Long overdue, Silverstone Classic brought an end to a week of sweltering temperatures. Despite highs of close to 40 degrees during the week (which caused difficulties in pre-event testing), normality was restored and Saturday brought close to a full day of rain.
Amongst the downpours, Harvey and James shared a drive in the DK E-Type in the Royal Automobile Tourist Trophy – arguably Saturday’s main event. This prestigious race always attracts strong competition, this year the Halusa-piloted 250 Breadvan and Hunt/Blakeney-Edwards Cobra, the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro Prototype and a gaggle of well-driven E-Types including the ever quick Jon Minshaw. The scorching Thursday weather caused the DK E-Type to require an overnight head gasket change before Friday’s qualifying, in which the pair placed the car in 3rd position. By contrast to Thursday, the race was started in torrential rain but the challenging weather conditions made for fantastic competition. After the first lap, James Cottingham and Jon Minshaw were battling for the lead, Jon initially taking the lead in his grey E-Type. James chased Minshaw down quickly and the pair had a fantastic battle for the lead of the race. By the opening of the Pit Window, the pair were lapping just 1.8 seconds apart James holding the lead of the race - at just over half race distance a safety car was called and both leading cars pitted together. Jon Minshaw handing over to son Jack and James Cottingham handing over to fellow DK Acquisition Consultant Harvey Stanley. However, the real winner in the safety car intervention was the Cobra of Blakeney Edwards and martin Hunt, which had managed to make up a 50-second deficit under the safety car. Harvey managed to pull clear of the chasing Minshaw E-type by a comfortable 18 seconds to secure 2nd but in the final wet laps of the race was not able to reduce the gap to the Cobra beyond 6 seconds which took the win for the second year in a row. In a dramatic last-lap move, the Ferrari Breadvan passed the Minshaw E-Type to take the final place on the podium.
Harvey was out again on Saturday evening, this time sharing with Richard Cook in a resplendent green GT40 in the Historic Sports Cars championship, both drivers have a good run brining the car home 4th in class against the quicker McLaren and Lola Sports prototypes. This car will be seen in action again at the Goodwood Revival.
Later on Saturday, James and Max Girardo took to the track for the dusk race of the Global Endurance Legends. Switching cars from last year, James took the Dallara out and Max the 550 Prodrive, supported by team DK. As darkness fell, a fantastic grid took to the circuits, with everything from a Ferrari 360 GT to a Bentley Speed 8 and everything in between. James took 4th place overall (and class win) in the SP1 and Max Girardo, a class win in the 550 adding further silverware to Saturday’s haul.
Sunday threatened rain but did remain dry, the main event just after lunch was the Masters Pre-66 GT car race a full grid of 60 cars would battle over 50 minutes. In contrast to the day before James and Harvey lined up not as teammates but as competition. Both driving Shelby 289 Cobras, James once again with Richard Cook in his dark blue car and James this time teamed up with Olly Bryant in the Carreras Colombia Cobra. The cars qualified as the first and second fastest Cobras and sure enough, the cars were side by side battling for position alongside E-Types and Elans. By the pit stop at half race distance James was narrowly leading Richard and Olly Bryant emerged ahead of Harvey after the stop, sadly battle could not resume as a throttle linkage issue forced the Colombian car to retire, Harvey continued to chase down the top 10 and overtook a pair of Elans, with Martin Stretton next up the road, who held on to 7th in his E-Type. A final result of 8th Overall was a very commendable for the Richard and Harvey, the first Cobra over the line and setting the 4th fastest lap of the race in the process.
Last but not least the second race of the Masters Endurance Legends followed on Sunday afternoon; James, once more in the Dallara SP1 enjoyed a great battle against a Porsche RS Spyder and Max in the 550 took home the chequered flag once again, class wins secured for both drivers rounding off a hectic weekend of competition The racing season at DK now takes a bit of a breather of the height of the summer and will return at the Goodwood Revival where James will be driving a Ferrari 250 SWB amongst others, for Harvey competition will resume a week later in Monza, Italy where alongside Richard Cook he will be defending their “Gent” Championship lead in the “2 Litre Cup”
Images provided with kind thanks to Luke Gilbertson & Silverstone Classic Media