Gearbox problems fail to prevent Classic Racing Cars win in ex-Watson Brabham
Taking time out from fettling F1 cars ahead of the Monaco Historic GP, Matthew Watts made it two wins from two starts in the Classic Racing Car Championship this season as the HSCC went east to Lincolnshire.
The annual foray to the three-dimensional Cadwell Park circuit should have given Watts a fairly straightforward romp to victory in his ex-John Watson Brabham BT16, but gearbox gremlins made life far from easy for the man from Retro Track and Air.
Making the best of the gears still available to him, Watts recovered from a slow start to edge ahead of Frank Lyons. The expat Irishman was out in his Merlyn Mk10 rather than one of his F5000s, as the Cadwell track licence prohibits over-2-litre racing cars, so the Derek Bell Trophy pack had a weekend off.
Ian Gray made it a one-two for the Retro squad by pushing his ex-Watson BT30 through to second, while racing surgeon John Monson lost out on a possible podium by spinning his Crosslé 19F.
The latest instalment in the Fowler v Rowe Historic FF1600 battle went to Neil Fowler’s Lola T200, but only in the face of a typically gritty challenge from the West Country vet. After a tense opening salvo, Fowler gained a little breathing space when Rowe had a grassy moment.
Matthew Bannister backed up his Donington win by bagging another 70s Road Sports victory in his Datsun 240Z. His cause was aided by Charles Barter spinning his 240Z and son Julian coming through the field in his TVR after qualifying dramas.
Simon Hadfield romped to Classic Sports honours in David Clark’s Elva Mk8S, while Adam Ormandy stepped back from Classic F3 to his faithful Lotus Elan to win the Historic Road Sports. Other winners were Les Ely (Historic Saloons), Mark Woodhouse (Formula Junior) and Nigel Webb (Jaguar XKs).
Cadwell Park, April 23
70s Road Sports
1 Matthew Bannister (Datsun 240Z); 2 Rory Stockbridge (Lotus Europa); 3 Chris Holland (Lotus 7); 4 Howard Bentham (Europa). Fastest lap: Charles Barter (240Z) 1m 46.936s (73.15mph).
Classic Racing Cars
1 Matthew Watts (Brabham BT16); 2 Ian Gray (Brabham BT30); 3 Frank Lyons (Merlyn Mk10); 4 John Monson (Crosslé 19F). Fastest lap: Watts 1m 37.358s (80.35mph).
Classic Sports Cars
1 Simon Hadfield (Elva Mk8); 2 Phillip Nelson (Marcos 1800GT); 3 Jamie Boot (TVR Griffith); 4 Les Ely (Jaguar E-type). Fastest lap: Hadfield 1m 49.703s (71.30mph);
Historic Road Sports
1 Adam Ormandy (Lotus Elan); 2 David Randall (Ginetta G4); 3 Andy Shepherd (Lotus 7);4 Malcolm Sanders (Elan). Fastest lap: Ormandy 1m 46.141 (73.70mph).
Historic Formula Junior
1 Mark Woodhouse (Lotus 20); 2 Paul Smeeth (Lotus 22); 3 Steve Smith (Cooper T59); 4 Barry Westmoreland (Lotus 22). Fastest lap: Woodhouse 1m 43.251s (75.76mph).
Historic Racing Saloons
1 Les Ely (BMW 2000); 2 Jonathan Gomm (Ford Lotus Cortina); 3 Tony Fielding (Ford Anglia 105E); 4 Roger Ebdon (Morris Mini Cooper). Fastest lap: Gomm 1m 49.387s (71.51mph).
1 Neil Fowler (Lola T200); 2 Nelson Rowe (Crosslé 20F); 3 Nigel Bancroft (Crosslé 20F); 4 Westie Mitchell (Merlyn Mk20). Fastest lap: Fowler 1m 34.476s (82.80mph).
1 Nigel Webb; 2 John Chisholm; 3 Brian Arculus. Fastest lap: Chisholm 1m 50 183s (70.99mph).