The first round of the 2012 E-Type Challenge took place at the second Donington Historic Festival. Following its immense popularity the series has now been continued by the HSCC, and as in 2011 the calibre of competition was immense.
Above; Chris and Mark fighting for third in race two
The structure of the series was again to have two half hour races for one or two drivers over the weekend. M & C had three E-Types competing in the races with Jamie going solo in 5 RPP and Chris driving in both his cars with his Son ant for company in XAN 555 and Mark Wright in with him in 968 UXY.
A packed grid of over thirty E-Types were competing with many of the front running cars having professional drivers at the wheel. Qualifying on the Saturday was badly disrupted by rain meaning only the cars that got straight out and on the pace from the off made it to the front of the field.
Race one was furious from the start with Alex Buncombe and Martin O’Connell fighting until the penultimate lap for the win with Buncombe sending O’Connell off whilst dicing for the victory. This left Graham Dodd second, Jon Minshaw third and Jason Minshaw fourth with Ant Scragg in XAN 555 finishing fifth; first home of the non-professional drivers. Chris came seventh and Jamie came in eighth meaning a first, third and fourth of the owner drivers competing for the M & C team.
Race two’s grid was formed from the finishing positions of race one with Chris now in XAN 555, Mark in 968 UXY and Jamie in 5 RPP. A frantic start saw Mark and Chris battling for third, with Mark then passing Jon Minshaw a lap later into the old hairpin for Second. Jon clawed the position back with Chris now in the rhythm in XAN 555 bringing down the gap to Mark. Martin O’Connell however had come through from the back and passed Chris and then Mark for Third. It later transpired that Jamie had had an electrical problem meaning he retired on lap 2.
Unfortunately the race was then cut short due to a multi-car accident that started due to the ex-Bruce McLaren E-Type’s engine letting go down the start finish straight leaving oil and various engine components across the circuit. Fortunately despite one driver having to be cut free from his car no one was seriously injured and the race result was declared from the positions the cars were running in at that point leaving Mark Fourth and Chris fifth.