2 November 2022
There was a mixture of success and disappointment for Mark Holme’s Carsafe Austin Healey 3000 at the Algarve Classic meeting.
It was his first time out in the ex-works Healey for some time. One of the original Healey 3000’s, it was a regular on all the classic rallies around Europe, in the hands of the legendary Jack Sears, Pat Moss and John Gott.
Having qualified ninth overall for the Gentleman Drivers race, to take class pole position, the race had started well.
Having slipped to 14th overall on the first lap of the race, he was second in class battling with Doug Muirhead’s similar car, but after three laps he was up to 12th with the class lead and chasing down a Lotus Elan for 11th.
“I lost places through the first few corners, challenging the Elan, then had to work my way back up again,” he explained.
But after eight laps he was in trouble, “the wheel bearing and halfshaft broke, I was all over the Elan again, then the bearing went and it caused the shaft to fail too,” he explained after his race came to a sudden end.
The car was back in full racing order for Sunday, qualifying ninth overall in the GT and Sports Car Cup, taking class pole position again by 1.6 seconds! “Jeremy Welch and the team did a remarkable job, welding everything back together again,” he added.
Sharing the car with Welch, they converted their qualifying performance into a magnificent sixth overall, which secured a class win by well over a minute, from a trio of fellow Healey drivers.
“I did all but about 20 minutes of the race, it was quite brutal on the car, but I enjoyed it and the car ran faultlessly. I pushed it to the absolute max and lapped all but second place in my class.” He concluded.