Brits abroad, part two: enduring dynasty
The 2004 season will probably be the busiest yet for Jon Minshaw, who has followed his father Alan into historic racing. With the support of Demon Tweaks, the family business, Jon is able to field three historic sportscars and is committed to a programme of largely long-distance events in Europe. “There is plenty of good historic racing in Europe, particularly in France,” he says. Minshaw admits that he doesn’t find sprint races very fulfilling. ‘We’re going to do the French VdeV endurance championship in the Chevron B16 and then events like the Spa Six Hours and the AvD Marathon in the Jaguar E.-type.” Sharing the driving will be Martin Stretton and Jon’s younger brother Jason. Guy Minshaw, the least experienced of the racing brothers, may well join the team for some races as well over the course of the year.
The VdeV series comprises six races, most of at least six hours, and the calendar includes a 12-hour and a 24-hour race. Largely for pre-70 cars, the series is attracting a growing number of British racers. “Doing a 12-hour race isn’t cheap, and probably costs £7000-£8000 in the Chevron when you include engine rebuilds and all the travel costs,” says Minshaw. “But divide it by three and you each get four hours of racing for under E3000.” In terms of seat time, that compares well to British club racing.
Minshaw will also tackle the AvD and Eifel Classic events on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. “It would be a crying shame not to race on the circuit at least once. It’s the best circuit in the world,” he says. His Jaguar E-type will be used for these pre-65 events.
Minshaw will run an ex-works AC Cobra in the Tour Auto and Classic Le Mans, while he admits he would love the chance to race the car closer to home at Goodwood. “In the whole balance of things, we won’t do much racing in the UK. But we will do the major HSCC meetings at Silverstone and Oulton Park.”
Finally, another bid on the Spa Six Hours is planned with the E-type. Although they won the event in 2001, Minshaw admits that the GT40 pack has now cracked endurance racing and the E-type is unlikely to be able to rival the Fords if they are reliable.