State of the Art Grand Prix Classic - September 12th /13th September . .

The Historische Auto Ren Club (HARC) hosted 'Equipe' GTS and five other grids at the nostalgic Zandvoort circuit in its epic Grand Prix form -

Practice (click on for times) - the twisty 4.3km circuit presents a challenge even to the best, let alone the first timers cramming into eight laps practice every rise, fall, turn and nuance amongst the sand dune dominated landscape. Mark Ashworth powered the red TVR Grantura to second spot within .7s of Tom Smith on pole, and Brian Lambert bested the Class 5 TR4 of John Andon for third spot, with the 'Fast Moustache' David Beresford settling for fifth while scrubbing in new tyres (third in the battle for GoD - Grandfather of the Day). If it stayed dry as the HARC Chief Steward guaranteed, there would be a great scrap for top dog and GoD. Mechanical woes blighted the Arculus week-end with Pat's Elite sidelined, and even Brian's trusty TR3 misbehaving before race two.

Race One - A miniscule gap between lights on and go caught some unawares, but Ashworth and Smith got away up front, with the TVR setting the pace and Beresford and Andon in pursuit. Brian Arculus kept the TR3 in podium contention and Tim Patchett scalped nearly two seconds off his practice lap time. Andon's race ended in drama at the hairpin, and Lambert had a half shaft give up early on, while the Elva Courier of Alex Quattlebaum came to life and lopped six seconds off his lap time for 5th. Second placed Smith had a problem and stopped in the pits to re-attach a plug lead after three laps, leaving a relieved Ashworth appreciating the break and going on to a comfortable win from GoD Beresford in 2nd, Class 5 winner Arculus and a chuffed Patchett in 4th. Class 2 laurels went to what transpired to be an ailing WSM, and Richard Skinner crossed the line in 7th with a recovering Smith on his immaculate blue MGB bootlid.

Race Two - As grid places were based on race one finishing positions, a midfield start for Smith was likely to further liven things up, and lo and behold within three laps the margin to Doctor Ashworth at the front was 1.5s. A hint of rain did nothing for Ashworth's bedside manner as the red MGB inched closer, and on lap eight Smith braked deeper into Tarzan and exited with the lead. A scrabble through the rough by Ashworth at Tarzan next time around clinched matters, despite the TVR being the only car to break the 2.08 barrier on the 10th lap. Beresford secured another podium and retained GoD from Lambert, and Arculus kept the MGB of Skinner at bay for 5th. John Hatton was rewarded for his differential toils on Saturday evening with 9th, and after the WSM retired in a cloud of blue smoke on the first lap, Tim Cairns cleaned up Class 2 with the MG Midget ahead of the Triumph Spitfire of James Sime.

Pit & Paddock -

A sanguine Ashworth reflected at the awards ceremony that without the slight rain he could have perhaps held off Smith in race two, but again acknowledged the MGB driver's craft. Modest in victory and gracious in defeat, both Mark and Tom epitomise the driver characteristics of the 'Equipe' GTS series.

FISC EuroTour organiser Pieter Bakker runs his series with much the same attitude as the 'Equipe' GTS grid - close racing, superb cars, enjoyable company, value for money and great venues . .

FOR SALE - Pictured with his collection, Graham Bates has low mileage, very second hand throttle cables for sale - he assures us that frayed ends and thinning body add patina and substance, and that the items in question have period history . .

Paddock Bike - Twickenham's Skinner equipe featured a monkey bike for ex-soldier Phil in matching colours . .

Cruising For A Crossing - John Hatton missed the Transeuropa ferry at Ramsgate by 5 minutes, and the WSM equipe missed the ferry by 25 minutes after having forgotten to bring a passport from the Isle of Man. Both parties went to Dover and arrived at Zandvoort circa 2am . .

Carry On Dining - Messrs Andon, Bates, Cull (Snr), Lowry, Wilmart and Wilson-Spratt had the look and sound of the late Sid James momentarily as Dutch hospitality stepped in . .

Que Diable Fais-Tu? The blue WSM expired on lap one in the second race. What was this furtive figure up to in the paddock pre-race . . ?

The feathered friend left a lot of white stuff in John Andon's hair . .

Next 'Equipe' GTS races - rounds 13 /14 at Snetterton October 3rd / 4th