FJHRA/HSCC “Silverline” UK Championship Rounds 2+3, Silverstone, 21st – 22nd May 2016
Silverstone International Trophy
Well – 41 cars – fantastic – even better when another 30 Juniors were at the 2nd Lurani Round at Pau on the same weekend. Most of the entry have been seen before but we welcomed Alex Ames from more modern racers (he has seen the light) Lukas Halusa whom we welcomed at Castle Coombe and Johannes Kistler from Switzerland in a Lotus 22 (we last saw him at Nurburgring in a very rare 1 litre BWA F3. Nick Finburgh had his nicely prepared and very swift Envoy back in action too. Jack Woodhouse was in John Truslove’s Brabham B6 leaving Dad, Mark, with the usual Lotus 20/22.
With a steady drizzle, conditions were distinctly damp and slippery – the usual suspects dominated the top 10 with newcomer Alex Ames well up in 4th place with his Lotus 22 and Alex Morton having swopped cars with son Pete – now in the Lightning Envoyette.
Cameron Jackson was almost 1.5 seconds clear of rainmeister Stuart Roach in the Alexis Mk 4 with Jack Woodhouse and Sam Wilson next up.
Nice to see Anthony Goddard return to the fold in the Invitation Class – his Cooper has a 1.5 litre Alfa Romeo engine but he is one of us and anyway – anyone who brews Beer for a living can’t be at all bad! (see Goddard’s Beer on Isle of Wight)
The rain was in earnest now – Stuart Roach must have fancied his chances – Front Row men Roach and Jackson led off side by side into a very slippery first corner – both held their position and sadly Roach ended up in the wall – thankfully unhurt but a blow to their potential close race.
Sam Wilson however made his way to the front in the absence of Roach and a splendid dice ensued between himself and Jackson with Wilson leading on lap 2 but appearing on lap 3 having dropped to 3rd Jack Woodhouse being 2nd at this point. Wilson worked back to lead swopping with Jackson as both struggled manfully with the now driving rain – this great battle finished 3 laps from the flag when Jackson approaching Brooklands had his left hand front suspension collapse – making a terrifying noise on the tarmac – the Brabham careered over the grass, across the track and I can believe that Cameron was a tad relieved when the thing came to rest!
Meanwhile Nick Finburgh dominated Class C2 with his Envoy finishing a most worthy 8th overall.
The 3 front engine cars ran in close company initially but towards the end, spread out with newcomer Colin McKay in his ex USA, ex Jonathon Hughes Gemini well clear of James Owen whose Gemini was also owned briefly by Jonathon!
Both Mortons went well with Morton Minor winning class D2 from Fyda Minor in the U2 Mk3. Andrew Wilkinson had led this class but was one of many to fall foul of the conditions, spinning into the tyre wall at Woodcote and breaking a front upright.
So Sam Wilson took a well-deserved win with Jack Woodhouse 2nd in his unfamiliar Brabham and James Murray pleased to have come away with 3rd albeit well back after 3 spins. Alex Ames finished a creditable 4th.
This was a separate Championship race although as per regulations, using the same qualifying grid less non-starters who included Stuart Roach who resisted the temptation to bring back his front engine Alexis. Thankfully the track was dry this time.
Wilson and Jackson looked set to resume their battle – sadly Jackson soon slid back down the order, retiring after 6 laps with a partial reoccurrence of the previous day’s malady – he sensed the trouble and wisely retired the car.
Wilson looked untroubled finishing well clear of Hibberd who climbed steadily to 2nd. James Murray again took 3rd this time by the very narrowest of margins (less than 1/10th) from Jack Woodhouse.
Alex Ames and Greg Thornton had a similar battle, Alex getting the verdict by just under ½ second.
Class C2 featured a great scrap between Andrew Taylor, Nick Finburgh and Crispian Besley finishing in that order covered by less than 2 seconds at the finish.
In the front engine class, James Owen took a comfortable win from Roger Dexter’s wonderful sounding Elva DKW and Colin McKay’s Gemini – Your correspondent is old enough to clearly recall the same noise from Peter Arundell’s winning Elva DKW at one of the very earliest Formula Junior races – Brands Hatch – Boxing Day 1959.
In class D2, Andrew Wilkinson had repaired his Lynx but slowed dramatically with loss of power towards the finish handing the class win to Jonathan Fyda but salvaging 2nd from much travelled Steve Futter.
Simon Durling despite a qualifying mishap which curtailed qualifying lappery braved the elements to score 2 class wins in C1 – mind you for one who has handled 600bhp on cold tyres and brakes up someone’s narrow drive eg Doune, Silverstone in the wet probably doesn’t seem so frightening after all!
There is at each meeting, a Silverline Driver of the Day Award – this was awarded most deservedly to Steve Jones who put in a superhuman effort to repair his badly damaged Cooper T67 after his Castle Coombe accident the previous month – not only this but shown on the provisional results as winner of Class E2 he without prompting or being asked, volunteered the information that his car should be classified E1 and he did not wish to receive an award to which he didn’t think he was entitled – Steve is a great example of the Spirit of Formula Junior – Well Done Sir.
by Bob Birrell