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Historic

Historic Sports Car Club’s annual Wolds Trophy

The challenging Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire delivered some great racing as Formula 3 topped the bill at the Historic Sports Car Club’s annual Wolds Trophy (Saturday/Sunday 27/28 June).

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Notable winners in the pair of Historic F3 races were James King, who won on his return to the track 38 years after winning a round of the British Formula 3 Championship, and James Denty who won in the ex-Mo Nunn Lotus 41 on the car’s racing return after more than 20 years in storage.

The opening race for the HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship featured a great lead battle between Denty and Dean Forward (Tecno) which only ended when Forward was slowed by a rear puncture and forced to retire to the pits. In their wake, Simon Armer (March 703) just got the better of King (Chevron B17) as the American racer made his first visit to Cadwell Park since 1977. From a three-car lead battle in the second race, Forward and Denty both had spins and King came through to win from Armer. “It’s a lovely track, but 1977 was a long time ago,” said King.

“Sunshine, Cadwell Park and a fantastic car: I was allowed 20 minutes to enjoy myself,” said a jubilant Simon Hadfield after victory in the first Classic Formula 3 Championship race. While Hadfield took the ex-Rupert Keegan March 743 to two clear victories, Paul Dibden (Argo JM6) and Ian Pearson (Van Diemen RF83) battled for second. Pearson topped the URS Classic FF2000 contingent, which joined the Classic F3 cars for the weekend.

Benn Simms was another driver to make it a weekend double in the Historic Formula Ford 2000 Championship in his Reynard SF77. However, in both races he was pushed hard by Tom Smith (Royale RP27) as Andrew Park (Reynard SF79) and Callum Grant (Delta T78) ran close behind and took a final podium position apiece.

Simms made it an even better weekend at the end of Sunday’s programme when he took his rare Elfin 600 to victory in the second Classic Racing Car Championship race. Ian Jones (Lotus 59) won the first race by just half a second but Simms went clear in the second race.

Weekend double winners also included Tim Davies (Lotus Cortina) in Historic Touring Cars, Richard Mitchell (Merlyn Mk20) in Historic Formula Ford 1600, Roger Waite (Lotus Elan) in Historic Road Sports, Peter Shaw (TVR Tuscan) in 70s Road Sports and Mark Charteris (Mallock Mk21) in Classic Clubmans. John Turner (Cooper Mk9) won the 500cc Formula 3 race on Saturday as the early years of Cadwell Park were remembered.

Categories
Formula E

Formula E – season finale in London

Now we know! Nelson Piquet Jr. is the first Formula E champion. The Brazilian took the title at the end of an incredible day, with the excitement building as everyone was left holding their breath until the final lap. Piquet drove in a very determined fashion from start to finish, making up a lot of places, thanks to a very aggressive strategy: his courage was rewarded with seventh place, enough for him to triumph in the title fight, which also means that, for the first time, a Chinese team, NEXTEV TCR, has produced the champion in an FIA series.

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Apart from Piquet, the other hero of the moment was Englishman Sam Bird, who took his second win of the season in front of his home crowd. It was a well-deserved, if not unexpected victory, given that Bird actually took the chequered flag right behind Stephane Sarrazin, but on the slowing down lap, the Venturi driver was informed he had exceeded the permitted energy allowance. The inevitable penalty dropped him to fifteenth place. Bird’s great day also included setting the fastest race lap, which was worth not just the two bonus points in the classification, but also the Visa Fastest Lap Trophy in the very race in which Visa Europe was the title sponsor.

Even the cleverest of thriller screenwriters could not have come up with such an incident packed script as the one delivered at the eleventh and final round of the season. A fantastic crowd flocked to Battersea Park: once again today, over 25,000 spectators packed the grandstands and the eVillage, bringing the total number of people through the gates over the duration of the event from Friday to Sunday, to around the 60,000 mark. They were treated to two equally thrilling scenarios. The first was the fight for the win, which apart from the two aforementioned drivers, also involved Belgium’s Jerome D’Ambrosio and France’s Loic Duval, who both finished on the podium. The result means that Dragon Racing has finished second in the teams’ championship, right behind newly crowned champions e.dams-Renault.

The second big story of the day was the title fight, with three contenders, Buemi, Di Grassi and Piquet, who went on to cross the line in that order. However, only the last of them was smiling about his finishing position, because the six points that go with seventh place were enough to finish just a single point ahead of Buemi in the classification. The Swiss driver paid the price for a spin shortly after his pit stop: the mistake meant Bruno Senna got ahead of him to finish fourth, his best result of the season. The Brazilian proved to be an unshakeable opponent for the e.dams-Renault driver, who tried his best in the final few metres to take back the position that would have given him the title.

Lucas di Grassi would have needed a combination of favourable circumstance to take the title and, in the end, sixth place was not even enough to allow the Audi Sport ABT team to hang on to second place in the teams’ classification.

The remaining points places were filled by the Mexican Duran (8th), Englishman Turvey who finished ninth just as he did yesterday in his debut weekend in Formula E and Nicolas Prost, the only driver who has always finished in the points this season.

The day got off to a dramatic start, as the battle for the Julius Baer Pole Position was hit by rain, just as the second group of drivers were out on track. Therefore, for the first time ever this season, the special all-weather tyres supplied to all Formula E competitors by Michelin, were given a stern test. Paying the highest price for the drops of rain that hit that track was Piquet, who was in the third group and thus found himself in 16th place on the grid, behind fellow countryman di Grassi (11th) but more importantly, a long way off Sebastian Buemi, his closest title rival, who was sixth fastest. Quickest was Sarrazin who beat D’Ambrosio by a whisker with Duval third and Bird fourth.

It was a closely fought and tense race, which was very exciting for the spectators in the park and for those following the race on television and the Internet. It was a great end to the inaugural season of the first FIA championship for fully electric single-seaters. “Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the final would turn out like this,” commented Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag. “It was an incredible day and we achieved what we set out to do; putting on a great motorsport show in one of the most important cities in the world. We did it!”