Race report: RAC TT Celebration – Revival 2021
The GT Turner star took off from the line in the Bryant family’s AC Cobra, scurrying away as poleman Bill Shepherd’s similar car chased her. His other front row starter Jenson Button, also in a Cobra, got off to a bad start, going from first to fourth gear on the line, which saw him drop to ninth in front of Madgwick.
Turner’s lead after two laps was four seconds, but it was canceled five minutes after the start of the hour-long race order by a safety car period to retrieve Rupert Clevely’s Jaguar E-Type. On the restart, Button took the hammer down and took out rivals one by one, including Martin Brundle’s Cobra outside of St. Mary’s and Gregor Fisken’s Cobra at Madgwick. He was up to third place by quarter distance. Shepherd stopped after 21 minutes to pass the baton to all-round superstar Romain Dumas. Turner stopped simultaneously to swap seats with Ollie Bryant, Button taking the lead before stopping for 24 minutes to hand over to his lifelong friend, Alex Buncombe.
Their pale blue Cobra emerged in third place amid another period of safety car, with Mike Whittaker and Mike Jordan’s TVR Griffith 400 having had an expensive off-course excursion. On the restart, Buncombe was closing in on Bryant only to score a self-timer that cost him time. The safety car came out again with 25 minutes to go after Sam Hancock’s Cobra, launched by Fisken, was retired to St. Mary’s, with the order being regrouped again.
Seven minutes later the race resumed in anger, Dumas securing a slight jump over Bryant with Buncombe losing to Emanuele Pirro’s Lister-Jaguar Coupe which was started by Frederic Wakeman. Unfortunately, the Buncombe / Button car had developed a persistent misfire and was withdrawn shortly thereafter. Pirro, however, was unable to make inroads on the leading duo, who fought royally in the finals. However, the color of the race changed with four minutes remaining after Dumas received a 21-second penalty for a driver change violation.
Dumas crossed the line first on the road, but he and Shepherd were downgraded to fourth after the time penalty was factored in. Bryant and Turner took the win, with Pirro and Wakeman coming in second, with Shaun Lynn and former touring car star Andy Priaux being promoted to third. Turner, for his part, didn’t have time to receive his laurels – he had a flight to catch.
Main image by Tom Shaxson.