FIA Lurani Trophy Round 5; Oldtimer GP, 11-13th August 2017
There is nothing like a “Report from the Front”. The following is indeed nothing like a report from the front – it is most assuredly from the back! Here goes.
As always, the Oldtimer meeting attracted a huge entry of 45 cars, despite the crowded calendar, with the usual multinational entry from 9 different countries with the majority (especially the quick guys) in the later E1 class.
The invitation class once again contained Marco Werner from Switzerland – a 3 times outright winner of the 24 Hours Le Mans with the Works Audi Team – what an achievement and what an honour to have him race with us. [A car with an FIA HTP application pending can race on 2 occasions in the INV class]
Held in slippery conditions – heavy rain with a liberal helping of oil neatly dropped at strategic points around the circuit.
The rain eased off, and conditions while not remotely dry, improved to be “slightly less wet” – anyway by this time there was more oil down!
The really quick guys were predictably up front but it was salutary to find Cameron Jackson on pole by the huge margin of 3.6 seconds from Manfredo Rossi who is certainly a star – he in turn was over 2 seconds clear of Marco Werner in an identical Lotus 22 – it cannot possibly be that Werner was intimidated by conditions – if he can drive down a French Main Road for Hour after Hour at night in fog and rain at well over 200mph…… well no, not intimidated in the least!
Stuart Roach having successfully performed his “rain dance” finished an astounding 5th fastest and easily fastest of the front engines – Pete Morton and Christian Traber were closely behind in Lightning Envoyette and Lotus 22 respectively.
Notably also well up in the rain was Caroline Rossi who seems to go better and better with each outing – not long before she has Manfredo in her sights!
All the talk on the eve of race 1 was how much the weather was due to improve. No chance, it rained even harder, however it didn’t change the order too much and Cameron Jackson motored away, making life look easy, which for sure it can’t have been! He finished 37 seconds in front of Manfredo Rossi who certainly gave the impression that he was trying extremely hard, who in turn finished just under a second clear of an equally hard trying Pete Morton, with both well clear of Marco Werner. Marco’s credentials and proven ability are supremely established. It says so much for the talent of our front runners that they can finish ahead of someone enjoying “Superstar” status.
Stuart Roach, once again, proved his Regenmeister status at The Nürburgring to finish a glorious 5th in front of 2 class winner and reigning Lurani Champ Bruno Weibel.
C2 Class was won by John Lord (looking thankfully fit) in his immaculately prepared Lotus 18 and Class A by Guido Di Egidio who unusually finished ahead of title contender Daniele Salodini.
Alhumdilallah – it’s not raining – the Roach Dark Forces have failed! After impeccable behaviour in qualification and Race 1, the dry track saw drama at the first corner in Race 2. This writer was separated from the drama by about 30 cars so you, dear reader, must forgive any inaccuracies – real or imagined.
I am told that Pete Morton collided with the rear of Manfredo Rossi’s Lotus, Manfredo was able to continue but Morton’s Lightning Envoyette bodywork retired with frontal damage – Christian Traber and Marco Werner also had a coming together resulting in the retirement of Werner. What is beyond doubt is that this first “made up” corner is unsuitable and highly likely to cause collisions in tightly packed fields – there is a perfectly sound proper loop as used at Grand Prix – it is a mystery as to why it isn’t used at the Oldtimer GP.
At the same time on the first lap, Iain Rowley (in Ian Robinson’s Lola Mk V) lost all drive and was stranded at the apex of this horrible corner – this inevitably led to a Safety Car period while the stricken car was removed.
Once again, Cameron Jackson proved the class of the field winning comfortably from Rossi and Pierre Tonetti – Jackson’s fastest lap was almost 3 seconds quicker.
Roach fell to 9th place – still remarkable for a fairly unsophisticated front engine car – Alex Morton was also well up in his sublime Condor. Christian Traber doesn’t race at every round so even if he was delayed at the start, his 4th place was a great performance.
In summary, a superb display by Jackson – what we’d really like to see is a race where Sam Wilson, Andrew Hibberd, Jonathon Hughes, Cameron Jackson and Jon Milicevic all competed on the same day – wow. Perhaps we’ll get our chance at the 2018 Silverstone Classic Jubilee extravaganza?
By Bob Birrell