RAC HISTORIC TT ENDS THE UK CLASSIC RACING YEAR
Action photographs courtesy of Motor Racing Legends. Static images by Roger Cooper
The sun shone on Sunday, October 28th as over sixty competitors lined up for the inaugural three-hour RAC Historic Tourist Trophy race on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
The Motor Racing Legends organisational group were determined not to allow the grey skies of 2020 to further darken the Historic Racing season and so the concept for the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy meeting was born out of the demise of the MRL’s autumn programme of events. Silverstone Circuit came to the fore by making the Grand Prix circuit available and, in collaboration with The Royal Automobile Club and event sponsors DK Engineering, a pioneering concept gathered momentum for a three-hour race for Pre-’66 GT and Touring Cars, also open to Pre-1963 GT and Pre-1961 Sports Cars.
In only six weeks, the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy meeting was taken from concept to reality. Scheduled to start at 2pm and run into dusk, the raceday programme also allowed for two one-hour support races from within the Motor Racing Legends ranks to be held in the morning. A combined Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy race for Pre-1961 Sport and Sports Racing cars and a Historic Touring Car Challenge for the Tony Dron Trophy were both well supported.
In addition to the race action, the event sponsors, DK Engineering had a sumptuous display of vehicles from their showroom racing from modern supercars, to historic racing cars and the iconic Mercedes CLK GTR currently in their portfolio.
All eyes were on the prize of the illustrious Historic Tourist Trophy to be presented by the Royal Automobile Club, this going to the best of the teams that were comprised of one car from each class in the race.
Team ‘Ecurie Triple C’ – which took the final honours - was comprised of the Roger Wills and David Clark 1958 Lotus 15 (that finished an impressive seventh overall, with a fastest lap of 89.26mph), Karsten Le Blanc and Chris Milner’s Austin Healey 3000 and the Ford Mustang of Georg Kjallgren and Jeremy Cooke. Having only been able to participate in a handful of races all season and with it being first time out for Kjallgren, Ecurie Triple C were over the moon to get their hands on the impressive silverware.
Overall individual honours as the first of forty cars to take the final flag in the three-hour enduro went to Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie in Thomas’s 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra. Their fastest lap was 90.06mph and their average speed for the race (including the pit stop for driver change) was 76.21mph.
Second at 75.57mph was the Shelby Cobra GT of Wilmott and Jordan, after the car had run nose to tail with the Thomas/Lockie car in the early stages, while third was the Jaguar E-Type of Kent and Ward, with a 75.53mph average.
The Shelby Daytona Cobra of Taylor and Lockie was harassed by the Shelby GT of Wilmott and Jordan in the early stages of the race but set fastest lap at 90.06mph and pulled away to win at a 76.21mph average
The little Lotus 15 of Roger Wills and David Clark kept pace with the big boys on the opening laps
The Kent/Ward Jaguar E-Type eventually placed third
The Bryant’s AC Cobra GT, in its period UK racing livery, placed fourth
The Minshaw E-Type in close company with a Lotus Elan. They placed fifth and sixth.
Only three other contenders were on the lead lap behind the leading trio. Fourth went to O.Bryant and G.Bryant at 75.36mph in their AC Cobra GT, followed by the E-Type of J.O. Minshaw and J.M. Minshaw at 75.10mph and the amazing little Lotus Elan (with less than half the engine capacity of the other front-runners) of Evans, Littlejohn and Twyman at a 75.06mph race average and a fastest lap of 87.73mph.
The giant-killing Lotus Elan of Evans/Littlejohn/Twyman
It looks like a scene from NASCAR but is the Tordoff/Woolmer Ford in the Silverstone pits
Hard work for heavy metal – the big American cars needed all the Silverstone track and more!
The Chevrolet V8-powered Miller/Greensall Lister Costin won the one hour Pre-1961
Sports Cars race by the narrowest of margins from the similar Donnor/Smith car (below)
The one-hour race for the pre-1961 Sports and Sports Racing cars was won by the
Milner/Greensall driver combination at 78.65mph in the closest race of the day, This pair were only 0.214s ahead of Donnor and Smith, who averaged 78.84mph and set the fastest lap of the race at 86.49mph. The two leading driver pairs were both in aerodynamic Lister Costins powered by 5-litre V8 Chevrolet engines. Third was Mark Cole at a 77.05mph average, putting in a remarkable drive in his 1.5-litre Lotus 11, one of the smallest cars in the race.
Another Lotus giant-killer. This one being the 1.5-litre Mk11 with which
Mark Cole chased the big vee-eights all the way to the chequered flag
The second of the one-hour races was for Historic Touring Cars and was the fastest race of the day – proof of how far automobile engineering had progressed between the 1960s and 1980s. David Tomlin won at a 92.77mph average from Mark Wright (both in Ford Sierra Cosworths) and the Ford Escort RS of the Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie driver pairing. Fourth was the Nissan Skyline GTR of Ric Wood, who set the race’s fastest lap at 97.22mph. These were the only cars on the lead lap.
The Ford RS500 Sierra Cosworths of Mark Wright (left) and David Tomlin rubbed door handles in the early stages of the Historic Touring Car race but Tomlin got by and eventually won by 27 seconds
Third was the Ford Escort RS shared by Juilan Taylor and Calum Lockie. They followed this up by taking their Daytona Cobra to the win in the big race of the day,
Ric Woods Nissan Sklyline GTR set fastest lap of the day at 97.22mph in the Historic Touring Cars race
The Motor Racing Legends 2021 calendar will be announced in the coming weeks with plans to run the Three-Hour race format again during the year.
If Covid restrictions are lifted, there will be a full season of historic racing from the Motor Racing Legends group in 2021 for beautiful classic cars like this Austin Healey 100M. Fingers crossed!