Historic Racing

Silverstone Classic 2011: Jon Minshaw Does The E-Type Challenge Double

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Jon Minshaw won both Jaguar E-Type Challenge races on the Silverstone Classic weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famed sportscar.

Minshaw, driving the no.33 entry and one of three members of his family competing in the series over the three day event, dominated proceedings, taking pole position away from Friday's qualifying session and converting into a healthy lead during the course of the early laps of Saturday's evening race.

Minshaw led with Graeme Dodd falling into second at the head of a closely pack bunch that also featured Alex Buncombe, Jason Minshaw and German driver Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen in the turquoise no.7 car – a colour scheme that stood out against the more restrained hues of much of the historic field.

The German made it as high as third, behind Minshaw and Dodd, before falling back, running wide at Copse before a mechanical issue ended his participation in the battle. The lap after Graf von Oeynhausen's demise Buncombe caught and passed Dodd for second, signalling the start of a late charge to catch Minshaw.

In two laps Buncombe cut the deficit from nine seconds on just two, well on course to catch Minshaw in the final lap of the thirteen squeezed into the half hour race, the leader starting the final circuit with just ten seconds left of the time limit.

However, Buncombe's challenge fell short, perhaps caught out by lapped traffic around the track as the field of 50 cars had spread out around the Grand Prix track. Dodd completed the podium. Jason Minshaw finished fourth, wrenching the place away from Jeremy Welch on lap 11 in the final change in a terrific battle which saw the two drivers swap places back and forth as they fought through the top ten.

The second race was a more straight forward affair for Minshaw at the front, partly as Desire Wilson replaced race one challenge Buncombe in the no.48 car.

The female ex-F1 driver maintained position in the top ten until she was taken out as an innocent bystander in one of the weekend's large crashes. Manfredo Rossi span by himself through the Becketts and Chapel sweeps and Wilson's attempts to avoid him, diving towards the left of the track approaching the entrance to the Hanger Straight, proved futile, the impact ripping the front from Rossi's car and causing significant damage to her own car, putting both out of the race.

With parts of E-Type strewn across the track, only marshals running onto the track to retrieve the debris kept the safety car in the pitlane and preserved the 21 second lead Minshaw had Andrew Smith.

Smith would fall to third place behind Martin O'Connell, who had moved up from 21st on the grid based on the previous day's results, but would still finish 27 seconds behind Minshaw who's double win meant he now has three wins in the E-Type Challenge series in 2011.

Jeremy Welch went one place better than Saturday's race in fourth ahead of John Pearson.

After a disappointing retirement in race one Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen stormed through the field to finish eighth, the only man capable of regularly matching Minshaw's pace.

Class B – for unmodified cars – was won was John Burton, holding onto the class win, despite losing time to a mistake. The class was lead early on in the by Jonathan Hughes in the no.81 car until his race came to a premature end after only five laps.

Hughes' co-driver, double BTCC champion John Cleland, won the class comfortably in race one on Saturday.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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