JD Classics is celebrating winning the coveted Woodcote Trophy at this year’s Silverstone ClassicThe team’s 1954 Cooper T33 crossed the line first, with Chris Ward behind the wheelCooper started from pole position and stayed in the top two throughout the raceThe T33 has an incredibly impressive competition record with other famous victories including its win in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy at the Goodwood Revival last year
The hugely successful JD Classics Competition Department chalked up another fantastic victory over the weekend, with its Cooper T33 winning the Woodcote Trophy at the Silverstone Classic 2016.
Chris Ward took the wheel of the Cooper, JD Classics’ only entry at Silverstone, and narrowly edged out a Cooper T38 in an enthralling contest.
A congested track early in the qualifying session saw Ward cleverly hang back and wait for clear space. Spotting the ideal opportunity to set a time, the experienced racer surged around the famous circuit and went straight to the top of the leaderboard.
The JD Classics driver then headed for the pits and waited to be forced back out by a faster lap, yet none of the Woodcote Trophy competitors could come close to his pace.
Starting from pole, the Cooper T33 got away from the line smoothly enough, although a Cooper T38 under the control of Fred Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards just got ahead at the first corner.
However, by the end of the first lap, Ward had got his nose back in front and was pulling away from the field in emphatic fashion.
But just when everything was going smoothly and the T33 looked like romping home, the head gasket blew. Nursing the car by keeping the engine to 5,500rpm, Ward exploited the T33’s handling even further and kept up the pace with some incredible on-the-limit driving through every corner.
After a fairly lengthy stop in the pits, the T33 had surrendered its big advantage over the field and only narrowly came out ahead of Blakeney-Edwards’ T38, although Ward couldn’t hold off his rival for long.
The T38 raced in front of the T33 with around 25 minutes to go, but Ward stuck close to his rival and when Blakeney-Edwards made a mistake towards the end of the race, he seized his opportunity and re-took the lead with two laps to go, holding on to the finish line to take another remarkable victory for JD Classics.
JD Classics Managing Director Derek Hood said: “Our technical team is one of the best in the whole historic racing world, and this excellent victory at Silverstone proves that. Chris Ward’s drive in the Woodcote Trophy was nothing short of exemplary. To be able to add such a coveted race to our long list of wins is truly special. We’re now very busy preparing for Pebble Beach, where we’ll be hoping to reap even more glory.”