Sean Walker overcame more powerful F5000 machinery in his March F2 to score a pair of wins in the HSCC opener at Silverstone
By Paul Lawrence
In a fitting salute to his late father Ian, who died over the winter, Sean Walker was the star of the weekend in the opening rounds of the new Historic Formula 5000/Formula 2 Championship during the HSCC’s International Trophy meeting at Silverstone.
The famous team manager of the 1950s and ’60s would have approved of the way in which his son pitched his F2 March 782 against the F5000 leviathans to take a pair of wins. Then, to cap a busy weekend, Walker also raced his Lotus Elan 26R to a class victory in the Guards Trophy, having recently bought back the recreation of the famous ‘gold bug’ from his father’s era.
Several Formula 5000 cars were on the high seas returning from the Australian Grand Prix support race, but there was still a decent turnout to kick off the 40th anniversary of the category’s UK debut. But none of them could match the pace of Walker’s ex-Jarier 782, with the distinctive BMW M12 engine note tracking its progress on the flat-out charge from Becketts to Abbey.
“I always thought I’d get blitzed by at least one of the F5000s at the start,” admitted Walker. Sure enough, a restarted first race meant he had three shots at beating the big bangers to Copse, but each time he was outgunned and had to fight back. An inspired Neil Glover was the best of the F5000s in his Lola T330, but he accepted defeat with good grace.
The best race of the weekend was the hour-long Guards Trophy contest, with the Chevrons of Andy Newall and Will Schryver going head to head with the Crosslé 9S of John Shipman. Newall’s B8 led at the end of every lap, but would sometimes drop to third place twice within a single lap. With the Newall car handled by B8 novice Ross Warburton in the second half it dropped away, so it was left to Michael Schryver in his B6 and Mark Hales in a Crosslé to settle the matter. Hales finally got the nod, but a bare tenth of a second decided the result.
Graeme Dodd bagged a commanding win in the BRDC Historic Sports Cars event, relieved that his Cooper Monaco ran the hour despite a late-race misfire. A detached fan belt on Jon Minshaw’s Jaguar E-type left the GT and Sports Car Cup race to the similar car of John Clark and Jeremy Welch.