Mod­sports star in an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion


MAL­LORY PARK CSCC OC­TO­BER 6-7 Spe­cial Saloons and Mod­sports ap­pro­pri­ately pro­vided the most fre­netic action at Mal­lory Park as the Clas­sic Sports Car Club cel­e­brated the 40th an­niver­sary of Wendy Wools tak­ing over ti­tle spon­sor­ship of the famed tin-top cham­pi­onship.

Wayne Crab­tree’s Ford Es­cort BDT won the first race on Satur­day in slip­pery, chang­ing con­di­tions, Crab­tree claim­ing that the track sur­face felt dif­fer­ent on ev­ery lap.

Crab­tree and Ian Wil­son (TVR Tas­min) rel­e­gated this sea­son’s reg­u­lar win­ner

Andy South­cott (MG Mod­sport) to the bot­tom step of the podium. South­cott pushed hard af­ter mak­ing a slow start, while pole­sit­ter Tony Pax­man spun his Es­cort on the open­ing lap.

South­cott re­turned to busi­ness as usual for the first of two races on Sun­day, win­ning by a large mar­gin. Crab­tree’s ear­lier win meant he was placed 11th on the grid, but re­tired on the first lap with lack of grip. Wil­son’s TVR could only man­age eighth.

The warmer weather favoured the lighter, lower sports-de­rived mod­els. Ian Hall (Dar­rian Wild­cat) took ad­van­tage of a safety car pe­riod at about half-dis­tance to catch up with the lead­ing group from sixth place and sprint his way to se­cond, fol­lowed by Paul Si­b­ley’s Lo­tus Elan.

The race also fea­tured the long-awaited de­but of the Vaux­hall V8 ‘Mega Bertha’, driven by Ric Wood. He fin­ished 14th af­ter tak­ing it steady.

Hall was the win­ner of race three, which was cur­tailed by a lengthy safe­ty­car pe­riod, then stopped early when the stranded MG Mid­get of Ian Staines/rob Grif­fith had to be hoisted off the Hair­pin. South­cott was se­cond, right on the tail of Hall, with Si­b­ley third.

Satur­day’s open­ing Mod­ern Clas­sics/ New Mil­len­nium race was won by

Karl Cat­tliff in a BMW M3 from

Tom Bren­ton’s Ford Sierra XR8.

The New Mil­len­nium class was won by Nigel Ainge and Danny Cas­sar in a Honda In­te­gra. The pair started from the back due to a car change, but worked their way through the pack and won on the road by a com­fort­able mar­gin. But a one-minute penalty for not switch­ing the en­gine off dur­ing their pit­stop dropped them to fourth over­all.

Red flags were a fa­mil­iar sight on Satur­day. The opener was halted twice, and the Tin Tops race did not even get a lap in be­fore the In­te­gra of An­gela Jones and Wil­liam Jar­man spun and trig­gered a restart. The red flags ap­peared again af­ter one lap and the race was short­ened to 20 min­utes. Tom Mens­ley was the even­tual win­ner in his Re­nault Clio, af­ter a long and tense scrap with Martin Ad­di­son’s Peu­geot 106, which fin­ished se­cond. Shaun Ely was third in a Peu­geot 205.

Paul Din­gle (Porsche 944) won the Fu­ture Clas­sics race on the line from

Tony and As­ton Blake’s 911.

Sun­day had more of a his­toric flavour, fea­tur­ing the two Swing­ing Six­ties races. Ian Staines was the win­ner of the Group 1 race. His MG Mid­get was locked in a close bat­tle with Tim Cairns’s Austin-healey

Fro­g­eye Sprite in the later stages. Cairns briefly led a cou­ple of laps from the end, but Staines re­took the place at the Hair­pin and Cairns was un­able to get back past at the Esses, de­spite his best at­tempts. The Sun­beam Alpine of Ti­mothy Kemp/sam Lough­nan was third. Chris Watkin­son’s Mini looked very strong at the be­gin­ning and even led, but a me­chan­i­cal prob­lem ended its chal­lenge on lap five.

The fastest of the big­ger Group 2 cars was Mal­colm John­son’s yel­low Lo­tus Europa, which won com­fort­ably. The real bat­tle was for third, with Dean Halsey in a Dat­sun 240Z and Jon El­li­son (Tri­umph TR4) both in con­tention un­til Halsey pushed a bit too hard at Ger­ards and went across the grass twice. He fin­ished fourth. Jon Wolfe was a solid se­cond, hav­ing run his own race in his TVR Tus­can.

Pole­sit­ter Nigel Reuben had been on course for a podium de­spite stalling on the start­line, but his TVR Grif­fith de­vel­oped prob­lems and he re­tired.

James Ramm and Colin Philpott won a race apiece in the Jaguar Sa­loon and GT Cham­pi­onship af­ter tus­sling through­out the week­end.

Hall (left) and Si­b­ley duel in Spe­cial Saloons and Mod­sports

Ramm (99) and Philpott (67) en­joyed close bat­tles

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