Rockingham's Coys Festival race 9

28th May 2001 Race 9 - Brooklands Revival Race for Pre War Cars 20 minutes + 1 lap The second race of the weekend for the Pre War cars provided as much drama as any race fans could ever want as Mark Gillies, recovering from an early spin, took...

28th May 2001

Race 9 - Brooklands Revival Race for Pre War Cars
20 minutes + 1 lap

The second race of the weekend for the Pre War cars provided as much drama as any race fans could ever want as Mark Gillies, recovering from an early spin, took his second win of the weekend, snatching victory from a spinning Tony Stephens who had led for most of the race.

As the cars were released on the rolling start it was Gillies who got away well from pole position and dropped down off the banking into the lead with Tony Stephens' ERA right behind his Maserati. Irvine Laidlaw started to make progress up the field almost immediately as he dived down the inside of Barrie Baxter's Maserati to move into fourth place behind Paul Jaye's Alta. As the lead cars came around onto the start finish straight for the first time Gillies and Stephens were side by side with Stephens just holding the advantage as they approach the first chicane. Gillies fought back, but tried a little too hard as he got two wheels onto the dirt at the infield turn, spinning his car around. Gillies recovered to rejoin in fourth place.

Meanwhile at the front Stephens had taken advantage of Gillies misfortune to open up a gap over second placed Paul Jaye. Laidlaw was starting reel in Jaye when the Alta pulled into the pit lane promoting Irvine Laidlaw into second, 3.5 seconds behind the lead car. Laidlaw closed the gap by a further two seconds on the next lap as Stephens weaved his way through the back markers. It seemed that Laidlaw was going to be challenging for the lead very soon, but fate played a part when Laidlaw, pushing his car to the limit, put a wheel off the circuit and his chances of victory disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Mark Gillies was now back up into second place, but a full seven seconds behind Stephens and with only seven minutes remaining it looked like an impossible task to win the race. Suddenly, with two laps remaining, Stephens slowed and as the two leading cars began the last lap on 2.2 seconds apart. Gillies pushed his Maserati to the limit and the two lead cars were side by side as they approached the hairpin. Stephens still held the advantage with two corners remaining when a back marker played an important role. As Stephens turned left back onto the oval track he put a wheel off the circuit while trying to get past a back marker and a spin ended his dream of glory.

Mark Gillies led home a Maserati 1-2-3 as he took the chequered flag over sixteen seconds ahead of a recovering Irvine Laidlaw and fifty eight seconds ahead of third placed Barrie Baxter. Mark was happy to take his second win of the weekend but knew that he had been beaten by Tony Stephens, "Tony must have run out of brakes towards the end. It was Tony's race, there was nothing I could do to catch him until the last lap, he had won that one."

-RMS-

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About this article
Series Vintage
Drivers Barrie Baxter , Irvine Laidlaw