Around the tracks

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Grand Prix de L’age D’Or: Montlhéry

Lola power tells as racers bid farewell to banked track

The Lola T70 of Carlos Barbo and Jonathan Baker claimed the Group 4 race for the 1000Km de Paris Trophy at what seems certain to be the final meeting at the historic Montlhéry circuit in the suburbs of Paris.

The T70’s power on the banked track told over the Chevron B6 of Michael Schryver and Simon Hadfield. “It’s absolutely fine on the banking,” said Baker, who drove the Lola instead of the Ford F3L that he raced at Silverstone. “It’s one of the most atmospheric meetings of the season.”

A typically attacking performance from Schryver and Hadfield put the B6 ahead of the Lola T70 of Ivan Mahe, while a mighty Chevron B8 battle raged for fourth. Driving one of the races of his life, Jerry Hooper claimed the place after a tremendous tussle with the similar car of Joe Ward/ Peter Foster. It was only resolved in Hooper’s favour when Ward’s B8 was forced to retire with its brakes almost on fire.

The 60-strong Gentlemen Drivers entry was split into two 60-minute races, featuring an optional driver change during a compulsory pitstop.

Despite a slow start, some smart thinking by Ivan Scotti (Maserati Birdcage) earned him a win after pitting early during a yellow flag period just into the pitstop window. That incident then developed into a

safety car stint and Scotti’s gain became apparent as the leading AC Cobra of Bill Wykeham/John Bendall lost its advantage when making its own pitstop.

In the other race, David Clark led until the last two laps in his Aston Martin DB4GT, only to be forced to slow when the oil temperature rose alarmingly. That allowed David Cooke and Anthony Hancock’s Lotus 11 through to victory by 8sec.

******

Off the blocks

The surprise Japanese F1 package that shook the establishment to its roots 27 years ago ran in anger again at the Festival of Speed. Masahiro Hasemi and the Kojima KE007 were reunited by a group of Hiroshima-based restorers — and an enthusiast from Finchley.

Owner Shoji Tochibayashi began his quest to locate the car in 1994. He found it— three years later. The rebuild was equally tortuous. When fan Kento Nozaki happened across the website recently he noticed that it had not been updated since 2001. He rang to see if he could restart the project.

“It helped having someone based in England,” said Nozaki. “I got a fantastic response from all the people I contacted.”

The car suffered starter motor woes and a broken CV joint at Goodwood, but the team still hopes to contest historic F1 races with it.