45 years after I was taken to my first motor race meeting in the middle of Africa it is hard to believe that one of my greatest joy’s is getting up in the middle of the night and heading to the next one.
This year I managed to get to at an average of one meeting month from March through to October.
For the last couple of seasons my motor racing year has got underway in March marshaling at the Bristol Motor Clubs Great Western Sprint, this year my duties in the pit lane were over for the top ten run off, above Colin Calder made his 15 hour trip from Scotland worthwhile by grinding out the fastest time of the day narrowly pipping his daughter heather by just over 1/10 of a second.
The VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone saw the start of the 80th Anniversary of ERA celebrtions, top race of the day was the Formula Junior event which saw a race long scrap twixt the red 1960 Lola Mk2 of Simon Goodliff and the 1959 Elva 100 driven by Mark Woodhouse fall in Simon’s favour.
2014 was Max Verstappen’s first season in car racing, in his third car race ever, above, he is seen overtaking Esteban Ocon on his way to second place in the 3rd European Formula Three championship of the season run at the Silverstone 6 Hours meeting. Even then he probably would have found it unlikely to believe that aged seventeen years and one hundred and sixty-six days old he is set to become the youngest driver ever to start a Formula One Grand Prix when making his 33rd race car start driving a Torro Rosso in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne next season.
The 6 Hours of Silverstone meeting was my second visit to Silverstone in 8 days. Timo Benhard Mark Webber and Brandon Hartley in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid above started the event in 6th place and survived to finish 3rd. At the end of the season Mark Webber became world news and ended up in hospital after crashing his 919 Hybrid with in half an hour of the finish of the race run in São Paulo an event which completely eclipsed the fact that #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid team mates Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb went on to score the teams first World Endurance Championship race win since returning to top level endurance racing at the start of the year.
At the end of June I popped over to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed where Sebastian Loeb driving his 2013 Pikes Peak winning Peugeot 208 was tipped to make an attempt on the Goodwood Hillclimb course record set by ‘Quick Nick’ Heidfeld driving a Formula One McLaren Mercedes in 1999. Dark horse for the Goodwood Hillclimb turned out to be Michael Bartles driving the specially liveried Maserati MC12 ‘Goodwood Cent 100’ which finished just over a second down on Loeb who missed taking the outright record thanks to the gearing being short on top speed.
Gordon Shedden and Richard Meaden provided the tyre smoking dice of the day driving their Lotus Cortina’s on the Super Saturday morning of the Silverstone Classic meeting. Richard Meaden seen following above won with team mate Grant Tromans after Gordon’s car over heated during the mandatory pit stop in the Sir John Whitmore Trophy.
Having already won the Mustang Celebration trophy during the afternoon of the Super Saturday Silverstone Classic meeting Leo Voyazides swapped his Ford Falcon for his Lola T70 Coupé and won the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race with Simon Hadfield after Martin O’Connel’s 2 litre/122 cui Chevron B19 mysteriously went off road with out injury to the driver.
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend I managed to get up to Oulton Park for the Gold Cup meeting, while the day was fairly wet and miserable the racing was hot from beginning to end. Michael Mallock achieved the rare feet of not only winning a race in a car, #9 Mallock Mk 9 Formula Ford, bearing his family name but also beating a field of rear engined Formula Ford cars with the only vehicle carrying it’s engine in front of the driver.
Having encouraged readers to help save Brighton Speed Trials at the beginning of the year I managed to make my way down to Sussex for the saved event in September. Slowest car in the event but none the less entertaining was Cheng Lim’s Plymouth Satellite.
Counting as one of the most awesome vehicles I have seen all season is Chipping Sodbury Schools BY-Pod electric vehicle taking part in the Renishaw Castle Combe Heat 2014 of the Greenpower Challenge. I left the meeting with my spirits for the future of motorsport in what ever form it might take thoroughly uplifted.
One of the many highlights of the third Autumn Classic meeting run at Castle Combe was the dice between the Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars of Steve Jones and George Shackleton for the BAC MSC Challenge Trophy, Steve claimed the spoils in his slightly older #74 Mark X. Next year among the many attractions of the 4th Autumn Classic at Castle Combe on October 3rd will be one of the BRM V16’s which for my money would be worth the price of entry if nothing else showed up.
Thanks for joining me on this “2014 Highlights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !