Silverstone, UK

THE CLASSIC SILVERSTONE
26 – 30 July 2019

A brilliant display of Masters racing at the Classic

To the delight of the Silverstone crowd, the six Masters grids produced some brilliant racing at the Classic – with the Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars as the undoubted highlight of the entire 21-race schedule. Craig Davies allowing the stricken car of Jake Hill to take the win was among the most sporting gestures ever seen in motorsport, and testimony to the spirit of Masters racing.

RACE REPORTS

Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Kennard/Cantillon win first Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone

Jonathan Kennard and Mike Cantillon took the win in a shortened first Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends race at the Silverstone Classic, Kennard having fought Emmanuel Collard’s similar Pescarolo-Judd 01 hard during his opening stint. When Collard clashed with Kriton Lendoudis’ Peugeot 908 HDi FAP during the pitstop phase, a lengthy safety-car period caused the race to hit the 9 PM curfew. This handed an easy win to Kennard’s relief driver Mike Cantillon.

“Jonathan did 90% of the work”, said Cantillon, “I just brought the car home but it was Kennard’s win. We bought the car together and restored it together.”

Behind the two fighting Pescas, Steve Tandy (Lola-Mazda B12/60) made his way past Lendoudis to claim third – which became second when Collard and Lendoudis had their incident.

“I was really looking forward to having a run at Mike”, said Tandy, “but the safety car messed it up for us.”

Charging up from ninth on the grid, Christophe d’Ansembourg took a combative third in his Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2.

“I was very unlucky in qualifying because of a gearbox issue”, said d’Ansembourg, “but the car was amazing.”

The first few laps saw Collard pass Kennard into Brooklands on the first laps while Tandy pushed Lendoudis down to third. From his lowly grid position, Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin was the car on the move, dispensing with James Cottingham’s Dallara, David Porter’s Peugeot and then the second Peugeot of Lendoudis to be fourth after three laps.

In P2, Mike Newton’s MG-Lola EX257 led away in eighth overall but on lap 3, Keith Frieser came through for the class lead in his ORECA-Nissan 03. Mark Higson in another ORECA 03 was now harrying Newton for second in class, leading Mike Furness in the Courage LC75 and Shaun Lynn in the Bentley Speed 8.

Aaron Scott was the quickest GT driver, his invitational GT3 Ferrari leading Max Girardo’s Ferrari 550 GT1 and Alexander Lienau in another guesting Aston Martin Vantage GT3. From the back of the grid, having missed qualifying, François Perrodo was on his way up in the Porsche RS Spyder P2. Stephan Jocher’s Porsche 996 GT3 RSR was the leading GT2 car.

On lap 5, d’Ansembourg moved up into third, passing Tandy, the V12-engined machine now really flying – but not at the pace of the two Pescarolos at the front, Collard inching away from Kennard, the pair now 20 seconds clear of the Belgian in third. But with traffic impeding, Kennard was soon right back on Collard’s tail, in a tense few laps towards the pit window.

Behind them, d’Ansembourg was kept honest by Tandy while Porter had moved past Lendoudis in the other Peugeot. Cottingham was 12 seconds down on the Peugeots while Lynn had picked off the P2 cars to be eighth in the Bentley. In P2, Higson had found his way past the slowing Newton, and then dealt with Frieser, who in turn had been passed for the class lead by Mike Furness in the Courage. Girardo and Jocher were still leading the GT1 and GT2 classes respectively, with the two GT3 cars in front of them.

As the pit window opened, Collard was the first to take the opportunity, Kennard staying out to produce the fastest lap of the race so far. The pit window still open, the safety car came out because of an off by Stephan Jocher’s Red Bull-liveried Porsche and a serious collision between Lendoudis’ Peugeot and Collard’s Pescarolo on the exit of Farm.

Having taken over from Kennard while all this went on, Mike Cantillon in the remaining Pescarolo-Judd 01 now led Tandy, d’Ansembourg, Cottingham, Porter and Lynn. Furness was in charge of the P2 class, ahead of Higson and Frieser, with Girardo moving up into tenth overall in the leading GT car. With Jocher out, Steve Soper took over the GT2 reins in the BMW M3 GT2.

Removing the Peugeot and Pescarolo from their dangerous positions proved to be a lengthy affair, which meant that only six minutes remained, but then curfew took care of those minutes as well. The result remained the order of the cars behind the safety car.

Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Kennard & Cantillon complete Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends double at the Classic

Jonathan Kennard and Mike Cantillon made it two out of two in both Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends races at the Classic, beating Steve Tandy’s Lola-Mazda B12/60 in their Pescarolo-Judd 01 – despite a 20-second ‘success’ penalty during their pitstop.

“Jonno gave me the car with a 25-second lead”, said Cantillon, “so with our penalty I had five seconds in hand on Steve. Steve caught me quickly before I got into a groove – and then from the pits they told me to get a move-on!”

“It was a good race between us”, said Tandy. “I was down on top speed on the straights, so I was a sitting duck, but the aero on the car is fantastic.”

David Porter finished a distant third in his Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, inheriting the position when Christophe d’Ansembourg in the Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 slid off in the closing stages. The Belgian’s exit allowed Jamie Constable to take fourth in his Pescarolo 01, ahead of James Cottingham’s Dallara-Judd SP1.

“I’m getting there!” said Porter about getting the podium result. “This is a very challenging car to drive, but it is such a privilege to drive it.”

In an eventful few first laps, Christophe d’Ansembourg pushed through to take second on lap 2 but then dropped back behind Steve Tandy and David Porter, while Jonathan Kennard out in front had created a 12-second lead in four laps. Behind them, François Perrodo worked his way up to the P2 class lead in his Porsche RS Spyder, getting up to sixth overall behind James Cottingham’s Dallara SP1.

Relegated to the back of the grid because of the previous day’s incident with Kriton Lendoudis’ Peugeot, Emmanuel Collard was up into 15th after the opening lap but the Pescarolo was back to last because of a further 30-second stop-and-go penalty. On lap 5, the Frenchman was back to 15th and pushing his way forward. Lendoudis, meanwhile, had started in his spare Peugeot but that ground to a halt on the first lap, a clutch problem disallowing it to go any further. Another car moving up from a lowly grid position was Jamie Constable’s Pescarolo, Constable getting the second Gulf-liveried French machine up to seventh 15 minutes into the race, ahead of Shaun Lynn’s Bentley Speed 8.

Among the GT cars, the invitational GT3 cars of Scott Aaron/Arwyn Williams (Ferrari 458 GT3) and John Grant/Alexander Lienau (Aston Martin Vantage V12) led Max Girardo’s Ferrari 550 GT1 and Ollie Hancock in the TVR T400 R.

Kennard’s lead over Tandy was 17 seconds when the pit window opened, with d’Ansembourg trailing Tandy’s Lola-Mazda by six seconds, and Porter’s Peugeot by eight seconds. Cottingham and Perrodo were still fifth and sixth, ahead of Constable and Lynn, with Collard now up to ninth, having passed the warring P2 machines of Keith Frieser (ORECA-Nissan 03), Mike Furness (Courage-Judd LC75), Mike Newton (Lola-MG EX257) and Mark Higson (ORECA-Nissan 03).

After the stops, Mike Cantillon having taken over from Kennard initially led Tandy by a handful of seconds – due to the 20-second ‘success’ penalty for Kennard – but Tandy was on it and moved his Lola-Mazda into the lead on lap 12. D’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin trailed by 14 seconds, with Porter a further three seconds behind. Cottingham and Constable were fifth and sixth, half a minute down on Porter, while Perrodo was seventh and the fastest P2 runner out there. Collard was still the fastest man on the circuit but to improve from his eighth place would mean making up 37 seconds on Perrodo.

Cantillon wasn’t letting off, though. Settled into a rhythm, the Irishman began closing on Tandy again. Going into Brooklands on lap 15, Cantillon reclaimed the lead. Behind them, drama ensued when d’Ansembourg locked up and slid off, throwing away a solid third place.

Towards the end, Tandy gradually lost touch with Cantillon, allowing Kennard and Cantillon to take the double at the Classic. David Porter was third, 43 seconds down, ahead of Constable and Cottingham. Perrodo won the P2 class, the Frenchman and his nearest class rivals sandwiching Collard in seventh. Frieser beat Newton to second in P2 class, with Lynn’s Bentley rounding out the overall top-ten.

In GTs, Max Girardo also doubled up in his Ferrari 550 GT1, heading home the invitational Ferrari 458 GT3 of Aaron Scott/Arwyn Williams and Ollie Hancock in the TVR. Colin Sowter’s Aston Martin Vantage GT2 completed the GT podium.

Masters Historic Formula One – Race 1
Ferrer-Aza defies the rain to win first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Silverstone

From the third row of the grid, championship leader Matteo Ferrer-Aza (Ligier JS11/15) stormed to the front for a resounding victory in the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race on a very wet Silverstone. The Italian passed Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012 into Copse on lap 7 to never look back.

“The weather was a refreshing change!” said Ferrer. “It was my first wet race in Masters Historic Formula One – and it couldn’t have gone better, really. When you’re happy with the balance you have the confidence to send it… And it was nice to finally have a dice with Martin – and then in these conditions, to see who’s the quicker man…”

Stretton held on for second place despite being chased to the line by Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C that started in the lead before Stretton got past on lap 3. Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 was fourth initially, but on lap 7 dropped to seventh to allow Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011) to take the place.

“I’ve had a couple of really good races with Matteo, and this was lots of fun”, said Stretton.

“I knew I had a job on my hands with these two”, said Cantillon, “but I’m really happy to be here.”

Michael Lyons (McLaren M26) won the pre-78 class from the front, taking fifth overall ahead of post-78 runners Katsu Kubota (Lotus 91) and Hartley, while Kyle Tilley (Ensign N177) fought his way past Henry Fletcher (March 761) to take second in class, the pair finishing eighth and ninth overall.

“It’s always fun to drive a Formula One car in the wet”, said Lyons, “and I had a really good fight with Katsu!”

Having started behind the safety car, the field was released after 2 laps of the wet track – with lots going on the first flying lap. Ferrer-Aza was past Constable into Abbey and then took third from Hartley while at the front Stretton dislodged Cantillon from first place braking into Vale.

On the next lap, Ferrer hunted down Cantillon to pass the Williams going into Stowe, the Italian – despite disliking racing in the wet! – proceeding to close on the Tyrrell in the lead. In the pre-78 class, Lyons was sixth overall, chasing Constable and leading Kubota, both in post-78 cars, but behind the Japanese Lotus driver, Kyle Tilley’s Ensign had moved into second place in class, passing Henry Fletcher’s March on lap 5.

Ferrer and Stretton having raced side-by-side for the most of lap 6, their duel for the lead was decided on lap 7, Ferrer having a good run out of Brooklands to pass Stretton into Copse. Behind them, Cantillon was closing into Stretton but Hartley spun away fourth place to drop down to seventh, behind Constable, Lyons and Kubota. Tilley and Fletcher were still arguing over eighth place, and second in the pre-78 class.

As Ferrer-Aza crossed the line victoriously, Stretton managed to keep Cantillon behind, with Constable a lonely fourth. Lyons took a comfortable pre-78 class win from Tilley and Fletcher.

Masters Historic Formula One – Race 2
Hartley holds off Cantillon for victory in Sunday’s FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Silverstone

Steve Hartley survived a late attack from Mike Cantillon to grab the spoils in the second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at the Silverstone Classic. From the first row of the grid, Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 took the lead on the opening lap and only had to look back in the final few laps, the flying Cantillon having made his way past Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012 that held second place early on.

“I pulled out a bit of a lead, some four seconds, but I could see that Mike was catching me”, said Hartley. “But now I’m looking forward to holding that big trophy!”

Cantillon’s Williams FW07C was suffering from a loose front wing but that didn’t stop the Irishman from recording fastest lap of the race. Christophe d’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) drove a charging race to take fourth from the fifth row of the grid, while the first race’s winner Matteo Ferrer-Aza (Ligier JS11/15) drove a conservative race to snatch fifth.

“I saw it come loose, it sometimes does that after load”, said Cantillon when asked about his wobbly front wing. “But it was no problem. The car felt great at the front end, it was bang on looking at the lap times. I tried [to pass Hartley] at Stowe but he blocked me off. Fair play to him.”

Michael Lyons (McLaren M26) took another pre-78 win, having run second on the opening laps before slowly dropping down the order. Henry Fletcher (March 761) finished second in class again, this time followed across the line by Phil Hall’s Theodore TR1.

“That was some fun out there!” said Lyons. “For the first few laps I thought I had a fight on my hands with Steve, but then the other guys got their tyres switched on…”

On the opening lap, Hartley found his way past pole man Kyle Tilley’s Ensign N177 at Copse, with Lyons following through at Becketts, and Katsu Kubota in the Lotus 91 into Stowe. Behind them, Martin Stretton was on a charge, getting up to fifth on lap 1, and then passing two more to be third on lap 2. In the meantime, Cantillon and Kubota exchanged places while Ferrer-Aza was struggling to get past Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011.

In front, Hartley was momentarily threatened by Lyons before the later McLaren pulled away, with Stretton closing on Lyons in the older McLaren. At the end of lap 3, the Tyrrell was through. In fourth, Cantillon set fastest lap of the race on lap 3, and on the next lap, Lyons saw another post-78 car move past. Even though Cantillon’s Williams FW07C was suffering from a wobbly front wing, the Irishman closed in on Stretton on lap 5, to capture second place with another fastest lap of the race.

Further back, Ferrer-Aza was still off the pace and on lap 6 he was passed by Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Williams FW07C to drop down to eighth. The Belgian then moved up another place to the detriment of Constable. Chasing them was d’Ansembourg Jr in the Brabham BT49, with Henry Fletcher in the March 761 up next, occupying a safe second place in the pre-78 class, 14 seconds ahead of Phil Hall’s Theodore TR1.

Eight laps gone, Cantillon had cut Hartley’s lead to just over a second, having dropped Stretton by seven seconds. Lyons, in fourth, now had d’Ansembourg Sr breathing into his neck, as Kubota had dropped behind the Belgian as well as Constable and Ferrer-Aza, his Lotus 91 losing pace. On lap 10, Ferrer finally found a way past Constable to take sixth.

Going into the 11th and final lap, Cantillon was right on Hartley’s tail but ‘The Jam Baron’ defended bravely and held on to the chequered flag. Stretton finished third, 16 seconds down, with d’Ansembourg and Ferrer pipping Lyons on the final lap to take fourth and fifth. Lyons still took a pre-78 double ahead of Fletcher and Hall.

Masters Gentlemen Drivers
Thomas & Lockie bag another Masters Gentlemen Drivers win in International Trophy race at Silverstone

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie added another victory to their already considerable season tally in Masters Gentlemen Drivers by convincingly beating the similar Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé of Dutch father-and-son duo David & Olivier Hart. Thomas passed Hart Sr on the opening lap after which the Dutchman lost ground with a contretemps with the chasing E-type of Jon Minshaw. After the stops, Lockie defended a 15-second lead to Hart Jr to bag the International Trophy for himself and Thomas.

“Yes, another win, but this one feels good”, said Thomas, “as I never got on the podium at the Classic.

“Julian is top-level”, said Lockie. “He’s so smooth and so quick, and hands over a good car. I was pretty well flat-out all the way, and enjoyed every second of it.”

“Dad got pushed off but made a great comeback”, said Hart Jr. “I tried to make the 15-second gap smaller but I had problems with the front tyres, suffering from so much understeer.”

Minshaw eventually lost out to James Dodd, father Graeme having fought Minshaw tooth and nail during their entire first stint, the two E-types often going side-by-side. In ninth overall, Andrew Haddon grabbed CLP class honours in his Lotus Elan after Steve Soper’s example stopped out on the circuit right after its pitstop. In two more Elans, Nick & Eddie Powell and Dutchman Sander van Gils took second and third in class respectively.

“That was great to start with!”, said Graeme Dodd about Hart and Minshaw touching right in front of him. “I was in the front-row seat! Quite selfishly, I hoped that they would take each other out but they didn’t. James was fantastic. I mean, Jon Minshaw is a bit of an E-type legend so to beat him feels like a win to us.”

Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger in their Morgan SLR led the C2 class all the way, beating the Austin Healey 3000s of Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus/Jeremy Welch and Mark Holme/Nigel Greensall. In C1, the Mark Burnett/Nick Swift Ogle SX1000 stole the class win from the Rick Bourne/Malcolm Paul TVR Grantura that had led the class for almost the entire race.

On lap 1, Julian Thomas quickly grabbed the lead from David Hart, who as a result of contact with Jon Minshaw was subsequently swamped by the E-types of Minshaw, Graeme Dodd and John Pearson, before the Dutchman fought back to recapture fourth place. In front, Thomas had established an eight-second lead on the Jaguars by lap 5, while in fifth Steve Soper in the class-leading Elan held his own against the bigger cars.

John Spiers’ TVR Griffith was up next, followed by Martin Stretton in Stefan Ziegler’s E-type. Andrew Haddon’s Elan was ninth, and second in the CLP class, with Richard Cook’s AC Cobra rounding out the top ten in the opening 15 minutes.

As the pit window opened, Thomas held a lead of 14 seconds while Hart had rediscovered his pace to pass all the E-types, Dodd and Minshaw running side-by-side each and every lap, with Soper latching on to the back of them.

In the other classes, Haddon went off on lap 8 but hung on to his second place in the CLP class while Rob Fenn in third was the first to come in – not to hand over to Jake Hill but to retire. Keith Ahlers in the Morgan SLR led the C2 class ahead of Jeremy Welch in the Austin Healey 3000 shared with Alex Bell, with Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus in third in the other Welch Motorsport Healey that Welch would take over at the stops. Rick Bourne was in front in the C1 class, his and Malcolm Paul’s TVR Grantura handsomely led Till Bechtolsheimer’s MGB and Mark Burnett in the quaint Ogle SX1000.

After the stops, Lockie in the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé taken over from Thomas still held that 14-second lead, now over Olivier Hart in the other Daytona Cobra. Ten seconds down, Minshaw now had Dodd Jr to cope with, the two E-types getting involved in more fierce battling before James Dodd prevailed – for now. Spiers’ TVR followed four seconds behind, ahead of two more E-types pedalled by Gary Pearson and Martin Stretton.

Soper having disappeared on lap 10, right after his stop, Andrew Haddon now led the CLP order, while the Nick & Eddie Powell Elan now occupied second place in class, ahead of Dutchman Sander van Gils in the bright yellow Elan. The Ahlers/Bellinger Morgan SLR – now with Bellinger at the wheel – still led the C2 class, now from Jeremy Welch in the Healey started by Nyblaeus, with Nigel Greensall closing very quickly in the Healey shared with Mark Holme. The Bourne/Paul TVR Grantura continued to dominate C1, but Nick Swift in the Ogle was closing on the TVR, having passed Bechtolsheimer for second.

At the front, Lockie and Hart Jr were setting similar laptimes, separated by some 15 seconds, the young Dutchman failing to make an impression on Lockie in the lead, who set fastest lap of the race on lap 15. As Lockie managed his lead towards the chequered flag, he added another Masters Gentlemen Drivers win to the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé shared with Thomas, even though Olivier Hart improved fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap of the race.

James Dodd beat Jon Minshaw for third, with Spiers keeping both E-types in sight to take fifth. Over a minute down, the Pearson/Pearson E-type finished sixth, just ahead of Stretton and the Cook/Stanley AC Cobra. In ninth overall, Andrew Haddon cornered the CLP class win in his Elan, leading home the similar cars of Nick & Eddie Powell (12th overall) and Sander van Gils (17th overall).

“I didn’t go off at Vale,” said Haddon, “I got pushed off by a Cobra! Apart from that, I was just trying to keep everybody at bay. I got past Fenn fairly quickly, and didn’t see Steve all race. I guess he had a problem during the stops. The car was faultless, so top job from the team. Happy schnappy days!”

“I didn’t expect that!” said young Van Gils. “My dad showed me the P3 sign and I couldn’t believe it. Having more experience on this track now, I was able to find a rhythm. I couldn’t have gone any quicker than this.”

Bellinger completed a lights-to-flag C2 class win for himself and Keith Ahlers, while the Nyblaeus/Welch Healey managed to keep the Holme/Greensall example behind for second in class. The excitement in the closing stages came in the C1 class, Swift catching and passing Malcolm Paul for the class win.

Mini Celebration Trophy – Race 1
Turner wins first Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic

Darren Turner fought his way to the front in a six-car lead group to win the first Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic, the Aston Martin works driver moving into the lead on lap 4. Chris Middlehurst followed Turner past early leaders Adam Morgan and Ian Curley, who finished third and fourth.

“I didn’t know myself!” said Turner on being probed about being known as a Mini driver. “But what a joy to go out racing in these changing conditions!”

Michael Caine starred by storming to the front of the pursuing group, passing Aaron Smith’s Mini and then almost catching Curley for fourth. Phil House performed similar miracles from a lowly grid position to take seventh, ahead of Tom Bell, Endaf Owens and Patrick Watts.

A hugely exciting first green lap saw the pole-sitting Mini of Endaf Owens go wide out of Abbey and then touch another car into Copse, dropping him down to 11th. At the front, a lead group of six cars soon emerged, Adam Morgan leading Ian Curley, Chris Morgan, Chris Middlehurst, Darren Turner and Aaron Smith. Morgan (A.) and Curley briefly swapped places between Stowe and Vale, but the BTCC star quickly reasserted himself at the front.

With Turner moving up two places on the next lap, it was all change on lap four when Morgan dropped down to fourth while Turner moved past Curley for the lead. Turner then made a break at the front, with Chris Middlehurst following him past, while Adam Morgan recovered to grab third from Curley’s hands. In the process, Chris Morgan’s Mini slowed to drop out of contention. Behind the lead group, Michael Caine, Patrick Watts and Phil House starred by working their way to front of the pursuing pack.

“Unfortunately, I locked up into turn 3 and went straight on”, said Morgan about his error. “It was still good fun, and I have to thank Nick [Swift] for the opportunity.”

At the front, Turner managed a 1.5-second lead over Middlehurst who in turn had dropped Adam Morgan by some two seconds, with Curley losing touch with Morgan. Further down the road, Caine had passed Smith for fifth while House relieved Watts of seventh place.

Turner’s lead over Middlehurst at the end was seven tenths, as Morgan completed the podium four seconds down.

“Absolutely, I was really closing on Darren!” said Middlehurst about needing one more lap to catch Turner.

Curley narrowly stayed ahead of Caine to keep fourth, the pair heading home Smith and House. Tom Bell took eighth while Endaf Owens fought back to take ninth from Watts right at the end.

Mini Celebration Trophy – Race 2
Adam Morgan takes hard-fought win in second Mini Celebration Trophy race at Silverstone

BTCC star Adam Morgan trounced the regulars by claiming a hard-fought win in the second Mini Celebration Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic. Passing Chris Middlehurst two laps from the end, Morgan in Nick Swift’s car ended up on top of a sensational six-car fight for victory.

“If you want to go racing and have some fun, buy a Mini!” a jubilant Morgan said. “The racing is incredible, I was missing gears and getting passed by four cars but the next lap because of the tow you catch up with all of them again! This weekend has really been great fun.”

Ending up a fighting second on the road, Middlehurst had been racing a Mini with a loose rear bumper, and was given the black-and-orange flag two laps into the race. Choosing to ignore that, the black flag was waved for him two laps from the end – similarly in vain, resulting in him being scratched from the results.

Still sixth one lap from the end, Ian Curley charged past Endaf Owens, Darren Turner and Michael Caine to claim third place – which due to Middlehurst’s disqualification was turned into second.

“A phenomenal race!” said Curley. “They are all awesome drivers so you have to be on top of it. I wish that was an hour long! I had a phenomenal race with Michael – he was there!”

Enjoying the experience just as much as the winner, Caine completed the podium in his first attempt at racing Minis.

“God, I’m too old for this!” said Caine. “This takes me back to racing Caterhams. And you can really race these guys, you can trust them.”

A topsy-turvy first lap saw Chris Middlehurst quickly grab the lead – in a car with a loose rear bumper – with Tom Bell storming up to second place, in a Mini with the boot open, Abarth-style! Adam Morgan, who was initially second, now had Ian Curley to cope with while the winner of the first race, Darren Turner, was holding off Michael Caine.

On lap 2, Bell momentarily dislodged Middlehurst from first place but the two defective cars swapped places again to continue to lead. Curley was now up into third, and Caine into fifth. Meanwhile, Endaf Owens had made seventh place his own, Elliot Stafford following the Welshman past Jeff Smith into eighth.

Soon, it was all over for Bell, and no sooner than the ‘Abarth Mini’ pulled off out of Village the black-and-orange meatball flag was shown to Middlehurst. He wasn’t coming in on the next lap, though, and Middlehurst still led the leading six cars into lap 5, now in the order of Morgan, Caine, Curley, Turner and Owens. The group had dropped Stafford by eight seconds and Smith by 11.

Five laps done, Morgan was closing in on Middlehurst in the lead, leaving Caine, Curley and Turner to fight over third place – with lots of fender bending involved! Owens had now caught up with the pushing and shoving in front of him, and quickly moved into fifth, pushing Curley down to sixth. Going into lap 6, Middlehurst was shown the black flag for ignoring the meatball but then lost the lead to Morgan anyway as the pair went into Farm.

Into the final lap, Middlehurst still carried on, but behind him Curley had moved from sixth to third in the space of one lap. While Curley defended from Caine going into Maggotts, Turner got ahead for a moment but Caine got him back on the exit of Becketts. Morgan held on to win from the black-flagged Middlehurst, with Curley taking third on the road, ahead of Caine, Turner and Owens. Stafford ended the race in a lonely seventh, while Jeff Smith, Chris Morgan and Aaron Smith completed the top-ten.

Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars
Fenn/Hill take dramatic Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars win at Silverstone

Rob Fenn and Jake Hill took a sensational Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars win at the Silverstone Classic, as Hill dramatically crossed the line on three tyres and a wheel rim. Their victory was valiantly defended by Craig Davies – the man that a few laps earlier had been the cause of the damage.

“After the stops it was game on, a perfect three-way fight”, said Hill. “I got past the both of them, and the fight with Craig was awesome. Credit to Craig being a gentleman.”

Hill and Davies had been warring over first place with Olivier Hart’s Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA until that dropped out, and then Davies tried a lunge at Vale that ended in one red Ford Mustang T-boning the other. The smash caused Hill’s bodywork to rub against the left rear tyre until it blew half a lap from the end. Davies had briefly taken the lead after the contretemps but then generously handed first place back to Hill, and continued to run in a close second place until the end.

“I still feel sick”, said Davies who was then told about the cheers and applause his gesture received from the crowd, “but that makes me feel better. Such a shame, it could have been a great fight to the finish.”

When Hill’s tyre failed, Davies even prevented Wolfe’s Lotus Cortina from stealing victory from the stricken BTCC driver, who was then saved by a yellow flag at Vale. With Steve Soper also closing rapidly in the Cortina started by Mark Martin, the first four ran across the line nose-to-tail.

“Of course I did”, said Wolfe when asked if he had understood what Davies was doing into that final corner. “But it wasn’t going stop me from taking the both of them! But then there was a yellow flag…”

After an opening lap on a drying track covered behind the safety car, the field was released for their first charge down to Abbey. Olivier Hart quickly took the lead from Rob Fenn’s Mustang but then was passed by Craig Davies’ similar Mustang on a charge from sixth on the grid. Behind Fenn, Julian Thomas moved his Falcon past Wolfe’s Cortina for fourth. In 15th, Middlehurst led Bell in the Mini class.

Then, on the end of lap 2, the safety car was out again, prompted by a violent smash at Copse, David Bartrum spinning his Mustang and the unfortunate Martin Strömmen driving his Cortina straight into it while Alberto Vella’s avoiding action ended up with Cortina stuck in the gravel trap.

The caution period proved to be so lengthy that the pit window had opened once the green flag was waved. From the leaders, Fenn was the only one to grab the opportunity and hand over to Jake Hill, while the top-three – Davies, Hart and Thomas – passed and re-passed each other on the next two laps, their positions remaining unchanged past start-and-finish.

Some eight seconds behind them, Benji Hetherington (Mustang) had moved up into fourth, followed by Shaun Balfe (Cortina), Tom Ingram (Cortina), Mark Burton (Mustang) and Mark Martin (Cortina). In their wake, Middlehurst, Curley and Bell were fighting over tenth place overall and the Mini class lead.

On the end of lap 6, the top two cars came in, but Thomas, Ingram and many others carried on still. As Davies and Hart returned to the track in the order in which they pitted, they were both passed by Jake Hill on a roll after that early stop by Fenn. As Lockie and Attard took over from Thomas and Ingram, Lockie’s Falcon was soon slowing, its trottle cable broken.

At the front, Davies continued to fight Hill but the Alfa Romeo began to drop back from the two Mustangs. Seven seconds behind Hart, Wolfe was fourth and fighting Hetherington, with early stopper Richard Dutton’s Cortina having moved up past Balfe and Burton. Moments later, though, the Alfa’s run was over, Hart parking the Italian machine at Copse. Meanwhile in the Mini fight, Curley had grabbed the initiative from Bell and Middlehurst.

Davies having posted fastest lap on lap 12 wasn’t giving up but Hill kept his Mustang in the lead, now 12 seconds ahead of Wolfe who had pulled two seconds clear of Hetherington. Behind them, Steve Soper moved his Cortina past Dutton’s similar example to grab fifth overall.

The lead fight ended in tears when Davies outbraked himself into Vale to hit his rival Mustang amidships. Hill continued with damage on the left rear corner, the pair still in the lead, but the bodywork was rubbing the tyre sidewall. Nevertheless, Hill gave no quarter, and into the complex was handed back the lead by Davies.

After a few laps, the smoke from the leading car began to clear, and Hill continued to lead towards the finish line, Davies following in his tracks. But then, the tyre still blew on Hangar Straight! Davies declining to profit from the opportunity then proceeded to prevent Wolfe from passing the both of them before Hill was saved by the yellow flag waved for an Alfa Romeo that had spun at Vale. The result was that Hill crawled across the line in his severely handicapped Mustang, still the winner, with Davies, Wolfe and the rapidly closing Soper in second, third and fourth. Hetherington was fifth, ahead of Burton, Balfe and Neil Brown’s Cortina.

In ninth overall, Ian Curley prevented Tom Bell from taking his fifth Mini class win on the trot, even though by a mere two tenths…

Yokohama Trophy for Masters Historic Sports Cars
Andrew & Max Banks storm to dominant Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars victory at Silverstone

The McLaren M6B of Andrew & Max Banks took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the Yokohama Trophy for FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race at Silverstone, defeating Gary Pearson’s Lola T70 Mk3B by 42 seconds. It was vindication for their lost Silverstone Classic win of 2018.

“I know…”, said Max Banks, looking back on last year’s lost victory. “I was saying ‘Gearbox, be alright, gearbox, be alright’ on those final laps. But the car was amazing, and Andrew did a brilliant first half.”

In the first half of the race, Pearson charged his way up to second place and slowly moved out of Martin Stretton’s sight, Stretton in the McLaren M6 GT in the end having to defend from Diogo Ferrão’s Lola T292 while on the final lap Andy Wolfe in the T70 Mk3B started by Jason Wright blasted through the middle of both, three wide on the Wellington Straight, to take an unexpected third place as he overcame a drivethrough penalty.

“I loved it!” said Pearson about his charge through the field. “I had a really good run through the other guys, and that was a good fight with Martin. I had a good slingshot out of Stowe, and that was it. He’s always clean, and we’re old mates anyway.”

However, Wolfe failing to serve a second drivethrough penalty meant that he was hit with a time penalty enough to lose third place to Ferrão. Michael Gans also featured heavily up front but his Lola T290 failed on him on the final lap.

A storming set of opening laps saw Andrew Banks pull out a lead of ten seconds over Martin Stretton, who on lap 2 got past both T70 Mk3Bs of David Hart and Jason Wright, with Michael Gans and Gary Pearson also making their way past the Dutchman. In fact, Pearson couldn’t be stopped as 15 minutes into the race he pushed down Gans back into fifth place, and then also snapped up Wright’s Lola to grab third.

Meanwhile, Hart’s Lola was languishing as it was past by Oldershaw, Ferrão, Fletcher and Mike Wrigley in short succession. Oldershaw was the man on the move, the open-top Lola flying past another Lola coupé dropping back, Jason Wright following David Hart’s way down the order.

In the Siffert class, John Sheldon and Ross Hyett were nose-to-tail in their Chevron B16s, with the Bonnier-class Chevron B8s of Julian Thomas and Mark Owen getting ahead of both of them halfway into their stints. In the pre-66 Hulme class, Chris Jolly led Billy Bellinger by 11 seconds, with 20 minutes of the race gone.

At the front, Banks now led by 21 seconds, with Stretton now being forced to defend second place from Pearson in the only T70 Mk3B to keep pace with the leaders. Gans was a further two seconds down and closing again, the American chased by Oldershaw, Ferrão, Fletcher and Wrigley in their open-top sportscars.

On lap 9, the pit window approaching, Stretton suddenly succumbed to both Pearson and Gans, while further back Ferrão passed Oldershaw, and Fletcher nipped past Wrigley. Losing ground on the edge of the top ten, Wright and Hart were being caught by Gary Culver’s similar T70 Mk3B. As Hart and Fletcher became the first to pit, Robert Oldershaw’s Lola T290 came to a stop at Becketts. In fact, Jason Wright had come in even earlier but at that time the pit window hadn’t opened yet – the American’s error would cost his team mate Andy Wolfe a drivethough penalty.

In the Siffert class, Hyett had dropped Sheldon by five seconds, the pair now split by Chris Lillingston-Price in the third-placed Bonnier-class Chevron B8, while in the Hulme class Jolly – in a freshly Chevy-engined Cooper Monaco – had increased his lead over Bellinger to 17 seconds.

On lap 11, the leading car was in, Andrew handing over to brother Max. Both Pearson and Stretton followed the McLaren M6B in while Gans along with Ferrão stayed out for another lap. Back in 18th place, Nicky Pastorelli returned to the pits to retire the Lola T70 Mk3B started by David Hart.

All pitstops done, Max Banks led Pearson by 31 seconds, with Stretton two ticks further down the road. Wolfe was up into fourth but with his penalty served dropped down to sixth behind Gans and Ferrão, the American and the Portuguese themselves keeping Stretton well in sight while now fiercely disputing fourth place. Behind Wolfe, a big gap to Gary Culver’s Lola had developed, Culver now chased by David Tomlin’s Lola T210 and Fletcher in the Chevron B26.

In the Bonnier class, Lillingstone-Price had pipped both Andrew Owen and Calum Lockie at the stops, Owen having taken over from son Mark, and Lockie having taken the place of Thomas. Hyett’s gap to Sheldon in the Siffert class had increased to 13 seconds, while Steve Farthing in the Cooper Monaco started by Jolly led Keith Ahlers in the Cooper Monaco King Cobra by half a minute. Despite a spin, Ian Simmonds still held third in class in his Lola T70 Mk1 Spyder.

With ten minutes still on the clock, Banks led imperiously while Pearson had raced clear of Stretton who was now under pressure from Ferrão, the Portuguese driver having passed Gans on lap 17. In sixth, Wolfe’s race was hit by another penalty, now for speeding in the pitlane, which would not lose him a place given his huge lead over seventh-placed Gary Culver. Wolfe not taking the penalty, however, meant that he would get a time penalty instead.

In the closing few minutes, Hyett’s Siffert-class charge came to a premature halt, while Ferrão was now hounding Stretton in the Lola T292 that in previous years he used to share with Stretton! Wolfe, meanwhile, was closing on the pair of them, and on the final lap blasted through the middle past both of them, as they raced three cars wide on the Wellington Straight. It was all for nothing though, as Wolfe’s time penalty handed third place back to Ferrão. More drama ensued when Gans’ Lola T290 stopped on the final lap to hand sixth place to Culver, with Fletcher and Tomlin up next. Gans was still classified ninth.

Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing (Cooper Monaco T61M) took a strong pre-66 Hulme-class victory, their rivals Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger (Cooper Monaco King Cobra) dropping behind Ian Simmonds’ Lola T70 Mk1 Spyder right at the end. Ross Hyett looked to have the Siffert class sewn up but five minutes from the end his Chevron B16 expired, handing the class win to John Sheldon’s similar car. Chris Lillington-Price surprised the Bonnier-class regulars by pipping fellow Chevron B8 runners Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie to the win. Till Bechtolsheimer took third in class, in the dying moments of the race getting ahead of the Owens’ B8.