Oliver Bryant couldn’t quite make it a double win as the Charterhouse Heritage GT Challenge returned to Silverstone for the second time this season over the weekend (16/17 August).
The Bryant family Morgan Plus 8 dominated Saturday’s sprint and though father Grahame kept the car in contention during Sunday’s race, the pace of the Sunbeam Tiger of Jackie Cochrane and Stephen Colbert was just too much in Sunday's two-driver race.QualifyingColbert grabbed pole in Cochrane’s Sunbeam Tiger on the last lap of qualifying, with the Bryant Morgan Plus 8 only 0.152secs down in second. "Stephen was so quick I didn’t expect to get near him," said Oliver. "Oli always says that," replied Colbert with a smile.
Andy Jenkinson/John Young were third best, debuting their ex-Marsh Plant/Gerry Marshall Aston Martin DBS V8. "It was our first real run out in the car since it was rebuilt," said Young. The class E Aston Martin DB4 of Steven Byrne/Peter Snowdon just edged out Alec Hammond/Graham Hathaway (Chevrolet Camaro) for fourth, with Chris Scragg's Aston Martin V8 completing the top six.
Harvey and Clive Death (Mini Cooper S) comfortably took pole in class A, while Tim Glover/Rikki Cann (Ford Escort Mexico) ran solo in class B. Andrew Chalmers/Colin Davids topped class C with their Porsche 911RS.Missing from the session altogether was the Chevrolet Camaro of Arthur and Boysie Thurtle. "They wouldn’t let us out as we were too noisy," said Arthur.Race oneAs the 30-car grid stormed away from the rolling start, Cochrane led the charge to Copse, with Bryant sternly defending second from Jenkinson. But by Becketts Jenkinson had the lead, as the top five made an immediate break.
Cochrane had the lead again exiting Copse. "I thought I still had GT from my earlier British GT qualifying session, so led into Copse and only just got around the corner, exiting in third," said Jenkinson. Bryant then led into Bridge and gradually stamped his authority on the race as the rest fought for second. "I didn’t expect to pull away so easily, but had to work hard for the initial gap," said Bryant.
Once Scragg had made it past Hammond for fourth at Brooklands, he made in-roads on Cochrane’s duel for second with Jenkinson. "I slid off at Copse, went across the gravel and rejoined by a different route I think," said Cochrane. Both Jenkinson and Scragg had got by the recovering Tiger, leaving Hammond poised to challenge for fourth.
Bryant was now well ahead as Jenkinson and Scragg traded second place, before the safety car was brought out as Piers Townsend’s Daimler SP250 had spun at Abbey and was stuck in gear. "We had a couple of exchanges, but I had to give way in the end," said Scragg.
Only two laps remained after the green flag, with Bryant retaining his advantage, over Jenkinson, Scragg, Cochrane and Hammond. Myles Castaldini (RAM SC Cobra) was a solitary sixth. "I didn’t want that safety car as I knew they would all catch me again," he said. From his back of the grid start, Thurtle made it home seventh with a stirring drive.
Death had a door handle scrap with Allen Tice (BMW 2002 Ti) in class A, with Death finally claiming the win when Tice pitted. "He made some fairly committed overtaking manoeuvres on me," said Death. "That was great until the throttle pedal collapsed and I had to pit," Tice replied.Davids converted class C pole into a comfortable win over David Such (Aston Martin V8), but class E had no results, after the Astons of Nicholas King and Steven Byrne were both excluded for safety car infringements.Results 1 Oliver Bryant (Morgan Plus 8) 12 laps in 20m36.518s (78.57mph); 2 Andy Jenkinson (Aston Martin DBS V8) +1.789s; 3 Chris Scragg (Aston Martin V8); 4 Jackie Cochrane (Sunbeam Tiger); 5 Alec Hammond (Chevrolet Camaro); 6 Myles Castaldini (Ram SC Cobra); 7 Arthur Thurtle (Chevrolet Camaro); 8 Zoe North (Ford Mustang); 9 Steve Hyde (Ford Escort Mexico); 10 Bob Searles (Aston Martin DBS V8). Class winners: Harvey Death (Mini Cooper S); Rikki Cann (Ford Escort Mexico); Colin Davids (Porsche 911 RS); Jenkinson. Fastest lap: Bryant 1m32.072s (87.93mph). Race twoJenkinson made a flying start in Sunday’s race, heading Cochrane and Scragg as they arrived at Copse. Scragg soon grabbed second and started to push for the lead. Cochrane was able to close again as the lead battle intensified, while Grahame Bryant and Arthur Thurtle joined a clear break from the top five.
Scragg got alongside Jenkinson on a couple of occasions before hitting the front into Becketts on the fifth lap. Bryant had started to close in on Cochrane too, and while Hammond held a little lonely sixth, Robin North (Ford Mustang) headed Bob Searles (Aston Martin DBS V8) and Castaldini in a great scrap for seventh, which was soon joined by Steve Hyde in his Ford Escort Mexico.
Jenkinson got back in front after a couple of laps, before handing over to Young. Cochrane was one of the first to pit, and after the others had made their stops it was Colbert out in front from Young, Oliver Bryant, Scragg and Boysie Thurtle.
"I had got past Jackie on the road but I think their stop was a lot quicker than ours," said Bryant Snr. "Well we are fairly rapid on the stops, so I just went out and tried to keep the gap the same," Colbert replied.
Not everyone had a classic pit stop though, notably Searles who pitted only to find co-driver Tony Jardine still on the pit wall minus his crash helmet. After another lap and a second attempt all was well.
Bryant and Scragg had a couple of exchanges for third, before Scragg spun at Becketts. "When I got back ahead I didn’t want to close the door on him, went too wide and spun though as I think my tyres were a bit worn," said Scragg.
With Bryant free from pressure for a while, he started to close in on Young and got by into Becketts on the 20th lap, as both had started to close on Colbert. But time ran out for the Bryants and it was a second win of the year for Cochrane, having shared his Donington win with Andy Rouse. "We made a few changes for this race and I think they worked," said Cochrane.
Young lost a wheel with a couple of laps to go, ending a promising debut for the ex-Le Mans car. The Thurtles therefore inherited third. "It was difficult getting the old tank wound up on these twisty bits," said Arthur. Despite his two spins Scragg was still fourth; "It’s too much doing these races on my own, 25 minutes was okay, but not 45," he said.
The top six was completed by Hammond/Hathaway and Castaldini/Dickson, while Searles/Jardine still came home eighth behind King, despite their driver change mix up.
Harvey/Clive Death were class A winners again, after their anticipated duel with the Tice/Conoley BMW never quite happened. Jeremy Cooke and his race debuting mechanic Mike Dowd took class C, first time out in the Porsche 911RSR, with the Chalmers/Davids 911RS second. King was the class E victor, with his margin increased when the DB4 of Byrne/Peter Snowdon had a late stop go penalty.Results 1 Cochrane/Stephen Colbert 28 laps in 45m00.951s (83.93mph); 2 Graham Bryant/Oliver Bryant 45m06.489s; 3 Arthur Thurtle/Boysie Thurtle; 4 Scragg; 5 Hammond/Graham Hathaway; 6 Castaldini/John Dickson; 7 Nicholas King (Aston Martin DB4); 8 Searles/Tony Jardine; 9 Robin North/Zoe North (Ford Mustang); 10 Steve Hyde/Jonny Hyde. Class winners: Clive Death/Harvey Death; Cann/Tim Glover; Jeremy Cooke/Mike Down (Porsche 911 RSR); King; Hyde/Hyde. Fastest lap: Bryant/Bryant 1m32.603s (87.43mph). Final rounds: Brands Hatch, 25/26 October.