Features Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Stanzl’s spare car

Before the rules changed, it used to be fairly common for Formula 1 drivers to jump into a spare car when theirs was damaged in practice. It isn’t such a common occurrence in Historic Formula Ford.

Championship regular Kevin Stanzl had a nightmare qualifying for the Silverstone International Trophy; his Merlyn Mk20 had an engine blow-up, breaking a crank before he even completed a lap.

This could easily be the end of his weekend, but Stanzl took a chance on fetching another car he had at home.

The Crossle 16F had been in the garage since last year’s Oulton Park races and was far from ready to run. It was also in Woking.

“It was an hour and half drive, then get the car prepped, get the ratios changed, set it up,” explained Stanzl.

This was all done in less than a day and he was back at Silverstone late on Saturday evening.

“The gearing needed doing, the brakes needed sorting out, the wheels, tyres, getting it off its stand, check through it quickly, and we’re here.

“It was a bit of work! Then got it in the van, got back here and then begged, and borrowed to get out and do my practice laps.”

The car was now ready for Race 2, but qualifying was long gone. Luckily, a way was found for Stanzl to get on the grid.

“They let me out for two laps, then the third lap was the green flag lap, so then I could race.”

Stanzl came from the back of the grid to finish 22nd in Race 2.

Image by Dan Bichener

By Rachel Harris-Gardiner

Rachel Harris-Gardiner is the editor of Vintage Formula Ford and former Historic editor for She is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motorsport News and writes her own blog about women in motorsport, Speedqueens.

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