Thursday, 29 June 2017
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
World’s Oldest Motorsport Venue To host the Vintage Sports-Car Club This Weekend
The Vintage Sports-Car Club begins the second half of another extensive annual calendar of events at the historic Shelsley Walsh, with this year’s ever-popular Vintage and Post-Vintage Thoroughbred Hill Climb becoming a two-day spectacular this upcoming first weekend in July, hosted once moTre by our friends at the resident Midland Automobile Club (MAC).
The yearly pilgrimage to the Worcestershire venue is always one of the most popular events of the Historic motoring year, as the celebrated Hill – the world’s oldest motorsport venue in continuous use – provides the most idyllic and nostalgic setting for the Club’s predominantly Pre-war machinery.
Including a full day of Practice on Saturday, followed by official Timed Runs towards the competition on Sunday, the weekend forms another round of the 2017 VSCC Speed Championship, and also sees the introduction of some invited Post-war racing machinery to compliment the Club’s traditional line-up of Edwardian, Vintage and PVT Racing and Sports-Cars.
The weekend has attracted another stunning entry of over 120 cars with a number of the season’s frontrunners taking part, keen to add to their points tally so far and claim the prestigious silverware at the headline event.
An all-Frazer Nash affair between Club President, Geoff Smith and the husband/wife duo of Simon and Jo Blakeney-Edwards looks set to be amongst the most anticipated battles of the Sports-Car classes, where the ex-Prince Bira MG K3 of Australian, John Gillett will also be one of a number of historic entrants amongst the road-going machinery, representing such fabled manufacturers of the era as Austin, Alvis, Riley, Lea-Francis, Talbot Bentley and more.
Hugh Mackintosh is tipped to lead the way in the always popular Pre-1918 Edwardian class in his Hudson Super Six Racer, whilst young Rebecca Smith enjoys another outing as ‘Works Driver’ in Club Director, Alisdaire Lockhart’s 1914/18 Vauxhall A/D Type, eager no doubt to build on her Pomeroy Edwardian Trophy success in his Prince Henry Replica earlier this year.
Look to the residents of the Racing car classes to challenge for the weekend’s overall honours, including a host of Pre-war Shelsley Specials such as the ex-Basil Davenport GN Spiders I and II of David Leigh and Martin Spencer, ever at the heart of the action at their spiritual home, who will have eyes on Best Vintage and Fastest Time of Day honours respectively.
Expect to see a host of familiar faces atop the standings, with the indomitable ERA R4D perhaps favourite for ‘FTD’ in the hands of Nick Topliss, and the likes of Tom Walker’s Amilcar-Hispano, the Frazer Nash Norris Special of Julian Grimwade and Ian Baxter’s ex-George Abecassis Alta Single Seater his closest rivals, alongside last year’s VSCC Speed Championship winner, Tony Lees in the ex-Ron Footitt AC/GN ‘Cognac’.
With excellent viewing of the action all the way up the famous Hill and plenty more entertainment away from the track with Trade Stands, onsite catering and more on offer, it looks set to be another ‘Vintage’ weekend of motorsport so do not miss this truly unique event.
Spectator tickets will be available on the gate on both days (Saturday: £15, Sunday: £25) whilst Children Under 16 go free. Action will begin at 9.00am each day, concluding at approximately 5.30pm.
For more information about this and other upcoming VSCC events, visit www.vscc.co.uk.
One of the most decorated Hill Climb cars in history, will anyone deny the
revered ERA R4D yet more success at Shelsley Walsh this weekend?
Photo: Pete Austin
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Friday, 23 June 2017
Thursday, 22 June 2017
Brooklands Returns To Its Former Glory At The
2017 Double Twelve Motorsport Festival
· Over 100 historic Brooklands cars and bikes form a stunning Parade for the re-opening of the original Finishing Straight, 110 years to the day the circuit was originally opened
· Ben Fidler drives ERA R4D to victory on debut in the Speed Trials
· Riley and MG marques top score in the Double Twelve competition
An annual highlight of the Historic motoring calendar, the 2017 Double Twelve Motorsport Festival saw the Vintage Sports-Car Club and Brooklands Museum – two luminaries of the industry – join forces once more to organise a weekend of motoring competition set against the backdrop of the world’s first purpose-built circuit on 17/18 June.
However, this year’s edition marked a particularly special occasion as the weekend was headlined by the well-publicised re-opening of the restored Finishing Straight on Saturday, 110 years to the day since Brooklands Race Track first opened on 17 June 1907.
A record turnout were in attendance to watch the Earl of March perform the opening ceremony during the lunch break, the first stage of the Museum’s £8.1M Heritage Lottery-funded Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival Project. His grandfather, ‘Freddie’ March had been an apprentice at Bentley Motors and had won the Brooklands Double Twelve at the venue in 1931 in an MG Midget before going on to found Goodwood Circuit after WW2, regarded the spiritual successor to the, by then, defunct Brooklands.
This was followed by a re-enactment of the original Opening Parade of 1907, led by an Itala as in period, and a stunning array of Brooklands cars and motorcycles, such as the 1927 Delages which claimed the top three places in the second British Grand Prix at Brooklands 90 years ago, as well as a line-up of Land Speed Record racers, including the 1911 Fiat S76 ‘Beast of Turin’, Parry-Thomas’s ‘Babs’ and of course the Museum’s own Napier-Railton.
The gathered crowds were thrilled as much of the historic machinery was enthusiastically demonstrated over the bumpy surface of the original concrete, kicking up plumes of dust, with many drivers and passengers in period costume to create a wonderful nostalgic atmosphere.
Alongside the celebrations, the well-established competitions of the Speed Trials, Driving Tests and Concours again took place across the historic Museum site and neighbouring Mercedes-Benz World circuit over the two days.
In a change to previous years, the Paddock for Saturday’s Speed Trials had been moved to the Museum site to further incorporate that element into the weekend, with Spectators able to explore the competing machinery against the backdrop of the Clubhouse. Cars were then led through the Museum site in convoy batches across to the MB World track to perform their runs against the clock.
The event had attracted another capacity entry across the VSCC classes with over 100 Pre-war Racing and Sports-Cars in action, forming another round of the Club’s 2017 Speed Championship, so the competition was sure to be fiercely fought, as the scorching temperatures added yet further challenge for the drivers.
Amongst the Sports-Car classes, there was success for Stuart Rose’s Austin 7 Ulster and the Morgan Three Wheeler of Simon Edwards, whilst Geoff Smith narrowly beat Simon Blakeney-Edwards in their Frazer Nash head-to-head. Regular frontrunners John Guyatt, Kevin Morton, Dudley Sterry and Ewen Getley enjoyed success again in the Darracq, Riley, HRS and Bentley respectively whilst Robin Gale continued to enjoy his first season of competition with Class victory in his Riley Special.
Club stalwart, Hicky Hickling topped the ever-popular Pre-1918 Edwardian line-up in his 1911 Sunbeam 16/20 and local Member Gary Clare defended his small capacity Racing Class title in his Vintage Special ‘Grannie’.
As anticipated, the overall accolades were decided by the day’s faster racing machinery with a number of the Club’s perennial challenges taking part. Terry Crabb was a Class winner again, as he shared ERA R12C with son Jamie, who claimed runner-up spot as well as the ‘Fastest Under 30’ prize, showing real potential in the historic racer. In the same Class, Sue Darbyshire demonstrated her skills at the wheel of her Morgan again to claim the ‘Fastest Lady’ title. Although he was unable to stake claims for the overall victory, Julian Grimwade took another Class win in his Frazer Nash Norris Special.
Ultimately it proved a battle for the prestigious ‘Fastest Time of Day’ title between Ian Baxter in the ex-George Abecassis Alta Single Seater and Ben Fidler, making his competitive debut in father Brian’s hallowed ERA R4D with the latter prevailing by a mere 0.2 seconds to defend the car’s title of last year.
The following day saw several of the Speed Trials’ Sports-Car entrants take part in another entertaining Driving Tests competition alongside an eclectic gathering of other Edwardian, Pre-war and Post-war Sports-Cars, Tourers and Saloons.
Coordinated again by VSCC Director and Brooklands Trust Secretary, Kevin Lee – Clerk of the Course for the VSCC’s annual New Year Driving Tests at the venue – the day marked the first competitive motorsport on the original Finishing Straight since Brooklands closed in 1939, with three of the five tests located on the restored surface, alongside the familiar challenges set out on the Members’ Banking and, of course, Test Hill, each to be attempted twice.
Following his Speed Trials success the preceding day, Robin Gale was a winner once more as he led a competitive Pre-war Sports-Cars class, ahead of fellow 1st Class award winners, Colin Reynolds in his MG 12/12 M-Type and regular VSCC Driving Tests competitor, Jon Fleming’s Austin 7 Ulster, whilst Richard Wadman proved the best of the Touring Cars in his Alvis.
There were Post-war Class wins for Double Twelve regulars, Amelia Wooding (MG Midget), Paul Hopley (Rover Mini) and Marc Hanson (MG YB), and also for the Lotus Elan Sprint and Mercedes SL of debutants Bryan Smart and Jack Nulty, whilst Steve Taylor took the overall victory in his Ford Sierra XR4I.
Throughout the weekend, Jon Purser and his team of judges were working tirelessly to assess the entrants of the Double Twelve Concours competition, which featured another fantastic array of both racing and road-going machinery.
As tradition, each car was awarded marks on a range of familiar criteria, including both originality and condition of bodywork, interior, engine and chassis whilst a more subjective ‘Sprit of Brooklands’ score was also applied, taking into account patina, Brooklands and general historical interest and overall character, all in keeping with the ethos of the Double Twelve Festival.
Accommodating the usual selection of Classes for genuine Brooklands cars, Touring cars, Pre-1918, Vintage, Post-Vintage and Post-war, the winning line-up presented a wonderful selection depicting a golden era of motoring: the 1935 Aston Martin Mk II of David Bracey, John Clark’s 1958 Bentley S1 Flying Spur, John Dennis’s 1916 Packard Twin Six, the 1931 Bugatti Type 51 of Richard Collier, Timothy Jarrett’s 1939 Frazer Nash/BMW and Neil Manley’s 1962 Jaguar E-Type.
But a well-received overall victory was awarded to the 1927 Delage Grand Prix Car of Miles Collier, one of the three historic racers that had helped headline the weekend’s Anniversary celebrations.
With the best scores in two of the three elements counting towards the prestigious overall Double Twelve competition, Robin Gale was crowned this year’s Champion in Sunday afternoon’s Winners’ Ceremony on the Finishing Straight in front of Brooklands Edwardian Clubhouse, with his 1934 Riley one of just two cars to claim Class victories in two events, ahead of Marc Hanson’s 1952 MG YB runner-up as the younger car, and Amelia Wooding, Top Lady Competitor for a third consecutive year in her MG Midget Roadster.
The Club extends its thanks to Allan Winn and the Brooklands Museum team for inviting us to co-host again on this particularly poignant occasion. We also thank all the Competitors and participants who supported all of the competitive elements organised by the VSCC and most of all, the many Officials, Marshals and other volunteers from both the Club and Brooklands organisations.
Please find attached Results from all three competitive elements of the weekend, as well as the Overall Double Twelve standings.