Oulton Park – 11th May 2013 – Vredestein XK Challenge
Report and pictures by Dave Brassington
Nigel Webb climbs to third!
Eleven cars entered the race at Oulton Park in Cheshire for our 2nd Vredestein XK race of 2103.
This 2.69 miles circuit is challenging in the dry but the drivers also had to endure a drizzle qualifying and our wettest race for a long time, not an easy prospect in either an open car or 50-year old fixed head with minimal demisting. Alexis de Beaumont had to scratch due to a gearbox failing during testing having “flown” the tricky first chicane.
Qualifying saw Nigel Webb’s 120 ahead of Andrew Moore and Chris Keith-Lucas. Chris fortunately running a 150 fixed-head rather than his normal open 120, which was still a little poorly. Bob Francis, Siamak Siassi (XK120s) and Claire Keith-Lucas (XK150) qualified within the same second, promising a good race. A similar lap time covered Nik Rochez, Paul Kennelly and Rob Pinchbeck. Qualifying was made difficult with 2 races practicing together.
The cars were called up early for the race which caught out Nigel Webb whose XK pole position came to nothing as he started form the back of the grid. Despite that, and in very trying conditions he clawed his way to third, helped by Siassi who, a few laps earlier rearranged the tyre wall at the chicane, let him through thinking he was being lapped.
Andrew Moore went on to win from Chris Keith-Lucas after being side by side for a few corners: whilst wife Claire, after a slight coming together with Rochez, managed to hold him off. Bob Francis, Claire and Nik had a battle royal until Francis pulled away. Moore’s win was all the more challenging with a race-long duel with Morgan and Aston Martin which were more suited to the wet. Drivers even experienced hail during the race, stinging through race suit and gloves. Paul Kennelly was unlucky to succumb to increasingly fewer gears in lap 3.
|Results||Class C||Class B|
|First||Andrew Moore||Rob Pinchbeck|
Donington Park – 1 June 2013 – Vredestein XK Challenge
Report by Roger Gage. Pictures by Roger and Chris Gage.
Richard Haythornthwaite in a cloud of smoke …….
……. and on the grass !!!
The track was dry and warm for this Aston Martin Owners Club Fifties Sports Cars race in which XK Jaguars made up half of a full grid of cars. Darren McWhirter brought his gorgeous Tojeiro Jaguar all the way from Inverness (Elgin), qualified in pole position and made full use of his larger engine and disc brakes to win from an absolutely exquisite Maserati 300S driven with great verve by Steve Hart.
Among the XKs in qualifying, Nigel Webb was just the fastest from Andy Moore, Chris Keith-Lucas and John Burton, all 120s.
The story of the thirty minute race was all in the first half, as we had a truly exciting display of close and competitive racing for third place between these four plus a very nimble 1220cc Lotus Elite, an MGA twin cam and a Healey 100M, with places changing several times every lap. Nigel Webb had just opened up a small cushion when, on lap 14, he missed his braking and ended his race in the gravel.
Just prior to this, both Burton and Moore had retired with mechanical problems, and Chris Keith-Lucas became the lead Jaguar. Such was the intensity that afterwards, Moore said “half shaft broke right in the middle of one of the best races I have ever been in.”
A little behind, Siamak Siassi, Claire Keith-Lucas, Richard Haythornthwaite and Paul Kennelly had their own battle for several laps, before mechanical gremlins intervened to sideline Richard in a cloud of smoke.
At the end of the first lap, Read Gomm beached his car in the middle of the chicane and had to sit there for a scary few minutes under waved yellows until the tractor could pull him out. He then continued but had lost so many laps that “his innings did not trouble the scorer.”
There were fine drives by both Steve Skipworth and Nik Rochez who came home in second and third places.
1st Chris Keith-Lucas
2nd Steve Skipworth
3rd Nik Rochez
Brands Hatch – 6/7th July 2013 – Vredestein XK Challenge
Report by Roger Gage. Pictures by Roger, Nick and Chris Gage.
An immaculately prepared Brands Hatch Circuit sparkled splendidly in the summer sunshine for this very special meeting to celebrate the centenary of Aston Martin, the company founded by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin in a Kensington Mews in 1913. Sixteen racing XK Jaguars joined the celebration by entering into the AMOC thirty minute race for ‘50s Sports Cars.
Race 1 – Saturday
With a decade of additional development over the Jaguars, the Aston Martin DB4GTs were the class of the field, and unsurprisingly, took the first three places in this race, run on the shorter Indy circuit. Of comparable vintage to the XK was the DB2/4 and, meeting on equal terms, several of our drivers had prolonged battles with examples of this model.
Fastest of the Jaguars was John Burton, who made an excellent start to lead Siamak Siassi and Paul Kennelly round Druids for the first time. John went exceptionally well to keep a very quick Cooper bobtail behind him for the first part of the race, and was the first XK home.
Alexis Bouthillier de Beaumont and Claire Keith-Lucas were side by side on many occasions, and later Claire took on Bob Francis as well, but, whisper it, girl power triumphed in the end. Siamak and Steve Skipworth had individual battles with a couple of DB2/4s, great to watch and both victorious, these two finishing second and third. Paul Kennelly finished just a few seconds behind Steve in fourth, and was awarded the trophy for “Drive Of The Day”.
Alexis Bouthillier de Beaumont spins at Druids
|Results||Over all and Class C|
|Drive of the Day||Paul Kennelly|
Race 2 – Sunday
Steve Skipworth battled with the Aston Martins throughout the weekend, to take 3rd place on both days!
Sunday offered the rare opportunity for the XKs to race on the full GP circuit, as five additional cars joined the enlarged field, Andrew Moore proving to be just a tenth quicker than yesterday’s winner, John Burton, and Geoff Ottley ,in a less developed 3.4 litre class B car, qualifying in an astonishing sixth place amid the XK drivers.
In the race, it was Burton who led the charge of the XKs down Hawthorn Hill, with Moore a little way back and pressured by Steve Skipworth. Siamak Siassi was tracked by Geoff Ottley, and Nigel Webb by Read Gomm. By mid-distance, Moore was ahead of Burton and beginning to open a small cushion until suddenly the places reversed and Burton went through for the win.
Elsewhere, there were plenty of duels to enjoy, the Cooper, those Aston DB2/4s and a Healey 100M featuring repeatedly amongst the XKs and providing a wonderful and nostalgic spectacle in a race that was a fitting tribute to the Aston Martin Centenary.
Drive of the day was awarded to Bob Francis, who improved his lap time from qualifying by a full five seconds, and his ranking by eight places.
Ottley, Gomm and Francis; the former taking 1st in Class B and the latter taking “Drive of the Day”
|Results||Over all and Class C||Class B|
|First||John Burton||Geoff Ottley|
|Drive of the Day||Bob Francis|
Castle Combe – 13/14th July 2013 – Jaguar Classic Parts Saloon & GT Championship
Championship rounds 6 & 7 took place on the hottest weekend of the year to date. Temperatures of 25 degrees at 8 am rose to 30 degrees in the paddock and 35 degrees in the cars, which by lunchtime became too hot to touch.
Leaders into Bobby’s Chicane
Twenty-nine cars assembled at this fast, 1.85 mile circuit. The immaculate XJ6 Coupes annexed the front row with Tom Barclay heading Richard Dorlin whilst the XJ12 of David Howard, suffering a mis-fire, was third from the fastest XJS of Chris Palmer. Nick Wade and Ben Walker gave their newly acquired XJSs their first races, having been stored for about eight years, (the cars, not the drivers).
At the start of race one, a lightning launch saw the Pearce MKII sneak up a couple of places as the pack stormed into Folly Bend, a truly awesome sight and sound. The first three cars of Dorlin, Barclay and Howard squabbled and changed position throughout the race, always within a second or less of each other.
Battles down the whole field kept the spectators enthralled, with the fights between Philpott / Ryan / Bye and Boon / Butterfield two of the more notable. The extreme heat affected both cars and drivers, who, unusually, had to watch oil as well as water temperatures, but after a long battle, Dorlin took overall, class and Drive of the Day honours from Barclay (Class B winner). Pizzala took Class A (road-going).
Ben Walker and Nick Wade
The battles continued in race two. James Ramm made a great start while Howard lost out and was squeezed on to the grass, which led to a masterly recovery drive to take the race win by 6 seconds from Barclay (Drive of the Day) and Dorlin, these two having a terrific tussle, door handle to door handle. The S Type of Tim Morrant, new this year and now sorted, went well. The XJS fight between Ramm and Ryan was resolved when the former retired on lap ten.
Chris Pizzala collected another class A win from Laurence Squires.
At the end of a fine weekend’s racing, commentators and spectators were heard to comment on the outstanding car control and disciplined race craft of the Jaguar drivers.
The winning drivers!
JEC Powered by Jaguar Race
Typical of Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Racing Competitors is this immaculately turned out engine bay
As if they hadn’t had enough racing, three XJS drivers remained for this last race. Qualifying was led by Ian Drage (having borrowed the James Ramm car), from Roger Webster and Chris Pizzala. Drage took the Jaguar laurels from Webster and Pizzala, these finishing fourth, seventh and eighth from a fourteen car grid and beating more powerful cars in the process.
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All information correct at time of publishing.