Click on the Video tab for highlights of the superb RAC TT Celebration race.
Sunday’s race programme got off to a flier as five drivers took turns leading the Brooklands Trophy for pre-1939 sports cars.
Pole-sitter Patrick Blakeney-Edwards blasted into an early lead aboard his Frazer Nash ‘Owlet’, only for a clip to work its way loose from its carburettor which necessitated a visit to the pits. Mercedes man Thomas Kern assumed the lead, only to lose it almost immediately to Mark Gillies aboard Richard Skipworth’s Aston Martin.
The ex-pat Englishman’s time at the front lasted only a few seconds before he was swallowed up by Niklas Halusa’s Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo 8C 2600 Monza. Making up ground was Christopher Mann in a similar car.
The veteran ace briefly headed Halusa only to be black-flagged for dropping oil on the track. Halusa assumed the lead with only five minutes left to run and the Austrian wasn’t headed thereafter. His margin of victory over second place man Gillies was 7.8-seconds.
Tony Wood batted away the competition and the weather to win the Richmond Trophy for front-engined Grand Prix cars of the 1950s. The race wasn’t without drama with Nick Adams’ Ferguson losing a wheel off the line, the car tobogganing off course in a shower of sparks.
Miles Griffiths led initially aboard Philip Walker’s Lotus 16, building up a five-second lead by quarter-distance. Unfortunately, the car was forced into retirement shortly thereafter, which left last year’s winner Julian Bronson in the lead in his Scarab-Offenhauser from Wood with Lotus man Joaquin Folch-Rusinol in third. Wood muscled his way in front with ten minutes left to run and managed to move away from Bronson who was baulked by backmarkers. The Scot’s margin of victory after 25-minutes of thrilling racing in damp conditions was 0.9-seconds.
Richard Meaden emerged victorious in the second installment of the St. Mary’s Trophy following a race-long battle with touring car veteran Mike Jordan. Richard Shaw took the early lead, only to spin onto the grass on the approach to St. Mary’s. The race descended into a two-car battle between Meaden’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti and Jordan’s improbably quick Austin A40 thereafter.
The sparring partners were rarely more than half a car length apart, although a safety car period after Neil Brown crashed his Austin A35 at Woodcote bunched up the order. At the restart, Meaden and Jordan continued from where they left off, with Jordan inadvertently pushing the Alfa onto the grass, before Meaden gave his rival a little nudge going into Woodcote and assumed the lead. Jordan wasn’t finished, though, and soon asserted himself once again.
Meaden took the lead on the last lap amid the traffic and clung on to the flag.
Jordan said later: “That was epic. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Richard’s car was faster in a straight line, but mine handled better.”
Meaden added: “I had a massive moment at Fordwater and thought I was finished, but we came back and nipped ahead. That was a great race. I loved it.”
Aggregate victory went to the Nick Naismith/Jason Plato Austin A95 Westiminster.
Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe claimed victory in the TT Celebration race, but their Cobra wasn’t the car that finished first on-track. JD Classics Jaguar E-type duo Chris Ward and Gordon Shedden had appeared set for a sensational third consecutive win, having been made to work hard for it by the father and son team of David and Oliver Hart in their AC Cobra.
Pole-sitter Ward fluffed the start and was swamped by the pack on the run to the first corner. It was a Cobra 1-2-3 at the end of the first lap, with Ward recovering to fourth at quarter-distance. He soon worked his way through the pack, his highly-developed Jaguar spending most of the time sideways in pursuit of the Hart family AC.
Ward had moved up to second place a third of the way into the one-hour race, and was first to stop once the pit window opened shortly thereafter. Hart Sr stayed out for a further lap. The Jaguar and front-running Cobra were rarely more than a fraction of a second apart until three-quarter distance, leaving their pursuers trailing in their wake, only for Hart Jr to receive a five second penalty for clipping the chicane.
It was of little consequence as the teenager’s awe-inspiring performance came to an abrupt end with ten minutes left to run after the car caught fire. Fortunately, damage was minimal. Shedden continued to build on his lead, the E-type looking slightly less pristine at the end of the race at the beginning. With five minutes left to run, Ward and Shedden were given a 30-second penalty for a prior clash with the Bryant/Smith Cobra which demoted them to second place.
1 Niklas Halusa (Alfa Romeo 8C 2500) 12 Laps in 21m42.174s
2 Mark Gillies (Aston Martin Brooklands) +8.780s
3 Thomas Kern (Mercedes-Benz 710 55KL)
4 Ben Collings (Bentley Speed Model)
5 Theo Hunt (Frazer-Nash TT Replica)
6 Marcus Black (Talbot-Lago T23)
Fastest Lap: Christoper Mann (Alfa Romeo 8c 2500 Monza) 1.45.348s (81.33mph)
1 Tony Wood (Tec-Mec Maserati) 14 Laps in 20m43.071s
2 Julian Bronson (Scarab-Offenhauser) + 0.919s
3 Joaquin Folch-Rusinol (Lotus-Climax 16)
4 Geraint Owen (Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser)
5 Eddie McGuire (Scarab-Offenhauser)
6 Simon Diffey (Connaught B-Type)
Fastest Lap: Miles Griffiths (Lotus-Climax 16) 1m24.856s (100.97mph)
St Mary’s Trophy Part two
1 Richard Meaden (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti) 17 Laps in 32m18.694s
2 Mike Jordan (Austin A40) +1.167s
3 Grant Williams (Jaguar Mk1)
4 Justin Law (Jaguar Mk1)
5 Nick Naismith (Austin A95 Westminster)
6 Richard Butterfield (Jaguar Mk1)
Fastest Lap: Williams 1m36.455s (88.83mph)
St Mary’s Trophy Combined Result:
1 Jason Plato/Nick Naismith (Austin A95 Westminster) 58m36.087s
2 Steve Soper/Richard Meaden (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti) 58m44.360s
3 Anthony Reid/Justin Law (Jaguar Mk1) 58m44.810s
Royal Automobile Club TT Celebration
1 Michael Gans/Andrew Wolfe (AC Cobra) 41 Laps in 1h00m35.714s
2 Chris Ward/Gordon Shedden (Jaguar E-Type) +11.897s
3 Nicolas Minassian/Ludovic Caron (Shelby Cobra)
4 Mike Whitaker/Mike Jordan (TVY Griffith 400)
5 Frederic Wakeman/Pat Blakeney-Edwards (Lister-Jaguar Coupe)
6 Rob Huff/Richard Meins (Jaguar E-Type)
Fastest Lap: Ward/Shedden 1m25.799s (99.86mph)
1 Martin Stretton (Lotus-BRM 24) 11 Laps in 20m49.290s
2 Andy Middlehurst (Lotus-Climax 25) +1.245s
3 Sam Wilson (Lotus-BRM 24)
4 Richard Attwood (BRM P261)
5 Andrew Willis (Lotus-Climax 21)
6 James King (Brabham-Climax BT7)
Fastest Lap: Wilson 1m50.860s (77.28mph)
1 Sam Hancock (Ferrari 246S Dino) 14 Laps in 26m00.145s
2 OLiver Bryant (Lotus-Climax 15) +6.357s
3 James Cottingham (Tojeiro-Jaguar)
4 David Hart (Lister-Jaguar Costin)
5 Edward Jones (Lotus-Climax 15)
6 Gary Pearson (Jaguar D-Type)
Fastest Lap: Hancock 1m49.414s (78.31mph)