Curtain Closes on Brands Hatch Masters Festival

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1950 Allard J2 driven by Patrick Watts

1950 Allard J2 driven by Patrick Watts

The Bank Holiday saw the final day of this year’s Masters event.  It has been a three day nostalgia fest with 350 cars entered to race from the 1950’s to early 1980’s; the oldest being Patrick Watts Allard J2 from 1950, a 5400cc beast of a machine and it was that cars event  first on track this morning qualifying for the Woodcote Trophy. The Allard was in fact the early pace setter but mechanical issues forced it back to the paddock and so only made the 3rd row on the grid. Pole was the Yound/Ward Cooper Jaguar T33 with Owen/Knill-Jones Kurtis 500S alongside. The gentleman drivers were next up and it was an all TVR Griffith affair on the front row with the father and son McInerney’s taking pole and Mike Whitaker SNR just behind.

The second race of the Lurani Trophy was next and after spraying me with gravel yesterday Jonathon Hughes was second again by a fraction of a second to David Methley both in Brabham BT6 machines, 2 seconds ahead of the final podium spot that went to Italian Di Montelera. In fact Jonathon Hughes was not even able to collect his trophy as he was the pilot of a Cooper T53 in the next race the Historic Grand Prix Cars. This event contained possibly the most stunning looking car of the weekend with the Ferrari Dino 246 from 1960. If not all as beautiful these machines don’t lack anything in value, a few million pounds was thrashed round in the 25 car grid. Jonathon had to return to the podium anyway

1958 Cooper T45 driven by Rod Jolley

1958 Cooper T45 driven by Rod Jolley

as he took victory in this race with Peter Horsman 2nd in a Lotus 18/21 and the final bottle of champagne went to Rod Jolley in a Cooper T45/51, all three lapping at an average of over 85mph.

As you may have gathered from yesterday’s comments I am rather fond of the Historic Sports Cars and the 1 hour event was a pleasure to watch from Druids as 21 cars with engines ranging from 1600cc to 5.7 litres fought it out in a 1 hour race. The winner was the mighty 5-litre Lola T70 Mk3b of Leo Voyazides partnered by Simon Hadfield finishing with an average of 91.56mph ahead of the Lolat 212 of Allen/Gathercole. 3rd the lovely Abarth Osella with its 2-litre engine still averaging 88.73 driven by Italian star Di Montelera. The Carlino/Johnson (Brian AC/DC Johnson) GRD72s finished with a telling off for the AC/DC man having ignored a drive through penalty as he was having too much fun to notice the flags. Lunch followed but not for Brian as a lap was given in his new Ferrari to one lucky competition winner, all in a good cause, his charity ‘Highway to Help’ helps fund the research in Alzheimer’s disease.

1968 BRM P126 V12

1968 BRM P126 V12

Next came a demonstration run of ex Formula 1 machines with V12 engines, mainly BRMs screamed around the full circuit; not as loud as the F1 cars that followed lunch but loud enough (not AC/DC more Status Quo). The second Masters F1 race pretty much followed the first on Sunday with Michael Lyons Williams FW07 1st , Simon Fish 2nd in his Ensign N180 and 3rd again was Ian Simmonds in the Tyrrell 012. On to the final events of the weekend and the Woodcote Trophy for Pre 1956 sports cars was a hard fought affair with mainly British built machines from the likes of Jaguar, Aston Martin and Austin Healey’s. The Monteverde/Pearson D type Jaguar took the honours in front of the Ure/Wigley Cooper Bristol T24/25. Third well done to Patrick Watts who drove the complete 50 minute race without driver change in his Allard J2; when all 5.4 litres work, they work very well, if a bit of a handful. In the Gentlemen Drivers 90 minute race that ended the weekend the McInerney’s failed to convert their pole into a win but it went to another TVR Griffith with Mike Whitaker SNR,  2nd the Lotus Elan of Edward Morris and 3rd the Wilson/Wolfe pairing also in an Elan.

So that was the Brands Hatch Masters for 2013, it offer everything for the ‘petrol head’ with huge variety, a friendly paddock, great racing and even the weather was perfect. If you missed it, Oh dear you don’t want to be doing that again next year!

Full 2013 Brands Hatch Masters Gallery

Photography and article by Grant Ford.

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