Just two weeks after the gorgeous weather at Shelsley Walsh, it was rain and an overcast sky which greeted the Vintage Sports Car Club members to Donington park. The VSCC were making a welcome return to Donington park in 2014, after missing the circuit out of its calendar for 2013 due to lack of suitable date. It was also a new home for the Bob Gerard trophy which was previously held at Mallory Park, just a few miles up the road.
The meeting was the usual mix of Scratch races, handicaps and normal races for a mixture of Vintage cars. After morning practice had been held in wet conditions, the rain stopped just in time for the first Scratch race for Pre-War cars, but the track was still wet for the race. Andrew Kellock was a clear winner in his 1929/35 Fiat AC by just over 17 seconds from Tom McWhirter in a Jaguar SS 100. Rod King was 3rd in a Delage Special.
Race two was the Edwardian Handicap race which saw a very popular victory for former VSCC PR Manager Gillian Carr at the wheel of a 1914/18 Vauxhall A/D Type. On handicap she finished just 0.96 of a second ahead of Mark Walker in the flying Darracq 200HP who had pushed hard in his pursuit of the Vauxhall, setting fastest lap of the race as he went.
Next out was the Donington Mug race for special pre-war sports cars, which saw a fantastic battle on a now drying track, between Justin Maeers in the GN Parker and Dougal Cawley in the GN/Ford Piglet. it was Cawley who held the initial lead as the pair pulled well clear of the remaining pack, but Maeers soon got in front and held on to the lead even after a very sideways moment out of Roberts chicane on to the start straight. the pair battled for the remaining laps, often side by side in to the chicane with Cawley getting back in to the lead on the penultimate lap, only to loose the car entering the chicane for the last time, and ended up running off on to the run off area and rejoining behind Maeers who took the chequered flag by over 5 seconds ahead of Cawley who still finished in 2nd place. Richard Hudson was 3rd in the Bentley 3/4 1/2 litre, over 30 seconds behind the leading pair.
Race 4 saw the largest field for the Regate Mug race for Standard and Modified pre-war sports cars. Charles Gillett in the Frazer Nash Super Sports took an easy victory from Andrew Mitchell in the HRG 1 1/2 litre. Race 5 was the Boulogne Trophy race for Vintage racing cars and saw Justin Maeers take his second win of the day in the GN Parker, this time beating Robert Carr in the AC/GN Special. Race 6 was another Handicap race for pre-war cars which saw Paul Lawrence in a little Austin 7 Ulster Special claim victory by 3 and a half seconds from the Railton Light Sports 2+2 of Anthony Fenwick-Wilson, even after Lawrence got a jump start time penalty along with tho other cars.
The feature race was the Bob Gerard Memorial Trophy race for pre 1961 racing cars. The start was exciting with Frederick Harper in the Kurtis Indy-Roadster, making a fast start from the second row of the grid and squeezing out both front row man Duncan Ricketts in the ERA E-Type and Steve Russell in the Cooper Bristol Mk II, to grab the lead going in to rebate. It was Ben Fidler in ERA AJM 1 that initially held second place it but by lap two it was Simon Diffey in the Connaught B Type that was leading the chase after Harper. Diffey set the fastest lap of the race on lap three and was soon through in to the lead but Harper stuck with him, applying pressure and re-took the lead to win by just 1.6 seconds.
Next was another handicap race for pre-war cars that saw Stuart Morley win in a Bentley 3/4 1/2 litre from Steven Pryke in a Frazer Nash Slug. With just two races left to run the Formula 3 (500) cars took to the track for their 10 minute race as it started to rain again. Within 2 laps, the heavens opened with monsoon rain conditions and the race and the rest of the meeting were abandoned. Rain stopped play, and flooded part of the paddock!
By Simon and Janet Wright