April 8th. Gillies takes double win with ERA R3B

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VSCC kicks off 2006 racing season with traditional Spring Start opener at Silverstone

Trans-Atlantic racer Mark Gillies starred with a brace of race wins when the VSCC’s 2006 race programme burst into life during the Spring Start meeting at a chilly Silverstone.

Just as he’d done a year earlier, Gillies guided Rodney Smith’s ERA R3B to victory in the Patrick Lindsay & Amschel Rothschild Trophies race. Starting from pole, he proved far too fleet for the opposition.

Stuart Harper’s Kurtis Indy Car gave vain chase, but the twists and turns of Silverstone are a far cry from the car’s natural home and Harper spent a lot of time on opposite lock when the Offenhauser power kicked in.

“Apart from the rev-counter packing-up mid-race, that was easy,” reported Gillies, who completed his double when he took the curtain-closing Scratch race.

Tony Bianchi was a fortunate winner of the 1950s Sports Racing Car encounter, accepting that he would not have caught the Lister-Jaguar of Simon Ham. When the gear-lever housing of the Lister sheared off, Bianchi was able to power past in his Farrellac Allard. Barry Cannell bagged second with the Willment, having fought off a challenge from the impudent and prodigiously fast Rejo of Jamie McIntyre.

With Julian Bronson’s Riley Blue Streak missing from the grid, Fox & Nicholl Trophy honours fell to Neil Davies (BMW 315), who pounced when poor Simon Llewellyn lost vital momentum with a missed gear in his Bentley. Try as he might, Llewellyn could never quite get back, finally giving best by half a second.

Christopher Williams gave his all in his monstrous 24-litre Napier aero-engined Bentley, laying smokey rubber trails as he bravely fought to come between Julian Majzub and a fourth consecutive Itala & Lanchester Trophies race.

Majzub finally got the Pacey-Hassan ahead of the Napier a couple of laps from home and, as if in protest at the treatment they’d received, one of Williams’s rear tyres exploded soon afterwards!

The Triple M register race produced a fine field of overhead-cam MGs, with pole man Charles Jones (L1 Sports) comfortably taking the spoils from Andrew Taylor and Robin Butler.

Mac Hulbert in ERA R4D and Michael Rudnig in his Bentley Jackson Special were victorious in the other scratch races on the programme.

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