Rockingham's Coys Festival race 3

27th May 2001 Race 3 - The Rockingham Shelby Challenge for Pre 66 GT and Sports Cars 20 minutes + 1 lap The British Jaguar marque reversed the precedents of the 1960s, when the 1963 Jaguar E Type of Minshaw brothers Jon and Jason beat off ...

27th May 2001

Race 3 - The Rockingham Shelby Challenge for Pre 66 GT and Sports Cars

20 minutes + 1 lap

The British Jaguar marque reversed the precedents of the 1960s, when the 1963 Jaguar E Type of Minshaw brothers Jon and Jason beat off the V8 horsepower of the AC Cobras to take the victory laurels. Their win further added to the family trophy cabinet, following father Alan's third place in the opening race of the day.

The AC Cobra of John Bendall was first off the startline for the two-driver race, ahead of the Justin Law in the unique Costin Lister Jaguar Coupe and the fast-starting AC of Bill Shepherd, which forced Jon Minshaw's rare low-drag E-Type into fourth place.

The Lister sadly was a retirement on the 3rd lap with a recurrence of early oil surge problems, promoting Shepherd to second, then into the lead, when a mistake forced Bendall's Cobra onto the dirt, before fishtailing back onto track in 3rd place ahead of the Cobra of Bill Wykeham.

Five laps into the race, Jon Minshaw pulled into the pits to hand over to brother Jason, in a slick driver change which gained their Jaguar the lead. In contrast Shepherd's stop was a lengthy one. The unique `rocking' seat which allows the Cobra's far taller second driver Bill Bryant to fit behind the wheel had come loose at over 140mph on the Rockingham banking. The resulting moments had `commanded Shepherd's undivided attention'. There was further drama in the pits when Barrie Lee stalled the engine of John Young's Corvette and accidentally hit the fire extinguisher button instead of the starter!

The dramas allowed James Shead to take over the Cobra started by Bendall and move into 2nd place, while Bryant began to recover lost time in third, ahead of the Wykeham/Lindsay Cobra. Further back, one of the highlights of the race was the battle between the Les Ely/Dick Bradley E-Type, Nigel Hulme driving `solo' in his AC Cobra Le Mans and the Mike Knight Corvette, driven in the latter half of the race by Simon de Lautour, brother of `Rising Damp' star Frances. As in the lead battle, the dice ended with the advantage - and 5th place - for the Ely/Bradley Jaguar.

-Rockingham Motor Speedway

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Series Vintage
Drivers John Young , Bill Shepherd , James Shead , John Bendall , Justin Law , Les Ely , Jon Minshaw