Pace notes

Your guide to what’s coming up

Life begins at 40 for HSCC

Donington Park: HSCC
April 2

The scene is set for a memorable 40th anniversary season of racing for the Historic Sports Car Club, which kicks off at Donington Park. Full or near-to-full grids are expected for all nine races on the programme, as the new-look pits and paddock are used for the first time.

The meeting will include the opening round of the reworked Classic Sportscar Championship, which now has sports-racing cars running as title contenders rather than invitees. Early sports-racing entries include Stuart Tizzard’s Lenham, the Lotus 23B of Andy Shepherd and the splendid OSCA of Tony Bailey. They will take on the regular GT runners, including Jamie Boot (TvR Griffith), Les Ely (Jaguar E-type) and Ted Williams (Corvette Stingray).

Ely will also line up for the first HRSR Historic Racing Saloon encounter, pitting his BMW 2000 against the Dodd family: son James will race his Alfa Romeo, while father Graeme will run his Jaguar Mk2, having driven his Cooper Monaco in the first BRDC Historic Sportscar round at Silverstone the day before.

Laurence Bailey’s TVR Griffith will head the Historic Road Sports, while Richard Thorne (Morgan +8) and Matthew Bannister (Datsun 240Z) are the leading runners in an overflowing ’70s Road Sports field.

Although yet to be confirmed, Neil Fowler and Nelson Rowe are expected to resume their Historic Formula Ford 1600 battle.

Classic Formula Three, Formula Junior and Classic Racing Car events wrap up a fine schedule.

Silverstone: VSCC
April 8

Bronson aiming for perfect 10

The annual ‘Spring Start’ meeting at Silverstone marks the beginning of the racing season for the Vintage SportsCar Club. Strong grids across its race programme are expected as cars emerge from a winter of refettling.

Feature races are for the GP Itala, Lindsay and Rothschild trophies, but a little piece of history could come in the Fox & Nicholl Trophy as Julian Bronson bids for a remarkable 10th victory in his Riley Blue Streak. A year ago, not even a detached blower pipe in qualifying which forced him to start from the back of the grid could come between the charging Bristolian and win number nine.

The combined Lindsay and Rothschild Trophies race is likely to be a Cooper contest, with Andrew Smith bidding to avenge his 2005 defeat at the hands of Anthony Hancock. The ERA pack will battle for the Patrick Lindsay Trophy, with Mac Hulbert in R4 D set to be a strong contender. Meanwhile, Julian Majzub will be bidding for a fourth straight GP ltala Trophy victory in the famous Bentley Pacey-Hassan.

Classic Touring Car Racing Club
March 25/26

Roofs on the hoof at two tracks

The most ambitious season yet for the Classic Touring Car Racing Club kicks off with four of its championships in action.

At Castle Combe on Saturday March 25 will be the opening race for the Pre-1966 Touring Cars. With its origins in the Pre-1957 Saloon Car series first created in1975, the club is working hard to keep the older cars in action, even though grids have been dwindling in recent seasons.

The next day at Silverstone marks the start of the Classic Group One, Classic Thunder and Post-Historic Touring Car championships. Cars from the1970s through to the ’90s, in varying stages of development, will fill the grids.