Historic Winton

26-27 May 2018

A crisp sunny late autumn morning graced the Winton Motor Raceway for the first main day of the 42nd Historic Winton. Yes, the weather god has come good this year at this iconic ‘2+4’ meeting.

Each year we see something different at the event, something new, but that might be old. The event brings out some hidden gems from around the countryside. The 27-litre Rolls-Royce Merlin engine Railton is no exception to this. It poses a question though – is there a theme? In the same spot last year, the year before, etc were all aero-engine specials.

The first race for the day was for 1960s racing & sport-racing cars. Laurie Bennett stole the show from start to finish in his twin-cam Elfin 600 F2, but not without some challenges from the Brabham BT29 of Rob McConville (who incidentally posted the fastest lap). Scott Whittaker finished a solid third (and first sports-racing car) in his immaculate Milano GT2.

The Mark Dymond Trophy race for 1950s racing and sports-racing cars (Group Lb) was next. Since the trophy’s gifting by John & Margaret Dymond in 2003 in memory of their eldest son who died too young a member of the Dymond family has yet to win this event. Samantha Dymond has twice been a brides-maid in the Lola MkI. This year showed promise as Sam got off to a flying start from the second row, but was no match early on for Brian Simpson (Cooper-JAP) and David Reid (Faux Pas) as the two took off on a battle of their own. With Simpson retiring after a couple of laps it was to be Reid’s race. Again, Sam would be a brides-maid. 2019 shows even more promise for that emotional feat…

From the 1950s to the 1970s & 1980s with the racing and sports-racing cars from that era taking to the track. David Hardman put the Hardman JH-1 on pole with a time of 57.1 seconds ahead of Andrew Makin (March 73B) and Andrew McCarthy (Ralt RT4). In a good, clean driving performance Makin took out a well-deserved win ahead of Hardman and McCarthy.

Graeme Raper added another victory in the Briese Family Trophy race to Monoskate’s log book in the first of the pre-war races. The race was dominated by side-valve Ford V8 specials.

Historic Formula Ford proved as popular as ever with a strong field on track. Jon Miles had the front row all to himself in the Reynard when Todd Willing failed to take up his well earnt pole position. They were flanked by the pair of early Elfin 600s of Nick Bennett and Phil Oakes. Miles took home the first race win.

The final two events for the day saw the Production car events, the first of which being the Production Sports Cars grid. Michael Bryne set the pace in qualifying securing pole position in his wel-tuned Lotus Super Seven S4 ahead of the Chev Corvette of Joe De Bartolo.

The horsepower of the Corvette was no match for the Lotus as Bryne was uninterrupted on his way to the first win of the weekend. Adrian Dimauro showed some early promise throwing the 105 Alfa around keeping ahead of Ray Narkiewicz in his Chev Corvette.

Sunday highlights

Neck-to-neck was the battles in the 1970s & 1980s racing and sports-racing grid with hard fought close racing between the Hardman JH-1 of David Hardman and the March 73B of Andrew Makin. With Makin getting the better start in the final race (having already won the previous two) he lead for the first few laps. Hardman posted a 56 second dead lap in pursuit and eventually managed to find Makin’s weak spot of turn one and had the crowd on their feet cheering as he pulled off a late breaking move on the inside to take the lead with a couple of laps remaining. Not to be out done, Makin kept on it and got Hardman back and re-took the lead. The pair finishing in that order as they crossed the finish line less than a tenth of a second apart. Malcolm Oastler in his Kaditcha AF-2 finished a distant third, albeit ahead of some tough ground-effects competition further back.

Report by Charles Rogers