Race Report: 2021 Gurney Cup | 78th Members’ Meeting

18th October 2021
Richard Heseltine

James Cottingham and Andrew Smith emerged victorious in the 45-minute Gurney Cup for 1960-66 World Championship sportscars.


Cottingham and Smith dominated the second half of the race. Nevertheless, it was Rob Hall who blasted into an early lead aboard the McLaren-Chevrolet M1A he shared with Andrew Wareing. However, the race was neutralised 45 seconds in after Lotus 23B racer Chris Goodwin dived inside of Westie Mitchall’s Chevron B8 on the run to St. Mary’s only to spin off and smack the bank. Mitchell went off in avoidance while Mark Shaw’s McLaren also rotated, fortunately without making contact.

The safety car was deployed while the stricken Lotus was retrieved. Nine minutes later, racing resumed with Hall fending off James Cottingham in the Ford GT40 he was sharing with Andrew Smith. The lead duo vanished up the road, with the third place GT40 of Shaun Lynn, who was sharing with former IndyCar ace, Dario Franchitti, being 11.955 seconds down the road. Lynn was the first of the lead bunch to stop once the pits opened for driver changes, Cottingham following suit shortly thereafter. Hall continued to build on his lead among the swaps and didn’t pit until there were 20 minutes left for run.

Wareing emerged trackside in second place in the McLaren, 17 seconds down on Smith. At this juncture, the GT40 of Tom Kristensen and Sam Hancock, which the former had started from the pitlane, was running a distant third with Hancock at the helm, barely a second ahead of a determined Franchitti. Wareing was unable to maintain the pace of the leaders and tumbled down the order, Hancock assuming second place with 12 minutes to run with Franchitti still glued to his tail. Smith was then handed a 2.6-second time penalty for a pitlane infringement, but this made barely a dent in his commanding lead. He backed off during the final stages but still stroked it home to finish 9.836 seconds ahead of Hancock who fended off Franchitti on the run to the line.

Main image by Drew Gibson.

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