Charity

A couple of years ago I decided to do something to raise money for Mission Motorsport, the charity which supports the rehabilitation of injured service personnel through motor sporting activities. I’m a truly hopeless runner and I felt disinclined to leap out of a ‘plane – I wanted to do something motorsport-related.

I do, though, possess a bulging archive of photographs from my racing travels around the world. I have sought to get my favourite images signed by the relevant drivers and each of these will be auctioned online, with the proceeds all going to Mission Motorsport. The date of the auction will be confirmed shortly and the target is to raise £1,000.

Among the great drivers who have been kind enough to sign photographs are race winners and champions in F1, WEC, Le Mans, IndyCar, Indy 500, Pikes Peak, WTCC, BTCC, DTM, British hillclimbing, World RallyX, Formula E, GT racing, motorcycle racing and historics. They make an incredible mix of heroes from very disparate fields of our wonderful sport – including four British F1 world champions.

In the meantime, you can check out Mission Motorsport’s great work here: http://www.missionmotorsport.org/ and learn the story of each signed photo below:

F1 and single-seaters

Year: 2011

Event: Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.

Driver: Jenson Button

Car: McLaren MP4-26

Thanks to: Jaclyn Neal, McLaren Marketing Limited and Jenson Button.

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix will go down in history as the longest, and arguably most exciting, F1 race of them all. The circuit had bathed in warm sunshine throughout Friday and Saturday but rain had set in from early Sunday morning, with the support races taking place on an extremely wet track in the build up to the grand prix.

The race itself was fraught from the outset, starting behind the safety car before being red flagged as conditions worsened once more. This opening chapter of the race was not without incident, with Mark Webber tipped into a spin at turn two on the first racing lap by Lewis Hamilton, before the Brit suffered terminal damage in a collision with his team mate, Jenson Button. A second safety car start took so long that the crowds were booing as a dry line appeared on the track. Once released, the competitors wasted no time in driving into one another with Button making contact with Fernando Alonso.

This earned Button a drive-through penalty and a pit stop for a new wing. He dropped as low as 21st place before launching into a career-defining drive which saw him latch onto the back of the hitherto-untouchable Sebastien Vettel on the last lap of the race. Vettel ran wide at the turn six chicane and Button pounced to snatch the most unlikely grand prix victory of recent years.

The photo is taken from the grandstand above turn two with Button still wearing intermediate tyres on a drying track.

Mission Motorsport.073MM.118

Year: 2012

Event: Belgian Grand Prix

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps.

Driver: Jenson Button

Car: McLaren MP4-27

Thanks to: Jaclyn Neal, McLaren Marketing Limited and Jenson Button.

Friday of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix weekend was a wash-out. The Ardennes suffered heavy rain through the day, with the F1 runners passing minimal time out of track. Thank goodness for their GP2 colleagues keeping spectators entertained. Saturday, though, was dry and free practice three was extremely busy, with all runners maximising their track time. This photo of Jenson Button was taken from the infield at Rivage during that FP3 session.

Come qualifying that afternoon, Button was at his smooth, imperious best, taking pole ahead of a topsy-turvy grid. Kamui Kobayashi ended up second, with Pastor Maldonado third. The race was shaped by a mammoth first corner accident triggered by the Lotus-Renault of Romain Grosjean which wiped out several of the leading contenders. Button emerged unscathed from the chaos and went on to win the race convincingly. He was metronomic through – delivering a masterclass in winning from the front.

Mission Motorsport.038MM.116

Year: 2014

Event: United States Grand Prix

Circuit: Circuit of the Americas, Austin.

Driver: Kevin Magnussen

Car: McLaren MP4-30

Thanks to: Jaclyn Neal, McLaren Marketing Limited and Kevin Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen earned his ascent into F1 courtesy of a dominant World Series by Renault campaign in 2013, during which he saw off both Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz on his way to the title. He showed well during his debut season against Jenson Button, including a strong eighth place at Circuit of the Americas, four spots ahead of his illustrious team mate.

This shot was taken during FP1 and from the outfield at the turn 7 / 8 / 9 complex as the track rises before plunging back downhill towards the turn 11 hairpin. It feels like a traditional US road course out here with fast, sweeping bends and fine spectating. It must rank as one of the best places in the world to watch an F1 car in full flight.

Mission Motorsport.061MM.117

Year: 2012

Event: Belgian Grand Prix

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps.

Driver: Mark Webber

Car: Red Bull RB8

Thanks to: Michael Hipperson, Kerry and Mark Webber.

Friday of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix weekend was a wash-out. The Ardennes suffered heavy rain through the day, with the F1 runners passing minimal time out of track. Thank goodness for their GP2 colleagues keeping spectators entertained. Saturday and Sunday, though, were dry and all runners sought to maximise their track time.

The ultra-high downforce Red Bull RB8 was always going to struggle to match the Mercedes-powered runners around Spa, with its expansive straights. The mighty Pouhon perfectly showcased the RB8’s otherworldly abilities perfectly though. The vast double-apex left-hander is approached downhill at 160mph with barely a lift. The huge spectator bank high above the corner serves up the race’s best spectating and finest atmosphere, with tens of thousands of fans cramming the rocky hillside. It presents an amazing opportunity to see downforce at work.

Having avoided the Grosjean-induced mêlée at La Source on the opening lap, Webber ended up sixth in the race. Taken from the Pouhon spectator banks, this shot demonstrates the tyre deflection and suspension movement inflicted by 150mph+ cornering in a modern Formula One car.

Mission Motorsport.041MM.014

Year: 2011

Event: Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.

Driver: Mark Webber

Car: Red Bull RB7

Thanks to: Michael Hipperson, Kerry and Mark Webber.

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix will go down in history as the longest, and arguably most exciting, F1 race of them all. The circuit had bathed in warm sunshine throughout Friday and Saturday but rain had set in from early Sunday morning, with the support races taking place on an extremely wet track in the build up to the grand prix.

The race itself was fraught from the outset, starting behind the safety car before being red flagged as conditions worsened once more. This opening chapter of the race was not without incident with Mark Webber tipped into a spin at turn two on the first racing lap by Lewis Hamilton before the Brit suffered terminal damage in a collision with his team mate, Jenson Button. A second safety car start took so long that the crowds were booing as a dry line appeared on the track. Once released, the competitors wasted no time in driving into one another with Button making contact with Fernando Alonso.

This photo was taken from the turn two grandstand during free practice one when the weather was at its finest and the cars were working beautifully. Webber’s Red Bull enjoyed the best traction of all, with the Renault-powered runners demonstrating the distinctive crackling delivered by the exhaust-blown diffusers of the period. He would emerge third during Sunday’s incredible Grand Prix following a lengthy battle with an on-form Michael Schumacher.

Mission Motorsport.066MM.012

Year: 2011

Event: Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.

Driver: Mark Webber

Car: Red Bull RB7

Thanks to: Michael Hipperson, Kerry and Mark Webber.

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix will go down in history as the longest, and arguably most exciting, F1 race of them all. The circuit had bathed in warm sunshine throughout Friday and Saturday but rain had set in from early Sunday morning, with the support races taking place on an extremely wet track in the build up to the grand prix.

The race itself was fraught from the outset, starting behind the safety car before being red flagged as conditions worsened once more. This opening chapter of the race was not without incident with Mark Webber tipped into a spin at turn two on the first racing lap by Lewis Hamilton before the Brit suffered terminal damage in a collision with his team mate, Jenson Button. A second safety car start took so long that the crowds were booing as a dry line appeared on the track. Once released, the competitors wasted no time in driving into one another with Button making contact with Fernando Alonso.

This photo was taken from the turn two grandstand during the race as Webber delivers a big armful of opposite lock, struggling for traction on the wet track, even with the help of the exhaust-blown diffuser. He would emerge third at the flag following a lengthy battle with an on-form Michael Schumacher.

 Mission Motorsport.072MM.013

Year: 2012

Event: Belgian Grand Prix

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps.

Driver: Bruno Senna

Car: Williams-Renault FW34

Thanks to: Márcio Fonseca and Bruno Senna

Friday of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix weekend was a wash-out. The Ardennes suffered heavy rain through the day, with the F1 runners passing minimal time out of track. Thank goodness for their GP2 colleagues keeping spectators entertained. Saturday and Sunday, though, were dry and all runners sought to maximise their track time.

The inside of Rivage offered one of the best opportunities to observe the old, naturally-aspirated Grand Prix cars at work. It’s confined up there and the noise echoes off the trees. The cars accelerate hard downhill before diving on the brakes; discs glowing and downchanges barking off the surrounding trees. The violence of the noise and motion never lost its shock and awe throughout Saturday’s hour-long free practice session.

This photo captures Bruno Senna wrestling the recalcitrant Williams FW32 during that dry FP3 session. After avoiding the carnage of the opening lap, the Brazilian endured a scary moment at Pouhon to finish 12th. Not, perhaps, his finest hour but an opportunity to observe a top-level racer at close quarters in a truly savage machine around a magnificent circuit; and that, surely, is what grand prix racing has always been about.

Mission Motorsport.039MM.015

Year: 2010

Event: Superleague Formula

Circuit: Brands Hatch Grand Prix

Driver: Craig Dolby

Car: Panoz DP09

Thanks to: Craig Dolby

Superleague Formula burned brightly before fading away in 2011. Always controversial among the purists, a race series based around football team allegiance wasn’t going to win over everyone. What could not be denied, though, was the impact of the cars. The Panoz DP09 was a Champ Car in all but name and powered by a potent and unbelievably loud, strident 4.2l V12 engine. The opportunity to see these monsters around the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit was too good to miss.

Among the most successful drivers throughout Superleague’s short existence was Craig Dolby. He took more podiums than anybody else during the championship’s brief existence. Something of a cult figure, the down-to-earth Lincolnshire lad went toe-to-toe with some of the best single-seater drivers of the era, finishing second in the championship in both 2009 and 2010. He earned a reputation for awesome speed and audacious overtaking manoeuvres, becoming one of the stars of the series. Today, he continues that reputation, peerlessly pedalling GT3 Nissan GT-Rs.

This shot was taken out on the GP loop at Hawthorn Bend during free practice on the Saturday of the 2010 event, right ahead of qualifying.  He would eventually finish second in the weekend’s opening race.

Mission Motorsport.078MM.016

Year: 2010

Event: F3 Euro Series

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Alexander Sims

Car: Dallara F308/048

Thanks to: Alexander Sims

With the privilege of hindsight, it’s easy to laud particular periods in the history the various junior formulae. The field for the 2010 F3 Euro Series is a fine case in point. British rising star Alexander Sims faced an entry which included Edoardo Mortara, Marco Wittmann, Valtteri Bottas, Roberto Merhi, António Felix da Costa, Daniel Juncadella and interlopers Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Gutiérrez. It is to his credit, therefore, that he emerged fourth in the title battle, just a handful of points behind his hotly-tipped team mate, Bottas.

This shot was taken from the famous photographer’s haunt on the inside of Druids at Brands Hatch. It’s a lesson in being accurate under brakes and patient on the throttle. While Sims could only manage eighth in the race, his precision and pace were beyond question.

Mission Motorsport.018MM.017

Sports cars, endurance and GTs

Year: 2012

Event: Porsche Carrera Cup GB

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Sam Tordoff

Car: Porsche GT3 Cup

Thanks to: Sam Tordoff

Rising through the karting ranks and into the BTCC support package, Sam Tordoff found time to graduate in mechanical engineering and become a chartered accountant. Not your typical professional racing driver career path.

During two years in the domestic Porsche Carrera Cup, Tordoff raced and beat a significant field which included alumni such as Michael Meadows, Ben Barker, Rory Butcher, Daniel Lloyd, Will Goff and Andy Meyrick. In 2012 he emerged third in the overall championship during a campaign which included a fine win in race one at Oulton Park. This photo records that race one victory, taken at Deer Leap as Tordoff heads for the flag. In 2016 he came within an ace of claiming the British Touring Car championship with West Surrey Racing.

Mission Motorsport.077MM.076

Year: 2014

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Drivers: Alexander Sims and Marco Attard

Car: BMW Z4 GT3

Thanks to: Alexander Sims and Marco Attard

The Oulton Park Easter weekender has been a fan favourite for decades. It now runs with British GT as the headline act, with the sight and sound of big GT3 monsters pummelling around the parkland drawing huge crowds. The 2014 campaign represented Alexander Sims’ first full season in a GT car after leaping from the single-seater ladder. Sims and co-driver Marco Attard wasted no time in getting up to speed and the duo took a win from pole in the weekend’s second race. Attard went on to take the overall title, while Sims missed the Snetterton round and was restricted to third in the championship.

This photo is taken from the outfield at Dentons, where the cars hammer over the brow and drop down towards the fearsome Cascades left-hander. The facilities for spectators and photographers have improved immeasurably in recent years and it’s a fine place to watch the best drivers go work.

Mission Motorsport.084MM.077

Year: 2014

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Drivers: Alexander Sims and Marco Attard

Car: BMW Z4 GT3

Thanks to: Alexander Sims and Marco Attard

The Oulton Park Easter weekender has been a fan favourite for decades. It now runs with British GT as the headline act, with the sight and sound of big GT3 monsters pummelling around the parkland drawing huge crowds. The 2014 represented Alexander Sims’ first full season in a GT car after leaping from the single-seater ladder. Sims and co-driver Marco Attard wasted no time in getting up to speed and the duo took a win from pole in the weekend’s second race. Attard went on to take the overall title, while Sims missed the Snetterton round and was restricted to third in the championship.

This photo is taken from the outfield at Dentons, where the cars hammer over the brow and drop down towards the fearsome Cascades left-hander. The facilities for spectators and photographers have improved immeasurably in recent years and it’s a fine place to watch the best drivers go work.

Mission Motorsport.083MM.078

Year: 2013

Event: Blancpain Endurance Series

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Driver: Alexander Sims

Car: McLaren 12C GT3

Thanks to: Alexander Sims

In 2013, British driver Alexander Sims ran concurrent GP3 and Blancpain Endurance Series campaigns. In BES, he raced the Hexis McLaren 12C GT3 with McLaren factory driver Alvaro Parente and fellow single-seater convert Stef Dusseldorp. The trio went on to fifteenth overall in the title battle, with seventh earned at Silverstone.

This photo is taken at Club corner, the torturous right-hand bend which leads onto what is now the start-finish straight.

Mission Motorsport.005MM.079

Year: 2014

Event: Spa 24 Hours

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Drivers: Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Stephen Kane

Car: Bentley Continental GT3

Thanks to: Mike Sayer, Bentley Motor Company, Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Stephen Kane

The 2014 Spa 24 Hours represented Bentley’s return to twice-round-the-clock endurance racing for the first time since the marque’s famous Le Mans win in 2003. The Continental GT3 had established itself as one of the quickest cars in the Blancpain Pro category, with wins for the cogent #7 car at Silverstone and Paul Ricard in the two events preceding the Spa round of the championship. The headline trio of Stephen Kane, Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick emerged a fighting 13th overall after 24 hours but remained in title contention.

This photo was taken at Rivage corner on the Saturday evening as the sun was starting to set with Kane at the wheel. Behind the photography spot, locals had set up make-shift campsites in the woods and were well settled-in for a solid night of drinking and racing.

Mission Motorsport.036MM.081

Year: 2014

Event: Spa 24 Hours

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Drivers: Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Stephen Kane

Car: Bentley Continental GT3

Thanks to: Mike Sayer, Bentley Motor Company, Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Stephen Kane

The 2014 Spa 24 Hours represented Bentley’s return to twice-round-the-clock endurance racing for the first time since the marque’s famous Le Mans win in 2003. The Continental GT3 had established itself as one of the quickest cars in the Blancpain Pro category, with wins for the cogent #7 car at Silverstone and Paul Ricard in the two events preceding the Spa round of the championship. The headline trio of Stephen Kane, Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick emerged a fighting 13th overall after 24 hours but remained in title contention.

This photo was taken at the unnamed downhill left-hand corner ahead of Pouhon on the Saturday evening as the sun was starting to set, with Kane at the wheel.

Mission Motorsport.035MM.080

Year: 2010

Event: Autosport 1000km of Silverstone – Le Mans Series

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Driver: Andy Meyrick

Car: Lola-Aston B09/60

Thanks to: Mike Sayer and Andy Meyrick

Powered by a mighty six-litre V12, the Lola-Aston B09/60 may go down in history as the last truly sonorous LMP1 racing car. In an era of diesels and four-cylinder hybrids, the memory of its haunting howl will remain a special one with spectators. The B09/60 raced over three seasons from 2009 to 2011, taking overall Le Mans Series glory in 2009.

The first time top-level sports cars had run on the new Silverstone GP layout, the 009 car had a troubled weekend. After failing to set a time in qualifying, the car didn’t make the finish, but not without having delighted the assembled crowds.

This shot was taken from the outfield at the new Abbey corner on the opening lap, as the cars speared flat out right onto the new loop. It was a somewhat bizarre experience, having watched from the same point at the Silverstone Classic only six weeks earlier, when the competitors had turned hard left into the old Abbey chicane.

Mission Motorsport.028MM.082

Year: 2013

Event: Blancpain Endurance Series

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Driver: Darren Turner

Car: Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Thanks to: Jackie Irwin, Aston Martin Racing and Darren Turner

The 2013 Silverstone BES only ever looked to have one winner: the #97 Aston Martin V12 Vantage was hooked-up all day and took a resounding victory. Its speed through the fast corners like Abbey was beyond anything its rivals could match, despite strong opposition.

This photo is taken at Club corner, the torturous right-hand bend which leads onto what is now the start-finish straight.

Mission Motorsport.006MM.083

Year: 2013

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Drivers: Darren Turner and Bruno Senna

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE

Thanks to: Jackie Irwin, Aston Martin Racing, Darren Turner, Márcio Fonseca and Bruno Senna

Partisan British fans had much to cheer about at the 2013 Silverstone 6 Hours. While Allan McNish steered his potent Audi R18 e-tron to overall victory, Aston Martin took a popular GTE Pro win. The combination of Darren Turner, Bruno Senna and Steffan Mucke was able to overcome rivals from Porsche and Ferrari to land 14th overall.

This photo was taken from Village, towards the end of the race, with the car generously decorated in tyre rubber smears and partially held together with duct tape. This is surely how every endurance car should look after a hard-fought victory?

Mission Motorsport.074MM.084

Year: 2011

Event: Intercontinental Le Mans Cup

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Drivers: Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen

Car: Audi R18 ultra TDI

Thanks to: Katie Clemens, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen

The 2011 Silverstone 6 Hours was the last long-distance event at Silverstone before the adoption of the World Endurance Championship. It was also the last opportunity for the British public to see the mighty Peugeot 908s in full flight. Once more, the battle for outright honours became a slugfest between Audi and Peugeot. Allan McNish took the fight to the French but his efforts were ultimately in vain after a nudge with a slower car caused damaged suspension, dropping him down the order. A typical fight back through the order left the #2 car seventh overall.

This photo was taken from the outfield at Stowe, as the cars turn in resolute commitment. Seeming only to brush the brake pedal, they turn in at enormous speed, apexing late before hammering back out towards the Vale and the end of another lap.

Mission Motorsport.034MM.068

Year: 2011

Event: Intercontinental Le Mans Cup

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Driver: Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen

Car: Audi R18 ultra TDI

Thanks to: Katie Clemens, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen

The 2011 Silverstone 6 Hours was the last long-distance event at Silverstone before the adoption of the World Endurance Championship. It was also the last opportunity for the British public to see the mighty Peugeot 908s in full flight. Once more, the battle for outright honours became a slugfest between Audi and Peugeot. Allan McNish took the fight to the French but his efforts were ultimately in vain after a nudge with a slower car caused damaged suspension, dropping him down the order. A typical fight back through the order left the #2 car seventh overall.

This shot was taken at the outfield as the cars turn left into the Maggotts / Becketts complex. It remains my favourite place in the world to watch high-downforce racing cars. The diesel Audi R18s were whisper quiet and yet carried otherworldly speed into this challenging sequence of corners. It’s a genuinely exhilarating experience to stand trackside and feel the rush of air from the top cars as they turn in at 160+ mph.

Mission Motorsport.037MM.067

Year: 2013

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Silverstone Grand Prix

Drivers: Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

Car: Toyota TS030

Thanks to: Alastair Moffat, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

In 2013, the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy was the prize for the Silverstone 6 Hours. Sadly, fastest qualifiers Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin were unable to convert fierce, pole-winning pace into the outright victory. The car, though, was ultra-dramatic and ultra-quick, the duo landing third place, just twelve months into Toyota’s return to the highest level of sports car racing.

This photo was taken from high above Club corner during the early stages of the race.

Mission Motorsport.070MM.085

Year: 2015

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Drivers: Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

Car: Toyota TS040

Thanks to: Alastair Moffat, Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

Domination of the 2014 WEC season bagged the leading Toyota TS040 the #1 for its flanks during 2015. The drivers earned a podium at the opening round at Silverstone, just a handful of seconds from the lead Audi. This photo depicts final practice at Spa-Francorchamps, the TS040 under braking for Rivage corner during the last hour-long free session ahead of qualifying.

MM.001MM.086

Year: 2015

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Drivers: Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

Car: Toyota TS040

Thanks to: Alastair Moffat, Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson

Domination of the 2014 WEC season bagged the leading Toyota TS040 the #1 for its flanks during 2015. The drivers earned a podium at the opening round at Silverstone, just a handful of seconds from the lead Audi. This photo depicts final practice at Spa-Francorchamps, as the TS040 tackles Rivage corner during the last hour-long free session ahead of qualifying.

MM.002MM.087

Year: 2014

Event: Blancpain Sprint Series

Circuit: Brands Hatch Grand Prix

Driver: Daniel Lloyd

Car: McLaren 12C GT3

Thanks to: Daniel Lloyd

The Blancpain Sprint Series round at Brands Hatch in 2014 represented the first time that high-profile, international GT racing had taken place at the Kent circuit since the Karcher BPR GT Championship rocked it in 1996. A small but potent field did battle around the full Grand Prix Loop.

Among those in action was Dan Lloyd. The Yorkshireman made his name in GT cars but has also been making waves with serious pace aboard a Honda Civic in the BTCC during 2016. He fired his McLaren 12 C GT3 to 12th overall at Brands.

This photo was taken during Sunday’s qualifying race, the runners blitzing between the shadows as they dived into Hawthorn.

Mission Motorsport.002MM.088

Year: 2014

Event: Blancpain Sprint Series

Circuit: Brands Hatch Grand Prix

Drivers: Markus Winklehock and Nikolaus “Niki” Mayr-Melnhof

Car: McLaren 12C GT3

Thanks to: Bernhard Demmer, Phoenix Racing, Markus Winklehock and Nikolaus “Niki” Mayr-Melnhof

The Blancpain Sprint Series round at Brands Hatch in 2014 represented the first time that high-profile, international GT racing had taken place at the Kent circuit since the Karcher BPR GT Championship rocked it in 1996. A small but potent field did battle around the full Grand Prix Loop.

Championship contenders Markus Winklehock and Nikolaus “Niki” Mayr-Melnhof suffered an up and down weekend, was a non-finish in the main race following a fine fifth in the preceding qualifying round.

This photo was taken during Sunday’s qualifying race, with the Audi R8’s traditional V10 bark heralding its approach to Westfield.

Mission Motorsport.003MM.089

Year: 2011

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Drivers: Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough

Car: Nissan GT-R GT3

It would be considered challenging for any new driver to kick off his / her professional career at Oulton Park. But to do so in a fearsome Nissan GT-R and in the pouring rain would appear cruel. That Jann Mardenborough excelled, keeping the big car on the island, was an enormous credit to perhaps the most high-profile graduate of the Nissan PlayStation Academy. Alongside Mardenborough was Alex Buncombe, an underrated GT driver of immense talent, who until recently enjoyed a higher profile in historic racing circles than contemporary competition. Since becoming 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champion, his reputation has been cemented.

This photo was taken from the outfield as the cars ascend Clay Hill. This is one of the best spectator points at Oulton and the cars seem to dive-bomb towards you as they clip the apex before howling beneath the pedestrian bridge.

Mission Motorsport.051MM.090

Year: 2011

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Drivers: Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough

Car: Nissan GT-R GT3

It would be considered challenging for any new driver to kick off his / her professional career at Oulton Park. But to do so in a fearsome Nissan GT-R and in the pouring rain would appear cruel. That Jann Mardenborough excelled, keeping the big car on the island, was an enormous credit to perhaps the most high-profile graduate of the Nissan PlayStation Academy. Alongside Mardenborough was Alex Buncombe, an underrated GT driver of immense talent, who until recently enjoyed a higher profile in historic racing circles than contemporary competition. Since becoming 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champion, his reputation has been cemented.

This photo was taken from the infield at Druids. The car is just cresting the rise on the exit, a little flare of revs apparent as the rear tyres are unloaded, before hammering towards Lodge and the end of another lap.

Mission Motorsport.052MM.091

Year: 2011

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Drivers: Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough

Car: Nissan GT-R GT3

It would be considered challenging for any new driver to kick off his / her professional career at Oulton Park. But to do so in a fearsome Nissan GT-R and in the pouring rain would appear cruel. That Jann Mardenborough excelled, keeping the big car on the island, was an enormous credit to perhaps the most high-profile graduate of the Nissan PlayStation Academy. Alongside Mardenborough was Alex Buncombe, an underrated GT driver of immense talent, who until recently enjoyed a higher profile in historic racing circles than contemporary competition. Since becoming 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champion, his reputation has been cemented.

This photo was taken from Hill Top, as the cars plunge downhill towards the Knickerbrook chicane. The spray hung heavy in the air but the spectacle remained truly special.

Mission Motorsport.047MM.092

Year: 2015

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Driver: Nick Tandy

Car: Porsche 919

Thanks to: Nick Tandy

Anybody who has followed Nick Tandy’s career – and that of his lamented brother, Joe – knows of his sheer awesome speed, and slightly unconventional rise to top-level professional sports car star. When he was announced alongside F1 star Nico Hulkenberg in Porsche’s ‘third’ 919 for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, few might have guessed it would be his mega overnight stint which would ultimately anchor the Stuttgart marque’s first Le Mans win in 18 years.

The crew of the #19 car also ran at Spa-Francorchamps as a precursor to the great race. This photo shows the car under braking for the Rivage hairpin, at the top of the circuit with the tired caravans framing the backdrop.

Mission Motorsport.024MM.007

Year: 2015

Event: World Endurance Championship

Circuit: Spa-Francorchamps

Driver: Nick Tandy

Car: Porsche 919

Thanks to: Nick Tandy

Anybody who has followed Nick Tandy’s career – and that of his lamented brother, Joe – knows of his sheer awesome speed, and slightly unconventional rise to top-level professional sports car star. When he was announced alongside F1 star Nico Hulkenberg in Porsche’s ‘third’ 919 for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, few might have guessed it would be his mega overnight stint which would ultimately anchor the Stuttgart marque’s first Le Mans win in 18 years.

The crew of the #19 car also ran at Spa-Francorchamps as a precursor to the great race. This photo was taken from top of the old pit garages during qualifying as the car hammers into the Eau Rouge compression, a meteor shower of sparks engulfing the undertray in perhaps the most visually dramatic spectacle of the entire WEC season.

Mission Motorsport.027MM.006

Year: 2010

Event: Carrera Cup Deutschland

Circuit: Brands Hatch

Driver: Nick Tandy

Car: Porsche 911

Thanks to: Nick Tandy

Nick Tandy took five wins on his way to second in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2010. On home soil, supporting the DTM at Brands Hatch, he took his fourth, with a commanding display to maintain a chance of the title ahead of eventual champion Nicholas Armindo.

Here, Tandy hammers through the compression at Paddock Hill, the splitter on his 911 deranged and the tyres visibly straining on the rims. This level of commitment put him head and shoulders above his peers that day and his endeavours paid off, with a Porsche works contract in his pocket and an eventual outright Le Mans win to his credit.

Mission Motorsport.020MM.008

Year: 2013

Event: British GT Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park

Driver: Nick Tandy

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 R

Thanks to: Nick Tandy

A dank, murky April doesn’t sound like an alluring prospect for watching motor racing. When the British GT Championship hits Oulton Park, though, biting winds become inconsequential. The weekend’s second race featured the professional half of the pro-am driver pairings in the cars first. That meant the late Allan Simonsen starting from pole, but with Nick Tandy’s Porsche and Jonny Adam’s Aston Martin breathing down his neck.

That line-up set the tone for the race. For forty flat-out minutes, this lead trio set an exhausting pace, the rest left trailing in their wake. It was a quite mesmerising display of virtuosity with no quarter given, nor taken. There wasn’t so much as a hint of a mistake from any of them. It was proper, proper stuff. Ultimately, it was Nick Tandy whose co-pilot David Ashburn was able to anchor them to the outright win. The result, though, felt almost irrelevant in the context of such an awesome display from the three top pros.

This photo captures the rolling start, with Tandy tucking in behind Simonsen as they hurtle into Old Hall on the opening tour.

Mission Motorsport.069MM.009

Touring cars

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Árón Smith

Car: Team BMR VW Passat

Thanks to: Maddy Turner, Team BMR and Árón Smith

In 2014, the BTCC ran on Oulton Park’s International layout for the first time in many seasons. Usually eschewing the banked turn at Shell Oils by favouring the Island circuit, the return to the ‘full’ track didn’t attract universal praise, with Island being Oulton’s top overtaking spot in a modern saloon racer.

In spite of the lack of side-by-side racing, the change of layout did permit spectators the awesome spectacle of proper kerb-hopping – and at close quarters with every runner taking great bites on the left and right apices comprising the Hislop chicane.

With Colin Turkington victorious in both of the day’s opening races, young Árón Smith took the win in race three. Somehow avoiding the usual BTCC end-of-term mêlée we’ve come to associate with the last event of the weekend, the Irishman looked serene and controlled things from the front; his bicycling antics as impressive as any of his peers.

 Mission Motorsport.012MM.018

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Árón Smith

Car: Team BMR VW Passat

Thanks to: Maddy Turner, Team BMR and Árón Smith

In 2014, the BTCC ran on Oulton Park’s International layout for the first time in many seasons. Usually eschewing the banked turn at Shell Oils by favouring the Island circuit, the return to the ‘full’ track didn’t attract universal praise, with Island being Oulton’s top overtaking spot in a modern saloon racer.

In spite of the lack of side-by-side racing, the change of layout did permit spectators the awesome spectacle of proper kerb-hopping – and at close quarters with every runner taking great bites on the left and right apices comprising the Hislop chicane.

With Colin Turkington victorious in both of the day’s opening races, young Árón Smith took the win in race three. Somehow avoiding the usual BTCC end-of-term mêlée we’ve come to associate with the last event of the weekend, the Irishman looked serene and controlled things from the front; his bicycling antics as impressive as any of his peers.

Mission Motorsport.014MM.019

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Colin Turkington

Car: West Surrey Racing BMW 125i

Thanks to: Colin Turkington

In 2014, the BTCC ran on Oulton Park’s International layout for the first time in many seasons. Usually eschewing the banked turn at Shell Oils by favouring the Island circuit, the return to the ‘full’ track didn’t attract universal praise, with Island being Oulton’s top overtaking spot in a modern saloon racer.

In spite of the lack of side-by-side racing, the change of layout did permit spectators the awesome spectacle of proper kerb-hopping – and at close quarters with every runner taking great bites on the left and right apices comprising the Hislop chicane.

Colin Turkington enjoyed a fabulous weekend at Oulton Park on his way to his second BTCC title. He won rounds one and two before placing a strong fourth in race three. Here he cocks a wheel negotiating the second part of the Hislop chicane during race three.

Mission Motorsport.017MM.020

Year: 2013

Event: International Superstars

Circuit: Donington Park

Driver: Colin Turkington

Car: BMW M3

Thanks to: Colin Turkington

Now consigned to history, Superstars was an astral series which burned briefly but brightly. Featuring homologated V8 saloons, it was an Italian domestic series which spread its wings and got burned in the process. The racing and cars, though, were fantastic, with brawny V8 touring cars featuring big wings and wide arches. Proper stuff.

In 2013, Colin Turkington took a bow in a BMW E90 M3 during the championship’s visit to Donington Park. The BTCC champion was on the pace but victory fell to Luigi Ferrara in race one – depicted here at the Melbourne hairpin. The opposition, though, included Vitantonio Liuzzi, Gianni Morbidelli and Thomas Biagi – all drivers with huge history.

Mission Motorsport.046MM.021

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Adam Morgan

Car: Team Cicerley Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Thanks to: Adam Morgan

In 2014, the BTCC ran on Oulton Park’s International layout for the first time in many seasons. Usually eschewing the banked turn at Shell Oils by favouring the Island circuit, the return to the ‘full’ track didn’t attract universal praise, with Island being Oulton’s top overtaking spot in a modern saloon racer.

In spite of the lack of side-by-side racing, the change of layout did permit spectators the awesome spectacle of proper kerb-hopping – and at close quarters with every runner taking great bites on the left and right apices comprising the Hislop chicane.

This is race three from the weekend, with the track greasy and the cars splattered with mud. Adam Morgan could only manage a 17th place finish but it wasn’t through lack of trying.

Mission Motorsport.016MM.022

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Donington Park

Driver: Adam Morgan

Car: Toyota Avensis

Thanks to: Adam Morgan

The Donington Park chicane has seen more BTCC ‘moments’ than virtually any other corner in the championship’s history. Kerb hopping, panel bashing and corner cutting all go with the territory.

2012 represented Adam Morgan’s category debut, as the reigning (and inaugural) Ginetta GT Supercup champion. He wasted no time adapting to the rigours of the BTCC, seen here showering rival Chris James’s S2000 Vectra with gravel; foot still hard to the floor, naturally.

Mission Motorsport.058MM.023

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Dan Welch

Car: Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2

Thanks to: Dan Welch

Dan Welch is a BTCC cult hero, having self-run and self-funded his way through the championship for years. He is also a big supporter of Mission Motorsport, having taken part in the annual Race of Remembrance.

This photo captures an unusual view of Welch’s Proton – looking up at the car from the outfield at Cascades as he chases the apex, carrying maximum speed along Lakeside and towards Island bend.

Mission Motorsport.079MM.024

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Tom Onslow-Cole

Car: West Surrey Racing BMW 320i

Thanks to: Tom Onslow-Cole

The combination of Tom Onslow-Cole and the WSR BMW 320i was a potent one in 2012, the Englishman scoring one victory among a season peppered with podiums. This is race two at Oulton Park, as the BMW screams along Lakeside on the way to a ninth place finish. This earned pole for race three, which delivered another podium and fastest lap.

Mission Motorsport.081MM.025

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Matt Neal

Car: Team Dynamics Honda Civic

Thanks to: Matt Neal

The reigning BTCC champion was on spectacular form at Oulton Park, winning the first and third races of the day and taking a solid fifth in race two. This is race one, the classic Oulton Park image, with the Lodge in the background at the eponymous corner. Neal leads the young pretender, Andy Jordan, to a hard-fought victory to open his weekend’s account.

Mission Motorsport.076MM.026

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Matt Neal

Car: Team Dynamics Honda Civic

Thanks to: Matt Neal

The reigning BTCC champion was on spectacular form at Oulton Park, winning the first and third races of the day and taking a solid fifth in race two. This is race two, with Neal gently lifting his Civic’s unloaded inside rear wheel and he drops into Cascades.

Mission Motorsport.080MM.027

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Gordon Shedden

Car: Team Dynamics Honda Civic

Thanks to: Gordon Shedden

‘Flash’ Gordon Shedden is a picture of concentration on the grid ahead of race one at Oulton Park. The Scot emerged from the race in fourth position before taking the win in race two on his way to his first BTCC title. At the time of writing, he is a three-time champion.

Mission Motorsport.075MM.028

Year: 2013

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Rob Austin

Car: Rob Austin Racing Audi A4

Thanks to: Rob Austin

Rob Austin has become a BTCC folk hero – a throwback to a distant time. During his rise up the racing ladder, he took time out to campaign the family Surtees grand prix car and drove the same machine on the Nordschleife during filming for the movie Rush. He both runs and races a team of Audi A4s in the BTCC, seeming to revel in the position of perennial but popular underdog.

This photo was taken at the Island hairpin during race two of the BTCC’s annual visit to Cheshire. Austin enjoyed a pretty clean (by BTCC standards) run to eighth overall, while MG ran away with the weekend.

Mission Motorsport.009MM.031

Year: 2013

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Rob Austin

Car: Rob Austin Racing Audi A4

Thanks to: Rob Austin

Rob Austin has become a BTCC folk hero – a throwback to a distant time. During his rise up the racing ladder, he took time out to campaign the family Surtees grand prix car and drove the same machine on the Nordschleife during filming for the movie Rush. He both runs and races a team of Audi A4s in the BTCC, seeming to revel in the position of perennial but popular underdog.

This photo was taken at the Island hairpin during race two of the BTCC’s annual visit to Cheshire. Austin enjoyed a pretty clean (by BTCC standards) run to eighth overall, while MG ran away with the weekend.

MM.029

Year: 2013

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Rob Austin

Car: Rob Austin Racing Audi A4

Thanks to: Rob Austin

Rob Austin has become a BTCC folk hero – a throwback to a distant time. During his rise up the racing ladder, he took time out to campaign the family Surtees grand prix car and drove the same machine on the Nordschleife during filming for the movie Rush. He both runs and races a team of Audi A4s in the BTCC, seeming to revel in the position of perennial but popular underdog.

This photo was taken at Lodge during race three of the BTCC’s annual visit to Cheshire, with Austin bouncing over the kerbs, showering sparks as he goes. He finished fifth, in spite of some robust driving from his peers.

Mission Motorsport.010MM.030

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Rob Austin

Car: Rob Austin Racing Audi A4

Thanks to: Rob Austin

Rob Austin has become a BTCC folk hero – a throwback to a distant time. During his rise up the racing ladder, he took time out to campaign the family Surtees grand prix car and drove the same machine on the Nordschleife during filming for the movie Rush. He both runs and races a team of Audi A4s in the BTCC, seeming to revel in the position of perennial but popular underdog.

The BTCC weekend at Oulton in 2014 had started in bright sunshine but an afternoon shower left the track greasy ahead of race two. The tricky conditions didn’t prevent the protagonists from leaping the kerbs with abandon. Here Austin cocks an inside wheel on his way to fifth place in race three, which followed second in race two.

Mission Motorsport.013MM.032

Year: 2012

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Andy Priaulx

Car: BMW M3

Thanks to: Andy Priaulx

While Andy Priaulx was forced to retire from the DTM’s 2012 visit to Brands Hatch, it provided his British fanbase a rare opportunity to see him compete on home soil once more – and in the gorgeous BMW M3 during its debut season.

This photo was taken from the Druids infield during practice as the cars dive down towards Graham Hill bend.

Mission Motorsport.062MM.033

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Rob Collard

Car: West Surrey Racing BMW 125i

Thanks to: Rob Collard

The West Surrey Racing BMW 125i was the machine to beat at Oulton Park in 2014. Rob Collard emerged second to team mate Colin Turkington in the weekend’s first race. Here he hammers out of Deer Leap on his way to the podium.

Mission Motorsport.011MM.034

Year: 2014

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: Rob Collard

Car: West Surrey Racing BMW 125i

Thanks to: Rob Collard

In 2014, the BTCC ran on Oulton Park’s International layout for the first time in many seasons. Usually eschewing the banked turn at Shell Oils by favouring the Island circuit, the return to the ‘full’ track didn’t attract universal praise, with Island being Oulton’s top overtaking spot in a modern saloon racer.

In spite of the lack of side-by-side racing, the change of layout did permit spectators the awesome spectacle of proper kerb-hopping – and at close quarters with every runner taking great bites on the left and right apices comprising the Hislop chicane.

Race day had kicked off under bright sunshine but an afternoon shower left the track greasy ahead of race two. The tricky conditions didn’t prevent the protagonists from leaping the kerbs with abandon. Here Collard cocks an inside wheel on his way to a lonely eleventh place in race three, which followed podiums in the opening two races.

Mission Motorsport.015MM.035

Year: 2013

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Oulton Park Island

Driver: Sam Tordoff

Car: 888 Racing MG6

Thanks to: Sam Tordoff

Rising through the karting ranks and into the BTCC support package, Sam Tordoff found time to graduate in mechanical engineering and become a chartered accountant. Not your typical professional racing driver career path.

This photo is from race two at Oulton Park, a disappointing one for Tordoff, who was running strongly but suffered from various attacks by his peers, following a podium in the weekend’s opening stanza.

Mission Motorsport.007MM.036

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Donington Park

Driver: Andrew Jordan

Car: Honda Civic

Thanks to: Andrew Jordan

Andrew Jordan gently lifts his inside front as he heads for sixth place in the opening race of the BTCC’s annual trip to Donington Park.

Mission Motorsport.053MM.037

Year: 2012

Event: British Touring Car Championship

Circuit: Donington Park

Driver: Andrew Jordan

Car: Honda Civic

Thanks to: Andrew Jordan

In a race that featured much panel bashing and gravel spilling, Andrew Jordan kept his nose clean on the way to fifth. Here he exits the Goddards chicane, with Dave Newsham in hot pursuit.

Mission Motorsport.055MM.038

Year: 2013

Event: V8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000

Circuit: Mount Panorama

Drivers: Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx

Car: Holden Commadore

Thanks to: Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx

Mount Panorama has long played host to interlopers and visitors from far afield; its two driver format inviting guest stars to join the fray over one of the world’s greatest circuits – and certainly in one of the world’s greatest races.

In 2013, the all-conquering 888 team entered a third car for star pilots Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekstrom, who at the time were battling together in the DTM for BMW and Audi respectively. The guys put aside their German allegiances for one race, sponsored by X-Box One, in striking green livery.

The Europeans were immediately on the pace, Priaulx having competed before but Ekstrom a Bathurst virgin. 888 boss Roland Dane described the versatile Swede’s debut as the most impressive he had ever seen. The duo became a factor in the race – and in fact from our spectating position above the Cutting, it looked as if they could sneak a shock result. At one stage they led outright as the pitstops shook out. Eventually they finished tenth, after six flat-out hours, beating many fancied domestic runners. This photo was taken during that phase of the race, when we believed a shock result could have been on the cards. A couple of Brits, stranded up on the Mountain, surrounded by angry Aussies…maybe it’s a good thing the interlopers didn’t win.

Mission Motorsport.068MM.040

Year: 2013

Event: V8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000

Circuit: Mount Panorama

Drivers: Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx

Car: Holden Commadore

Thanks to: Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx

Mount Panorama has long played host to interlopers and visitors from far afield; its two driver format inviting guest stars to join the fray over one of the world’s greatest circuits – and certainly in one of the world’s greatest races.

In 2013, the all-conquering 888 team entered a third car for star pilots Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekstrom, who at the time were battling together in the DTM for BMW and Audi respectively. The guys put aside their German allegiances for one race, sponsored by X-Box One, in striking green livery.

The Europeans were immediately on the pace, Priaulx having competed before but Ekstrom a Bathurst virgin. 888 boss Roland Dane described the versatile Swede’s debut as the most impressive he had ever seen. The duo became a factor in the race – and in fact from our spectating position above the Cutting, it looked as if they could sneak a shock result. At one stage they led outright as the pitstops shook out. Eventually they finished tenth, after six flat-out hours, beating many fancied domestic runners. This photo was taken during that phase of the race, when we believed a shock result could have been on the cards. A couple of Brits, stranded up on the Mountain, surrounded by angry Aussies…maybe it’s a good thing the interlopers didn’t win.

Mission Motorsport.067MM.039

Year: 2012

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Mike Rockenfeller

Car: Phoenix Racing Audi A5

Thanks to: Bernhard Demmer, Phoenix Racing and Mike Rockenfeller

While he may now be most famous for his involvement in one of Le Mans’ most famous and terrifying accidents, Mike Rockenfeller possesses a deeply impressive and varied CV. He is an outright Le Mans and Daytona 24 Hours winner, as well as the 2013 DTM champion. In 2012, he was third at Brands Hatch on his way to fourth in the championship, the warm-up act for his title the following season.

This photo is taken from the Druids infield during practice as the cars dive down towards Graham Hill bend.

Mission Motorsport.063MM.041

Year: 2011

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: David Coulthard MBE

Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Thanks to: Viola Magagna and David Coulthard

After retiring from F1, David Coulthard enjoyed a couple of seasons for Mercedes-Benz in the ultra-competitive DTM. This presented an opportunity to race in front of his home crowd at Brands Hatch, where he was keenly welcomed. In 2011 he took his C-Class to twelfth overall during a weekend dominated by Audi.

This photo was taken from the traditional photographer’s hotspot inside Druids during practice. The location is almost disorientating as the incredibly vocal DTM monsters bang down through the gears to your left before hammering back out to your right, each car appearing every 40 seconds with relentless but joyful monotony.

Mission Motorsport.032MM.042

Year: 2011

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Susie Wolff

Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Thanks to: Claudia Maur and Susie Wolff

One of a succession of successful female drivers in DTM, Susie Wolff has provided considerable inspiration for girls looking to make a career in motor racing – and continues to do so via her Dare to be Different initiative. In 2011, she drove the sonorous Mercedes-Benz C-Class to fourteenth at Brands Hatch.

This photo was taken from the traditional photographer’s hotspot inside Druids during practice. The location is almost disorientating as the incredibly vocal DTM monsters bangs down through the gears to your left before hammering back out to your right, each car appearing every 40 seconds with relentless but joyful monotony.

Also included in this lot is a driver card signed by Susie.

Mission Motorsport.031MM.043 MM.100

Year: 2011

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Gary Paffett

Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Thanks to:  Hannah Lee and Gary Paffett

That Gary Paffett never made it onto the F1 grid will remain baffling for those who have witnessed a remarkable career which includes the 2005 DTM title. He continues to be one of the leading drivers in the most hotly-contested tin top category in the world. At Brands Hatch in 2011, he led the Mercedes-Benz charge against the all-conquering Audis to finish fourth.

This photo was taken from the traditional photographer’s hotspot inside Druids during practice. The location is almost disorientating as the incredibly vocal DTM monsters bangs down through the gears to your left before hammering back out to your right, each car appearing every 40 seconds with relentless but joyful monotony.

Mission Motorsport.033MM.074

Year: 2012

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Gary Paffett

Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Thanks to:  Hannah Lee and Gary Paffett

That Gary Paffett never made it onto the F1 grid will remain baffling for those who have witnessed a remarkable career which includes the 2005 DTM title. He continues to be one of the leading drivers in the most hotly-contested tin top category in the world. At Brands Hatch in 2012, he took a popular home win ahead of Bruno Spengler and Mike Rockenfeller as all three manufacturers took a podium finish.

This photo is taken from the outfield on the South Bank as Paffett drops the car into the awkward Graham Hill left-hander. The incredible aero of a modern DTM weapon is laid bare.

Mission Motorsport.064MM.075

Year: 2012

Event: DTM

Circuit: Brands Hatch Indy

Driver: Susie Wolff

Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Thanks to: Claudia Maur and Susie Wolff

One of a succession of successful female drivers in DTM, Susie Wolff has provided considerable inspiration for girls looking to make a career in motor racing – and continues to do so via her Dare to be Different initiative. In 2012, she retired the sonorous Mercedes-Benz C-Class sixteen laps from the end at Brands Hatch.

This photo is taken from the Druids infield during practice as the cars dive down towards Graham Hill bend.

Also included in this lot is a driver card signed by Susie.

MM.044 MM.099

Legends of the sport, historics and club racing

Year: 2012

Event: Goodwood Revival

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Sir Jackie Stewart

Car: Mercedes Benz W165

Thanks to: Ed Hassard and Sir Jackie Stewart

In 2012, Goodwood laid on a phenomenal treat for fans of 1930s grand prix racing. A field of savage Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union ‘Silver Arrows’ gave spirited demonstration laps among a field of contemporaries from ERA, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. A number of star drivers took to the wheel including Karl Wendlinger, Bernd Schneider and Jochen Mass for Mercedes-Benz. At the wheel of the diminutive W165 voiturette on Sunday was Sir Jackie Stewart. The legendary Scot performed rapid laps in the company of former foe Jacky Ickx, who steered the Auto Union D-Type. Here the duo runs between Fordwater and St Mary’s.

Mission Motorsport.056MM.011

Year: 2012

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Rod Millen

Car: Toyota Tacoma Pikes Peak

Thanks to: Shelley Campbell and Rod Millen

Rod Millen is a Pikes Peak legend; and a Goodwood legend. This particular image holds a special resonance for me as I had a photo of Millen ascending Pikes Peak in his Celica on my bedroom wall as a child. I couldn’t quite believe it when he brought the Celica, and subsequently the ludicrous Tacoma, to Goodwood.

These fearsome and wayward beasts are part rally car and part sports prototype. Boasting 900bhp, four-wheel drive and full ground effects, Millen has been among the Festival’s most successful and dramatic competitors during recent years.

The photo captures the Kiwi at maximum attack, managing understeer as he deploys full noise out of Molecomb and up towards the Flint Wall.

Mission Motorsport.004MM.045

Year: 2015

Event: British Hillclimb Championship

Circuit: Shelsley Walsh

Driver: Scott Moran

Car: Gould GR61X

Thanks to: Scott Moran

For once, Scott Moran played second best to a rival – and this time in his own car. For the 2015 season, Moran shared his Gould GR61X with Alex Summers while undertaking a part-season during to work commitments. At Shelsley, he was beaten into second place by Summers who threatened to break into the 22s but couldn’t quite manage it. Here, Moran howls out of Crossing and towards Bottom Ess, clipping almost 140mph as he does so.

Mission Motorsport.044MM.046

Year: 2013

Event: British Hillclimb Championship

Circuit: Harewood

Driver: Scott Moran

Car: Gould GR61X

Thanks to: Scott Moran

This image captures the run which made Scott Moran the most successful driver in British hillclimb history. In his usual, utterly smooth style, he apexes at Farmhouse before powering up the hill and towards the finish line. This was his 105th top-12 run-off victory, each one taken in the unique Gould GR61X. With Alex Summers and Roger Moran also taking multiple victories, the GR61X is, by some margin, the most successful hillclimb car in history as well.

Also included is a photo of Moran sharing this moment in history with his family. This photo is unsigned but hopefully adds some colour to a significant milestone in the sport’s history. Moran’s is a record which may never be beaten.

Mission Motorsport.026MM.047 MM.101

Year: 2013

Event: Goodwood Revival Whitsun Trophy

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Kenny Bräck

Car: Ford GT40 Mark 1

Thanks to: Steve Blunt and Kenny Bräck

In autumn 2013, Kenny Bräck went viral, 14 years after winning the Indy 500. On-board footage of the Swede wrestling Adrian Newey’s Ford GT40 around Goodwood caused a collective jaw-drop in the automotive world. Even then-EVO magazine editor, Nick Trott, found time to laud Bräck in print. The film is as mesmeric as it is bewildering; the GT40 is never pointing in a straight line, even carving vicious lateral arcs with every engagement of the throttle along Goodwood’s pit straight. See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jF__B1xpJY

For all Bräck’s acrobatics, his best lap time was only good enough for second on the grid – and that might be partly attributable to a moment of understeer at St Mary’s during his quickest tour. This photo captures that moment. The nose runs a little wide so our hero manages the situation with a healthy dose of throttle to bring the tail into play. It’s proper knife-edge stuff and one of those magical moments when a truly gifted driver connects with a truly awesome car around a monster circuit.

Mission Motorsport.049MM.048

Year: 2011

Event: Goodwood Revival – TT Celebration Race

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Kenny Bräck

Car: Shelby Daytona Coupe

Thanks to: Steve Blunt and Kenny Bräck

To describe it as taking a gun to a knife fight might seem disingenuous given the competition but in 2011, the combination of Kenny Bräck and Tom Kristensen in a Shelby Daytona Coupe always looked as if it might render the RAC TT Celebration Race something of a foregone conclusion. And so it would prove. The duo monstered dry qualifying by 1.3 seconds before clearing off into the distance in a rain-affected (and shortened) race; they eventually crossed the line 22 seconds to the good – a margin normally unheard-of at the Revival.

This shot captures Bräck exploring the outer limits of the Shelby’s potential through Madgwick during Saturday’s qualifying session.

Mission Motorsport.042MM.049

Year: 2011

Event: Goodwood Revival – TT Celebration Race

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Kenny Bräck

Car: Shelby Daytona Coupe

Thanks to: Steve Blunt and Kenny Bräck

To describe it as taking a gun to a knife fight might seem disingenuous given the competition but in 2011, the combination of Kenny Bräck and Tom Kristensen in a Shelby Daytona Coupe always looked as if it might render the RAC TT Celebration Race something of a foregone conclusion. And so it would prove. The duo monstered dry qualifying by 1.3 seconds before clearing off into the distance in a rain-affected (and shortened) race; they eventually crossed the line 22 seconds to the good – a margin normally unheard-of at the Revival.

This shot is taken from No Name – the fearsome right-hand kink before St Mary’s. It’s lap one and Bräck has opened up an emphatic lead, just two corners into the race. Behind him is Martin Brundle aboard Nick Mason’s legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, the former Grand Prix driver having performed his own miraculous start to rise from an eighth place grid slot to second out of Fordwater. Brundle and co-driver retained that position to the chequer.

Mission Motorsport.043MM.050

Year: 1995

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Sir Stirling Moss

Car: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

Thanks to: Sir Stirling Moss

Sir Stirling Moss’s 1955 Mille Miglia win is right lauded as one of racing history’s great drives. Covering 1,000 miles of Italian countryside in a touch over ten hours equated to a scarcely believable average of almost 100mph.

Unusually for the period, Moss was accompanied by the celebrated motor sport (and indeed Motor Sport) journalist Denis Jenkinson, who acted as navigator. 40 years later, to celebrate the anniversary of that amazing victory, the pair was reunited at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. While Jenks declined the offer to join Moss on that year’s Mille Miglia retrospective, he sat alongside his friend once again for spirited ascents of the Goodwood hill.

For the thousands of fans who missed the 1955 event, this was a ‘Kodak moment’ and one we never believed we might see. 1995 was one of the early editions of the Festival of Speed and it’s fascinating to observe the thin crowds and relative lack of corporate engagement. It’s fair to say we all knew we were witness to a very special moment. Here the duo bellows the burly 300 SLR up past Goodwood House. This photo is courtesy of Bill Swift.

MM.052 MM.051

Year: 2011

Event: Goodwood Revival

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Sir Stirling Moss

Car: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR

Thanks to: Sir Stirling Moss

The major tribute at the 2011 Goodwood Revival was to Juan-Manuel Fangio. The Argentinean five-time world champion was celebrated daily on track with a mouth-watering demonstration of many of his finest mounts. Among the car / driver combinations that weekend was Sir Stirling Moss who drove Fangio’s Mercedes 300SLR sports car, nick-named 758 in deference to its 1955 Mille Miglia start time and race number.

This, of course, was the famous race in which Moss headed home Fangio for a resounding Mercedes one-two – and did so at the fastest average speed of any Mille Miglia. Moss’s own car, 722, differed visually with a full-width windscreen to protect his navigator, Denis Jenkison. Fangio drove that race alone, eventually crossing the line fully half an hour after his young team mate. Today both cars are retained by the works and it was emotional for spectators to see Moss take the wheel of his hero’s car for a couple of gentle tours around Goodwood.

This photo was taken during Friday afternoon’s parade and, quite by coincidence, just at the point where Moss’s career-ending shunt took place back in 1962.

MM.003MM.053

Year: 2012

Event: Goodwood Revival

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Jochen Mass

Car: Mercedes-Benz W125

Thanks to: Jochen Mass

Few racing drivers can boast a CV as strong as that of Jochen Mass. The German’s career includes outright wins at Le Mans, the Spa 24 Hours, the World Sports Car Championship, Sebring 12 Hours and the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. As a works driver for Porsche and Mercedes during the Group C era, he took innumerable wins and helped mentor a young Michael Schumacher.

Today he keeps sharp by competing in historic racing and by demonstrating Mercedes’ magnificent fleet of historic racers. Of those, the most magnificent of all is the mighty W125 – the last of the 750kg cars which raced during the 1937 Grand Prix season. Blessed with a 646bhp straight-eight engine, centre throttle and narrow, treaded tyres, it’s arguably the most fearsome GP weapon of all time.

In 2012, the Goodwood Revival offered an opportunity for several of the pre-war Silver Arrows from Mercedes and Auto Union to hit the race track once again. Examples of all the Mercedes from the era (W25, W125, W154 and W165) were demonstrated with verve alongside Auto Union’s V12 and V16 rivals. It was a moment none of us will forget and Mass demonstrated the W125 with the skill and dexterity one would expect. Here he enters Madgwick during Saturday’s afternoon run.

Mission Motorsport.050MM.054

Year: 2012

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Tom Kristensen

Car: Lotus 98T

Thanks to: Tom Kristensen

One of my favourite drivers in one of my favourite cars produced one of my favourite-ever Goodwood Festival of Speed photos. TK shared Zak Brown’s magnificent ex-Senna Lotus with host Lord March over the 2012 Festival weekend. This car is chassis #3 and believed to be the most successful Senna racer now in private hands. The great Brazilian won two grand prix during the 1986 season aboard this very machine. TK was as committed as always, showering sparks behind him as he whistled up the Goodwood hill.

I’d written to TK’s team a couple of times to try and get this photo autographed but never received a response. Fortunately he was in attendance at the 2017 Race Retro where he was charm personified – cool as a cucumber wearing his Rolex Daytona. One of the absolute greats of his generation.

Mission Motorsport.001MM.069

Year: 2011

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Mike Wilds

Car: Mazda 787B

Thanks to: Mike Wilds

Few drivers are so familiar and conversant with Group C sports cars as Mike Wilds. The affable Brit has won titles during the category’s contemporary and historic eras, racing many of the world’s great circuits as he did so. During a career which started as a mechanic for Graham Warner’s Chequered Flag concern, Wilds has raced every conceivable kind of racing car – from 1172 Formula tiddlers in 750 Motor Club events to Grand Prix cars for BRM and a host of Can Am monsters.

In recent years, he has acted as a works driver for Mazda, a role which included campaigning an MX5 in endurance events. 2011 saw the twentieth anniversary of Mazda’s outright win at Le Mans, with the iconic quad-rotor 787B. Famed for its unique, piercing soundtrack, the 787B has entered Le Mans folklore. Wilds was Mazda’s choice to pilot the Le Mans winner over the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend. He did so with typical professionalism, thrilling spectators with that other-worldly noise and dramatic livery.

Also included in this lot is a signed card celebrating fifty years of Mike Wilds’ successful and diverse career, with artwork by Andrew Kitson.

Mission Motorsport.082MM.055 MM.057 MM.058

Year: 2013

Event: 72nd Goodwood Members’ Meeting

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Mike Wilds

Car: Porsche 956

Thanks to: Mike Wilds

Few drivers are so familiar and conversant with Group C sports cars as Mike Wilds. The affable Brit has won titles during the category’s contemporary and historic eras, racing many of the world’s great circuits as he did so. During a career which started as a mechanic for Graham Warner’s Chequered Flag concern, Wilds has raced every conceivable kind of racing car – from 1172 Formula tiddlers in 750 Motor Club events to Grand Prix cars for BRM and a host of Can Am monsters.

In 2013, Goodwood announced a new addition to its motor sporting calendar – and one which would use the last remaining noisy days of its Planning agreement at the motor circuit. The revival of the BARC members’ meetings would celebrate Goodwood’s low-key club events; the bedrock of its calendar during the facility’s contemporary career. In typically low-key Goodwood fashion (!) this included a demonstration of long-tailed endurance weapons, including Matra MS670B, Ford Mark IV, Porsche 917 Langheck and Mike Wilds aboard Trevor Crisp’s timewarp Porsche 956.

Re-commissioned ahead of the event, the 956 was driven in period by Mario Andretti at Le Mans and has rarely been seen in public in recent years. Wilds was an obvious choice to demonstrate it at Goodwood. Here he searches out the first apex at Madgwick, that distinctive yellow and black helmet open to reveal the driver’s eyes. Proper car, proper circuit, proper driver.

Also included in this lot is a signed card celebrating fifty years of Mike Wilds’ successful and diverse career, with artwork by Andrew Kitson.

Mission Motorsport.008MM.056 MM.057 MM.058

Year: 2014

Event: HSCC Super Touring

Circuit: Oulton Park International

Driver: John Cleland

Car: Vauxhall Vectra

Thanks to: Clelands of the Borders and John Cleland

Few drivers are more inextricably linked with the Super Touring era of saloon racing than John Cleland. The Scot was right in the thick of the action through the 1990s heyday of the British Touring Car Championship. Armed with a talent for soundbites which matched his speed, Cleland became a BTCC star as every race was broadcast into UK homes fortnightly, with Murray Walker on commentary duties. Few periods of domestic motor racing will be remembered with such fondness, as home-grown heroes like Cleland went toe-to-toe with international stars like Laurent Aiello, Gabriele Tarquini, Frank Biela and Joachim Winklehock.

Cleland took the BTCC championship laurels during the Vauxhall Cavalier’s last season, in 1995. From 1996, the marque employed the new Vectra as the base of its Super Touring model. While another title eluded them, Cleland and the Vectra continued to win races through the balance of the decade.

Fast forward 15 years and Super Touring has been revived in the UK, with a short series of races run under the auspices of the Historic Sports Car Club. Cleland acquired a 1998-vintage Vectra which was completely rebuilt ready for racing by his son Jamie. He has gone back into battle with old sparring partners like Tim Harvey, Nick Whale and Patrick Watts, accompanying a host of current historic racers like James Dodd.

In June 2014, a fine field of Super Tourers supported the contemporary BTCC around the full Oulton Park International layout, bringing back happy memories for those of us who witnessed the same spectacle first time around. Here Cleland powers out of Hislops and towards Hill Top on his way to a close second behind James Dodd’s Honda Accord.

Mission Motorsport.019MM.059

Year: 2013

Event: Goodwood Revival

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Dario Franchitti

Car: Lotus-Ford Type 38

Thanks to: Dario Franchitti

In 2013, the Goodwood Revival played host to a celebration of the remarkable career of Jim Clark. An incredible array of significant cars associated with the Scot were demonstrated daily during the event – and many steered by star drivers.

Few enthusiasts possess a more cultured appreciation of Clark than his compatriot Dario Franchitti, who today retains an ex-Clark Lotus Cortina. Franchitti emulated his hero by winning the Indianapolis 500 – and repeating the feat a further two times. He is also something of a Goodwood veteran, having earned a famous TT Celebration victory alongside Emanuelle Pirro in 2005.

In one of his last public events before a horrific smash at Houston – just three weeks later – curtailed his racing career, Franchitti demonstrated the savage Lotus Type 38, of the kind which carried Clark to that famous Indy 500 victory.

When Franchitti saw this photo his eyes lit up and his enthusiasm bubbled over. We shared a wonderful few minutes discussing the ferocity of the 38’s quad-cam Ford V8. He also revealed a great admiration for the work of Mission Motorsport.

Mission Motorsport.057MM.060

Year: 2013

Event: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power

Circuit: Cholmondeley – sprint course

Driver: Guy Smith

Car: Bentley Speed 8

Thanks to: Mike Sayer, Bentley Motor Company and Guy Smith

The 2013 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power coincided exactly with the tenth anniversary of Bentley’s landmark overall win at the Le Mans 24 Hours. To celebrate, the company arranged for winning driver, Guy Smith, to be reunited with his Speed 8, with a ceremony taking place on the Cholmondeley start line at exactly the time the 2003 race finished. Also in attendance was company patron and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell.

With the formalities over, Smith strapped himself into the Bentley once more and launched into a spirited run of the Cholmondeley sprint course, smoking his tyres as he departed. This shot was taken from the wheel tracks of the Bentley, tyre haze still lingering in the air.

Mission Motorsport.022MM.061

Year: 2014

Event: Goodwood Revival

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: John Surtees OBE

Car: Ferrari 158

Thanks to: Rebecca Leppard, Sharon Bowness and John Surtees OBE

Celebrating 50 years since its world championship title, the diminutive Ferrari 158 enjoyed a summer in Europe during 2014. Now owned by George Barber, and the star exhibit in his extraordinary museum, the 158 wowed crowds at every turn.

John Surtees, known by the Tifosi as Il Grande John, demonstrated the 158 at the 2014 Goodwood Revival, turning in a series of brisk laps just ahead of the Glover Trophy, the race which caters for this era of grand prix weapon. Surtees looked as comfortable as ever and one wondered how competitive the combination might have been during the race itself.

The great man took the opportunity to salute the crowds on his slow-lap, here waving to the masses at fearsome Fordwater.

Mission Motorsport.045MM.062

Year: 2010

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Bruno Senna

Car: McLaren MP4/8

Thanks to: Márcio Fonseca and Bruno Senna

The 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8 was overwhelmed by the power and electronic trickery of Williams’ FW15C. That didn’t stop Ayrton Senna taking five wins over the course of the season during his last campaign with McLaren ahead of his fateful move to Williams for 1994.

In 2010, the MP4/8 was reunited with the Senna name when Ayrton’s nephew, contemporary hotshoe Bruno, took the wheel at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This shot captures Senna hammering up towards the Flint Wall at speed, Ford HB howling its approval.

Mission Motorsport.059MM.063

Year: 2013

Event: Goodwood Festival of Speed

Circuit: Goodwood – hillclimb course

Driver: Damon Hill OBE

Car: Lotus Type 56

Thanks to: Deborah Armstrong and Damon Hill OBE

The late-1960s was perhaps the most innovative period of motor racing history. Having adopted mid-mounted engines at the start of the decade, the latter half of the 60s saw the emergence of aerodynamic wings, four wheel drive and gas turbine engines in single seaters. Naturally, Lotus was at the vanguard of all these developments, employing two of the technologies in its wedge-shaped, day-glow Type 56 IndyCars.

Jim Clark performed early testing aboard one of the STP-sponsored space craft in 1968 but was tragically killed before that year’s Indianapolis 500. Galvanizing the team across all categories, though, was Graham Hill who put one of three Type 56s on the middle of the front row at Indy. Sadly the Brit, who had won the 500 in 1966, lost a wheel at turn two on lap 111 crashing into the wall without injury. His team mate Joe Leonard, who had taken pole, looked set for an easy win when a fuel pump problem eliminated his Lotus with just eight laps left to run.

45 years later, Graham Hill’s son, Damon, was united with a Type 56 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The 1996 F1 world champion looked instantly at home and chatted intently with the car’s carers ahead of his runs up the hill. This intimate shot captures him in the paddock early on Sunday morning before the commencement of the day’s track activities.

Mission Motorsport.030MM.064

Year: 2012

Event: Revival – TT Celebration Race

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Martin Brundle

Car: Jaguar E-Type Lightweight

Thanks to: Martin Brundle

The RAC TT Celebration race is historic racing’s biggest prize. Featuring a grid worth upwards of £100 million piloted by the great and the good of historic and professional motor racing, the one-hour, two-driver spectacular has become the jewel in the Revival Meeting’s crown.

The Lightweight E-Type has become the weapon of choice for the outright win and none comes better prepared than that of Adrian Newey. As well as Newey, it has been driven at Goodwood by a host of star names including Gerhard Berger and Bobby Rahal.

In 2012 Martin Brundle, an acknowledged historic ace, was Newey’s co-pilot and the duo was gunning for the win which had hitherto eluded this particular car. Despite opposition which included Jean Alesi aboard Nick Mason’s Ferrari 250 GTO, Newey set a blinding early pace (including a lap record which still stands), enabling Brundle to bring the car home for a resounding victory.

This photo was taken on the ultra-fast section of the track between Fordwater and the fearsome ‘No Name’ towards the end of the race with Brundle on board.

Mission Motorsport.054MM.065

Year: 2012

Event: Silverstone Classic

Circuit: Silverstone Historic Grand Prix

Drivers: Oliver Bryant and Martin Stretton

Cars: Lola T70 Mk III B and Ferrari 512M

Thanks to: Oliver Bryant and Martin Stretton

Group 5 was one of motor racing’s most dramatic and yet short-lived categories. It effectively succeeded Group 4 and permitted sports cars of up to five litres to compete in the World Championship of Makes and the Le Mans 24 Hours. That meant the spectacle of existing Group 4 cars like the Lola T70 going head-to-head with the latest Ferrari 512s and Porsche 917s.

Today, few collectors are prepared to risk their precious Ferraris and Porsches in historic competition. This means a wailing 512M going up against a T70 is a rare treat. At the 2012 Silverstone Classic, fans were treated to the awesome spectacle of top historic racer Martin Stretton taking the wheel of Paul Knapfield’s 512M in the battle for World Sportscar Masters honours against the best T70s.

A titanic struggle ensued between Stretton and Oliver Bryant, a top historic racer and successful contemporary GT competitor. Bryant was leading before Stretton pulled an audacious move around the outside of Copse corner. This photo, taken from the outfield at Copse shows the pair side-by-side. They’re looking at one another, presumably both wondering how on earth they’ve managed to emerge unscathed. In the end, Bryant and his co-driver Andrew Smith took the flag by less than a second from Stretton and Knapfield in a race which will live in the memory of all who were lucky enough to witness it; historic racing at its best.

Mission Motorsport.029MM.066

Year: 2013

Event: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power

Circuit: Cholmondeley – sprint course

Driver: Robbie Kerr

Car: Radical SR8 LM

Thanks to: Robbie Kerr

The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power holds a special resonance for me as I grew up barely five miles from the fine Cholmondeley estate. It’s an extremely relaxed event, in spite of some amazing machinery and drivers having been in attendance down the years. It is also legendarily rainy. Almost without fail, wet weather will blight the weekend and that usually serves to keep speeds down on an extremely tricky course.

2013, however, provided plenty of dry track time and a competitive field. At the front were a couple of awesome sports prototypes driven by top contemporary racers. Scott Mansell was behind the wheel of Caterham’s then-new SP.300R, with Robbie Kerr in the (just about…) road-going Radical SR8 LM.

A battle for outright honours ensued, with the two drivers turning the fastest-ever laps of the Chmolmondeley sprint course. In the end, it was Kerr who emerged victorious, setting an outright record which still stands to this day, leaping the famous hump-back bridge in the most outrageous fashion. This photo captures Kerr leaping to the new record of 55.29sec. You can check out the extraordinary record-smashing run from onboard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfdVgEviVXI

Mission Motorsport.025MM.070

Year: 2012

Event: Silverstone Classic – Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy

Circuit: Silverstone Historic Grand Prix

Driver: Gary Pearson

Car: Jaguar D-Type

Thanks to: Gary Pearson

Gary Pearson is one of the world’s top historic racers. Specialising in Jaguars, he is as versatile as he is quick, having won aboard everything from Group C monsters to the rasping BRM Type 25 Grand Prix weapon. He is perhaps best-known for his exploits aboard XK-engined Jaguars and especially the D-Type where his smooth style and mastery of the four wheel drift thrill fans and win races in equal measure.

He entered the RAC Woodcote Trophy in D-Type XKD506 with brother John in 2012 and 2013, winning on both occasions. Here Pearson gently guides the D-Type out of the tortuous Woodcote right-hander on his way to victory in 2012, trajectory guided by delicate deployment of right foot and a generous armful of opposite lock. Poetry in motion.

Mission Motorsport.023MM.071

Year: 2013

Event: Goodwood Revival – TT Celebration Race

Circuit: Goodwood

Drivers: Wolfgang Friendrichs and Simon Hadfield

Car: Aston Martin DP212

Thanks to: Aston Engineering, Simon Hadfield and Wolfgang Friedrichs

The RAC TT Celebration race is historic racing’s biggest prize. Featuring a grid worth upwards of £100 million piloted by the great and the good of historic and professional motor racing, the one-hour, two-driver spectacular has become the jewel in the Revival Meeting’s crown.

The form book dictates that, if you want to win the race in a British car, you need a Lightweight E-Type. Aston Martins have always been a major draw but never has one looked likely to take outright victory. Until 2013. The race started on a dry track with Jean Alesi snatching an early lead in Sir Anthony Bamford’s storied Ferrari 250 GTO. Aston Martin DP212 was started by owner Wolfgang Friedrichs and was running mid-pack.

A safety car and heavy rain soon changed the complexion of the race, as ace preparer and racer Simon Hadfield took over DP212. He was soon the fastest driver on track by up to four seconds per lap, finding grip where his peers could not. He caught and passed Anthony Reid in the unique Lister-Jaguar Coupe to take a famous win – and in Aston Martin’s centenary year. It was one of the all-time great Goodwood drives.

Mission Motorsport.060MM.072

Year: 2012

Event: Revival – Freddie March Memorial Trophy

Circuit: Goodwood

Driver: Alex Buncombe

Car: Jaguar C-Type

Thanks to: Chris and Alex Buncombe

Works LMP1 driver, Blancpain Endurance champion, serial historic race winner…Alex Buncombe seemed for a period to race something different every weekend – and usually with spectacular results. He and team mate John Young dominated the 90 minute two-driver Freddie March Memorial Trophy at the 2012 Revival. The duo won by over a minute during a race which started in sunshine and closed in dusk. Buncombe managed to win at Monaco and Le Mans in the same car.

This image was taken from Madgwick corner, with Buncombe holding the C-Type in a perfect, gentle drift as the sun dropped over Chichester.

Mission Motorsport.048MM.073

Year: 2016

Event: National Superstock 1000

Circuit: Cadwell Park

Rider: Ian Hutchinson

Motorcycle: BMW S 1000 RR

Thanks to: Ian Hutchinson

At the time of writing, Ian Hutchinson has won 16 Isle of Man TTs. That makes him the fourth most successful rider in TT history, ahead of names like Surtees, Hailwood, Agostini and Duke. He is also recovering from a second horrific leg break in seven years. His return from injury in 2010 is the stuff of legend. Thirty operations and suggestions from medical professionals of amputation were rebuffed and Hutchy returned to the TT to win again (three times!) in 2015.

He has also continued short track racing and completed a full season with BMW in 2016. In spite of concerns about how he would cope around Cadwell as a result of his injuries, he was on mesmeric form and delivered a comfortable win. This photo was taken at Hall Bends as he charged to victory.

MM.004MM.010

Special effects

Signed driver card – McLaren – Jenson Button

Thanks to: Jaclyn Neal, McLaren Marketing Limited and Jenson Button

MM.114 MM.115

Signed driver card – McLaren – Fernando Alonso

Thanks to: Jaclyn Neal, McLaren Marketing Limited and Fernando Alonso

MM.112 MM.113

Signed driver card – Williams – Susie Wolff

Thanks to: Claudia Maur and Susie Wolff

MM.098

Signed driver card – Aston Martin Racing – Stefan Mucke

Thanks to: Jackie Irwin, Aston Martin Racing and Stefan Mucke

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Signed driver card – Aston Martin Racing – Kristan Poulsen, Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard

Thanks to: Jackie Irwin, Aston Martin Racing Kristan Poulsen, Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard

MM.095 MM.096 MM.097

Signed driver card – BMW Motorsport – António Félix da Costa

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Signed driver card – Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland – Marek Böckmann

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Signed driver card – Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland – Nick Foster

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Signed driver card – Audi Sport –  Emanuele Pirro

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Signed driver card – Audi Sport – Frank Biela

MM.110 MM.111

Race Programme – World Rallycross – Lydden Hill, 2015. Signed by event victor Petter Solberg, Tanner Foust, Anton Marklund and Andrew Jordan.

MM.001 MM.004 MM.003 MM.002

Signed Rockstar sticker – Tanner Foust

MM.005

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE canvas. Large-format (1m x 1m) canvas stretched over a timber frame. This was displayed in Aston Martin Racing’s hospitality unit during the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hour weekend. Kindly donated by Jackie Irwin of Prodrive / Aston Martin Racing.

Thanks to Alan Butcher and Bill Swift for their time and effort in helping this project move forward.