The HRDC's 'History of the BTCC 1958-1966' race on Silverstone's GP Circuit is capturing the imagination of many top-flight historic racers. Supporting the BritCar 24 Hours event on 25 April, this innovative series - successfully launched at the Donington Historic Festival in 2014 - features the marques and models of touring cars which hallmarked the formative years of what would evolve as the BTCC.
Emulating their heroes, the HRDC's entry list of seasoned historic racers reads like a period race programme: Bill Shepherd will no doubt be aiming to match Jack Sears' winning ways in his mighty Ford Galaxie 500, but will have to fight hard for victory against the formidable opposition of the 'Jim Clark/John Whitmore' Lotus Cortinas of Sean and Michael McInerney, resplendent in their period Team Lotus and Alan Mann Racing liveries.
But V8-power is not confined to the thundering Galaxie, as Peter Hallford and Neil Brown take up the challenge of Silverstone's GP Circuit in their mighty Mustangs, no doubt mindful of the period successes enjoyed by Jackie Oliver and 1965 BSCC Champion Roy Pierpoint, aboard these impressive leviathans.
So reminiscent of John Sparrow's period success in the works Jaguar Mk2, stalwart historic racer Simon Drabble will field his immaculate example in this homage to Jaguar's early days of British saloon car racing. Chasing hard will be the Willment Racing-liveried Ford Cortina GT Mk1 of Joe Allenby-Byrne, fresh from successful testing at Goodwood, following a total rebuild of this accomplished and popular racer. Doing his best to upset this pairing's intentions of class wins will be HRDC sponsor Julian Crossley, in his Thermex Morris Mini Cooper S - hopefully smoking his tyres in true John Rhodes style!
Illustrating the formative years of the BTCC (then known as the BSCC) will be a plethora of 1950s touring cars: Gavin Watson's rare 'Bill Blydenstein' Borgward Isabella; the rapid Austin A40 of Mike Jordan, doing a creditable impersonation of the great Doc Shepherd; Bruce Chapman in the stunning replica of his Grandmother's (MG works driver Nancy Mitchell) MG Magnette ZA; Alistair Dyson in his rapid Jeff Uren-style Ford Zephyr Mk2; Ding Boston in the OUMF's homage to Alan Hutchesons' Riley 1.5; and a plethora of cheeky Austin A35s - faithfully replicating the crowd-pleasing antics of John Sprinzel and Graham Hill in their Speedwell cars.
HRDC's Founder and Race Director, Julius Thurgood, commented: "The interest in this unique touring car format is understandably high, following the success that we enjoyed with our first running of the event at the Donington Historic Festival last year. To be able to run this event on the GP circuit at Silverstone during a high-profile event such as the BritCar 24-Hours shows the level of interest generated for seeing a wider mix of historic touring cars, which has been endorsed by James Tucker's enthusiasm in inviting us to run at his event."
Race entry is still open for this 'must-do' event; entry forms can be downloaded from: http://hrdc.eu/silverstone_25april.pdf.