Historic Motorsport: Thwaites achieves a childhood dream

Jamie Thwaites, son of successful sports car racer Richard, has realised a childhood dream by becoming the owner of a mighty Can-Am McLaren M8F

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Jamie Thwaites, the new owner of the ex-John Foulston McLaren M8F, says that owning the mighty Can-Am car is the realisation of a childhood dream.

Thwaites is the son of successful 1960 and 1970s sports car racer Richard and remembers the 8-litre monster vividly from his formative years. Now, he has bought the car the car from the JCB operation and plans to race it once he has upgraded his racing licence.

“My dad used to race against that car in historics in the 1980s and I’ve been in love with it since I was a kid,” said Thwaites. “I spent my early life following my dad around racing.”

Though he did some racing in his youth, Thwaites has not raced for two decades. “I’ve spent 20 years earning money to go racing and that’s the car I always wanted.” Thwaites will now do some other races to get licence signatures before he is able to race the McLaren.

Thwaites has entrusted the car’s preparation to Dean Forward and it was Forward who was intended to race it in the Pre ’80 Endurance races at Silverstone earlier this month. However, after he put the car on pole, it was sidelined by oil issues and did not race.

In the mid-1980s, Foulston raced the McLaren in the Historic GT Championship sponsored by his own Atlantic Computers organisation. He clinched the 1987 title in the McLaren at Snetterton, two days before he died while testing a McLaren Indycar at Silverstone.

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Great start for Ralli22

Stephen Chamberlain’s ex-Freddy Loix Hyundai Accent WRC won the first event in the new Ralli22 series at the Prescott hillclimb on Saturday.

Ralli22 is a new competitive series for cars Group B, Group A and WRC rally cars from 1982 to 2004 and the Prescott event was the first of three this summer.

Chamberlain grabber victory on his second timed run to pre a second from his earlier and set the mark at 50.06s, just clear of Jason Lepley (Escort Mk2) and Tony Shields (Opel Astra).

Chamberlain has recently restored the Accent, which Loix took to sixth in the 2002 New Zealand Rally. It was later used in the UK by Stephen Simpson but has now been returned to immaculate 2002 specification.

“It’s a shame to leave it under wraps and so Ralli22 is perfect for me,” said Chamberlain.

Green goes back in time

BTRDA ST Trophy rally winner Kalvin Green will switch to the British Historic Rally Championship for 2019 in a Zakham Engineering Ford Escort Mk2.

Green won his class on the Plains Rally in his first year in the ST. He will drive a Pinto-engined car next year, and believes the BHRC is the place to promote his name.

“I looked at it and a lot of people my age, they move through the ranks and go from BTRDA to BRC,” said Green. “I want to take a different route. I think that will give me a better chance to get my name out there rather than driving an R2 in the BRC.”

Lancia Stratos damaged

The stunning Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez was seriously damaged by a fire during the Ypres Historic Rally in Belgium over the weekend. The fire is believed to have started when the car was being refuelled.

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Historic Grand Prix cars on display at British Grand Prix

At least 15 Grand Prix cars spanning 70 years of the British Grand Prix will take part in demonstration sessions at Silverstone during the 2018 race weekend (July 6-8). On-track will be cars ranging from an ERA dating back to the first British Grand Prix in 1948 through to the 2016-winning Mercedes W07 of Lewis Hamilton.

EU Brexit co-ordinator to race at Legends of Brands Hatch

The entry for Sunday’s Formula Junior race at the Legends of Brands Hatch Super Prix includes the European Union’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt who is due to race a front-engined Elva 100 from 1959. Verhofstadt (64) previously raced an Aston Martin at the Silverstone Classic and raced the Elva at Zolder at the end of May.

Brands Hatch Formula Atlantic revival

At least seven Formula Atlantic single-seaters will race at Brands Hatch this weekend in the HSCC’s first step to promote a revival of the 1970s category. Notable cars are the March 79B of series promoter Iain Rowley, the similar car of David Mercer and the Chevron B49 of Keith Norris. The Atlantics will share the Derek Bell Trophy grid for a double-header.

Veteran Magson contests first hillclimb for 36 years

Seasoned rally driver Steve Magson contested his first hillclimb for 36 years when he ran his ex-Danny Snobeck Mercedes 190 in Ralli22 at Prescott on Saturday. “We’re just out for a bit of fun,” said the Yorkshireman who will now take the car to the rally stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

De Cadenet has pre-Le Mans Classic test

Xtech Engineering’s Paul Knapton gave the ex-Alain de Cadenet/Chris Craft Lola based De Cadenet its pre-Le Mans Classic test at Donington Park. Owner Henrik Lindberg has contested the last six Le Mans Classics with the DFV-powered car, which finished third overall at Le Mans in 1976. “Henrik went to Goodwood with it to in 2016, but only uses it at Le Mans now,” said Knapton.

Error costs Moroney Ralli22 chance

Niall Moroney missed out on a chance to win the inaugural Ralli22 speed hillclimb at Prescott on Saturday after planting his ex-Prodrive Subaru Impreza WRC in the gravel on his first timed runs. Moroney had set the pace in practice, over two seconds clear of his rivals. But the error at Ettores ended his day.

Pictures courtesy of Paul Lawrence

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