AND THE WIN­NERS ARE... RUSHWORTH WINS METRO THRILLER

SNET­TER­TON: MGCC BY LEWIS BEALES

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

The Metro Cup signed off the year with a scin­til­lat­ing race won by cham­pion-elect Ben Rushworth who de­clared it “a great end to the sea­son”.

Race one win­ner Mike Wil­liams made a stun­ning start to the sec­ond con­test while Rushworth quickly dis­patched fast-start­ing Jack Ash­ton to draft up to the leader. The pair then ex­changed the lead many times, get­ting into more lurid an­gles through the cor­ners as the race pro­gressed, with Rushworth of­ten view­ing Co­ram via the pas­sen­ger-side win­dow. Wil­liams got into one slide too many on the fi­nal lap at the Esses and was un­able to keep con­trol, which al­lowed Rushworth by to take vic­tory. An­drew Ash­ton fought through to third place but an eighth place fin­ish in race one had al­ready knocked him out of cham­pi­onship con­tention.

While Keith Ah­lers wrapped up an­other Mor­gan Chal­lenge race, all eyes were trained on cham­pi­onship hope­ful El­liot Paterson who had spun to the rear of the field on the sec­ond lap. The 18-year-old then raced his way onto the tail of the bat­tling Stu­art An­der­son and Tony Hirst and out­foxed both to grab fifth place on the fi­nal lap.

A late spin at Brun­dle cost Rob

SIL­VER­STONE: MSVR BY CHRIS SHARP

The All­com­ers race fin­ished dra­mat­i­cally un­der red flag con­di­tions af­ter Neil Garn­ham’s poorly Porsche 997 aqua­planed into the rear of the Sun­beam Alpine driven by Costas Michael.

Both driv­ers were un­hurt in the ac­ci­dent that oc­curred af­ter a torrential rain­storm hit the race at mid-dis­tance. Up un­til the red flag, the 996 of Michael Price/mar­cus Clut­ton had been pulling away on dry tyres and re­mained the race win­ner even af­ter pulling into the pits due to the treach­er­ous con­di­tions.

Be­hind, Garn­ham took sec­ond but was al­most a lap down on the win­ners. Fur­ther back, Jack Bar­low im­pressed in his As­ton Martin DB4, du­elling mag­nif­i­cently against much younger Fer­rari and As­ton ma­chin­ery to take sixth.

For 30 min­utes the MG Acers race was a ster­ling bat­tle fought be­tween Colin Jones, Mark Daniell and Bob Lines, as the three driv­ers scythed their way around the damp cir­cuit dur­ing the first quar­ter of the con­test.

Even­tu­ally, as a re­sult of traf­fic and a spin, Lines slipped back leav­ing Jones to take vic­tory by just un­der a sec­ond from Daniell.

Michael Haig and his 1948 Bentley MKVI were the class of the pre-war field fin­ish­ing one lap ahead of his near­est ri­val Peter Dub­sky in his As­ton Martin and only one lap be­hind the podium fin­ish­ing MGS.

Noth­ing could stop Martin Brewer’s Jaguar E-type in the ’50s Sportscars and Innes Ire­land Cup race.

Even af­ter a 10 -sec­ond penalty for jump­ing the start and a driv­ethrough penalty for speed­ing in the pit­lane, Brewer, a late en­trant to the race, was still able to keep ahead of Tony Bianchi, the ’50s Sports Cars vic­tor. There were bat­tles for po­si­tion through­out the field but it was on th­ese two driv­ers, though in sep­a­rate classes, that the at­ten­tion was drawn. The Austin Healey mas­tered the cor­ners but the E-type pulled away on the straights as the track dried. Even­tu­ally Brewer went clear to win by just over four sec­onds.

It was a com­mand­ing vic­tory for Neil Garn­ham’s Porsche 997 in the chaotic In­ter­mar­que and GT Chal­lenge race, that fea­tured two safety car pe­ri­ods.

The first of which was caused by Tom Black’s Van­tage GT4 slam­ming the pit wall on lap two while the sec­ond came as a re­sult of the Peter Man­gion/ Mar­tyn Buck­ley Porsche 968CS spin­ning into the gravel.

It was un­der this sec­ond safety car pe­riod that Garn­ham pit­ted from the lead and im­por­tantly came out ahead of the safety car train, giv­ing him a lap in hand over the en­tire field that in­cluded the BMW M3 driven by the Sel­don broth­ers, Matt and Peter. The BMW had been lead­ing the race and was match­ing the 997 on pace un­til the sec­ond safety car pe­riod ru­ined their chances of claim­ing the top step of the podium. Steve Atkin­son won the In­ter­mar­que cat­e­gory in his Porsche 968CS just over 10 sec­onds ahead of James Hil­liard driv­ing a sim­i­lar 968.

Tom Smith fended off Chris Ryan and David Beres­ford to take Equipe GTS hon­ours in his MGB.

Heavy rain at the start of the race meant that all driv­ers were fight­ing to main­tain con­trol with the lead­ers drift­ing through Brook­lands and out of Wood­cote as they fought for vic­tory over the 40-minute race pe­riod. Ryan was no­tably im­pres­sive in his re­cov­ery from a drive-through penalty that left him out­side the top 10 but which al­lowed his wet weather skill to come through as he carved up the field to sec­ond.

1 Michael Price/ Mar­cus Clut­ton (Porsche 996 Car­rera); 2 Neil Garn­ham (Porsche 997 Cup) +54.545s; 3 Matthew Le­bre­ton/ Robert Young (Fer­rari 360 Cup); 4 David Tinn (As­ton Martin Van­tage GT4); 5 Des­mond Smail (As­ton Martin GT4); 6 Jack Bar­low (As­ton Martin DB4). Fastest lap Price/ Clut­ton 1m03.390s (93.16mph). Pole Garn­ham. Starters 12.

1 Colin Jones (MGA Twin Cam); 2 Mark Daniell (MGA) +0.975s; 3 Bob Lines (MGA Twin Cam); 4 Michael Haig (Bentley MK VI); 5 Si­mon Gur­ney (MGA Coupe); 6 David Eales (MGA Twin Cam) Class win­ner Haig. FL Mark El­lis (MG A) 1m20.559s (73.30mph). P Jones. S 14.

1 Martin Brewer (Jaguar E-type); 2 Tony Bianchi (Austin Healey 3000) +4.096s; 3 Michael Knight/ Oliver Har­ris (Austin Healey 100/4); 4 Mar­cus Jewell (Ford Con­sul Cortina/ Lo­tus); 5 Robi Bern­berg/tony Jar­dine (Cooper T39 Bob­tail); 6 Chris Pear­son (Austin Mini Cooper S). CW Bianchi; Knight/ Har­ris; Jewell; Bern­berg/jar­dine; An­drew Moore (Jaguar XK150); Tony Ditheridge (Cooper Monaco); Nicholas King (Ford Mus­tang). FL Bianchi 1m24.539s (69.85mph). P Brewer. S 21.

1 Neil Garn­ham (Porsche 997 Cup); 2 Matt Sel­don/ Peter Sel­don (BMW E36 M3) +46.527s; 3 Steve Atkin­son (Porsche 968CS); 4 Michael Price (Porsche 996 Car­rera); 5 James Hil­liard (Porsche 968CS 1994); 6 Robert Hol­ly­man (Porsche 964). CW Atkin­son; Hol­ly­man; David Small­ridge/ Wil­liam Small­ridge (Sun­beam Tiger); Christo­pher Kemp (As­ton Martin Van­tage GT4); Bob Sear­les/tony Jar­dine (Porsche 944 Turbo); Nicholas King (As­ton Martin DB4). FL Garn­ham 1m08.382s (86.36mph). P Sel­don/ Sel­don. S 25.

Wet it was, with torrential rain at times, but Satur­day’s fifth Cas­tle Combe Au­tumn clas­sic was no damp squib. In­deed, for Cheshire fa­ther and son Richard and Peter De la Roche it was a red-let­ter day.

Hav­ing slith­ered off track early in qual­i­fy­ing, se­nior dom­i­nated the 500cc For­mula 3 race in his stick­le­back-tailed Cooper-jap MKV, then watched proudly as his 19-year-old lad splashed his rare Cal­i­for­nian-built BMC Mk2 to a maiden For­mula Ju­nior race vic­tory.

Prop­a­gated from a seed sown in nearby Bris­tol, the half-litre mo­tor­cy­cle-en­gined sin­gle-seater class grew with Combe through the 1950s. The field of the sea­son show­cased 12 chas­sis mar­ques plus JAP, Nor­ton, Tri­umph and Vin­cent power. De la Roche shot from P3 to lead pole­sit­ter and re­cent Zand­voort win­ner Brian Jol­liffe, 79, at the rolling start, then eked out his win­ning ad­van­tage by a sec­ond per lap.

Jol­liffe, Dar­rell Woods, clas­sic bike racer Gor­don Rus­sell – in the Mack­son-nor­ton de­buted here in ’51 – and Mike Fowler led the jostling chase pack. Gareth Jones, David Kings­land (in the Staride-nor­ton which fa­ther Xavier raced to gold last year), Stu­art Wright and Martin Shep­pard bat­tled be­hind them. With pre­cip­i­ta­tion hos­ing in Jol­liffe and Kings­land spun in uni­son at Camp, but de la Roche was in his el­e­ment.

“Twenty years I’ve been wait­ing for my first win. I don’t mind the rain and this cir­cuit is flat-out in th­ese, it’s

KNOCK­HILL: SMRC BY JONATHAN CRAW­FORD

Paul Bell nav­i­gated a fre­netic sea­son of Mini rac­ing to clinch the Celtic Speed Scot­tish Mini Cooper Cup af­ter a year of im­pec­ca­ble con­sis­tency.

De­spite not tak­ing a win, Bell racked up the podium fin­ishes and, in­cred­i­bly, fin­ished ev­ery race while prob­lems be­fell his ti­tle ri­vals.

Long-time cham­pi­onship leader Ian Munro went into the sea­son fi­nale with a 15-point ad­van­tage and started his week­end with a solid third place. The turn­ing point came in race two when mul­ti­ple cars were caught up in a fracas at the end of the third lap.

While Munro’s car hob­bled along with steer­ing dam­age, race one win­ner Kyle Reid ended his charge in the tyre wall on the main straight hav­ing tan­gled with Mor­gan Mur­ray. A cham­pi­onship con­tender him­self, Mur­ray went on to win the sec­ond race but was later ex­cluded from the re­sults in race three – to the detri­ment of his cham­pi­onship hopes. With Mur­ray’s penalty, Mal­colm Mcnab was de­clared the win­ner keep­ing him in con­tention for the ti­tle.

With the fo­cus on who would win the cham­pi­onship, for­mer cham­pion Oliver Mor­timer ran away at the front of race three af­ter profit­ing from the par­tial re­versed grid. The bat­tle for sec­ond place was one of the day’s high­lights with 11 cars in the mix. Even­tu­ally, the or­der set­tled with Mark Geraghty tak­ing his sec­ond run­ner-up spot of the day while Bell clinched the cham­pi­onship in style with a gutsy move to grab third on the penul­ti­mate lap.

Kevin Whyte sur­vived huge pres­sure from his near­est ri­val Wayne Macau­lay to seal the Fi­esta ST Cup. Both driv­ers scored a win but Whyte just had to fol­low last year’s cham­pion home in race two to be crowned. Jim Deans won the XR2 ti­tle in spite of a late-sea­son turn around in form that al­lowed ri­val Steven Gray to take the cham­pi­onship to the wire. De­spite Gray’s two class wins, Deans passed the ever-im­prov­ing Barry Far­quhar­son to min­imise his losses and did enough to stay at the top of the stand­ings.

A clutch prob­lem in his Ford Es­cort de­nied Jimmy Crow the chance to snatch the Clas­sic Sports and Sa­loons cham­pi­onship from Porsche 911 driver Ray­mond Boyd who took the hon­our for the sec­ond time. The meet­ing saw the re­turn of the fast Mor­gans of Tommy Gil­martin and An­drew Smith. Gil­martin went head-to-head with Harry Simp­son’s Ginetta in both races. Gil­martin led the ma­jor­ity of the open­ing en­counter but ran wide at the fi­nal cor­ner al­low­ing Simp­son through. How­ever, Simp­son had a time penalty for a false start, which dropped him to third. Simp­son was able to take re­venge on Gil­martin with a win later in the day, grab­bing the lead un­der brak­ing for Duf­fus just past halfdis­tance. BMW M3 driver Paul Bry­don se­cured the ti­tle in the modern Sa­loons and Sportscar cham­pi­onship.

With the BMW cham­pi­onship al­ready set­tled in Gary Clark’s favour, Alis­tair Smith scored his first win with a gutsy drive to hold off this year’s form man.

Al­ready crowned Scot­tish For­mula Ford cham­pion Neil Maclen­nan took an­other two wins. Sim­i­larly, John Paterson rounded off his Leg­ends cham­pi­onship-win­ning sea­son with a clean sweep of vic­to­ries. The high­light of th­ese wins came in the fi­nal where Pater­he­son sur­vived a late safety car to come home just 0.007 sec ahead of David Hunter.

Rushworth (l) and Wil­liams tus­sle

Martin Brewer was un­stop­pable in Innes Ire­land Cup race in his E-type

Peter De la Roche: For­mula Jr

Kevin Whyte was ST win­ner

Maclen­nan leads Thor­burn

Bell took Mini ti­tle hon­ours

By Matt James Pho­tos: Matt Bull, mkpics.net

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