BDC Silverstone 2022
The BDC held its 74th annual race meeting at Silverstone on 13 August, which is the Club’s biggest event of the year and a rare chance to see an eclectic mix of racing Bentleys of all ages.
Oliver Llewellyn (pictured above)
came very close to scoring the double, by winning the handicap race and coming second in the Times Challenge Trophy (Bentley scratch race) encounter in his 3/8 Special.
It was fantastic to see Paul Andrew, Nigel Angus and Vernon Moore, all new to racing Mk VI Specials which is really encouraging to see. Also new was Christopher Rayment in the ex-Bob Gilbert Derby Special.
Vernon was certainly the star of the Mk VI brigade, coming home a fine fourth overall in the Times Trophy race and securing an amazing second place in the Bentley handicap.
My patience with restoring and slowly developing the T Type single seater (pictured top of page)
my father originally built is now paying dividends, winning the Times Trophy, and securing pole position and fastest lap for the second year in succession – and thus finally realising the potential in the design and build of this unique machine, the first Bentley racing car with monocoque construction.
Bentley Motors kindly supported the meeting with a five-car display from its Heritage Collection. Club Chairman Phillip Hine did a fantastic job in gathering together a fine collection of R Types to pay homage to the model’s 70th anniversary (pictured above).
Sadly, due to the extreme heat, the timetable was shortened, resulting in plans to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the opening of the BDC-funded LC McKenzie scrutineering bay not taking place.
More details, video and picture gallery of the meeting can be found here
Sadly, after two meetings and track inspections of Cornbury Park and gaining MS UK licence approval, the venue’s owners have decided not to allow us to run a sprint meeting next year.
It is still very much hoped that we can run an event meeting in 2024, however. In the interim, Aintree (pictured above)
is keen to provide the BDC with a class at its September sprint meeting next year, and the Comps Committee is in discussions to try to make this happen.
Continental GT racing update
In early September, Duncan Wiltshire, Adam Stacy-Marks, Simon Worthington and myself visited the state-of-the-art M-Sport facility and test track in the Lake District (pictured above).
We enjoyed a very constructive meeting with rally legend Malcolm Wilson and his team. Tom Hodgson, Head of Customer Racing for Bentley Motors, and Brian Gush, former Director of Motorsport at Bentley Motors, were also present.
The basic specification for converting early Continental GTs to racing specification has been agreed. Simon has kindly donated his racing Continental GT to be worked on by M-Sport, which will become the prototype car zero for the proposed series. Work has just commenced on the conversion, so we hope to bring you more news in January.
Mk VI Specials – getting on track
Vernon Moore is to be congratulated on a hugely successful year. FISCAR has confirmed that it will accept Mk VI Specials running to 1950s specification for 2023, and Vernon competed at the Castle Combe Autumn Classic round (pictured above; also see Other recent competition activity below
Sadly, the HSCC Betty Haig series for 1950s drum-brake cars is unable to accept Mk VI Specials.
Comps Committee representative Paul Forty will be back racing in 2023 and hopefully Chris Townsend will also make a return to the tracks, while Michael Higginbotham is likely to dust off The Gadget and come out to play. With potentially seven Mk VI Specials out on track, 2023 could be a really special year for Mk VI racing.
BDC motorsport trophy regulations
Following on from previous Competitions Captain Mike Haig’s introduction of more period specifications rules for post-war Bentley club racing cars, the Comps Committee has tightened the rules further and amended the class structure.
The reasoning is to try to keep the cars running to a reasonable period specification – this should result in a reduction in development costs, which will hopefully encourage more competitors to race.
For those who want to develop their car to the maximum – ie with wings and slick tyres – there remains an ‘open formula’ class to cater for this. The revised regulations will be published in the coming weeks to allow for winter preparation by competitors.
Just a reminder 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:
James Morley – Vintage (07732 777894, email@example.com)
Paul Forty – Mk VI Specials (07971 806046, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Simon Worthington – moderns (07712 596959, email@example.com)
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the updated Motorsport section of the Club website, to get the latest Competitions news. Click here
Other recent competition activity
Clive Morley (pictured above, no22)
produced one of his “best-ever drives” to finish a superb fifth, and the first Bentley, in the Motor Racing Legends (MRL) Pre-War Sports Cars BRDC 500 race.
Clive made up four positions from his ninth-place grid slot, enjoying a thrilling, almost race-long dice with a Frazer-Nash TT which saw the pair constantly trade places. He cemented his fine showing to post the fastest lap in the Bentley 3/4½ Litre class.
Clive was followed home in eighth place by the similar car of Ewen Getley, who also made up four places on his starting position in the 40-minute (15-lap) encounter held over the full Grand Prix (Historic) circuit.
Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley, sharing Richard’s 3/4½ with Clive’s son setting the quickest Bentley time in qualifying (eighth overall), rounded out the top 10. This was after Stuart had driven with trademark verve to rise from the lower reaches of the top 20.
Also: 15th – James Morley, 21st – Jock Mackinnon (both 3/4½s), 25th – Duncan Wiltshire/Will Elbourn Snr (3 Litre), 26th – Hugh Apthorp, retired – Simon Llewellyn (both 3/4½s). The race was won by Club Member Gregor Fisken partnered with Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Fraser-Nash TT Replica).
Other results: MRL RAC Woodcote Trophy: 1st – Gregor Fisken/Martin Stretton (HWM), 4th – Ben Eastick/Karl Jones (Jaguar D-Type); MRL Stirling Moss Trophy: Retired (overheating) – Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley (Lister Knobbly).
Spa Six Hours
(30 September-2 October):
For the second year in a row, Clive enjoyed the BDC bragging rights as the top Bentley runner in the MRL Pre-War Sports Cars race.
Clive, this time sharing his 3/4½ Litre with son James (as opposed to other son Stuart last year), finished a clear third overall, after climbing from fifth on the grid, in the 40-minute encounter around the classic Belgian Grand Prix track.
Stuart, again sharing Richard’s 3/4½, came home one place behind, the final car in the 16-strong field to be classified on the same lap as the winner.
It was a frustrating time, however, for pre-race favourites Tim and Oli Llewellyn (3/8 Special). With Oli having bagged pole position by a commanding 3.5 seconds, the younger Llewellyn held the lead until handing over to his father who duly maintained the advantage in ‘Penny’. Unfortunately, an oil leak, which had manifested itself at the end of Oli’s stint, became worse, and with the oil pressure gauge now reading incorrectly, and a rapidly oil-smothered Tim mindful of not wishing to coat the track, the car was “sensibly” retired.
Also: 8th – Jock Mackinnon, 12th – Will Elbourn Snr/George Elbourn (both 3/4½s), 15th – Guy Northam (4½), DNS – Duncan Wiltshire/George Elbourn (3 Litre).
Other results: Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy (combined): WT: 2nd – Tim/Oliver Llewellyn (Allard J2), SMT: 6th – Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley (Lister Knobbly); Six Hours Endurance: 46th – Steve/Josh/Tom Ward (Ginetta G4R), 72nd – Richard/Andrew/Louis Frankel (Ford Falcon).
VSCC Mallory Park
Oli showed decent form in his 3/8 Special, becoming embroiled a thrilling four-way battle for victory in the Vintage Racing & Vintage Sports Car race, and grabbing second place at one point, before eventually finishing third. However, he did earn the consolation of setting fastest lap in the 15-minute encounter.
Oli rounded off the day by setting another fastest lap – the only driver to post a sub one-minute time – in overcoming a 10-second deficit to finish sixth in the Allcomers Fast Handicap race and third in the Under-30s category.
Also: Standard & Modified Pre-War Sports Cars: 16th – Vivian Bush (3 Litre).
Other result: FISCAR/Hawthorn Trophy race for Pre-1955 Sports Cars: retired from lead (oil pressure) – Tim Llewellyn (Allard J2).
(18 September) and Castle Combe Autumn Classic
(25 September): Vernon Moore, with his Mk VI Special, was the sole BDC runner at both meetings.
In the AMOC Sprint, Vernon enjoyed two timed runs over the 1,467-metre figure-of-eight Curborough course, his quickest being 72.42 secs. The event was the BDC’s nominated sprint
for the 2022 season.
At Castle Combe in the FISCAR race, Vernon – competing in the Invitation class – came through from the very rear of the 20-car field to finish an encouraging 12th in the 30-minute encounter despite never having raced at the Wiltshire track before.
Speaking after the Autumn Classic, Vernon said: “It was the most exhilarating and competitive race of the season for me.” Explaining how he came to take part, Vernon said: “The invitation arrived at the last minute after quite a lot of lobbying by myself and the BDC – (FISCAR chief) Richard Culverhouse thought the best way to see what the FISCAR members thought of a Mk VI being part of the field was to invite me along.”
Assessing how his Mk VI stacked up against other marques and his experience of joining the FISCAR paddock, Vernon said: “I had a really good, constant battle with very similarly matched cars. I was also made to feel welcome by the drivers and there was a great sense of camaraderie. There was talk of having a Mk VI class if we could get half a dozen similar cars racing next season, with at least three making it along to each FISCAR meeting.”
Other results: HSCC Griffiths Haig Trophy: Races 1 & 2: 1st (both races) – Tim/Oli Llewellyn (Allard J2).
Other results: MRL Silverstone GP
(22-23 October): RAC Pall Mall Cup: 15th – Steve/Josh/Tom Ward (Ginetta G4R); Woodcote Trophy & Stirling Moss Trophy (combined): WT: 2nd – Ben Eastick/Karl Jones (Jaguar D-Type), SMT: 5th – Richard Hudson/Stuart Morley (Lister Knobbly), 6th – Tom Ward (Jaguar XK120), 11th – Steve Ward (Frazer-Nash).
Alistair Littlewood (pictured above)
clocked the fastest time of the BDC Bentley-mounted brigade.
Alistair, driving his father Mike's 3/4½ Litre, recorded a best two-run time of 49.05 secs in the class for sports cars (specials) over 3000cc on Prescott’s challenging 1,127-yard layout.
In the same class, Ewen Getley (3/4½) posted the second fastest BDC Bentley time of 49.40 secs while young Joe Collings (in father Craig’s 3/4½) finished second on handicap with a best time of 51.93 secs – third quickest of the Club’s Bentleys. Also: Roger Collings (3/4½) – 54.46 secs, Anthony Galliers-Pratt (3/4½) – 59.50 secs.
Mike Littlewood (3 Litre) recorded a best time of 61.04 secs – good enough to win the Modified Vintage prize in the sports cars (standard/modified) 2001-3000cc category while Iain Warner (3 Litre) finished second on handicap with 66.79 secs.
Other results: Julian Grimwade (Frazer-Nash) – 42.75 secs, Jolyon Harrison (Cognac) – 46.79 secs.
VSCC Loton Park
Alistair (3/4½) continued his good form at the two-day meeting in Shropshire.
He finished first on handicap in the class for Special Sports and Saloon cars (over 3000cc unsupercharged/up to 2500cc supercharged) on day one before following it up with second overall in class the following day. He posted a best time of 72.71 secs over the 1,475-yard picturesque deer park course on day one and bettered that to 71.26 secs the next day. Also: Joe Collings (3/4½) – 73.13 secs.
Other results: Julian Grimwade (Frazer-Nash) – 64.38 secs (overall fastest time, Saturday)/64.48 secs (Sun), Jolyon Harrison (Cognac) – 72.95 secs (Sat)/72.45 secs (Sun), Craig Collings (Delage) – 73.96 secs (Sun).
Prescott speed hill climb
Julian Grimwade (Frazer-Nash) – 51.80 secs, Jolyon Harrison (Cognac) – 57.39 secs.
Ben Eastick, Competitions Captain