Austin Sevens battle at Mallory Park in Inter Club Challenge
The two leading Clubs for pre-war Austin Sevens came together at Leicestershire’s Mallory Park on
Saturday 11 th August for a 10 lap handicap race. The Vintage Sports Car Club and the 750 Motor
Club brought cars from their respective racing series together for a classic VSCC handicap race and
in so doing delivered one of the outstanding races of the afternoon.
Twenty three of the twenty four cars entered took the track for a dedicated 10 minute practice
session, which was dominated by the VSCC’s Christian Pederson in his much worked, he ran in 3 of
the day’s 10 VSCC races, single seater special. Christian was one of only three super-charged cars
in the field, and he made that power advantage work for him, setting a time fully seven and a half
seconds clear of his nearest rival, Nicholas Powell in his MG powered La Special. Almost two
minutes covered the field after the practice times were completed and the VSCC Handicap Team
made one amendment, which was to give Greg Swan in his Ulster Special an extra credit lap for
the race itself.
As the grid was formed for race 4 the 750 entrants were clearly concentrating hard on the VSCC
method of starting an handicap race and all eyes from the knowledgeable VSCC crowd were on
Christian Pedersen, whose handicap placed him very much at the back of the pack. The starter and
assistant walked along the outside of the grid, with the flag being dropped periodically to
correspond with the handicaps and within a minute and a half all cars were away. These races are
tricky for the commentators to call, but they made a valiant effort, concentrating on the action and
overtaking manoeuvres as Pederson sliced through the field in a chase against vanishing seconds.
With the VSCC’s insistence on a “Vintage appearance” for their cars, it was a truly refreshing
change to see different shapes taking part, particularly Thomas Emden in his Super Accessories
Sportsman, one of the archetypical “specials” of the post World War Two Years, when, along with
firms such as Cambridge Engineering, Dante, Hamblyn etc, one could take a “tired” pre-war saloon
Austin and have it converted into something far racier, in looks at least for perhaps £25. There
was much to compare and contrast for sure.
By the eighth lap, it was becoming clear that the handicappers had given Pedersen too steep a
mountain to climb and that it was going to be a battle between Max Fraser and Mike Harvey for
the win – scintillatingly one from each Club! By the fall of the chequered flag it was Fraser who
took the individual win for the VSCC by 3.65 seconds. The top ten rolled out narrowly in favour of
the hosts with a 6:4 ratio.
At the prize giving ceremony, driving force within the VSCC for Austin Sevens and this historic race
in particular, Nick Hayward-Cook said:
“What a really great race. I am so pleased we managed to get it staged, thanks to the drivers and
to people at Committee Level in both clubs who have made this happen. The really great thing
about it is I have spoken to a number of people who have Sevens and who used to compete in
them and are now, because of today, going to bring them out again next season. Thanks to all for
making it a super, super day”.
Five were classified as non-finishers and the fastest laps of the race for each club were:
Gregan Thruston for the 750 Motor Club with a 1:04:95. – 74.74 mph
Christian Pedersen for the VSCC with a 59:80. – 81.17
The top three were:
Max Fraser – VSCC
Mike Harvey – 750 Motor Club
James Miles – 750 Motor Club