AND THE WINNERS ARE... RUSHWORTH WINS METRO THRILLER
SNETTERTON: MGCC BY LEWIS BEALES
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.