AMOC champions crowned at wet Silverstone finale

The final Aston Martin Owners Club race meeting of the year took place at Silverstone in dramatic and drizzly conditions

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Several champions were crowned in the final AMOC Racing meeting of 2018 at a rainy Silverstone on October 6, the highlight of which was the season finale for the 40th anniversary of Intermarque.

Porsche team captain and title challenger Rob Hollyman and polesitting BMW driver Chris Bialan lead early on in that race, and had lapped the field within 10 laps. Bialan led Hollyman by more than half a minute at one point, and although the lead reduced towards the end, it was still a dominant win for Bialan. Hollyman and Andy Peck completed the podium, ahead of Karl Weaver and BMW 323i driver Laurence Squires, who was crowned champion. BMW took the teams title.

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Graham Tilley took pole for the GT Challenge race in his Ginetta, with the similar G55 of Nick and Tom Cresswell joining him on the front row. It was only the second race in the car for the Cresswells, and their first in the wet, but they came out victorious after the pitstops.

Arran and James Moulton-Smith finished third in their BMW M3, the only other car on the lead lap. Robin Marriott was the first of the class one Aston Martins in seventh, a lap clear of the similar GT4 of David and Robert Tinn.

Equipe Pre’63 started the day’s racing. Poleman Tim Mogridge fell to fifth immediately in his Jaguar E-Type, handing the lead to Project 214 Aston Martin driver Andrew Hibberd. Mogridge then went on a recovery drive and was up to secondby lap eight, having passed the MGA of Tom Smith. After the compulsory pitstops it was just just the Hibberd/Martin Brewer Aston and Mogridge Jaguar left on the lead lap, with the latter hunting down Brewer and taking victory.

Nick Matthews had the measure of the conditions early in the Equipe GTS race, opening a gap in his Austin-Healey 100/4 over the rest, headed by Tom Grindall’s MG. Although overtaken, Grindall ended up being Matthew’s closest rival after the pitstops.

The Farallac Mk2 of Tony Bianchi took pole for the Jack Fairman Cup race for 1950s sportscars, Mark Ellis’s MGA passed at the start though. They pulled away from Robi Bernberg’s Cooper Bobtail. A safety car closed the field back up, and this time it was Bianchi who leap past Ellis. Despite the power disadvantage to Bianchi, Ellis managed to get inside the leader at Luffield several times, but was then beaten down the straight. Bianchi opened a gap in the final laps, while Neil Cawthorn making it two MGs on the podium by passing Bernberg.

Conditions had eased slightly for the Pre-War Team Challenge where six Aston Martins were also competing for the St John Horsfall Memorial Trophy. Anthony Seber’s Hornet Special won, ahead of Clive Morley’s Bentley and Trevor Swete’s Invicta. Aston Martin won the Team Challenge competition, John Briggs’s Aston Martin Ulster took home the St John Horsfall Memorial Trophy.

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