Around the tracks

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Oldtimer GP: Nürburgring

Masterful Folch orders a pair of Formula One doubles

Joaquin Folch made a successful debut in the Grand Prix Masters series during the 32nd Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The Spaniard took a double victory in his McLaren M23 over Mike Wrigley in an M26.

Folch was the class of the 23-car field, which featured rev-limiters for the first time in a move to encourage engine longevity. John Crowson bagged a brace of podium finishes in his Ensign N177, but it was not a good weekend for series front-runner Peter Williams. Having pared a wheel from his March 761 in qualifying, he raced the car to sixth in the opening race but ended the second in the gravel.

Folch completed a fine weekend by adding two more wins, this time aboard his Lotus 16 in the HGPCA Pre-1961 races. Chief rival to Folch was Rod Jolley in his recently restored Monza Lister-Jag. But a first-corner collision with the Maserati 250F of Thomas Bscher badly delayed Jolley in the first race and he could only finish seventh. Folch made a slow start in the second and Jolley led, but the nimble Lotus caught and passed the Lister to win again.

Denis Welch was the hero of the Lurani Trophy Formula Junior races, taking a double victory in his Merlyn Mk5/7. But he had to fight for it. In the opening race he had a big scrap with Urs Eberhardt (Lotus 27) and, having been side-by-side on the final lap, the Brit got to the flag with just three-hundredths of a second to spare. In the second race, a first-lap tangle delayed Welch but he fought back to pip Michael Schryver (Lotus 22) by less than half a second.

The Historic Marathon, contested over three hours on the Nordschleife, was left to the local crews after Jon Minshaw’s Jaguar E-type and Chris Chiles’s Ford GT40 were sidelined in the early laps. The Porsche 904/6 of Klaus-Dieter Frers took victory.

******

HSCC: Castle Combe

Action-packed for a packed house

A perfect summer’s day helped entice a large crowd to Castle Combe for the annual visit of the Historic Sports Car Club. They were rewarded with some spectacular action.

Adam Ormandy opened proceedings with a spectacular maiden Historic Road Sports win from the third row in his Lotus Elan. The Worcester driver had already made it up to second by the end of the opening lap, passing John Fitzgerald’s similar car on Dean Straight, and he quickly tracked down the TVR Griffith of Richard Tyzack, which had started from pole position for the first time. Tyzack was passed with a brave move around the outside at Camp, and his challenge fell away thereafter.

Andy Shepherd’s Lotus 7 lasted for only half of the 1970s Road Sports race leaving Richard Thorne’s Morgan Plus 8 clear to take victory. Trevor Rowney (MGB GT V8) and Chris Holland (Lotus 7) might have challenged had they not been fighting each other so hard for second place.

A slim field of Classic F3s provided a stirring contest and a tight finish. Richard Trott led in his Ralt RT1 until the fourth lap, when Steve Maxted outbraked him into the Esses. Trott kept Maxted honest and the Ralt was only half a second behind at the end. Matthew Watts (Brabham BT16) enjoyed a dominant victory in the Classic Racing Cars.

Dan Cox nipped his Ford Anglia ahead of Graeme Dodd’s Jaguar MkII on the brakes for the Esses on the first lap of the Historic Saloon race and proceeded to treat the crowd to a display of sideways driving. Less spectacular, but just as impressive, was Neil Fowler’s victory in Historic Formula Ford. Nelson Rowe’s Crosslé 20F was second to the Lola, and with an injured Jason Minshaw likely to miss the balance of the season, Fowler’s title defence seems complete.

Nigel Webb was a clear winner of the Jaguar X.K Challenge, while Mike Evans went from back to front to win the guest Classic Clubmans event in his Mallock.

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