Legends of Speed W
Words and photos:
ith summer coming to an end, the Legends of Speed was the last event for many of the classes — therefore also the last chance for drivers to gain points for their respective categories. It was held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over two days in the first weekend of April. The unpredictable and changeable weather conditions made for quite some challenges. Although the track dried up and the sun shone down for Sunday afternoon’s trophy races, the track surface remained rather greasy.
The card for this event included the Historic Formula Fords and Formula Junior, Classic Trials, BMW Race Series, ERC Race Series, Alfa Trofeo Series, Historic Muscle Cars and Sports Cars, and Historic Sports Sedans. These covered a total of 33 races, with approximately 190 participants entered. Trophies were awarded to the winners of Sunday afternoon’s races, which acted as ‘feature’ races. The Classic Trials only raced on Saturday, so had its feature race that day. This was its last race of the season, with Brent Middlemiss taking championship honours with his Mini 1275 GT.
If points were awarded to category with the most incidents, they would have gone the way of the BMW Series. As usual, it put on an entertaining show — no doubt the panel beaters were also rubbing their hands together come the Monday after. This was the sixth and final round of the 2015–’16 championship, with the overall winners being announced following technical scrutiny.
The ERC AES Tradezone saw the new MGB TD (aka ‘cream cracker’) of Grant Kern make its debut.
Unfortunately, Kern finished the Jack Brabham Trophy well down the order. Although the series winner will not be announced until the ERC Awards Dinner in June, it was Karl Sentch in the Datsun 240Z who won the trophy, but only by a cat’s whisker over Rod Hemmings. Meanwhile, the Sebastian Vettel Trophy for the faster Arrow Wheels cars was taken out by Paul Halford in a Porsche 993RS.
With the track still slightly greasy, the Historic Muscle Cars and Saloon Cars race was all about the smaller saloons in their final race for the Alberto Ascari Trophy. That said, it was the Ford XY Falcon of Sean Mccaughan that crossed the finish line ahead of the two Escorts of John Dennehy and Neville ‘Hillsy’ Hills. Earlier in the weekend, David Sturrock in his ’67 Chevy Camaro won the first race of the weekend, while Peter Stevenson took out race two in his ’66 Ford Mustang.
The Alfa Trofeo Series is made up of five classes on track at the same time. However, its trophy race, the Jackie Stewart Trophy, was a handicap start, therefore placing everyone on a supposedly even playing field. This enabled James Kuita and his Alfa Sud Ti to come to the forefront and win the trophy, with good, clean racing and only one retirement.
To round off the weekend, we witnessed the small field of spectacular-looking Historic Sports Sedans. They were racing for the Graham Hill Trophy, and the field included the likes of Colin Meadows’ Chevrolet Camaro RS, Jon Telford’s Mazda RX-8, and Gordon Burr’s Alfa Algie Alfetta 5000. However, Dennis Running was the man of the moment, racing his Chevy Camaro to victory.
The weekend was a huge success for most participants and just as entertaining for spectators. The garage doors have now closed as winter sets in for many of the drivers on what was another exceptional season.