Keeping the Aston end up
MIXED FORTUNES, BUT ASTON MARTIN HONOUR IS UPHELD AS THE 2017 SEASON GETS UNDER WAY
LORD MARCH STARTED the season in earnest with the 75th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood in March. This is quite unlike the Revival in scale and style but is still hugely entertaining. The Graham Hill Trophy race for ’60s GT cars had two Astons on the grid. Wolfgang Friedrichs’ DP214 replica, in the hands of Joaquin Folch and Simon Hadfield, retired after 12 laps, but the ex-sebring DB4 GT of Tom Alexander and Adrian Wilmott finished a respectable 18th in a strong field.
The magnificent Tour Auto made its traditional April appearance, with plenty of fine weather in France to help the cars around the many road stages and circuits on this superb event. While GT40S and Ferraris battled it out at the top of the order, two venerable Aston Martins graced the Tour this year. The DB2/4 of French duo Robert and Antoine Janer finished 54th in the regularity classification, while the DB2 of Laurent and Marion Desplaces came home a most worthy 46th overall. Given that it was one of the oldest cars on the Tour, this was a really fine result.
Overlapping with the Tour was the very well established Donington Festival, characterised by large and varied grids. The pre-war sports car race saw some great action, with Heinz Stamm’s 2 Litre ‘Spa car’ just being pipped to 9th by a Frazer Nash, while further back the highly original 1935 Ulster of Edward Bradley finished 14th. The two-hour GT race was a fast-paced affair with Wolfgang Friedrichs’ DP214 replica finishing 8th overall with the highly able Michael Mallock co-driving. This was an impressive result in a very strong field. Friedrichs was out again in his DB3S in the Woodcote Trophy race for ’50s sports cars and, with assistance this time from Simon Hadfield, came second overall and first in class.
The AMOC’S Intermarque championship and GT Challenge had an ‘out-round’ at Donington in April, but the first full AMOC race meeting of the season was at Oulton Park in May. And, while the grids were modest, the racing was keenly contested.
In the evergreen Intermarque series, the Astons had to follow home a number of German cars, but the AM V8 of Watts and Giordanelli upheld Aston honour with 6th, while the Melling/minshaw DB4 finished off the order in 10th. Nicholas King braved the GT Challenge race in his DB4 and with great gusto finished 10th, while the much more modern GT4 of David Tinn was a strong 4th overall. On to Snetterton!
RACING CALENDAR July 1-2 Historic Superprix, Brands Hatch July 8 AMOC Racing, Snetterton July 28-30 Silverstone Classic August 12 AMOC Racing, Brands Hatch September 30 AMOC Racing, Silverstone