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Masters Historic Festival -Brands Hatch

This year’s Masters Historic Festival was hot and humid at we catch up with the highlights of the action, results and gallery of images from John Retter.   (John Retter Photography)

Endurance Legends

Portuguese driver Rui Aguas made it two out of two in Kriton Lendoudis’s Peugeot 908X to also win the second Masters Endurance Legends race of the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch. Steve Tandy put up a strong challenge in the Lola-Mazda B12/60 to lose out by just nine seconds at the finish.

Tandy ran second from lap 2, passing Martin Rich in the ORECA-Nissan 03 he shared with Alex Kapadia. As Aguas opened up a 30-second gap towards the pit window, Tandy in his turn put some six seconds between himself and Rich, who dove into the pits at the first opportunity to hand over to Kapadia.

Aguas being a pro driver was forced to sit longer in the pits than Tandy but the Lola-Mazda left the pits with just ten seconds in hand on the Peugeot. Tandy was pushing, though, forcing his Portuguese rival to need eight laps to retake the lead.  Full report

FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Race

Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield came through from the back of the grid to win a heavily safety-car-punctuated and ultimately shortened FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race at Brands Hatch. Their Lola T70 Mk3B was up into third when the pit window opened and then won another place when Jason Wright’s T70 Mk3B was held up in the pits, having been hit after an unsafe release of Paul Allen’s Lola T212. With Hadfield in the car, the leading Gonçalo Gomes/James Claridge Lola T212 was quickly dealt with, after which Hadfield ran off to a 11-second win over Wright, with Henry Fletcher’s Chevron B19 in third.

“A BMW 240i is on my shopping list, I followed it round for quite a while”, Hadfield quipped, referring to the two safety-car periods during his stint.

“When I came in, I saw from the corner of my eye that red car attacking me!” said Wright about the pitlane incident with Paul Allen. “But at my age you stay cool and just get on with it.”

Poleman Manfredo Rossi (Osella-Abarth PA1) did the early running, having reclaimed the lead from Fletcher on lap 4, but the Italian pulled off at Graham Hill Bend on lap 10. Fletcher took over but a puncture – taken care of during his regular pitstop – dropped him down to seventh, handing the lead to the Gomes/Claridge Lola. Meanwhile, Voyazides had charged up to sixth by lap 4, and was third by lap 11.

Two more safety-car periods after the one four laps into the race to retrieve Mike Whitaker’s Lola T70 bunched the field up, allowing Hadfield to take an easy win and Fletcher to make up several places. Fletcher even took second from Wright but immediately following the race was red-flagged when Paul Allen beached his Lola at Druids with three minutes still on the clock. Thus, the result was rolled back to the standings on the previous lap. Full report

Gentleman Drivers 

Shaun Balfe and Andy Wolfe – a driver pairing in the Wolfe AC Cobra for this occasion – were happy to take the win in the Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Brands Hatch when, with less than half an hour to go, a dominant Mike Whitaker was given the black-and-orange ‘meatball’ flag for a loose exhaust, having gone off on lap 34. Whitaker dropped back to third after the issue was dealt with in the pits but recovered to take second place from fellow TVR Griffith driver John Spiers.

“Yes, I’m supersub!”, said Balfe about replacing Michael Gans for the weekend. “I enjoyed it, definitely. You feel everything. You feel you are going fast, and you are going fast!”

Whitaker was very disappointed with losing a win that for over an hour looked unchallenged. The TVR driver removed Balfe from the lead on lap 2 and proceeded to build a gap that was up to 24 seconds at the pitstops. With Wolfe in Balfe’s place, the gap wasn’t really coming down until Whitaker made a mistake at the back of the circuit. Full report

Masters Historic Formula one

Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) defended a narrow lead over Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012) to win the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race of the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch. The race was shortened because of a crash involving Lotus team mates Katsu Kubota and Steve Brooks. Both were unhurt.

Padmore led away from the start, and despite setting several fastest laps of the race Stretton was unable to set up a decisive pass, even though Padmore was keeping as little as four tenths between itself and the Tyrrell.

“I was keeping the pressure on him”, said Stretton. “Frankly, I needed a break, I was hoping he would make a mistake with the backmarkers in the final few laps but they never came.”

Some 20 seconds down the road, Mike Cantillon (Williams FW07C) took third, maintaining a two-second gap to Simon Fish (Ensign N180) all race.

“It was good”, said Cantillon, “but I soon lost touch with the guys in front, so it was a bit of a lonely race.”

Greg Thornton dominated the pre-78 class in his Lotus 77, finishing fifth overall, well ahead of Max Smith-Hilliard (Fittipaldi F5A) and Jason Wright (Shadow DN8). Initially, Thornton had no less than four ground-effect cars between himself and Max Smith-Hilliard, but first Steve Hartley (Arrows A4) and Joaquin Folch (Brabham BT49) touched, and then Thornton’s team mates took each other other out, ending the race prematurely. Brooks lined up Kubota into Druids and dived through on the inside but the Japanese still turned in and was launched over the top of Brooks’s left front wheel. Taking evasive action, Smith-Hilliard ended up in the gravel trap. Full report

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