This weeks Throwback looks back to Sunday 18th May 1986 for the Castrol Lotus Drivers Club 13th National Sprint Meeting at Wellesbourne Airfield.
Taken from the Wellesbourne Witterings by PJR
Poured down the night before when Jon, Simon, Kevin, Smirthy, Eunice and myself set out the new course (hundreds of unsold Leyland trucks blocking normal loop), and had many hairy moments of unofficial practice in the farmers tractor. No matter, on the day it stayed dry, albeit very cold and windy.
The Elan Class saw Dave Savage, with (now) ‘legal’ tyres rightly triumph over John Crook who had been fastest in practice, with Paul Matty a close third in a ‘straight out of the showroom’ Sprint. My own car was suffering from the broken throttle spindle spring malaise, so unfortunately Jeremy was totally off the race on one carb and could not match his 1st and 2nd in class performances of last year, despite two new sets of plugs – one of which was generously provided free of charge by John Smirthwaite, who yet again beat the cars owner in the Plus 2 class. It didn’t, therefore, at the death prove necessary to protest at Upton-Browns oversized tyres!
Having altered the rules for Class 3, I was disappointed that we still only had Europas entered – hasn’t anyone in the club got a proper Climax engined Elite or standard Lotus Cortina? Nevertheless, it was pleasing to see a Renault engined car win at last.
The same remark could apply to Class 4 – where are all the Eclats and Esprits? Steve Dodd has won this class so many times, I needn’t make any further comments, except I hope he continues to come back.
The really interesting class of the day was undoubtedly the ‘Under 1600cc Sevens’, which saw eight cars well under 40 seconds, a new winner – although long time supporter of the event, in Ken Conley. Our normal class winner (the previous 4 or 5 meetings?) Ken Lewis, was surprisingly off form finishing in 15th place, unless he decided to sportingly give someone else a chance for a change.
In Class 6, Pippa Jacobsen showed that a good overbored Ford pushrod Seven can beat an overbored twin cam any day – providing it is driven briskly, of course – very embarrassing for the men!!
The Competition Class saw its normal mixture of modified Elans and Special Sevens, with a real Elan and 47 thrown in for good measure. With Thomas Wooley’s non-appearance in the Q.E.D. Seven, Bob Campbell won by almost a second from the two Partridge brothers, who are now campaigning the ex K.S.B. hillclimb Seven Special.
The Libre Class and ‘Top Ten Run Off’ saw the beautifully prepared Fellows/Lawrence Novomotored ‘F3’ Argo clear the boards, but not without spirited opposition from Messrs Roscoe and Moore.
If Vic’s lovely Spyder Silverstone had run in a road going clubman’s class (which it was designed for), it would have almost certainly won, with or without its Tony Ingram built (Twin Cam Techniques) 180 plus bhp all steel engine. As it was, daft though it sounds, as a ‘Lotus’ Club we call our Class 5 ‘Sevens under 1600’, and only accept real or near replica Sevens in it. I enjoy having my ear bent anyway, and having drinks forced down me by the suppliers of excellent chassis and kit cars.
I thoroughly enjoyed my brief drives in Chris Smith’s latest Westfield creation – I didn’t try to drive it backwards, either, through the timing beam like Roy Bury!! It will certainly be a very interesting car to drive, by someone with more nerve/experience than me, once its suspension’s been set up properly.