Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Photo: Mick Walker

The 68th run­ning of the Bent­ley Driv­ers’ Club meet­ing took place at a sunny Sil­ver­stone last Satur­day.

It was the 30-minute FISCAR race that pro­vided the most scin­til­lat­ing en­ter­tain­ment of the af­ter­noon, with a four-way bat­tle for the lead be­tween the Lo­tus Elite S2 of Robin El­lis, Mike Free­man’s Lo­tus Elite and the two Austin Healey 4/100s of Jonathan Abe­cas­sis and Nick Matthews in the open­ing laps. Fol­low­ing the manda­tory pit­stop, El­lis built a com­fort­able lead and went on to claim vic­tory, with Abe­cas­sis and Free­man even­tu­ally tak­ing the fi­nal podium po­si­tions.

It was Abe­cas­sis who had won the Bic Healey Tro­phy Race ear­lier in the day – this time from pole­man Drew Cameron in his Austin Healey Speed­well Sprite. The pair du­elled for the lead through­out the race and con­tin­u­ally changed places over the course of a lap.

De­spite this duel last­ing un­til the last lap, Cameron couldn’t quite make a win­ning pass stick and fin­ished sec­ond, ahead of Gor­don El­well’s Austin Healey Se­bring Sprite in third po­si­tion.

The All­com­ers Scratch Race and Bent­ley Scratch Race for Post-1966 Cars was one to for­get for David Rush­ton in his Mor­gan +8. Start­ing from sec­ond, he had looked set to chal­lenge for the win in the early stages of the race but started to fall back af­ter the open­ing laps and re­tired with an en­gine prob­lem. The race was won by pole­man David Tilley’s Hart Sports Rac­ing. John Tay­lor in the Crossle 9S and David Hughes in the Ford Sierra Cos­worth were sec­ond and third re­spec­tively. Tilley had also claimed an­other vic­tory in the All­com­ers Hand­i­cap Race.

The Bent­ley Hand­i­cap race proved to be poignant, with vet­eran mem­ber of the BDC, Peter Morley, an­nounc­ing that Sil­ver­stone was to be his fi­nal race af­ter an in­volve­ment with the club span­ning 60 years. He ul­ti­mately fin­ished sev­enth in his Bent­ley 3/41/2. His son, Clive, claimed third place in his Bent­ley 3-41/2 – the first time the car has raced again since a hor­ror crash at Sil­ver­stone last year that left Morley Jr with se­vere in­juries. Paul Forty in his Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial crossed the line in first place, 30 sec­onds ahead of the sim­i­lar ma­chine of Stu­art Wor­thing­ton.

The AR Mo­tor­sport Mor­gan Chal­lenge race was won com­fort­ably by Oliver Bryant in the Mor­gan +8, from the sim­i­lar cars of Keith Ah­lers and Wil­liam Plant in sec­ond and third. Ah­lers and Plant en­joyed a fight in the sec­ond, cul­mi­nat­ing in Ah­lers re­tak­ing the po­si­tion with a well-timed move at Beck­etts.

The podium of the Bent­ley Scratch for pre-1966 Cars and

Pre-war Team Chal­lenge

race was com­prised en­tirely of Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cials, with Michael Haig win­ning, de­spite not orig­i­nally plan­ning to start the race as a re­sult of a qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion plagued by a se­ries of is­sues. Paul Forty and Ger­ard Mccosh took sec­ond and third.

John Henry Wil­liams won the MG T Reg­is­ter, AC and Mor­gan race in his Mor­gan 4/4 from the Mor­gan 4/4 of James Sum­ner in sec­ond with Bill Kirk­patrick’s MG B in third.

1 Robin El­lis (Lo­tus Elite S2): 2 Jonathan Abe­cas­sis (Austin Healey 100/4) +9.804s; 3 Mike Free­man (Lo­tus Elite); 4 Nick Matthews (Austin Healey 100/4); 5 Jim Camp­bell (Austin Healey 100/4); 6 Alex Qu­at­tle­baum (Leco Sport). Class win­ners El­lis; Abe­cas­sis; Mark Hoble (Tri­umph TR2); Glenn Tol­let/ Rory Tol­let (MG A). Fastest lap Free­man 1m13.609s (80.23 mph). Pole Abe­cas­sis. Starters 27.

1 Jonathan Abe­cas­sis (Austin Healey 100/4); 2 Drew Cameron (Austin Healey Speed­well Sprite) +0.142s; 3 Gor­don El­well (Austin Healey Se­bring Sprite); 4 Nick Matthews (Austin Healey 100/4); 5 Richard Woolmer (Austin Healey Se­bring Sprite); 6 Jim Mackie (Austin Healey Sprite). CW Abe­cas­sis; Cameron; Robin Pearce (AC Ace Bristol). FL Abe­cas­sis 1m13.044s (80.85mph). P Cameron. S 13.

1 David Tilley (Hart Sports Rac­ing); 2 John Tay­lor (Crossle 9S) +50.191s; 3 David Hughes (Ford Sierra Cos­worth); 4 Ed Mercer (Mor­gan +8); 5 Alan Daven­port (Mal­lock MK18); 6 Greg Par­nell (Mor­gan Aero 8 GTN). FL Tilley 1m02.541s (94.42mph). P Tilley. S 12.

1 Paul Forty (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial); 2 Stu­art Wor­thing­ton (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial) +31.538s; 3 Clive Morley (Bent­ley 3/41/2); 4 Richard Hud­son (Bent­ley 3/41/2); 5 Tom Com­man­der (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial); 6 Jock Mackin­non (Bent­ley 3 Litre Tourer). HW Vi­vian Bush (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial). FL Forty 1m15.682s (78.03mph). P Forty. S 12.

1 Oliver Bryant (Mor­gan +8); 2 Keith Ah­lers (Mor­gan +8) +12.359s; 3 Wil­liam Plant (Mor­gan +8); 4 Rus­sell Pater­son (Mor­gan +8), 5 Philip God­dard (Mor­gan +8); 6 El­liot Pater­son (Mor­gan Road­ster LWT). CW Bryant; Pater­son; Tim Par­son (Mor­gan 4/4); Steven Mcdon­ald (Mor­gan +8); John Henry Wil­liams (Mor­gan 4/4); Kelvin Laid­law (Mor­gan +8); Chris Bai­ley (Mor­gan +4). FL Bryant 1m02.682s (94.21mph). P Bryant. S 34. 1 Michael Haig (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial); 2 Paul Forty (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial) +2.121s; 3 Ger­ard Mccosh (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial); 4 Stu­art Wor­thing­ton (Bent­ley MKVI Spe­cial); 5 Clive Morley (Bent­ley 3/41/2); 6 Richard Hud­son (Bent­ley 3/41/2). HW Trevor Swete (In­victa S Type). FL Haig 1m12.416s (81.55mph). P Forty. S 15.

Ka­je­tan Ka­je­tanow­icz ended his wait for a first win of his Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship ti­tle de­fence with a home vic­tory on Rally Rzes­zow, the se­ries’ first event in Poland for three years.

Ka­je­tanow­icz and co-driver Jarek Baran had to see off the chal­lenge of Bryan Bouffier, a three-time Pol­ish Rally cham­pion and four-time pre­vi­ous win­ner of the asphalt rally in the foothills of the Carpathian Moun­tains in the south­east of the coun­try.

Af­ter Ka­je­tanow­icz won the open­ing street stage in Rzes­zow city cen­tre on Thurs­day evening, Bouffier then took the lead in his Citroen DS 3 R5 when the lo­cal hero was de­layed early on the first proper stage on Fri­day morn­ing by the cur­rent Pol­ish cham­pion Lukasz Habaj be­ing helped out of a ditch.

Ford Fi­esta R5 driver Ka­je­tanow­icz had that stage time ad­justed dur­ing the af­ter­noon to put him back into a nar­row lead, and Bouffier then im­me­di­ately dropped 20 sec­onds when he spun on the sec­ond run over Lube­nia, the rally’s long­est test.

Ka­je­tanow­icz in­creased his mar­gin to 33.1s by the end of the day, then out­paced Bouffier by 18.2s in damp con­di­tions on Satur­day morn­ing’s Kor­czyna opener. Bouffier was able to sweep the fi­nal loop of three stages in the af­ter­noon even though he had to use chew­ing gum to re­pair a hole in his ra­di­a­tor af­ter strik­ing a cat, but Ka­je­tanow­icz fin­ished up 46s clear.

With nei­ther of his cham­pi­onship ri­vals Alexey Lukyanuk and Ralfs Sir­ma­cis mak­ing the trip to Poland, a max­i­mum score has ex­tended Ka­je­tanow­icz’s points lead to 76 with three rounds re­main­ing.

“I was push­ing very hard,” he said. “To fight and win against Bryan is a big plea­sure, he’s a very fast driver on Tar­mac. It was a per­fect week­end for us.”

Lo­cal driver Grze­gorz Grzyb lost half a minute to a punc­ture on the third stage but held onto a podium place un­til the end in his Fi­esta, three-and-a-half min­utes down on the win­ner. He won the Pol­ish cham­pi­onship sec­tion to ex­tend his do­mes­tic points lead.

Habaj lost 2m40s in his stage two mo­ment but posted top-three times on every sin­gle stage there­after and charged up the or­der from 10th to fourth on the fi­nal day. He gained the fi­nal place af­ter pres­sur­ing Fi­esta driver Jakub Brzezin­ski into an off on the last stage. Fresh from a Drive DMACK Fi­esta Tro­phy podium on Rally Fin­land, Brzezin­ski had held fourth from the third stage but had to set­tle for fifth.

Pol­ish driv­ers filled seven of the top eight places. Reg­u­lar ERC com­peti­tor Tomasz Kasper­czyk pro­duced a more con­fi­dent dis­play on home ground to take sixth ahead of Wo­j­ciech Chuchala, who took his fifth ERC2 win from as many starts in his Subaru Poland-en­tered Im­preza. Jaroslaw Koltun was eighth with fel­low ERC reg­u­lars Raul Jeets and An­tonin Tlus­tak com­plet­ing the top 10.

A se­ries of prob­lems – in­clud­ing a spin, a loss of brakes and driv­ing with the bon­net up on his Skoda – dropped Filip Nivette from fifth to 11th on the fi­nal day. David Botka ran eighth on Fri­day af­ter­noon be­fore be­ing ex­cluded af­ter his Citroen was found to be un­der­weight.

Eigh­teen-year-old ERC Ju­nior driver Niko­lay Gryazin took a clear win in ERC3 in his Peu­geot 208 R2 af­ter ex­pe­ri­enced lo­cal driver Tomasz Gryc rolled out of sec­ond on Satur­day’s open­ing stage.

El­lis leads Abe­cas­sis in tight FISCAR out­ing

Bouffier was sec­ond in DS 3

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