BDC Silverstone 2022
The BDC holds its 74th annual race meeting at Silverstone on Saturday 13 August, the Club’s biggest event of the year and a rare chance to see an eclectic mix of racing Bentleys of all ages.
Aside from the blue-riband Bentley scratch race for the Times Challenge Trophy, as well as the Bentley Handicap, there is a third race for Bentleys: the BDC Open. This affords a great opportunity to get some real miles under the belt of your racing Bentley, particularly those of you competing in Mk VI Specials (pictured above)
– so why not consider entering all three events?
Race entries close on Monday 1 August at noon
, so anyone planning to compete at the meeting should place their entry before that date. Entries must be submitted via the BDC website by clicking here
will again be supporting this event with a five-car display from its Heritage Collection
paying homage to the 70th anniversary of the R Type.
There will also be a ceremony to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the opening of the BDC-funded LC McKenzie scrutineering bay
in the National paddock, which will follow the traditional lunchtime track procession of Club Members’ Bentleys.
More details on the meeting - click here
Two meetings, including track inspections, have taken place with the owners of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. In reality, it appears difficult in the time remaining to obtain MSUK track approval and subsequently organise an event for 2023. However, Aintree maybe a possibility in the interim.
BDC nominated sprint event 2022
The Club’s nominated sprint this year is the AMOC ‘Figure of Eight’ sprint at Curborough (pictured below)
on Sunday 18 September.
The meeting (as with the Harewood hill climb) will count towards the Club’s annual awards and trophies.
Bo'ness hill climb
Return of the popular Bo'ness hill climb event. To be held on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 September 2022 at Kinneil Estate, Bo'ness in Scotland.
Entries now open. Closing date: 31 August.
For sports and racing cars dating from the early 1900s to 1980. Track remains faithful to the historic layout used from 1936 to 1966. MSUK-sanctioned event organised by newly formed Bo'ness Sporting Automobile Club (BSAC).
More details, and entry forms, on BSAC website - click here
Mk VI Specials – getting on track
Although the Comps Committee is keen to encourage more Members to race Mk VI Specials, Vernon Moore (pictured below)
has related the issues and challenges he and fellow Club Member Chris Townsend are currently facing campaigning their Mk VIs.
Having received assistance from Mike Haig, the previous Comps Captain and Mk VI Specials expert, in carrying out period modifications to make their recently purchased cars more race prepared, both have been racing with the Classic and Modern Motorsport Club (CMMC) – which (unbeknown to the Comps Committee) has created a special class to cater for Bentley Specials.
“We both signed up with CMMC, hoping to try and encourage more Mk VI Special entrants, but unfortunately have found ourselves as the only two,” explained Vernon.
Although both Chris and Vernon started this season promisingly, the former winning a trophy at Snetterton, it became apparent that, thanks to the regulations, their rivals were benefitting from lighter weight, disc brakes and, in Vernon’s case, more modern radial tyres. Unfortunately, a swap to these tyres from period L section Dunlop racing rubber for the following meeting at Mallory Park only served to result in “massive axle tramp”; however, Comps Captain Ben Eastick stressed: “This shows it is correct to run Mk VIs on the right Dunlop racing tyres.”
These issues, allied to the risks inherent in competing in races with a high difference in performance between cars, has regretfully persuaded Vernon and Chris to pull out of the CMMC series.
Undeterred, Vernon and Chris “have spoken about our keenness to try and put together a more matched grid with other drum brake, heavy-torque cars”. To this end, they have – as has the Comps Committee – approached the HSCC with a view to entering the Betty Haig series for 1950s drum-brake cars, although this plan has yet to bear fruit because “there seems to be a concern about Bentley Specials running in period specification,” suggested a mystified Vernon.
Despite the issues Vernon and Chris currently face, the former said: “Chris and I really enjoy the fun of owning such a special road-race car and being able to take part in a lot of the BDC events. And we would love to see more Mk VI Specials out on the circuit.”
Among his suggestions are BDC track days or several Mk VI owners signing up for the same test day, designed to encourage them to obtain their racing licence and ultimately compete. “And with a few modifications, such as adding a fire extinguisher and safety cut-off switch, road-going Mk VI Specials could become, without any major trouble, circuit eligible.” Ben pointed out that the MSUK Period Defined Vehicle Identity Form, highlighted at Competitions Day earlier this year, would help keep the cars in the correct period specification.
Continental GT racing – update
The Comps Committee is currently working closely with Brian Gush, former head of Bentley Motorsport, and Bentley Motors to develop this initiative.
Recent competition activity
Club Members were out competing recently at the BARC Harewood hill climb (the Club’s nominated hill climb event), Le Mans Classic, Snetterton Historic 200, VSCC meetings at Donington, Silverstone and Shelsley Walsh, Classic Nostalgia at Shelsley and the Thruxton Historic.
Mike Littlewood (pictured below)
who narrowly took the spoils as the fastest BDC driver at the BARC Classic & Vintage hill climb at Harewood Hill
Mike, at the wheel of his 3/4½ Litre, clocked a quickest time for his three runs of 80.78 secs – just one-tenth of a second better than Jock Mackinnon's 3 Litre, which posted a best of 80.88s, over the twisty 1,440-metre course.
Five Club Members competed in the BDC class, with Adam Stacy-Marks in third spot, clocking 86.96s in his 3/4½ Litre. Also competing were Rebecca Brierley in a 4½ Litre (93.33s) and the 3 Litre of Sebastian Welch (95.46s).
The event was the BDC's 2022 nominated hill climb and counts towards the Competitions awards for this season.
Also flying the Bentley flag, albeit in the class for Special sports cars and saloon cars (over 3000cc unsuperchanged/over 2250cc s/c), was Alistair Littlewood; sharing father Mike’s 3/4½, he recorded a two-run best time of 77.52s.
Other times: Jolyon Harrison (Cognac – 74.12s and Surtees TS8 – 65.13s), Julian Grimwade (Frazer Nash – 71.64s).
* Martin Overington was grabbed the bragging rights as the highest placed Bentley-mounted BDC driver at the prestigious Le Mans Classic
(30 June-1 July).
In the final combined classification following three races for Grid 1 cars, that raced in the 24 Hours from 1923-1939, Martin’s 1929 4½ Litre Blower was placed a fine 12th in a massive field of 75 cars.
Eight BDC Members in WOs featured in Grid 1. Other participants, all in 4½ Litres built between 1927 and 1931, included Katarina Kyvalova 22nd; Paul Carter 24th; Steve Ward 25th; Nigel Batchelor 26th; Joel Laub 32nd; Lars Rolner 33rd; and Hugh Apthorp 37th.
* Clive Morley finished as the leading BDC runner in the MRL Pre-War Sports Cars
race at a baking hot Snetterton Historic 200
The current BDC Racing Driver of the Year brought his 3/4½ Litre home in fourth place overall, after starting fourth, one place ahead of the identical car of BDC mate Richard Hudson and son Stuart Morley – although Stuart, the 2017 BDC Racing Driver of the Year, enjoyed the consolation of posting fastest lap in the Bentley class.
Out, too, in the 45-minute encounter were Will Elbourn Snr and son George in another 3/4½ Litre, the duo finishing 10th overall.
Other results: MRL Stirling Moss Trophy: 2nd – Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley (Lister Knobbly); RAC Woodcote Trophy: Retired (gearbox failure) – Ben Eastick/Karl Jones (Jaguar D-Type); RAC Pall Mall Cup: 3rd –Steve Ward/Josh Ward/Chris Ward (Ginetta G4R).
* Richard Frankel earned the plaudits, finishing a fine third, and bagging fastest lap, in his 1921 3 Litre TT – the world's oldest Bentley still racing – in the half-hour Longcar
race at VSCC Donington
Hugh Apthorp enjoyed a busy time, competing in three events in his 4½ Litre: the two Allcomers Handicap races (finishing 10th and 14th) and Pre-War Sports Cars (17th). And Chris Townsend, in his Mk VI Special, was classified ninth in the Classic & Modern Motorsport Club Classic.
Other results: Williams Trophy for Pre-1935 Grand Prix cars: 9th – Richard Frankel (MG K3); C&MM Club Classic: 8th – Richard Frankel (Alfa Romeo); Standard and Modified Pre-War Sports Cars: 19th – Chris Townsend; Allcomers handicap, race 1: 10th – Chris Townsend (both Bugatti T37A).
* Oliver Llewellyn (pictured below)
marked his first outing of the season with the family 3/8 Special by claiming victory at an equally hot VSCC Silverstone
Having started from pole position, Oli convincingly won the 15-minute Silverstone Trophy race for VSCC Specials
by six seconds after an initially close battle with a Riley.
Unfortunately, an oil leak on the green-flag lap of the Pre-War and Pre-1966 Racing Cars
encounter forced the 2019 BDC Racing Driver of the Year into retirement. Despite that, Oli is still expected to compete in 'Penny' at BDC Silverstone on 13 August.
Fellow BDC Member Guy Northam, meanwhile, finished 16th in the Standard and Modified Pre-War Cars race in his 4½ Litre.
Other results: FISCAR/Hawthorn Trophy race for Pre-1955 Sports Cars: Retired – Tim Llewellyn (Allard J2).
* Alistair Littlewood was the fastest of the BDC Bentleys at the Vintage meeting at Shelsley Walsh
hill climb (3 July).
Alistair, sharing his father Mike's 3/4½ Litre posted a fastest time for his two runs of 41.15 secs over the testing 1,000-yard course to also win the class for sports cars (specials) over 3000cc.
Mike recorded a best time of 45.01 secs. Also competing, in the sports cars (standard & modified) over 3000cc category, was Anthony Galliers-Pratt who clocked a best of 52.67 secs in his 3/4½ Litre.
Club Member Julian Grimwade (Frazer-Nash) recorded the 3rd overall fastest time of the day – 37.08 secs.
* Several Club runners, albeit in marques other than Bentleys, competed at the Thruxton Historic
Results: RAC Woodcote Trophy: 2nd: Ben Eastick/Karl Jones (Jaguar D-Type), 7th: Steve Ward/Josh Ward (Frazer Nash); Stirling Moss Trophy: 5th: Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley (Lister Knobbly).
Just a reminder, following the last newsletter in May, that we have introduced three ‘champions’ to the Comps Committee to represent their area of knowledge, expertise and contacts, to try and encourage more people to compete with their Bentleys. So if you have any specific questions regarding your model of car, please contact one of the following: