Jaguar tops As­ton in Bri­tish bat­tle at soggy Sil­ver­stone

Autosport (UK) - - CLUB AUTOSPORT - DAN MA­SON

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

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