The Peter Collins Trophy

At the 2018 Sportsman’s Lunch the ‘Peter Collins’ Trophy and replica was presented to our guest speaker, motorsport legend, Brian Redman by his long term friend Mike Wood. Several people asked about the Trophy and its history.

Mike and Brian with the Trophy

There is a nice tie in to Brian in that the Trophy was won by Peter Collins in 1958 shorly before his career was tragically cut shot and Brian’s own career was just begining.

So here is some information about the career of Peter Collins and the Trophy itself.

The Lancashire Automobile Club is proud to present the ‘Peter Collins Trophy’ annually. It is presented to a member of the Club adjudged to have shown the most meritorious performance during the year. Some people may wonder who Peter Collins was and how the Club came to be in possession of such a prestigious trophy.

Firstly the man. Peter Collins was born in Kidderminster on the 8th November, 1931 to well known motor trader, Pat and wife Elaine. Young Collins got his first racing car, a Cooper Mk II, in 1948, apparently a birthday present from his parents. His father’s bought Stirling Moss’s old Mk II, and the pair would make their debuts early in 1949 at the Goodwood Easter Meeting.

The Mk II wouldn’t last long, by June it had been sold to Bill Cox and replaced with a long chassis Mk III, initially fitted with JAP twin for hillclimbs. For 1951, he used a JBS, which had looked set to genuinely challenge Cooper, but his 500 career was almost over, having been spotted by the big teams. Peter won the SUNBAC race at Silverstone in September and his cup is still presented annually for the most meritorious drive of the season.

On the recommendation of Reg Parnell, Collins had been taken on by John Wyer for the Aston Martin sports car team. He was a fine endurance racer, taking the Aston to victory in the 1952 Goodwood 9 Hours race, the 1953 TT, and second places at Le Mans in 1955 (with Paul Frere) and 1956 (with Moss). He would also appear in sports cars for Ferrari and Mercedes.

Peter was already a grand Prix driver, having made his debut at the age of just 20 (and only two seasons of racing) with the HWM-Alta. Spotted by HWM founders John Heath and George Abecassis (both also early Cooper customers), young Collins had partnered Moss and Lance Macklin through the 1951 European F2 season.

When F2 was adopted as the World Championship category for 1952, he found himself a Grand Prix driver. His best Championship finish that year was a sixth place in the 1952 French Grand Prix.

For 1954, he was recruited by Tony Vandervell to drive the Thinwall Special. This 4.5 litre, Ferrari-derived beast ran in the popular Formula Libre class, where Peter embarrassed the high profile BRMs.

That same year, he was also the first to drive the original Vanwall Special that was designed for Formula 1. Peter was entered in three Grand Prix, but this original car was not a pacesetter until Colin Chapman reworked the chassis and Frank Costin clothed it in the aerodynamic bodywork to create the classic Vanwall. Peter would never drive this car, having been poached by BRM for 1955. This proved a mistake as he raced the V16, and was left kicking his heels waiting for the new Grand Prix Type 25. He made two World Championship appearances in the Owen Maserati and a works 250F drive in the Italian Grand Prix but this was good enough to land him the prize of a works Ferrari drive for 1956, partnering Fangio. Peter was, in fact, recommended by his great friend Mike Hawthorn, who wanted to return to Britain to support his recently widowed mother.

Partnering Fangio, Peter matured dramatically as a driver, he won at both Spa-Francorchamps and Reims, and went to the Monza finale with a chance of taking the title. What followed has become legend. When Fangio retired with steering failure, it was clear that taking the win and extra point for fastest lap could deliver Peter the Championship. By lap 30 of 50, he was into second place, and whilst Moss’ Maserati was some way ahead, it was not impossible. Indeed, on lap 45, Moss ran out of fuel, only for his team-mate Piotti to tuck in behind and shove him back to the pits. Fangio, meanwhile was expected to take over Luigi Musso’s car, to seek the one point that would retain him the title. But Musso ignored all instructions to hand over his car. When Collins came in on lap 35 for a tyre check, he spotted Fangio on the pit wall, and voluntarily offered his car, so giving up any chance of the title. A remarkable gesture of sportsmanship. This is the kind of spirit which deserves the Lancashire Automobile Club awarding the Peter Collins Trophy!

For 1957, Fangio was replaced by the returning Hawthorn. The Lancia-Ferrari was rather outclassed by Fangio’s Maserati, and the Vanwall, but whilst seeing no wins, Peter again played his part in history. At the German Grand Prix, Fangio delivered one of the greatest drives of all time as he fought back from a botched fuel stop, passing both Collins and Hawthorn on the penultimate lap. Also in February of that year, Peter married an American girl, Louise Cordier, an actress playing in the “Seven Year Itch” and daughter of the assistant to the United Nations Secretary General and they were the golden couple of the time, living on a yacht in Monaco harbour.

For the 1958 season Ferrari entered the Dino 246, and a titanic battle developed between the Ferraris of Peter and Mike on one side, and the Vanwalls of Moss and Tony Brooks on the other. Peter suffered reliability problems in the early races, but it all come together at the British Grand Prix, and he scored his third win. Peter found time to compete in ‘club’ events and it was at the Daily Express meeting at Silverstone he won the International Trophy Race and was awarded the Daily Express Trophy.

On the 3rd August 1958, Peter and Hawthorn were leading at the Nürburgring, just as a year previously, this time being chased down by Tony Brooks. Brooks took the lead early on the eleventh lap, but Peter was fighting back. Peter’s got the car loose through the twisty Pflanzgarten sequence, he tried repeatedly to collect the car, but clipped a ditch. The car somersaulted, throwing Peter out, head first into the one tree standing clear of the forest. Peter Collins died later that evening in hospital. Though just 27 years old, he had won three Grand Prix, and would undoubtedly have been a championship contender for many more years.

Mike Hawthorn, who had seen the accident unfold, was devastated at the loss of his friend. Although he completed the season to become the first British World Champion, he was ready to retire from the sport. Of course, just a few months later he was also killed, driving his road going Jaguar near his home in Farnham. The story of Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn is told in Chris Nixon’s book “Mon Ami Mate”.

Peter Collins’ grave is in Stone Church grounds, near Kidderminster. There’s a stained glass window in the church to commemorate his life.

And finally the Trophy.

As a lasting tribute the Collins family passed many of Peters trophies to leading motor clubs. The Lancashire Automobile Club was honoured to receive the Daily Express Trophy awarded for his win at the International Trophy Race held at Silverstone in 1958. This trophy is awarded annually by the Club to the club member adjudged to have show the most meritorious performance during the year to reflect in some small way not just Peter Collins achievements but the manner in which he achieved them.

UPDATE – Implications of Vnuk Judgement on motorsport.

Report recommends excluding motorsport from Vnuk
Motorsport UK (the new name for the Motor Sports Association) welcomes a draft report from the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), which recommends that vehicles used exclusively for motorsport should not be impacted by VNUK, an insurance issue that has been looming over the sport since 2014.
VNUK is a European Court judgement that threatens the future of all EU motorsport. It ruled that EU countries must look again at how they enacted EU motor insurance law in each country; the court’s interpretation would require all motorsport vehicles to have compulsory third party motor
insurance.
Motorsport UK has since been lobbying at the highest levels on behalf of UK motorsport, in conjunction with other industry stakeholders and the world governing body, the FIA.
In the latest development, the draft report from the IMCO focuses on the use of vehicles ‘in traffic’. More specifically, the report proposes that vehicles used exclusively for motorsport should fall outside the Motor Insurance Directive (MID).
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, said: “We welcome this latest development, which appears to be heading in the right direction, and will be working with the FIA to ensure a positive outcome. Motorsport UK has been making the case for excluding motorsport from the Motor Insurance Directive since 2014. The VNUK threat has not gone away but the direction of travel is looking more favourable and we will continue to lobby on behalf of all our members and stakeholders.”

Annual Dinner & Prize Presentation 2019

FRIDAY 22nd FEBRUARY 2019, MITTON HALL HOTEL, MITTON, BB7 9PQ The annual prize and presentation evening will be held once again at Mitton Hall Hotel when we can relax with friends and enjoy a celebration of the 2018 season. A champagne reception and three course meal, together with live music, will ensure that this is an evening to remember. Carolyn Taylor is the architect and driving force behind this annual bash and would be grateful for early expressions of interest in order to assist with the planning and logistics. Tickets are available at a cost £38 per person with tables of ten available at £380. Don’t delay. Why not put the date in your diary now and either drop a quick e-mail to Carolyn at mail@autotuneuk.com to say that you’ll be there or call her on 01254 886819.

2018 Fellsman Report

The event reached a landmark milestone during 2018 – twenty five years since the first running – and what better way to celebrate than to enjoy another cracking navigational event comprising great roads, great cars, and a meal at the end in the company of like-minded friends. To coincide with this notable anniversary, clerk of course and route meister-in-chief, John Hartley, introduced a new feature in the form of a novice instruction book. The idea was intended to attract new entrants who could have all the enjoyment of the event whilst giving them the confidence to tackle the more traditional plot and bash in the future, and the navigational school held during March was intended to support this thinking. Whilst the majority of the entrants opted for the traditional approach a number selected the novice option and judging by the feedback enjoyed the event. The event started at the Stirk House, Gisburn, with a bacon butty breakfast, before heading through Bolton by Bowland and North into the Lune Valley via the Stocks Reservoir road crossing the Lune at Hornby. From there it went via Over Kellett, Priest, Hutton and Beetham to follow the coast road at 6m altitude to lunch at the Heversham Hotel.

Once fed and watered, and taking the mandatory time for lunch, the entrants set off over the Helm with views over Kendal and further to the Southern Lake District. From here the route crossed the M6 to skirt Sedburgh then into Barbon Dale and back to the A65 and Ingleton. Some new and convoluted lanes to Clapham then to Rathmell via Giggleswick, round the Paythorne square and back to the finish at the Stirk House to celebrate with a few drinks, a meal and a good old chat. This event has a special place within the sporting calendar and the club is committed to its continued existence but can only do so with more participants. So the clarion call is for all those who fancy doing the event, but haven’t yet done so, to consider making 2019 the year when you put this right and appreciated what others have loved for so long. The organisers are extremely grateful for the support and sponsorship from Bowland Brewery for enabling the event to take place.

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Highland 3 (or 4 or 5!) Day Classic Tour Report

The 2018 Highland Three Day Classic Tour 

By Alan & Linda Baverstock

‘I think you might quite enjoy it………….’

A casual comment at a FellMog noggin led to team Baverstock signing-up for the Lancashire Automobile Club Highland Three Day Classic Tour for September 2018. We were assured that our car, a well sorted but fairly standard 2011 Morgan +4, was suitable for the event, though a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, warning triangle and hi-vis jackets were compulsory and might be checked at scrutineering! We later observed that some of the other entrants sported full four-point safety harnesses, Halda rally computers, extra spot lights and old rally stickers. This suggested that the event was perhaps not just a gentle amble through the glorious Scottish countryside. Though not classed as a rally, having a MSA certificate of exemption, we soon realised that it would be rather different from our leisurely FellMog tours of France and Spain.

First Lesson: although it was described as a three day event, it actually covered four days – the first day, day Zero, being optional, though most entrants chose to take part.

Day One – or Day Zero depending how you looked at it – had us assembling at a rather nice hotel near Dumfries ready for a leisurely dinner and an early night in preparation for an early start the following day. However this was September 19th and Storm Ali had just passed through parts of the UK doing considerable damage. One victim was that night’s hotel which had lost its electricity supply, giving the event organisers the challenge of finding alternative beds for fifty plus people at very short notice.

To their credit this was achieved although we ended up sleeping at Cumnock, fifty-four miles away. A late evening drive and an extra early start the following morning got us back to the planned destination for the beginning of the event. A flexible attitude was obviously going to be an asset over the next four days!

This was our first experience of Road Books and Tulip Diagrams and we were grateful for some earlier informal training from a relative experienced in the world of historic car rallies.

The first day’s driving took us on a devious route through South West Scotland to Dunkeld: about 200 delightfully traffic free miles, unintentionally made even more complicated by a tree-blocked road within the first thirty minutes. The highway authorities were struggling to cope with the damage caused by storm Ali. A light lunch was provided each day but before that we had our auto tests; the first organised by Monklands Sporting Car Club MSCC at Forrestburn Sprint Circuit. This tight and hilly circuit would have been challenging at speed but regulations required a modest, say 5mph, approach, the aim being to achieve the same time on two separate runs – in our case without the use of a stop watch. We also had our first experience of a special navigation section which was an intensive route planning and driving exercise using OS 1:50,000 map sheets following often obscure clues devised by John Hartlay.

Our splendid hotel that night overlooked the River Tay and offered guests a wee dram on arrival – all very Brigadoon and our favourite hotel of the tour. At breakfast the following day we were supplied with maps and instructions for another navigation section in addition to the now familiar Day Book. Being new to this event we concentrated on our Full Scottish breakfast but did observe many other entrants paying more attention to their maps than to their food. We had much to learn! These navigation exercises were challenging in preparation – and on the road. Lots of lateral thinking, but we enjoyed the challenge and looked forward to that part of each day. Surprisingly, we only dropped one point in the three days.

The next two days followed the same pattern of Day Books and Navigation Exercises as we progressed through the Highlands, driving between two and three hundred miles each day but always arriving at our overnight stop in time for a relaxed and leisurely evening in good company. The organisers had us driving some amazingly quiet roads including the Pass of The Cattle at Applecross.  Two nights were based at Elgin before we returned to Dunkeld for the final night. Each day’s optional auto test took a different form. One in the carpark on Cairngorm in very heavy rain. Another on a circuit at the Grampian Transport museum at Alford. The museum was well worth looking round and curiously, being so far from Lincolnshire, contained the Guy Martin car and bike collection. Plus that wonderful Spitfire engine from the TV programme.

Over the four days we got to know several of the other entrants. They drove a mixed bunch of interesting cars – a good number of English sports cars including one E type, one XK140 and three Healeys. Two other Morgans took part besides us, one a 1982 4/4 hired for the event by a couple from Canada. They obviously enjoyed the experience and talked of buying a Morgan to add to their collection of English sports cars. Once Storm Ali had passed, weather for the event was, well, very Scottish and we were grateful for our easy-up hood which spent significantly more time down than up.

Dinner at Dunkeld on the last night was more formal than on the other nights: an excellent meal, a few speeches and some presentations, to a background of photographs of the last few days. Comments were heard as to how often those photogenic Morgans, appeared on the screen!

Only at that point did we realise that although the event was, as the Clerk of the Course emphasised, ‘not a competition’ there was a results sheet and some trophies for the Gymkhana! The ‘winner’ drove a MGCGT and the close runner up a highly desirable 1977 Alfa Romeo GTV. And somehow, we still don’t quite know how, we managed to come sixth out of the 25 cars that finished the event.

Did we ‘quite enjoy’ the event as was originally said?

Understatement – we enjoyed it greatly –it was tremendous fun and if we are accepted for 2019 we’d sign up without hesitation.

 

Alan & Linda Baverstock

Motorsport in Danger!!

We have recieved the following:

The following message has been sent by Chris Aylett to all members of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).

Make no mistake – unless we act NOW, the VNUK ruling will close all motorsport businesses.

I urgently need your help and that of your colleagues and employees.

Please take a look at www.the-mia.com/VNUK to understand our campaign to secure a simple change in the wording of the EU’s proposed Motor Insurance Directive (MID).
We must persuade MEPs and Ministers to change the wording of the MID before 27 November — just a few weeks away!
The MIA was founded with the objective to ‘promote and protect the motorsport industry’. As an MIA member, you are part of this collective movement to save our industry and jobs. A proportion of your MIA subscription has funded our work on VNUK over the past three years and is currently supporting the only European – wide effort raising awareness of this threat to all businesses in motorsport.

 

After two intense weeks, our campaign in five languages has reached nearly 100,000 Europeans but we are doubling our efforts.
Our message is starting to be discussed by a few MEPs in Brussels, but we need many more to be aware of this –YOU can help, please. Now is the time for the whole European motorsport industry to get behind our clear message and make Brussels hear our voice.
Please contact ALL the motorsport contacts you know in EU companies, suppliers, and media, direct them to the MIA website www.the-mia.com/VNUK  and ask them to ACT NOW. All information needed, such as FAQs, letter templates and MEP contact details, are on this web page.
The MIA represents the needs of our sector and we can only do that with the support of our members. The more members we have, the better equipped we are to do this work – so please encourage non – MIA members to join us, we really need their support now so we can keep fighting on your behalf.
Thank you for your help – let’s work together and win this challenging race!
Yours sincerely,
Chris Aylett
Chief Executive of the MIA
For all VNUK enquiries, please contact
Emilie Gessen
Tel: +44 (0)2476 692 600.

Barrie Williams

Many of you would have met Barrie at the LAC Sporrtsmans Lunch a few years back. He was one of the true stalwarts of motorsport. Here is the obituaryfrom the British Motorsport Marshals Club

Barrie Williams (1938 – 2018)
BMMC Club President

Obituary and Funeral Arrangements
It seems hard to believe that Club President, Barrie Williams has died. Barrie was the perennial youth, looked at least 20 years younger than his 79 years on this earth. Always cheerful, ready for a laugh and one of the most accomplished drivers of his generation.

Barrie started his career in rallying, in a Mini, that also served him in circuit racing, sprints and in any other motor sport event that took his eye.

In later years he became a stalwart of the Goodwood Revival meetings, sometimes driving/sharing six cars at one meeting. In between times, he raced in Formula 3, big saloons, little saloons and just about every classic car you can name in his exploits at Goodwood. Best remembered among the marshalling fraternity for his outrageous driving style in a Mazda RX3 – fully sideways and waving to the marshals.

Barrie always had time for the marshals and it was no surprise when he became the populous choice for Club President when Stuart Turner, then President, and Peter Roberts, Chairman, decided to stand down at the end of 2004. We had several suggestions for new President. Barrie won that ballot by a huge margin.

Barrie was pleased with his new appointment and, time permitting, he attended as many functions as he could and never missed an opportunity to display the Club badge. Soon after his appointment, he landed upside down in a gravel trap at Silverstone – calling immediately for special help, reminding his rescuers that he was the Marshals’ Club President. Disappointment followed, when he found there was no lady marshal waiting to give him the kiss of life!!

He was elected a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club in 1971, served on the BRDC Board for fifteen years and remained a proud and prominent member of that Club until his sad demise.

Speaking privately to Barrie, one of his proudest achievements was his part in setting up the under-17 driving school at Silverstone, and the great number of youngsters he taught to drive and prepare for their driving tests. The course has progressed since the early days and it enables teenagers to get through their tests without too much difficulty.

RIP, Barrie; you will be fondly remembered by very many people and marshals will miss you as a very popular President.

The BMMC extends its deepest condolences to Barrie’s partner Kathy and to his many friends throughout the motor sport world.

A funeral for Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will take place on Friday 21 September at 11:30am at St Peter’s Church, Bromyard HR7 4DZ. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be held after at the Plough Inn, Stoke Lacy, Bromyard HR7 4HG. The family have asked if guests could wear a flash of orange (Barrie’s racing helmet colour) and marshals in overalls will be welcomed. No flowers are to be sent but donations can be made to Dementia UK.

A celebration of Barrie’s life will be held on Saturday 29 September in the BRDC Clubhouse, Silverstone NN12 8TN at 3.00pm. All are welcome to attend including marshals in overalls.

Brian Redman – Sportsmans Lunch Report

What a day, what a speaker, what an audience!

The Lancashire Automobile Sportsman’s Lunch proved a great success with the Stirk House laying on excellent facilities and a most enjoyable meal. Brian kept the 180 guest riveted with his memories of the glory days of

motor racing from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

The audience included several luminaries from the motorsport world past and present with Richard Attwood, Warwick Banks and David Piper from Brian’s glory days asking some pertinent questions and adding illuminating comments to Brian’s presentation. Brian was introduced by his old friend, our own, Mike Wood who worked with Brian in the 1950’s and had, as always his own tales to tell!

Outside the venue were some fascinating cars including Brian’s fathers Fraser Nash BMW now fully restored, a 20HP Crossley (and unexpected but welcome addition) and an Ultima in full Gulf colours.

The event kicked off with Simon Hope from our sponsors H7H Auctions, saying not one but two graces – you always get value for money from Simon! Then an excellent meal followed by Brian speaking and answering questions got nearly two hours. Brian Was then presented with the Club’s highest award the Daily Express Trophy which was won by Peter Collins in 1958 just as Brain commenced his racing career.The LAC would like to express it’s thanks not only to Brain but also the organisers and helpers led by Carolyn Taylor who made the event possible and abo

ve all the audience who made the day so special. They also raised some £1000 in the raffle the proceeds of which will be donated to help for Heroes.

All in all a reet good do!

26th Coast to Coast Run – 2018 Report

26th Coast to Coast Classic Car Run

On Saturday 14th July 70 vintage, classic and cherished cars lined up by the Midland Hotel in Morecambe for the Lancashire Automobile Club’s 26th running of their successful Coast to Coast Classic Car Run.

The route of some 155 miles meandered it’s way from Coast to Coast treating the entrants of some fine veiws of the Lake District on its way north to a coffee halt at the Shap Wells Hotel. The route then turned east taking in the top end of Swaledae before going ‘over the top’ to Askrig and on past Castle Bolton and through Leyburn to a lunch halt at the Friars Head, Akebar Park.

From the lunch halt the event again ran east into the North Yorkshire Moors to a control at Scripps Garage in Goathland (Aidensfield for viewers of Heartbeat!). Then north for a short leg to Sandsend to complete the Coast to Coast bit. A short trip inland saw the event finish at Dunsley Hall where the Mayor of Scarborough was on hand to judge the Concours element of the event. Here the entrants enjoyed a fine buffet and many filled the hotel overnight.

Entries ranged from a 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II and a 1937 Chevrolet Coupe, both of which took the twists and turns of some tight moorland roads in their stride, through E Type Jaguars, Austin Healey 3000s, Morris Minors and a brace of Stags to more modern machinery including a 2007 Aston Martin Vanquish.

Navigation was in the form of a detailed road book with tulip diagrams, written directions and information about the places the event passed through. The idea is for the journey to be both challenging and fun without entrants getting lost!

As always the organisers, led by CoC Martin Wylie, had fun overcoming the small issues that affect all events of this type. Ranging from locked gates at the entrance to the start area at Morecambe (the area having been recently resurfaced) a closed bridge at Burneside and miles and miles of recently tar sprayed and chipped roads in Yorkshire. As well as slowing down the cars this created problems as road markings had been erased requiring arrows at affected junctions.

Shortly after the lunch halt one of the Jaguar Mk 2 saloons experienced a small under bonnet fire quickly extinguished by a following entrant. Apparently the car had recently had work done on it’s carburettors which may have resulted in the leak but the real point is that carrying a fire extinguisher can be a very good idea!

Finally with most of the entry at the finish (some stopped for ice creams on what was one of the hottest days of the year) the awards were presented for the Concours element of the event with the fine Daimler SP250 of John and Lynne Atkinson taking the Mayor’s Award, Andrew and Sue Ogden in their Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 received the President’s Award and a special award for the Spirit of the Event went to Steve Smith for acting as a fire fighter to provide assistance to the stricken Jaguar.

As always the Club would like to record it’s thanks to all the marshals and officials as well as the sponsors, Blue Butts and Bowker BMW and Mini for all their support in running the event.

Here’s to 2019.

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