Historic News Walter Hayes Trophy

Carl Hamer Trophy winner Ed Thurston looking to next season

HSCC Historic FF1600 regular and Carl Hamer Trophy winner Ed Thurston would like to race for Classic Team Merlyn again in 2019.

Thurston comfortably won the Carl Hamer race, for cars built between 1967 and ’81, at the Walter Hayes Trophy in a Merlyn Mk20 run by Mike O’Brien’s Classic Team Merlyn.

The Towcester-based team almost won the Historic FF1600 title in 2017 with Michael O’Brien in the car. Its current driver Benjamin Tusting scored podium finishes in the last three rounds of the 2018 season.

Lincolnshire driver Thurston used valuable sponsorship from Footman James and Good Egg Digital to broker the deal with the team, a decision he is glad he made.

“This car is so much better than my Elden. The development that the boys at Classic Team Merlyn and Speedsport have done is massive,” he said after his trophy win. Earlier in the day, he had commented that the Merlyn “went round corners that would have had the Elden upside down and on fire.”

Thurston is searching for a new drive as his Elden Mk8 suffered a catastrophic engine failure during a qualifying session at Brands Hatch towards the end of the season. The crankshaft broke, resulting in thrown rods.

“The engine’s still in a million bits on the garage floor,” he admits. “The whole car needs a full strip and rebuild, it’s started to go past its best.”

He remains hopeful for his 2019 season, however.

“We’ll definitely do something in HSCC, I don’t know what yet. We haven’t got anything planned so we’ll have to see what comes up.”

Classic Team Merlyn’s distinctive slate-blue car remains an option, finance permitting.

“We’ll have to see how nice the sponsors are feeling!” is Thurston’s take on it.

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