Round 13 & 14


3-4 October 2015

1st R1: Jim Cartwright 328 GTB / R2: Gary Culver 328 GTB
2nd R1: Gary Culver 328 GTB / R2: Jim Cartwright 328 GTB
3rd R1: Tim Walker 328 GTB / R2: Richard Moseley 328 GTB
report by William Moorwood
photography by Simon Cook

The final race weekend of the Pirelli Ferrari formula classic race series took place at Thruxton in perfect late summer weather. Initially, for qualifying and the first race there were just 11 cars, but as the times show it was a very competitive weekend.

There was a single qualifying session in which the two best times would determine the grid positions for the two races. In their Group 4 328GTB’s Gary Culver took pole position by 1/10th of a second from Jim Cartwright. Group 3 as ever was very competitive with Tim Walker ahead of Darren Wilson by 4/100ths of a second for the first race, and for the second race Peter Everingham would eclipse them both by a similarly narrow margin.

Further down the grid Didier Benaroya, in his distinctive Mondial T Cabriolet, did well in his first ever visit to the circuit. Thruxton has the well deserved reputation of being the fastest race circuit in the country. The latter part of the circuit is a series of very fast right hand curves which tests out any car, particularly a classic race car. Just before the start of the race a cracked wishbone was detected on Gary Culver’s car but thanks to speedy assistance from RnR he was able to complete both races.

Race 1

At the start of the race Jim Cartwright was able to get ahead of Gary Culver and the two of them enjoyed a race long duel in which they seemed never to be more than a car’s length apart.

Tim Walker for once managed to put a clear margin between himself and his fellow Group 3 protagonists Peter Everingham and Darren Wilson. Darren managed to get ahead of Peter after one lap but from then on he was hounded all the way to the end.

In the warm afternoon sunshine the pace was fierce with Culver and Walker creating new lap records, there were also some small mistakes created by the fast pace. Jim Cartwright touched the grass entering the first corner which gave him a mighty tank slapper. Culver got by but before the lap ended Jim regained the lead going into the chicane.

Didier Benaroya in his Mondial T Cabriolet had managed to get ahead of Peter Moseley’s 308 GTB, and Richard fenny in his GT4 only to run wide and let them both by. Richard, sensing glory, had a spin on the exit of the chicane on the last lap and would let Didier get past.

So it finished with an overall win and Group 4 honours to Jim Cartwright, another Group 3 win for Tim Walker, a Group 2 win for Peter Moseley and a Group 1 win for William Moorwood as the sole Group 1 entrant.

Race 2

There was plenty of time between Race 1 and Race 2 to undertake some preparation work in the paddock. RnR were able make good the hasty wishbone repair they undertook on the Culver 328GTB, and the paddock’s arch fettler Peter Everingham was able to borrow a pair of rear wheels from Tim Walker, as it was apparent that one of his rear tyres could no longer be relied upon. There was also another car on the grid as Pete Fisk arrived with his Group 3 Mondial. After three laps familiarization behind a pace car he was allowed to start at the back of the grid.

The race was held on Sunday morning and after a cool night the lap times would be slightly down on Race 1. For those on the front of the grid the start was fairly uneventful with Gary Culver getting ahead of Jim Cartwright. There was one exception as Richard Moseley in his Group 4 328 GTB failed to get away when the lights went out. Fortunately there was no contact but Richard would get away last closely following Richard Fenny who initially had been trapped behind him at the start of the race.

Up front it was all action with Jim glued to Gary’s tail and Everingham and Walker having a titanic tussle all through the first lap, which finally resolved itself in Tim’s favour. The three Group 3 328 GTB’s of Walker, Everingham and Wilson would be locked together for much of the race until  Everingham’s car started to smoke and retired just over halfway through the race, leaving the remaining two Group 3 cars to battle it out to the finish. Richard Moseley’s car was going well after its slow start and Richard impressed the spectators by moving steadily through the field to take a solid 3rd place, and to come within 1/10th of a second of the fastest lap for the race.

Pete Fisk would also come to grips with the circuit and get ahead of Benaroya and Peter Moseley to take Group 2 honours. At the front Culver made no mistakes despite race long pressure from Jim Cartwright to win by a very narrow margin.

At the prize giving Darren Wilson was given the RnR driver of the day award on the recommendation of the race commentators. This was a fitting way to end the racing season as Group 3 has, from the very first race, been the most competitive and has provided the best viewing. Next year Darren is planning to race an older classic car in another race series. We have much enjoyed his competitive spirit and his friendly presence in the paddock, we wish him well.

So after 7 race meetings and 14 enjoyable races that is it for the Pirelli Ferrari formula classic race season for 2015. All that is remains is the Prize Giving Dinner on November 14th, we hope to see you all there


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