BMW THRILLERS AS BRANDS PLAYS HOST TO NEW FESTIVAL
Wins for Kumho BMW drivers James Macintyre-ure and championship leader James Card helped rescue a lacklustre AMOC event from the doldrums.
Boasting a 30-car field, this championship and a well-supported Equipe GTS double-header saved the day.
Track organisation was in MSVR’S capable hands, but the Aston Martin race involvement was very poor, with a grand total of eight AM participants. Two of these were drivers having a second race.
Macintyre-ure won the first BMW race from Card and Daniel Wylie, but the order at the chequered flag had been significantly different. Son and father Jamie and Jim Cannon were both hit with 30s out of position startline penalties and Jamie also incurred a 5s track limits penalty, dropping them from first and third to seventh and eighth respectively. Another quartet had 30s added for passing under the yellow flags waved to protect a car parked at Paddock. Unofficial observation suggested it would have been quicker to list those who did not offend.
Card made a break in race two while the Cannons moved up quickly to hound Macintyre-ure, who retired when his car’s engine lapsed onto five cylinders. Card’s advantage shrank as he coped with lapped traffic and eased his pace slightly on an oily track, but he remained out of Jamie Cannon’s reach, with Jim not far back.
Tom Smith won both Equipe GTS races in his MGB and avoided some exciting racing taking place behind. William Penrose (TVR Grantura) missed qualifying but dashed from last to third in race one, just failing to catch second man Chris Ryan (Triumph TR4). Ryan had an epic battle with John Andon’s TR4 until Andon outbraked Ryan and himself and ploughed into the barriers at Paddock. Rob Cull (Grantura) and Neil Fowler (MGB) were fourth and fifth after rotating together at Paddock.
Ryan was a no-show for race two and Penrose retired with failing brakes after leading. Smith was in charge, although his advantage was cut during a caution period to deal with Graham Bates’ upended MGB at Paddock. In a final change, Brian Arculus (Lotus Elite) slithered off at Druids in a bid to pass Robin Ellis for second position in an identical car.
Mike Dowd wore out his BMW GT4’S tyres before handing over to owner Jeremy Cooke in the lead of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge. Slightly the slower driver anyway, Cooke slipped to a class-winning third while Tom Black and Chris Kemp contested the lead in their Astons. Kemp was faster, but couldn’t make up for a 30s winner’s penalty from the previous race. Fifth man Robert Hollyman (Porsche 964) won the AMOC Intermarque section.
Cooke made sure he had first go in the pair’s shared Shelby Mustang in the Innes Ireland Cup, leaving Dowd to take over and powerslide to victory over Tony Bianchi’s rumbling Farrallac sports racer, winner of the 1950s Sports Cars classes.
A weak Allcomers finale was won by more than a lap by Ollie Taylor’s BMW M3. Seven cars started and five finished.
The following day, the focus switched from a classic British marque to Italian thoroughbreds taking part in the first Festival Italia. This had a host of off-circuit attractions to draw a big crowd, making the event a surprise hit despite the thin race programme.
First out was the Alfa Romeo Championship, won by Andy Robinson despite a shrinking margin as his 156 developed a misfire. George Osborne was second and Chris Snowdon third in his first Alfa race of the year. Sixth overall, David Messenger won his class from runaway points leader Tom Hill. Andrew Bourke’s GTV was a qualifying casualty, having rolled and crashing heavily when his brakes failed at Paddock.
Robinson’s car expired in a cloud of steam in race two, and Snowdon outfoxed Osborne in a cluster of traffic to grab the lead, which became a win when the race ended early following a clash at Druids. Messenger won his class again.
Tristan Simpson headed the first Ferrari Formula Classic race until backmarkers edged him off at Druids, filling his car with gravel. Richard Cook took over at the front, heading Tim Mogridge and Vance Kearney. Cook never looked like losing the second race, but there was a sting in the tail in a two-lap dash following a caution period. A mistake at Graham Hill Bend cost Simpson second place to Mogridge, but Mogridge almost handed it back by skating wide at the final corner.
Pat Gormley steered Kearney’s car to predictably easy Italy v England allcomers wins with Simpson a distant second from a pitlane start in race one. Aaron Smith embarrassed a few drivers on the home country’s behalf until his Mini Miglia blew up, but Paul Simmonds continued the good work with third overall in both outings with his Miglia.
Card took Kumho BMW win in AMOC element
F1 cars ran in Festival Italia