Alan Cox applauds the return of vintage racing to Lincs
After a three year absence, the VSCC returned to Cadwell Park in mid-August, to the delight of competitors and spectators alike and although a number of regular front-runners were absent due to clashing commitments, there was some entertaining racing in glorious sunshine.
The Frazer Nash and GN race opened the nine-race programme with Simon Smith in one of father Dick’s ‘Aluminium Brick’ Nashes setting the early pace from a fast-starting Steve Roberts and pulling away until Smith developed brake problems causing his retirement at Hall Bends on lap four. What followed was a revelation in terms of racecraft when new leader Roberts opted to pull into the paddock road one lap later, believing he had finished! This ploy fooled his three closest pursuers who followed, only to be ushered back into the fray by the paddock marshal, by which time Bob Upston, who was able to count up to six, hurried by to take a lead he held for the final two laps with his ‘Nash/AC. Peter Cobb, equally convinced that he had signed up for six laps, finished a close second, while Bill Kirkpatrick salvaged some face by being the first of the paddock refugees to finish, albeit some distance adrift in third from the recovering Robert Beebee.
The first short Scratch race proved to be a Morgan benefit with Stuart Harper (Super Aero) taking a comfortable win from Gary Caroline’s similar mount, lapping three seconds a lap quicker than anyone else, although early leader Anne Templeton’s second on-the-road with her MG KN was met with a 10sec penalty, dropping her to sixth.
The Spero and Voiturette Trophies developed into a two-way battle between David Fletcher-Jones (Lagonda Rapier) and Frank Hernandez (Austin 7 Special) with the Austin posing a racelong threat but never quite able to challenge, the winner taking the Spero and Hernandez the Voiturette. Don Rawson brought Tony Noble’s Austin/MG Special home a lonely third from Piers Leigh’s Lagonda.
Main race of the day, for the Shuttleworth and Nuffield Trophies, mustered only ten entries and became something of a procession with John Ure taking a flag-to-flag win with Peter Mann’s ERA AJM1; although runner-up Duncan Ricketts set fastest lap with ERA R1B, he was hampered by front brake problems in the closing stages, Ted Dunn (Riley Falcon Special) was hurried by Spencer Flack (Cooper-Bristol) but managed to open up a small advantage in the closing laps to take third, Ray Wilkinson (Cooper-Bristol) finally overcame Ben Fidler’s well-driven pre-war Lagonda Rapier to finish fifth, Mark Walker (Parker-GN) may have led all eight laps of the Holland Trophy for Vintage cars, but came under early pressure from Robin Baker’s superb Hispano-Delage before he slid down the order, his place being taken by on-form Stuart Harper (Morgan), only to see the three-wheeler lose touch at half distance by careering across the grass on the Mountain approach. However, Harper collected himself and resisted a late challenge from lan Stewart’s Morgan to take second and equal Walker’s fastest lap. Gary Caroline proved that Cadwell is a Morgan circuit by taking fourth.
James Broomfield (Alvis) ran out an easy winner in the second short Scratch race from the Alvis of Anthony Green with Mike Allison (MG) in third after the demise of Peter Fletcher-Jones (Lagonda).
The Melville and Geoghegan Trophies race was red-flagged, and on the restart, Barry Cannell (Alvis) took the early lead but was soon passed by Ian Bentall’s Bentley 4 1/3 litre, the pair being joined by Adam Painter’s Maserati 4CS, final honours going to the Alvis after a tremendous battle, from the Bentley and Maserati with Steve Roberts (Frazer Nash) making up for his earlier indiscretion by finishing fifth, while Phil Stainton completed a satisfying first day’s racing by bringing Irvine Laidlaw’s Alfa Monza into fifth.
Handicap victories fell to the muchcampaigned HRG of Bill Mahany, and also to Jo Winder’s Austin 7.