Tag Archives: Griffith

US Powered European GTs – Silverstone Classic

For today’s Americana Blog I thought it would be fun to look at some of the US powered pre 1966 GT cars that took part in the 50 minute Chopard International Trophy at Silverstone Classic a couple of weeks ago.

AC Cobra, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Fastest of the seven 289 cui Ford V8 powered AC Cobras in the race was the 1963 #94 example driven by Micheal Gans and Andy Wolfe which came home in 4th place.

Bizzarini, Jaguar,  Corvette, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

One place further back at the finish was the blue 327 cui Chevrolet V8 powered 1965 #71 Bizzarini 5300 GT driven by Roger Wills, seen above heading an Jaguar Coupé and Craig Davies’s Corvette Stingray.

Iso, Aston Martin, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Jamie McIntyre drove the fastest of the two Chevrolet 327 cui Iso Griffo A3C’s in the race to a 12th place finish, he is seen lapping the 1963 #118 Aston Martin DP214 driven by Robert Rawe above.

Sunbeam Tiger, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Driving a genuine Le Mans bodied 259 cui Ford V8 powered Sunbeam Tiger to a 24th place finish were Chris Beighton and Tony Ekford, seen above ahead of an Jaguar E-Type and AC Cobra.

TVR Griffith, McInerney,Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Winner of the Chopard International Trophy was Sean McInerney in the 289 cui Ford V8 powered 1964 #64 TVR Griffith seen above.

Thanks for joining me on this “US Powered European GTs” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Super Saturday Part 2/2 – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog continues on from yesterday with coverage of the second half of the Silverstone Classic Super Saturday race programme.

Porsche 911, Slater, Silverstone Classic

The 50 min Choppard International Trophy for pre’66 GT Cars was won convincingly by Sean McInerney driving the #64 TVR Griffith seen above about to thread it’s way passed the; #27 Porsche 911 driven by Adrian Slater, the #31 Lotus Elan driven by John Sheldon and the #91 Sunbeam Tiger shared by Neil Merry and Terry van der Zee.

Brabham BT4, Minshaw, Silverstone Classic

Jason Minshaw won the first of the weekends two Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy races driving the 1962 Brabham BT4 seen above. It is sad to have to report that in the second race for pre ’66 Grand Prix cars the following day Denis Welch was killed in an accident while driving his Lotus 18. I am sure you will want to join me in offering sincerest condolences to Denis’s family and many friends.

Ford Falcons, Voyazides, Gardiner, Silverstone Classic

Perversely the Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan was dominated by the type that the Mustang wiped off the sales floor, namely the Ford Falcons driven by Leo Voyazides #1 and Mike Gardiner #37. Leo is seen above sweeping into a lead that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Maserati Centenary Trophy Start, Silverstone Classic

Light was fading at the start of the Maserati Centenary Trophy for pre ’61 Grand Prix cars and photographers such as your truely were having to resort to every trick in photoshop to get an image. Above Philip Walker driving the #1 Lotus 16 is seen streaking into what proved to be an unassailable lead ahead of; the #30 Offy powered Scarab driven by Bristol’s Julian Bronson, #88 ‘Toothpaste Tube’ Connaught C Type driven by Michael Steele, the, #27 Tec-Mech driven by Tony Wood, #35 Kurtis driven by Fred Harper.

Lola T70, Voyazides, Silverstone Classic

Leo Voyazides thirst for victory was unsatiated after winning the Mustang Celebration trophy and he is seen above driving his Lola T70 in the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race in hot pursuit of the cheeky 2 litre / 122 cui Chevron B19 driven by Martin O’Connell. No one knows exactly what happened to Martin, but he ended up in the rough stuff, uninjured leaving Leo and Simon Hadfield a clear road to victory lane.

Mercedes Benz C11, Berridge, Silverstone Classic

The final race of Super Saturday was my favourite not because it was the most closely contested, it was not despite the best efforts of Katsu Kobota driving a Nissan to take the challenge to the winning #31 Mercedes Benz C11 driven by eventual Group C Endurance winner Bob Berridge, but because the twin turbo V8 C11 driven at full speed is music to my ears and poetry in motion to my eyes. I could watch that car circulating all day and night as I did in 1991 at Le Mans, with out a care in the world.

Approaching 9pm it was all over time to return my photographers bib to the Media Office, jump into a courtesy BMW, driven by an ex Royal Protection Officer, which on the way back to the car park took me past the crowds waiting for Bonnie Tyler to give a rendition of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Part 2/2” edition of Gettin’ a li’l pscyho on tyres. I’ll be staying with Silverstone Classic for the rest of the week I hope you will join me starting with Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


2014 WEC LMGTE Ferraris – Ferrari 458 Italia GT2s

Seven entries in the 27 car field for the 6 Hours of Silverstone on Easter Sunday were GT2 spec Ferrari 458 Italias, 3 of which were running in the LMGTE Pro class and the remainder in the LMGTE Am class, here is a quick overview of how they fared.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Fastest of all seven was the AF Corse entered #51 driven by Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander which secured class pole position, but could not keep pace with the Porsche RSRs during the race when the conditions turned damp and were completely outclassed when the track was completely soaked. Gianmaria and Toni eventually finished 4th in class, 10th overall, behind the two works RSRs and an Aston Martin Vantage V8.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

AF Corse team mates Davide Rigon and James Calado driving the #71 Italia followed the # 51 home in 11th place overall.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

RAM racing were making there WEC debut, with entries in the LMGTE Pro and Am classes having run a GT2 spec Italia to win the European Le Mans series in their first full season of competition last year. 2013 ELMS drivers co champion Matt Griffith was paired with Alvaro Parente in the Pro #52 Italia seen above and they came home 12th overall and 6th in class.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Pole in the LMGTE Am class was also won by AF Corse with Stephen Wyatt, Michele Rugolo and Sam Bird at the wheel of the #81 Italia. However they could not keep pace with the Aston Martin Vantage V8s during the race and so finished 3rd in class 17th overall.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

The RAM racing LMGTE Am entry was driven by 2013 ELMS drivers co Champion Johnny Mowlem, Mark Patterson and Ben Collins who finished 19th overall and 5th in class.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

The second AF Corse LMGTE AM entry was driven by Luis Perez-Companc, Marco Cioci, Mirko Venturi it finished 20th last of the cars still running at the end.

Ferrari 458 Italia, 6 Hours Of Silverstone, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

The races only ‘recorded’ retirement was filed by 2013 LMGTE Am debutants and champions 8 Star Motorsports who’s #90 Italia was driven by Vicente Potolicchio, Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti. After attracting three penalties for speeding in the pit lane, due to a faulty rev limiter, a drive shaft broke just over half way through the race and the #90 recorded 118 laps. For some as yet unknown reason none of the six other unclassified finishers that were not running at the finish of the race bothered to officially retire.

My thanks to Victor R0 at the Racing Comments forum for enlightening me as to some of the anomalies of retiring from an endurance race.

Thanks for joining me on this “2014 WEC LMGTE Ferraris” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cat Under The Bonnet ! – Aston Martin DB3 #DB3/6

The Aston Martin DB3 was designed to compete at Le Mans in 1951 by ex Auto Union D-Type designer Eberan von Eberhorst. Ten cars were built the first five for the factory team, who’s most notable success was a victory in the 1952 Goodwood 9 hour race won by Peter Collins and Pat Griffith.

Woodgate, Aston Martin DB3, VSCC, Castle Combe

Originally the DB3’s used the 133 hp Vantage version of the 2.6 litre / 158 cui straight six designed by W O Bentley for Lagonda that was also used in the Aston Martin DB2. However despite the win at Goodwood in 1952 this motor proved uncompetitive when run against the 3.4 litre Jaguar C-Typesand eventually a 2.9 litre / 178 cui straight six was introduced to the model. Later still the DB3 was replaced by the lighter DB3S.

Woodgate, Aston Martin DB3, VSCC, Castle Combe

This particular chassis #DB3/6 was the first of the customer cars is known to have been raced by Bob Dickson in 1953, with the FHH534 registration plate, when he scored a best finish of 5th with Desmond Titterington at Dundrod in the Tourist Trophy. Bob is also known to have won his class in the 1953 Rest And Be Thankful Hillclimb which ran at Glen Croe in Argyll, Scotland.

Woodgate, Aston Martin DB3, VSCC, Castle Combe

The following season R H Dennis acquired #DB3/6 and took part in at least won event at Goodwood in September 1954 where he finished 6th. By this time the car had been fitted with a larger 200hp Jaguar motor, acquired a hard top, first seen on the works racer #DB3/1 at Le Mans in 1952 and had large sections of body work removed from behind the front and rear wheels.

Woodgate, Aston Martin DB3, VSCC, Castle Combe

Dennis raced the #DB3/6 until mid way through 1956 without much success and then entered Geoff Richardson for at at least three events at Mallory and Goodwood in which he finished 2nd, 3rd and 2nd before the car vanished from the known racing records.

The DB3’s body could be removed in twenty minuets and this may have had a role being fitted with a bizarre two tone body, initially with conventional doors, and later with gull wing doors and a third headlight.

In 1965 it was all change again as #DB3/6 was united with an Aston Martin motor and the body was swapped for again with the body from a 1957 Aston Martin DBR2.

In 1989 #DB3/6 was sold for a £180,000 pounds without anybody work or even a motor, 14 years later the gullwing body also passed through auction. #DB3/6 is seen in these photo’s with a 2.9 litre / 178 cui Aston Martin 6 cylinder motor being driven by Chris Woodgate on his way to victory in the Historic Aston Martin race at Castle Combe last year.

During the research for today’s post I stumbled across the Aston Martin Scrap Book which I can heartily recommend to anyone interested in the marque and one off Aston Martin bodies.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cat Under The Bonnet !” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at another racing Aston Martin, albeit from an altogether more recent era. Don’t forget to come back now !


All or Nothing – Hispano-Suiza H6

Aged just 22 French Captain Georges Guynemer is reported as having downed 53 enemy planes before Hisano Suiza powered Spad XIII disappeared on the 11th of September 1917 for the final time somewhere north east of Ypres. The captain, who’s best known maxim was “Until one has given all, one has given nothing”, had already survived being shot down seven times, well before parachutes had become either reliable of issued to pilots. After the Great War of 1914/18 Hispano Suiza adopted the stork symbol of Alsace which Guynemer had painted on the side of his Spad as their radiator mascot.

Huispano Suiza H6, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

In 1919 Hispano Suiza designer Marc Birkigt brought his Type 41 to fruition which became known as the H6. Having been amongst the pioneers to develop shaft driven overhead cam shafts and amongst the innovators of joined up motor and gearbox housings with earlier models the H6 featured a 135 hp light alloy mono block six cylinder overhead cam motor that, although noisier than the competition in the form of the Rolls Royce 40/50 with it’s push rod operated side valve cast iron twin block straight 6 cylinder motor, produced a full 50 hp more than it’s contemporary from Derby England.

Huispano Suiza H6, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

The H6 was not only more powerful than it’s contemporaries but it the first to adopt power assisted four wheel brakes as standard, leaving Rolls Royce, Lanchester and Napier with their unassisted two wheel brakes well behind when in the safety stakes. Indeed Rolls Royce were quick to acquire a license to replicate Birkigt’s power assisted four wheel braking system on their own models. Rolls Royce would continue to use the Hispano Suiza braking system until the introduction of disc brakes on it’s Silver Shadow model in 1965.

Huispano Suiza H6, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

Hispano Suiza counted not only Royalty, including the King of Spain, and the nouveaux riche of Hollywood amongst it’s H6 clientele but also French alcohol heir, Spad XIII flying ace, athlete, inventor and race car driver André Dubonnet who entered his H6 in the 1921 Coupé Boillot sports car race run in Boulogne which he promptly won.

Huispano Suiza H6, Marin Sanoma Concours d’ Elegance

The 6,597cc / 403cui H6 like this 1925 example, which resided in the UK until 2000, gained a larger 8 litre / 488 cui H6B sibling in 1922 with the H6C series in 1924 using only the larger motor. In all 2,350 H6s of all types, including a unique 6 wheel H6 built for feature length film pioneer and director D.W.Griffith, are thought to have been built between 1919 and 1933.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs taken at this years Marin Sanoma Concours d’Elegance.

Thanks for joining me on this “All or Nothing” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !