The glory of Good­wood

AS­TONS WERE IN THE THICK OF THE RE­VIVAL AC­TION, PLUS HIGH­LIGHTS FROM SPA, CAS­TLE COMBE AND SILVERSTONE

VANTAGE - - Bulletin Classic Motorsport - WORDS STEPHEN ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY GOOD­WOOD/ NICK ED­WARDS

THE GOOD­WOOD RE­VIVAL con­tin­ues to cast its spell, the qual­ity of the cars and the rac­ing as high as ever. This year, the Kin­rara Tro­phy was a Fri­day evening in­no­va­tion, set­ting the tone for the whole week­end with a ter­rific grid and in­tense rac­ing at seem­ingly ten-tenths through­out. Such was the in­ten­sity that three of the five DB4 GTS en­tered suf­fered dam­age in the race, but Tom Alexan­der’s car, driven by Adrian Will­mott, led the field be­fore com­ing un­stuck at Wood­cote cor­ner, even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing in 9th place. The star for many was the Za­gato-bod­ied DB4 GT (the car started life as a GT, not a Za­gato) of Rob Huff and Richard Meins, which fin­ished a fine 5th.

The Fred­die March Me­mo­rial Tro­phy race wit­nessed a very tight scrap be­tween Rob Hall in Martin Melling’s DB3 and Steve Boult­bee-brooks’ DB3S, Hall clinch­ing third by just 0.8sec. The TT Celebration for 1960s cars had just one Aston this year (no doubt to avoid a re­peat of the Kin­rara grid) but Wolf­gang Friedrichs’ DP212 did well to fin­ish 12th for what is a rel­a­tively orig­i­nal car. It’s grat­i­fy­ing that such valu­able and orig­i­nal cars are ex­er­cised in such com­pet­i­tive grids.

Just a week later, the cir­cus moved to Spa for the 6 hours. Friedrichs was out again, this time shar­ing his DB4 GT with Si­mon Had­field and Michael Mal­lock to fin­ish a strong 19th over­all in a huge field; a lit­tle fur­ther back was the fairly stan­dard DB4 of George Miller and Les Goble.

The first of Oc­to­ber saw a sig­nif­i­cant gath­er­ing of his­toric cars at Cas­tle Combe for the Fifties Sports Car Rac­ing Club event. The main race had 38 en­tries, Steve Boult­bee-brooks’ DB3S pip­ping a ’Healey to the line. Steve also went on to win the Jon Gross Me­mo­rial Tro­phy race – now a reg­u­lar fix­ture that brings out many As­tons in honour of the late en­thu­si­ast. On this oc­ca­sion it was a nice mix­ture of pre- and post-war cars. Rud­dell’s DB2/4 came sec­ond, but in 5th was the first pre-war car, the Mono­posto of Mark Gil­lies, who headed Chris Woodgate in the Gross fam­ily’s DB MKIII.

The AMOC rac­ing sea­son fi­nale for 2016 was held at Silverstone on the same day as the Cas­tle Combe event, which might have dented the en­try lists, but de­cent grids saw the sea­son out. In the In­ter­mar­que race, more mod­ern cars dis­ad­van­taged the As­tons but Chris Kemp drove su­perbly in the very wet con­di­tions to come home 9th. Two places fur­ther back was Nick King in his lightweight DB4, which must have been a hand­ful in the wet. As­ton­ish­ingly he beat the GT4S of Smail, Mar­riott and Tinn, which surely made him driver of the day!

Fom the top Start of the Kin­rara Tro­phy; Za­gato-bod­ied DB4 GT of Huff and Meins; Chris Kemp’s GT4 at a very damp Silverstone

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