Masters Action Entertains at Zandvoort

Michael Lyons was the star of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship at Zandvoort (August 29-31) taking two wins in his Hesketh 308E, while the Lola T70 was the car to best in the Historic Sports Car race.

Lyons out dragged pole-sitter Simon Fish (Ensign N180) in the opening FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship race and built a healthy lead. Fish spun from his second place allowing reigning Post-1978 champion Greg Thornton (Lotus 91/5) into second spot with Fish recovering for third. Lyons, fresh from winning both races last time out at the Nürburgring, dominated the Pre-1978 division, heading home Manfredo Rossi di Montelera (Brabham BT42) and Max Smith Hilliard’s Lotus 77.

Lyons scooped the honours in Sunday’s race, despite a late-race safety car to retrieve Philippe Bonny’s Trojan. Lyons had just four minutes of racing to go as the safety car peeled in and blasted home ahead of Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07) who outbraked Simon Fish at Tarzan Hairpin on the final lap to take silver. Behind Fish, a great drive came from Thornton who spun his Lotus early in the race and battled his way to fourth place, setting fastest lap on the way. Lyons took Pre-1978 honours again with Rossi and Smith-Hilliard chasing him home, the pair embroiled in a race-long scrap with Mike Wrigley (Williams FW07) and the Tyrrell 012s of Ian Simmonds and Stefan di Fulvio. The Italian squeezed past Simmonds on the final lap to take a class win.

Lola T70 Mk3Bs dominated the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship race, with David Hart fending off Leo Voyazides to the pit stops, the two arriving nose to tail. Simon Hadfield took over from Voyazides with Martin Stretton relieving Hart, but a slower pit stop for the Anglo-Dutch pairing allowed Hadfield to assume the lead. Stretton chased hard but started to struggle with a soft damper allowing Voyazides/Hadfield to take the win. Behind Stretton/Hart came top 2-litre driver Manfredo Rossi di Montelera (Abarth-Osella PA1) who fended off Phil Hall (Lola T212), while Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing (Cooper T61) won the Pre-66 division from Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger (Cooper T39). Championship leader Jason Wright (Lola T70 Mk3B) struggled home in ninth after a gearbox issue, but he fared better than championship rival Andy Newall whose Chevron B8 suffered a broken driveshaft which did damage to the car and ended his season prematurely.

Frank Stippler was inspired in the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT race, handling Georg Nolte’s Bizzarini solo. However, despite leading the opening stint, his pit stop was three seconds too short and hence was forced to serve the balance with a stop-go penalty. His stop-go was short as well, so a further penalty ensued. Rob Hall has driven brilliantly in the early part of the race in his AC Cobra, and, despite a spin, recovered to run second ahead of Tom Coronel (AC Cobra). Sadly, a fan belt broke on the Hall Cobra putting him out. That allowed the AC Cobra of David Hart/Tom Coronel into the lead and the Dutchmen took a popular win. Stippler recovered for second, with Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfied (AC Cobra) third after Hadfield had a great battle with former Caterham F1 driver Giedo van der Garde in Hans Hugenholtz’s Cobra. Van der Garde retired when a stone from an off-track moment jammed the gearbox in second! A giant-killing effort came from Martin Stretton in Mark Martin’s Lotus Elan who secured sixth place and matched the pace of the Cobras, while Philip Walker/Miles Griffiths (Lotus XI) slayed giants as well in seventh place.

Masters Pre-66 Touring Car Championship honours fell to Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield (Ford Falcon), the Anglo-Greek partnership nearly a lap clear of Armand Adriaans (Shelby Mustang) and Alexander Schluchter (Lotus Cortina). A tremendous tussle between the Minis was won by Nick Swift/Ron Maydon despite tough opposition from Jonathan Hartop, Laurent Majou and Andrea Stortoni in their similar cars.

Masters Historic Racing is next in action at the Spa Six Hours, Belgium, on September 19-21.k

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