28th May 2001 Race 14 - The Rockingham Shelby Challenge for Pre 66 GT and Sports Cars 20 minutes + 1 lap The last race of the Coys Historic Festival produced a classic finale to a wonderful weekend, rounding off the first public event at the...
28th May 2001
Race 14 - The Rockingham Shelby Challenge for Pre 66 GT and Sports Cars
20 minutes + 1 lap
The last race of the Coys Historic Festival produced a classic finale to a wonderful weekend, rounding off the first public event at the brand new Rockingham Motor Speedway nicely. The brothers Minshaw added a second victory to the one they took in yesterday's race.
The entire field seemed very keen to get on with the race as they all shot off the last turn banking at racing speed, well before the start line. Jon Minshaw in the Jaguar E Type kept his pole position, leading the pair of AC Cobras of John Bendall and Graham Bryant. Further down the field Win Percy made an awesome start in the Lister Jaguar Coupe, moving from 18th to 9th by the time the cars turned onto the infield section. Percy kept up the pace to pass three more cars on the second lap to start lap 3 in 4th place, just four seconds adrift of Bryant in third.
Further down the pack the two Corvettes of Barry Lee and Simon De Lautour were having a great mid order scrap. Lee pressurised De Lautour until he saw an opening on lap 4 and put the nose of his American machine into the gap, forcing his way past. Further back, Martin McGlone in a Ferrari 250 GT and Keith Norris in a Corvette crossed the line side by side with McGlone just getting the upper hand at the first corner.
The leader came in for the mandatory pit stop on lap 5 and Jon Minshaw handed over the car to his brother Jason. Bryant brought the Cobra in on the next lap followed by Percy in the Lister. The Lister's stop was a lot faster and Justin Law managed to beat Bill Shepherd out of the pit lane, nearly colliding with Nigel Hulme's Cobra, who had come in for his stop. However, Law couldn't hold off the charging Shepherd for long and a lap later the Cobra swept past the Lister Jaguar into second place. Law lost third place to James Shead on the same lap and the pair of Cobra's then tried to catch the leading Jaguar of Jason Minshaw.
With a six second lead over Shepherd, Minshaw looked secure in front, but some heavy traffic allowed the Cobra to slash the gap to just over two seconds with two laps remaining. Shepherd scented victory but Minshaw wasn't going to relinquish the garland without a fight. At the last turn on the infield circuit the Lister Jaguar slid wide allowing the chasing Cobra to close right up. As the two cars swept onto the banking for the final time the Jaguar held enough of an advantage to take the chequered flag, just one second ahead of Shepherd's Cobra. James Shead finished third five seconds behind the leading car.