On Saturday 15th October, The Benjafield Racing Club experienced the full force of Yorkshire hospitality as Bowcliffe Hall custodian; Jonathan Turner, was chosen to host the Club’s annual special event. The one-off ‘Yorkshire Buccaneer’, named after aviation pioneer and one time Bowcliffe Hall owner Robert Blackburn who designed the famous fighter bomber, The Blackburn Buccaneer, invited local enthusiasts and car owners to enjoy a day of Yorkshire-themed action at the unique MSA-approved rally, attended by a total of 41 rare historic cars.
As you might expect from a Club whose sole ethos is to emulate the spirit of the famous Bentley Boys, 25 of the 41 cars taking part were vintage Bentleys including Jonathan Turner’s own 1925 3-litre ‘Number 10’ factory team car, fresh from its recent return from racing at the 2016 Classic Le Mans event. The event was also covered by Sky’s ‘Made In Leeds TV’.
Also competing were two Bentley Blowers, two of 55 produced by Bentley Motors. It wasn’t all about Bentleys however, with other notable cars, including an extremely rare Alfa Romeo 8C pushing the total value of cars driving around the Yorkshire countryside to in excess of £35million.
Starting at Bowcliffe Hall, the drivers headed to Bramham Park for a special gravel stage before heading to RAF Church Fenton where special permission was granted to close the runway for some high-speed runs along the tarmac normally reserved for aircraft.
Ahead of lunch was a spot of karting and skid pan fun at Tockwith Motor Sports. Working off lunch was taken care of with more gravel stages ahead of an afternoon of hillclimbing at Harewood before heading back to Bowcliffe Hall for a black tie dinner held in the magnificent Ballroom.
The lighthearted approach of the Benjafield Club and Jonathan’s passion for all things Yorkshire was summed up in the awards presentations for all the prize winners, where the first prize was a highly coveted box of Yorkshire Gold Tea and other prizes included a copy of the previous day’s Yorkshire Post, a bottle of Henderson’s Relish, bottles of Yorkshire beer, a pack of Yorkshire Tea (Red not Gold!) and a pack of Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings!
Winners of the Benjafield event were:
Overall Winners: Olaf and Marjot Pothoven in a 1934 Bentley
Second Place: Jeremy and Sian Brewster in a Le Francis
Fastest Hillclimb: Robert and Jane Abrey in a Bentley 61/2
Jonathan Turner commented on the event, saying: “What a pleasure it was to enjoy Yorkshire with like-minded people and to see 41 rare and valuable cars being used as they should be. I’m proud of my home county and it was an honour to show Benjafield’s members from as far afield as Slovenia and Spain what we have to offer.”
Benjafield’s Competitions Captain William Medcalf said: “The Yorkshire Buccaneer was a fantastic day, for those taking part and those who came to watch. There was plenty of spirited driving, but all the cars made it through the day without incident. We’re grateful to all who came and brought the huge array of historic cars and really used them with gusto, and look forward meeting up again next year.”
Note: Credit for all photos Jayson Fong.