E-type Challenge: Dijon & Silverstone
The Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or at Dijon-Prenois celebrates the ‘golden age’ of motor racing with more than 400 historic sports cars participating from pre-1961 GP cars to World Sportscars and Touring Cars, and hosted Round 2 of the E-type Challenge on June 22-24. Sixteen E-types took part in the Friday qualifying session, with a good mix of aluminium-bodied Class A1 and steel Class B cars. The best time was set by Martin Melling/Jason Minshaw, just 0.1s ahead of Stephen Skipworth/Graeme Dodd. The top five cars all ran in the 1m35s–1m36s bracket, promising close racing.
For the 14-lap race on Saturday, the field had grown to 17. The Melling/Minshaw car held the lead, while a great battle raged just a couple of car lengths behind, as Skipworth/ Dodd battled with André Bailly for 2nd place. John Clark/ Jeremy Welch eventually succeeded in passing Bailly for 3rd: a close race, with less than 10sec covering the top three. Sandy Watson was 5th behind Bailly.
Sunday’s race provided a great finale for spectators. Once again, it was close and competitive, but Saturday’s leaders were overhauled by Bailly, closely followed by Clark/ Welch and Ziegler/Hancock, up from 7th on the grid. Under pressure, Bailly made an error on lap 9 and dropped back to third behind the other two. Jeremy Welch finished just 0.2s ahead of Sam Hancock; Bailly was 3rd, Mark Clubb 4th and Jamie Boot 5th.
At Silverstone on July 20-22, Alex Buncombe was back, in the JD Classics-prepared semi-lightweight, 1126 WK, in which he won the first two rounds at Donington Park. Out of the 36 entrants, he qualified on pole and went on to set the fastest lap (2:22.73, 89.89mph) and win the first race ahead of Jason Minshaw and Jon Minshaw. For the second race, Buncombe extended his lead even further, crossing the line 15sec ahead of Gregor Fisken, with John Pearson third.