Pre 63-GT at Thruxton

Pre-63 GT at the 2020 Thruxton Historic Festival

DK Engineering are once again proud to Sponsor the Pre-63 GT Series in 2020. Having participated in the series every year since its inception by Carol Spagg and the HMRN Team, over a decade ago with (until now) our Burgundy E-Type Roadster “492 YUF”.

We believe that the series is one of the very best in the Historic Motorsport Scene, blessed with some of the most beautiful racing cars ever produced, such as the Ferrari 250 SWBs and 250 GTOs, Aston Martin DB4 GTs, early AC Cobras (260ci) and the early Jaguar E-Types which are distinguished from the later “Semi Lightweight” variants by their wire wheels, bumpers and SU Carburettors. Not only does the grid look much “prettier” than the later Pre-66 Grids but the cars have noticeably less grip leading to creates wonderful racing which has proved such a delight that it spawned in 2016 a new race at the Goodwood Revival – The “Kinrara Trophy” which has since become the new highlight of the Revival Meeting. This success and appeal has been noted in Europe as well with the establishment of a complimentary series under the Peter Auto umbrella. DK Engineering have sponsored the “Pre-63 GT” Series since 2018. In 2019 the series moved from the Stewardship of the founder Carol Spagg to Duncan Wiltshire’s “Motor Racing Legends” where we are certain the series will grow yet further.

2020 should have seen the “Pre-63 GT” Grid race at the Donington Historic Festival and then at the Silverstone Classic for the famous RAC TT with the season finale coming in the Algarve in October. Unfortunately Covid19 saw the abandonment of both the Donington and Silverstone meetings. (The Algarve is still very much on the cards but on a slightly later date as the circuit now will host Formula One on the original dates). Thankfully Duncan’s team at MRL were able to engineer a series opener in England at the Thruxton Historic Festival. A very fast circuit, and one of the few that remains unchanged since the 1960s with Qualifying and 60 minute Race all on Saturday August 15th.


Exactly 12 Months before the Thruxton Race, DK Engineering’s Acquisition Consultants James Cottingham and Harvey Stanley had purchased the historic “Huffaker” E-Type in California whilst at the Monterey Car week. Shipped back to the UK the car was making its debut at Thruxton fresh from restoration. Qualifying would prove a baptism of fire with Harvey having never driven the circuit and James having never driven the car, or been to Thruxton in a decade! That said the car showed good pace in its first competitive session; The outcome was a very hard fought for P2 by a narrow margin of 0.4 of a second, beaten to Pole Position by Current BTCC driver Rory Butcher in Jon Minshaw’s E-Type with Oliver Bryant in third just behind.

In the race James started very well overtaking Jon Minshaw in the first few corners and beginning to build a very respectable 20 second lead over the rest of the field by the 15 minute mark, which is sadly where things began to unravel with a misfire which began to progressively get worse. In an attempt to improve things the condenser was changed and the Tacho disconnected at the driver change but sadly with no difference made retirement was inevitable. Meanwhile Rory Butcher had taken over the Minshaw E-Type which had been battling with the Fixed Head E-Types of Bryant and Hanson, and then the Fisken Blakeney Edwards E-Type, which led to an all Jaguar Podium. The race won by the Minshaw / Butcher Grey E-Type Roadster, Oliver Bryant in Second place and Gregor Fisken and Patrick Blakeney Edwards in third.

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