Masters: Sebring Classic 12 Hours Wednesday 4th December 2019 to Sunday 8th December 2019 - Sebring International Raceway, USA
With summer drawing to a close, it was time for the annual Goodwood celebration of pre-66 motorsport. The 2019 Goodwood Revival once more brought together the fastest names from the motorsport world, both current and past taking to the track, in an eclectic mix of vehicles, ranging from 1930s ‘Blower’ Bentleys to the awesome Friday evening spectacle of the Kinrara Trophy at dusk.
In the hot seat of an RHD steel-bodied 250 GT SWB was James Cottingham, of DK, alongside André Lotterer a three-time Le Mans winner. This was the first time the car had raced after quick conversion to race spec over the last 3 months.
Qualifying 9th, James started from the third row. As a result of a technical infringement, the Macari SWB was relegated to the back of the grid. From the moment the flag dropped, James had one place in mind. Fighting through the traffic, by the end of the first lap, the Verde Tevere SWB was in 3rd place. The battle continued for half an hour with James maintaining that position until driver change.
With Lotterer jumping in after the half way pitstop, things were looking good until a blowout caused the SWB to spin off at “no-name”; André managed to skilfully catch the car without an excursion into the barriers and limped the car back to the pits to continue the race with a new wheel fitted but the whole pack had managed to pass. Friend of DK, Andrew Smith took the chequered flag in a 250GTO, a year after a disappointing start line clutch failure took his chances on the first lap. Whilst an unfortunate end for DK, it was an unforgettable sunset and fiercely competitive racing made it quite the spectacle for those holding out as the sun dropped behind the Sussex hills.
Saturday brought the Goodwood Revival debut for DK’s Harvey Stanley in 2 GLL the ”Ilford Films 500” MGB. Harvey had put the MG 7th on the Fordwater Trophy’s starting grid, lining up between Ben Mitchell in another MGB, Tim Layzell in the TVR Grantura and with Mark Sumpter’s 911 close behind. Between Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s race, the DK team had made some handling adjustments which paid off in the race. A good start saw Harvey biting on the heels of the leading group of Elan, Marcos Mini and TR4 - but as the opening laps unfolded the MGB couldn’t live with the pace of these faster cars. A thrilling three way battle then ensued between the MGB, TVR and Porsche with positions swapping each lap, at the flag Harvey took 4th by just 1.3 seconds with the Porsche a further 0.5 seconds behind! The next MGB was a further 30 seconds behind.
Saturday afternoon saw James qualifying in the Ecurie Francorchamps liveried 500TRC of David Cottingham ahead of Sunday’s race. Having been in the family for nearly 40 years, #0682MDTR has been raced on over 180 occasions. He lined up 8th on the grid and again had a sensational first lap moving up to fourth. A spectacular race long battle entertained the crowds between James, Richard Wilson in his Maserati 250S and John Young in his disc braked C Type Jaguar. Come the chequered flag James finished 4th overall.
It wasn’t only grownups enjoying the racing, but for Saturday and Sunday the DK Austin J40 (in the family since 1973) was happily pedalled by 7 year old Valentine Finburgh in the Settrington Cup.
Photography with thanks to Drew Gibson & Luke Gilbertson