Ben Eastick wins Times Trophy
Tuesday 10th August, 2021
By Stuart Newman
T Type stars at 73rd BDC Silverstone race meeting
Ben Eastick took the plaudits when he won the 50th anniversary Times Trophy Bentley scratch race at the Club's 73rd annual BDC Silverstone race day last Saturday.
Ben was racing the T Type single-seater his father had developed and raced in the late 1970s – indeed, Barry had qualified the car on pole position for the 1977 Times Trophy race and led the opening stages before suffering an unfortunate accident – and which Eastick Jnr has restored to racing spec over the last few years.
It was Ben’s first win in the meeting’s blue-riband 10-lap race and he duly added the Eastick name to the coveted trophy once again following Barry’s triumph in 1973. Ben was presented with the Times Trophy by Dominic Carter, of News UK (owner of The Times) and applauded by special guest HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
Ben had started at the very rear of the grid after the Competitions Committee had decided to introduce a staggered start to this year’s event, with the faster cars placed at the back, in an effort to make the race action closer.
He powered his way through to win by over half a minute from the second placed Alfa Romeo 8c Monza, with the hard-charging Clive Morley, the BDC’s current Racing Driver of the Year, finishing in a well-deserved third place, just two seconds adrift.
Clive’s 3/4½ Litre had spent much of the race involved in a thrilling scrap with Oliver Llewellyn’s 4½ Litre, the 2019 BDC Racing Driver of the Year finishing only three seconds behind in fourth.
Special mention must also be made of Chris Townsend (Mk VI Special), who recorded a superb top-10 finish, in eighth place, on his circuit racing debut.
Seventeen Club Members and their Bentleys made up the strong 25-car grid, with 3 Litres, 3/4½s, 4½s, Mk VI Specials and a Derby 4¼ Litre Special all vying for honours.
Meanwhile, William Elbourn Snr appeared to surprise himself when he triumphed in the Bentley Handicap encounter.
William, who started from the midfield with a 1min 20secs handicap in his 3/4½ Litre, was classified almost half a minute ahead of runner-up Guy Northam’s 4½ Litre, with David Ratcliffe (3 Litre) third. Seventeen Bentleys took the unusual pit-lane start for the eight-lapper.
Elsewhere, there was success for Oliver Llewellyn and dad Tim (Allard J2) who triumphed in the 30-minute FISCAR race by the comfortable margin of 10 secs after starting from pole position. It was Oliver's second successive victory after also winning last year.
And in other supporting races, Oliver Bryant (Morgan Plus 8) won both races in the Aero Morgan Challenge Series double-header, while Ollie Neaves (MGB GT V8) also claimed a double victory, in the MG Car Club BCV8 Challenge.
For full results from the 10-race programme, click here.
Aside from the racing, the day also celebrated 100 years of Bentley racing success, with Bentley Motors kindly displaying a host of notable race cars from its illustrious Heritage Collection – including EXP2, the very car which scored the marque’s first-ever race victory at Brooklands in May 1921.
Also present was the Speed 8 2003 Le Mans-winning machine which thrilled the crowds with a handful of hot demonstration laps in the hands of BDC racer and well-known journalist Andrew Frankel. Keeping it company on track was a second-generation Continental GT3.
The remainder of the Heritage Collection cars all enjoyed a more sedate track procession, with Birkin Blower No2, which led at Le Mans in 1930 and is regarded as one of the world’s most valuable Bentleys, being driven by Prince Michael, a special guest of the Club. Others in the procession included the Pikes Peak Continental GT which set the production car record over the feted US hill climb course in 2019.
Around 100 Members also enjoyed a few laps of the track as part of the traditional Bentley lunchtime procession.
To keep their energy levels up during a busy day, Members and guests also enjoyed dining on delicious hot lunches in the paddock.
And, after bad weather was forecast, the rain largely held off too…
For video footage and images of the day, check out the BDC Facebook page and the BDC YouTube channel.
Image: Stuart Wing (www.captureyourcarphotography.co.uk)