GTSCC at MGLive Silverstone

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Dodds and Pearsons in thunderous GTSCC opener

The MG Car Club brought a wide variety of racing – from the Pre-War Triple M Midgets to the spectacular Porsche 911 RSRs of Equipe 70s – to the Silverstone Historic Grand Prix circuit on June 11-12 for the MGLive event, with MG and Triumph owners coming from far and wide to celebrate their beloved marques’ centenaries on 11-12 June.

The 90-minute GTSCC race (cut 10 minutes short) boiled down to a duel between two local Jaguar dynasties, but after penalites it was Richard Kent and Joe Osborne driving the famous CUT7 that came second behind the Pearsons and ahead of the Dodds Photos Eric Sawyer

In addition to the Equipe 70s, Libre and GTS races on the programme, the opening race of the GT & Sports Car Cup series’ 17th season boiled down to a battle between two local Jaguar dynasties, Jaguar E-type crews having locked-out the top five grid places in qualifying.  Oxfordshire father-and-son James and Graeme Dodd just about had the legs of their rivals in the E-type duel, but two stop-and-go penalties for speeding in the pit lane gifted gold to Northamptonshire brothers John and Gary Pearson.

“It was a great race in unusual conditions, “but their fourth stop gave it to us,” said Gary, who unexpectedly double-stinted to the chequered flag, setting fastest lap of 2m26.141s (89.65mph) two laps from home.  “Rain falling anywhere between the Hangar Straight and Woodcote in the middle of the race, changing every lap, and high winds like mini-cyclones kicking up dust storms, made it hard to see.  Expecting a deluge, we planned to change rear tyres at the first stop.  That cost us about 25 seconds.  When I came in for the second stop under a safety car with John  due to finish, I found him standing with his overalls round his waist holding a leaf blower in the heat, so I had to stay in.”

Equipe Classic Racing brought huge grids for cars from the ‘50s to the ‘80s. Mike Whitaker (TVR Griffith) took top spot in the 40-minute Equipe Libre race

Stopped eight minutes short of its scheduled 90-minute duration with an electrical storm swirling threateningly round the circuit fringes, the race result was backdated to 30 laps.  The Pearsons were heralded as victors in their hard-topped roadster, 11.212 seconds ahead of Richard Kent/Joe Osborne, sharing the former’s famous ex-Dick Protheroe fixed-head coupe CUT 7, run in period from County Motors in Husbands Bosworth, near Rugby.  Incredibly, the chastened Dodds still finished second on the road, James having repassed Richard, but winding the counter back a lap at the end per Motorsport UK statutes exacerbated the irony, leaving them 4.419s adrift.  “What should have been first turned to second, then second became third.  All my fault, but still good fun,” said Graeme.

Read the full report in our July 2023 issue….

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