Sunday, April 22, 2012

VSCC Spring Start 2012

Ever since we partnered our first Retro Rides event with the VSCC (5 years ago now!) I have always kept an eye on them and their events. There's just something about seeing proper old school pre and post war machinery being thrashed so it screams for mercy that you can't quite put into words.

I learnt on Twitter a few weeks ago about the VSCC 'Spring Start' event, and most notably that it also featured the Historic Grand Prix Car Association whose cars I have long wanted to see race in anger.  To be honest I thought you needed to be at an event like Silverstone Classic to see them, and as a result I figured that entrance price would be somewhat astronomical.  Upon further investigation though it appeared entrance was just £10.  That was me sold, the appeal of 50's and 60's Grand Prix cars was so strong I was even happy to miss the Villa home game!

We managed to get up and out at a good hour and arrived at Silverstone before 11am ... I love that moment you step out the car and just smell RACETRACK!

A walk through the pits revealed the awesome machinery, and I was loving the chance to get so close to such automotive rarity .... which included Stirling Moss' 1961 Monaco winner!

The pit garages really were a petrolheads dream, and there was simply too many gorgeous engines and too much stunning engineering to be able to photograph it all!

There was a lot of tinkering going on, with these mechanics clearly looking for an air leak on their Cooper T53.

 I had arranged to meet David and so we took the opportunity to sit down and watch a little of the Quali session until he arrived.

Once he joined us we took an early opportunity to grab some food, which gave David and I the chance to get some RRG planning sorted.

With hunger kept at bay and the racing about to start we made our way to Copse Corner and watched the first few races together.  With a plan of action for the years show David then choose to hit the road and with Esme shortly needing a feed it was left for Alfie and I to take in the the last few races which included the Historic Grand Prix classes.  The noise was phenomenal, as I hope this video captures!

Highlight of the day for me was the 1.5 litre Lola Mk4 which sounded immense as its 1.5 litre engine screamed out of Copse!  Sadly I didn't manage to get a shot of it whilst parked up in the pits because it looked every bit as good as it sounded!!

The fantastic thing about the VSCC is the huge mix you get of massive power in vehicles that are as heavy as a small battleship pitched against much less powerful machinery but being as nimble and as light as a hummingbird.  So heres the Napier Bentley - all 24 litres of it!  Check the annotation on the engine cover!

And these are two GN machines, a GN/JAP Grand Prix and the GN Thunderbug.  Two very different approaches to a similar idea but both that stop you dead in your tracks!

I actually had a nice chat with Richard Scaldwell who owns the GN/JAP.  He was tinkering with his clutch as he said he was having some issues with it.  Quite surprised to see him worrying about this after his race I asked him if was due back out again for one of the later races .... no, he wasn't, he needed to fix it to drive it home!!  He drives it everywhere apparently, including trips through Europe!  I do like people like that!!

As the HGPRA race came to an end the threatened showers started to arrive and so Alfie pulled both of our hoods up and we made our way back to the car to meet up with Tash and Esme and hit the road.  The day was summed up perfectly by one of the race winners who, when interviewed after winning, reported it was 'bloody good fun!'

A wonderful day was then rounded off in the evening with Alfie saying his name for the first time and Esme rolling over for the first time!  Just if every Saturday could be like that ...

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