10 September 2017
For the first time in its 10 year history the Future Classics was split into two races for 70s and 80s cars when the Classic Sports Car Club visited Donington Park. Mark Henderson and Steven Wood (Porsche 911 RS) took advantage of a 30-second success penalty for Tony and Aston Blake (Porsche 911 RSR) to record their first win of the season. Aston Blake led the early stages before the pit-stops, but the penalty was too much for Tony Blake to overcome. Tim Bates also benefitted to take second in his Porsche 911 SC.
Castle Donington’s Martin Adams has been with the series from the outset. He and his Triumph TR7 led the first lap of the very first Future Classics race but had to settle for fourth place on his home circuit.
There was confusion at the end of the Future Classics 80s race after Russell Paterson’s Morgan Plus 8 caught fire on the start/finish straight. The safety car came out and most of the drivers dived straight for the pitlane. The race then ended early, to deal with fluid on the circuit, with the field behind the safety car. It was thought that Mark Chilton had taken victory in his Porsche 928 S4, but he was later confirmed in third place behind the Lancia Delta Integrale of Richard Thurbin and Tim Bates’ Porsche, which was eligible for both races. Thurbin’s 4-wheel drive Lancia had coped much better with the damp conditions until the safety car intervention.
Russell Paterson’s demise came just after he had taken victory in the first of two Morgan Challenge races. Son Elliot ((Morgan ARV6) looked set to follow dad home until he slid into the Old Hairpin gravel, losing a wheel. That opened the door for Tony Hirst to bring his ARV6 home second, much to the delight of his team. He thanked all those at the University of Wolverhampton for their help and dedication in preparing his car.
With both Patersons absent, Hirst led much of race two, before Roger Whiteside used the extra power of his Plus 8 to muscle his way past. Hirst was not phased, however, and was still looking for a way through when the flag fell.
James Ramm completed a Jaguar Saloon and GT double in his XJS. He was pressured by Colin Philpott’s XJS before the heaven’s opened in race 1. Alisdair McGregor (X300) was delighted with his third place. David Howard (XJ12) was Ramm’s first threat after a safety-car intervention in race 2 before Philpott slipped by to take another second place, 2 seconds adrift of Ramm.
The Invitation Class BMW M3 E36 took a lights-to-flag win in the Open Series ahead of Lee Frost’s M3. Ryan Edmonds (Ariel Atom) passed Lucky Khera’s BMW in the closing stages to claim third place.
Dan Williamson took a welcome victory in his 7.4 litre Chevrolet Corvette in the Swinging Sixties Gp 2 race. He has been plagued by reliability issues of late, but this time powered by the leading Lotus Europa of Malcolm Johnson, on a drying track, to ease to a 19.8 seconds victory. Ben Gough and Iain Daniels took third in their Marcos.
Derby’s Ian and Abigail Whitt claimed pole for the closing Swinging Sixties Gp 1 race in their MG Midget, but they struggled after a downpour soaked the track as the cars lined up on the grid. Clive Tonge and Vaughn Winter faired best in their Mini Cooper S while Sam Polley held on to second, in his Mini, despite a 30-second success penalty.