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Round 7 Donington Park 24th August – In Memory of Roy

Reunion 60s 001Practice and race for Round 7 of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship was on Saturday 24th August at Donington Park circuit near East Midlands airport. The weather was wet early in the morning but the rain stopped before qualifying leaving the circuit damp and greasy.   The meeting was a Classic Sportscar Club meeting with a variety of Swinging Sixties Sportscars, Jaguars and a full grid over from Europe of TR’s, MGBs, E Types and Healey 3000’s with a full grid of 36 entered.

Not to be outdone the Thoroughbreds also produced a fantastic full grid of 36 and on the day a couple of reserves practiced with us but were unable to compete because we all managed to complete practice and be able to take the grid for the race.

I had dedicated the race in Memory of Roy one of the founder members of the Thoroughbred Championship who had his last race at Donington on the 4th September 2010 now nearly three years ago so felt it was appropriate.   As long as I am involved with the Championship I will do this from time to time, just a one off race during the Season as appropriate and I felt that Donington with a grid of so many was just that occasion.

The entries consisted of Twelve class D, Eight class C, Thirteen class B and Three class A. The fifteen minute Qualifying was third on the schedule at 10.20am but the weather on the Saturday morning was a bit disappointing as the low clouds had given us some early drizzle.


Pole position went to Rob Spencer alongside Neil Fowler both in MGBGTV8’s.  Row two saw B Class Pole Simon Cripps in his Roadster alongside C Class Pole Guest Christian Marx.  On Row three Russell McCarthy and Barry Holmes and on row four Babak Farsian and Max Cawthorn.

Row five Jon Ellison and Guest Mario Neumann and row six Ian Prior and Peter Barnard.  On row seven Joe Parrington and Jonathan Upchurch with Lawrence Wood and Guest Robert Hamilton on row eight.  Row nine Tim Falce and Mark Scott and row ten Ken Deamer and Neil Cawthorn.  On row eleven Terry Burrows and Alan Charlton and on row twelve Ben White and Ollie Neaves.  Bob Lines and Dave McDonald were on row thirteen and on row fourteen Alan Kyson and Ben Tovey.

On row fifteen Paul Khouri and Colin Jones and on row Sixteen Guest Rene Grueter alongside Phillip Lambe.  On the penultimate row Martyn Clews and Guest Hans Jorg Hubner and finishing the massive field Peter Hiscocks and Bruce Atkinson.

All thirty six completed practice some with a few niggles but all able to take up their positions for the afternoon race.



Photo 24-08-2013 15 24 35The 36 competitors took to the grid behind the Course Car for one green flag lap followed by a rolling Start, the first that some of the drivers had taken.

Poleman Rob Spencer and Neil Fowler had been advised on keeping the pace slow to the lights. It was a good start with the majority of the massive field bunched up ready for the lights to change.    Rob and Neil approached the lights and as they went out they both stormed off with the D pack not too far behind.  Up through the Craner Curves Russell McCarthy from row three pulled past Rob to take the lead but coming back round to Roberts and onto the Wheatcroft Straight Rob had regained to take control of the race where he stayed to the flag.

Russell kept Rob legal until lap four when he lost oil pressure and pulled in.  Neil Fowler who had been just a few lengths behind them now pulled up to second.  On lap five an incident put the safety car on track and the field bunched up.  Safety car pulled off at the end of lap seven and the race recommenced.  Neil remained in second overall coming home five seconds behind Rob at the flag.  Ian Prior came home third overall after a race long battle with Joe Parrington.

Class A

The two regular class A contenders were joined by one of the European guests Rene Grueter.Snett2012_BJ6A4080  Rene pulled away from the battling Martyn Clews and Peter Hiscocks who managed to have a great race with Phil Lambe from Class C and Alan Kyson Class B for the whole race.  The Class win was taken by Martyn who took the flag just .700. in front of Peter.  Rene being a guest did not take any championship points.

Class B

Photo 24-08-2013 15 26 46Simon Cripps made Class B Pole out in his B class Roadster while his V8 is in the workshop.   The damp conditions saw Simon take third overall in qualifying putting him on the second row of the rolling start.  Peter Barnard did his best to catch him but was unable despite a valiant effort.   Once the safety car had pulled off on lap seven the field had pulled together slightly and various battles commenced.  Max Cawthorn and Babak Farsian had a few close laps until Max had a moment on lap nine leaving Dad Neil to take on the challenge but Neil unable to reach Babak.  A little down the field Max had joined the dice between Mark Scott and Colin Jones splitting the two where he remained to the flag.  The remaining dice was between Bob Lines, Paul Khouri and Ben Tovey with Paul pulling himself up to the front of the charge by the flag and Ben close behind.

Class C

Guest Christian Marx in his TR4 had taken class pole and led the class from lights to flag. Brands Hatch - MG Spring Race Meeting - Thoroughbred Sportscars Behind Tim Falce did his best to catch him and got close once the safety car had pulled in but was unable to make it past.  Guest Mario Newmann remained not too far behind Tim but was not able to catch him.  Guest Robert Hamilton in another TR4 came along next staying in front of Alan Charlton until Alan dived past on lap eleven to take fourth in class by the flag.  Further back Ben White was having a good race staying with the B class battle with Paul Khouri and Ben Tovey and finishing the field Phil Lambe also had a good race among the Class A battle.

Class D

Photo 25-08-2013 18 41 14Overall Poleman Rob Spencer once Russell McCarthy had pulled off on lap four led the field to the flag.  Neil Fowler second kept great pace and once the safety car had pulled off remained just a second behind Rob to the flag.  Barry Holmes got a good start but lost out to Joe Parrington and Ian Prior who also had a great race, Joe keeping Ian behind him till lap ten when Ian dived past to lead Joe to the flag.

Ollie Neaves out for the first time with the Championship came up from twenty sixth place and eleventh row on the grid to tag onto the tail of Joe by the flag,  Jon Ellison just a few seconds further back.

Ken Deamer re-joined the race on lap four after coming off on the first lap and Jonathan Upchurch came off on lap three in a position to bring out the safety car, re-joining on lap seven but unable to complete enough laps to qualify.  Barry Holmes only managed seven laps before his race finished.

Overall and Class D Winner Rob Spencer who led the massive field from start to finish

Class C Winner on Track Christian Marx

     In Championship Tim Falce

Class B Winner Simon Cripps

Class A Winner on Track Rene Grueter

     In Championship Martyn Clews

 Pam McCarthy


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