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All the winners - Aston Martin at Snetterton – July 18-19

  • AMOC at Snetterton meeting - 0
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A full programme meant the AMOC meeting at Snetterton was the place to be

An event, historic in itself, after an absence of over 30 years, was the return of the famous Martini Trophy to the AMOC racing calendar, at Snetterton on July 18. The Trophy carries some illustrious names, including Chris Amon and Denny Hulme among the past winners. Run this time over three hours for mainly cars from the Britcar series plus some Aston Martins, it was won by the Marcos Mantis of Rob Wilson and Warren Gilbert, pursued by the Porsche 996 of father and son team, Jim and Glynn Geddie. Former British GT Champion, Calum Lockie who shared the 3rd place Aston Vantage GT4 car was very enthusiastic, pleading to have it run again. The club has not ruled out the possibility of running the event in future for historic sports cars.In the opening race of the meeting, for the Aston Martin Historic Championship, David Reed’s DB2, after an initial challenge from Nick Ruddell’s DB MkIII and ran out an easy winner. Mark Midgeley was 3rd in his DB2, and the first and only pre war car home, Jim Campbell’s Mk2, took fourth place. .The Austin Healey Club Championship field provided a very lively 40 minute race, with 4 different leaders. Pole was taken by the Swede, Anders Schildt, on a ‘racing holiday’ in the UK with his Healey 3000, and he assumed the early lead but soon came under increasing pressure from Hugo Holland-Bosworth’s big Healey. Schildt started to suffer gearbox maladies and eventually succumbed to the Holland-Bosworth onslaught, only for the latter to pit a lap later to clear his screen. Schildt resumed the lead but, in the meantime, Campfield in another big Healey was on a charge overtaking first David Smithies and then the slowing Schildt, whose gearbox issues finally forced him to retired. Seemingly secure in the lead Campfield suffered engine problems, retiring after 21 laps, so David Smithies became the fourth leader of the race, and the one who counted by taking the chequered flag. Eric Woolley was 2nd in his 3000 Sebring and Robin Lackford brought his Frogeye Sprite home in 3rd.The AMOC 50s Sports Car Team Challenge, a popular and now firmly established part of AMOC race meetings, attract an ever increasing number of lovely cars from that period, the DB2s and 2/4s joined by ACs, Alfas, Austin Healeys and Sunbeam Alpines. The grid included a team of rare Lancia Aurelia B20s. The race was led off the line by the Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite of Xavier Sanz de Acedo, but he was unable to shake off the Aston DB2 of Adrian Johnson who had claimed second place from Nicholas Ruddell’s DB MkIII on lap three. Ruddell kept a watching brief in his DB MkIII, but from an increasing distance.  Two of the quickest cars in the field, the Healey 100M of Mark Pangbourne and the AC Ace of Andy Shepherd made poor starts but were soon rapidly making up places. Sanz de Acedo retired after 21 minutes having held a slender lead over Johnson whose own lead was then eroded by Pangbourne until the Healey ran out of fuel three laps from home. Johnson, therefore took the DB2 to an untroubled victory, from Ruddell, with Andy Shepherd, 3rd.  Based on a handicapping system, the Team Elefanti Rossi Lancia Aurelia B20s took the team award.The first race on Sunday was for the Aston Martin Classic Championship and Chris Scragg led a strong field of cars in his very quick 1973 V8 and after Les Goble in the modern Aston Martin Vantage GT4 had despatched the fast starting second row of Robert Rawe and Darren McWhirter in DB4 and Zagato bodied DB4 respectively, he soon latched himself onto the tail of Scragg’s big Aston. Behind them, the battle for 3rd raged between Rawe and McWhirter, but unfortunately, an incident involving the McWhirter car brought the red flag out. At the restart, Scragg simply romped off into the distance leaving Goble with no-one to race. Rawe was initially 3rd, chased by the DB4 of Alan Hudd, but later retired.  Scragg won by nearly 35 seconds from Goble, with the N24 of Tom Black a further 13 seconds behind. The first DB4 home was Hudd’s in fourth position. Following the loss of the Byrne pole winning DB4 in an accident from an earlier race, Chris Scragg, sharing his E-type Jaguar with Charlie Kemp, had no real opposition in the Pre 1966 GT & Saloon car challenge and the pair won comfortably by over a lap.  The race for 2nd was far more exciting as the Ford Falcon of Robin and Zoe North pulled into the pits from that position, at the end of lap two to investigate a fuel leak. Satisfied that all was well, Zoe rejoined the race and set about the long task of recovering the lost ground. Handing over to Robin, he continued the recovery drive to great effect and entertained the spectators by flinging the big car around the circuit. He eventually overhauled and passed the Jarvis/Chambers Lotus Cortina to recapture 2nd place. The Lotus Cortina made a fight of it, closing in on the tighter parts of the circuit and losing out on the faster parts in this Ford ‘in house’ David and Goliath tussle. This fine dice went on until the end of the race, the Falcon being ahead by just 2.3 seconds at the flag. The DB2 of David and Anne Reed, the only Aston in the race, finished 5th.                              A good grid of cars appeared for the half hour Intermarque race but it was Chris Scragg again in his Aston V8 who set the pace from pole position. However, Zoe North kept him close company in her Sunbeam Tiger, as she posted the fastest race lap before disappointingly pulling the car off in Coram to retire the car on lap 10. It was left once more to Les Goble, in his Vantage GT4, once he had overcome the battling DB4 of Robert Rawe, to give forlorn chase to Scragg. They were separated by 28 seconds at the end, with Rawe, another 14 seconds behind in 3rd. There were some very good dices throughout the field from which Astons emerged to fill 6 of the first 7 places, the only interloper being the Ferrari F355 Challenge of Michael Dwane in 5th place. The Porsche duel between 928GTS Cup of Adrian Clark and 944 Turbo of Alex Mansfield had also greatly entertained until the latter retired after completing 13 laps.

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