Race Report - Thruxton Easter Revival
ByBox Historic Touring Cars
4/5 April 2015
Qualifying late Saturday morning was cold but dry, with a very fresh wind from the East. Tim Davies’ Lotus Cortina was straight on the pace, taking pole from the smart new yellow Mustang of welcome series returnee Pete Hallford. Third spot fell to Jonathan Lewis’ very tidy Cooper S from Jimmy Fuller’s Alfa, David Tomlin’s Lotus Cortina and completely new HTC competitor Jon Milicevic’s Cooper S. Jon might be first time out with the HTC, but he’s already a championship winner with the HSCC in Formula Juniors. Like Jonathan Lewis’s Mini, Jon’s was quite beautifully presented. A fine 24 car field took to the track for qualifying, but some problems were brewing – Richard Cross had an engine bay fire in the Triumph 2000, put out quickly by himself, Shaun Hazlewood’s Imp suffered falling oil pressure, but by far the worst was an awful off for Dan Wray’s Lotus Cortina at the very fast Noble left hander. A combination of rolling and barrier contact left the Cortina wrecked but the rollcage did its job and Dan emerged ‘shaken but not stirred’.
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon was a cracker with frenetic dicing all down the field. Tim led off the line, Pete Hallford exercised some discretion and fell briefly back to fourth as Jonathan Lewis briefly held second from David Tomlin. In the next couple of laps, Pete used the Mustang grunt to haul past Jonathan and David and latch on to Tim. David edged his Cortina past Jonathan’s Mini and this would be the finishing order, with the Mustang looking as if it could well challenge for the lead if only the race would go the full distance. As it was, there was probably just a couple of laps left before a red flag brought proceedings to a halt. Nigel Cox had been in a hectic dice with Neil Merry’s Alfa and the Imps of Adrian Oliver and Steve Platts when his Lotus Cortina got away from him at Noble in a similar way to Dan’s in qualifying. Thankfully, yet again the rollcage did its job and Nigel walked away. Back towards the front, Tom Jones’ Lotus Cortina held off Jon Milicevic’s Mini and the raucous (broken exhaust) BMW of Roger Cope for a fine fifth. Roger Godfrey’s Mini parried with Simon Benoy’s Imp all race long for eighth. Jimmy Fuller’s 10 second penalty for jumping the start pegged him back to tenth from the tussling Mustang of Mark Watts and the Lotus Cortina of John Spiers.
Race 2 on Sunday afternoon was fortunately without incident, although we did lose the imps of Simon Benoy and Adrian Oliver with mechanical maladies on lap one. Tim again led from lights to flag and the expected challenge from Pete’s Mustang didn’t materialise, although he always had second covered. It was all happening behind these two, between David Tomlin, Roger Cope, Bob Bullen and Jonathan Lewis. At half distance Jonathan’s rotor arm lunched itself leaving Roger fending off David and Bob. A couple of laps from the flag Roger slid a bit wide on the way out of the chicane and David pounced, holding third to the end. Bob had been keeping them both very honest but couldn’t quite find a gap to pass the increasingly tail happy BMW. Another lap or two…… Into sixth came Jimmy Fuller’s Alfa with Mark Watts’ Mustang always threatening. The last lap into the chicane was quite close……! Roger Godfrey had a rather lonely run to eighth, as did Neil Merry (Alfa) and Steve Platts (the remaining Imp). Bringing up the tail end, but having great fun in close company all the way, were David Alexander and David Erwin, both Alfa mounted. There was a good Alfa entry and all made it through the weekend.
Lots of fettling (or more) to do in the six week break before Silverstone on 17th May. See you there!
We were THERE!