With JD Classics returning as sponsors, the event was run for only the second time since the 1930s on the challenging Bernina PassJD Classics entered six cars at the high-altitude event, including the team’s legendary ex-Fangio C-Type and an ex-Works Ford Escort RS1800
After a season of notable historic racing victories, including those at Six Hours of Spa and Goodwood Revival, JD Classics headed to the Alps for the second modern-day running of the Bernina Granturismo. It was yet another strong performance for JD Classics at the gruelling Swiss time trial over the weekend, with a one-two class finish and fourth position overall.
The Maldon-based classic car specialists entered six cars into the picturesque event, which traces the old Bernina hillclimb route 5.6km from La Rosa up to the Bernina Hospiz. Ahead of the racing is a tour along the route, in which the JD Classics Ford GT40, Cooper T33, Ford Escort RS1800 and ex-Fangio Jaguar C-Type took part. Completing the JD Classics line-up for the weekend was a Ford Cologne Capri and ‘Big Sam’ Datsun 240Z.
Having been prepared and carefully checked by JD Classics’ expert Competition Department, the cars set off for their first practice runs on Friday morning. On cold, damp tarmac and with plenty of demanding twists and turns it was a cautious introduction to the event, allowing the drivers and the cars to be fully prepared for the afternoon’s competitive running.
Even with a thick mist drawing in and the rain getting heavier, the JD Classics Ford Escort RS1800 driven by Phil Mouser, and Datsun 240Z piloted by Phil Gray put in incredible performances to finish 1st and 2nd within Class H. But there was more to come from the JD Classics cars, as each went faster still in the second set of timed runs, with Chris Ward’s storming climb putting the ex-Fangio C-Type in fourth position overall. JD Classics MD, Derek Hood, finished an impressive sixth overall in the Ford GT40.
JD Classics Managing Director, Derek Hood, said: “It’s been an absolute privilege for JD Classics to sponsor the Bernina Granturismo for the second year running, and we’re pleased to have come home with some more fantastic results. Our Competition Department has had an incredible year of historic racing victories all over Europe, but the twisting roads and tricky weather conditions always make the Bernina Granturismo not only one of the most demanding, but also the most rewarding.”