Back in 1973 a multidisciplinary event was organised that brought together the world of racing and rallying called the Avon (tyres not cosmetics) Tour of Britain in which competitors took part in a wide range of production (safety modified only) vehicles in a wide range of race, rally and even drag events across the length and breadth of Great Britain.
On Saturday Tour Britannia a similarly organised event for historic, classic & modern vehicles based this year in Wales and South West England visited Castle Combe on Saturday morning, when the race track was used as a rally stage thanks to the addition of three temporary chicanes and in the afternoon as a more conventional race track.
Headlining the racing fraternity on the inaugural event in 1973 were former two time Grand Prix World Champion Graham Hill in a Datsun Bluebird, regular Grand Prix participant Howden Ganley in a Citroen XM, similar to the #29 US spec vehicle of Andrew Brodie and Robert Lowdell above
and future world champion in his rookie year making a big name for himself James Hunt in a Chevrolet Camaro belonging to the injured Richard Lloyd, similar to the vehicle of Stuart Scott and Steven Wood above which Richard Lloyd recreated in 2005 shortly before his untimely death. James in the Camaro was the winner of the inaugural event in 1973. Scott and Wood were awarded the Competitors Choice Concours award.
The following year the publicity generated by the event in 1973 galvanised Ford into preparing two Escort RS2000’s for British UK Rally Champion Roger Clark and Saloon Car Racing Champion Gerry Marshall that were inseparable for most of the races with Roger pipping Gerry to the post in the final standings. Though in far higher states of tune than the original 1974 Escorts the vehicles of Phil & Mick Squires left and David Smithes & Eric Woolley right provided an evocative reminder of the epic battle in 1974. Phil & Mick won their class in this years event.
The highlight of the two races held on Saturday was the drive of former British Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley in his Caterham R500 from the back of the grid to the lead in just two laps, above the ever on form Ashley is seen lining up the leading Porsche 911 RSR before the completion of the second lap.
the #42 Porsche was driven by another name driver,
no less a name than former New York City cab driver, 1985 Indy 500 winner and 1988 Indycar Champion Daniel John ‘Danny’ Sullivan III from Louisville Kentucky ! Danny won his class in this years Tour Britannia which finished at Silverstone, yesterday afternoon.
My thanks to Simon Lewis who’s heavily discounted ticket allowed me to visit this event.
Hope you have enjoyed today’s Tour Britannia edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a classic Plymouth with a push button shift. Don’t forget to come back now !