Herts Ferrari Christmas Party Saturday 16th December 2017 - Hanbury Hall, Herts (7pm)
With over 1,100 cars present over two pit and paddock complexes, there is no doubt that the Silverstone Classic is the largest event of its kind in Europe. Unsurprisingly, all of the 24 race grids were near full and a number of these were at the circuit's capacity for number. The eclectic collection of racing cars spanned 90 years with Pre-War Grand Prix machinery sharing the weekend with Group C and 90's Touring Cars. The event has three public days, qualifying on Friday with two full days of close racing on Saturday and Sunday in addition to the competitors test day on Thursday. The weather was generally kind to the event and dry weather was enjoyed by most grids except sadly for the Piper Heidseick trophy which was run in standing water and torrential rain. This in turn led to the following and final race on Saturday, Group C, being cancelled. With so many cars and drivers it was perhaps a little disappointing not to see any pre-war sports cars, but then, you can't have it all!
DK, as always, were present at the event in force and this year the burgundy series 1 E-Type, (fresh from a hard earned 3rd place finish at Dijon Prenois), the 500 TRC and the GT40 of Andrew Smith (which James would also drive) were present . Andrew would also share the drive in the E-Type. As at Dijon the E-Type, despite its standard trim and appearance set an extremely good pace from the start, despite a few minor problems in qualifying which included acclimatising Andrew Smith to the car and a runaway gear knob the car was placed in P4 in a grid of 50 competitors; the top three grid positions were taken by Hadfield/Friedrichs in the Project Aston, the ever-quick pairing of Jackie Oliver and Gary Pearson in Rohan Fernando's Ferrari 250 GT SWB and in third position the AC Cobra of Blakeney-Edwards/Hunt. James started the race and by quarter distance had climbed to second place having quickly overcame the Aston and Cobra and with the Ferrari leading a close battle ensued between the Cobra and E-Type, but the pace of the E-type seemed to force the Cobra into premature retirement. Following the Pearson and Oliver driver change, the E-Type was running in first place awaiting Andrew to take the wheel, this change was made near to the end of the pit window and the E-Type re-joined the race in second position. At this point Hadfield had taken over the Project Aston and was now lapping over five seconds faster than the rest of the field in third place. Whilst Andrew drove the car faultlessly , the prototype Aston passed the E-Type on the penultimate lap and finished ahead in second place, victory for Pearson and Oliver in the 250 SWB and a hard fought podium for the DK "E". Clearly the fastest E-Type in the race.