One man took home a big hon­our af­ter stun­ning his­toric dis­play. By Mar­cus Pye

Motor Sport News - - Rounds - Photos: Mick Walker, Jakob Ebrey

Rob Hall’s three su­perla­tive race vic­to­ries in a pair of wail­ing V12 Ma­tra pro­to­types – the Masters His­toric Sportscar honours shared with ca­pa­ble col­league Andy Wil­lis – earned the vet­eran the driver of the week­end ac­co­lade.

But it was Sun­day’s epic Formula 1 race (in which Hall also played a lead­ing role, pi­lot­ing a Ligier-ma­tra JS17) which high­lighted the al­lac­tion 2016 Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic.

Driv­ing an ex-henri Pescarolo/ Ger­ard Lar­rousse 1974 1000km ‘sprint spec’ three-litre MS670B/C with sen­sa­tional verve, Hall out­foxed Andy Ne­wall (Mclaren M8F) in Satur­day’s Can-am 50 In­ter­serie Tro­phy leg. On Sun­day he de­fended brilliantly, dou­bling-up as the 8.8-litre Chevro­let V8-en­gined beast ate its tyres. “I ex­pected Andy to come past at the start,” said Hall, “When he didn’t I didn’t hang around to find out why!”

Third on day one, re­turnee John Grant (Mclaren M8C/D) was side­lined by a punc­ture on Sun­day, thus the sleek Lo­las of Michele Liguori (Dfv-pow­ered) and Tony Sin­clair (ex-chris Craft 1973 Euro­pean two-litre ti­tle-win­ning T292) and John Bur­ton (Chevron B26) moved up.

Andy Wil­lis started the ex-jeanPierre Bel­toise/jack Brab­ham ’70 tube­frame Ma­tra MS650 – re­plete with dis­tinc­tive nose wing – in the FIA Masters His­toric Sportscar round. While he kept it in sight of the lead­ers its chal­lenge was un­der the radar un­til Hall leapt in. F1 win­ner Nick Pad­more (in Max SmithHil­liard’s Chevron-fvc B19) made a nui­sance of him­self to the lat­est stops, ha­rass­ing Chris Ward (in Paul Gib­son’s Broadley Lola T70), but not even Oliver Bryant (T70 MK3B) could counter the agile French blue Ma­tra as they con­stantly lapped traf­fic in the clos­ing stages.

Wolf­gang Friedrichs and Si­mon Had­field re­tained their Royal Au­to­mo­bile Club Tourist Tro­phy ti­tle with an­other ex­tra­or­di­nary Pre1963 GT suc­cess in the Ger­man’s As­ton Martin DB4 GT. Start­ing from Had­field’s pole on a treach­er­ously slip­pery track Friedrichs lay eighth, 22 sec­onds down af­ter three laps, when Holly Ma­son-fran­chitti’s Alfa Romeo TZ1 gy­rated through Abbey and was im­mo­bilised by a clonk from Alex Drab­ble’s Re­liant Sabre 6. “I di­alled my ‘I need a Safety Car app’ and one ap­peared,” quipped Had­field, who re­placed Friedrichs as soon as the pit win­dow opened, then charged to vic­tory.

Also re­layed at five-and-a-half laps – morn­ing races used the Her­itage Pits – Pa­trick Blak­eney-ed­wards growled Martin Hunt’s AC Cobra to sec­ond. A photo fin­ish for third favoured the James Cot­ting­ham/ An­drew Smith Jaguar E-type, which led af­ter Lukas Halusa pit­ted the sen­sa­tional Fer­rari 250 GT ‘Bread­van’ too early. Obliged to stop again, he howled Count Volpi’s pe­riod SWB evoluzione back onto the Jag’s tail, clear of the E-type FHCS of Rob Hall (Martin Melling’s) and ‘Ral­phy’ Had­don.

Cooper-jaguars ruled the splen­did RAC Wood­cote Tro­phy Pre-’56 sportscar race, Chris Ward (ex-cyril Wick T33) win­ning a mes­meris­ing duel with Blak­eney-ed­wards, fin­ish­ing Amer­i­can Fred Wake­man’s sleeker ex-tommy Sop­with T38 with equal aplomb. PB-E had the temer­ity to forge ahead for a few laps be­fore the Sil­ver­stone spe­cial­ist re­tal­i­ated. Although the quick­est D-type of Gary Pear­son faded (“no grip and no grunt”), Tony Wood com­pleted a Jaguar Xk-pow­ered podium in the cu­ri­ous RGS Ata­lanta which fa­ther Barry de­cided to leave him aboard. Rick Bourne/mal­colm Paul (ex-mike An­thony Lo­tus-bris­tol 10) led the in­ter­lop­ers. Martin Stret­ton/ Richard Wil­son (Maserati 250S) and Friedrichs/had­field (As­ton Martin DB3S) com­pleted the top six.

First time out in the Leven­tis fam­ily’s ex-taffy von Trips/phil Hill Fer­rari 246 Dino, Sam Han­cock burst clear of the Stir­ling Moss Tro­phy pack to re­peat Gre­gor Fisken’s 2015 win. “I want to apol­o­gise to [ini­tial leader] Gary Pear­son for tap­ping him very gen­tly at Stowe, as we slid on oil [dumped by Rob­bie Bern­berg’s Cooper], but this car is fan­tas­tic, it’s a huge priv­i­lege to race it,” said the versatile Han­cock, equally adept in a three-litre His­toric F1 car or mod­ern sports pro­to­type.

As Pear­son’s Lis­ter-jaguar faded through an un­re­lated prob­lem [“I had mas­sive over­steer and vi­bra­tion, so pit­ted think­ing I had a punc­ture”], Oliver Bryant scythed his Lo­tus 15 past the con­trast­ing Lis­ter-jags of Richard Kent (Costin) and Tony Wood (Knob­bly) and briefly passed Han­cock, only to spin. When dad Gra­hame took the twolitre car over it fell to a class-win­ning fifth, be­hind Kent, Will Nuthall (in for Wood) and the mighty Buck­ing­ham-built Lis­ter-chevro­let clone of builder Mark Lewis and Jamie Mcin­tyre. Billy Bellinger/ Keith Ah­lers topped the min­nows in Eric Broadley’s first gi­ant-killing Lola Mk1.

The big Masters Pre-’66 GT race was a [lack of] grip­per as TVR Grif­fith ace Mike Whi­taker en­deav­oured to fend off a Cobra and Jaguar E-type pelo­ton. Oliver Bryant (Cobra) grabbed the ini­tia­tive on lap five while Leo Voy­azides (Shelby Day­tona Coupe) tried to re­pel the Jags of Ju­lian Thomas and the brake­less Nathan Kinch, plus Michael Gans’ Cobra.

Af­ter the stops, Si­mon Had­field took up the cud­gels in Voy­azides’ car and rock­eted to the top, win­ning from Bryant and Whi­taker. “I’ve over­taken a Jaguar D-type in an As­ton Martin DB3S and Mike Whi­taker’s TVR for the first time

to­day,” he beamed. Nigel Green­sall (in Gra­ham Wil­son’s Elan) was over­joyed to pass Ross Curnow’s sim­i­lar car for small ca­pac­ity honours af­ter the Ed Mor­ris/john Dav­i­son car failed.

For the third suc­ces­sive year, Sam Wil­son won both Formula Ju­nior races in his pris­tine ex-dave Charl­ton Ecurie Tom­a­hawk Lo­tus 20/22. He was hon­oured to be pre­sented with the Com­man­der Yorke Tro­phy from Richard Attwood, its re­cip­i­ent – as a ris­ing star of 21 with the Mid­land Rac­ing Part­ner­ship Cooper T59 – the last time it was pre­sented in 1962!

Satur­day’s pas­sage was eased when Cameron Jackson and Cal­lum Grant made su­perb get­aways, swamp­ing Wil­son’s ri­vals in­clud­ing pole­sit­ter An­drew Hib­berd who “cocked up the start and ar­rived at Luffield fifth!” Hib­berd re­cov­ered to sec­ond while Nick Fen­nell shad­owed Grant home in fourth. Westie Mitchell pit­ted his de To­maso when it jumped out of gear, while Will Mitcham’s last lap en­gine fail­ure – the first DNF of his ca­reer - gifted the front-en­gined pot to fel­low U2 pi­lot Ray Mal­lock.

Sun­day’s stanza was much closer up front, in­deed Hib­berd en­joyed a cou­ple of laps ahead of Wil­son hav­ing slip­streamed him on the Hangar Straight and passed him into Stowe. Sam repassed him at Brook­lands and held on to win by half a length with Grant third. Oil at the Loop caught out Mitchell and Fen­nell, who spun in­de­pen­dently, then saw John Fyda and An­drew Gar­side col­lide be­fore a mass ex­o­dus. Chris Drake (Ter­rier) was first of the ‘pullers,’ hav­ing with­drawn on Satur­day.

Will Nuthall in Gior­gio Marchi’s F1 Cooper T53 was caught and passed by Jon Fair­ley’s 2.7-litre Tas­man-spec Brab­ham BT11 in Satur­day’s HGPCA race, but a last lap wob­ble at Beck­etts gifted vic­tory to Nuthall as Peter Hors­man (Lo­tus 18/21) watched it un­fold. Barry Can­nell bagged fourth af­ter Rod Jol­ley and Rudi Friedrichs col­lided, but they dusted them­selves down and fin­ished ahead of the shrill 1500cc F1 V8s of Nick Fen­nell (Lo­tus 25) and Sid Hoole (Cooper T66). Tony Wood bested the front-en­gined bri­gade in his Tec-mec Maserati, well clear of an en­er­getic 250F tus­sle be­tween Guillermo Fierro and Steve Hart.

The week­end’s only red flag flew af­ter P2 man Fair­ley’s gear­box grenaded at Sun­day’s start. With arms aloft, every­body missed him un­til row 20 starter Fred Harper, un­sighted, hit the Brab­ham, spin­ning it round and trig­ger­ing a chain re­ac­tion shunt which side­lined six cars. Hors­man won the restart af­ter Nuthall had a drive­shaft snap at Stowe. Richard Tar­ling was fly­ing in John Car­pen­ter’s unique Assegai and had nosed past Wood into an as­ton­ish­ing third at Chapel on the fi­nal lap when it conked- out. He coasted to Club and gal­lantly pushed it over the line.

Tin Top Sun­day’s His­toric Tour­ing Car Chal­lenge mis­cel­lany spanned 1966-’90, fea­tur­ing pe­riod gems among evoca­tively liv­er­ied repli­cas. While hot Capris, BMW CSL Bat­mo­biles and sonorous Rover V8s caught en­thu­si­asts’ eyes, Mr Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions Nick Whale at­tracted a jump start penalty in his orig­i­nal Auto Trader BMW M3, but Richard Meaden – fresh from U2TC suc­cess – was up to speed sooner and slith­ered Grant Tro­mans’ Ford Capri ahead in tricky con­di­tions. Whale re­layed son Harry who, hav­ing seen Tro­mans emerge from the pits, coolly passed him for a mem­o­rable maiden vic­tory. “Win­ning with my son is very spe­cial,” said Nick af­ter­wards. David Tom­lin, who bought his Zak­speed Es­cort replica at Fri­day’s sale, was al­most as thrilled with third.

The Vaux­hall Vec­tra of young Scot Colin No­ble Jr and lo­cal man James Dodd’s Honda Ac­cord cir­cu­lated as if welded to­gether atop Satur­day’s Su­per Tour­ing opener, slic­ing through traf­fic with precision, al­beit with­out chang­ing or­der. In a field graced by pe­riod stars Gian­franco Bran­catelli (BMW M3) and Tony Longhurst (BMW 318) plus Craig Davies’ ex-chris Hod­getts Gp A Ford Sierra RS500, Frank Wrathall led the vain pur­suit in the last 4WD Audi A4.

Sun­day’s se­quel promised a re­peat, mi­nus Wrathall, but fol­low­ing a cou­ple of ex­changes – when No­ble washed out on oil at Stowe, leav­ing the door open for Dodd, then re­tal­i­ated ro­bustly with a scrape into the Loop – it ended sourly. Colin slid wide at Stowe on the fi­nal lap and James grabbed the apex to lead into the Vale, at the end of which a sideswipe sent James spin­ning. Stew­ards took a dim view, ex­clud­ing No­ble and declar­ing Dodd the win­ner. With Neil Smith (Alfa 156) now sec­ond, Ja­son Min­shaw was third with his Volvo S40.

A pha­lanx of Lo­tus Corti­nas swamped An­drew Banks’ Alfa Romeo GTA and Jackie Oliver’s misfiring BMW in the U2TC en­duro. Andy Wolfe bolted, hand­ing the “very ner­vous” Richard Meaden a lead which he main­tained. Brown and Richard Dut­ton were al­most 20 sec­onds adrift at the flag. Max Banks was third, stunned by the Corti­nas’ pace. “They pull five lengths on us on the Hangar Straight,” cho­rused the broth­ers.

At­tri­tion hit the V8s, but Craig Davies’ Mustang re­mained fit to win the big-ca­pac­ity Pre-’66 Tour­ing Car from Roger Wills’ Mer­cury Comet. Leo Voy­azides’ Fal­con’s brakes failed, Sean Mcin­er­ney’s Mustang “dropped a cylin­der” and Nigel Green­sall’s Fal­con wilted, leav­ing the Cortina of Michael Gans/andy Wolfe third. How­ever, they had pit­ted too early and were given a 30s penal­ties pro­mot­ing Ben Beighton and Rob Fenn.

Hall then helped Andy Wil­lis to an FIA win Rob Hall (left) was the star of both the Can-am out­ings

Sam Han­cock and Oliver Bryant do bat­tle in su­perb Pre ’61 Sportscars

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