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National novelties: Bower's marathon challenge and rare Mini Marcos Mk3

An unusual marathon racing attempt and some unique cars taking to the track were among the more offbeat national motorsport stories from last weekend

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Marathon effort: Bower's extraordinary challenge

Two-time Pre-’93 Touring Car champion Ian Bower last weekend attempted the extraordinary challenge of racing at Brands Hatch and competing in the London Marathon on the same day.

Bower started Saturday’s Pre-’93 race but his Sunday plan was derailed by a timetable change. The category’s second race was brought forward by nearly two hours to allow a rescheduled second Classic Thunder race to slot in.

It made Bower’s mission impossible despite his sub-three-hour marathon run – although gearbox failure on his BMW M3 was set to thwart him anyway.

“I run five or six days a week so although marathons are a bit further than usual it’s not unusual for me to run in the morning and then jump in the car,” said Bower.

“At any other circuit it wouldn’t have worked. Brands Hatch is easy to get to and from, so I had a cunning plan to get back here. I just had to run a fast time.

“I kind of gave myself a 30% chance of it working, but I didn’t account for the car breaking down or the races changing. It was a fun little adventure to try and work out. Maybe next time!”

Rare sight: Mini Marcos Mk3

The Marcos was Colledge's road car back in the 1980s

The Marcos was Colledge's road car back in the 1980s

Photo by: Richard Styles

A rare Mini Marcos Mk3 joined the Historic Sports Car Club’s Modsports and Special Saloon fold at Snetterton last weekend.

Built from a kit manufactured in 1966 – the year in which the club was rooted at Castle Combe – Charles Colledge used it on the road in the 1980s and raced it in the 1990s.

Dormant for 25 years, he resurrected it in 2020 and intends to compete more often after taking a best result of 13th in Norfolk.

A more familiar sight: Hancock back in his Delta

Hancock raced his old Delta FF2000 machine again after 40 years, complete with original seat!

Hancock raced his old Delta FF2000 machine again after 40 years, complete with original seat!

Photo by: Paul Lawrence

Long-time Formula Ford 2000 racer Tony Hancock turned the clock back 40 years at Snetterton when he raced the Delta T81 that he bought new in 1981.

Hancock bought the T81 from the Delta factory in Formula 4 specification and ran it for a couple of years before selling it on.

Three years ago, he found the car and bought it back and has since had it restored to full 1983 FF2000 trim.

“The last time I raced it was in 1983,” said Hancock. “When I first got in it, it was definitely my seat from 40 years ago.”

Most recently, the Delta was raced by Dave Rees but had also been used in hillclimbing.

Maxi attack: Thomson's 205

Thomson is a Peugeot fanatic

Thomson is a Peugeot fanatic

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

One-time Quaife Motorsport News Saloons champion Gavin Thomson gave a track debut to his asphalt rally-bred Peugeot 205 Maxi in Classic Thunder at Brands Hatch last weekend, his first race outing since 2017.

Pug fanatic Thomson switched to rallying in a Group A 205 before acquiring his “dream car” from Spain.

It uses 206 Super 1600 running gear with a six-speed sequential Sadev gearbox and is now powered by an improved version of the 306 GTI-6 engine his previous circuit racer used.

Facing reliability issues, and with R5/Rally2 machinery rendering two-wheel-drive cars uncompetitive on circuit rallies, Thomson has converted the Maxi to racing spec.

A different sort of Silk Cut Jag: Harper's S-type

The S-type is Harper's latest unusual Jaguar, following title-winning turbodiesel X350

The S-type is Harper's latest unusual Jaguar, following title-winning turbodiesel X350

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Second time out in his S-type R, Andrew Harper scored a maiden Jaguar Challenge podium at Brands. After taking his turbodiesel X350 to a class title last year, Harper has switched to another mould-breaking one-off.

Both cars were built by Mark Bennett and Craig Baxter at Harper’s Auto Reserve Parts business and sport Silk Cut Jaguar Group C tribute liveries.

The S-type R runs a supercharged 4.2-litre V8, placing it in Class A despite its limited modification.

“The back end does like to drift out,” said Harper. Further work is planned as “this was an MOT’d three-litre petrol car back in December”.

Another rarity: Westbury's Felday

F1 champion Brabham had input into the Felday's creation

F1 champion Brabham had input into the Felday's creation

Photo by: Paul Lawrence

The unique Felday 2 hillclimb car created by one-time Formula 1 entrant Peter Westbury was back on track at Prescott last weekend after 50 years stored in a garage.

The two-seater spaceframe car was built by Westbury at his Felday Engineering business with input from Jack Brabham and Rob Walker.

Westbury won the 1963 British Hillclimb Championship in the first Felday and planned to move into the European Hillclimb Championship in 1964, where two seats were mandated.

However, he then had the chance to drive the Ferguson P99 four-wheel-drive F1 car on the hills and took a second BHC crown in 1964, so the Daimler V8-powered Felday 2 was put aside after very little use.

It was sold several times and stood for 50 years until new owner Dave Melton found it. He’s spent the past 18 months restoring the car and demonstrated it at Prescott last weekend.

Pics of the week:

Stuart Dix escaped injury in this frightening Super Classic FF1600 crash at Oulton Park

Stuart Dix escaped injury in this frightening Super Classic FF1600 crash at Oulton Park

Photo by: Steve Jones

Things also went wrong for Bruce McWhirter's Jaguar Mk2 at Silverstone

Things also went wrong for Bruce McWhirter's Jaguar Mk2 at Silverstone

Photo by: Mick Walker

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