Ray Bar­row and David Franks shine in dif­fi­cult Swing­ing Six­ties sea­son-open­ers

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Pho­tos: Steve Jones

The Swing­ing 60s Se­ries be­gan its sea­son with a pair of well-sup­ported pit­stop en­duros – one for smaller en­gined Group 1 cars and a sep­a­rate out­ing for their more pow­er­ful Group 2 coun­ter­parts.

The lat­ter took to the track ear­lier on the race card, mean­ing they bore the brunt of the af­ter­noon’s rain. Among oth­ers, it caught out the Lo­tus Elan of pole­sit­ter Richard Wheeler and his re­sult­ing spin handed the ini­tia­tive to Mark Hal­stead’s Ginetta G4. He briefly re­lin­quished the place to a charg­ing Mark Campbell two laps later, but was back ahead when the leader’s Tri­umph TR5 ex­pired on Senna Straight.

Again, though, the lead didn’t stick, as the Ginetta dropped back af­ter the mid-race driver swaps, al­low­ing Ray Bar­row to take top spot. This time he pulled away to win, com­fort­ably clear of re­cov­er­ing Wheeler, who’d came back through the field af­ter his early off to take run­ner-up spot. Mal­colm John­son’s evoca­tive Lo­tus Europa over­hauled Mike Dowd’s Elan to secure third.

The Group 1 race looked to be in the con­trol of Tim Cairns’ Austin Healey as he pulled clear in the early laps, but a col­li­sion with the bar­ri­ers at Wil­liams scup­pered his chances.

The race came down to a close fin­ish be­tween David Franks’ Mini and the charg­ing BMW of Gary Makein clos­ing fast in his mir­rors. But Makein just ran out of time to catch his ri­val, with the che­quered flag en­sur­ing Franks held on to win. Frus­trat­ingly for Makein, the race dis­tance had been short­ened due to the im­pact of ad­verse weather – the lap lost might have been just enough.

class in his MG ZR 160.

There was drama aplenty in the open­ing Clas­sic VW and Pre-2003 Tour­ing Car event. At­tempt­ing to fend off the Honda Civic Type R of fel­low front row starter AJ Owen at the start of race one, pole po­si­tion holder Tony Ab­solom spun his VW Golf. Sev­eral cars were forced to take avoid­ing ac­tion. While Ab­solom was able to re­join at the tail of the field (later re­cov­er­ing to sixth), Owen was forced to pit with dam­age. Ken Lark was the main ben­e­fi­ciary, tak­ing vic­tory in his VW Cor­rado ahead of Steven Bar­den’s Civic. Lark fol­lowed up his win with another in race two, although Ab­solom kept him hon­est.

A first race throt­tle prob­lem in the lat­ter stages of race one did lit­tle to stop Stephen Primett dom­i­nat­ing both Pre-66/pre-83 Tour­ing Car races, win­ning both by over half a minute in his Ford Es­cort. Sec­ond in race one was taken by Alan Green­halgh in his Vaux­hall Firenza, with David Howard’s Jaguar XJ12 pow­er­ing through to claim third. Howard im­proved to sec­ond in race two, with Stu­art Caie (Ford Capri) third.

Like Primett, Dale Gent’s Subaru Im­preza was equally suc­cess­ful in the pair of Clas­sic Thun­der races. Andy Robin­son took a pair of sec­onds in his mon­strous Ford Fal­con, de­spite a spin at Yent­wood on lap one of race two, while an elated Neil Wade and Ian Frog­gatt scored a third each.

Ian Good­child was vic­to­ri­ous in the first Hyundai Coupe Cup race, lead­ing home Si­mon Miles and Alex Curs­ley. Jon Win­ter, who had charged through from eighth on the grid to fourth in race one, de­nied Good­child a dou­ble with a bold move at Tarzan on the last lap.

Ray­mond Bar­row won Group 2 in his thun­der­ing Chevy Ca­maro

Wil­lis crashed on oval late in 2015, but won there last week­end

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