Two victories for Frank Sytner’s Cooper Monaco in the BRDC’s Historic Sportscar Championship kicked off the historic racing season at Silverstone in late March.
Sytner’s first win was won the hand way, the former champion chasing Nick Linney (Lister-Jaguar) for the first five laps as well as battling with John Harper’s similar Cooper. As the Coopers upped their pace, Linney’s lead was whittled away and Harper pounced in the stadium. Sytner followed him through and made his bid for the lead just a few laps later. Sytner duly won, despite concerns about the transmission that could have kept him out of the second race.
Not only did Sytner make it to the grid for part two, but he went on to dominate. The drama kicked off at Becketts when Alan Minshaw (Maserati T61) touched the Lister-Jaguar of Gary Pearson and spun in the pack. Everyone else missed the ‘Birdcage’ and Minshaw charged back into the race, with Pearson’s crumpled Lister keeping its place. Up at the front, Sytner led Harper but John’s challenge came to an end when backmarker Robert Mills (in the ex-Ron Gammons Lotus XI) spun at Becketts and Harper, with nowhere to go, clipped him. The damage led to Harper’s retirement and allowed Sytner an easy victory.
Minshaw’s progress, meanwhile, put him up to second after Linney also retired. Then Minshaw and Ted Williams (Cooper Monaco) touched approaching Brooklands with two laps to go and spun out of the race, allowing Pearson to take second and Mark Clubb (Cooper Monaco) third.
Sytner also won the HGPCA rear-engined grand prix car race, his Brabham BT4 dicing with Rod Jolley’s older Cooper after Richard Attwood’s Brabham fell sick. Jolley took second, while Barry Cannell drove well in his ex-McLaren Cooper T53 for third.
Honours in the HGPCA drum-braked sportscar race went to the rare Farrellac of Tony Bianchi after John Clark’s Cooper hit throttle problems and finished on the ignition switch. PL
• Edwin Jowsey took the spoils in the AMOC Millers Oils Formula Junior Championship at Mallory Park in early March. The teenager’s Lotus 22 eased clear from Simon Diffey’s similar car. Paul Smeeth and Mark Green completed a 22 clean sweep.