Mike Hawthorn Challenge & XK Series 7th August 2021

Mike Hawthorn Challenge

Following a superb & successful race at Oulton Park the Mike Hawthorn Challenge cars and Equire racing cars moved on to Silverstone and the BDC meeting

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Qualifying

A very busy grid of thirty-six cars took to the track for qualification, again the race being a two-driver pit stop affair and a number of the cars having to change driver’s mid-session.

Silverstone saw the return of Richard Butterfield but not in his usual MK1 instead in his recently restored ex-Peter Woodroffe Coomb’s MK2. He appeared to be the quickest by being less than a second quicker than John Young in IVA400 Nigel Webb’s Mk 1 closely followed by Alastair Dyson in his ex-Mike Cann / Rob Newall MK2. Close following was the Nigel Webb/Rob Newall Lister Mk1. The ever-improving Benjit Dhesi in his beautiful red MK1 was closely followed, by the trio of Derek Pearce Mk2, Simon Lewis MK1 and Simon Seath in another beautifully prepared Mk1. In a strong field of Jags then came Geoff Ottley XK120, Michael O’Shea / David Hall Mk2, and finally Richard Locke /Matt Green in the ex-Roger Cope Mk1.

All cars qualified including the pole car of Butterfield whose brakes set on fire when the car came to a halt, fortunately with fire extinguishers on hand the fires were out and luckily the fires stayed within the front brake area.

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Race

Getting a full view of the action at Silverstone is not easy but from my lofty perch opposite the old pit, I managed to observe some great racing. As the lights changed Richard Butterfield made a storming start passing the three Ecurie cars in front and taking a lead as the cars exited Copse corner. John Young in IVA400 had gone into the pits at the end of the formation lap and started from the pits to join the field at the rear, Dyson in his Mk2 took up second with the Webb/Newall Mk 1 taking third place.

Young returned to the pits at the end of the first lap and was then released back onto the track, however this didn’t last long as he returned the MK1 to the pits at the end of lap two and retired the car with brake issues. This promoted the car’s owner Webb into third.

With a number of close battles carried on throughout the field, Butterfield came under a lot of pressure on lap six from the front running Ecurie cars, running wide at Copse and losing his lead to two of them leaving him running in third for the next couple of laps.

Unfortunately, on lap six Alastair Dysons Mk2 developed engine issues and expired during lap seven forcing him into retirement. The casualty list grew with a very smoky Simon Lewis’s Mk1 continued until he received the black flag forcing him to retire from what was setting up to be a terrific battle with Pearce’s MK2, Ottley XK120 and Dhesi. However, Deshi must have had a moment as he dropped down the order just ahead of Derek Pearce’s MK2 and Simon Seath’s MK1 a position he would hold until the chequered flag just headed by Geoff Ottley in his XK120.

Pit stops on this occasion were 90 seconds stationary and all cars appeared to stop between lap fourteen and eighteen, it all appeared to have been going without a hitch. Butterfield however in the MK2 repeated its brake fires, the car managed to stand almost for the 90 seconds before being waved out back into the race to blow the fires out.

The field settled down for the last part of the race after the pit stops it became hard to determine who is racing who for position, with a five-car cluster of Ottley, Dhesi, Pearce, Seath and O’Shea/Hall appearing to the end in that order.

The Mk1 of Locke & Green took retirement on lap twenty-four, which transpired to it being the gear lever snapping off, a problem that put the car out a Snetterton earlier in the year.

The Mk2 of Richard Butterfield was the first Jaguar home followed by the Mk1 duo of Webb & Newall and third to Geoff Ottley in his XK120. When the results were published and Richard Butterflied had been given a ninety second penalty for too short a pit stop, in the rush to put out the brake fires the car he was released five seconds too soon. Despite this he held onto the win and the fires did go out.

Results

Class A Geoff Ottley XK120

Class B Rob Newall / Nigel Webb MK1

Class C Richard Butterfield Mk2

Driver of the day.

Matt Green Mk1

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