Donington Derby: Race Report

29th/30th May saw the CSCC enjoy its second largest event ever, with 472 entries across the weekend. Read on for a race report, photos, videos and results from every series.

This was our first live streamed event of the year, with thanks to Speedclad Ltd for their support and Digitex for their high quality filming and production. Every race was captured live, we have saved you the trouble of spooling through all 12 hours+ by linking directly to where your own series race begins, at the end of each race report. At the very least I would urge you to watch the Adams & Page Swinging 60s Group 2 race, although the Group 1 and closing stages of the Motorsports School Turbo Tin Tops races are very nearly as exciting.

Lets start with Marc Peters, who has compiled his high quality video clips from both days, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. His video starts with the Modern series, before moving on to the Classics at 4 minutes 38.

Official club photographer, David Stallard continues to find new and exciting angles from which to capture your cars. Any photos used in this report are of course courtesy of David and they may bought direct from his website.

Saturday 29th (Modern Series):

Sunday 30th (Classic Series):

Commentators Marcus Pye, paired with Dave Goddard, took charge of the mics', also voicing the live stream. They did an excellent job I'm sure you'll agree. Marcus not only submitted meeting reports for publication in Motorsport News and Autosport, but has expanded on these a little further for your reading pleasure. Vicki Cairns, representing Adams & Page Swinging Sixties also gives her valued insight, with a few comments by the CSCC office team in italics.

Scroll down to find your series report.

Marcus Pye:

Donington Derby a resounding winner!

Any club race meeting which starts with a cheery conversation with Doncaster rover Tony Sugden - the Special Saloon and GT legend - is worth writing home about. But when the sun is shining at Donington Park and an entry of 472 competitors fills MotorSport Vision’s immaculate East Midlands facility, there are few finer places on earth to exercise cars. The CSCC’s Donington Derby subscribers fell just short of the record, but the action across the 14-race programme was top drawer. How wonderful, therefore, that spectators were welcomed back to enjoy it.

Donington first hosted motorsport 90 years ago, on Whit Monday, 1931, and those of us fortunate enough to have made the pilgrimage in 1977 when builder Tom Wheatcroft reopened the venue for racing - using the more compact 1.97-mile circuit we know and love, albeit with a sightly earlier chicane - will remember a gloriously hot and sunny day at one of England’s most scenic tests of driver and machine. Racegoers were blessed with summery weather two weekends ago, and the undulating tarmac ribbon threaded between beautifully striped greenswards looked more inviting than ever, following the most challenging year in living memory for all.

Split into halves, enabling most competitors a one-day option, the racecard largely featured more modern car sets on Saturday, the Classic element taking over on Sunday.

First out were the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens, hordes of Caterham's spanning several specifications, plus representatives of two local marques. A pair of low-line Suzuki Hayabusa-engined Spire RB7s (built by former racer Paul Nightingale near Chesterfield) contrasted with a Stuart Taylor Locost, originated near Mallory Park, that other great midlands motoring mecca, close to the Bosworth Field battleground.

David Watson started his Spire on pole, Tim Davis having taken the previous winners five place grid drop, but the safety car was deployed to cover marshals clearing damaged cars and debris, following a tangle on the exit of the chicane. The pit stop window opened under the caution, which is where several competitors spoiled their chances by not stopping for the mandated two minutes. Penalties for this indiscretion would become a recurring theme, indeed altered the result of this race and three others.

Jonny Pittard was first to fall, having sizzled to the front and taken the chequer in his supercharged CSR. His first win should have been a red letter day, but he was hoist by his own pétard! A premature getaway saw him penalised 30.7 seconds which left the combo eighth. His BOSS team mates were already licking their wounds, for Davis had outbraked himself into the chicane while trying to oust Colin Watson, gyrated and taken him out. “I didn’t know where to look,” said Tim despairingly. Tim was avoiding an errant mudguard on the track a moment before contact with Colin. Jon Cutmore (Spire) was accorded victory, from Caterham Superlight duo Tim Bishop and Steve Riley, the latter’s with a 190bhp Hayabusa engine. Watson’s consolation was fastest lap.

The first double-driven car, Richard and Pascal Green’s C400, finished a Class D-winning fourth. In beating son Alan to Class C and Group 1 overall honours by 0.399s, Kevin Cooper became the third of his ilk to win this year, Robert Cooper having previously scored in B. Race two finished under full-course yellows, with two cars interlocked at the chicane and Davis parked at Schwantz. Cutmore was ahead but saved by the clock as Pittard was homing in with the fiercely accelerative black and gold JPS (Jonny Pittard Special). Nick Cook/Andrew Taylor (420R), Hugh Coulter (C400) and Alan Cooper - by 0.138s from Kevin - were class winners.

You can watch video of race one here:

The second, sprint race is here:

Detailed results of both races are here:

The Liquid Moly New Millennium/Cartek Motorsport Modern Classics feature was led away by Darren Fielding (BMW E46 M3 GTR), but former Castle Combe champion Russell Humphrey growled ahead in the Interceptor Racing E92 version and their tussle raged until they stopped together. Wyatt resumed ahead but couldn’t maintain Humphrey’s pace. A 63.4 second penalty dropped them to eighth. Fielding thus won by more than 25 seconds from Chris Petch (Ginetta G50) who had Modern Classics victor Miles Masarati (Porsche 964 Turbo) filling his mirrors.

Hugh Gurney (E46 M3), Gary Wardle (Seat Leon Cupra) and Mark Smith (E36 M3) claimed the minor placings. Matt Holben (TVR Tuscan) was Masarati’s runner-up despite a penalty, with Australian Dave Griffin’s Diet Coke E36 M3 - with a full complement of doors since Thruxton - a class-winning third of the Modern Classics runners.

Go straight to the live stream action here:

Full results are here:

Confident that rear suspension location modifications had improved his outrageous BMW 1M V8 Coupe’s handling, Matty Evans used the four-litre monster’s grunt to outgun Humphrey and Michael Pensavalle (E46 M3) in the Verum Builders Open Series race. David Harvey’s curious Lotus 340R - a lavishly bewinged beast powered by a supercharged Rover K engine which could have been plucked from a Jules Verne tale - whooshed into third, ahead of Dominic Malone’s BMW E90 WTCC and Max and Harry Petch in the family Ginetta.

Jump to the live stream race here:

Full results of the 30 minute pit stop race are here:

The Co-OrdSport Tin Tops set had Andrew Windmill's Honda Civic Type R Leggera - unlike Pizza Express’ namesake without salad in the hole in the middle - starting with a 30 second success penalty for winning at Thruxton earlier in the month. Colin and Steve Simpson’s Peugeot 206 RC carried a similar imposition for their Oulton Park victory.

Windmill set off strongly in a bid to plump out a cushion, but a safety car called when Robert Jarman’s Renault Clio 172 Cup went pop took the breeze from his sails. Andrew tried anew, leading Martin Addison (Peugeot 106 GTi) by 7.4 seconds into the pitstop cycle, with Paul Mensley (Clio) and Nigel Tongue (Peugeot 306) chasing. Drama aplenty had already unfolded. Terry Upton pulled off at Schwantz on lap 2 when his Ford Fiesta ST’s bonnet flew open and wrapped itself over the windscreen. Ironically, Tom Bell’s sister car suffered a similar fate two circuits later.

Addison was ahead of Tongue by a short head as the pit stagger unwound, with the Clios of Stephen Reynolds/John Ridgeon and Mensley squabbling over third, pursed by the Fields’ Proton Persona, James Slater/Richard Harman (Civic Type R) and Windmill. Tongue and Addison traded places until Nigel cannoned Martin into the Coppice gravel trap two laps from home. Windmill passed the scene serenely for another victory, for Tongue was not only verbally reprimanded by the MSUK Clerks for contact, but also penalised for a short stop. He fell to third behind the Simpsons’ Pug. Mensley, who also infringed pit regs, wound up fourth ahead of Jonathan Dee (Honda Integra DC2) and Eric Boulton’s Civic.

Qualifying, pit stop and race results are here:

All action video coverage of the race starts here:

The Motorsports School Turbo Tin Tops were next out and almost provided a surprise result. This was the strangest field for the series to date, with 35 cars qualifying. Junior rally driver Tom Delaney, 21, started his supercharged BMW Mini Cooper R56 from a promising P5 and, after a cautious start, calmly picked-off Adam Chamberlain (Vauxhall Astra VXR), Dan Ludlow’s stunningly-presented Rutpen Honda Civic Type R, John Hammersley (debuting his new VW Scirocco) and pole sitter Keith Issatt’s Mini Clubman, mainly under braking for Redgate. Only Carl Chambers (Peugeot Pugsport 208 GTi) remained ahead.

The top four circulated as one until Chambers made his stop, leaving Delaney, Hammersley and Ludlow out front, pursued by the unbeaten Charlie Newton-Darby (Mini Cooper S R53) with a minute to add to his stop for a double win. Once everybody had pitted, Delaney towed Hammersley and Chambers back to the front. For several laps the youngster staved them off, earning breathing space when chaser Hammersley (eager to gap Chambers, filling his mirrors) dived inside Newton-Darby and squeezed him into the Old Hairpin kitty litter.

Delaney’s chance of glory was torpedoed when a temperature sensor knocked 50bhp from the Mini’s output, leaving him unable to suppress Chambers and Hammersley. Tom finished third, but Carl took the chequer almost five seconds up the road, Hammersley visiting the Clerks, but he kept second. Scott Carruthers set fastest lap converting Chamberlain’s start to fourth, Ludlow/Emmett having been bumped to fifth for a short stop. David Cox did well to bring his VW Golf GTi home on the lead lap.

Undeterred by rolling his Fiat Abarth 595 at McLeans in testing the previous day, racing newcomer Andrew Marson rewarded Andy Dawson [of Chequered Flag Lancia Stratos rally fame] and the DAD crew who set-to and repaired it overnight by winning his class.

Laurence Ward (Cooper S R53) was Class C’s sole survivor. James Clare narrowly overcame Jon Glover in the Mr Tyre Motorsport Puma Cup division. Bill and Alexander Gary topped the Mazda RX-8s after Simon Hands punctured.

Full results:

The race video is well worth watching, particularly the closing laps:

The Liqui Moly Slicks Series rounded-out Saturday’s action with a 27-strong grid, Thruxton having mustered 11 (after a series of last minute drop-outs and mechanical woes)! Poleman Kevin Jones’ Noble M12 RSR aspirations were sunk by a first corner melée in which the blue machine gyrated onto the grass and Nigel Jenkins’ Ferrari 458 Challenge’s rear bumper was dislodged, not that it slowed him much. Once the ‘airbrake’ detached he howled after Matty Evans’ BMW V8, with Darren Dowling’s TVR Sagaris and Andrew Christopher’s Ferrari 430 heading the chasing pack, in which Scot, Alastair Mowat’s remarkable VW Golf Mk1 turbo - with up to 500bhp on tap from an 1800cc Mk4 engine - ran as high as seventh, from 15th on the grid, before breaking a CV joint.

Dowling pulled off at Starkeys’ Bridge with an engine bay smoking on lap 9, whereupon marshals and Darren extinguished what became a sizeable fire. Chris Everill’s Ginetta-Chevrolet G50 had already fallen for the second time in the afternoon, joined in retirement by newcomer to racing on slick tyres Manjit Singh Johal’s BMW M3.

Evans and Jenkins were split by early stopper Christopher mid-race, but the yellow Ferrari passed the black one and homed in on the leading BMW. There was an unfortunate moment when leader Evans, repelling the shadowing Jenkins, was snagged by a back-marker at Redgate but Matty held on to take the chequered flag. A pit penalty reversed the order though, advantaging Nigel, with Christopher and Peter Challis (Arrowpak Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) third and fourth a lap down.

Results, including the all important pit stop times are here:

The race video, full of special cars is here:

Sunday dawned even warmer than Saturday as competitors from five more sets prepared to do battle. Reflecting much effort behind the scenes the JMC Racing-supported Special Saloons & Modsports numbers had grown since Thruxton, with several cars repaired and Joe Ward in the almost invincible ex-Gerry Marshall Dealer Team Vauxhall Firenza V8 ‘Baby Bertha’ joining the fray. Donington GT championship fans will recall the fastest Super Saloon of the mid-1970s’ being raced by Paul Haywood-Halfpenny and Phil Barak in subsequent years. And where else can you see a Chevrolet-powered Morris Minor compete against a Porsche 934?