FJHRA/HSCC Silverline Championships 2021 Finale
HSCC Finals Meeting; Saturday 16th October 2021
By Jeremy Bouckley
We arrived on Friday afternoon and before I parked up the first person I saw was Alan Jones. (It was over 18 months since I had last seen him) and it was so good to see him looking so well. He reminded me of his retirement party to be held in the paddock at 5.00.pm. on Saturday after the racing.
Saturday started well with clear blue skies. For the Juniors there was a very early start with scrutineering at 7.30.am., practice at 9.00.am. and the race at mid-day. Most of the Saturday meeting unusually was running 15 minutes early, so it kept everyone on their toes!
Luckily practice went well for us, and it was soon the first Junior race. I think everyone made a good start, the track was in very good condition. Formula Junior newcomer Horatio Fitz-Simon, in the Speedsport Lotus 22, took the lead from Clive Richards and Adrian Russell. After 4 laps the gaps were 1.9” and 8.6” with a gap back to Ray Mallock and Nic Carlton-Smith. Just after half the race, the safety car was called as Adrian Russell had gone off into the gravel at Copse after suspension failure.
After about two laps a lot of us caught up with the safety car at Beckett’s Corner, he was going very slowly, remarked on by the commentators, they waved us through in batches and the safety car came in shortly afterwards, so the race resumed. After the restart the leading positions continued unchanged and the race was won by Horatio Fitz-Simon in a Lotus 22 and just half a second behind was Clive Richards in his Lotus 22, after a close combat. Amazingly it was Horatio’s first ever race in a Junior. Ray Mallock finished third in his fleet U2 to finish the podium. Carlton-Smith came fourth ahead of a close scrap between Robin Longdon and Andrew Turvey.
Then 5.00.pm came and most of the HSCC paddock congregated at the ‘Beer’ garage where we normally have our ‘bacon butties’.
A very good turn out to celebrate Alan’s retirement with plenty of ‘Silverstone Beer’.
We will all miss Alan who was always cheerful and helpful dealing with problems and competition queries. He will be hard to replace. ‘Happy Retirement Alan’.
The only regretful part of the weekend was the other half of the Junior community who were at Goodwood for the Member’s meeting, so we could not celebrate ‘The Finals’ together.
This is a problem with dates clashing, but let’s hope most of us can get together at the Formula Junior A.G.M. and lunch.
SILVERSTONE FINALS – RACE 2 – Sunday 17th October
By Bob Birrell
Charlie Besley had taken over the drive from John Arnold in the ‘Indy’ Elva 100, as planned, whilst
nonstarters for Race 2 were Martin McHugh whose North Star had broken a drive shaft on the last lap of Race 1 and Tim Child’s Cooper had succumbed to Ersa Gearbox failure.
Adrian Russell had repaired his immaculate Lotus 22 thanks to Syd Frazer who provided a replacement wishbone. Tony Pearson and Tim Bishop had revived their Bandini and 2 stroke Sauter respectively.
The grid was as set in the single qualifying session with Fitz-Simon on pole – Heavy rain earlier had eased but the track remained wet, greasy, and very slippery.
Clive Richards dealt slightly better with adhesion off the slippery grid and led narrowly into Copse on the first lap – Horatio kept closely on his tail but seemed unable to pass which might involve doing so on the more slippery part of the track – he persevered and was able to make the move on lap 9. Clive was not finished yet, after tailing the well-matched new leader, he made a superb move to pass on the last lap to win by 0.8 sec.
Adrian Russell in his repaired Lotus 22 drove sensibly and well to 3rd place some 33 seconds behind the leading pair.
In a remarkable 4th place came Charlie Besley – starting from 11th on the grid, he picked off a number of well driven cars (including this year’s Silverline Champion, Nic Carlton-Smith) on each lap until reaching 4th on lap 5 and so comfortably winning the class from Ray Mallock who finished 6th – 22 seconds in arrears.
The 2021 Silverline Champion drove smoothly to 5th overall well ahead of John Hutchison Jnr and Tim Bishop who were 2nd and 3rd in class C2. It has been an outstanding performance from Nic – this being his first full season in racing of any kind – quite remarkable – 12 wins from 12 starts – he accepted the praise with admirable modesty – his enthusiasm and dedication was there for all to see and appreciate. Tim Bishop was another commendable performer – it is always splendid to see (and hear) 2 strokes in action – we sometimes forget that at the birth of our formula, the 2 stroke DKW was one of the power units to have – then Cosworth came along!
In a gallant last position came the irrepressible Tony Pearson – some 4 laps adrift – finishing despite a gearbox stuck in a low gear.
Non finishers included Bill Cowing in his F3 Ginetta, Mark Haynes whose Elva 200 showed signs of serious overheating. Graham Barron spun on the slippery surface as did Roger Dexter at Brooklands who repeated his Silverstone Classic heroics by manhandling his car to safety before the marshals reached him.
FJHRA is uniquely fortunate to have a particularly active and enthusiastic Patron Howden Ganley who has raced successfully in F3, F2, F5000 and at least 3 factory F1 Teams – that is in addition to being a successful manufacturer (Tiga) and the author of the best and most readable of my 500 Motor Racing books – above all he raced FJs in period (Gemini MK IV). Howden was present on both days and presented the prizes, giving a few words on family friend – Horatio Fitz-Simon – seems like he may have passed on a few tips this being Horatio’s first season of racing.