Chris and Ben Beighton take lights-to-flag win in Masters 70s Celebration & Allcomers race
The Sunbeam Tiger driven by Chris and Ben Beighton powered to a lights-to-flag win in the Masters 70s Celebration & Allcomers race at Spa, although the Chevron B8s of Alec Hammond and Robert Beebee/Steve Boultbee Brooks followed the Tiger across the line within the space of seconds. Chris Beighton had handed his son a comfortable lead on the Chevrons, but the nimble B8s closed rapidly at the end when Beighton Jr decided to take it a bit too easy.
I saw the boards come out which said +14”, said Ben Beighton. “Oh, that’s comfortable, I thought. I’ll stop using second gear and calm right down. Then the next lap it was +5… Bloody hell, I thought, I’d better speed up again! On the final lap it got a bit too close for comfort, but fortunately there was a yellow flag at the final chicane…
Alec Hammond and Steve Boultbee Brooks had a great fight for second place while closing on the Sunbeam Tiger. On lap 10, Hammond got past, soon after Boultbee Brooks received a warning flag for exceeding track limits.
Yes, he was using all the track and more to stay ahead of me!” said Hammond, “but I enjoyed it a lot.
Mike Gardiner’s TVR Griffith was a distant fourth, while Tony Absolom got his VW Golf up to a startling fifth place. The position was amazing enough but that the little Golf nipped past the Klaus Horn/Pablo Briones Porsche 911 RSR on the final lap was even more remarkable. In the hands of Horn, the RSR was Chris Beighton’s main rival ahead of the pit window, before it lost three positions during the pit stops. It was still the fastest 70s sportscar, finishing comfortably ahead of Bruce White’s similar RSR in tenth overall.
In seventh, Laki Christoforou’s Ford Escort RS 1600 was the fastest touring car of the field, finishing in front of Nicholas King’s Aston Martin DB4 Lightweight. In ninth, and second of the 70s touring cars, was the BMW 635 CSi of local men Raphaël de Borman and Christophe van Riet. The early class leaders, Dominik Roschmann and Richard Shaw, dropped back with Shaw at the wheel of their BMW 3.0 CSL.
Robin Benn’s Ford Capri and Charles Tippett’s BMW 2002ti were the other class winners.
Greg Thornton’s Chevron B8 was right in the hunt in the opening stages, making it a three-way B8 fight between Hammond, Beebee and himself, but dropped out on lap 5. Mark Bates’ Porsche 911 RS, another one in the top-five in the early part of the race, was blackflagged on lap 4.