Masters Heads for Oldtimer Thriller

Masters Historic Racing is heading to the annual Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring this weekend, August 8-10th, with its championships finely poised. The FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship will headline the weekend, with a superb grid of 3-litre Formula One machinery with Steve Hartley the man to beat in his Arrows A4. The Brit, whose Ragno-liveried car has taken six race wins this year, heads the Post-1978 championship by 18 points from Simon Fish ((Ensign N180) who is tied with Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07). Manfredo Rossi di Montelera (Brabham BT42) heads the Pre-1978 category, but Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 76/1) aims to close the six-point deficit to get back into contention. The FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship is incredibly competitive. Andy Newall (Chevron B8) heads the title race by just one point from Jason Wright (Lola T70 Mk3B) who in turn is just one point clear of the similar Lola of Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield. Newall has performed some giant-killing acts this season but will face tough opposition from the similar B8 of Graham Wilson/Andy Wolfe. Overall honours are likely to be disputed by Stefano Rosina (McLaren M8C), Thomas and André Bailly (Lola T70 Mk3B) and Belgian Marc Devis (Lola T70 Mk3B). Says Andy Newall: "The Oldtimer is always a great event and it is going to be an important one for me this year as I am trying to increase my lead in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. My Chevron B8 may not be able to win outright but I will be going all-out for a class victory and to try to beat as many of the big-engined cars as I can. We have had a great season so far and some very competitive racing so the Oldtimer should be no different." A huge field of Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT cars will tackle a 65-minute race, the entry headed by the AC Cobra of Michael Gans/Andy Wolfe, plus the Jaguar E-types of Marcus von Oeyenahusen and Sandy Watson/Martin O’Connell. GT ace Frank Stippler, fresh from third place in last week’s Spa 24 Hours, joins Georg Nolte in his Bizzarrini. The FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship will have two 25-minute races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, with the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship having a 30-minute race each day. Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT cars will have their 65-minute race on Sunday. Masters Historic Racing Event Manager Rachel Bailey said: “The annual trip to the Oldtimer is always a popular one with drivers, especially as the circuit is now a modern classic and has some great contours. Our grids are busy and we are looking forward to some great racing, and with just two weekends to go after this one, drivers will be pushing hard for championship points.”