AS­TON AND JAGUAR BAT­TLE IT OUT FOR BRITISH SUPREMACY

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

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 start to win in his re­turn­ing E-type.

“I need to prac­tice my starts,” said Mo­gridge 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 of the 28, 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 af­ter it 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 home, while Nick Matthews’ Austin Healey com­pleted the podium af­ter third-placed Smith – who sur­vived a lurid Brook­lands spin – was pe­nalised for speed­ing in the pit­lane.

While luck was on Matthews’ 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, Tom Grindall’s MG Mid­get trail­ing 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 he rounded Henry Rice’s MGB in the clos­ing laps.

Vic­tory was much more hot­ly­con­tested in the Jack Fair­man Cup for ’ 50s ma­chin­ery.

Tony Bianchi’s nos­tal­gic Far­ral­lac Mk2 locked horns with the MG of Mark El­lis, both bat­tling the el­e­ments. De­spite the Far­ral­lac prov­ing “a hand­ful” and be­ing over­pow­ered by El­lis late on, Bianchi pow­ered back past on the penul­ti­mate lap with a strong exit from Luffield to re­gain the lead.

“I lit­er­ally had full power on to ac­cel­er­ate by him,” said Bianchi, who nar­rowly hung on to win.

In the GT Chal­lenge race, Gra­hame Til­ley was de­railed – iron­i­cally – by his own turn of speed.

The Brands Hatch win­ner was over two sec­onds quicker in qual­i­fy­ing than Tom and Nick Cress­well in their sim­i­lar Ginetta G55, re­sult­ing in Til­ley be­ing handed an ad­di­tional minute to his manda­tory pit­stop time.

Hav­ing dom­i­nated, the hand­i­cap left Til­ley’s Ginetta play­ing catch up in the fi­nal 15 min­utes. “I was too quick!” he said, as the Cress­wells took ad­van­tage to win com­fort­ably. A lonely third place went to the BMW of Ar­ran and James Moul­ton-smith.

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 Porsche squab­ble for third was more in­tense. Karl Weaver looked safe in his Cay­man, but the 968CS of An­drew Peck fought back to com­plete the podium.

An­thony Se­ber fought hard to make up for lost time in the Pre-war

Hand­i­cap race. Se­ber’s Wolse­ley Hor­net – re­stored by his fa­ther – un­lapped it­self from nine slower op­po­nents and grabbed the lead from a fight­ing Clive Mor­ley and Trevor Swete in the clos­ing stages.

Pho­tos: Mick Walker

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