National novelties: Jagermeister Capri and W Series' Powell and Pulling go Radical

It was a busy weekend of club racing and that produced plenty of unusual stories. From cool cars, to long-overdue debuts and an incident with a champagne bottle, here is a selection of them

National novelties: Jagermeister Capri and W Series' Powell and Pulling go Radical

Cool car: Breck's Jagermeister Capri

There were plenty of distinctive Fords on display at Ford Power Live at Brands Hatch last weekend. Yet, among those racing, none turned heads quite like Alan Breck’s muscular five-litre Mustang-engined Capri, in orange Jagermeister colours, that competed in the Modified Ford Series.

Breck races the Capri across several categories, and over the winter he’ll soup it up even more, with a 6.8-litre unit adding 200bhp to fix the car’s relative lack of straightline speed. “It should be a bit of a monster next year,” Breck grinned.

“We race it everywhere, we race all over Europe, we’ve been to Le Mans, been to Spa…”

It’s also just one of a fleet of race cars Breck has, all in that distinctive livery. “I’ve also got an old Eurocar V8, which is also in the same livery, and I’m also building a GT40, which I’m doing in the same livery so it’s become a bit of a theme,” Breck noted.

“It wasn’t on purpose, it’s just this car [the Capri] came with it and it just looks so good.”

Rare sight: Shaw's Panoz

 

Photo by: Gary Hawkins/Andy Mason

Alongside the multitude of Fords and Blue Oval-engined machinery in action at Brands, there was also something far rarer: a Panoz GTS.

Malcolm Shaw first gave the 1998 car a shakedown at Snetterton a few months ago and had targeted an outing at the American SpeedFest in June, but instead gave the Panoz a race in Kent, appearing in the two Allcomers contests.

Despite the car's 6.1-litre engine, Shaw finished last in the opener and then retired from the second race.

Radical pairing: Powell and Pulling

 

Photo by: Mick Walker

W Series drivers Alice Powell and Abbi Pulling joined the Radical Challenge at Donington Park last weekend and finished third in Sunday’s 45-minute endurance race with the all-new SR10.

The Britons competed in the meeting having not carried out any pre-event testing, with Pulling having never previously raced an open sportscar before.

Problems in qualifying restricted Powell to one aborted lap and both drivers had to complete three laps behind the safety car ahead of the race.

“I raced a Radical PR6 at Snetterton about 11 years ago and was invited to race this car, so I asked if Abbi could share it,” said Powell, who currently sits second in this year’s W Series standings and has coached Pulling since she moved to single-seaters.

“Abbi was doing the FIA F3 test at Magny-Cours when the test was offered, so we couldn’t do it.”

Starting from the pitlane with Powell behind the wheel, they made steady progress and completed the rostrum, 14 seconds behind newly-crowned champion James Lay.

Unusual car: MG Montego

 

Photo by: Richard Styles

One of two original MG Montego estates returned to MG Owners’ Club racing at Snetterton last weekend in the hands of Alan Forster after a long layoff.

REPORT: The best of the Snetterton action

Originally built by series champion Andy Campbell and Simon Byrne, the car returned to Byrne’s hands a couple of years ago. He restored it with a Rover K-series engine and MG ZR running gear but a winter testing accident derailed the project.

Forster took the Montego on and, with help from Daniel Pooley, got it back on track in a tribute livery to the famous racing estate, the 1994 Volvo 850 Super Touring car.

Channelling Mansell: McEwing's champagne slip

 

Photo by: Jim Moir

Caterham Academy White Group driver Tom McEwing claimed a second-place finish at Knockhill on Saturday, but celebrations were cut short when he accidentally smashed his bottle of champagne, which cut his hand, requiring medical attention.

McEwing got three stitches in his hand and, showing no adverse effects, channelled his embarrassment into a winning performance the following day on the circuit's reverse layout.

“I lost a bit of blood on the podium yesterday, and on the bottle, so I didn’t want to repeat that today!” McEwing said post-race.

“I’m quite emotional because that was quite a hard race and I’ve not stood on the top step of the podium for a while now.

“It’s good points for the championship, the guys in this group are so quick so it was difficult to keep them all behind, but I’m really chuffed.”

Valve venture: Morgan's long trip

 

Photo by: Steve Jones

An overnight trip back to Wales helped Pete Morgan remain in the Classic Stock Hatch championship fight at Cadwell Park.

After struggling to a distant seventh in his Ford Fiesta XR2 during Saturday’s opening contest, which was won by nearest rival Chris Dear, Morgan returned home to replace a damaged valve.

“It was as flat as a pancake,” said Morgan. “It went well at [the previous round at] Brands Hatch, but we got it a bit hot there. I didn’t think too much of it until I got it onto the track on Friday.”

Despite the fix, Morgan was seventh again in Sunday’s race two, as Dear finished fourth to gain further ground in the title race with one round remaining.

“It will be nice if we can pull it off with the same car twice in a row,” added Morgan, whose son Ryan won the 2021 crown. “It will be hard at Mallory.”

A long overdue debut: Engstler at Silverstone

 

Photo by: Mick Walker

German touring car ace Franz Engstler made his Silverstone debut last weekend in the Ferrari Challenge Europe, winning both Coppa Shell encounters.

Saturday’s race produced a thrilling side-by-side battle with fellow title contender Axel Sartingen, but he then made lighter work in Sunday’s race two, easing to victory after working his way into an early lead.

Despite a long career, during which he raced in the DTM in the 1980s and then World Touring Cars (where he finished third at Donington Park in 2011), Engstler had never visited Silverstone before, so was delighted to not only climb to the podium’s top step but as he said afterwards, “having finally experienced the circuit’s remarkable history and challenging nature”.

Heirloom on track: Everard's Alfa

 

Photo by: Richard Styles

James Everard describes the 1966 Alfa Romeo Sprint GT previously campaigned by his dad John as a family heirloom. It was making its second appearance, at Snetterton, since a full overhaul including to its engine, which now delivers around 165bhp, gearbox, suspension and anti-roll bars.

Starting from the back after clutch issues prevented him qualifying, Everard charged to second in the opening Pre-’66 Touring Cars race.

“It’s absolutely loads of fun,” beamed Everard. Jon Corker took over on Sunday and almost repeated the feat, climbing to second before falling back to fourth with a couple of moments on the final lap.

Pics of the week:

Lucky Khera claimed a second Ferrari Challenge UK title as the flag flew at half-mast in tribute to the Queen at Silverstone

Lucky Khera claimed a second Ferrari Challenge UK title as the flag flew at half-mast in tribute to the Queen at Silverstone

Photo by: Mick Walker

It all goes wrong for Hugo Cook's Mercedes at Donington Park

It all goes wrong for Hugo Cook's Mercedes at Donington Park

Photo by: Mick Walker

Another in trouble was Nick Golhar's MG at Snetterton - he emerged unscathed from this roll at Murrays

Another in trouble was Nick Golhar's MG at Snetterton - he emerged unscathed from this roll at Murrays

Photo by: Richard Styles

Breck Capri pic by Gary Hawkins/Andy Mason

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