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The Masters Historic Festival The RAC’s ‘Woodcote Trophy’ Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit

The Masters Historic Festival
The RAC’s ‘Woodcote Trophy’

25th, 26th and 27th May 2013


Another opportunity to race on the old F1 GP Circuit at Brands and a Trophy-winning weekend



Last year at Brands Hatch in the Woodcote Trophy we were going so well when the half-shaft broke on the XK putting Mel Floyd into the ‘Kitty-Litter’ at Clearways and Clark Curve.

This year was quite a different ‘Kettle-of-Fish!!’

Arriving on Friday together with the CKL Transporter it was raining ‘cats and dogs’ but we needed to get our parking area before our Bank Holiday Monday race.

After the CKL boys had left I set to work on race-preparing the XK under the relatively dry CKL transporter awning.

Everything was fine out until my last check of the lights when my brake lights failed to work. My immediate thoughts were that the brake pressure switch was faulty. This is normally the problem. This definitely had to be rectified, as scrutineering would fail me! Whilst under the car I found that one of the wires had come loose from the switch Phewwww = sorted.


Buckling up before the race!

As I've mentioned before, that Scrutineering, for me, is the most nerve-racking part of racing. If the car doesn't pass Inspection, I don't get to race. Races are a piece of cake in comparison, YEAH!!!?

Out of Paddock Hill Bend and up to Druids


I returned on Sunday (My day off from racing) to watch the others race, with the Historic F1 cars and the Formula Junior Lurani Trophy which were very exciting with some exceptional viewing positions at Brands and some wonderful, dare I say, summery weather.

Monday was a packed day for me, with Race Sign-on from 07:00 hours, Scrutineering at 07:30 and Qualifying at 09:00. Luckily, all went swimingly at 'Scruti' and I Chris and I were ready to race.


Qualifying went quite well where we set a time which was as fast as last year’s best time but everyone else seemed to be that much faster. 

Here are the EXCUSES:

Bear in mind also, that I have had some difficulty with the Steering Geometry giving me Positive Camber on the off-side front wheel and, negative camber on the nearside front wheel with Brands being in the main, a tight little circuit I didn’t expect miracles. Also, this was CKL’s first race in my car and he adapted very quickly to the car and was almost on my Lap Times, which was excellent for our team effort potential.


Interested Parties at the MWS Marquee


The race was as usual, a Rolling Start and I started the race. I must say, that I did NOT want to end the race prematurely as I had to do at Donington so that Chris could have his time at the wheel, so I gingerly maintained my position and diced with Nigel Batchelor in his Aston Martin DB2/4 on a number of occasions.

Waiting patiently in the Assembly Area


Dropping into a pace that suited me, this gave me consistent lap times and using the new gearbox and drum brakes sensibly. Chris took over after 25 minutes and within a few laps was on my lap times. We still weren’t fast enough for my liking, but after our non-finish at Donington, I was determined that we should finish the race.

However, we were both setting consistent lap times and in a way, this is the correct method to drive Endurance Races. Where we finished is irrelevant, but finishing was our objective for this new partnership. Our tenacity and both of us driving well within our capabilities we finished the race.

The thing is, by maintaining steady progress, it really paid off as there were a number of cars that didn’t finish the race or became slower during our one hour race.

At the end we did not realise that we had actually achieved a Trophy for:

.............................'3rd in Class'...........................

We were so busy talking back in the Paddock about how to do things differently next time, we missed the Motor Racing Legends Woodcote Trophy Presentation. When we picked up our Results Sheet Chris realised our 3rd in Class position. So off we shot to chase down Duncan Wilshire in search of our Trophy (The POT!!).

NOTE: when racing my MG with the MG Car Club I became known as ‘Roberts the Pot’, as fellow races knew that the only reason that I seemed to appear at the races was because I was ‘POT HUNTING’. All quite sad really but Boyus-and-their-Toys etc. HA HA!!



JDR giving CKL a lift to the Assembly Area. Very focused!

Approaching Druids Corner



A lot of good came out of this event and an associated learning curve. This was the first time Chris had raced with me in the XK140. (We used to race together with my XK150 up until 2008, when I sold the car). We were both consistent with our lap times. We have almost cured the nasty gearbox oil leak we suffered at Donington by modifying the gearbox breather system and replacing oil seals.

Driver change-over needs to be slicker as Duncan has reduced the STOP TIME in the pits for single drivers from 45 seconds to 30 seconds. We also need to put some ‘Negative Camber’ on to the front wheels to stop the Under-Steer and take fast left-hand corners even faster.

Now we can look forward to our next event which will be at:

The Silverstone Classic on the 25th to the 28th July

Andy Keith-Lucas will take over the proceedings at Silverstone from Dad and we hope to attend the pre-race Free Practice day, so that we can get our heads firmly into gear for the new Formula 1 GP circuit.

Will we see you there? I hope so!!

John D R

NOTE: Action photography taken by John Retter, of www.johnretterphotography.com

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