The Spa round of the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-1956 sports-racing cars, organised by Motor Racing Legends, welcomed a very special entrant on 26-28 September. This was the first race outing for Sir Stirling Moss in his own, just-restored Osca. Moss bought the Osca FS372 two years ago and had the ’Fifties car restored by Hall & Hall.
The car’s first race with its new owner was a huge success: Sir Stirling swept to class victory in the under-1500cc drum-braked class of the one-hour Woodcote Trophy at Spa, sharing the drive with Roger Earl. The Osca raced unpainted, because Sir Stirling and Rick Hall couldn’t agree on the colour. “He wants it painted green,” laughed Rick, “and we think it should be red.” Sir Stirling not only won his class, he was also presented with the ‘Spirit of the Woodcote Trophy’ award by Gregor Fisken, of the historic automobile dealership Fiskens. The award was presented in recognition of Sir Stirling’s perseverance in completing this extremely complex two-year restoration.
Meanwhile, the battle for overall honours in the Woodcote Trophy race was between Marc Devis’s Maserati 250SI and Tony Bianchi’s Farellac Allard. Sadly, after four laps, Bianchi’s Farellac dropped out with engine problems and the battle for second place fell to the pole-sitting Jaguar D-type of Lukas Huni and Gary Pearson – winners at Spa last year – versus the D-type of Ben Eastick. When the flag fell, Marc Devis scooped overall victory by a substantial margin while Eastick pipped the Huni/Pearson D-type to second place by just nine-hundredths of a second!
BRDC Historic Sportscars: Mixed Fortunes Give Minshaw the Win
The BRDC Historic Sportscars at Spa, also organised by Motor Racing Legends, proved to be a most thrilling race, as both Jamie McIntyre, on pole position in his Lister-Chevrolet, and brother Ewan, seventh on the grid in his Lotus 15, were driving in the previous race and didn’t make it to the startline in time for the off – so had to start from the pit lane.
This gave Julian Majzub the chance to streak away into the lead in his Sadler MkIII, a position he held onto – despite the pressing attentions of Alistair McCaig’s Lister Knobbly – until the eleventh lap. At this point Majzub was presumably feeling the effects of the oil loss which forced him to withdraw on lap 12. McCaig’s lead was short-lived, however, as Alan Minshaw was right behind him in his Maserati T61 Birdcage and swept through to take first place on lap 14, a lead he made stick to the end of the race. Meanwhile, Ewan McIntyre had been battling his way up the field from his pit-lane start, and snatched second place in his Lotus 15, just five seconds behind Minshaw’s Birdcage. Alistair McCaig took third.
Pre-War Sports Cars: Bell Pips Bugatti on Last Lap
Mike Preston’s Bugatti 35B led the one-hour Pre-War Sports Cars race, again organised by Motor Racing Legends, right up until the last lap, chased ferociously by the Aston Martin Mk II of Jim Campbell and Andy Bell. But as the race neared its end, a hard-driving Bell was reeling in the Bugatti at a rate of nine seconds per lap. Clipping the tyre wall in his determination to reach the race leader, Bell finally overtook the Bugatti to sweep past the chequered flag and claim first place, ahead of a narrowly beaten Mike Preston. John Polson’s Talbot 105 took third place.