A whole weekend of the 24th, 25th and the 26th July was dedicated to Classic and Historic Motor Racing from 1930’s Blower Bentleys to Classic F1 racing and the best of all was that there were no noise restrictions for all of us ‘Petrol Heads’ attending.
More specifically, we were celebrating 60 years of the classic Jaguar XK sports cars. It was in 1949 when the Daily Express Trophy Race took place and 60 years on The Daily Express sponsored the race yet again.
Unfortunately, I was unable to race the XK150 due to ‘Technical’ reasons, but I still went to sample this spectacular and attached myself to John Burton and his Daughter Charlie in her first outing in a very pretty black XK120 Roadster.
There were 45 Jaguars in the race and they were spectacularly arranged within their own marquee garages as can be seen from the photos.
Steve Andrew, my Race Engineer was also there with our new Data-Logging equipment which we installed in JB’s car for Quali and the race. This equipment configuration is being used to fine-tune racing driver’s techniques to improve their skills.
During Qualifying Charlie developed an over-heating problem, but between us we managed to rectify it by removing the thermostat and ‘Bunging up’ the bypass hose with a Champagne Bottle Cork would you believe, so that she was able to join the race and finish it. How ‘COOL’ was that Charlie?
John B was on top form and he had an excellent race and qualified 8th on the grid (Out of 45). In the race he did one better and finished a worthy 7th against much quicker and highly modified Weber-carburetted Class ‘D’ cars like Darren McWhirter, Nigel Webb, John Chisholm and Jim Tester. In fact John was the fastest Class ‘C’ racing car running on SU carbs. This was a very creditable performance and we have the Data Logs to prove it John!!
Let’s hope that we can have an all Jaguar race again next year, as the atmosphere was second to none!! If we do, I will definitely be there as I prepare for the Le Mans Classic.