Donington Historic Festival

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Damien Smith Reports…

The well-supported three-hour Royal Automobile Club Pall Mall Cup took top billing, running on the Saturday afternoon.  Modern-day BTCC racer Jake Hill accepted a late call-up by Kyle Tilley and found himself in the thick of it on his first experience of a TVR Griffith.  Hill qualified on the front row alongside the pole position-winning Griffith of John Davison and Mike Whitaker – the two cars separated by just 0.001sec!  Then with 42 minutes of the three-hour race to run Hill took a decisive lead to claim a memorable victory.

Photos Eric Sawyer

Gary Pearson stroked to a fine solo win driving his Jaguar D-type in the Royal Automobile Club Stirling Moss Trophy as his rivals fell by the wayside in the opening race of the weekend, while the Nissan Skyline of Andy Middlehurst and Jonathan Bailey claimed pole position and victory in a thin Historic Touring Car Challenge field.

Freidrichs was back on the top step of the podium again after winning the Mad Jack race for pre -war cars in his Alvis Firefly

A rare mistake by Nigel Greensall when his foot slipped off the brake pedal proved the deciding moment as Harvey Stanley and James Cottingham claimed a fine victory in their Jaguar E-type in the Pre-’63 GT race on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon, but the Mad Jack race for pre-war sports car for was run under the threat of rain, which fortunately held off.  Rudiger Friedrichs added to his weekend haul following a Woodcote Trophy victory with his second consecutive ‘Mad Jack’ win at Donington.

Bentley Celebrations:  In the Donington paddock the 100th anniversary of Bentley’s first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was celebrated with displays of significant historic racing machines from the iconic marque.  In addition, new Motor Racing Legends owner Shaun Lynn, brought out his 2003 Speed 8 Bentley chassis 004/1 and EXP Speed 8 Le Mans GT prototype chassis 002/1, for spirited track demonstrations on each day of the Festival, the former driven by 2003 Le Mans winner Guy Smith, who letter participated in a Q&A session with 2001-2003 Bentley Data Engineer Howden Haynes. One spectator was heard to comment, “Just seeing these cars alone is worth the price of the ticket.”  Other activities included daily flypasts from a Spitfire and Hurricane from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Jack Sears Trophy

The HRDC saved the best for last as the bumper Jack Sears Trophy field put on a fantastic 45-minute race at the end of Sunday afternoon.  A gaggle of Lotus Cortinas was led by Guy Smith, the Bentley Le Mans winner who also put in lunchtime demonstration laps in one of Shaun Lynn’s two EXP Speed 8s.  Smith made a gap to take victory, while David Dickenson and modern-day BTCC ace Josh Cook squabbled furiously for second place.

The green Nissan Skyline of Andy Middlehurst and Jonathan Bailey claimed pole position and overall victory in the confusingly-named Historic  Touring Car Challenge with Tony Dron Trophy and Sixties Touring Cars with U2TC race on Saturday afternoon, but only after the demise of Ric Wood’s blue version, which was forced out by broken front left suspension. Adam Brindle and Jack Moody took Tony Dron Trophy honours in their Rover SD1, and Irishman David Dickenson claimed U2TC honours in his familiar green Lotus Cortina   Photo Jeff Bloxham


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