Professional race preparation and management

Reports > Walter Hayes Trophy November 2022

Another Heat win and grand final podium for Josh Fisher at the WHT

The 2022 running of the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone was held on Sat/Sun 5/6 November in conditions which were generally overcast and ranged from damp to wet.

The Wayne Poole Racing team entered four cars with the three Richard Hudson-Evans owned and Classic Auction Review backed cars of Josh Fisher (Van Diemen RF99), Ben Mitchell (Van Diemen JL16) and Sam Mitchel in the 'historic' Merlyn MK20 backed up by James Colborn in his Van Diemen RF07.

In Heat 1 James started 17th and improved to finish 11th. In Heat 2 Sam started in 18th, made up a couple of places but a spin at Woodcote dropped him to the back of the field to finish 27th. In Heat 3 Ben had qualified 4th where he ran for most of the race and took fastest lap. Josh qualified second for Heat 4 and took the lead at the start. He fell to second behind Rory Smith who was later penailsied for track limits leaving the win to Josh.

The Progression race was wet and Sam made the most of his advantage in the older and more softly sprung Merlyn. Starting 19th he was 6th at the end of the first lap, 3rd at the end of the second and 2nd by Lap 3. He eventually finished a fine third with the fastest lap in his Class. In the Last Chance race Sam started near the back of the field and was unable to make much progress finishing 27th but with the consolation of fastest lap in the Class.

Ben, starting seventh in Semi 1 but failed to complete the first lap. James started Semi 1 22nd but was mired in the hectic mid field for the whole race, finally finishing 26th.

Josh started Semi 2 in second position and took the lead at the start, holding it for five laps before dropping to second where he finished.

With only Josh making it to the Grand Final, hopes were high for another good showing in this prestigious event. A group of five cars, with Josh at the back, broke away from the rest of the large field early on and it was clear that the winner was going to come from this group. Josh was able to run the the other four and close up after dropping back a little but was unable to make much impression getting past. An incident between winner, Max Esterson, and Tom Mills at Luffield saw Mills drop back handing an eventual fourth place to Josh. But a post race penalty for Esterson promoted Josh to third and his fourth podium at the event.

Finally, in the Carl Hamer Trophy race for 'historic' cars Sam took a good eight place in the Merlyn.

Many thanks to Steve Glendenning and Joy Richings for the images.