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Historic Sports Car Club Meeting at Donington Park

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 June 2014

David Tomlin (Ferrari 308, near) won his race-long duel with Oliver Ford’s Lotus Europa

David Tomlin (Ferrari 308, near) won his race-long duel with Oliver Ford's Lotus Europa

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A sizable number of competitors and great racing are the hallmark of the annual HSCC season opener at Donington, and a thrilling 70s Roadsports duel between Oliver Ford and David Tomlin was the highlight of this year's event

Ashbourne’s Matt Wrigley leads a group of Historic Formula Ford racers in his Merlyn Mk20AAshbourne’s Matt Wrigley leads a group of Historic Formula Ford racers in his Merlyn Mk20A

A sizable number of competitors and great racing are the hallmark of the annual HSCC season opener at Donington, and a thrilling 70s Roadsports duel between Oliver Ford and David Tomlin was the highlight of this year’s event. After 2013 winner Julian Barter retired his Lotus Elan on lap 1, Ford and Tomlin pulled away from Peter Shaw’s TVR Tuscan and the rest of the field. For lap after lap, Ford’s Lotus Europa crossed the line just ahead of Tomlin’s Ferrari 308. Tomlin would use the Ferrari’s power to draw alongside as they approached the Redgate turn, first on the right, then on the left, before the superior braking of the Lotus maintained Ford’s advantage. On lap 9 Tomlin finally held his nerve to get his nose ahead, but as he took the chequered flag, six laps later, Tomlin’s advantage was still less than half a second, with Shaw some 24 seconds adrift. Further back, Chesterfield’s David Beresford overcame a qualifying half-shaft failure and climbed to finish eighth in his MGB.

Neil Brown’s flame-spitting Ford Mustang enjoyed a similarly close lead battle with Tim Davies’ Lotus Cortina for 12 laps in the Historic Touring Car encounter. Sadly the outcome was decided when Brown slid into the gravel at McLeans on oil left on the circuit. Davies came home 25 seconds clear of Jonathan Gomm’s BMW. This race also included the Class B runners from an over-subscribed Guards Trophy entry, and David Beresford again made up places as he danced his MGB through the chicane on three wheels. Great entertainment!

Benn Simms (Jomo JMR7) won the opening Historic Formula Ford race by three seconds from the Merlyn Mk20As of Maxim Bartell and Michael O’Brien. Matt Wrigley, son of Ashbourne historic racer Mike, gave a good account of himself in only his second single seater outing in his newly-acquired Merlyn. Simms completed a double, winning the Historic FF2000 race in his Reynard SF77. Ian Jones claimed the Classic Racing Cars honours in his Lotus 59 while Alderwasley racer Steve Seaman took a class victory in his Brabham BT21. David Methley enjoyed a comfortable Historic Formula Junior in his Brabham BT6 while the excitement lay behind, as Callum Grant (Merlyn Mk5) won a great scrap for second place. Richard Plant took the Historic Road Sports victory in his Morgan Plus 8. Just 2 weeks after a knee operation, Graeme Dodd took the start of the 40 minute Guards Trophy race, completing the minimum 10-minute stint before handing his Ginetta G16 to son James. Dodd Jnr emerged from the pit-stop a lap behind the Chevron B6 of Michael and Will Schryver but, having unlapped himself, Dodd was ahead after the Schryver’s pit-stop and took the victory by 17 seconds.

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