The HSCC opened 2017 with a nine race program at Donington Park. Starting with the Historic Road Sports, William Plant took the first win by over 5 seconds from Peter Shaw in 2nd, in his class winning Lotus Elan S1. Colin Sharp in a Triumph TR5 won his class in 5th place with Costas Michael in 8th place in his Sunbeam Alpine. The other two class winners were 11th placed Dick Coffey in a Turner Mk1 and 12th placed Paul Rayment in his MG B.
The Historic Formula Ford race saw the fastest twenty two go straight to the second Formula Ford race of the day. With the first eight through to the final, there was everything to play for. Ross Drybrough won the race in a Merlyn Mk 20 AS from Chris Sharples in a Palliser and Andrew Mansell was 3rd in the Macon MR8. Alison Langridge won her class in 19th place in a Lotus 61.
The Historic Touring Cars had Ben Winrow in a Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 finish 3rd on the road but promoted to 2nd when Warren Briggs was given a 30 second penalty in his Ford Mustang. Jack Drury in an American Ford Falcon took the victory, while Paul Pheysey was 3rd in another Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1. The other class winners were 7th placed Barry Sime in a Morris Mini Cooper, Richard Belcher in another Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 in 8th, Simon Benoy in a Hillman Imp in 9th, Robyn Sister in a Ford Anglia in 11th, Roger Godfrey in an Austin Mini Cooper S in 12th and Roger Cope in a Jaguar Mk1 in 13th.
Next was the Formula Ford 2000 race. Andrew Park led from start to finish in his Reynard SF81. Nelson Rowe in a Reynard SF79 and Tom White in an Osella FAF finished 2nd and 3rd. White won his class. The other class winners were Chris Lord in a Van Diemen RF82 in 8th, Jan Langdon in a Reynard SF78 in 15th and John Stapleton in a Tu BH2 in 17th overall.
The Classic Formula 3 and Derek Bell Trophy race were combined with the F3 grid starting a few seconds after the much faster Derek Bell Trophy cars. Frank Lyons was the only member of his family at the meeting, as Michael was racing in Europe in the Masters series and Mom Judy was with him. Frank had problems with his Formula 5000 McRae in practice, and did not start the race. Pole position went to Jamie Brashaw in his Formula 5000 March 73A who was leading the race when on lap 8 the safety car was deployed and it picked up the Formula 3 leader. Brashaw and Dwyer were in front of the safety car and were able to make up a whole lap and joined the rear of the field. They then overtook the other cars and took up position behind the safety car, which made them a lap ahead of the field. Both were excluded for passing under the safety car. This left victory to Shaw in the Eifelland March721, with Paul Campfield in 2nd and winning his class in the Formula 5000 Chevron B24. Martin Bullock was 3rd overall and won his class in the Chevron B17C and 4th placed Martyn Donn in the Lola T760 was also a class winner. The first of the Classic F3 cars was Gaius Ghinn driving a Ralt RT3 ahead of Paul Smith in another Ralt RT3 and Benjamin Tusting in a Martini Mk34. The Class B winner was Adrian Langridge in a Castle Mk 10.
The Final of the Formula Ford races was probably the closest finish of the day. Michael O’Brien started from pole position in his Merlyn Mk20, with Callum Grant behind him in third place in his Merlyn Mk20A. The two remained locked together for the rest of the race and on the last lap O’Brien fort back in front, but coming out of Roberts chicane Grant managed to slip past to take the win by just 0.057 of a second. from O’Brien with Richard Tarling a distant 3rd, over ten seconds behind, in his Jamun T2.
The Guards Trophy for GT and Sports Cars was the longest race of the day, with a 40 minute race and a compulsory pitstop and optional driver change. A pair of Chevron coupes pulled out from the start with Charles Allison leading in his Chevron B8 from the Coleman pair in the other Chevron B8 right behind. This race also had a safety car period, where most of the teams pitted, Andrew and Michael Hibberd Lotus 23B were leading when the race re-started, with Allison back in third and traffic between them. Andrew was driving the Lotus and he fought as long as he could to remain in front of the faster Chevron but by lap 24, with just 3 laps remaining, Allison was back in front. The Hibberd pairing finished a close 2nd overall and won their class while Phillip Nelson was over 7 seconds further behind in 3rd overall in another Chevron B8. Dominic Barnes in an AC Cobra was 5th and won his class. The other class winners were Brian Casey in a Denham P69 in 10th, Wainwright and Pancisi in a Lotus Elan S1 GTS in 14th, Mark Russell in a Jaguar E-Type in 19th and Andrew Bentley driving an MG B in 21st overall.
The 70’s Road Sports which saw a race long tussle between Charles Barter in a Datsun 240Z and James Dean in a Lotus Europa, both winning their respective classes, while Iain Daniels was 3rd in a Lotus Europa TC. The other class winners were 4th placed Robert Gate in a Jaguar E-Type, Jonathan Wagstaff in an Alfa Romeo GTV in 10th, Tim Hayes in an Alfa Romeo Alfasub in 12th and Chris Fisher in an MG Arkley in 16th.
Final race of the day was for the Classic Clubmans cars and saw pole man Mark Charteris take an easy win in his Mallock Mk 20/21 by over 47 seconds. Alan Cook was 2nd in another Mallock Mk 20/21 B and David Wale was 3rd in another Mallock Mk20/21. Clive wood won his class in 6th place at the wheel of another Mallock Mk20B, while Roger waite won the Invitation class of Sports 2000 cars in 8th place.
By Simon & Janet Wright.