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Masters Historic Festival – Brands Hatch 2022 – Highlights and Gallery

Last weekend the Masters Historic Racing team descended onto a sunny Brands Hatch for their annual festival of racing, and there was plenty of action taking place we take a quick look at the highlights:

Masters Racing Legends

Miles Griffiths apparently failed to observe that he was in a pre-78 class Formula One car when he took the fight to pre-race favourite Steve Hartley in the first of two Masters Racing Legends races at Brands Hatch. Running nose-to-tail with Hartley’s more recent McLaren MP4/1 for nine laps in a terrific scrap for the lead, the Fittipaldi F5A driver had to finally give way to the McLaren into Druids on lap 10 but moments after, Hartley’s car dramatically lost pace, its Cosworth DFV engine suddenly having developed a misfire.

This handed Griffiths his debut overall victory in a Formula One race for 1966-’85 cars while simultaneously cornering the pre-78 class win.[/caption]

However, Steve Hartley avenged his retirement by coming from the back to win the second Masters Racing Legends race at Brands Hatch the next day. Once up into second place, the McLaren MP4/1 driver reeled off a series of fastest laps of the race in his relentless pursuit of long-time leader and Saturday’s winner Miles Griffiths in the Fittipaldi F5A, who finally succumbed to Hartley’s pressure on lap 14.

Griffiths still took pre-78 class honours while keeping well ahead of a very entertaining three-way battle between Steve Brooks (Lotus 91), Warren Briggs (McLaren M29) and Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012). Brooks and Briggs in particular were tied to a string for the entire race but Brooks lost out on the final lap, when agonisingly his gear lever mount came off, handing Briggs third place, with Simmonds snapping at his gearbox in fourth while claiming the post-82 class win.

Gentleman Drivers 

Despite incurring a drive-through penalty, John Davison was the last one laughing when he surged past the slowing car of equally TVR Griffith-mounted Mike Whitaker two laps from the end to take an unexpected win in an enthralling Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Brands Hatch. In fact, just a few laps earlier, the win was fully expected to go to Roy Alderslade and Andrew Jordan in the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé, as Jordan was leading by a country mile when the Daytona Cobra was hit by a puncture that instantly put it out of contention.

The struggle for CLP class honours – and eventually third overall – was even more dramatic, as Sam Tordoff stormed through the field to haul the Elan shared with father John past the Robin Ward/Ron Maydon Ginetta G4R on the final lap.

Pre-66 Touring Cars 

Sam Tordoff took everything out of his Ford Falcon Sprint to win a hugely entertaining one-hour Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at the Masters Historic Festival. Leading the opening stint from the front, the former BTCC star overcame his added 20-second ‘elite-driver’ pitstop time to reclaim the lead from Craig Davies on lap 24. The Mustang driver had only stolen that lead the lap before from fellow Mustang pedaller Alex Thistlethwayte who had assumed his position at the front after the stops.

The fourth car in with a shout, Alex Taylor’s Mustang, was forced to retire on the final lap, handing that place to Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas, who came through to win the 1600cc class in their Lotus Cortina while in a stunning fifth overall, Nathan Heathcote prevailed in an epic tussle for Mini honours with Jeff Smith. Smith was later penalised for stopping short during the mandatory stops, but Heathcote had his rival covered on the road as well. A long way back, the Jonathon Page/Nick Swift Mini took third in the under-1300cc class.

Masters Sports Cars Legends Race

Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield hadn’t seen the top step of a Masters Sports Car Legends podium for a number of years but on their return to the series immediately relived the good times by claiming a victory at Brands Hatch. The race was robbed of an exciting fight for the lead, however, when Tom Bradshaw’s Chevron B19 retired from a 21-second lead shortly before the pit window, leaving the crowd with a feeling of ‘what might have been’.

Chris Beighton in the other Simon Hadfield Motorsport-run Lola T70 Mk3B took a distant second, especially after Hadfield whittled down the fastest lap of the race in a string of blistering tours towards the end, while James Claridge and Gonçalo Gomes ran home in third in their Chevron B23. From the back, the Mark Hazell/Martin O’Connell Chevron B19 delivered an impressive charge up to fourth, with the Nick Sleep/Alex Montgomery Lola T70 Mk3 completed the top-five.

Photos thanks to Simon Hildrew, (Copyright is with Simon) please contact him to reproduce, copies or prints : simon@simonhildrew.com  07970 808510

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