At least two Historic Sports Car Club racing champions for 2021 were crowned when the club returned to Mallory Park for the first time in a decade for a weekend of racing on 18-19 September. Despite the clash with the Goodwood Revival meeting, meaning grids were somewhat down in numbers, the weekend delivered some great racing in generally warm and sunny weather except for a torrential downpour on Sunday morning that disrupted qualifying for a while.
Historic Road Sports racer John Davison did enough in Saturday’s opening race to put the title beyond doubt. However, it had been a fraught morning, when his Elan’s brakes seized in qualifying and the car had to be lifted back to the paddock. Repaired in time, Davison duly raced to victory. But there was more trouble to come in race 2, when a rear wheel departed and ended his day. Still, it was a case of mission accomplished in championship terms.
Another champion crowned was Jeremy Timms, who took two resounding victories in Historic Formula 3 to settle the title in the final races of the season with his Chevron B15. After a soaking wet and shortened qualifying session the grid was very jumbled and Timms started only eighth. However, he was quickly into his stride and swept up the order to move ahead of Ian Bankhurst and Steve Seaman in a thoroughly entertaining race. Sam Wilson had been right with them in Paul Waine’s De Sanctis but spun at Gerard’s and a starter motor problem ensured that he was not able to continue.
Photos Charlie Wooding
At the end of the afternoon Timms had an easier time to romp clear in race 2, as Wilson, Bankhurst, Simon Armer and an inspired Mike Walker battled. Bankhurst finally took the place from Walker who had his best performance so far in Historic F3. Wilson went out when the De Sanctis lost drive and Armer had his March cut out at the Hairpin on the final lap. He coasted down the hill to get to the finish line but dropped several places as a result.
Historic Formula Ford 2000 featured prominently with a busy double-header. Murray Shepherd was the sole Classic FF2000 runner, so he joined the near-capacity grid and ended up taking a weekend double despite the very best efforts of Historic front- runners Benn Simms and Ian Pearson.
Another strong 70s Road Sports grid was headed by Will Plant although in the opener he had to deal with the fast-starting John Williams and then had Dave Karaskas (TVR 3000M) and his father Richard as constant shadows. In the second race Plant was away clear until his Morgan +8 lost oil pressure and he quickly turned it off and parked up.
Mike Gardiner moved ever closer to the Historic Touring Car title with victory in the opening race, but he had Neil Wood as a constant and determined rival in the flying Anglia and less than a third of a second split them at the flag. Wood was looking forward to trying to turn the tables in the second race later on Sunday only to find Gardiner absent after the Lotus Cortina suffered alternator failure and was put away.
Both Formula Ford categories delivered some fine racing and there was a double victory in the Historics for Tom McArthur who had Horatio Fitz-Simon as a constant shadow in the opening race, with a quarter of a second splitting them after 18 flat out laps. Matt Wrigley pipped Samuel Harrison for third place as the impressive Mark Bates, racing the Alexis Mk15 of Robin Haslam, showed his pace by running fifth, right on their tail.
McArthur had things slightly easier in the second race as Fitz-Simon was more occupied dealing with the constant threat from Harrison. That’s how they finished with Bates edging ahead of Wrigley for fourth.
Jordan Harrison took a big step towards the Classic Formula Ford title with two impressive victories in his Lola T540E. The main action in the race lay in the contest for a second as Rick Morris and Stuart Kestenbaum took on teenage upstart Samuel Harrison. Over 50 years their junior, Samuel Harrison actually got through to second at one point, but was then edged back, having lost a little time with a moment on the brakes into the Esses. He finally took fourth behind the two hugely experienced elder statesman of Classic Formula Ford racing.