Silverstone, UK

THE CLASSIC SILVERSTONE
30 July – 1 August 2021

Historic motorsport wins in brilliant 30th anniversary edition of The Classic at Silverstone!

Despite the slightly moist conditions, historic motorsport prevailed in a glorious 30th edition of The Classic, with Masters Historic Racing contributing no less than nine exciting races to the programme. Michael Lyons was a double winner in Masters Historic Formula One while Alex Brundle, Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie, Craig Davies, Rob Wheldon, François Perrodo, Bill Sollis and Nathan Heathcote all held Silverstone’s monster-size trophy aloft as a Masters race winner on the podiums.

RACE REPORTS

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Record-breaking Wheldon storms to victory in first Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone

Rob Wheldon overcame an ‘elite driver’ pitstop time penalty to prevail in the first Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone, his Lola-Mazda B12/60 setting the fastest race lap ever recorded at the Classic during his chase of François Perrodo’s Peugeot 908. Wheldon’s 1.45.277 time in Steve Tandy’s Lola was among a string of hot laps that helped him take the final hurdle of the Frenchman’s powerful diesel-engined prototype. Meanwhile, Jamie Constable valiantly pushed through to claim third in the Pescarolo-Judd 01 ahead of Shaun Lynn in another Peugeot 908.

“I’ve had such a good time”, said an elated Wheldon. “Thanks to Steve Tandy for the opportunity and massive efforts from Pete Chambers and the lads. It’s just been a hell of an experience, and to come away with a trophy to reward them for what they have done, it’s just phenomenal. I enjoyed myself every lap of the way.”

“He was way too fast for me”, said a magnanimous Perrodo. “I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s a great event. It was my first race in the Peugeot so I’m still discovering the car, and I can say it’s the only diesel that’s worth driving!”

“I’m just happy that we managed to finish”, said Constable. “The car’s been in the workshop for six months, first time out, so really, really happy.”

Polesitter Emmanuel Collard led early on in the Porsche RS Spyder before seeing Wheldon move past and fighting Perrodo for second, but his elite-driver time penalty at the stops dropped him down to fifth. The Frenchman still ruled in the P2 class, finishing well ahead of the BR01s of Max Lynn and Jason McInulty/Chris Perkins.

In GTs, Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas won from the front in their Porsche 996 GT3 RSR, but the Mosler MT900R of Michael McInerney/Aaron Scott fought them all the way. In third, Olly Bryant came through from the back in his Trans-Am Roush Mustang GT-S1 to be fastest of the GT1 drivers.

In the first truly dry race of the day, the 30-car field started in single file behind the safety car, the drivers still unacquainted with the grip offered by a bone-dry track after a very wet qualifying. Failing to lead the field away, however, was the pole-sitting Porsche RS Spyder of Emmanuel Collard, while James Littlejohn’s Gibson 015S was left behind in the assembly area as well. Towards the green flag, though, Collard hurried to assume his position at the front of the field.

After two laps behind the safety car, Collard led away from Wheldon, Wrigley and Cottingham, with the two Peugeots of Shaun Lynn and Perrodo behind. Brise was sixth ahead of Max Lynn in the BR01 and Kriton Lendoudis in the third Peugeot, as Constable in the Pescarolo 01. In 17th overall, Marcus Jewell’s Porsche led the GTs ahead of the Michael McInerney in the first of the Moslers.

Into lap 2, Wheldon sized up the leading Porsche and swept past into Abbey to put the Lola-Mazda into the lead, with Wrigley in the ex-Doran Lista Dallara now eyeing Collard for second. Behind the top-three, Perrodo picked off Lynn (S.) and Cottingham to move up into fourth, while Constable dealt with Lendoudis to take ninth before relieving Lynn (M.) of P8.

Setting a new fastest lap of the race, Wheldon opened up a 3-second gap on Collard, who was keeping Wrigley Jr at bay, but Perrodo was closing up on both with fastest lap on lap 5. The first ten minutes of the race gone, the Frenchman diesel-powered his Peugeot past Wrigley’s older Dallara. Constable’s rise, meanwhile, continued with the Pescarolo now moving up into seventh at the cost of David Brise in the Lola B09/80.

In P2, Collard was in the lead, obviously, with the BR01 of Max Lynn in second and David Brise in third, while in GTs, McInerney had moved ahead of Jewell to take the class lead, with Tom Jackson in the Grand-Am Porsche holding a brief watch in third, but next time around Olly Bryant in the Roush Mustang moved ahead of Jackson.

On lap 8, Perrodo tried a lunge past Collard into Stowe but had to bail out with a lurid slide, and now had to do it all over again. Both Frenchmen, however, now trailed Wheldon by ten seconds. On the next lap, Perrodo got the move made, and was straight into the lead as Wheldon was the first to pit, along with McInerney and Jackson, the pair handing over to Aaron Scott and John Cockerton respectively. Soon the pitlane was a busy place, with Perrodo, Collard, Wrigley, Max Lynn and Lendoudis all joining them.

Collard and Wheldon being elite drivers forced to make a longer stop, the Porsche RS Spyder and the Lola-Mazda now handed Perrodo’s Peugeot a consummate lead, as the late-stopping Shaun Lynn now also came in for his mandatory stop.

Perrodo now led Wheldon by ten seconds but the Lola was flying – his 1.45.933 lap was the fastest lap ever recorded at the Classic. Constable had moved up into third, leading Lynn Sr by 14 seconds and Collard by another 18 ticks, with Max Lynn in sixth as the second of the P2 runners, with Keith Frieser in the Zytek 09S having moved up into seventh, as the Canadian was chased by Lendoudis and Wrigley.

With five minutes to go, Wheldon further lowered his mark to close the gap to Perrodo down to six seconds, while in GTs, Ben Clucas in the Porsche started by Jewell led from Aaron Scott in the first of the Moslers, with Bryant in third and Olivier Tancogne in the Saleen S7R in fourth.

Wheldon was unstoppable, though, as he improved his best lap to 1.45.227 and now had the Peugeot well in sight – and very unusually so, went for it into Becketts. Perrodo momentarily struck back on Hangar Straight but Wheldon made it through yet again out of Club, after which he was gone.

21 laps done, Wheldon was the victor despite his professional pitstop penalty to lead home Perrodo, Constable, Lynn Sr and P2 class winner Collard. Lendoudis and Frieser were up next, with Lynn Jr and the second BR01 of Jason McInulty and Chris Perkins in second and third in the P2 class, as Lukas Halusa took a surprise tenth overall in the invitational Porsche 962. In GTs, Clucas defended his lead againt Scott and Bryant while Xavier Tancogne in the Ferrari 458 GTE pipped Olivier Tancogne’s Saleen for fourth.

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Perrodo powers to win in second Masters Endurance Legends race at the Classic

François Perrodo improved on his second place in the first race by going one better in the second Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone, the Frenchman surging past Shaun Lynn’s similar Peugeot 908 to make it a diesel-powered 1-2 at the Classic. In third, Jamie Constable reeled off a tremendous recovery drive after his Pescarolo-Judd 01 was left stranded on the grid and was forced to start from the pitlane.

“I thought I was going to be content with second place because Shaun was so fast, I couldn’t see him anymore”, said Perrodo. “And somehow in the second stint, I managed to fight back and get first place, so really happy!”

“No, I’m 58 years of age, getting a bit old, and I was sleeping a bit in the second stint…”, said Lynn about his slowing pace in the second part of the race. “The car was fantastic!”

Constable narrowly held off Emmanuel Collard in the P2-class-winning Porsche RS Spyder, the French star – purposely handicapped by a professional-driver pitstop time penalty – connecting a string of fastest laps of the race to get within 0.157 of Constable at the finish. Greek Peugeot 90X driver Kriton Lendoudis took fifth while Max Lynn in the BR Engineering-Nissan BR01 took sixth and second in the P2 class, ahead of James Littlejohn in the Gibson 015S.

“I wasn’t sure [where Collard was], but I was going to driving flat-out during the whole race anyway and see where I end up”, said Constable. “I just kept my foot in, and here we are, third!”

On a dry track, Steve Tandy took over the Lola-Mazda B12/60 he entrusted to Rob Wheldon the day before – and with great effect, as Wheldon won, handing Tandy pole position for the second race. From third on the grid, though, Constable was unable to leave the dummy grid, with Collard stuck behind him. After reversing, the Frenchman found his way past the Pescarolo to assume his rightful place in the order.

Initially, Tandy got the edge over Perrodo but the Peugeot was past before Brooklands. Soon, Lynn was up into second to make it a diesel 1-2, with Collard following through on the next lap. With Tandy dropping back, Lendoudis in the third Peugeot was up into fourth on lap 3, now trailing Perrodo by 16 seconds. On lap 4, however, Lynn took advantage in the Village and Loop section to take the lead, while Matt Wrigley was forced to pull over in Christophe d’Ansembourg’s ex-Didier Theys/Mauro Baldi Dallara-ORECA DO-05.

Behind the five leading cars, Frieser held his own in sixth in his new Zytek 09S, ahead of Max Lynn’s BR01 and David Brise in the Lola-Judd B09/80, those two in second and third in the P2 class, as they fought James Littlejohn’s Gibson 015S and the resurgent Pescarolo of Jamie Constable. Among the GTs, Olivier Tancogne in the Vitaphone-liveried Saleen S7R led from Michael McInerney in the Mosler MT900R, with Tom Jackson’s Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Grand-Am in third.

At the front, Lynn Sr eeked out a 2-second lead over Perrodo, with Collard four more ticks behind his friend and countryman, as Lendoudis and Tandy kept quarreling over fourth place, both some 22 seconds behind now. Meanwhile, Brise had emerged in sixth ahead Frieser, Littlejohn and Lynn (M.), the Canadian in the Zytek fighting the three P2 cars, but on lap 8, Frieser dropped away from the pack to retire with gearbox issues – and moments later, Tandy was seen falling back from Lendoudis to limp back to the pits with an engine fault.

More pitstops soon followed, including Tancogne in the GT-leading Saleen, but Lynn remained in control in front, now leading by six seconds from Perrodo, with Collard a further six seconds behind. On lap 11, Perrodo came in, and Collard and Lendoudis were in next, and then, at the last opportunity on lap 13, the leader finally entered the pits for his mandatory stop.

All stops done, Lynn still led Perrodo, and with an increased margin, while Constable’s comeback drive came into true fruition after an early stop got him into third place. Lendoudis was fourth ahead of Collard, now in fifth because of his longer ‘elite driver’ stop, with Max Lynn and David Brise in sixth and seventh overall as well as second and third in the P2 class.

In GTs, Tancogne still headed the field, now with the Craig Davies/Ron Maydon Ligier-Nissan JSP3-15 between the Frenchman’s Saleen and the Mosler MT900R started by Michael McInerney and now occupied by Aaron Scott, who himself was chased hard by Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3. However, now fourth in class, Ben Clucas in the Porsche 996 GT3 RSR started by Marcus Jewell was catching all of them.

With ten minutes still to go, Perrodo starting closing down the gap to Lynn, as the race leader suddenly wasn’t lapping at his customary level anymore, and on lap 17, going into Brooklands, the Frenchman breezed past the slightly limping fellow Peugeot. Constable in the Pescarolo had done well to get back up into third but was 40 seconds on the leaders while maintaining a 15-second gap to Collard, who had meanwhile usurped Lendoudis for fourth. Further back, James Cottingham was charging up the field in the Dallara SP1 started by Max Girardo, and was now in eighth but within striking distance of Littlejohn in seventh and Max Lynn in sixth. David Brise held ninth while Mark Higson in the ORECA-Nissan 03 first appeared in the top-ten.

Tancogne continued to lead the GTs by a country mile, now over Clucas in second and Sowter in third, with Scott having dropped down to fourth.

As the final minutes ticked down, Perrodo built his lead over Lynn to win by 9 seconds. Constable only just held on to third despite Collard reeling off fastest laps of the race towards the end. Lendoudis was fifth while Max Lynn in the BR01 took second in P2, ahead of the Girardo/Cottingham P1 Dallara, while Brise and Littlejohn fought hard over third in P2, the latter prevailing in the end.

Murray Walker Memorial Trophy – Race 1
Lyons takes controlled lights-to-flag win in first Murray Walker Memorial Trophy race at Silverstone

Michael Lyons (Ensign N180B) took a controlled win in the first Murray Walker Memorial Trophy race for Masters Historic Formula One cars at the Classic, converting his pole position into a 7.8-second lead over Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C.

“I can’t complain on days like these”, said Lyons. “It’s a testament to what the guys at the University [of Bolton running the Ensign] have done because the level of competition here is really strong. I was drafted in at the last minute, but we got it working well and got to steal some glory!”

In the opening stages of the 20-minute race around Silverstone, Cantillon was under threat from Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 but Hartley lost it on the cement dust still covering the entry to Abbey after an oil spill in the previous race at the Classic. This allowed Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011 into third.

“Congratulations to Michael”, said Cantillon. “That was an amazing drive. I put in some of the fastest laps I have ever done here, but I still couldn’t catch up with him. So fair play to him.”

Hartley having fought his way back past Steve Brooks’ Lotus 91, was ready to pounce on Constable when he got into a wild spin in the Maggotts and Becketts complex, and had to do it all over again. While recovering, Hartley inadventently hit Brooks on one of the Lotus 91’s wheels. It looked like both got away unharmed but the Lotus dropped down the order on the final laps. After an eventful race, Hartley recovered to fourth behind Constable.

“I didn’t actually see Steve spin in my mirrors”, said Constable. “But when I got on the straight I was expecting to see him and he wasn’t…”

Lukas Halusa dominated pre-78 proceedings, the Austrian taking his McLaren M23 to fifth overall, well ahead of Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 and Michel Baudoin in the Hesketh 308E. The fight for post-82 class glory went unrewarded as both Mark Hazell (Williams FW08) and Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) dropped out.

On a track sufficiently dried after all the precipitation, but still with two laps behind the safety car to allow the drivers to get to grips with the surface, Lyons got away best from the rolling start, as he headed Cantillon, Hartley, Constable and Halusa in the leading pre-78 entry into the Arena complex. Out of Brooklands, however, Brooks moved up at the cost of the Austrian.

As Lyons made a break, Cantilon was coming under increased pressure from Hartley, but into Abbey – with a previous oil spill still covered by cement dust – ‘The Jam Baron’ lost his McLaren, and moments later also Ken Tyrrell spun over the oil and dust that had been thrown up into a huge cloud by Lyons powering right through it. Meanwhile, Hazell was in the pits, his Williams FW08 hit by a loss of oil pressure.

The damage done to Hartley’s chances proved to be limited, as the McLaren had already fought his way back past Halusa and was back into fifth, now in the hunt for Brooks in the Lotus 91, with Constable’s Tyrrell 011 slightly further up on the road.

After three laps, Lyons led Cantillon by 4.6 seconds, with Constable four more seconds in arrears. Hartley and Brooks now got involved in a mighty tussle at The Loop – Hartley’s first effort failed but then he made it work into Maggotts and Becketts to be fourth.

Halusa still maintained a monumental pre-78 class lead, with Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler now in second place in class, in 11th overall, as the American chased his countryman Ken Tyrrell in the second Tyrrell 011 in the field. Hazell having retired, the post-82 looked to be all Ian Simmonds’, but then his Tyrrell 012 retired on lap, having succumbed to gearbox issues.

Halfway into the race, Lyons maintained his 5-second gap to Cantillon but the fight was on for third, as Hartley has closed up to Constable to harry the Denim-liveried Tyrrell – but then the McLaren went into a wild spin into Becketts, losing downforce behind the Tyrrell, and when Hartley got going again he inadvertently hit the Lotus of Brooks who navigated around the outside of the carbonfibre McLaren, but seemingly without any consequences for either of them. Now back down into fifth, Hartley had to do all over again.

Behind Brooks and Halusa, Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 was now up into sixth, with Mark Harrison in the Shadow DN9 behind him in seventh. Ken Tyrrell was back up to eighth while Neil Glover (Arrows A5) and Paul Tattersall (Ensign N179) had also moved ahead of Holtzman in the sixwheeler.

As the minutes ticked away, Lyons set another fastest lap of the race, as Cantillon hung on to his 5-second deficit. Constable now trailed the leader by 16 seconds, but Brooks was slowing – not just Hartley but now Halusa was past too, and then the rest followed. Lyons crossed the line 7.8 seconds ahead of Cantillon, with Constable in third and Hartley in fourth. Halusa took the pre-78 class win, with Briggs, Harrison, Glover and Tyrrell seperating him from class rivals Holtzman and Baudoin.

Murray Walker Memorial Trophy – Race 1
Lyons takes controlled lights-to-flag win in first Murray Walker Memorial Trophy race at Silverstone

Michael Lyons (Ensign N180B) took a controlled win in the first Murray Walker Memorial Trophy race for Masters Historic Formula One cars at the Classic, converting his pole position into a 7.8-second lead over Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C.

“I can’t complain on days like these”, said Lyons. “It’s a testament to what the guys at the University [of Bolton running the Ensign] have done because the level of competition here is really strong. I was drafted in at the last minute, but we got it working well and got to steal some glory!”

In the opening stages of the 20-minute race around Silverstone, Cantillon was under threat from Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 but Hartley lost it on the cement dust still covering the entry to Abbey after an oil spill in the previous race at the Classic. This allowed Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011 into third.

“Congratulations to Michael”, said Cantillon. “That was an amazing drive. I put in some of the fastest laps I have ever done here, but I still couldn’t catch up with him. So fair play to him.”

Hartley having fought his way back past Steve Brooks’ Lotus 91, was ready to pounce on Constable when he got into a wild spin in the Maggotts and Becketts complex, and had to do it all over again. While recovering, Hartley inadventently hit Brooks on one of the Lotus 91’s wheels. It looked like both got away unharmed but the Lotus dropped down the order on the final laps. After an eventful race, Hartley recovered to fourth behind Constable.

“I didn’t actually see Steve spin in my mirrors”, said Constable. “But when I got on the straight I was expecting to see him and he wasn’t…”

Lukas Halusa dominated pre-78 proceedings, the Austrian taking his McLaren M23 to fifth overall, well ahead of Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 and Michel Baudoin in the Hesketh 308E. The fight for post-82 class glory went unrewarded as both Mark Hazell (Williams FW08) and Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) dropped out.

On a track sufficiently dried after all the precipitation, but still with two laps behind the safety car to allow the drivers to get to grips with the surface, Lyons got away best from the rolling start, as he headed Cantillon, Hartley, Constable and Halusa in the leading pre-78 entry into the Arena complex. Out of Brooklands, however, Brooks moved up at the cost of the Austrian.

As Lyons made a break, Cantilon was coming under increased pressure from Hartley, but into Abbey – with a previous oil spill still covered by cement dust – ‘The Jam Baron’ lost his McLaren, and moments later also Ken Tyrrell spun over the oil and dust that had been thrown up into a huge cloud by Lyons powering right through it. Meanwhile, Hazell was in the pits, his Williams FW08 hit by a loss of oil pressure.

The damage done to Hartley’s chances proved to be limited, as the McLaren had already fought his way back past Halusa and was back into fifth, now in the hunt for Brooks in the Lotus 91, with Constable’s Tyrrell 011 slightly further up on the road.

After three laps, Lyons led Cantillon by 4.6 seconds, with Constable four more seconds in arrears. Hartley and Brooks now got involved in a mighty tussle at The Loop – Hartley’s first effort failed but then he made it work into Maggotts and Becketts to be fourth.

Halusa still maintained a monumental pre-78 class lead, with Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler now in second place in class, in 11th overall, as the American chased his countryman Ken Tyrrell in the second Tyrrell 011 in the field. Hazell having retired, the post-82 looked to be all Ian Simmonds’, but then his Tyrrell 012 retired on lap, having succumbed to gearbox issues.

Halfway into the race, Lyons maintained his 5-second gap to Cantillon but the fight was on for third, as Hartley has closed up to Constable to harry the Denim-liveried Tyrrell – but then the McLaren went into a wild spin into Becketts, losing downforce behind the Tyrrell, and when Hartley got going again he inadvertently hit the Lotus of Brooks who navigated around the outside of the carbonfibre McLaren, but seemingly without any consequences for either of them. Now back down into fifth, Hartley had to do all over again.

Behind Brooks and Halusa, Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 was now up into sixth, with Mark Harrison in the Shadow DN9 behind him in seventh. Ken Tyrrell was back up to eighth while Neil Glover (Arrows A5) and Paul Tattersall (Ensign N179) had also moved ahead of Holtzman in the sixwheeler.

As the minutes ticked away, Lyons set another fastest lap of the race, as Cantillon hung on to his 5-second deficit. Constable now trailed the leader by 16 seconds, but Brooks was slowing – not just Hartley but now Halusa was past too, and then the rest followed. Lyons crossed the line 7.8 seconds ahead of Cantillon, with Constable in third and Hartley in fourth. Halusa took the pre-78 class win, with Briggs, Harrison, Glover and Tyrrell seperating him from class rivals Holtzman and Baudoin.

Classic Mini Challenge – Race 1
Lyons doubles up in wet second Murray Walker Memorial Trophy at Silverstone

Bill Sollis endured race-long pressure from Nathan Heathcote, Chris Middlehurst and Endaf Owens to take victory in the first Classic Mini Challenge race at the Classic. On a very wet Silverstone circuit, Sollis led from lights to flag, and at one time pulled out a 1.6-second advantage but right at the end his three main rivals closed up to make for a very exciting finish.

“It wasn’t easy, but to be honest, the car was just easy to drive, really”, said Sollis. “Although the track’s wet, there was plenty of grip, as I was afforded the luxury of just being able to look at the track and study the grip. Obviously there was a variety of challenges behind me, but they were all playing it fair, and that’s brilliant, it was just race all the way. I thought there was another lap to go so I can’t tell you how happy I was!”

“Yeah, it was brilliant fun”, said Heathcote. “I went back a few places at the start, and thought, I’ve got to get my head down and try and catch up with Bill. I caught back up with him towards the end but made a mistake. But I so enjoy driving these Minis, it’s mega!”

“First corner was just mayhem”, said Middlehurst. “There were Minis flying everywhere! But I kept going, got past Nathan, and I was catching Bill but couldn’t quite get at the back of him, really. Then I missed a gear coming out of the third corner and then Nathan came past me. I tried to catch up again but it’s just so hard out there…”

On a soaking wet track, but with the sun starting to peek through the clouds, the cars poured into Abbey seven cars wide, with Heathcote taking the outside line into the lead ahead of Sollis. Behind them, Curley and Cullen touched and turned, and in the melee Chris Morgan and David Ogden moved into third and fourth, followed by Middlehurst, Jeff Smith, Endaf Owens and Aaron Smith.

At the end of the lap, Curley was into the pits to check for damage but was soon back out. Still on a very wet Silverstone circuit, Sollis got himself ahead of Heathcote, but Middlehurst got through into third while Owens had powered up into fifth behind Morgan. Meanwhile, Smiths Jeff and Aaron had demoted Ogden to eighth.

At the front, Middlehurst wasn’t done yet, as he now also passed Heathcote to set off in pursuit of Sollis, while Owens stormed past Morgan to be fourth and at the start of lap 3 switched places with Heathcote, having set fastest lap of the race on lap 2.

Sollis still led Middlehurst by six tenths, with a second separating them from the tussle between Owens and Heathcote, the latter fighting his way back up to third. Morgan hung on to fifth ahead of the two Smiths, with Ogden, Ollie Streek and William Dyrdal completing the top-ten.

As the sun pushed through, Heathcote got into rhythm and with fastest lap lost Owens to close in on Middlehurst, outbraking his rival into Brooklands to take second place. The fight did leave Sollis with a 1.6-second lead. Further back, Aaron Smith took sixth from Jeff Smith while Streek and Dyrdal pushed Ogden down to tenth.

Five laps into the race, Heathcote’s pace was such that he slashed Sollis’ lead by eight tenths, but Middlehurst wasn’t losing ground at all, the two youngsters still very much racing wheel to wheel. Owens in fourth did all to keep in touch with the leading trio, going wide in several corners in his efforts. At the edge of the top-ten, Dyrdal had dropped back to allow Swede Hans Beckert into tenth place.

On lap 7, Heathcote was up with Sollis, the top three now very much tied together, but Sollis still carried the edge going into the eighth and final lap. Despite the best efforts of Heathcote and Middlehurst, and with Owens closing up too, Sollis hung on to take the top step of the podium, ahead of Heathcote, Middlehurst and Owens. Morgan was fifth, followed home by Smith (A.), Smith (J.), Ogden, Streek and Dan Wheeler stealing the final top-ten position on the last lap, from Jonathon Page and Michael Cullen, the Irishman bouncing back from his unfortunate incident with Curley at the start of the race.

Classic Mini Challenge – Race 2
Heathcote takes storming win in second Classic Mini Challenge race at Silverstone

In a thrilling final race at the 2021 Classic, Nathan Heathcote beat Endaf Owens and Bill Sollis to improve on his second place in the first Classic Mini Challenge race of the weekend. Heathcote asserted his position at the front from lap 2, after which Owens moved past pole-sitter Sollis as well. Owens closed up on Heathcote at three-quarters of the race but the rallycross star regained enough margin towards the end to win by seven tenths, with Sollis in third, four seconds behind.

In their three-wheeled dance across the Silverstone circuit, Smiths Jeff and Aaron as well as Chris Middlehurst at one time put Sollis under huge pressure for third place before Sollis left them to fight on their own. Jeff Smith prevailed in this most intense battle of the race, leading Aaron Smith and Middlehurst across the line.

Ten seconds further down the road, William Dyrdal came out on top in a similarly well-contested fight for seventh place, Dyrdal leading home Phil Bullen-Brown, Nick Paddy, Michael Cullen and Jonathon Page.

In the race that would pull the curtains on the 2021 Classic, the track was in its best shape all weekend, with the sun out and still plenty of fans around. One driver not starting the race was Chris Morgan who had his left front wheel fall off his Mini on the warm-up lap.

After the start, Bill Sollis and Nathan Heathcote were side-by-side all the way to the Loop before Sollis gave way, but towards Brooklands Sollis slipstreamed his way back past again. Behind them, Endaf Owens, Aaron Smith and Chris Middlehurst were snapping at their boots, but just as Sollis looked in control he went wide out of Club, allowing Heathcote back into the lead.

So into lap 2, Heathcote was able to make a break from Sollis, with Owens slightly losing ground. Meanwhile, Jeff Smith had joined the fun up front to snatch fifth from Middlehurst, while Dan Wheeler latched on in seventh. Behind Wheeler, a three-second gap had opened to to the next group led by Nick Paddy, Michael Cullen and William Dyrdal.

On lap 3, Owens squeezed past Sollis into Abbey while the two Smiths put the erstwhile leader under pressure too. Heathcote meanwhile had broken the tow to Owens who himself had put some light between himself and Sollis, who was still chased by Aaron and Jeff Smiths, with Middlehurst and Wheeler trying to hang on.

Most eyes were now firmly on the two Smiths who put in a concerted side-by-side effort to pass Sollis before Jeff moved ahead of Aaron, with Middlehurst shuffling back to sixth only moments later. At the front, though, Owens was closing on the leader inch by inch, setting fastest lap of the race in the process. In the second group, meanwhile, Dyrdal had assumed the lead ahead of Cullen, Paddy, Phil Bullen-Brown and Jonathon Page. Ten seconds behind Page, a third group had formed in which Ollie Streek, David Ogden, Jo Polley, Hans Beckert, Roy Alderslade, Matthew Page and the Mini Countryman of Mark Burnett all debated 12th place.

With eight minutes left, Heathcote had just three tenths in hand on Owens, while Sollis had dropped away from the top two, his mirrors still full of three Minis pedalled by the Smiths with Middlehurst sandwiched in between. One lap later, Owens looked to have picked up some draft again as they left the other four three full seconds adrift. On lap 7, though, Heathcote had the gap to Owens back up to a full second, as Sollis had eased away from Jeff Smith and Aaron Smith, the latter having demoted Middlehurst back to sixth – and then, into Brooklands, Jeff went wide to allow Aaron up into fourth.

Now in a commanding position, Heathcote did enough to claim victory ahead of Owens and Sollis, with Jeff Smith recuperating to claim fourth ahead of Aaron Smith and Chris Middlehurst. Dyrdal won the race of the second group, beating Bullen-Brown, Paddy, Cullen and Page (J.), with Ogden crossing the line first in the third group, heading Streek, Polley and Alderslade.

International Trophy for Classic GT Cars
Thomas/Lockie claim International Trophy honours with hard-fought Masters Gentlemen Drivers win at Silverstone

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie won the coveted International Trophy by being triumphant in the 80-minute Masters Gentlemen Drivers race for pre-66 GT cars at the Classic. Their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé saw off a fierce race-long challenge from Olly Bryant’s AC Cobra to win by 4.3 seconds.

“Yeah, it was absolutely great”, said Lockie about some of the decisive moves he put on Bryant. “As I came through Farm, Olly was coming out of the pits and it was real nip-and-tuck together into Village corner, and we had a bit of a dice, and then he got ahead, and then I got back past – it was lovely clean racing, and exactly as it should be, within a few inches but not touching, just really great fun racing with him.”

“We’ve had quite a hard weekend so far”, said Thomas, “both of us had own incidents at the front of the pack, so today’s race has been a real good reward for our dogged efforts.”

“It was great fun”, said Bryant. “The Daytona on a high-speed circuit is definitely the superior equipment but it was great to mix it with them, and good battling with Julian who is driving fantastically nowadays – he’s giving Calum a run for his money, I bet! Great racing, and good to get a race in the dry for a change!”

The pole-sitting Cobra Daytona Coupé of Roy Alderslade and Andrew Jordan overcame initial setbacks to take third ahead of Mike Whitaker’s TVR Griffith and James Cottingham’s Cobra. John & Gary Pearson were a distant sixth in their Jaguar E-type while in seventh, Olivier Tancogne’s Cobra Daytona Coupé held off a late charge from the similar machine of Michael Cullen and Paddy Shovlin.

“It’s great to get a podium”, said Jordan. “It would have great to have challenged for the win, but there was some traffic out there, and the car was quite hard work, so… And I feel bad for Roy throwing him in at the deep end with dampy patches all over, but cracking to get the car’s first podium here at the Classic.”

“I was probably overcautious initially, and concerned about the damp conditions”, said Alderslade. “And when I tried to get on it I had a little spin further at the back, but as Andrew’s just said, it’s all part of the learning, and very satisfied to be up here!”

In the second fairly dryish race of the weekend, the order was switched around very quickly, with Michael Cullen storming up into the lead from the third row to move ahead of Thomas, Bryant, Cottingham and another fast starter in the form of Mike Whitaker, with pole-sitter Alderslade down in sixth. Soon, though, Thomas and Bryant pushed Cullen down to third, while Steve Jones’ Elan suffered a big hit in the midfield when it after a spin was caught by Mark Bates’ Porsche – and with the track at Copse strewn with debris, the safety car was called.

So Thomas’ Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé led from Bryant’s AC Cobra, with Whitaker’s TVR Griffith now in third ahead of Cullen’s Daytona Coupé, Cottingham’s Cobra, and James Hanson and Olivier Tancogne in two more Cobra Daytona Coupés. In eighth overall, Mike Wilds led the CLP class in Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R, with John Pearson’s E-type and Alderslade’s Cobra Daytona Coupé completing the top-ten during this safety-car period. In 12th, Andy Willis’ Elan was second in the CLP class, with Andrew Haddon’s example down in 20th to be third in class.

In C2, Mark Holme’s Austin Healey 3000 did the early running ahead of Keith Ahlers in the Morgan SLR, while in C1 – with favourites Mark & James Bates now out – James Thorpe in the TVR Grantura led Oli Webb’s Porsche 911. Meanwhile, another retirement included the Costas Michael/Chris Ward E-type with a lack of oil pressure while Nick Pink was in the pits with his team trying to get his Elan’s throttle cable unstuck.

The safety car was left out on the track with 32 minutes of race time remaining, but it took just seconds before the Mike & Matt Wrigley E-type and the Rob Fenn/James Barclay were seen at the side of the track – the E-type on the inside of Stowe, robbing the leaders of an overtaking opportunity. And with the top-six covered by 2.5 seconds, opportunities presented themselves on a plate.

The pit window now open, the first cars came streaming in but the leaders kept on it for the moment, as Thomas, Bryant and Whitaker looked to have made a break, with Cullen having come in to hand over to Paddy Shovlin, while Hanson had passed Cottingham for fourth. In the CLP class, Wilds still led, but Haddon had closed up by moving into 14th overall, with Willis having already come in for his mandatory stop. In C2, Holme kept ahead but Big Healey stablemates Crispin Harris and Doug Muirhead had moved into second and third, as Keith Ahlers had swapped places with Billy Bellinger in the Morgan SLR. With the TVR Granturas of James Thorpe/Phil Quaife and Malcolm Paul/Rick Bourne in early driver changes, the Oli Webb/Guy Ziser Porsche was up into the lead.

Right before Thomas came in to hand the wheel to Calum Lockie, Bryant had taken the lead, and with Whitaker also having stopped, the two were tied together in a temporary 11th and 12th, and the TVR got through when Lockie went wide out of Copse. This all played into the hands of Bryant, who now led John Pearson by 20 seconds, and Wilds by 21 seconds, before he entered the pits himself, followed by Pearson and Wilds.

Next time around, however, Lockie was back on top of things to move back ahead of Whitaker, having set fastest lap of the race in the process – and then when Bryant exited the pits, the two were side-by-side as they braked for Village. As Lockie outbraked himself, Bryant took the lead, but the Cobra Daytona Coupé was back in front before Copse. Whitaker trailed the leading duo by three seconds, with Andrew Jordan in Roy Alderslade’s Daytona Coupé making hay to pass James Cottingham for fourth. Gary Pearson in the Pearsons Jag was sixth ahead of Ron Maydon in the CLP-class-leading Ginetta. Tagcogne’s Cobra and Jonathan Mitchell’s E-type still separated Maydon from his main rival Andrew Haddon in 12th.

In C2, Holme maintained his lead but Bellinger in the SLR was lapping a second quicker, while Jeremy Welch in the Healey started by Muirhead was third, setting similar times to Holme. Phil Quaife was back in front in C1 in the Grantura shared with Thorpe, with Rick Bourne making it a TVR 1-2 with some ten minutes still remaining on the clock.

Further up the road, Lockie had eased out a 2.5-second gap over Bryant – whose boot had now dropped open, for DRS effect? – while Jordan had now usurped Whitaker for third. Cottingham and Gary Pearson were in rather lonely fourth and fifth places, with Tagcogne leading another group consisting of Maydon, Mitchell, Shovlin and Haddon, now just seven seconds – and three cars – in between the Elan and the Ginetta in the CLP class lead. And then, shock, right behind them, Andy Willis rolled his Elan out of Becketts – a horrific sight, but the car’s rollcage held, and Willis was OK.

In the dying minutes, Lockie ensured the win by leading Bryant across the line by 4.3 seconds. Jordan was third, 14 seconds down, just ahead of Whitaker and Cottingham. Pearson was left behind by 36 seconds while Tancogne and Shovlin fiercely disputed seventh until the final few metres, the Frenchman holding off the Irishman. John Davison’s TVR Griffith sneaked into the top-ten by claiming ninth ahead of the CLP-class-winning Ginetta of Mike Wilds/Ron Maydon, which at the end kept Mitchell’s E-type between itself and Haddon’s Elan. In 17th overall, the James Claridge/Gonçalo Gomes Elan came through to take third in class.

In C2, Mark Holme completed his lights-to-flag victory ahead of the Ahlers/Bellinger SLR and the Muirhead/Welch Healey, while in C1, the Thorpe/Quaife and Paul/Bourne Granturas trounced the Porsches by leading home the Sebastian Perez/George Gamble 911.

Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars
Davies comes out on top in eventful Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars at Silverstone

Craig Davies came out on top in a hugely exciting race for the Transatlantic Trophy for Pre-66 Touring Cars, as Davies’ Ford Mustang narrowly kept ahead of the Marcus Jewell/Ben Clucas Lotus Cortina and the Henry Mann/Steve Soper Mustang, both cars scything through the field from their lowly starting positions.

“This was a great Masters event”, said Davies. “It was very slippery, almost like dancing on ice, but it was good and clean racing, and I really enjoyed myself.”

“A win would have been even better”, said an ever competitive Soper. “The safety car helped me, but then the yellow flags right at the end handicapped me.”

“Marcus did a great job in the first stint”, said Clucas, “and after that, it was never over until the last corner!”

From pole, Dave Coyne held the upper hand for much of the race, and towards the latter part of his first stint saw Sam Tordoff push through into the lead before Tordoff’s Falcon was retired during the mid-race pitstops. The Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie Falcon was in the mix as well, but two laps from the end, Lockie was tapped around and slid into the gravel trap at Copse. Richard Dutton was another Cortina driver vying for the top-three places, but in the end the Fortec Motorsport boss ended up in fourth.

The two-way fight for the Mini class win proved equally exciting, and such was their pace that Aaron Smith and Endaf Owens ended up in sixth and seventh overall, ahead of Neil Brown’s Cortina and the stricken Mustang of Dave Coyne, who became an innocent victim when Lockie’s Falcon was turned into his path on the penultimate lap.

As the 50-car field stormed down to Abbey, Coyne held on to the lead, as the quick-starting Dutton moved up into second ahead of Davies. Behind them, though, Greensall got into a spin in The Loop and was hit as a consequence. Into the Brooklands complex, Dutton cheekily stole the lead but Coyne’s Mustang powered back to the front out of Copse.

Towards the end of the opening lap, Julian Thomas was making up places, though, and attaching his big Falcon to the top-three, Thomas soon swept past Dutton and then pounced on Davies too. On a slippery track, it was up and down all through the field, as Curley’s Mini was up into fifth, but soon had to make way for Sam Tordoff making hay in Richard Woolmer’s Falcon Sprint, with Andrew Banks’ Giulia GTA following through.

Two very exciting laps gone, with the sun and all the cars creating a dry line, Coyne still led Thomas and Davies, with Tordoff in fourth, followed by Dutton, Banks and the mighty Studebaker handled by Adrian Willmott. Also up into the top-ten from their lowly starting position, Marcus Jewell in the Cortina shared with Ben Clucas was hunting down Endaf Owens who was now in the lead Mini ahead of Curley and Aaron Smith.

Ten minutes into the race, Coyne, Thomas, Davies and Tordoff now formed a leading group of four, having opened up a five-second gap on Dutton in fifth, who was coming under pressure from Banks, who was chased by Willmott and Jewell, while Smith had leapt ahead of Curley and Owens in an amazing battle for the Mini class lead.

On lap 4, Tordoff made his way past Davies, the Mustangs of Coyne and Davies now sandwiching the Falcons of Thomas and Tordoff. Further back, Dutton’s teammate Neil Brown and Andy Priaulx in Alex Taylor’s Mustang were fast approaching the edge of the top-ten, with the Henry Mann/Steve Soper Mustang – Mann at the wheel – also making up places to recuperate from their qualifying disappointment.

Going into lap 6, Tordoff and Thomas swapped places, and soon the former BTCC driver was chasing Coyne for the lead. As the group of four lapped the Alfa of Olivier Tancogne through Becketts, they were almost side by side but somehow managed to all appear unscathed on the Hangar Straight. At the end of that, though, Coyne outbraked himself to hand the lead to Tordoff. Coyne, now obviously suffering braking issues, pushed Thomas’ Falcon around as it tried to unseat the white Mustang from second. The contretemps allowed Tordoff to make a break from Coyne and Davies, as Thomas was dropped to eighth behind Willmott and Banks, both having passed Dutton, as Priaulx had now entered the top-ten, and was soon past Aaron Smith in the lead Mini.

The pit window having opened, Mann and then Davies, Thomas and Smith were among the first to come in. On the next lap, Tordoff was in from the lead, handing first position back to Coyne, who was now chased hard by Willmott, with Andrew Banks only slightly further back. Coyne and Banks were in next, so now Willmott was in a momentary lead. In the pits, Tordoff was still waiting to be released, and in fact, the bonnet was open on the Falcon, and while Coyne went back out, Tordoff wasn’t going to be a factor in this race anymore.

The only ones still to pit were Willmott and Tom Sharp in the BMW 1800 tiSA, so Coyne and Davies in third and fourth were the virtual leaders, and still battling away as they did before the stops. Dutton’s Cortina was third and watching the ‘stangs tussle in front of him. Mark Farmer, now in the Studemaker, rejoined in fourth ahead of Ben Clucas in the Cortina started by Marcus Jewell – three seconds covering the first five! Calum Lockie was sixth in Julian Thomas’ Falcon, leading Max Banks in the GTA and Andy Taylor having taken over from Priaulx. Aaron Smith still led the Minis but Owens was close, while Steve Soper set fastest lap in 12th, having taken over from Mann.

At the front, Davies now took control from Coyne, but Dutton and Clucas were still close, with Lockie closing in fifth. Farmer, meanwhile, dropped back to hand sixth to Banks, while Soper was absolutely flying, setting lap times that were three seconds quicker than the leaders, and sure enough, ‘Soperman’ was up into seventh within the space of a lap, and then was handed more help when the safety car was brought out with the Mini of Billy Nairn in the gravel trap in a dangerous position. The top-ten was already separated by less than 25 seconds but with the safety car, the gaps would decrease even more – and with no slower cars among them, it would be a straight fight once the field was released.

When the green flag was waved, just over five minutes of racing were left, and Davies led Coyne, Dutton, Clucas, Lockie, Max Banks, Soper, Taylor, Smith and Owens. That order proved shortlived, though, as Dutton and Clucas swamped Coyne into Abbey while Soper was into sixth past Banks who dropped back to 11th. At the front, Davies had made a break but it was almost five cars going side-by-side into Maggotts, and it all went wrong on the Hangar Straight, as Lockie was squeezed and tapped around by Soper, his Falcon then getting hit by Coyne and ending up in the gravel trap at Copse. Ahead of them, Clucas had passed Dutton for second, with Soper nipping past in the process.

Davies converted the win, a well-deserved victory after his grand sporting gesture of 2019, chased home by Clucas and Soper, the latter unable to pass Clucas because of the yellow flags flying for Lockie’s stricken Falcon. Dutton was fourth ahead of the Priaulx/Taylor Mustang, with Aaron Smith taking a stunning sixth overall for a Mini class victory, just two tenths ahead of Endaf Owens. Neil Brown moved into the top-ten on the final two laps to take eighth, with the battle-scarred Mustang of Dave Coyne dropping back to ninth and the Beighton/Greensall Mustang taking an equally late tenth. In 20th overall, Ian Curley recovered to take third in the Mini class.

Yokohama Trophy for Masters Historic Sports Cars
Brundle dashes through the rain to win Yokohama Trophy race for Masters Historic Sports Cars at the Classic

Alex Brundle came through to win a rain-interrupted Yokohama Trophy race for Masters Historic Sports Cars, as the WEC and ELMS star used Gary Pearson’s Lola-Chevrolet T70 Mk3B to good effect as he led home Olly Bryant’s similar machine. Simon Hadfield, in the T70 started by Chris Beighton, narrowly held off Tom Bradshaw whose Chevron B19 was delayed by an early-race spin.

With threatening clouds overhead, Brundle thundered into the lead followed by Bryant but into Brooklands, Bradshaw overcooked it to lose third to Beighton’s T70 Mk3B. With Culver and Haddon up next, it was a T70 1-2-3-4-5 at the front. Chris Fox in the Lola T280 broke the chain in sixth, ahead of another T70 piloted by Robert Beebee, while Martin O’Connell shone to be eighth in the fastest of the Chevron B8s. The B8 qualified well up by Darren Burke but started by Christian Pittard, however, was on the way back down and in P18 after two laps.

Brundle’s quick laps out of the blocks had given him an 8-second lead over Bryant, as the first drops of rain had started to fall. In these tricky conditions, the WEC and ELMS star proved best adapted, as was Tom Bradshaw who was now back up into 12th after his unfortunate temporary exit.

Moments later, however, it was full rain in the Stowe-to-Arena section, and Fox was the first to spin, and then Nicholas Chester was in the gravel in his T70 Mk3. Not before long, even Brundle was off in a huge aquaplaning slide but he recovered. At Vale, though, cars went off left, right and centre, and the safety car was deployed – and only seconds later the red flag was out. Strangely, it was still bone-dry at Copse, but at the other end it was apocalyptical…

With the Silverstone curfew approaching, it was decided to shorten the race to about 15 to 20 minutes, with second drivers doing the remainder of the race after a single-file safety-car restart, with no more mandatory pitstops. In some cases, though, first drivers remained in the car – with, for instance, Gary Pearson allowing Brundle to finish the car. With the clock having started to tick away as the field got away from the line, three laps were completed behind the safety car, with some ten minutes of actual racing left.

Into the first lap at speed, Bryant wasn’t letting go of Brundle, the two leaving Hadfield in the T70 started by Beighton behind. Lynn (in the T70 shared with Haddon) was next, followed by Pink (in the T280 started by Fox), John Emberson in the Chevron B19, Tim de Silva in the Taydec Mk3 – but Tom Bradshaw was picking them off one after the other, as with six minutes left on the clock he was up into fourth. Gonçalo Gomes in the B23 and Calum Lockie in the now leading B8 were equally flying, as they entered the top-ten.

On lap 5, Brundle set fastest lap to open up a two-second gap on Bryant, with Hadfield now trailing by 11 seconds, with Bradshaw 20 seconds down on the leader. Lynn, De Silva, Pink, Gomes, Emberson and Lockie followed along, but Lockie found himself chased by Darren Burke having taken over from Christian Pittard, Burke going for the Bonnier class win in the car that he qualified a stunning fifth. In the Hulme pre-66 class, Needell had the competition covered with the Birch/Newall GT40 and the Jolly/Farthing Cooper Monaco T61M well behind.

At the front, Brundle reeled off the final laps to maintain a three-second lead over Bryant and claim victory, with Bradshaw chasing Hadfield for third but the Lola hung on to fend off the Chevron. De Silva took a fighting fifth from Gomes, with Pink and Emberson up next. Burke and Lockie tussled to the finish, with Burke prevailing to win the Bonnier class. In 14th overall, the Lenham P70 of Simon and Dominik broke the Chevron B8 stronghold by taking third in class. Further back, John Spiers and Tiff Needell cornered the pre-66 Hulme class win in their McLaren M1B, heading the Michael Birch/Andy Newall Ford GT40 and the Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing Cooper Monaco T61M.