Brands Hatch Masters Festival Round-Up

There was some great racing at the annual Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch at the weekend (see our separate report on the FIA Masters Historic Formula One races), with a range of sportscars, saloons and single-seaters on track over the three days of the event.

Honours in the opening FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship race fell to Leo Voyazides (Lola T70 Mk3B) but only after on-the-road victor Rob Huff was excluded for a technical infringement after he had dominated the race in Richard Meins’ Lola T70. Robert Oldershaw (Lola T210) took second ahead of Paul Gibson (Lola T70). Simon Hadfield took over the Voyazides Lola for race two and was chased by Nick Padmore (Chevron B19), the more powerful Lola prevailing for the win. A great fight for third raged between Paul Gibson’s Lola and Roger Wills (McLaren M1C), with the Lola coming out on top. Pre-66 honours went to Australian Laure Bennett (McLaren M1B) in both races.
 
Touring car drama was provided by the Pre-66 championship, with Mike Whitaker winning race one in his Ford Mustang after a dominant display. Second was Roger Wills (Mercury Comet Cyclone) after Leo Voyazides spun his Ford Falcon into retirement. Another spinner was Henry Mann who rotated his Mustang while running a strong fifth. Whitaker blasted clear in race two with Wills glued to his tail, with Mann joining the mix after a great first lap. Mann eventually caught and passed Whitaker, but he was adjudged to have jumped the start and was given a drive-through penalty. This he ignored and hence was disqualified. Two wins in the under 2-litre section went to Mini maestro Nick Swift.
 
Whitaker’s success continued with victory in the Pre-66 Gentlemen Drivers GT championship with a comfortable win in the opener from Leo Voyazides (Daytona Cobra) and Roger Wills (Bizzarini 5300GT), and his win in the second race was helped by the Voyazides/Hadfield Cobra sticking in first gear and retiring. Rob Huff (in Richard Meins’ Jaguar E-type) chased hard in second place but the Jaguar dropped back after the pit stops allowing Wills to secure second ahead of Huff/Meins with Chris Beighton’s Sunbeam Tiger fourth.
 
The Masters 70 Celebration grid raced on the Indy circuit on Monday, with Dan Brown (Ford Escort) on pole and bolting away from the grid, but Chris Beighton (Sunbeam Tiger) was too quick away and copped a 10-second penalty for his pains. Worse was to come after the pit stop as a section of the roof came loose, forcing retirement, allowing Mark Wright (Ford Escort RS1800) up into second after a slow start, but a late-ace misfire hit him hard. Up to second came Craig Davies (Shelby Mustang GT350) up from row three, while Wright hung on to third ahead of Bruce White (Porsche 911).