VSCC Mallory Park, July 21: the greatest contests aren’t always the most obvious
Race Three: Vintage Racing Cars (VS CC Set 1) – 10 laps. It’s unlikely this will ever be cited alongside Le Mans 1967 or the 1971 Italian Grand Prix as an enduring motor sport classic, but it takes more than just a high profile to define a true epic.
In this instance, the architects are Robert Carr (AC/GN Special) and Justin Maeers (GN Parker). Only 0.19sec separated the pair in qualifying, Carr taking pole, and the gap rarely exceeds that during the race, the lead changing hands with astonishing frequency. It wouldn’t be long before they began lapping the rump of the 15-car field, slower rivals
being 10 seconds or so shy of the pace-setters, but never once did their commitment waver. They were scrupulously fair through traffic, too, allowing each other the respectful racing room that vulnerable, 80-year-old cars demand.
I was standing to the outside of the John Cooper Esses and assumed Maeers had done just enough as he led at the 10th time of passing. The order remained unchanged as they left the hairpin, too, but Carr got a better exit from Devil’s Elbow and began to draw alongside as they approached the flag. Victory would be his, for the sake of five hundredths.
The vanquished Maeers said that it was the best race in which he had ever been involved – and it’s certainly one of the finest I’ve seen, during this or any other season.