Jaguar tops Aston in British battle at soggy Silverstone
SILVERSTONE NATIONAL MSVR OCTOBER 6
The home of British motorsport fittingly played host to a battle of British marques in the final Aston Martin Owners Club meeting of the season.
In typically British weather, Aston Martin’s glory was snatched away in an intense Equipe Pre-’63 contest by Jaguar, as Tim Mogridge recovered from a poor getaway to win in his returning E-type.
“I need to practice my starts”, was Mogridge’s summary after falling from pole position to fifth.
Andrew Hibberd pounced in the
Aston Martin Project 214, one of a very small number still surviving. He soon dispatched Tom Smith’s MGA to lead by lap four, and enjoyed a tactically longer stint before handing over to Martin Brewer.
Mogridge closed rapidly and snatched victory with five minutes to run despite a misted screen (which was damaged in a historic race at Le Mans). “The car is lovely to drive,” said Mogridge. “It had two DNFS recently so I went out to prove it can do it.”
Brewer followed Mogridge home, while Nick Matthews’s Austin-healey completed the podium after third-placed Smith – who survived a dramatic Brooklands spin – was penalised for speeding in the pitlane.
While luck was on Matthews’s side on that occasion, his dominant victory from pole in the Equipe GTS race was no fluke. Matthews lapped all but those inside the top seven, while Tom Grindall’s MG Midget trailed the Healey by almost 30 seconds after climbing two spots on lap one. Nick Mountford was a star performer and completed his recovery from 11th to the podium when his Triumph TR4 passed Henry Rice’s MGB in the closing laps.
Victory was much more hotly contested in the Jack Fairman Cup for 1950s machinery. Tony Bianchi’s nostalgic Farrallac Mk2 locked horns with the MGA of Mark Ellis, both battling the elements. Though the Farrallac was “a handful” and overpowered by Ellis late on, Bianchi powered back past on the penultimate lap with a brave exit from Luffield. “I literally had full power on to accelerate by him,” said Bianchi, who narrowly hung on to his advantage at the flag.
In the GT Challenge race, Grahame Tilley
was derailed by his own turn of speed.
The Brands Hatch winner was over 2s quicker in qualifying than Tom and Nick Cresswell in their similar Ginetta G55, resulting in Tilley having an extra minute added to his mandatory pitstop time.
Having dominated, Tilley’s Ginetta was left playing catch-up in the final 15 minutes because of the handicap. “I was too quick!” he said, as the Cresswells took advantage to win by over 20s. The BMW of Arran and James Moulton-smith was a lonely third.
In a two-horse Intermarque race, only winner Chris Bialan and nearest rival Robert Hollyman finished on the lead lap. Bialan lost out to the fast-starting Porsche 964 of Hollyman at the start, but his BMW 330 relished the conditions and waded by on lap two for an untroubled triumph. An all-porsche squabble for third was more intense. Karl Weaver had looked safe in his Cayman, but Andrew Peck fought back in his 968CS to complete the podium.
Anthony Seber fought hard to make up for lost time in the Pre-war Handicap race in the Wolseley Hornet restored by his father. Seber unlapped himself from nine opponents and grabbed the lead from a fighting Clive Morley and
Trevor Swete in the closing stages.
Mogridge (104) fought back from poor start
Bianchi took unique Farrallac to victory
Seber’s Wolseley Hornet took Pre-war honours