In addition to bumper grids for the day’s 11-race programme, there was also a bumper crowd of spectators to enjoy this superb vintage race car meet. One of the most pleasing aspects of this event is the access to the pit lane garages and paddock, where you can witness at close quarters the amount of work that goes into race car preparation. There’s an exciting buzz as cars leave for practice and then arrive back in the pits again. The races start at lunchtime and there’s plenty of fine viewing points located around the National Circuit. The sights, sounds, and indeed the smell of vintage race cars is most intoxicating and there’s plenty of close racing action to enjoy as well!
It’s now 25 years since the passing of Patrick Lindsay and The Amschel Rothschild and the Patrick Lindsay Trophy Race for 1931 – 1961 front engined race cars featured a particularly fine line-up of wonderful Italian race cars. These included Simon Edwards’ Maserati CM, Julia de Baldanza’s Maserati A6 GCM, Umberto Rossie de Montelara’s Alfa Romeo Tipo B, and David Bennett’s Maserati A6 GCM. The 1950’s Sports Racing Cars Race was another with a capacity grid including 21-year old Miles Griffiths (1959 Rejo Climax) and 17-year old Oliver Llewylyn (1956 Tojero Jaguar) who were both making their debuts in this event.
One of the drives of the day was by Rod Jolley in his unique 1958 Lister Jaguar Monza. The car was brought back to the paddock on a transporter with the rear offside wheel hanging off, after the morning practice. Rod set to with remedial repairs which he completed, had a cracking race (The Patrick Lindsay and Amschel Rothschild Trophy) and much duelling with Hubert Fabri in his Aston Martin DBR4 in the early stages, but went on to take the chequered flag, also clocking up the fastest lap of the race.
Another car attracting a huge amount of interest was Mark Walker’s 1905 Darracq 200hp, built as a World Land Speed Record Car, which it clinched in France on December 30th 1905 with a speed of 109.65mph. Mark purchased the Darracq three years ago and it was first time out for him. The car is powered by a 25.4 litre engine, which is larger than Chris Williams’ famous Napier Bentley! John Ward and his team from the Talbot Owners’ Club put on a splendid display in Garage 5 that celebrated 80 years of the successful Fox and Nicholl partnership with plenty of Talbot cars in attendance, both in racing trim and road going. All in all the VSCC ‘Spring Start’ at Silverstone was an event not to have been missed!