One-Litre F3 Historic Racing Association


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18th - 19th May 2024 - Cadwell Park

Stand Alone Double Header event for the Justin Haler Trophy

18 May 2024

HSCC Cadwell Park Wolds Trophy Race Meeting 18th – 19th May 2024

Race Report HSCC Historic Formula 3 Justin Haler Trophy Races.


Entry & Qualifying

Following on from the launch of the 60th anniversary season at Goodwood Members Meeting the Historic Formula 3 Championship started in earnest at Cadwell Park with the contest for the Justin Haler Trophy.

Heavy rain on the Thursday prior to the race meeting did not deter the spirits and the sunny if chilly weekend did catch a few competitors out who were finding the Cadwell climate a bit of a shock to their knees. Many having opted for packing shorts rather than the usual jeans and multiple layers of jumpers and coats. 

Goodwood did take its toll on the anticipated entry but there were still 21 cars fielded to enjoy the challenges of the roller coaster that the Lincolnshire circuit provides. Simon Etherington despite being sidelined with an engine failure did do the important job of organising the Fish and Chip supper for Saturday night kindly hosted by Neil Cox’s Corinium Motorsport. Glowing reports were recorded both on the night and the following morning, although those compliments may have been augmented by the beers provided by Steve Seaman.

Brabhams dominated with six cars in the entry. Jon Milicevic made a welcome return to the Championship in his Brabham BT21B, also in 21s were Steve Seaman, Jason Timms, and Gil Duffy, whilst Leif Bosson and Mark Pangborn fielded the later Brabham BT28s. 

Chevron had three representatives, Steve Nichols and Jonathan Sharp fielding B17s, with Mark Carter fielding the Chevron B15. 

Merlyn were to have three representatives Ross Drybrough fielding a Merlyn Mk14A in the entry Andrew Tart running his earlier Mk9, Glenn Loxton in his Mk14 was a late withdrawal due to business commitments.

Richard Wise and Peter Hamilton were out in their Tecnos, with Peter’s son Sam running as an invitation car in the very pretty Formula Ford Lotus 51 which was derived from the Lotus 31 represented by Andrew Thorpe who had for company in the side draught classes, Nigel Haigh Cooper T72 and Nicholas Pearce U2 Mk4 both making their championship debut swelling the ranks of the earlier side draught cars.

Whilst Nick is a seasoned campaigner and former Champion within the HSCC when racing in the RJB Mining Thundersports, Nigel is an enthusiastic Novice car and driver developing with each outing. It is really good to see the support for these cars growing. Let’s hope the trend continues. 

Tony Wallen in what appears to be the only Lotus 59 still competing on the circuits has gained some pace (no pun intended) in the former Carlos Pace car completed the Lotus representation. Peter De La Roche returned with his Alexis Mk17 whilst Keith Messer brought the Vesey to Cadwell after a winter rebuild, with the first part of the weekend being something of a testing and development period with so much of the car having been worked on during the closed season. 


Jon Milicevic was like a greyhound out of a trap. No sooner had he completed his first sighting lap, he set a lap in the Brabham that the remaining qualifiers would have to equal. The chase was initially headed by Peter De La Roche, who after 5 laps returned to the paddock. Dad would be in trouble -he had put the wrong ratios in leaving Peter with two 4th gears.

Despite his struggles Peter would be 3rd fastest in the Alexis with Ross Drybrough setting the second fastest time just over a second slower than Jon the race between the top 3 looked close. Jason Timms, in his Brabham would line up 4th on the grid, from Mark Carter 5th in the Chevron. Mark popped in his flying lap right at the end of the session to give him an advantage of just over a second from his 3rd row companion. Richard Wise in the Tecno took up the 6th place slot. 

Post qualifying Richard was to be found discussing the circuit with fellow Tecno runner Peter Hamilton. A number of the corners presenting quite a challenge when choosing which gear to be in. It was a long debate on which was ultimately the best. The close company behind him probably prompting the question.

7th fastest was Steve Seaman’s Brabham, with Peter Hamilton 8th, Leif Bosson in his BT28 would be 9th and lining up alongside him in the Chevron would be Jonathan Sharp. For Nigel Haigh, his first experience of Cadwell Park was probably not the best. An early brush coming into the Mountain at the start of qualifying pitched him into the tyre wall damaging the front suspension and steering. His four laps of qualifying being the last he would do in the event. Over the lunch period whilst trying to rebuild his car he did go back to the scene of his accident. The collar securing the damper had popped off in his collision with the tyres. With some assistance from the Marshals, the tyres were lifted and the missing component found. From the original entry of 21, 19 cars would form up on the grid for the start of Race one


Race One

Jon Milicevic led away from the start to head the field into a lead he was not to lose, but the best start was probably made by Jason Timms, who overtook both Ross Drybrough and the now better geared Peter De La Roche to come through in 2ndplace. Someone else making a good start was Steve Seaman who would be 5th ahead of Richard Wise, Peter Hamilton and Mark Carter. 

On lap 3 Peter De la Roche slipped by Jason Timms to move into 2nd place. Jason falling back to 4th a lap later when Ross Drybrough overtook him too. With a clear track Peter De La Roche was putting in some quick lap times and started to reduce the gap to Jon Milicevic. Jason Timms had settled into his 4th position easing away from Steve Seaman who had Mark Carter who in turn had Richard Wise on his tail.

On lap 7 coming into Barn Nick Pearce had a very dramatic end to his race. The drive coupling at the rear broke pitching the car sideways. Nick caught it but was something of a passenger as he managed to guide the car towards the escape road. 

The U2 was proving difficult to control or slow, he went through a spectator gate narrowly avoiding a parked ambulance and a marshal’s car before coming to a halt. Nick was a little shaken, probably almost as much as the marshal who saw the race car heading directly towards his parked vehicle. Luckily the only casualty was the gate with the U2 proving to be remarkably robust. 

Conditions on the circuit were getting slippery, Jon collecting a spin out at Charlie’s. Richard Wise was the next to have a hairy moment up at Park heading down towards Charlie’s he spun and was missed by all following. Believing he had a problem with the car rather than being a victim of fluid on the circuit Richard pulled into the paddock to retire. Mark Carter in the wheel tracks of Steve Seaman, lost a place to Peter Hamilton who was making his way back up the order. 

Lap 9 and Peter De La Roche was just under 2 tenths behind Jon Milicevic the race was building towards a climax. Could the Alexis overtake the Brabham? Lap 10, with the traffic Jon was able to extend his advantage to 4 tenths of a second. Mark Carter had closed up on Steve Seaman, bringing with him Peter Hamilton. On lap 12 Peter De La Roche’s race came to a dramatic close when he tangled with a backmarker. Peter’s car was pitched off the circuit and his weekend was over. Steve Seaman had an off rejoining behind Mark Carter and Peter Hamilton. 

The final result being a win for Jon Milicevic, second place going to Ross Drybough in the orange Merlyn with the final podium slot going to Jason Timms. 4th would be Peter Hamilton and 5th the last car on the same lap as the leaders Mark Carter in the Chevron. The remaining order being Steve Seaman 6th, Mark Pangborn 7th, ahead of Leif Bosson with Jonathan Sharp 9th, completing the top 10 would be Steve Nichols. 

Post race it was found that Keith Messer had a hairline split in his head gasket that had caused all of his oil to escape firstly into the catch tank and then onto the circuit creating the slippery surface that the competitors had found. 

With the aid of Jeremy Bennett, and some late-night working. The Vesey was back and running for Race 2. There had been a number of positives from the first race for Keith proving that his winter work was heading in the right direction. 

Race 2

It was a depleted field that lined up for the second of the Justin Haler Trophy Races. The cars forming in the order of their fastest lap from Race 1. Jon Milicevic would be on pole position with Ross Drybrough 2nd Jason Timms 3rd Mark Carter 4th. Retiree from Race 1 Richard Wise was 6th, the remaining top ten being in the order, Steve Seaman, Peter Hamilton, Mark Pangborn and Steve Nichols. Despite assistance from Andrew Tart and new tyres on the Cooper following his off in Qualifying Nigel Haigh would be a non-starter as would be Nicholas Pearce and Peter De La Roche. The return match between Jon and Peter would have to wait for another event. 

At the lights Jon led away, with Jason Timms making another great start and heading into Coppice on the opening lap it was three abreast with Ross Drybrough alongside Jason. The order on lap 1 was very much as per the grid. Steve Seaman had slipped back to 8th place with Mark Pangborn gaining two places passing Peter Hamilton as well. 

Leif Bosson limped round with a damaged rear wheel following a tangle into the mountain retiring into the paddock with a deflated tyre.

Jon Milicevic was not breaking away in this second race. Jason had the bit between his teeth and keeping the blue Brabham very much in his sights. Jon breaking the tow on lap 3 when Jason started to develop a gearbox problem. This would have benefitted Ross Drybrough had he not had a spin at Charlie’s, dropping him down to 8th place almost 40 seconds behind the leader. On lap 4 Jason pulled into the pits to retire leaving Mark Carter in 2nd place 21 seconds behind Jon. Mark though had his own concerns as Richard Wise was having a much better race in the Tecno and was hounding the Chevron whilst following him was the fellow Tecno of Peter Hamilton who was 2 seconds back with Peter having a similar advantage over Mark Pangborn and Steve Nichols.

Ross Drybrough’s spin had fired up the adrenalin in the Merlyn driver, who was closing on the pack at a speed now being the second fastest car on the circuit almost 3 seconds a lap quicker than the cars in front. Ross’s progress through the field and the contest between Mark Carter and Richard Wise being the highlight of this second race.

Into his stride Ross was close to the fastest time set by Jon in the race finally bettering it on the last lap. It was a stunning drive and based on the weekend performance, Ross, Peter and Jon have set the benchmark for this year’s Championship. 

The final flying lap netting Ross 2nd place Mark Carter would be 3rd after his race long duel with Richard Wise. 5th would be Peter Hamilton, from Mark Pangborn Steve Seaman and Steve Nichols. Andrew Tart and Tony Wallen completed the top 10. 

Jonathan Sharp was the last of the retirements on lap 7 when he pulled off at Park with a box of neutrals. After a lonely race in his Lotus 31, Andrew Thorpe will be pleased to see some class A opposition back on track to give him someone to race with. 

With two outright wins Jon Milicevic was declared the winner on aggregate of the Justin Haler Trophy which will be presented at the One Litre F3 Association’s Awards ceremony later in the year.  

Report by Alan Jones

Photographs by David Marshall


Race 1 results: [PDF]

Race 2 results: [PDF]