Silverstone 750MC 280805

Geoff in Assembly0805.jpg (23535 bytes)

Silverstone 28th August 2005

A gloriously sunny August Bank Holiday weekend brought us to Round 4 of the Championship, and the first major head-to-head with the 750 Trophy racers. The meeting was also celebrating 100 years of the Austin Motor Company, and with a host of Austin Seven road and race cars in the paddock, the grid was boosted to a hugely impressive thirty two cars, including sixteen Formula 3 cars. A full complement of Culvers, Monros, Gartsides and Hodges’s formed the expected core of the entry, bolstered by John Turner and Rodney Delves in his immaculate, ex-AndrĂ© Loens Kieft. Ever-generous Paul Hewes (driving his Mk XI) had offered his ex-Stuart Lewis-Evans Mk VIII to Formula Junior rival David Stevenson. David is hoping to drive the Australian Cooper-based Walton Special (which ran in supercharged 1,100cc guise at the previous weekend’s Shelsley Walsh centenary meeting) at Goodwood, and was keen to get his 500 eye back in.Four season rookies returned – Nigel Challis (Cooper Mk VIII), Martin Sheppard (Mk XII), Mark Palmer (Mk IX), plus Gordon Russell in the pretty Mackson. Completing the line-up were Roy Hunt (Martin) and a very welcome return for both Roy Wright (Dastle) and Graham Murdock (FMS) who have been missing from the circuits for some time.

Some kind soul in the previous practice session had managed to lay a trail of oil around the complete lap. Whilst providing any Silverstone virgins with the ultimate guide to the racing line, all drivers had to be extremely cautious not to encroach onto the very slippery oil & concrete combination. As a result, times were some two seconds off scratch. Rodney Delves was caught out and executed a lurid double spin at Copse. Somehow he managed to garner that rarest of favours – a push start from the marshals – and was back on his way. Otherwise, finding space on a busy track proved a problem for many. Still, the 500s were well represented in the front half of the grid, and with five midfield cars covered by less than one second there was promise of some hectic battles in the race.

Geoff prepares to qualify.

Bob makes final adjustments...

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Guest driver David Stevenson looked very impressive in the white Cooper. Although unfamiliar with the car, he was quickly extracting the most

from his mount. Team mate Paul fared less well, with serious clutch and gearbox problems. A fine effort over lunch by his mechanic raised the mood, and would be rewarded by a strong race. Gordon Russell put in a good showing in the Mackson, though concerned when the engine apparently seized. Free again by the time he returned to the pits, he decided to run on in the race. Several cars suffered misfires and similar power losses, including both Roys and Martin Sheppard (who also had binding brakes). Most unlucky was Graham Murdock, who suspected a third straight magneto failure.