This years VSCC Pomeroy Trophy was held at Silverstone Saturday 15th February 2020 and used the full grand Prix circuit, in what has to be recorded as ‘interesting’ conditions. The reason that Silverstone exists is because it was an ex-wartime airfield. And the criteria for siting those was that it needed to be on flat open land. Whilst that is ideal for an airfield it’s not so good for watching a motorsport event in the ravages of a wind and rain storm. Officially named as storm Dennis it seemed to relate to the principal of a certain F1 team, but that is mere here say.
On this occasion the flat topography of the Silverstone circuit meant that no matter where you were or what you sheltered behind the wind always blew the rain/hail straight at you. Those driving open vehicles must have felt the full characteristics of the elements.
The Laurence Pomeroy Memorial Trophy, to give it its full name, dates back to 1949 when Harry Bowler devised a competition to determine the best Touring Car using efficiency criteria based on a book by Laurence Pomeroy Jnr ‘The Grand Prix Car 1906 – 1939’. The winners prize was a splendid model of a 1914 4½ Litre GP Vauxhall that had been designed by Laurence Pomeroy Snr and crafted by Rex Hay. On the sudden demise of Pomeroy Snr in 1941 the model was presented to the VSCC by T. W. Badgery and Laurence Pomeroy Jnr, and hence became known as The Laurence Pomeroy Memorial Trophy.
Over the years the entry criteria have changed as have the vehicle and driving parameters. The basics being two fixed seats and an ‘acceptable’ hood. In the 1990’s the requirement to be able to properly carry two suitcases (to FIA Le Mans measurement standards), use of the passenger seats being forbidden was added. Therefore the GT40 entered this year had a luggage rack on the engine cover at the back, not something you’re likely to see elsewhere. The driving test portion is now;
- The ‘wiggle-waggle’, a slalom test against the clock over a distance of 250 metres (was ¼ mile but then metricated).
- A braking test. Remember that at this time many cars only had rear wheel brakes.
- An acceleration test, from a standing start over ¼ mile.
- A speed test over a flying 250 metres directly after the previous test.
- A regularity run covering the whole 3.66 mile Grand Prix circuit. Using a handicap type system each car is required to completed a set number of laps.
Despite the conditions a good days event was had by all, with the variety of vehicles providing interesting contrasts. Where else would a Hudson Super Six Racer from 1917 compete against an 1970 Aston Martin DB6 or a 2015 Ford Fiesta? Also competing were models from long gone manufacturers; Hispano Suiza, Alvis, Riley, Triumph, etc, as well as those that have survived; Porsche, BMW, Morgan, Mazda, et al.
All of the above is then fed into the VSCC’s super abacus to reveal the overall and class winners.
Victors in the 2020 event were;
Pomeroy Trophy- John Felstead, Subaru Impreza,
The Pomeroy Edwardian Trophy – Andrew Howe-Davies, SCAT Racer
The Densham Trophy – Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, Frazer Nash Saloon
The Pomeroy Trophy has always attracted a wide entry, as witnessed this year. And given the rather moist conditions in 2020 maybe next year the RNLI will get an invite?
For more details of the VSCC and its events please go to; http://www.vscc.co.uk
For a gallery of my images from the event go to; https://www.alamy.com/search/lightbox/4085083.html.