Bradley takes Brands Supersports double in big March
Frank Bradley won both legs of the Orwell Supersports Cup in Richard Dodkins’ monstrous March 717 during the HSCC’s annual Superprix at Brands Hatch in June.
The reformation of the pan-European series brought 36 cars to the undulating Grand Prix track. Sadly missing, though, was the awesome BRM P154 of Jost Kalisch, who decided that he didn’t care for the circuit during testing and went home.
Polesitter Bradley was made to work hard in the first Supersport race by John Burton’s more nimble Chevron B26. Burton led onto the final lap before Bradley reasserted himself on the GP circuit loop to win by 0.75sec. John Grant came home third in his B19, while series co-ordinator Silvio Kalb claimed fourth in his March 76S.
A first-corner coming together in the second race on Sunday eliminated Burton and delayed Grant, which handed Bradley a clear lead. Kalb chased him home and was gaining towards the end after Bradley lost the use of his clutch. Grant fought back well to finish third.
Tony Thompson won both OCEI Formula 2 Trophy races from French-based Briton Philip Harper. Rarely more than feet apart both times, their two Ralt-BMW RT1s left the rest trailing by half a minute and more.
Elsewhere in a packed weekend, Frank Sytner added another BRDC Historic Sports victory in his Cooper Monaco and Michael Schryver again topped the Formula Juniors in his Lotus 22. The AC Cobra of Grahame Bryant/Bill Shepherd claimed the hour-long Gentleman Drivers’ race.
Terry Sayles and Peter Williams claimed the major honours at the 28th European Historic GP event at Zolder aboard their respective Surtees TS20 and March 761. Sayles took his ex-Brambilla car to a debut win in the FORCE Classic Grand Prix race, while Williams claimed a brace of victories in the Formula One v F5000 events, his major challenger each time being Lola T332 driver Mike Wrigley.
First time victory for Bahlsen’s Lotus
Hubertus Bahlsen won first time out with his Lotus 81 in the Thoroughbred Grand Prix series at the Al-Ring. Bahlsen was clear of Richard Eyre’s Williams FW08, having moved ahead of the Englishman in the early laps, when a rainstorm brought the race to an early conclusion.
Missing from the grid was the Williams FW07 of Fredy Kumschick after his engine let go in the warm-up. A first-corner tangle, meanwhile, took care of Joaquin Folch (Williams FW08) and Steve Hartley (Arrows A6).
Ensign N175 driver Mike Whatley completed the podium with a points-extending class win. With Kumschick failing to score in Austria, Whatley now has a 10-point championship lead after four rounds. Hartley lies third behind Kumschick despite also non-scoring at the Al-Ring. Given his speed and consistency, Whatley is now looking good for the overall title.
Stephens wins Nuffield race
Tony Stephens charged his era to the big win of the day when the VSCC made its annual visit to this challenging track.
The Nuffield Trophy, which was dominated by ERA in its pre-war spell at Donington Park, fell to R12B once more, but the win was earned the hard way. Having seen off the challenge of Charles Dean (Bugatti T51), it was Paul Jaye’s hard-charging Alta that chased Stephens down in the closing stages. Dean took third, winning the Williams Monaco trophy in the process.
A clashing encounter on the Brands Hatch GP circuit did little for the FJ entry, but Mark Woodhouse’s Elva outran the Lola of Tony Steele. The Kieft of Reg Hargrave was third.
Tom Walker triumphed in the Frazer Nash race, moving ahead when Brian White spun. James Diffey was as exuberant as ever on his way to second in his GN Sports Special.
Simon Diffey maintained family success by taking his Riley Elf Special to victory in the Melville & Geoghegan trophy race.
R4D in charge 50 years on
Mac Hulbert guided era R4D to yet another victory at Shelsley Walsh during the 33rd annual MAC/VSCC hillclimb. In fending off the challenge of David Morris in R11B, Hulbert dipped to within 0.17sec of Morris’s year-old pre-war record with a climb in 34.48sec, and his win came 50 years to the day from Raymond Mays’ last drive in R4D.
From a strong entry, including a marvellous turnout of hill Specials, the pair of ERAs were the only cars to break the 35sec mark. On his first run, MOITiS looked set to challenge his own hill record, but a big slide on the exit of Bottom S forced him to lift.
Martin Walford claimed the 1500cc racing-car class in ERA RI A, while Carl Gray won the 1100cc division in the supercharged Hardy Special before sliding into the bank at Bottom S on his second run.
Winners in the three Specials classes were Pete Candy (Riley Falcon Special), Brian White (Frazer Nash) and Geraint Owen (De Havilland Riley Mr Drake Special).
Denny’s old Lola blows hot
Colin Blower’s ex-Denny Hulme Lola T70-Chevrolet triumphed in the HS CC Historic Sportscar Challenge that supported the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Blower made a fine start to lead from Simon Hadfield’s Lotus 30. Having just taken the lead mid-race in the complex, Hadfield was forced to retire the smoking Lotus, which enabled John Harper (Brabham BT8) to take second ahead of Robert Brooks (Lotus 19). Win Percy was forced to retire his Jaguar D-type with a broken back axle.
Highlight of the race was the performance of Stirling Moss in the Cooper Monaco he raced in 1959. Moss took the Frank Sytner-owned car from 31st on the grid to a crowd-pleasing 16th.
A race for Le Mans type cars
Saturday evening will be a feature of the Silverstone Classic on July 28/29. A capacity 44-car grid is expected from the World Sportscar Masters series. Porsche is the featured marque.
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