A thrilling three-way era battle for the Patrick Lindsay Memorial Trophy was just one of the highlights of the VSCC’s season-opener, the GP Itala Trophy Race Meeting.
The frantic scrap was won by Mac Hulbert, making an impressive debut in R4D, fending offJohn Ure’s 1.1/2-litre R9B, which had a brief spell in the lead, and the pole-sitting R5B of Ludovic Lindsay. Ure dropped back into a lonely third when his engine went off song, but Lindsay chased Hulbert to the bitter end. The more experienced ERA racer was clearly quicker, setting the fastest lap, but he was unable to find a way past.
Hulbert had earlier won the headlining Itala Trophy, his Alvis Silver Eagle Racer overtaking Stanley Mann’s mighty single-seater Bentley halfway through the 12-lapper. The Lanchester Trophy section of the race was won by Richard Wills, driving his 1924 Bugatti T35.
The 10-lap scratch race for 1950s sportscars provided another thriller. John Harper’s Cooper Monaco looked set to run away with it until a misfire forced him to pit. His departure saw a three-way dice for the lead between the mighty stock-block engined Lister-Chevy and Devin SS ofJulian Bronson and Malcolm Gammons and the Lotus 19 of Otto Reedtz-Thott. They were separated by just over a second at the finish, the Lotus acting as the meat in a cubic-inch sandwich, and Bronson winning. The Amschel Rothschild Trophy was fittingly won by his old BRM P25, its new owner Spencer Flack fighting off the attentions of Andrew Smith’s Cooper T43. Tania Pilkington was third in her T43, ahead of Harper’s T45 and the Cooper-Bristol of the charging Kenneth White.
Tim Llewellyn’s super-successful Bentley scored a straightforward win in the Fox and Nicholl Trophy for pre-war racing cars. Other winners included Hugh Willmore (Riley), Mark Gillies (Riley Treen), Clive Morley (Bentley) and Peter Fletcher-Jones (Rapier). PF