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Double gold for Osborne at Donington Derby

CSCC’s Donington Derby season-opener on 23-24 March saw big fields throughout with an overall entry of more than 400 across the weekend.

Steve Osborne’s gold Jaguar E-type outran the closing Nigel Greensall’s Lotus Elan by a scant 0.012s in the Classic Sports Car Club’s first Swinging Sixties race of the season, then rubbed salt into rivals’ wounds in the Mintex Classic K event in which Paul Tooms (Elan) was runner-up.

Braving bitterly cold conditions on a drying National circuit, Osborn looked odds-on favourite until Greensall leapt into Ben Snee’s car and unleashed a barrage of breathtaking fastest laps that underlined the Lotus’ surefootedness as Nigel hacked his deficit back.  Greater momentum out of the final corner brought the Elan up alongside the Jag, but 3.8 litres trumped 1.6 in the drag race to the chequered flag.

3.8 litres trumped 1.6 in the drag race to the flag Photos Jeff Bloxham

Busy Irishman Paddy Shovlin – who entered his Jordan Racing Team Lotus Cortina in every race for which it was eligible – and James Hughes, impressively debuting the ex-Andy Southcott Lenham, claimed the minor places, each winning his respective class.

Red flags flew within seconds of the second rolling start with Claire Norman’s BMW 2002ti cannoned into the Redgate gravel bed and beached on its side.  Jon Wolfe’s five-litre TVR Tuscan V8 – second into the corner from eighth on the grid and a strong favourite on the flowing track – was also recovered having been stranded at the Old Hairpin by front hub failure in the Craner Curves.

Stephen Pickering (Sunbeam Tiger) ran away at the restart, charging past polesitter Conor Kay in Ben Caisley’s three-litre Ford V6-powered Tuscan.  Alistair Dyson chased Pickering in vain, finishing almost 40 seconds behind with the tenacious Greensall – on the rise again – and vastly experienced Dubliner Michael Cullen’s Cortina on his tail taking third and fourth.  Dyson and Kay/Caisley, fifth overall ahead of Andrew Cahill’s lime green Elan, were class winners.

Former HSCC Historic Road Sports champion Tooms kept Osborne on his toes in the Classic K heat, finishing 10 seconds adrift in the dry.   Elans also finished third and fourth on the road, but local man Nick Pancisi and Snee/Greensall were both penalised 30 seconds for pit stops inside the mandated 90 second minimum.  Shovlin again made it onto the podium on corrected times.

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