|Vredestein JEC Jaguar XK Challenge
Report by Terry Dye
Pictures by Chris, Nick and Roger Gage
Mark Donnor leads Chris Keith-Lucas and Paul Kennelly
This very popular circuit, with the very interesting Donington race car museum nearby, welcomed the Vredestein Jaguar XKs competing in the 50’s sports car race as a part of the Aston Martin Racing programme.
Qualifying in heavy rain proved an equaliser as John Burton’s (XK120 FHC) brave run took pole position with Rob Newall’s similar but mis-firing car on row two. All XKs proved masters of the very difficult conditions and only a few of the Healeys and a Cooper Monaco were able to live with them.
In a big change of conditions for the race, the circuit was dry and sunny. Disappointment for Newall as oil was found in the coolant after qualifying so he non-started. Burton took the lead and fought off the Cooper for a while before the faster car powered through. He then battled and beat a persistent Healey to claim second overall and win the Jaguar race.
Chris Keith-Lucas suffered a sluggish start and was passed by a number of cars before settling into a quick rhythm. His race long battle with Mark Donnor kept the spectators on their toes. Donnor ran wide at McLeans, to be passed by Keith-Lucas. He took the position back, took to the gravel and lost his place, only to regain it again. Rounding Redgate corner side-by-side was a masterclass in driving.
Paul Kennelly with his trademark red helmet, fought off a brace of Healeys to finish a strong sixth overall. Christopher Scholey, in his standard XK120 had a race long battle with Healey, Astons and an MGA to finish an outstanding ninth. Marc Gordon also performed well and finished just seconds behind the Aston Martin DB2 of Anne Reed. Claire Keith-Lucas,was most unfortunate in coming across another car at the chicane, was assaulted by a wheel spinner and retired.
Chris Scholey in his standard XK120
Overall: John Burton
Runner Up: Mark Donnor
Third: Chris Keith-Lucas
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All information correct at time of publishing.