HSCC Donington – Richards tops Formula Junior tree

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Single seaters took centre stage for the HSCC’s fourth rendezvous of the season at Donington Park on 24-25 June, where sensational Historic Formula Junior and Formula Ford races of different flavours on a scorching weekend will long be talked about.  Another topic of conversation among marshals, competitors and spectators was the publication of a physical programme – rather than an on-line offering – produced by graphics guru and 70s’ Road Sports racer Jim Nairn, the first since the covid pandemic.  Marcus Pye reports….

Horatio Fitz-Simon, Sam Wilson and Clive Richards: Any of the three deserved to win the rear engined Formula Junior race
Photos Charlie Wooding

Pick of the bunch was Sunday’s rear-engined FJHRA race, a stunner that made some onlookers wish the ‘pusher’ and front-engined grids had been combined and competitors offered a second shot.  Buoyed by his Lurani Trophy wins at Hockenheim and Dijon, young Horatio Fitz-Simon renewed his jousts with arborist Clive Richards, with past master Sam Wilson adding spice to the expanded Lotus battle on home soil.

Any of the trio deserved to win as they carved through lapped traffic with surgical precision, trading the lead frequently.  Eventually a brush with Fitz-Simon’s rear tyre on the exit of McLeans dislodged Wilson’s bodywork and he retired as its integral nose rose skyward.  Richards seized the decisive advantage as Horatio found his equilibrium and closed in again.  The red 22s took the chequered flag together – although Horatio received a 10 second penalty “for excessive weaving on the green flag lap” – a mile clear of Mark Woodhouse’s white 20/22.  Mark Carter, going well in his Speedsport Brabham BT6, and German Rudolf Ernst’s ex-Reg Brown Lotus 22 – as pristine as it was in the day as a period Snetterton race winner – were fifth and sixth.

Rory Smith and his Formula Atlantic Ralt-BDA RT4/85 (No 45) had the legs of rivals Neil Glover’s F5000 Chevron-Chevrolet B37

Elsewhere, Nic Carlton-Smith extended his unbeaten Class C1 run in a bid to land a third successive Silverline Tools UK crown, as Robert Goodwin and debutant Gary Thomas increased the victorious Kieft marque’s participation to three of the five surviving Wolverhampton wanderers.  Stuart Monument (Lotus 18) and John Hutchison (Envoy) led the chase.  Michael Hibberd topped D2, beating Madrid’s Martin Aubert in a similar Lotus 20.

Julian Barter took ‘70s Road Sports honours in his TVR 3000M after initial leader John Williams had a lucky escape when a lone bird strike shattered his Porsche 911’s windscreen

The front-engined Juniors saw runaway pole-sitter Andrew Hibberd dominate in the family’s Lola Mk2.  On a damp but drying track at the start, pursuer Stuart Roach’s prayers for rain were answered with a sharp shower.  It was not the deluge he craved to enable him to fishtail his Alexis Mk2 into contention – but it saw Hibberd briefly challenged.  Alex Morton (Condor S2) and Chris Astley, quickest of four Elva 100 pilots, took the minor placings.  Rudolf Ernst tinkled his three-cylinder two-stroke DKW-engined Mitter to seventh, with Martin Sheppard eighth having passed American Peter Fenichel in their Stanguellini-Fiat duel.

Read the full report of the meeting in our August 2023 issue….

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