Na­tional re­ports: Cas­tle Combe; Snet­ter­ton; Mal­lory Park; Sil­ver­stone; Knock­hill

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - MAR­CUS PYE

Ever the great lev­eller, rain sowed the seeds of an un­likely vic­tory when John Young planted his Mk1 sa­loon on pole for the Nor­man Dewis Tro­phy Pre-’66 Jaguar race, hum­bling E-type ace Ju­lian Thomas. Come the af­ter­noon, those seeds ger­mi­nated spec­tac­u­larly. Essex vet­eran Young’s sublime car con­trol earned a pop­u­lar re­sult that was the on-track high­light of the sev­enth Cas­tle Combe Au­tumn Clas­sic.

Had Satur­day dawned dry, Young wouldn’t have had a prayer in his skinny-tyred, 1350kg 3.4-litre sa­loon. But with Thomas’s mus­cu­lar low-drag coupe along­side and the best field of Mk1 and 3.8-litre Mk2s in mem­ory punch­ing above their weight, not to men­tion a Jaguar En­thu­si­asts’ Club con­tin­gent of XKS, Es, a lum­ber­ing MKVII and an S-type, con­tin­ued pre­cip­i­ta­tion played to John’s arm-twirling strengths.

Once Thomas’s mon­ster hooked up at the start, he growled past the lofty black sa­loon on Avon Rise and stayed nar­rowly ahead for eight laps. “On the twisty bits John was so much quicker than me,” con­ceded Thomas af­ter­wards.

“I was side­ways quite a lot, but just man­aged to get past – that did the trick,” smiled his con­queror to podium in­ter­viewer Chris Dawes, a sight to be­hold in hippy garb.

Thomas con­sid­ered him­self for­tu­nate to hang on to se­cond, for Tom But­ter­field scrab­bled his Mk2 by, only to ro­tate at Quarry. He recovered to fin­ish fourth be­hind Andy Keith-lu­cas in the CKL De­vel­op­ments XK150S, which had du­elled with Marc Gor­don’s sim­i­lar car, then staved off the re­cov­er­ing But­ter­field to the che­quer.

The VSCC’S charis­matic Owner-driver­me­chanic Pre-war set opened the pro­gramme in style. At the head of an

11-mar­que field, young Tom Water­field skit­tered his Frazer Nash Su­per Sports around, bat­tling with Mark Gil­lies in Dick Skip­worth’s As­ton Martin 2-litre Speed Model – the last Bertelli As­ton, de­signed to take the Brook­lands Outer Cir­cuit class record – un­til his Mead­ows en­gine went flat on lap four of 12.

When it came back on song Water­field caught Gil­lies again, but the prob­lem re­curred and Water­field had to nurse it home in se­cond. “The Nash is quick off the cor­ners, but the As­ton is magic through them,” said Gil­lies.

“We were hav­ing a great race, then my en­gine wouldn’t rev, but it was fan­tas­tic,” said Water­field, wring­ing out his over­alls.

Chris Mann brought his stun­ning Alfa Romeo Monza up from fifth to third. “Those guys are younger and braver than me,” he noted ap­prov­ingly.

The Austin-healey race was led through­out by top qual­i­fier Bruce Mont­gomery, but af­ter an ad­ven­tur­ous drive Oliver Chatham (son of mar­que leg­end John) up­held fam­ily hon­our with se­cond in the af­ter­noon’s clos­est fin­ish. Chatham had passed fast-starter Mike Thorne’s 100/4 and was hom­ing in on Mont­gomery when he gy­rated. “I saw them [David Grace and Thorne] pass me as I went back­wards through Quarry, which wasn’t ideal,” he ad­mit­ted. When Grace also had a mo­ment, Thorne pounced for a su­perb third. Best Sprite was al­ways Drew Cameron’s, which slipped from se­cond to a lonely fifth.

On a rapidly dry­ing track reign­ing cham­pion Peter de la Roche made the early Formula Ju­nior run­ning in Pat Bar­ford’s

Lola Mk3, be­fore pro­to­type racer Richard Bradley (un­der­stand­ably cau­tious on his first wet stand­ing start in his Brab­ham BT2) pow­ered past for a maiden UK win.

De la Roche spun at the Esses, pro­mot­ing Stu­art Roach (Alexis Mk4) and Adrian Rus­sell (Lo­tus 22), with whom he scrapped to the flag, con­tent that an­other class win was enough to re­tain his crown. In a field in which the top nine fin­ish­ers were from dif­fer­ent con­struc­tors, sixth-placed

Nick Tay­lor (ELVA-BMC 100) dom­i­nated the front-en­gined con­tin­gent.

Mar­tyn Cor­field led both ends of

FISCAR’S di­verse and well-pop­u­lated His­toric In­ter­mar­que race in his rorty

Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Mk2. Robin El­lis’s zippy Lo­tus Elite went ahead on lap five of 19, but hav­ing re­layed Richard Fores a loud “bang” on ac­cel­er­a­tion from the Esses her­alded a loss of drive. Cor­field thus won from Stephen Bond (Lis­ter-bris­tol ‘Flat Iron’), who over­hauled Marc Gor­don (XK150) on the penul­ti­mate lap. Brian Ar­cu­lus (Elite) sal­vaged fourth for the Lo­tus team.

Once through the Mini Cooper S flotilla that had topped the qual­i­fy­ing or­der,

Michael Squire (Ford Mus­tang) and Ju­lian Thomas (Fal­con) con­trolled the Terry Sanger Tro­phy tour­ing car fi­nale, trad­ing fastest laps as they wagged their V8 mon­sters’ tails to in­creas­ingly im­pres­sive an­gles. Alas they cir­cu­lated around 10 sec­onds apart, un­like the seven-car chas­ing group from which Mini duo Steve Maxted and Dan Lewis pre­vailed over Chris Clark­son’s Fal­con, Nick Stagg’s Lo­tus Cortina and Paul Inch’s Mini.

A rain-soaked track favoured Young’s (31) heavy, softer Mk1

Mark Gil­lies’s As­ton leads VSCC pack

Squire’s Mus­tang usurped Mi­nis for tour­ing car glory

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