Cologne Capri dominates class; Lister Costin passes entire ’50s field, but gearbox problem denies victory at the last.
Classic car specialist JD Classics ended its most successful year of historic motor racing with an end-of-season victory at the Algarve Historic Festival in Portugal (18-20 October).The Algarve victory adds to companmy’s record tally of outright wins and class victories during the hard-fought but entertaining 2013 historic racing season.
The Historic Racing Department travelled to Portugal with a five car lineup, including the TWR Jaguar XJS and Ford Cologne Capri touring cars, plus a Lightweight Jaguar E-Type, Costin Lister and Cooper Jaguar T33.
All five cars qualified well, with the TWR Jaguar XJS of Chris Ward and John Young placed third on the Historic Touring Cars Challenge starting grid, and the pairing of Alex Buncombe and Andrew Smith taking a decisive pole position for the race in the Ford Capri.
The same dynamic duo also qualified the Costin Lister on pole position a clear two seconds ahead of the second-placed car for the Motor Racing Legends 1950s Sports Car race, with the Cooper Jaguar T33, driven by JD Classics’ proprietor Derek Hood, along with John Young and Andrew Smith. The Lightweight E-Type of Derek Hood, Alex Buncombe and Chris Ward qualified in third position for Sunday’s long GT and Sports Car Cup Race, with Derek putting in some competitive times within the vast 23 car field, despite never having driven the car before.
The actual racing in the Algarve kicked off with the two-race round of the Historic Touring Car Challenge. Driving the same Ford Capri that his father Jonathan campaigned in period, Alex Buncombe, partnered by Andrew Smith, led the pack in both races to give the Capri a decisive double victory. The TWR XJS of Chris Ward and John Young just missed out on a podium position to finish a good fourth place overall, and first within its class.
Despite qualifying the Costin Lister on pole position for the 1950s Sportscar race, a race schedule timing change by the Algarve officials prevented Alex Buncombe from making his transition from the winning Capri to the Costin Lister, meaning he had to start the race from the pit lane.
Within just five laps though, Buncombe had made his way through the field and was comfortably extending his lead, setting the fastest lap of the race by a clear three seconds. Ultimately though, the Lister had an uncharacteristic gearbox problem, forcing the car to retire; a disappointing end when the car looked set for victory. The Cooper finished second in its class.
In the final, eventful race the Lightweight Jaguar E-type finished a convincing third overall, and second in its class. Despite a disappointing weekend forn the 1950s Sportscar race, both Touring Cars and the Lightweight E-type performed consistently, with a strong double-victory for the Ford Capri.
JD Classics Managing Director Derek Hood was delighted with the season: “The Algarve event bought to a close a fantastically successful racing season for JD Classics. I am already looking forward to a great season of racing again next year.”
Check out in-car footage of the JD Classics cars in Portugal at www.youtube.com/jdclassicstv.