Wolf huffs and puffs but Juniors bring house down
Top Hat Festival: Donington Park
The FORCE Classic Grand Prix Car races pitched Formula One cars against F5000s, and the opening race developed into a battle between Mike Littlewood (Wolf WR1) and Peter Williams (March 761).
Littlewood led from the start and was breaking away from the ex-Brian Henton March until the traffic got in his way. An inspired Williams closed, caught and passed the ex-Scheckter car to win, despite the car jumping out of gear. Because of that he skipped race two, allowing Littlewood an easy time of it — until his engine went sick after four laps, gifting the win to Mike Wrigley (Lola T330) who had dashed back from Spa for the two races.
A terrific two-part FIA Lurani Trophy Formula Junior round fell to Michael Schryver (Lotus 22) after the first race-winner, Mike Hibberd, spun his Lotus 27 on the opening lap of race two. Schryver had his work cut out, though, as he traded the lead with Edwin Jowsey (Lotus 22) and the Merlyn Mk5 of Denis Welch. Jowsey spun when lapping Tony Steele’s Lola and, after a magnificent avoidance, Schryver survived to take the win on aggregate from Welch and Hibberd.
Frank Sytner and David Clark teamed up to win the HMRN Sports Racing Challenge, while Irvine Laidlaw and James Diffey won the Gentlemen Drivers’ race in a Porsche 904/6, despite Laidlaw spinning on the first lap.
Simon Garrad/Graeme Dodd (BMW 2000) won a lively Top Hat Pre-1965 Touring Car Race despite the car running out of fuel on the last lap, while Denis Welch trounced the field in his Lotus 23B in the Cloth Cap Pre-65 Sports Car Race.
John Clark’s Cooper T39 won a restarted Drum Brake Sports Car race from Laidlaw’s Maserati 250S.
Finally, the ‘Sebring Salute’ race provided a one-two for cars that had Sebring history, the Ford GT40 of Chris Chiles winning from Laidlaw’s Chevron B16.