Silverstone GP (International Trophy) - 22 May 2016
ByBox Historic Touring Car ChampionshipCool, bright weather greeted a decent field of 32 cars for this second round of the ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship race on the featureless GP circuit at Silverstone. There were traces of damp after overnight rain as the cars commenced practice but this hardly mattered as the powerful V8s of Leo Voyazides and Warren Briggs headed the grid sheet. What was a surprise was the speed of the App K Lotus Cortinas as the next four grid slots were taken by this model driven by Andy Wolfe, Graham Pattle, John Davison and John Spiers ahead of a group of four more Mustangs in the hands of Ross Hyett, Greg Thornton, Rob Fenn and Mark Burton (in the ex-Neil Brown/Richard Dutton car). Simon Benoy mixed it with the bigger cars to fill 11th spot ahead of Mark Watts’ Mustang and Bob Bullen’s Anglia.
John Davison’s Cortina was the only absentee as the grid lined up though David Hall’s Cortina and Jim Chapman’s stunning looking Corvair were casualties before the race started. Leo’s Falcon cantered away from the other pony cars from the off and he led the opening lap by two and a half seconds from Warren’s Mustang with Andy Wolfe’s Cortina a further one and a half seconds back, ahead of assorted Mustangs and Cortinas. Endaf Owens made a great start and went from sixteenth to ninth ahead of Simon Benoy and Bob Bullen. The Falcon extended it’s lead by a couple of seconds per lap and won the race a comfortable 15 seconds or so ahead of the Briggs Mustang. Warren had to fight for second as Andy Wolfe hounded him all the way and even snatched second for a brief moment on the penultimate lap before the Mustang regained the place. Once Greg Thornton had passed Ross Hyett’s Mustang he kept this pair honest throughout finishing a further four seconds back in fourth. Endaf Owens managed to hang on to a top ten place in his App K Mini whilst Simon enjoyed mixing with the Mustangs and Cortinas to take a class winning 12th.
Roger Godfrey (HRSR spec Mini) and Nick Paddy (App K spec Mini) had an entertaining dice for 14th with Roger holding sway for the first half of the race before Nick scrambled by as Roger slowed his pace on the last couple of laps. Roger just managed to stay ahead of another good dice between Tim Stanbridge’s Mini, David Moran’s Cortina and Steve Platts’ Imp finishing in that order with their differing mechanical layouts and handling characteristics providing entertainment for the decent sized crowd in the BRDC stand overlooking the Brooklands complex.
David Heale retired his Imp on the last lap and Bob Bullen’s Anglia slowed after the opening lap with the engine popping and banging as if the timing had slipped and finally pulled off at the end of lap 6. The only other retirements were Richard Belcher in the ex- Dan Cox Cortina and Colin Gunton’s Imp after Colin tried an optimistic move on the Cortina on the new GP loop resulting in some panel damage to both cars.
A good race but I can’t raise any enthusiasm for the current GP circuit layout.
Report Peter Wray