Donington Park was the host to a record breaking meeting for the Classic Sports Car Club last weekend. When the office team left for the circuit we had 492 entries, it was one of the, if not the, largest two-day club meeting held in recent decades, possibly ever.
Modern and contemporary cars took centre stage on day one, and you’ll struggle to find a club series more contemporary than the Motorsports Schools Turbo Tin Tops Series, featuring the latest generation of forced induction hot hatches. Donington witnessed the growing series largest ever grid, with Dan Ludlow and Stuart Emmett repeating their Donington success from a year ago in their Honda Civic Type R, with Simon Evans victorious in the Mazda RX-8 Trophy class.
Dan Ludlow & Stuart Emmet became the latest winners in Turbo Tin Tops.
Whilst cold, Saturday was dry, allowing the new for 2020 Slicks Series to finally get the chance to race....on slicks! Following the rain of Thruxton and the washout at Snetterton, an eclectic grid of 21 GT and Saloon cars took the start of the 40 minute race, with the Alistar Fazekas and Michael Lyons Ferrari 458 Challenge taking the chequered flag first ahead of the Porsche Carrera Cup car of Daniel Wylie following a terrific final stint by Lyons.
Third time lucky for the Slicks Series as they finally experienced their first dry race, with victory going to Alistar Fazekas & Michael Lyons.
It was a similar story in the opening race of the day. Forty cars came under starters orders, but it was Steve Simpson who took victory, his first of the 2020 Co-ordSport Tin Tops Series season in his Peugeot 206, after overcoming long time leader Andrew Windmill with just three laps remaining.
The Cartek Motorsport Modern Classics Series was another race bursting at the seams with entries, the Masarati brothers in their flame spitting Porsche 964 Turbo overcoming the early leader Alex Taylor (Mazda RX-7) and a late race charge from Dave Griffin in his BMW M3, to convert their pole position into a race win.
Liqui Moly New Millennium Series saw a BMW in first place once again. Darren Fielding and Colin Wells were victorious in their M3 GTR, following a thrilling 40 minutes which saw the top four covered by just over 5 seconds.
Perhaps the most exciting race of day one was the first of the two Gold Arts Magnificent Seven encounters, Tim Davis taking an on-the-road victory just ahead of Rich Webb after the pair spent the final laps nose-to-tail carving their way through traffic. Sadly for Tim, a 30 second penalty for a short pit stop dropped him to second, allowing Rich Webb to make it a double with victory in the second Magnificent Sevens race in the Saturday evening twilight.
Sunday’s action kicked off with two 15 minute races for the Special Saloons & Modsports Series, joined once again by the Bernie's Sports Racing & V8's Series. Andy Southcott continued his recent peerless form, breaking the series lap record on his way to claim a double win in his MG Midget, leaving a spectacular field of machinery in his wake. Of the Bernie's V8 contingent, Steven Ough similarly took a double win in his Crossle 9S.
The Special Saloons & Modsports pack were chasing Andy Southcott at Donington.
In Adams & Page Swinging Sixties, William Plant in his Morgan Plus 8 won the Group 2 race ahead of the 7 litre Chevrolet Camaro of Matt Manderson, two very national-idiosyncratic takes on the sports car. The smaller capacity Group 1 race was won by Ian Staines in his MG Midget ahead of the BMW 1600 Ti of Tom Pead. The Mini of Matthew Howell and Joshua Brooks lead a train of 6 other Mini’s to claim the third step on the podium.
Mintex Classic K witnessed a nail-biting on-the-road battle for the lead in the closing stages between the Lotus Elan of John Davison and the TVR Griffith of Jamie Boot, the Elan crossing the line just over a second ahead. But 30 second penalties for both due to too-short pit stops allowed Peter and Nathan Dodd to take home the silverware in their TVR Griffith.
Peter Dodd leads the Mintex Classic K field on the way to victory.
Sunday also featured the two-part Verum Builders Open Series contest. With everything from an original Ford Mustang to current-spec GT Ginetta’s, and modern tin tops to 1960s Escorts; the ‘Open’ Series at Donington was just that. Sharing a split grid with the JEC Jaguar Saloon & GT Championship, Michael Vitulli won both 20-minute parts in his BMW E46 M3, taking the overall Verum Builders Open Series honours. Tom Robinson won the opening JEC Jaguar Championship race, with James Ramm taking the second just 0.3 seconds ahead of the race 1 victor. Compliments to all participants for taking the two part standing start perfectly (red lights off, pause, national flag).
Rounding out our record-breaking Donington Park Autumn meeting was the Advantage Motorsport Future Classics Series. In the golden evening light, Mark Chilton was victorious in his flame spitting Nissan Skyline R32 GTR, winning both the overall and 1980s race. Tim Bates in his Porsche 911 SC was the first 1970s car home, just ahead of Alex Taylor in the Mazda RX-7.
Mark Chilton's win in Future Classics rounded off a record breaking weekend for the CSCC.
Thank you to our superb volunteers for helping to make this event happen and staying until late into the evening, it is very much appreciated.
The event was live streamed, you can catch up on all the action from both days at Donington on the CSCC YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClassicSportsCarClub
CSCC Videographer, Marc Peters was there on both days, his arty video montage captures the event and the participants Covid compliance perfectly: https://youtu.be/ydlxVXv8zSQ
Full results are available on the TSL website: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203964
As a hint, when you find your series, click on 'PDF book' for a detailed analysis, including the all important pit stop times.
Photos are as always courtesy of CSCC legend, David Stallard, please view and buy his photos now: https://www.davidstallardphotography.com/