Mallory Park in Leicestershire sits just about in the centre of England, making it a very accessible circuit for spectators and competitors. Set in rolling countryside it is a very attractive location, surrounded at this time of year by wheat-fields just about ready for harvest. The adjacent village, Kirky Mallory, is typically English, an old church, a couple of shops and a pub or two; not much else.
From the point of watching motor sports it is superb, set in a natural bowl, it is basically an oval with un-equal radius curves but with a tail added on with a very sharp hair-pin bend. Spectators can get really close to the action and the spectating areas have been extended over the last couple of years to make it even better for the viewer and for amateur photographers.
The VSCC visits Mallory just once a year and this was round 4 of the Club’s, new for this season, “Formula Vintage” races series. Twelve races were on the card, all for old cars- some very old!
The highlight for many is the race for Edwardian Cars, these dated from 1903 to 1917 and there is no other race like this anywhere in the world- it is truly unique. The crowd were eagerly awaiting Duncan Pittaway’s “Beast of Turin” returning to circuit racing but unfortunately it did not happen, although the Beast was driving around the paddock for a while, frightening young children and old photographers. The engine is 28 litres (that is about 1709 cu ins), which accounts for all the noise from the stub exhausts, all of four inches long, there is also fire and smoke- lots! There is a short clip of it in action on the VSCC facebook page: facebook.com/VintageSportsCarClub/ scroll down a bit to see and hear it!
The rest of the field put on a splendid show and it is always amazing just how fast these ancient devices go, remembering that the youngest is now 100 years old.
Other races were for modified and standard road and racing cars from the 1920s and 30s, Morgan three-wheelers dating from 1927 to a couple of the modern versions, currently available from the factory. Most of these cars had a passenger although they seem to hide under the scuttle to keep out of the wind- rather them than me!
There was a race for Formula Junior front-engined cars dating from about 1959 to 63; these always give excellent close racing with their approximately one-litre engines screaming away.
The Formula 3 500cc racing goes from strength to strength with more cars coming back to the circuits from sheds and barns each season; for many years these had no place to race and it is a miracle that so many survived from their last races about 1960. These cars have motor-cycle engines, most of the Norton 2 cylinder, the noise is wonderful.
My personal favourites are the many varieties of chain-drive Frazer Nash cars, always spectacular on their skinny tyres, sometimes very sideways indeed.
No Bentleys , Maseratis or Alfas this year- boo!
List of races here: www.vscc.co.uk/page/events?eventID=1132. A full set of results can be seen here: www.theresults.co.uk/pdf/2017/vscc-round4.pdf and www.theresults.co.uk/theresults/Results/2016/Motorsport/vscc-round5.pdf A brief report on the VSCC website here: www.vscc.co.uk/page/news?newsItemID=970 More news and photos usually are added over the following week, or so.
VSCC website gives a report here and also some fabulous photographs (not mine) here:
As usual I hope you enjoy the photos; if you have any questions, please contact me via:
www.petetaylor.org.uk. Pete Taylor of Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK. is a contributor to Sports Car Illustrated.
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