After torrential rain on Saturday and overnight, the sun appeared on Sunday, as over sixty competitors arrived at Silverstone to qualify for for the inaugural three-hour Historic Tourist Trophy race on the Grand Prix circuit.
Race organisers Motor Racing Legends, were undeterred by the Autumn weather; and so the concept for the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy meeting was born from the demise of the usual Autumn programme of events. Silverstone Circuit came to the fore making the Grand Prix circuit available and, in collaboration with The Royal Automobile Club and event sponsors DK Engineering, a pioneering concept for a three-hour race for Pre-’66 GT and Touring Cars, also open to Pre-’63 GT and Pre-’61 Sports Cars gathered momentum.
In only six weeks, the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy meeting was born – scheduled to start at 2pm and run into dusk the programme also allowed for two one-hour support races from within the Motor Racing Legends ranks to be held in the morning. A combined Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and Stirling Moss Trophy race for Pre ’61 Sport and Sports racing cars and a Historic Touring Car Challenge and Tony Dron Trophy with U2TC and Sixties Touring Car Challenge Touring Car race were both well supported.
Event sponsors, DK Engineering also laid on an impressive display of vehicles from their showroom racing from modern supercars, to historic racing cars and the iconic Mercedes CLK GTR currently in their portfolio. Competitors were presented with goodie bags from DK Engineering and the Royal Automobile Club provided refreshments for the entire paddock.
All eyes were on the prize of the illustrious Historic Tourist Trophy – to be presented by the Royal Automobile Club. Teams comprised of one car from each class in the race, with Team ‘Ecurie Triple C’ taking the final honours; comprising of the Roger Wills and David Clark’s 1958 Lotus 15 (that finished an impressive seventh overall and won Class 1), Karsten Le Blanc and Chris Milner’s Austin Healey 3000 and the Ford Mustang of Georg Kjallgren and Jeremy Cooke. Having only been able to participate in a handful of races all season, and first time out for Kjallgren, Ecurie Triple C were over the moon to get their hands on the impressive silver wear. Class 4 victors, Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie in Thomas’s 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra won the three-hour endure on scratch, the first of forty cars to take the final flag. Adrian Willmot and Andrew Jordan in another Shelby Cobra snatched 2nd place in the closing laps of the race from the Jaguar E-type of Chris Ward and Richard Kent.
45 cars took the chequered flag from the sixty starters, there were a high number of non-finishers like any long distance endurance race. But the weather was kind throughout the day with just two short smatterings of rain adding to the excitement of the Three-Hour enduro. More importantly the race was generously supported by the racing community and is set to becoming a regular fixture on the future Motor Racing Legends Calendar.
Images thanks to John Retter Photography for hi resolution copies please visit: https://www.johnretterphotography.com