Motor Racing Legends is fielding two spectacular, packed grids of 1950s and early 1960s sportscars at the Silverstone Classic, as the Stirling Moss Trophy and Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy descend on the Northamptonshire circuit for the last weekend of this month.
On Saturday, July 26th, the pre-1961 sportscars of the Stirling Moss Trophy, supported by JD Classics, take to the track. Combine a highly skilled and hugely competitive group of drivers with a stunning grid of cars which were built solely to win races – all competing for the actual cup Stirling Moss was awarded for winning the 1955 British Grand Prix (his first-ever GP victory) – and you have the recipe for an enormously entertaining race.
Add in the extra ‘carrot’ – for the Listers on the grid at least – of the newly-announced Brian Lister Cup – and things get even more exciting. The entry list includes no fewer than 11 Listers, including Steve Brooks’ ultra-rare, ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar ‘Flat-Iron’, and competition amongst these big beasts up the front of the grid is sure to be fierce.
Competition for podium spots is also likely to come from Benjamin Eastick’s D-type Jaguar and Wolfgang Friedrichs in the Aston Martin DBR1; the sister car to the 1959 Le Mans winner, while the ex-Phil Hill NART Ferrari Dino 246S of Bobby Verdon-Roe and the Tojeiro Jaguars of Hans Hübner and Jeremy and James Cottingham could also power their way to the front.
On the Sunday (July 27th), it’s the turn of the pre-56 sportscars of the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy to entertain the crowds. Supported by EFG International, this series always delivers astonishingly good-looking – and very competitive – grids. The current holders of the Woodcote Trophy, Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne (Lotus X) face a serious threat from Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in the Cooper T38, but Benjamin Eastick, Harry Wyndham and Gary and John Pearson could also well be up front, all in D-types.
One particularly unusual car in this grid is Paul Griffin’s Connaught, ALSR 11, one of just two of these endurance sports-racing cars ever built. Stirling Moss took it to class victory in the 1954 Montlhery Coupe de Salon and in 1955, in the hands of Les Leston – who described it as “one of the best cars I ever drove” – it scored seven race wins and numerous other podium finishes.
For both the Stirling Moss Trophy and Woodcote Trophy, the action isn’t confined to the front of the grid, however; there will be plenty of battles for class wins amongst the smaller-engined cars. The Woodcote Trophy boasts a splendid turn-out of no less than eight Austin-Healey 100 variants – 100M, 100S, 100/4 and 100/6 – while 1980s and ‘90s Touring Car star Patrick Watts, sharing the little Rejo Mk3 with Malcolm Harrison in the Stirling Moss Trophy, will be vying for class honours against Simon Edwards’ Rejo MkIV and the Lotus XI Le Mans Series 1 of Jaques Naveau and David Axisa.
Like many Motor Racing Legends race series, both the Stirling Moss and Woodcote Trophies are family affairs. Three pairs of fathers and sons are taking part in the Stirling Moss Trophy: the Lotus 17 prototype of Gabriel and Dion Kremer will compete for a class win against Laurence and Tim Jacobsen, while Simon and Mark Ashworth are joining the grid for the Silverstone Classic in Simon’s unique, ex-Alan Mann ‘Marina’ – so-named because it is powered by a mighty 6250cc Rolls-Royce marine engine! American father and son Alex and Scott Quattlebaum are flying over to campaign their MG-engined LECo Sport, new to the Woodcote Trophy this season, while brother and sister Joe and Rachel Singer and Swiss driver Urs Müller and daughter Arlette are out in the same race, driving a Kurtis 500S and Aston Martin DB3S respectively.
For further information on Motor Racing Legends please visit www.motorracinglegends.com.
Photo credit Jim Houlgrave