Simon Fish dominated the final races in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship season by taking two wins at the Historic Festival at Jerez, Spain.
Fish’s Unipart-liveried Ensign N180 sprinted clear to win the opening race from Spanish favourite Joaquin Folch (Brabham BT49C) who chased hard, with Rob Hall’s Matra-engined Ligier JS17 taking third place. Best of the Pre-1978 division was Patrick D’Aubreby (March 761) with Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 76) and James Hagan (Ensign N177) chasing him home.
Sadly, a gearbox drama affected Folch in race two which enabled Fish to take a second win of the weekend, clear of Hall’s Ligier and Andrew Haddon (Williams FW07). D’Aubreby took an excellent fourth place in the 1976 March with the troubled Folch securing fifth spot ahead of Beaumont’s Lotus. A troubled weekend for Ian Simmonds, with a Tyrrell 012 that kept cutting out, meant that he wasn’t a threat for honours but did enough to take a class win on the combined results, as did Fish and D’Aubreby.
Wet weather affected the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship showdown, with a wet track at the start causing confusion over tyre choice. An inspired tyre choice allowed Max Smith Hilliard’s newly-acquired ex-Sandy Watson Chevron B19 to lead the race early on but as the track dried, those on slick tyres caught the wet-shod Chevron and he and co-driver Nick Padmore were powerless to stop the onslaught of the opposition. An outright win for Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield confirmed back-to-back titles for the Anglo-Greek partnership, their Lola T70 Mk3B taking a comfortable victory from Smith-Hilliard/Padmore, while Andy Newall produced a magnificent drive in Pedro Macedo da Silva’s Lola T70 Spyder to secure third place and the runner’s up spot in the championship. Class wins fell to Voyazides/Hadfield. Smith-Hilliard/Padmore, da Silva/Newall, Simon Ashworth (Chevron B16), Alec Hammond/Jason Minshaw (Chevron B8), Paul Daniels (Porsche 911).
Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield secured honours in the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT Championship race to end the season five points behind new champions Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger. In a 90-minute thriller, a gaggle of snaking AC Cobras dispute the lead, with Voyazides/Hadfield coming out on top from Joaquin Folch who teamed up with young gun Ben Mitchell to bring his Jaguar E-type home second on corrected times after Andrew Haddon/Martin Stretton (AC Cobra) were given a 20 second penalty for pitting outside the mandatory window. That dropped them to third but they fared better than fellow Cobra-tamers Jason Wright/Andy Wolfe who were excluded for overtaking under yellow flags. Ahlers/Bellinger took ninth overall and a class win to secure the championship.
To complete a successful weekend, new pre-66 Touring Car Champion Voyazides took a third race win of the weekend with Hadfield as they guided Leo’s Ford Falcon Sprint to victory, their task eased after Chris Beighton’s Ford Mustang suffered suspension failure on lap four of the one-hour race. That enabled Graham Wilson/Andy Wolfe (Lotus Cortina) to take second place while William Ward drove the race of his life to guide his Austin Cooper S to third overall and to score his first overall podium and a class win after Ron Maydon’s similar car succumbed to radiator woes on lap five.
The Masters Historic Racing season ends with a non-championship Pre-66 grid for GT and touring cars at Oulton Park on October 25th.