Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

Char­ac­terised by the thud­ding sound­track of a World War 1 dog­fight and the Lin­colnshire Wolds back­drop on a glo­ri­ous Sun­day af­ter­noon, the bat­tle be­tween ground level ‘air aces’ Tom Walker (Amilcar-his­pano) and Justin Maeers (GN Parker) for John Hol­land Tro­phy hon­ours was among many high­lights as the Vin­tage Sports-car Club cel­e­brated 40 years of rac­ing at Cad­well Park.

If Walker was con­cerned that he had over­heated the 11.7-litre Wright Martin US li­cence-built V8 en­gine un­der his mag­nif­i­cent beast’s svelte bon­net in prac­tice, it didn’t show. Blast­ing from row four of the grid to sec­ond on lap one, he quickly en­gaged Maeers in com­bat. “It’s like a rock­et­ship off the line,” said Tom. “I saw a gap be­tween Tony [Lees, AC/GN Co­gnac Spe­cial] and Dou­gal [Caw­ley, Gn/ford Piglet] then set about catch­ing Justin.”

There­after they swapped the lead re­peat­edly, Maeers’ ex­tra­or­di­nary cor­ner­ing bravado reg­u­larly tak­ing his rel­a­tively puny 6.1-litre four-cylin­der Cir­rus-en­gined hy­brid ahead, only to be trumped by Tom’s pure grunt on the long straights. “I had to over-rev the poor old Amilcar to beat him, but it was a great race,” he grinned hav­ing re­tained the tro­phy he won last sum­mer. “Justin had the Parker re­ally tuned-up to­day.”

Maeers faded a lit­tle in the later stages, but Lees wasn’t far be­hind at the che­quer in the car which the great Fred­die Giles – who died ear­lier this month – made fa­mous. Sue Dar­byshire, who started her three-wheeled Mor­gan along­side pole­sit­ter Maeers, fin­ished fourth after a tus­sle with Dun­can Pit­t­away who was over­joyed to win the Bu­gatti OC’S con­cur­rent Wil­liams Tro­phy, a rare ac­co­lade for an un­su­per­charged T35 against strong blown T35B op­po­si­tion.

The an­nual Frazer Nash/gn fea­ture – for which pole was left va­cant in trib­ute to club hero Giles – at­tracted a stun­ning en­try, from rorty pure race cars to a won­der­ful An­zani-en­gined 1926 FN Boulogne. De­spite the dis­par­ity in per­for­mance, it har­boured the host club card’s clos­est fin­ish, Ju­lian Grimwade in the gruff 3.5-litre Alvis-pow­ered FN Nor­ris Spe­cial beat­ing top qual­i­fier Ed­die Gibbs’s su­per­charged 1500cc FN sin­gle-seater by 0.71s after a ter­rific catch­weight con­test.

Maeers, Charles Gil­lett (FN Su­per Sports) and Lees led the chase through the big field in which young Tom Water­field tamed Tom Walker’s Ford- mo­ti­vated GN Spe­cial im­pres­sively, beat­ing Mark Walker’s mighty 4.2-litre vee-twin GN Thun­der­bug en route to sixth. James Bax­ter was in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory at the blunt end of the pack, but de­lighted in Ian Balm­forth’s Boulogne. The race was stopped when Ian Bing­ham’s FN Geoghe­gan Spe­cial rolled ap­proach­ing the Moun­tain, but hap­pily the joint FN Club com­pe­ti­tion sec­re­tary emerged shaken but not stirred from the in­ci­dent.

‘Works driver’ Ed­die Wil­liams im­pressed with his pluck in Char­lie Gil­lett’s FN Su­per Sports, lead­ing Wil­liam Ma­hany’s 1938 HRG for the first three laps of the Geoghe­gan Tro­phy race, then en­joy­ing a fine duel. Ma­hany took the flag, but Wil­liams scooped the cov­eted tro­phy as the first vin­tage fin­isher. Ba­hamian-based Ma­hany sub­se­quently won the Spero Tro­phy for the 11th time in 12 years, nar­rowly de­feat­ing 2014 win­ner Chris­tian Ped­er­sen’s su­per­charged Austin 7 Mono­posto ‘Miss Green’. Tom Water­field landed the Voi­turette Tro­phy, wring­ing great speed from a nor­mally-as­pi­rated A7 Spe­cial.

There was dis­ap­point­ment for ERA fans, not least last year’s Shut­tle­worth Tro­phy win­ner Mark Gil­lies, when the Dick Skip­worth-owned R3A smoked a pis­ton in prac­tice, sidelin­ing the combo for the day. Nonethe­less, Nick To­pliss gave a su­per demon­stra­tion of R4A’S agility in win­ning the John Hol­land Tro­phy opener from the well-matched Nashes of Grimwade and Gibbs. Ju­lian Wil­ton drove R7B – the only re­turnee of four ERAS present at the VSCC’S 1976 venue de­but, with Dud­ley Ga­ha­gan up – to fourth.

To­pliss’ dread­ful start in the Shut­tle­worth and Nuffield Tro­phies race let Fred Harper in with the splen­did and boldly driven Kurtis-Of­fen­hauser Indycar. “I re­ally thought I’d put the lights out,” said To­pliss, who threw his hands in the air ex­pect­ing to be hit, but amaz­ingly the blue ERA stut­tered away to sal­vage sil­ver ahead of Gibbs. Dice of the race was a thriller be­tween Mor­gan Su­per Aero in­vi­tees Bill Tuer and Hamish Bibby who raced and fin­ished feet apart.

The Clas­sic For­mula Ford and 500cc F3 guest races were crowd­pleasers. Brazil­ian Adri­ano Medeiros won the for­mer from Switzer­land’s Ghis­lain Genecand after Mike Gard­ner had a grassy mo­ment at Mans­field. Mike Fowler (Cooper Mk5) beat Xavier Kings­land (Staride) by a whisker in the lat­ter con­test.

Dou­gal Caw­ley bested Ewen Get­ley’s rapid Bent­ley in the Melville Tro­phy sta­ple. Swiss vis­i­tor Roland Woodtli (Ri­ley) and David Lewis (Alvis Fire­bird) won the multi-start Hand­i­cap races. Hav­ing set fastest lap in the sec­ond of th­ese, David Se­ber went straight back out and won the fi­nale as an in­vi­tee, beat­ing MG Triple M Reg­is­ter duo Mike and Harry Painter with Gre­gan Thrus­ton best of the Austin 7 side in the match race, pur­sued by Si­mon Blak­eney-ed­wards.

Medeiros and Gard­ner du­elled

Grimwade won FN/GN race

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