VSCC Driving Tests

09 February 2017

On Sunday 29th January the annual Vintage Sports-Car Club’s Driving Tests got the motoring season at Brooklands off to a flying start.

In a repeat of his triumph last year, young George Diffey led the way once more, claiming overall honours on the day. Piloting his distinct, gold-coloured Austin 7, the 23-year old set the fastest time on ten of the day’s fourteen tests to edge out fellow young Club Member Eddie Williams in his Austin, as they enjoyed a close battle atop the Modified Sports-Cars class. It was another notable strong start to the season for Diffey, recently named winner of the Club’s prestigious John Rowley Trophy for the best performance by an under 23 year old across all VSCC events during the 2016 season – an accolade won by his father Simon 30 years ago.

Amongst the Standard Sports-Cars, a familiar pairing locked horns, with Mark Ballard getting the better of Alex Pilkington’s wonderful Alfa Romeo 6C in his Frazer Nash whilst Neil Thorp’s experience showed as he topped the Touring Cars class in his Singer 9 Sports Coupé, ahead of the Morris Cowley of Paul Hoskins – the latter sharing with 19-year old son Harry, who also claimed a Class award on the day.

Despite some spots of rain throughout the day, another strong turnout of spectators arrived to enjoy the annual event which filled the Museum site, with many Club Members and non-members alike arriving in their own Pre-war cars, which formed an attractive ‘period’ display in front of the Clubhouse. This year saw a slight change to the traditional format to accommodate the Project works on site which will restore part of the original Finishing Straight of the 1907 circuit, with a pair of tests at neighbouring Mercedes-Benz World to go alongside the familiar challenges on Test Hill and the Banking. Additionally, in line with new MSA Autotest regulations, each test was attempted twice, allowing Competitors a chance to remedy any mistakes from the morning’s rounds.

The VSCC will return to Brooklands Museum on 17th and 18th June as co-promoters of this year’s Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival, which will feature a weekend of VSCC Speed Trials, Driving Tests and a Concours, as well as the grand re-opening of the restored Finishing Straight on the Saturday, 110 years to the day since the track was originally opened.