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Following the first Challenge race at Cadwell…the historics were out.
It is easy to fall into the trap in thinking that since the demise of the factory, TVR involvement in motorsport is going to be limited to the Challenge and Sprint series but if you do a bit of searching you will find that in reality it is going on all over the place and has been for many years. There are three cars out in the GT Cup and Ex and current Challenge series drivers involved in Britcar this weekend alone (reports to follow) and perhaps more surprisingly for some, a very strong presence in historic and classic racing.
Cadwell Park on the 11th April was one such day, hanging around after the Challenge boys had cleared off saw a Sunday morning that was much closer to normal for Cadwell, a bit of damp in the air and a nice cold wind that hadn’t seen land since Scandinavia. The weather couldn’t stop the buzz in the paddock though’ with a beautiful machinery everywhere.
If you’ve never been before I must recommend going to a historic race meeting, the sounds and smells of classic race cars is addictive and the race card made for some very interesting and varied racing. The meeting had events covering
Classic Touring cars (pre 1966)
Classic Race Cars (F1, F2 and formula junior cars under 1600cc pre 1971)
Historic Roadsports (Production and GT 1947 – 1969)
Historic Formula Juniors (single seat 1946 – 1963)
Historic Formula Ford (2000cc 1975 – 1981)
With cars still in period livery and some of them owned and driven by drivers that drove them in period too, these are classic racing cars that are not treated as museum pieces. They are all driven as they were designed to be and the racing in all categories was fast and close with lots of diving for position, locked brakes and squealing period rubber.
For the TVR nut the 70’s Roadsports is the category, covering road registered production sport and GT cars of the period 1970 to 1979, with additional points awarded for cars driven to the meeting. This was common place in the 60’s and 70’s and a great tradition to maintain. The mix of cars included Lotus Elan, Europa and Seven, Alpha GTV, Renault Alpine, Jensen Healey, Triumph Spitfire and Stag, Datsun 240Z and the notable stars of the show in the shape of three TVR 3000M’s and a TVR Tuscan.
Qualifying was shortened considerably as the marshal’s had to clear an oil trail from a Lotus Europa that went round the entire circuit. However this didn’t stop the cream rising to the top and all four TVR’s were in the top seven of a seventeen car grid. Julian Barter put his 3000M on pole with a 1:46.6 ahead of his father in a very pretty Datsun 240Z with Peter Shaw’s Tuscan in third spot. Christina Totty, making a return to Cadwell (after last years start line incident with the Challenge cars cost her and dad a £9k rebuild) managed to put her 3000M in fourth and Mark Bown in his 3000M car seventh. To put that 1:46 in perspective, these are road registered cars, with engines, brakes and suspension pretty much as they left the factories, on period rubber and of course with all seats in place and the addition of roll cages, yet on a cold damp morning that time would have put him middle of the grid for the previous days TVR / Intermarque race.
Mark was penalised for being 9kg underweight, well it was the car not Mark but it all amounts to the same thing, a ten second penalty and sent to the back of the class. In the race Julian led all the way from pole to finish line and was never really troubled by anyone. After lots of close attention Peter managed to pass the 240Z around lap five to finish in second and a classic TVR one – two. Christina held off the attentions of two very agile Lotus cars in the shape of an Elan and a Series four Seven for the whole race to finish in fourth much to the obvious pleasure of Dad. Mark Bown made remarkable progress through the field passing eight cars on his way to a very creditable ninth place but the 10 second penalty and grid position put all chance of a top five finish out of range.
The next HSCC event is Snetterton on the 18th which I can’t cover as I will be with the GT Cup at Silverstone and following that we have Challenge series stalwart Geoff Parkinson out with the CSCC at Brands on the 8th and 9th May. You don’t have to wait for my reports though, go and watch them yourself, entry costs are very reasonable and you will be glad you made the effort.Mal from clickmotorsport.com for TVR Monster.