August 7th XXXX at Silverstone . .

After maxing out the MGLive double header in June on the GP circuit, a mammoth thirty eight cars joined the 'Equipe GTS' grid on the Silverstone National circuit. The 61st Bentley Drivers Club meeting, the longest continuous annual event at one venue, cemented the 'Equipe' series burgeoning reputation as the best grid for 50's and 60's sportscars to strut their competitive stuff -

Q - A rapid assembly area departure caught some drivers napping, and left half the grid threading back through the paddock to a pitlane departure. John Andon and Pete Foster set the pace in Class 5 TR4's, with the top ten completed by two TVR Grantura's and six MGB's within two seconds of pole. Mark Hoble in 15th led the Morgan +4 gang, with the MGB of Suzanne Sears fronting up the Ladies challenge and Elite-mounted Brian Arculus dominating Class 2. Keith Hampson headed Class 3 with the ex-Le Mans Sunbeam Alpine. The WSM MGB suffered a fuel feed problem and completed six of the possible 12 laps for a 30th grid position, while the unfortunate Nick Wilkins MGA stubbornly refused tlc and was placed on the back of the grid.

R - Oil spill from the previous race was earmarked at Copse, and showers prior to the green flag lap identified to several that the racing line was still compromised. A clean start from front row protagonists Andon and Foster was expected, as the two spar regularly wherever they race. The MGB's of (unwell) Mike Harris, fast moustache David Beresford, Adrian Johnson and Graham Shrigley-Jones were in the hunt, and the TVR's of Malcolm Paul and 'Equipe' debutant David Thompson threatened early on. Hoble parked the Morgan after 7 laps, leaving Mark Shears to head up the brand, while the WSM of Clive Cocks lasted until it confirmed the lack of performance in practice was engine orientated. Alistair Pugh confidently hurled the Spitfire Le Mans around the early laps traffic in a vain attempt to stay with the Arculus Lotus, and Pia Bianci impressed with an assured drive in her first 'Equipe' start to 19th from 25th. Thompson set fastest lap in clear air on his penultimate tour but had to settle for 8th after a mistake and recovery to within less than a second of Paul's TVR. Jonathon Stock kept spectating brother Jerry happy and the TR4 of the improving Dominic Spicer at bay for 11th, while Mark Way and Mark Shears in MGB and Morgan +4 tussled entertainingly with a fuel surging WSM MGB for 22nd. At the front, Foster could'nt give a XXXX and kept Andon at arms length to the flag through a masterful demo of dissecting traffic with minimum disruption, with Harris heading the fading MGB horde in third.

Pit & Paddock

Terence Whitelegg had use of the Bill Kirkpatrick MGB (19) and posted a competitive 20th place in his first 'Equipe' race . .

. . Nick Crewdson cut his 'Equipe' teeth with pal (left) John Pearson's help two seasons ago . .

and can now four wheel drift in reverse . .

John 'Farmer' Hatton - a fine 4th in a wet Allcomers Handicap, and followed up with 17th in the 'Equipe' race

. . Le Patron, Christophe Willmart

Wife Suzie, normally vociferous, was noticeably absent and yet still Pete performed . .

. . John Andon just heard that Graham Bates said he was getting the drinks in later . .

Tim Patchett (left) and Pia Bianci hear the same story from the horses mouth . .

. . Pia Bianci was conveniently available for a pic beside her husbands ex, the WSM MGB

Le Patron checks in with Le Boss . .

. . l to r Mike Harris, Pete Foster, John Andon avec brolly dollies

Wags get up to all kinds of mischief while the racing happens - check some cool photography from Sarah J Harris -

Action pix courtesy of Paul Webb

Click on for results from HS Sports Timing & Results Systems

Next 'Equipe' GTS rounds 10/11 at Cadwell on September 4th/5th . .