Sitting at the back of the grid for the opening Derek Bell Trophy race at Donington Park, Mark Dwyer didn’t look like a potential race winner. But as changing weather hit, Dwyer swept his March 742 past Simon Hadfield’s Lola T300 on the final lap for an improbable victory.
A broken driveshaft followed by fuel-pump failure left Dwyer at the back for his maiden race in the ex-David Purley/Ian Jacobs March 742. Meanwhile, Hadfield led the front-runners back to the pits for slicks as the track dried.
Once the race started Hadfield stormed away, but by mid-race he was fighting to control the Lola as the rain returned. Dwyer had elected to stay on wets and was now taking a massive profit, romping up the order to take second from Stuart Tilley’s Modus. Then, on the final run out of Coppice, Dwyer sailed past Hadfield for victory. “We knew the weather was dodgy and we hadn’t scrubbed the slicks, so we stayed on wets,” said an elated if surprised Dwyer.
Family contests featured in several races, with Michael Schryver having to push quite hard to keep his now BMW-powered Chevron B6 ahead of the B8 of nephew James in the Classic Sports Car race. “Bloody whippersnappers,” joked uncle Michael, as Hadfield joined them on the podium after starting David Clark’s Elva Mk8 at the back of the grid as first reserve.
In Historic Racing Saloons, Graeme Dodd took his second win of the weekend by pushing his Jaguar Mk2 well clear of the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT of son James.
Michael Hibberd had to race hard to deal with the constant threat of Mark Woodhouse in Formula Junior, but Lotus 27 ultimately prevailed over Lotus 22. Matthew Watts also had to press on for Classic Racing Car glory after spinning his Brabham BT16 mid-race at the Old Hairpin when oil went down. That allowed Ian Jones (Lotus 59) back ahead, but when Jones got crossed up on the exit of Redgate on the final lap, Watts nipped through to win.