ASTON AND JAGUAR BATTLE IT OUT FOR BRITISH SUPREMACY
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.