Billed as the VSCC’s season curtain-raiser, the Spring Start took place at Silverstone on Saturday 23 April, and the fully subscribed 11-race programme promised a full day of unmissable track action. Several previous competitors of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb were among the day’s prize-winners, and HRH Prince Michael of Kent presented the Stanley Mann Cup, in honour of the long-time club member, vintage Bentley expert and his close friend, who sadly passed away in February.
The first race of the day saw the club’s revered ‘Set 3’ for Standard and Modified Pre-war Sports-Cars take on the ‘Specials’. Two Chateau Impney alumni went head-to-head on the track: Mike Preston in his Bugatti Type 35B, and Mark Brett in his Ballamy Ford. Preston managed to hold off the challenge from Brett, and sped towards his first Fox & Nicholl Trophy success.
Up next was the hotly-anticipated Pre- and Post-war Frazer Nash and GN cars race. Tony Lees – who secured fifth place in his class at the Chateau in 2015 – made it to the podium in his ex-Ron Footitt AC/GN ‘Cognac’, forcing Ian Dalglish’s 1950 Le Mans Replica into second place.
Jo Blakeney-Edwards, one of just 11 women who competed at the Chateau last year, took the win in the Standard and Modified Pre-War Sports Cars race. Her Frazer Nash Super Sports saw off stiff competition from Andy Bush in his Riley TT Sprite, leading her to victory.
As expected, previous Chateau winner Tom Walker put on an impressive display in the VSCC’s prestigious GP Italia Trophy for Vintage Racing Cars. The thrilling race saw Tom’s mighty 12-litre Hispano-engined Amilcar launch itself into an early lead and never look back.
Information about the VSCC’s next event can be found on their website.
Images provided courtesy of Retro-Speed.