The destination of the MOTOR SPORT Silverstone Trophy and a cheque for £75 was decided on September 20th, when the Peterborough M.C. and Northamptonshire M.C. combined restricted race meeting was held on the short Club Circuit in sunny but cold weather.
Surprise winner of the final, a five-lap handicap race for those cars and drivers that had qualified in similar selected races during the season, was H. Halkyard, whose Bentley 4.5-litre displayed surprising speed to score an unchallenged win from the Le Mans Replica Frazer- Nash of W. E. Wilks (winner of the Trophy last year) and S. L. Lawrence in a second Bentley 4.5-litre.
Governed by regulations designed to give drivers of sports cars of widely differing performances and handling characteristics a chance to compete against each other on more or less equal terms, the race drew a varied field, ranging from the H.W.M.-Jaguar of John Bekacrt, which was qualified earlier in the day, and G. Ashmore’s D-type Jaguar to the vintage Bentleys, an early Aston Martin and an Invicta among the more venerable machinery.
From the start it was noticeable that the Bentleys were going to be difficult to catch, although Bekaert set about an almost impossible task from the scratch mark to such effect that he had won back half of his 5-sec. handicap from Ashmore after two laps. However, when on the point of challenging, failing brakes caused him to go wide into Becketts Corner and spin on the loose gravel on the exit from the turn; thereafter he was out of the running.
Meanwhile, Halkyard had detached himself from the remainder of the field and was heading for an easy win, while Wilks was cutting through the field in impressive fashion, to take Lawrence on the run-in to Woodcote for the fifth time and qualify for the runner-up’s cheque for £40, instead of £15 for third place.
The second highlight in this long day of club racing was the 15-lap scratch race for Ferrante Libre cars, in which Michael Parkes drove a most distinguished race in the new and promising Fry-Climax. He took the lead from the B-type Connaughts of Radforth and Richardson at half distance, and opened up a sufficiently large gap to retain first position for the remainder of the race, despite suspected fuel starvation which brought the car down virtually to walking pace on its last four journeys through Woodcote Corner. On the form shown during the past season we should see a great deal more from this driver-car combination in the future.—J. B.
Cars in Books, January 1975
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