VSCC 1986 Race Finale at Donington

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Nick Mason Wins Motor Sport  Brooklands Memorial Trophy

In marvellous September weather the Vintage SCC concluded its 1986 race programme with the Shuttleworth & Nuffield Trophies Meeting at the efficient Donington Park circuit. The new VSCC President, Roger Collings, drove his Speed Six Bentley in one of the handicap races. All the events were run off very expeditiously, starting with the Brooklands Society Trophy Handicap over five laps which Duncan Ricketts came through to win comfortably in his 1936 1-1/2-litre Riley Special from Baddiley’s Speed 25 Alvis, with Burrell’s V12 Bentley-Royce in third place. The Bolster Special stalled on the starting grid and Taylor’s Aston Martin gave an inkling that it was slippery at the chicane, when it spun off.

Next came the John Holland ten-lap Scratch race for vintage racing cars, Tim Llewellyn establishing a useful lead after four laps from Footitt in the AC/GN— David and Goliath! — in the blue 8-litre-engined Bentley, to gain more Motor Sport  Trophy points. Nick Mason, however, was able to retain his grip on the situation with a third place on his Type 35B Bugatti. Joseland, Zeuner and Morley were posted as non-starters, the last-named because the older of the Napier Lion engines he uses in the Napier-Bentley had suspect bearings. Llewellyn lapped at 74.25 mph.

Cox’s blue FWD Alvis came through to win the following five-lap Handicap, leaning on its springs through the tight chicane and understeering as front-drive cars do, so much so that on the last lap, passing Smallwood’s slow PB MG which the handicappers had dealt harshly with, it did this to excess, taking a nasty bump over the inner kerb but continuing unabashed, to win from Ingham’s LG45 Lagonda and Drewitt’s Riley Special.  Barker, who made fastest lap at 65.43 mph, spun the V12 Lagonda at the chicane on the fourth lap, spoiling his chances, and Boyack’s Aston Martin did the same thing at the same time and place, its engine refusing to restart.

So to the pre-war racing cars’ ten-lap Shuttleworth Scratch Race, in which Bill Morris in ERA R12B disposed of Felton’s Alfa Romeo at around half-distance, going on to win the Nuffield Trophy as well as the Shuttleworth, by just over one second, having done his best at 77.44 mph, or at 0.3 sec quicker than the Alfa managed. Brian Classic in ERA R2B was third, after Sweet’s KN/K3 MG had dropped back from a good early performance and Heimann had spun the ex-Straight 8CM Maserati at the chicane on lap three — he kept the engine running and resumed but his chance was gone and the car which knew this circuit so well before the war was finished 14th. Hawkins’ Riley TT Sprite went straight on at high speed at the chicane on lap five, never to reappear, and on the last lap Stephens was in trouble in ERA R12C, Martin Morris, sans bottom gear in ERA R11B elected to start last, stalled the engine, but finished seventh behind Sweet, Thwaites, and Spollon.

Tim Llewellyn then made sure of the 10-lap Group Handicap Melville & Geoghegan race, taking his big Bentley circumspectly through the chicane, to win, reeling in Heelis’s Riley a lap from finish, having by then lapped Wickham’s 12/50 Alvis. Bruce’s Brooklands-type Riley was third. Llewellyn was able to lap at his quickest 3.08 mph slower than he had in winning the John Holland Scratch Race, and after six laps Walder’s 12/50 Alvis emulated some F1 cars and appeared to run out of fuel.

The Allcomers’ Race was over 12 laps and took in the Historic Car Championship. Sir John Venables Llewelyn was to drive Mayman’s 250F Maserati, but in the end the Ferrari was substituted. He asked to start from the back of the starting grid, not being familiar with the car, and finally came home in eighth place, (having driven to the course in his Bugatti) and the Veritas Meteor non-started. For three laps Chris Mayman led in the P25 BRM, then Anthony Mayman in the Bruce Halford Lotus 16 and Harper’s 2-1/2-litre F1 Cooper stormed past, and these three ran away from the rest. By half-distance the Cooper was just ahead of the Lotus, with the BRM dropping back, but on the final lap Mayman took Harper on the run down to the chicane. They cornered in very close company and accelerated to the line, the Lotus 16 just 0.1 of a sec in the lead, to win at 82.94 mph to Harper’s 82.91 mph — it was that close! Their respective fastest laps were at 84.69 and 84.79 mph, so the Cooper must have eased off a shade, somewhere.  In the “other race”, Nick Mason kept his 250F Maserati safely ahead of the Hon. A. M. Rothschild’s P25 BRM, with Ludovic Lindsay driving very well to follow them home in ERA R5B, “Remus”, the best pre-war car, after a lap at 77.60 mph.

The meeting concluded with three five-lap Handicap races, in the first of which Nick Mason consolidated his claim to our Trophy by winning in Aston Martin LM21, with fastest lap at 69.49 mph, from Thompson’s Lagonda Rapier and Armstrong’s Le Mans Aston Martin. In the next, Rathbone’s Talbot 105 secured the John Goddard Trophy by winning from Lockhart in the aged Rover Special, Spollon coming third in his 2-1/2-litre Riley Special.  The last race of this pleasant September day went to Grist’s Monza Alfa Romeo, from Summerfield (Avon-Bentley Special) and Watney (Brooklands-type Riley).

Mrs. Boddy then presented the Motor Sport  cup to Mason, who led with 91 points, Tim Llewellyn and Duncan Ricketts tying for second place with 80 points each. — WB

***

Results

Shuttleworth Trophy Race: 1. W. Morris (ERA),  77.62mph;  2. R. Felton (Alfa Romeo);  3. B. Classic (ERA).

John Holland Trophy Race:  1. T. Llewellyn (Bentley), 72.84mph;  2. R. Footitt (AC-GN);  3. N. Mason (Bugatti).

Allcomers’ Scratch Race:   1. A. Mayman  (Lotus), 82.94mph;  2. J. Harper (Cooper);  3. C. Mayman (BRM).

Melville Trophy Race:  1. T. Llewellyn (Bentley), 69.71mph;  2. R. Heelis (Riley);  3. J. Bruce (Riley).

First Five-Lap Handicap:  D. Ricketts (Riley), 69.88mph.

Second Five-Lap Handicap:  R. Cox (Alvis), 56.88mph.

Third Five-Lap Handicap: N. Mason (Aston Martin), 67.35mph.

Fourth Five-Lap Handicap:  D. Rathbone (Talbot), 62.51mph.

Fifth Five-Lap Handicap:  P. Grist (Alfa Romeo), 70.70mph.

Fastest lap of the day:  J. Harper (Cooper), 84.79mph — new class record.

Motor Sport  Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest:  1st , Nick Mason, 91 points — Trophy and £150.  2nd, tie between T. Llewellyn and D. Ricketts — prize money divided, £87.50 each.