Ben Eastick claims Times Challenge Trophy hat-trick

Monday 14th August, 2023

By Stuart Newman

Competitions Captain wins blue-riband Bentley scratch race at 75th BDC Silverstone

Ben Eastick claimed a Times Challenge Trophy hat-trick when he convincingly won the Bentley scratch race at the 75th BDC Silverstone on Saturday.

The Club’s Competitions Captain (pictured) scored his third successive victory in the annual blue-riband encounter at the wheel of his T Type – exactly 50 years after father Barry also won the coveted trophy.

In an almost straight repeat of last year, pole sitter Ben beat second placed Oliver Llewellyn, in a 3/8 Litre Special, by just over half a minute (on the road) or just three seconds after class time penalties had been applied.

The 10-lap race, which incorporated the Pre-War Challenge for other marques, drew an impressive field of 37 cars.

Taking into account the time handicaps, Clive Morley (3/4½ Litre) was classified in third place – ensuring the top three finishing order mirrored that of 2022.

The most exciting battle revolved around the Mk VI Specials of Vernon Moore and Paul Andrew, with the latter executing a successful do-or-die overtaking manoeuvre on the penultimate corner of the final lap to grab the ultimate advantage. Third and fourth on the road became fourth and fifth once the time handicaps had been applied.

Special mention must be made of new racer Anna Getley who produced arguably the performance of the day. Anna, on her Times Challenge Trophy debut, brought her father Ewen’s 3/4½ Litre home an impressive ninth.

Winner of the Bentley handicap was David Ratcliffe, a delighted victor after previously earning second and third place finishes in the event.

David’s 3 Litre was the first of the 19 cars flagged off from the pit lane and he was never headed in the eight-lap race to triumph by 23 seconds.

Second place went to 2021 winner William Elbourn Snr (3/4½ Litre) who started sixth, 105 seconds after David, with second starter Sebastian Welch (3 Litre Speed) completing the podium five seconds further back after starting a minute after David.

In addition to the two main Bentley races, plus the Bentley Open/Allcomers race, there were races for the AMOC St John Horsfall Trophy, Morgan Challenge Series (two races), FISCAR, Ecurie Classic Racing/Hawthorn Challenge and BDC Classic Challenge/Morgan Techniques Trophy.

Race winners
Race 1: AMOC St John Horsfall Trophy: Alan Middleton (Aston Martin Speed Red Dragon)
Races 2 & 6: Morgan Challenge: James Bellinger (Plus 4 R) & Tom Andrew (Morgan Plus 8)
Race 3: Bentley Scratch race for Times Challenge Trophy: Ben Eastick (T Type single-seater), Pre-War Challenge: Chris Mann (Alfa Romeo)
Race 4: FISCAR: Adrian King (AC Ace)
Race 5: Bentley Handicap: David Ratcliffe (3 Litre Speed Model)
Race 7: Ecurie Classic Racing: Christopher Edmunds (Morris Mini Cooper S), Hawthorn Challenge: Nigel Webb/John Young (Jaguar Mk 2)
Race 8: BDC Classic Challenge: Jack Smith (MGA), Morgan Techniques Trophy: James Bellinger (Morgan 4/4)
Race 9: Bentley Open: Ben Eastick (T Type), Allcomers: Simon Ray (ADR Sport 2 Hayabusa)

For full results of all nine races plus three-minute video of the meeting, please click here

The day also featured a magnificent Bentley track parade, headed the Derbys, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the model, and prize-winning cars from our recent Summer Concours along with around 100 Members' cars of all ages and types.

To keep Members and guests well refreshed, many also took advantage of a delicious buffet lunch. Paddock displays (featuring Derbys, Concours cars and Hesketh motorcycles) along with the Club Shop, which did a roaring trade, the WOBMF area, the Pirelli F1 simulator and a host of traders added to the spectacle - which was only blighted by a few rain showers.

Full report in October's Review.

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