The Motor Racing Legends grids were lucky to escape the passing storm showers at Brands Hatch Masters Festival but despite this, competitors enjoyed some beautiful sunshine and the racing was spectacular.
In the Stirling Moss Trophy Chris Ward and the JD Classics Lister Costin secured pole position and took a lights to flag victory.Michael Gans dug deep and did a sterling job of chasing down Chris Ward for the entire hour to finish 2nd just 13 secs behind. The shiny paintfree Lola Mk1 Prototype of Billy Bellinger and Keith Ahlers finished in third place. The Willment Climax of Gillett/Smith and Elva MkV of Emmerling/Hooper both got caught out spinning off at Surtees, sending them to visit the gravel trap, thankfully all cars and drivers were OK. The resulting two safety car sessions kept the front runners tight together and on their toes. Behind the podium setters, was the Lola Mk1 of Jurg Tobler who finished in 4th position and rounding out the top 5 was the Lotus XI Le Mans of Philip Champion.
In the first of two 30 minute Historic Touring Car Challenge races it was Steve Dance (Ford Capri RS2600) who was outright winner, Mark Smith had pole position in his BMW M3 E30 and led for the first part of the race, before retiring with gearbox gremlins. This left Dance to take the lead on lap 11 with Ric Wood and Adam Morgan 2nd in their Ford Capri with CharlieWilliams finishing 3rd in the Rover SD1. Roger Stanford (BMW M3 E30) and Patrick Watts/ Nick Swift (MG Metro Turbo) all had a go for the top spots, but Stanford lost a timing belt and both MG Metros blew their Turbos in spectacular style. Sadly it was loss of oil pressure which put an end to Ken Clarke’s debut in the 1983 TWR Hepolite Rover SD1 – an original Group A car he built for Steve Soper at TWR Motorsport in 1983. The Rover’s return will have to wait for another day.
In Sunday’s HTCC race, the it was the turn of Mark Smith to take the win in his BMW M3 E30. Steve Dance led the grid off the start but Smith took the lead going up the inside into Paddock Hill bend on lap 3 and didn’t look back. Dance in the Ford Capri RS2600 had to settle for 2nd position, Peter Hallford in the Ford Boss Mustang had a clear run to finish in third position.
In the Tony Dron Trophy John Spiers (Ford Capri) finished on the top step of the podium in both races, Paul Chase-Gardener (Ford Capri) was 2nd in Saturday’s race and on Sunday, Paul Clayson was 2nd, (Alfa Romeo GTv6) and the VW Golf GTi of Mark Wilson was third.
The Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race narrowly escaped a monsoon storm which arrived as the chequered flag dropped. Will Nutthall took the lead off the line, before losing a spinner at Paddock Hill bend – then the wheel it was attached to – at Surtees, in the RGS Atalanta. Again thankfully both car and driver were all OK. This left the road clear for the Lotus Mk X of Bourne/Paul to lead the race in the early stages but it was Blakeney-Edwards/Gillett who took the lead in Fred Wakeman’s Cooper T38 in the final part of the race to secure the win. The Jaguar D-Type of Karl Jones and Ben Eastick climbed the field to finish 2nd ahead of the Cooper Bristol T24/T25 of John Ure/Nick Wigley who finished third after an incredibly tight finish between them and the Lotus X. Paul/Bourne had to settle for 4th with just 0.2 secs seconds behind and Jonathan Abecassis’ drove a faultless race to finish 5th overall in his Healey 100/4.
The full race reports, results and galleries from Brands Hatch can be found here
The next event for Motor Racing Legends competitors is Silverstone Classic for 50s Sports car and Pre-War Sports car competitors. Please visit www.motorracinglegends.com for more details.