With over 400 cars competing across 14 races on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in glorious sunshine, the HSCC's International Trophy meeting was a great success (17/18 May).
With a biggest grid of 56 cars, there was lots of good racing as guest appearances from the GT and Sports Car Cup and Classic Formula Ford 2000s added to a full programme of races from the Historic Sports Car Club.
For the third time in a row, Neil Brown (Ford Mustang) and Tim Davies (Lotus Cortina) had a tremendous battle in the ByBox Historic Touring Cars Championship and the result was always in doubt in a real game of cat and mouse. Eventually, despite an increasingly slippery track, the superior power of Brown's Mustang delivered a narrow victory. "It's always a good race with Neil," said Davies after finishing eight-tenths of a second behind the man who builds his engines.
James Dodd was unstoppable in the Martini Trophy, taking two commanding wins in his Chevron B31, and also teamed up with his father Graeme in the Guards Trophy sports-racing car contest to win in their Ginetta G16.
Although James ultimately took two clear Martini wins in the Chevron, neither was as easy as the results suggest. On Saturday, Italian racer Michele Liguori had his Lola T296 going better than ever and chased Dodd until his BMW engine wilted. On Sunday, David Gathercole put up a spirited early challenge in his Lola T210 before settling for second in the wing-less car. Robert Oldershaw (Lola T212) wrapped up the podium in both races.
The Dodd's Guards Trophy win came when Chris Goodwin retired his McLaren M1B from a healthy lead with fuel regulator problems. James Dodd duly took the Ginetta over from his father and charged ahead as another father and son pairing, Michael and Will Schryver, worked their Chevron B6 into second. Daryl Taylor, in his first race of the season, had a great run in his B8 to take third.
Oliver Ford maintained his fine form in the HSCC 70s Road Sports Championship by keeping his Lotus Europa just out of reach of the TVRs of Peter Shaw and Julian Barter. In the HSCC Historic Road Sports Championship, it was a Morgan Plus 8 podium as Richard Plant headed Robin Pearce and Bruce Stapleton. Spike Milligan and Alec Poole (HWM Jaguar) won the concurrent FISCAR contest and bringing the two series together delivered a fantastic 56-car grid.
Rising star Michael O'Brien turned in an exemplary drive on his home track in the HSCC Historic FF1600 Championship to score his first championship victory. He was able to edge clear as Benn Simms and series returnee Westie Mitchell had a great battle for second, which went to Simms after Mitchell had a late spin at Brooklands when trying to attack once more. Max Bartell nipped through to complete the podium from a 39-car field.
Mike Whitaker (TVR Griffith) was victorious in the GT division of the Guards Trophy as the increasingly competitive Chevrolet Corvette of Craig Davies gave a spirited chase. In Sunday's hour-long GTSCC contest, the Lotus 15 of Mark Lewis and Ewen McIntyre headed the GT cars as Davies teamed up with John Young to again bring the Corvette home in second.
Richard Evans was the star of the Derek Bell Trophy, with a brace of wins in his Formula Atlantic March 79B. Jeremy Wheatley had two excellent races in his Surtees TS15 with a second and a third as Mark Dwyer (March 782) battled through to second in the later race after gear linkage problems in the first race.
An uncharacteristic spin by Ian Jones (Lotus 59) upset his winning sequence in the HSCC Classic Racing Car Championship and allowed the similar Lotus 59 of Antony Ross to rush past and win. In the concurrent HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship round, Stephen Smith (Chevron B15) won but only just after a late charge from Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21).
A shared grid between the HSCC Historic FF2000 Championship and URS Classic FF2000 Series delivered a fine 37-car grid and victories for Ian Pearson (Classic) and Tom Smith (Historic). While Pearson had a clear run, Smith (Royale RP27) had to overcome a determined challenge from Benn Simms (Reynard SF77).
Finally, the largely incident-free weekend concluded with a round of the Millers Oil Historic Formula Junior Championship as friends and rivals Sam Wilson and Jon Milicevic battled for victory and Andrew Hibberd wrapped up the podium. Wilson wriggled a couple of seconds clear over the second half of the race, while Milicevic was pleased just to get to the race. On Thursday he was running the engine up in the workshop when the camshaft broke. Only some last-minute machining work by Wilson had Milicevic's engine ready in time.
The HSCC season continues at the Autosport Three-Hour meeting at Snetterton on 7/8 June.