The Vintage Sports-Car Club enjoyed an epic season finale at Mallory Park last Saturday, with its annual Bob Gerard Memorial Trophies at the popular Leicestershire circuit. From another eclectic 11-Race program of events for Pre-war and Historic Racing and Sports-Cars, it was local Arnesby-based racer Tony Lees who epitomized the day with impressive performances in three very different cars, including his imposing 1913/18 Vauxhall Viper Special in the Club’s much-celebrated annual Edwardian Handicap Race.
Lees tasted success earlier in the afternoon in the highly anticipated Vintage race, claiming his third victory of the season in his ex-Ron Footitt 1925 AC/GN “Cognac.” From the start, Lees hounded series rival Tom Walker in the Amilcar-Hispano before mechanical woes forced the latter to retire, leaving Lees to hold off the challenge of the “Chain Gang” pairing of Charles Gillett’s Frazer Nash Super Sports and Dougal Cawley’s Ford-engined GN “Piglet.”
The race was curtailed on lap 7 following an unfortunate rollover incident for the experienced Sue Darbyshire, when her Morgan Super Aero hit a patch of oil at Devil’s Elbow. She was transferred by ambulance to hospital and was discharged later in the evening, battered and bruised but otherwise without serious injury.
To complete his hat trick of machinery, Lees took part in the invited AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge Series in his 1976 Morgan Plus 8, claiming a creditable 4th-place finish behind winner Russell Paterson.
The day attracted one of the strongest spectator attendances of the year for Mallory Park, many arriving in Pre-war and Classic machinery, which were all parked in a dedicated display overlooking the Start/Finish. In addition to the thrilling on-track action, Spectators also enjoyed free access to the stunning Competitor Paddock, buoyed by a friendly end of season atmosphere.