewell’s) hounded down James Slaughter for third in race one, but missed out by feet on Sunday.

Mark Farmer/Adrian Willmott (Ford Capri), Thruxton Historic 2021

Mark Farmer/Adrian Willmott (Ford Capri), Thruxton Historic 2021

Photo by: Steve Jones

Out front, spectators gasped as the Nissan Skylines of Andy Middlehurst (in Jonathan Bailey’s original ex-Suzuki/Aida Kyocera car) and Ric Wood’s Calsonic tribute version traversed Allard abreast. Wood retired when a turbo pipe detached – “from 680bhp I was left with 200” – on Saturday, when 1985 Thruxton FF1600 victor Adrian Willmott’s mellifluous Ford Cologne Capri-GAA (also Wood-built) took the chequer, evoking memories of recently departed Vince Woodman’s wins in his Broadspeed version.

Wood blasted from the back to beat Mark Farmer/Willmott on Sunday, the Capri tamers beating Middlehurst/Bailey on aggregate.

Race of the weekend was the HRDC Jack Sears Trophy 1958-66 touring car showcase. Local man Alex Thistlethwayte, driving his 1965 Ford Mustang brilliantly, staved off Neil Brown and Roy Alderslade for lap after lap, their Lotus Cortinas often at opposing angles on full opposite lock.

A slow stop cost Brown, but Needell roared Spiers’ Cortina into the equation. When Thistlethwayte retired with gear selection problems, Tiff deposed Alderslade, only for his gearbox to fail on the last lap. “I was composing my victory speech when it went brrr, flat in top up Woodham Hill,” rued Needell. Alderslade darted past as Needell limped in second. Brown, Mike Jordan and 1991-93 outright lap record holder Dave Coyne, grappling with Adrian Miles’ ill-handling Mustang, led the chase.

James Cottingham/Harvey Stanley won the thin Pre-’63 GT race in DK Engineering’s powerful E-type roadster, but young Jack Minshaw – an impressive talent – kept both on their toes, clear of dad Jon.
Gareth Burnett/Michael Birch’s Talbot downed Oliver and Tim Llewellyn’s clutch-troubled Bentley 4 1/2 in the Pre-War race. Clive and Stuart Morley shaded Alan Middleton’s Aston Martin Red Dragon for third. Matt Wrigley and Peter Williams won the Classic Racing Car Club’s superbly supported debut races and Greg Robertson (FF2000 Reynard SF79) took second overall.

James Colburn (Giulia) blitzed the Alfa Romeo finale in which Chris Snowdon (Napolina GTV) repassed James Wright (75) on the penultimate lap for second.

Silverstone MGCC: Lewis wins again, 41 years after Mini Se7en title

Jonathan Lewis, Mini Se7en, Silverstone 2021

Jonathan Lewis, Mini Se7en, Silverstone 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

Forty-one years after claiming the Mini Se7en crown, Jonathan Lewis returned to the championship’s winners’ circle as the Se7ens and Miglias starred on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

Part of the lead pack throughout both races, Lewis was pushed back to fourth after an unsuccessful challenge for the lead at Abbey on the final lap of the opener. Joe Thompson won from Spencer Wanstall but the pair lost out in the sequel – a combined Se7en/Miglia grid of more than 50 cars – when Wanstall slowed with a failed throttle linkage and was collected by Thompson.

Lewis exchanged the lead with Jeff Smith – who had lost out on Saturday when he mistook a lack of grip from oil on track for a puncture and pitted – with Connor O’Brien splitting the pair at the flag. “I cried on the slowing down lap like a baby,” admitted Lewis. “I won the championship as an 18-year-old and the last Mini Se7en race I won was 41 years ago. That’s why I decided to come back and have another go in it. It was great, it was fair and it was clean.”

The quicker Miglias were equally fair and frantic. Endaf Owens pipped Andrew Jordan in the opener after the pair broke clear. Jordan overcame a missed a gear to challenge on the final lap, but couldn’t quite make a move stick around the outside of Brooklands and finished just 0.044s behind. The duo were beaten by Aaron Smith, who survived a brush with a backmarker on the final lap, and Kane Astin – recovering from an engine failure in qualifying – in Sunday’s hard-fought multi-class encounter. “That was absolutely epic,” enthused Smith.

When Fred Burgess’s gearbox cried enough, it left leader Sam Kirkpatrick able to cruise to MG Trophy success on Saturday, but it was a different story the next morning as the pair traded the lead. Burgess hung on around the outside at Stowe to make an inside pass into Vale, only to outbrake himself into Brooklands and allow Kirkpatrick to take his sixth win of the season. Adam Jackson scored two podiums in his similar ZR 190.

Edd Weston secured a maiden victory in the Midget and Sprite Challenge when he edged Richard Wildman in a photo finish having shadowed him for several laps. Weston then notched another win by the more comprehensive margin of half a second! Two wins in the concurrent Cockshoot Cup races went to Ray Collier’s MG ZR, the first after a terrific scrap with Karl Green’s ZS when the pair traded the lead more than once per lap.

Chris Beighton (Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger), Silverstone 2021

Chris Beighton (Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger), Silverstone 2021

Photo by: Mick Walker

An extraordinary last two laps turned Sunday’s Equipe GTS race on its head. Having repelled British GT racer Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke’s repeated attacks, including re-passing him around the outside at Luffield, Saturday winner Lee Atkins (TVR Grantura) spun away the lead.

Gordon-Colebrooke’s Triumph TR4 then expired and, with his vision obscured by the TR4’s oil on his MGB’s windscreen, Tom Smith had an excursion. All this allowed Allan Ross Jones (TR4) to take the flag from the recovering Atkins and Smith. After an unchallenged success in the first MG Cup race, Mike Williams (Rover Metro) had to work harder for his second win.

The fast-starting Rover Tomcats of Matt Simpson and Richard Buckley both had spells in front before Williams eventually made his repeated attempts to pass Buckley at Stowe pay off. Buckley beat Simpson to second, a reversal of Saturday’s result when Simpson finally breached Buckley’s stern defences at Club on the last lap.

Robin Ellis overcame a clutch problem, which left his heavy Lotus Elan 26R Shapecraft stuck in third gear, to score a first success aboard the car in Equipe Libre after Richard Woolmer’s leading Ford Falcon succumbed to suspected fuel pump failure. Chris Beighton’s Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger arrived overnight to dominate Sunday’s race. Woolmer charged from the back to claim second on countback after a multi-car accident was triggered by a spin at Copse for Larry Tucker’s Shelby Mustang in the one-lap dash after a protracted safety car period.

Equipe Pre-63 honours twice fell to Nigel Winchester’s raucous Shelby 260, the first after withstanding race-long pressure from Mark Holme (Austin-Healey) and the Jaguar E-type of Roberto Giordanelli. Sunday’s win came a little easier after Holme expired in the closing stages.

Mondello Park MPSC: Fiesta Zetec battles headline opening meeting

Michael Barrable, Fiesta Zetec, Mondello Park 2021

Michael Barrable, Fiesta Zetec, Mondello Park 2021

Photo by: Michael Chester

Experience helped Michael Barrable fight his way to the front of the Fiesta Zetec field as circuit racing got back under way in Ireland. In a highly entertaining contest, Barrable held on for the race one win despite close attention from most of the grid. In race two, Ulick Burke led a six-car train for the duration, with James Fleming and Barrable shadowing him across the line. When Burke’s car was found to be underweight, Fleming inherited the win.

Michael Cullen led the Stryker grid away from pole and, when Dave Reynolds retired at mid-distance, he was unchallenged en route to another win. A delighted Adrian Deasy was second, with Vinny O’Rourke recovering to third after a disastrous start. Cullen dominated in race two for the double, despite early pressure from O’Rourke.

The Formula Vee opener was a cracker, with Mark Reade’s works Leastone getting the jump on poleman Dan Polley and leading the early stages via two safety car interruptions. It was reigning champion Anthony Cross, driving a Sheane, who finally breached Reade’s defences, with Jack Byrne and Gavin Buckley following him through. In race two, Polley’s Sheane got away from a hectic battle for second to take a strong win, with Cross edging Reade and Jordan Kelly for the runner-up spot.

Bernard Foley blasted his V8 MG past polesitter Bill Griffin’s Lotus 7 to grab the HRCA lead and was unchallenged thereafter en route to a strong win. Griffin slowed in the latter stages and was ousted by Val Thompson (TMC Costin) and Noel Collins (Escort), with Thompson taking second after a good battle. Foley repeated the win in race two, with early leader Griffin hanging on for second this time.

Shane Murphy took his customary double in the SEAT Supercup races, with Burke (Honda Integra) doing the same in the concurrent Irish Touring Car bouts, despite late race pressure from the Civic of Jay O’Reilly in both. Gary Corcoran and Paul Parr shared the Irish Supercar spoils, both having to work hard for their wins.

Bernard Foley (MGB GT V8), Mondello Park 2021

Bernard Foley (MGB GT V8), Mondello Park 2021

Photo by: Michael Chester

Poleman Richie Kearney eased away from Philip Sheane in the first Formula Sheane race but, when he slowed on the final tour with broken suspension, it was Paul McLoughlin who capitalised after Sheane retired a few laps beforehand. In race two, Sheane made the most of a hectic battle between Kearney and McLoughlin to ease clear for an impressive win.

Aidan Byrne’s Toyota Celica held off the close attentions of Kevin Cahill (Fiat) to take Future Classics honours, with Donal Culloty’s Honda Civic first of the smaller class home. In race two, Byrne assumed the lead when Brian Sexton’s MX-5 retired and held off Paddy Howley and Cahill to the flag.

Paul O’Connell led the BOSS Ireland race away from pole but Mondello newcomer Gerard O’Connell was soon on his tail – driving Paul’s old World Series Dallara! When the leader’s GP2 car faltered, Gerard was through and away for an impressive win. With Paul O’Connell not making the grid for race two, it looked like an easy double for Gerard, but Sylvie Mullins (Dallara F305) made him work hard for the win in the closing stages.

Eddie Peterson was first across the line in the Fiesta ST series but was excluded for being underweight, handing the win to Graham McDonnell. Michael Cullen took race two, fending off the charging McDonnell in the closing stages.

Reports by Stephen Lickorish, Marcus Simmons, Marcus Pye, Mark Paulson and Leo Nulty. Photography by Jakob Ebrey, Steve Jones, Mick Walker and Michael Chester. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine

Gerard O’Connell (Dallara World Series), Mondello Park 2021

Gerard O’Connell (Dallara World Series), Mondello Park 2021

Photo by: Michael Chester

shares
comments
Podcast: Why the return of spectators really matters at national racing

Previous article

Podcast: Why the return of spectators really matters at national racing

Next article

Ex-F1 racer Chandhok joins Motorsport UK board of directors

Ex-F1 racer Chandhok joins Motorsport UK board of directors
Load comments
The F1 techniques club racers can use to go faster Plus

The F1 techniques club racers can use to go faster

Mercedes engineer James Wingfield is used to data in his F1 day job, but the Caterham racer shows how grassroots club drivers can also benefit from the tool

National
Aug 1, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
10 reasons to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed Plus

10 reasons to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed

It’s almost two years since Goodwood last hosted a public motorsport event, but the stars, cars and fans are now set to flock back this weekend. Here are 10 of the key elements that will make this year’s Festival of Speed unmissable

National
Jul 7, 2021
The addictive experience of racing a rallycross Supercar Plus

The addictive experience of racing a rallycross Supercar

Racing a Supercar is what every budding rallycross driver aspires to do – and it’s exactly what our reporter had the opportunity to try out. As he found, it lived up to and exceeded expectations

National
Jul 6, 2021
The mouthwatering title fight resulting from a BTCC ace's exile Plus

The mouthwatering title fight resulting from a BTCC ace's exile

Three more of the BTCC’s support series are finally due to begin at Snetterton this weekend, with the Carrera Cup GB promising an epic title fight between its reigning champion and a returning king ousted from his tin-top seat over the winter

National
Jun 11, 2021
The entry level series turning trackday fans into GT champions Plus

The entry level series turning trackday fans into GT champions

Low-cost. Easily accessible. And the perfect route for trackday drivers into competitive motorsport. It’s easy to see why Super Lap Scotland’s time-trial format is proving popular and encouraging new people to try it for themselves

National
May 12, 2021
The Caterham king on a mission to conquer one-make national racing Plus

The Caterham king on a mission to conquer one-make national racing

Danny Winstanley has dominated in Caterhams for several years, firstly as a driver and more recently as a team owner. Now he has more ambitions on the horizon

National
May 11, 2021
How the GT Cup is thriving despite the pandemic Plus

How the GT Cup is thriving despite the pandemic

The GT Cup has attracted a stunning array of drivers and machinery for its opening event at Donington Park this weekend. The fact we're in the middle of a pandemic makes that entry all the more remarkable, but there's plenty of reasons why the series is proving popular

National
Apr 9, 2021