Ferrari 250GTO in first place
Jean-Marc Gounon bought home Sir Anthony Bamford’s Ferrari 250GTO in first place for the one-hour RAC TT Celebration race. He did so after ironically capitalising on his team-mate Peter Hardman’s mistake.
As the flag dropped, Justin Law headed the stampede towards Madgwick from the outside of the front row aboard his Lister-Jaguar, but he had been demoted by Rob Hall’s Cobra and Bobby Verdon-Roe’s Ferrari 330LMB by the end of the first lap.
Man of the move
Hardman was the man of the move, however. The historics regular got past Law and Adrian Newey’s highly-developed Jaguar E-type on the fifth lap and was soon on the tail of Verdon-Roe. At quarter distance there was barely two seconds covering the top three, positions remaining static until 20 minutes in. Newey dived into the pits to hand over his car to Champ Car legend Bobby Rahal who managed barely a lap before three-wheeling his way into the barriers. The unfortunate American almost took Ludovic Caron’s AC Cobra with him, and fortunately emerged unscathed from what was a scary-looking shunt.
Almost concurrently, Derek Bell’s E-type dove into the Lister-Jaguar shortly after Anthony Reid had taken over from Law. Verdon-Roe was also out of the race having parked the Ferrari at Fordwater. With 33 minutes left to run, Hardman tried an optimistic move on Hall at the kink before St Mary’s and out-braked himself; worried that his wild ride on the grass had damaged the car, he pitted to get it checked out just as the safety car was deployed. The Ferrari was fine, team-mate Gounon taking over in the lead as the field was bunched up. With 20 minutes to go, and with all changeovers having been made, he enjoyed a 20-seconds lead over fellow Frenchman Nicholas Minassian who had taken over the Oliver Bryant ex-Salvadori/Tommy Atkins Cobra which had moved up to fifth place before the driver changes.
Hero of the race
The real hero of the race, however, was Reid who recovered from the Bell assault and homed in on Jim Richards in the late stages. The Australian touring car star had taken over from Hall to run in what had hitherto seemed like a safe third place. The Scot blasted past before setting after Minassian at a mighty rate and caught him on the final tour. The Lister gave the Cobra a love tap at St. Mary’s but Reid couldn’t find a way past. Gounon, meanwhile, stopped on his slowing down lap to offer Rahal a lift back to the pits. He then performed a donut. With both doors open. And on the grass…