For some time I had been keen to witness a race meeting at Cadwell Park and with the HSCC Wolds Trophy slotting nicely into my diary on the final weekend of June we found ourselves making the pleasant Sunday morning trip along the A46; A full schedule of races awaiting us headlined by a double header for the Pre 66 touring cars.
In my opinion the current iteration of the BTCC lacks two things, true variation and a proper multi class structure. Conversely, catering for several different classes, the two historic touring car races at Cadwell Park boasted, amongst other marques, Imps, Minis and Mustangs all looking to take the fight to the all conquering Lotus Cortina.
After witnessing Tim Davies’ total domination at Thruxton it was with some surprise that the man from Lampeter was beaten to pole position by the similar machine of name sake Mark. And so it was #48 Cortina of Mark Davies who lead the drivers away for the already shortened first race of the day; a red flag inducing multi-car Formula Ford accident shaving 5 minutes from the scheduled 20.
However it wasn’t long before the double Thruxton winner was back in front following the early retirement of the pole sitting car courtesy of a broken half shaft. Meanwhile further back, Fortec Motorsport boss, Richard Dutton, was indulging in an almighty battle with not 1 but 3 very quick Mustangs. The American machines having the power on the straights but lacking the agility of the smaller Ford in the twisty sections.
No-one was quite sure who would get the better of the immense battle for what turned out to be second before the race was prematurely ended on lap 5. Dutton the cause of the red flag having touched the grass on the exit of the Gooseneck and not quite managing to regain control before being unavoidably helped into the Mansfield barriers. Thus leaving the Mustang’s of Warren Briggs and Neil Brown to claim the remaining podium positions behind the run-away Lotus Cortina of Tim Davies. Race 1 may have been only 7 minutes long, but it was great fun while it lasted.
Glorious sunshine greeted the start of Race 2 which was missing several of the casualties from earlier in the day. And from the off it was clear that onlookers would be treated to another good old David versus Goliath battle, with the powerful Mustang’s of Peter Hallford and Warren Briggs gradually reeling in the fast staring Cortina of race 1 winner Tim Davies.
In fact it was the Mustangs which appeared more suited to the afternoon sunshine as Hallford was able to set the fastest lap of the race whilst in hot pursuit of the #1 machine; a lap time which was nearly 8 tenths quicker than anything Davies could muster. However, having caught the rapid Welshman, such is the nature of Cadwell, that passing is a significantly more difficult task, especially at the wheel of the huge 60’s muscle car.
While Coppice seemed the most likely option to get by neither Briggs or Hallford could get the power down quick enough exiting Barn corner. And so while Tim Davies put in a great defensive display to wrap up his second victory of the day, focus turned to the battle for second. Where in the end Hallford’s persistence paid off as he managed to slide past Brigg’s red machine on lap 8 of another genuinely entertaining 20 minutes of racing.
WOLDS TROPHY ROUNDUP
In a packed schedule of events, Benn Simms rounded off a great weekends work by taking victory in the second Classic Racing Car fixture after getting the better of Ian Jones’ more powerful Lotus 59. This, after two great drives to wrap up both FF2000 victories in his Reynard SF77!
The Historic and 70’s Roadsport events contained healthy entries across several classes, where Sunday’s event for the elder machines saw Roger Waite in his Lotus Elan re-engage battle with the more powerful Morgan Plus 8 of Kevin Kivlochan. Kivlochan possessed more than enough grunt on the straights but was no match for Waite on the twisty bits, resulting in the Lotus man claiming his second victory of the weekend.
Meanwhile both 70’s roadsport race victories were taken by Peter Shaw at the wheel of his TVR Tuscan. Having lost out to the Lotus Europa of James Dean earlier in the season at Thruxton, Shaw proved to be the class of the field at Cadwell Park.
Formula Junior featured heavily on the Wolds Trophy schedule with 2 races for the front engined machines and a further two for the later rear engined models. While Stuart Roach was yet another driver to take both victories in the front engined events, he could not match the pace of Stuart Wilson in the rear engined fixtures; Wilson claiming double victory at the wheel of his Lotus 20/22.
The Classic Clubman machines were the quickest cars on display during the weekend with dominant winner in both races, Mark Charteris, getting close to his own lap record in race 1. John Harrison was running a close second in the first race however before retiring 4 laps from the end.
The Hadfield family had double reason to celebrate at Cadwell. Not only did Simon claim double Classic F3 victory in his March 743, but son James claimed second place in the opening Formula Ford 1600 race.
It may even have turned into a brace of runner up positions but for a late retirement in race 2 of the meeting. Hadfield the younger didn’t quite have an answer to the pace of Richard Mitchell though; the Exeter youngster going on to claim both victories in his Merlyn MK20.
Meanwhile, Amercian James King won the second Historic F3 race of the weekend, 38 years after claiming British F3 victory at the same venue. James Denty and Dean Forward had been locked in a great battle for the lead only for a collision between the two at Park corner on lap 5, causing both of their retirements and allowing King to claim a memorable victory in his Chevron B17.
Whilst rallying at Cadwell is impressive, the speed some of these priceless historic racers were being driven around the famous Lincolnshire circuit was something to behold! There just aren’t too many circuits like Cadwell, the very technical nature of the track making fast lap times and winning races an art form, while the ability to make a genuine pass in equal machinery borderline heroic. Race winners at Cadwell most certainly earn their trophy!