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Master Historic Festival from Brands Hatch

The sun shone and the crowds returned another two welcome firsts for the Masters Historic team as they hosted their two day Masters Historic Festival at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the Bank Holiday weekend.

It was an action packed race schedule, all of which was live streamed so you can still catch up on the weekends action, meanwhile here are the highlights.

Masters Historic Formula One

Steve Hartley took a dominant win in the first Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands Hatch, the McLaren MP4/1 driver racing off from pole and never looking back, despite a late safety-car period that allowed Lukas Halusa (McLaren M23) to beat Warren Briggs (McLaren M29) to second place on the final dash to the chequered flag.

The 20-minute race was livened up by three entertaining fights not only between Briggs and Halusa, but also between Phil Hall’s Theodore TR1 and Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08 in fourth and fifth, and between Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Marc Devis (Surtees TS16) for sixth and seventh.

Hall had stormed up to fourth from ninth on the grid but was forced to retire when his Theodore gave up three minutes from the end. Hazell was another man on the move, the Williams driver passing class rival Simmonds for the post-82 class win. Behind the first six, Mark Harrison took seventh, the Shadow DN9 driver unable to hold on to his incredible fourth place on the grid.

Gentleman Drivers 

James Cottingham came away with the win in a very dramatic Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Brands Hatch, his AC Cobra surviving a heartstopping final ten minutes of the 90-minute enduro.

Cottingham, having run in fourth for most of the race, came to the fore in the final part of the race, passing the Alex Brundle/John Pearson E-type and the Andrew Jordan/Roy Alderslade Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé in quick succession, and then was the last one laughing when Olly Bryant was forced to retire his AC Cobra from the lead with ten minutes to go. Bryant had taken charge soon after the stops, after a opening half disputed by Brundle and Jordan.

Alderslade retired his Cobra Daytona Coupé just seconds after Bryant’s demise, but Pearson salvaged second place, having been put under immense pressure by the two CLP-class-leading Lotus Elans of Andrew Haddon and Jake Hill, the latter in the Elan started by Rob Fenn. However, the Elans collided on the final lap, allowing the John Spiers/Tiff Needell TVR Griffith up into third. Hill recovered to take fourth ahead of Mike Whitaker’s TVR Griffith but Haddon dropped down to sixth. But when Hill was handed a 5-second time penalty for avoidable contact, Whitaker and Haddon moved up into fourth and fifth respectively, with Fenn/Hill now classified sixth. This handed the CLP class win to Haddon after all.

The Mark Holme/Jeremy Welch Austin Healey 3000 dominated C2 proceedings, leading home fellow Big Healey competitors Mark Pangborn/Harvey Woods, while in C1, the Ogle SX1000 started by Mark Burnett came to fore with Nick Swift at the wheel, the Mini specialist swooping past Mark & James Bates’ Porsche 911 that in the hands of Mark Bates had led the class early on.

Pre-66 Touring Cars 

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie brought home their Ford Falcon to win a truly spectacular Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at Brands Hatch. Battling the Mustangs of Henry Mann/Steve Soper, Rob Fenn/Jake Hill and Dave Coyne early on, the Falcon took command after the stops, as one after the other Mustang began to suffer from brake issues.

Saved by a late safety-car period, Coyne hung on to second place from Mark Sumpter in the leading Lotus Cortina, but when Sumpter was handed a 30-second time penalty for avoidable contact, pushing him down to 12th overall, Roy Alderslade picked up third place and Cortina class honours.

Fortunes swung back and forth among the Cortinas too, with Tom Ingram mixing it with the V8s during his opening stint. Shaun Balfe and Tom Ashton kept it clean to take fourth, and second in class, ahead of Attard having taken over from Ingram. Despite an additional pitstop Richard Dutton still claimed sixth from Mark Martin, as another contender – the Irish Cortina of Patrick Shovlin and Michael Cullen – also dropped places due to a time penalty.

Nick Padmore and Giles Page took a stunning ninth overall on their way to an emphatic win in the Mini class, as the rivalling Ian Curley/Bill Sollis car succumbed to brake problems and a loose bonnet. Nathan Heathcote proceeded to take a strong second ahead of the Matthew & Jonathan Page pairing.

Masters Historic Sports Cars 

In a solo effort in Gary Pearson’s Lola T70 Mk3B, Alex Brundle saw off the challenge of multiple open-top 2-litre prototypes to record victory in a highly attritional and confusing Masters Historic Sports Car race, as the WEC and ELMS star leading from start to finish proved to be the only constant factor in the 60 minutes of the race.

Donington Park winner Tom Bradshaw was Brundle’s closest rival but his challenge evaporated when the throttle cable of his Chevron B19 broke as the field was given the green flag after a sizeable crash by Jonathan Mitchell’s similar B19 caused a lengthy safety-car period midway into the race. Along with the Gonçalo Gomes/James Claridge Chevron B23, Mitchell had been one of three 2-litre cars snapping at Brundle’s heels.

The field bunched up by the safety car, Martin Stretton in the Lola T70 Mk3 shared with Nick Sleep was perfectly placed to pick off his rivals in the second part of the race and got up to third before being handed second place when Henry Fletcher’s B19 was forced to take a drive-through penalty that dropped him down to third. Eventually, the Robert Beebee/Steve Brooks T70 Mk3B and the Gomes/Claridge B23 took fourth and fifth respectively.

In seventh overall, and despite making three stops, John Spiers and Tiff Needell (McLaren M1B) beat Hulme-class rivals Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing (Cooper Monaco T61M), while in eighth overall Christian Pittard and Darren Burke (Chevron) proved victorious in the Bonnier class. John Sheldon (Chevron B16) took Siffert-class honours while James & Mark Bates (Porsche 911 RSR) lifted the Pescarolo class.

Masters Endurance Legends

Steve Tandy started from pole to win the first Masters Endurance Legends race at the Masters Historic Festival, but that wasn’t the full story to this 40-minute all-out sprint. Having lost the lead during a safety-car period that coincided with the mandatory pitstops, Tandy had to fight his way back past Shaun Lynn, his Lola-Judd B12/60 eventually beating the BR Engineering BR01 by seven tenths.

Steve Tandy took his second win of the weekend in Masters Endurance Legends in race 2 but was one again made to work hard for it by Shaun Lynn. Lynn’s Nissan-engined BR Engineering BR01 pushed past Tandy’s Lola-Judd B12/60 in a bold move before the stops before Tandy fought back to reclaim the lead and win by three seconds.

Masters Pre-66 Minis 

Ian Curley made it two wins from two races in the Masters Pre-66 Mini races at the Masters Historic Festival as he fought off a fierce challenge from Nathan Heathcote. Heathcote had demoted Curley on lap 2 but halfway into the race Curley produced a string of fastest laps to reclaim the lead. He was left a huge advantage when Heathcote was forced to retire five minutes from the end.

To replay Saturdays Live Stream Footage:

To replay Sunday’s Live Stream footage:

Race report from Masters Historic Festival 2021

Brands Hatch  Picture Gallery by: Simon Hildrew

Copyright:  www.simonhildrew.com – for copies or images call 07970 808510

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