Italian makes shine but ERAs star

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VSCC I Donington Park I Sept 11-12

Ferrari may have been the feature marque at the VSCC Donington event, but the cars from Maranello were completely upstaged by those from Bourne. Marking the 70th anniversary of ERA, two victories for ‘Remus’ in the hands of Ludovic Lindsay showcased the British marque in fine style.

For many of the 12,000 crowd, the all-ERA race was the undoubted highlight of the event. Back in R5B for only the second time in three years, Lindsay was kept very honest by Mark Gillies in R3A and David Morris (R11B), while John Ure tore through the pack in R9B after a plug problem in qualifying.

“I knew John was coming, and it was pretty hard work,” said Lindsay. However, the expected arrival of Ure in the lead contest never materialised. A front damper problem was making his car leap around disconcertingly under braking and it finally got away from him into the Chicane for the sixth time. A lurid spin came close to collecting R3A.

On a day when he chalked up his 50th historic race win, Lindsay also triumphed in the Historic Seaman Trophy, but only after managing to fend off a sterling challenge from the Maserati 6CM driven by Stefan Schollwöck.

The Vintage Seaman Trophy race also drew a fine performance from the winner as Michael Gans fought off various rivals to take victory in his Bugatti T35B. In the worst of mixed conditions, Gans had to deal with the impudent Morgan trikes of Gary Caroline, Duncan Wood and Stuart Harper.

Still hot from racing R3A in the Historic Richard Seaman event, Duncan Ricketts hopped into his ERA E-type to take the Brooklands and Goddards Trophy races from Stephen Davie’s Riley Dobbs, while Andrew Smith was forced to fend off Anthony Ditheridge in a Cooper head to head for the Ron Flockhart Memorial Trophy. John Harper claimed the ’50s Sports Car contest with his Cooper Monaco.

Sadly, the Shell Historic Ferrari-Maserati Challenge drew a disappointing entry, with fewer than 30 entries for the two double-headers. However, a virtuoso performance from pro driver Peter Hardman enlivened proceedings.

While Paul Knapfield took his ex-Le Mans 512 BB to overall victory, Hardman humbled several far more powerful cars in the little Dino 206S. The following day, having swapped cars with owner Harry Leventis, Hardman took the 412P to a victory over the more youthful machinery.

Finally, Schollwöck and Willie Green shared the other race wins in a pair of Maserati 6CMs.