CIRCUIT ZANDVOORT, HOLLAND

HISTORIC GRAND PRIX
21 – 23 June 2024

Masters Grids Deliver Stunning Racing at Zandvoort!

The Historic Grand Prix weekend at the thrilling Zandvoort circuit delivered the full package of retro, beachside racing at the weekend, headlined by a fantastic grid of 26 3-litre Formula One cars in Masters Racing Legends. Under mainly sunny skies, with the exception of Friday afternoon, the Masters grids thrilled the Dutch crowds throughout with some very closely-fought races! Congratulations to Marco Werner, Lukas Halusa, Jamie Constable, Julian Thomas, Sam Tordoff, Craig Wilkins, Jason Wright, Felix Haas and Michael Lyons who all took the podium honours during the weekend!

RACE REPORTS

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 1
Werner wins at Zandvoort in mighty six-car scrap over Saturday’s Masters Racing Legends glory

 

Marco Werner’s Lotus 87B hit the front on the opening lap to lead a six-car train to the finish of a hugely exciting first Masters Racing Legends race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort. Behind the German, Nick Padmore came out on top in a mighty scrap to claim both second overall and the pre-78 class win in his Lotus 77, while completing a 1-2 for his German team.

 

 

Reigning champion Ken Tyrrell fought his way through to the front, as his Tyrrell 011 got in front of Lukas Halusa’s Williams FW08 and profited from contact between Matthew Wrigley’s Tyrrell 011 and the polesitting 1983-spec Tyrrell 011 of Jamie Constable, both of whom were also in the mix for the win. Constable managed to continue in fifth overall to win the post-82 Lauda class for flat-bottomed cars.

 

Behind Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, Jordan Grogor and Greg Caton brought home their respective Maki F101C and March 741 to second and third places in the pre-78 Fittipaldi class, the Japanese-built Maki in the process scoring its best result in its 49-year history! Georg Hallau’s Ensign N183 took ninth to finish second in the Lauda class while Peter Williams’ Lec CRP1 completed the top ten. Meanwhile, Simon Fish crossed the line in fifth overall but was given a 10-second time penalty for overtaking under safety-car conditions.

 

In the final race before the lunch break, 24 Formula One cars poured onto the main straight for their first Masters Racing Legends race of the weekend, with poleman Jamie Constable leading away in the Tyrrell 011, while Yutaka Toriba’s damaged Williams FW07C and Mathieu Baumel’s ATS D4 were non-starters. Soon, Marco Werner was through in the Lotus 87B to grab the lead on the opening lap, chased by Constable, Matt Wrigley in another Tyrrell 011, Nick Padmore in the class-leading pre-78 Lotus 77, Lukas Halusa in the Williams FW08 and Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011, as Andy Soucek’s race in the Arrows A3 was over before it started, the Spaniard retiring to the pits after the first lap was completed.

 

On lap 2, Padmore was up to his usual giant-slaying action as he hauled the Lotus 77 into third place overall, while Simon Fish forced his Arrows A4 ahead of Ken Tyrrell. For the moment, Werner d’Ansembourg’s Williams FW07C, Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08B and Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 rounded out the top ten. In 11th overall, Jordan Grogor was second in the pre-78 class, hauling the Maki F101C up to a place where it had never been in period, while further back Greg Caton’s March 741 and Peter Williams in the Lec CRP1 warred over third in class.

 

Next time around, the top four were still covered by less than two seconds while Tyrrell had retaken Fish for sixth. Briggs was up into eighth, followed by the rest, as d’Ansembourg went missing on lap 4 before he reported to the pits with bent steering. This allowed Georg Hallau to move his post-82 Ensign N183 into tenth overall and second in the Lauda class behind Constable’s Tyrrell 011 in second overall.

 

Five laps into the race, the top four had grown into a top six covered by two seconds, while Fish was only five seconds away in seventh. On lap 6, though, Werner completed a strong lap to break free by 1.6 seconds while Wrigley retook Padmore for third. Further back, Grogor consolidated his ninth place overall to remain second in the pre-78 class while Caton had dropped Williams by four seconds to strengthen his third place in class.

 

Now past the halfway mark, Werner was still controlling the lead but it was all change against behind the German, as Padmore hit back to pass both Wrigley and Constable for second overall, while the two Tyrrell 011s also switched places, as Constable began to lose ground. On lap 8, the 1983-spec Tyrrell had dropped two more places while Ken Tyrrell had passed Halusa for fourth, as excitement kept on raging to wow the Dutch crowd in a full grandstand.

 

On lap 9, Padmore had cut Werner’s lead to a mere three tenths as affairs hotted up even more at the sharp end, the top five still covered by 1.5 seconds. Constable kept running but was sixth, while on the fringes of the top ten, Greg Caton had taken Georg Hallau for tenth overall.

 

Then, all the excitement came to a premature end when the safety car was sent out after contact between the two Tyrrell 011s of Wrigley and Constable. And so the race finished under yellow, with Werner as the winner, Padmore in second place and the pre-78 class victor, while Tyrrell inherited third ahead of Halusa and Constable who managed to continue in sixth overall, losing another place to Fish in the process. Briggs headed Grogor, who took second place in the pre-78 class, with Caton completing that podium. Hallau was tenth while claiming second in the Lauda class. However, when Fish was handed a 10-second time penalty for overtaking Constable under yellow, everyone from sixth down to 13th place moved up a place.

 

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 2
Halusa powers through to clinch victory in second Masters Racing Legends race at Zandvoort

 

Lukas Halusa drove a barnstormer of a race to bag his second overall win in Masters Racing Legends, as the Austrian’s Williams FW08 charged up the order from fifth on the grid to beat defending champion Ken Tyrrell who in the Tyrrell 011 took his second podium of a fruitful Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort.

 

“I’m super happy. It was so much fun”, said a jubilant Halusa whose race proved to be much more eventful than it looked from the outside. “There was a first-lap incident where I went around the outside of Jamie in the bowl and he didn’t see me, so his front right collected my back left. That span him around. I originally thought I had a flat, as it didn’t quite feel right. But then I came in and the mechanics said that it was all good. So I put it out of my mind and just did the same thing at the restart. For me, it was knowing that Marco, Nick and Ken were all behind me, so I was just trying to get through the guys in front to try and pull a gap, which I managed to do. Then I started getting a misfire at the end of the penultimate lap, so my heart was in my throat! Even just down the straight, Ken caught like 50 metres on me. I thought, oh no, after all that work… But in the end, it was 0.3 seconds over the line. So one more lap and I would have had no chance.”

 

“It would have been good to have qualified a little bit better”, said Tyrrell. “We had some bad luck in qualifying, but did pretty well in the race. I was happy to make it through some of the traffic and move up and be with the fast guys. So it was good. It’s a fantastic track, fantastic enthusiasm by everybody. Fun to be here, for sure. And this weather doesn’t hurt!”

 

Coming all the way from the back in a frantic race, Matthew Wrigley shone to clinch third and make it two Tyrrell 011s in the top-three, having battled with Lotus pair Nick Padmore and Marco Werner most of the race. Saturday’s winner Werner in the end snatched fourth in the Lotus 87B while Padmore doubled up on pre-78 class wins in his Lotus 77.

 

“From P18 or P19, whatever it was, I certainly wasn’t expecting a podium!” said Wrigley. “When I made the first start, I got past about five cars, so the red flag was a bit annoying. And then I did an even better start! So yeah, it was a great result. People were very fair out there and left me plenty of space to come through. To be honest, not finishing that first race makes the weekend very hard to come back from, but that’s motor racing.”

 

“I had a great race”, said Padmore. “I started on new tyres, first excuse, and they were fantastic for five laps. And then I just cooked the rear tyres and that was it. So I decided I was going to be drifting for the last sort of ten minutes. So it was great fun, but another class win and nice to be up among the ground-effect cars. And love being here, it’s mega!”

 

In sixth, Kiwi Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 fought off a strong challenge from a gaggle of cars that included Werner d’Ansembourg’s Williams FW07C, Simon Fish’s Arrows A4 and Andy Soucek’s Arrows A3, with the Belgian and the Spaniard also completing recovery drives from the back.

 

Greg Caton’s March 741 and Jordan Grogor’s Maki F101C started from the front row but inevitably faded to tenth and 11th overall to still claim second and third in the pre-78 category. In 12th overall, Georg Hallau won the post-82 class in his Theodore N183, profiting from the early demise of Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011B.

 

The Masters Racing Legends were the last Masters grid of the weekend to go, treating the Dutch crowd to a bonanza of 26  Formula One cars from the 3-litre era. Heading the reversed grid for Saturday’s first nine were the unlikely duo – in terms of period competitiveness at least – of Greg Caton in the ex-Reine Wisell March 741 and Jordan Grogor in the Maki F101C, followed by Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, Jamie Constable in the Tyrrell 011B, Lukas Halusa in the Williams FW08, Ken Tyrrell in the Tyrrell 011 and Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77.

 

Race 1 winner Marco Werner’s Lotus 87B went missing, however, as of course did Yutaka Toriba’s Williams FW07C after its unfortunate crash in Friday qualifying, but moments after the green flag was given, Werner joined from the back, a fuel-pump change having been completed after all.

 

At the start, Caton went off into the lead from Grogor and Constable but a few corners later yellows were out and the safety car was called – moments later, however, this was converted into a red flag. It transpired that Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011 had gone off after he inadvertently locked a wheel with a rival, while Mathieu Baumel’s ATS D4 had got caught up in a moment for Stanley Fulton’s Penske PC3, with the track needing to be cleared for a full restart in the original starting order, apart from Geoffroy Rivet’s Trojan T103 that would start from the pitlane.

 

On the first lap, Caton still led but had Halusa chasing him, followed by Tyrrell, Briggs, Padmore, a resurgent Werner (now able to start from his own spot), Grogor, Hallau and an equally resurgent Wrigley, with Fish also coming from behind to be back in the top ten. On lap 2, Caton held on from Halusa and Tyrrell, but Padmore and Werner were up into fourth and fifth while Wrigley was harrassing Briggs for sixth.

 

Going into lap 4, Caton had finally succumbed to Halusa and Tyrrell, while Padmore and Werner kept pressing on, now joined by Wrigley. Briggs still had a gap of six seconds to Fish, as the first seven were covered by an equal amount of ticks. Grogor and Hallau still completed the top ten, but Werner d’Ansembourg in the Williams FW07C and Andy Soucek’s Arrows A3 – both also having been forced to start from the back – were firmly knocking on their door.

 

While Halusa still led Tyrrell, it was all change behind them, as Werner had dropped a few places, with Padmore, Wrigley and Caton all moving up a spot, but Werner was soon back past Caton who then had to watch Briggs pass him as well. Behind them, Soucek and d’Ansembourg had indeed relieved Grogor and Hallau from their top-ten positions while also switching order in between them. Padmore once again led the pre-78 class from Caton and Grogor, while following Constable’s demise Georg Hallau now led the post-82 class.

 

The frantic pace was such that less than eight minutes still remained when Halusa continued to extend his lead over Tyrrell to 2.5 seconds, while Padmore and Wrigley seemed stuck four seconds further down the road. Werner on his turn wasn’t making an impression on Wrigley either, the German now trailing the Derbyshire man by 1.6 seconds.

 

On lap 8, Halusa’s lead had slightly shrunk to 1.5 seconds, but the Austrian looked well in control. Behind them, though, Wrigley had made a successful move on Padmore to be third while further back Briggs was falling into the clutches of Fish, who had found a way past Caton. Soucek and d’Ansembourg were still ninth and tenth. On lap 9, though, they both made it past Caton.

 

Three more minutes remained, and Halusa controlled the pace to keep Tyrrell at 1.6 seconds while Wrigley was looking a certain third, seven seconds behind the leader. Werner, meanwhile, had passed Padmore for fourth but the Lotus 77 was still a sure bet for the class win. Behind Fish, d’Ansembourg and Soucek had switched order once again, the Belgian now ahead of the Spaniard.

 

One more lap remained, as Halusa took it in his stride, as the Amsterdam resident won his ‘home race’ by three tenths to claim his second overall Masters Racing Legends victory – but a long time after his first win at Barcelona in 2022. Wrigley was third ahead of Werner while Padmore brought home the pre-78 class win, with Caton and Grogor second and third in class, in tenth and 11th overall respectively. In sixth, Briggs led home a train of four cars that included d’Ansembourg, Fish and Soucek. In 12th overall, Hallau’s Theodore N183 grabbed the post-82 class win.

 

Masters Sports Car Legends – Race 1
Haas/Lyons win from the front in Zandvoort’s first Masters Sports Car Legends race

 

Felix Haas and Michael Lyons claimed a solid win from the front in the first of two Masters Sports Car Legends races during the Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort. The pair needed to fend off challenges from the Lola T70 Mk3Bs of Italo-American Jason Wright and Dutchmen David & Olivier Hart. While Wright finished a close second after a late safety car, the Dutch Lola was forced out with gearbox failure shortly after the cycle of mandatory mid-race pitstops.

 

“Felix did a really nice job”, said Lyons. “We didn’t have a perfect run in qualifying from his side and We were working a little bit with the car, but yeah, it was really nice to see his lap times were really strong in the beginning. He was able to lead from pole position and gave me the car in the perfect place, really.”

 

“I wanted to be first after all the driver changes, and that’s what we did!” said a satisfied Haas.

 

“Oh, I love this track, and I love the T70”, said a beaming Wright. “I had a good race with old man Hart. And young man Hart! He’s a bit quicker than me, but not much! But I have to say that my brand new engine blew up at Spa two weeks ago, and this is my spare, which is down on power. So, that’s my excuse…”

 

Michael Gans ran well to take third place in his Lola T290, while in fourth overall John Spiers and Nigel Greensall claimed pre-66 Hulme class honours in their McLaren M1B. In fifth, Julian Thomas and David Denyer won the Bonnier class in their Chevron B8, as their class rivals Peter Thompson and Charles Allison finished two overall positions behind in their similar Chevron. Meanwhile, Ron Sanen drove a strong race on his Masters debut but the Belgian’s Chevron B36 was penalised for failing to do its mandatory stop.

 

“I was very satisfied”, said Gans. “I managed to sort of hold my position as well as could be expected and tried to chase Jason. Towards the end of the race, I was getting closer and closer. But I ran out of time and skill, I think! But it was good. It was a good race. I liked it a lot. It was a great track. The weather has been perfect. And now I have to figure out how I can go as fast as I used to go around here…”

 

The battle for the GT class win saw the contenders drop out with issues, as both Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ and the Yelmer Buurman/Alexander van der Lof Chevrolet Corvette Stingray were forced into the pits.

 

In bright spring weather, the Masters Sports Car Legends grid lined up for its first of two 40-minute races. The Harts had been forced to switch to their Lola T70 Mk3B after their Ferrari 512M had sustained gearbox damage in Friday’s qualifying session. The Lola would start from the back, but was up into ninth place after a demon opening lap. Felix led at the front, his Lola T294 up four seconds on Jason Wright’s Lola T70 Mk3B, the American in turn chased by countryman Michael Gans in the Lola T290, Julian Thomas in the fast-starting Chevron B8 and John Spiers in the class-leading pre-66 McLaren M1B. Ron Sanen remained sixth in the Chevron B36, followed by Jordan Grogor in the second M1B, with John Sheldon’s Chevron B16 and Gary Furst’s Lola T212 quarrelling over tenth place.

 

With the second lap over, Haas had extended his lead to six seconds, with David Hart joining at the back of the pursuing group, the Dutchman now up into sixth place. Meanwhile, further back, a big battle was going on between Ingo Strolz in the Lola T210, Billy Bellinger in the Cooper Monaco ‘King Cobra’ and the two leading GT cars, Yelmer Buurman in the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ahead of Nicky Pastorelli in the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’.

 

Wright had now properly heated up his tyres to narrow the gap to Haas to four seconds while Hart Sr had made up three more places to be third on lap 4. Gans and Thomas followed at close quarters but Spiers was falling into the clutches of Sanen. Spiers had one worry less, though, as Grogor was into the pits, suffering from brake issues with the rival McLaren M1B.

 

With fastest lap of the race, David Hart claimed second place going into lap 6 and was lapping two seconds quicker than Haas up front. Wright wasn’t allowing Hart to run free, though, as he in turn beat the Dutchman’s fastest time. Some 38 seconds down the road, Bellinger had crept into the top ten at the cost of Sheldon and Strolz, while Pastorelli had passed Buurman in the Dutch quarrel over the GT class lead. Meanwhile, Sanen had cleared Spiers for sixth place, as the other McLaren had lost ground with a temporary off. Next time around, Buurman was the next to be in trouble with his brakes, the Corvette coming in to effectively hand the GT class win to Pastorelli.

 

As the pit window opened, the top three were running similar lap times and covering a space of four seconds. Gans trailed the trio by eight seconds and had three ticks in hand over Thomas. On lap 9, the Lolas of Hart and Wright came in simultaneously, the former handing over to son Olivier, with Spiers joining them to hand the McLaren to Nigel Greensall. On lap 10, Sheldon was the next one in, followed by Pastorelli, while going into lap 11, the leader pitted to hand the Lola T294 to Michael Lyons who would need to serve his elite-driver penalty through a longer pitstop. Gans was in at the same time. Strolz, Thompson and Thomas came in on lap 12, Charles Allison and David Denyer taking the places of Thompson and Thomas respectively.

 

Sanen would have been the last of the frontrunners to stop, but on his Masters debut the Belgian missed the pit window. This meant that the Chevron B36 led when the stops were done, with Wright and Hart Jr some 30 seconds back. On lap 13, though, the young Dutchman was seen slowing and next time around he was into the pits with gearbox failure. This handed Lyons the effective second place, now ten seconds down on Wright, but that would soon be close to zero, as the safety car was called for John Sheldon’s Chevron B16 grounding to a halt on his out lap.

 

With five minutes to go, the field was released, and in a blink, Lyons was into the lead, immediately putting four seconds up on Wright, as Gans and Greensall followed through past Sanen who was given a 90-second stop-and-go penalty for failing to do his mandatory stop. Denyer led the Bonnier-class chase, with Ahlers in the Cooper Monaco in between himself and Allison in the other Chevron B8. Behind them, Pastorelli pitted, reporting a vibration, which turned out to be caused by a water leak. He had still done enough laps to be classified tenth, though.

 

At the front, Lyons reeled off the remaining two laps to win from Wright, Gans and Greensall, the latter claiming pre-66 Hulme class honour for himself and John Spiers, with Gary Furst’s Lola T212 inheriting Sanen’s place. The Thomas/Denyer Chevron B8 won the Bonnier class from the Thompson/Allison example while the Bellinger/Ahlers Cooper Monaco ‘King Cobra’ took second in the Hulme class.

 

Masters Sports Car Legends – Race 2
Haas/Lyons overcome safety-car setbacks to win second Masters Sports Car Legends race at Zandvoort

 

Felix Haas and Michael Lyons seemed to have pulled the shortest straw in a concatenation of mid-race safety car, red flag and full-course yellow situations that allowed Jason Wright’s Lola T70 Mk3B into a clear lead of 25 seconds shortly after the midway point of Zandvoort’s second Masters Sports Car Legends race, but Lyons took the Lola T294 by the horns to home in on Wright and regain the lead that Haas had pulled out on his opening stint.

 

“I had a good start at the beginning, but the safety-car phase was not for me”, said Haas. “After that, we had clutch problems during the race. And then, at the restart I made a mistake as I couldn’t find the third gear. Then it was a full-course yellow, and suddenly we were back in the field. But Michael did a great job afterwards, and I was confident and satisfied with my performance.”

 

“The Lola was really, really fun. I love this car, in this track, it’s fantastic”, said Lyons. “We made a few changes from yesterday, and it’s the first time we run the new tyre on the car. It worked really, really well. Obviously, Jason got a big advantage because he boxed under the full-course yellow. So it meant we had some work to do. But I loved driving the car. It was fantastic.”

 

“I wasn’t really on the case”, said Wright, “but I was lucky, you know. The car didn’t have the grip it had yesterday. Maybe I was a little bit lazy, but yesterday I drove much better.”

 

Behind the unleashed Lyons and Wright, local heroes David & Olivier Hart wrestled a down-on-power T70 Mk3B to third while in fourth overall, David Denyer and Julian Thomas grabbed a strong Bonnier class win in their Chevron B8. Gary Furst was in the mix all race to take fifth in his Lola T212.

 

In sixth overall, John Spiers and Nigel Greensall cornered the pre-66 Hulme class win in their McLaren M1B after an early challenge by Billy Bellinger in the Cooper Monaco ‘King Cobra’ shared with Keith Ahlers. Their class rival Jordan Grogor, however, suffered a big off when his McLaren M1B went straight on at Tarzan corner, bringing out the red flag. The race was resumed after a brief pause for repairs to the barriers.

 

On a bright Sunday morning, the Masters Sports Car Legends entrants gathered for their second 40-minute race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort, now in the order in which they finished Saturday’s race. Felix Haas led away in the open-top Lola T294, chased by Jason Wright in the T70 Mk3B coupé, but Michael Gans went missing, as the American’s Lola T290 was hit by a broken driveshaft. Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ was another absentee, leaving the Alexander van der Lof/Yelmer Buurman Chevrolet Corvette Stingray as the only GT representative.

 

Following a storming opening lap, Haas immediately put space between himself and Wright, while David Hart had an equally storming opening lap to be up to third already, the T70 ahead of John Spiers in the McLaren M1B – but it transpired that Hart’s progress had been the result of a false start. Ron Sanen remained in fifth in the Chevron B36, duelling with Gary Furst’s Lola T212.

 

As Haas led by eight seconds going into lap 3, David Denyer and Charles Allison disputed the Bonnier class lead in their Chevron B8s, while Billy Bellinger in the Cooper Monaco ‘King Cobra’ kept a watchful eye in eighth, keeping Jordan Grogor in the second M1B at bay. John Sheldon’s Chevron B16 was tenth ahead of Ingo Strolz in the Lola T210.

 

On lap 3, Sanen reported to the pits with fuel-pressure issues, allowing his pursuers to all move up a spot, while Hart gained a place on Wright to be second, now ten seconds adrift of Haas, going into lap 4. Behind Wright, Spiers continued to lead the pre-66 Hulme class, now harried by Denyer who had broken free of his rival Allison. In fact, while Denyer had cleared Furst, Allison had been passed by Bellinger, so now there were two cars in between the two B8s. However, later in the lap, Denyer’s work was undone when he spun at Scheivlak to see his rivals stream past. He managed to get the Chevron going and resumed in eighth position, behind Grogor and just ahead of Allison.

 

Just as David Hart was handed a five-second time penalty for his jump start, the safety car was out as Jordan Grogor’s McLaren M1B had gone straight on to hit the barriers at Tarzan, the circuit’s daunting first corner. Soon, though, the safety-car situation was converted into a red flag, allowing for the swift and safe clearance of the heavily damaged car. Meanwhile, Allison’s Chevron B8 would not leave the pits for the restart, the car having suffered a failed rear bearing. On the other hand, Sanen would take the opportunity to rejoin the race.

 

Right after the restart, the pit window was opened, so on the next lap Haas, Hart, Spiers, Sheldon and Strolz were all-in. Haas would make way for Michael Lyons,  Olivier Hart would step into Hart Sr’s Lola, while Nigel Greensall would switch with Spiers. Wright, Furst, Denyer and Bellinger elected to continue for the moment, but Van der Lof was in for Yelmer Buurman just at the moment a full-course yellow was deployed, which was of course used by Wright, Furst, Denyer and Bellinger to take their stop. Denyer would step out for Julian Thomas while Keith Ahlers took over from Bellinger. They all left the pits when the FCY was revoked.

 

So now, with 15 minutes left to run, Wright found himself in a clear lead of 25 seconds over his strongest rivals Lyons and Hart Jr. Thomas ran second overall, having passed Furst, with Ahlers now chased by Lyons and Hart. Greensall was a further 18 seconds behind, due to his elite-driver time penalty at the stops, with Strolz and Sheldon next, as Buurman came into the pits for a problem with the Corvette but would soon be back out again.

 

Five minutes later, Wright led Thomas by three seconds and Furst by five, while Lyons and Hart had passed Ahlers for fourth and fifth respectively. However, Lyons’ pace was such that he could still catch and pass Wright, as he set a stunning fastest lap of the race to leave Hart Jr trailing by 11 seconds, accumulated in three laps. Behind them, Greensall also passed Ahlers to reclaim the Hulme class lead.

 

In fact, the gap between Lyons and Wright was down to just three seconds as the young Briton had usurped both Furst and Thomas on lap 14, so now it would just be a matter of time. Some six minutes remained when Lyons completed the pass for the lead to rapidly disappear on the horizon. Meanwhile, a down-on-power Lola T70 Mk3B thwarted Olivier Hart’s efforts to close on Furst and Thomas in front of him, as the opposite began to happen, the young Dutchman now losing ground to the T212 ahead of him.

 

As the race clock approached zero, Lyons ran out the remaining laps to come home the convincing winner with a massive 42-second lead over Wright. Having rediscovered his pace in the final few laps, Hart Jr managed to clear Furst and Thomas after all to take the final podium spot, while Julian Thomas grabbed a strong fourth and the Bonnier class win for himself and David Denyer. Furst was fifth ahead of Hulme class winners Spiers/Greensall, Strolz and Sheldon, while the Bellinger/Ahlers took second in the Hulme class. Yelmer Buurman completed a troubled run with the Corvette but still took GT class honours.

 

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Constable comes through to win first Masters Endurance Legends race at Zandvoort

Jamie Constable came out on top in a finely poised prototype battle between his LMP1 Zytek 04S and the LMP2 Lotus Lola B12/80 shared by Marco Werner and Nick Padmore to claim victory in the first Masters Endurance Legends race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort. Werner did the early running during his opening stint of the race but Constable chased and vanquished Padmore in the phase that followed the mandatory mid-race stops.

 

In a race of attrition, Craig Davies pulled through to triumph in the LMP3 class as his Ligier JSP3 took a distant third overall. Despite a delay at the stops, David & Olivier Hart brought the Renault RS01 home in fourth overall to win the GT class from Victor Jabouille in the Chrysler Viper GTS-R, the latter profiting from the extremely late demise of Cor Euser’s Marcos Mantara LM600evo. A few minutes earlier, another local hero was forced to relinquish his shock third place overall as well as the GT class win when Joshua Kreuger’s ORECA Viper GTS-R was spotted at a crawling pace just two minutes from the end.

 

Constable, Werner and Hart Sr were part of a four-car group that contested the lead in the opening stage, but sadly it was exit stage left for the polesitting HPD-Honda ARX-03b when Bob Blain spun off into the gravel in the Gerlachbocht on lap 3. In sixth, seventh and eighth, three more LMP3 cars followed Jabouille across the line, the Chris Atkinson/James Hagan ORECA FLM09 heading the Mark Drain/Andrew Haddon Ligier JSP3 and the Alfie Briggs/Jack Fabby Duqueine D08, the latter having lost time with an early stop. Kari Makela completed the GT podium in his Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3.

 

In bright and sunny seaside conditions, the Masters Endurance Legends field got going for its first outing of the Historic Grand Prix weekend, with Robert Blain in the HPD-Honda ARX-03b starting from pole position, with another LMP2 car sitting besides him in the shape of Marco Werner’s Lotus Lola B12/80. However, David Hart soon pushed through in the phenomenal Renault RS01 GT car to lead from Blain, Jamie Constable in the Zytek 04S and Werner, with LMP3 rivals Alfie Briggs in the Duqueine D08 and Craig Davies in the Ligier JSP3 next up.

 

On the second tour, Constable was the one in the hot seat, the Zytek having pushed through into the lead, followed by Blain and Werner, while Briggs rolled into the pits with the Duqueine, allowing Davies to assume the LMP3 class lead and Cor Euser in the Marcos Mantara LM600evo, Joshua Kreuger in the GT1 ORECA Viper GTS-R and the rest of his former pursuers to each move up a place. After fixing its power steering issue, the team sent the Duqueine back out but now firmly in last place.

 

Following the third lap, Constable had managed to establish a five-second gap to Hart, with Werner to get one back on the Dutchman, as Blain lost places to Davies, Euser and Kreuger before disappearing through a spin in the Gerlachbocht and disallowing Danish ELMS star Mikkel Mac a drive in the car. Blain’s off evoked the arrival of the safety car, but not before Werner had demoted Hart Sr down to third. Behind Kreuger, Georg Hallau moved into sixth in the Norma M2000-1, Victor Jabouille in the GT2 Viper GTS-R, Chris Atkinson in the ORECA FLM09 and Kari Makela in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3.

 

The field was released going into lap 7, handing new passing opportunities to everyone down the field, but for the moment there were no takers. In fact, next around the corner was the pit window, and leader Constable was the first to nip in on lap 8, followed by David Hart who would hand over to son Olivier. Meanwhile, Werner circulated while posting two fastest laps in a row. On lap 9, the remaining cars decided to stay out but the next time around Euser came in with the grumbling Marcos, followed by Hallau and Atkinson, the latter being relieved by James Hagan. On lap 11, Kreuger pitted, along with Jabouille and Mark Drain in the second Ligier JSP3 that from now on would be pedalled by Andrew Haddon. Briggs was also in to hand over to Jack Fabby but would need to stop for a few seconds longer as a penalty for Briggs’ earlier speeding in the pitlane.

 

At the end of lap 13, Werner finally decided to come in for relief driver Nick Padmore, with Davies and Makela just in time to follow the German in for their mandatory stop. When Padmore fed back into the race, Werner’s flying laps towards the end of his stint had materialised into a three-second lead over Constable. Olivier Hart, meanwhile, was back down in sixth, having changed a tyre during his stop, so now Kreuger in the GT1 Viper was a surprise third overall head of Davies and Euser. Jabouille and Hallau were seventh and eighth respectively, with Hagan ninth and Makela tenth. The latter two soon moved up a spot as Hallau was into the pits with his Norma.

 

With ten minutes remaining on the clock, it was still all to play for, as Constable began closing on Padmore, bringing the gap down to 1.9 seconds on lap 16. Kreuger was third, but a very distant third, 49 seconds down on the leader, while Davies was setting similar lap times in fourth. Closing all the while was Hart Jr who had usurped Euser to trail Davies by ten seconds.

 

In a finely poised end game, Constable kept knibbling away at Padmore’s slender lead but it was with a tenth at a time. Kreuger, however, completed his 19th lap at a very slow pace to see his dream result evaporate with two minutes remaining. At the same time, Constable was on Padmore’s tail before pouncing literally seconds before a full-course yellow was declared for the Viper crawling around to reach the pits.

 

The field was given the green flag with less than a minute remaining, allowing Constable to reel off his final lap and take a hard-fought win over LMP2 class winners Werner and Padmore, with Davies taking third overall and the LMP3 class win in the Ligier. Hart & Hart claimed the GT class win in fourth overall, a lap down, while Jabouille moved up into second place in class when Euser faltered at the final hurdle. The Atkinson/Hagan ORECA was sixth overall and second in LMP3, ahead of the Drain/Haddon Ligier taking third in the same class. Euser’s late demise allowed Makela to clinch third among the GTs.

 

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Constable wins Zandvoort’s second Masters Endurance Legends race from penalised Werner

 

Jamie Constable was declared the winner of the second Masters Endurance Legends race at Zandvoort despite crossing the line in second place, as the Zytek 04S was handed the win when Marco Werner was slammed with a five-second time penalty for avoidable contact during his passing manoeuvre on Constable. Constable had led from Werner’s teammate Nick Padmore in a safety-car-punctuated opening phase of the race before Werner in the LMP2 Lola B12/80 pushed through to beat Constable on the road. It was Constable’s second win of the Historic Grand Prix weekend.

 

“It was fun”, said Constable. “I think Marco had an off, my brakes didn’t seem to work and I went off, which brought us back together. And then we were quick in different places, he was very quick around the tight stuff, I was quick around the straights. He was on the exit at one of the tight ones, he came on my inside, he sort of pushed me into the gravel and got through that way. But he’s a great driver, it’s great racing with him.”

 

“It was a race with a lot of action”, Werner agreed, before disagreeing with the stewards’ decision. “After Jamie’s pit stop I came close to him, but then I had a problem. Everything was blinking in my display and I was rolling out of speed. I made a complete switch off and restarted the system – and it worked! But then I said, okay, it’s done, he’s away. But then I saw him again – very slow and making a mistake. Then we went like this to the slow left hander and from the left I went in. Then you see that he moved to the inside and there was contact. I got a penalty, but I couldn’t understand. It looks when somebody is making a mistake and you take the chance to overtake them is forbidden. For me, it’s the wrong decision, but it’s not the point to make a protest, this is historic racing.”

 

Well behind the two leaders, the David & Olivier Hart Renault RS01 and Jack Fabby/Alfie Briggs Duqueine D08 took third and fourth while each grabbing a convincing class victory, the Renault in GTs, the Duqueine in LMP3.

 

“It was a good race, this time”, said young Hart. “Yesterday, our door went open in every corner, so we had to fix that. Then at one time I almost caught and passed Marco – it was close. But we finished third, best of the rest. An LMP2 and an LMP1 car ahead of us, so what more could we have done?”

 

Local hero Mathijs Bakker took his GT1 Viper GTS-R to fifth overall and second in the GT class as he fought Victor Jabouille’s similar GT2-spec Viper for the entire race. When Jabouille was penalised for a short mandatory pitstop, the battle was over. Coming from behind, the Mark Drain/Andrew Haddon completed a strong race in sixth overall to take second place in the LMP3 class.

 

The Masters programme on the Sunday of the Historic Grand Prix event at Zandvoort went thundering on with the second Masters Endurance Legends race, Jamie Constable’s Zytek 04S leading away from Nick Padmore in the Lotus-liveried Lola B12/80 and Ron Maydon in the Ligier JSP3. Sadly, the Bob Blain/Mikkel Mac HPD-Honda ARX-03B was a non-starter after its off in the first race.

 

However, the race got off on the wrong foot as the safety car was out almost immediately, as Maydon’s Ligier went off and needed to be pulled free before it could take its place at the back of the queue. This moved up the Renault RS01 of David Hart one place, followed by Chris Atkinson in the ORECA FLM09, Jack Fabby in the rival Duqueine D08, Cor Euser’s Marcos Mantara LM600evo and Victor Jabouille’s GT2-spec Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Behind them, Georg Hallau’s Norma M2000-1 seemed to have passed Mark Drain’s Ligier JSP3 just before the finish line.

 

At the restart, Constable put his foot down to lead Padmore by 1.3 seconds going into lap 5, with David Hart having to deal with Fabby, whose Duqueine was now up into fourth place. Sadly, this proved another false dawn, as the safety car was back out yet again as the gearbox on Euser’s Marcos seemed to have locked solid before it hit the barrier going into the Gerlachbocht.

 

Then, as soon as the safety car was ready to pull into the pits, the pit window opened – Padmore, Hart Sr, Drain and Kari Makela in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 were the drivers electing to pit at this first opportunity. Marco Werner would take over from Padmore while Andrew Haddon got into Drain’s Ligier. Next time, around Fabby came in to have Alfie Briggs step into the Duqueine, with Hallau also opting to pit – but he would have to do it one more time, as his drivethrough penalty was now officially announced. Constable marched on in the lead, followed by Mathijs Bakker in the GT1 Viper GTS-R campaigned on Saturday by his son-in-law Joshua Kreuger, with Jabouille in third. Meanwhile, Atkinson pitted to be relieved by James Hagan.

 

On lap 10, the leader was in, followed by the pair of Vipers. Constable rejoined three seconds in front of Werner, but the game was on as the German pumped in the fastest lap of the race. 17 seconds down the road Olivier Hart was third in the leading GT car, with Alfie Briggs fourth in the leading LMP3 machine. Then followed Jabouille, Bakker, Hagan, Hallau, Makela and Haddon, the latter homing in on the Finn’s Aston Martin. Jabouille jumping Bakker at the stops, however, had everything to do with stopping too short, a misdemeanour for which the Frenchman was under investigation.

 

One lap later, however, the game was gone again, as Werner had lost a sizeable amount of time with a complete systems failure in the first sector to hand second place to Hart Jr. Having rebooted the system and regaining his rhythm, Werner was soon back past the Dutch youngster but now trailed Constable by 19 ticks. But then Constable himself made a mistake that allowed Werner to close back up to three seconds again!

 

Eight minutes remained on the clock, and with Jabouille in to serve the penalty that was handed out following his pitstop infringement, Constable led Werner by a decreasing margin, as the Zytek now had a mere 1.5 seconds in hands over the LMP2 Lola. Hart Jr remained third, 12 seconds adrift, with Briggs a further 14 seconds down in fourth. Bakker was back in second place in the GT class, ahead of Jabouille, who now also had Hallau ahead of him while Hagan was snapping at his heels.

 

On lap 17, the gap between Constable and Werner was reduced to six tenths but the Englishman was holding firm throughout the next tour. On lap 19, though, the German was through, now being hounded by the Zytek. Further back, Hallau had run into trouble, and moments later, the Norma was seen trundling into the pits.

 

In the final three laps, Werner was determined not to give it away, as the Lola strode away to a three-second lead over Constable at the chequered flag. However, the sting was in the tail, as Werner was handed a five-second time penalty for avoidable contact while passing Constable into turn 9, handing back the win to Constable! Hart Jr was a distant third and the clear GT class winner, with Briggs an equally lonely fourth and the LMP3 class victor. Bakker was fifth overall and second in the GT class, while Haddon secured second place in the LMP3 class with sixth overall. Victor Jabouille salvaged third in the GT class, as the second Viper ended up in seventh overall ahead of the Atkinson/Hagan ORECA, Makela’s Aston Martin and Maydon’s Ligier JSP3.

 

Masters GT Trophy – Race 2
Wright profits from rivals’ penalties to win second Masters GT Trophy at Zandvoort

 

Jason Wright was there to pounce when his quickest rivals were each slammed with a penalty for speeding in the pitlane, as the Italo-American ran his Ferrari 458 GT3 home to victory in the second Masters GT Trophy race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort. Before his penalty, race 1 winner Craig Wilkins looked set for a repeat win in the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo, but finished 18 seconds in arrears of Wright.

 

“I drove okay but I had a bad vibration. I picked up some rubbish on the tyres, I think”, said Wright. “But ultimately, I didn’t have a clue where I was. I mean, they told me on the radio, you’re P1! And frankly, I couldn’t understand how that happened. I think they gave lots of penalties because they wanted the event’s poster boy P1!”

 

“As far as I’m aware I did everything correctly”, said Wilkins. “We’ll have a look in the car. There’s a very good chance I got it wrong, that’s normally the error… If you see me at the back of the garage being thrashed by them, you know I got it wrong!”

 

The Christopher Stahl/Michael Lyons Ferrari 458 GT3 was similarly hit by a penalty but recovered to take third overall ahead of the Ties & Jac Meeuwissen Ferrari 488 Challenge. On the line, Meeuwissen Sr kept 0.056 seconds in hand over Sam Tordoff’s Porsche 997.2 Cup, Tordoff going on for his second Cup Class victory of the weekend. The Jason McInulty and Neil Glover Lambos were sixth and seventh.

 

“It was a little bit hard because I was starting second position, and this is not my place, it’s the place of Michael Lyons”, said Stahl, “so it was a bit hard for me. And I had big understeer, the steering in the car was much more worse than yesterday. But we made it, so it was good.”

 

“It was tricky, to be honest”, said Lyons. “I don’t know if the track changed or the tyre or it’s the drop-off on the tyre, but we had to work very hard. Unfortunately, Chris was a bit too keen on the pitstop on the entry speed, so we had a little penalty. But another couple of races, another couple of podiums. It’s a good day.”

 

The fight for GT4 glory was a close-fought affair, as the Peter Reynolds/Daniel Quintero Ginetta G55 GT4 fought back to vanquish Saturday’s winner Vasily Vladikin in the BMW M3 GT4. Hans Hugenholtz claimed another third in class in the Ford Mustang FR500C.

 

Masters would continue on the Sunday morning with the second 40-minute Masters GT Trophy race, the cars lining up in the order in which they finished on Saturday. This meant that Craig Wilkins was on pole in his Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo but two Ferrari 458 GT3s would be his nearest rivals going into the first corner – those of Christopher Stahl and Jason Wright. Jason McInulty in the second Super Trofeo Evo would start in fourth ahead of Sam Tordoff’s Porsche 997.2 Cup and Neil Glover in the third Huracán.

 

Wilkins’ opening gambit was strong, as his storming first lap left him four seconds clear of the duelling Ferraris, with McInulty aiming to pounce on both GT3s. Tordoff managed to follow, while Glover fought with Ties Meeuwissen’s Ferrari 488 Challenge over sixth. Vasily Vladikin’s BMW M3 GT4 continued where it left off on Saturday, leading the GT4 class ahead of Peter Reynolds in the Ginetta G55 GT4, Hans Hugenholtz in the Ford Mustang FR500C and Sam Adriaans in the second BMW M3 GT4. Squashed in between were Bernhard van Oranje’s Mosler MT900R GT3 and André Hartl’s Porsche 997.2 Cup.

 

Three laps into the race, Wilkins’ lead had augmented to 11 seconds, while Wright and McInulty and Tordoff had all found a way past Stahl, who had dropped to fifth and now had to deal with Meeuwissen, the young Dutchman having cleared Glover. Van Oranje was in front of Vladikin now, as both harried Glover for sixth overall.

 

At the front, Wilkins continued to set a searing pace, now 16 seconds ahead of Wright going into lap 6. In third, McInulty now had Tordoff to worry about, both now 19 seconds in arrears of the leader. Meeuwissen had taken fifth from Stahl, who now held a cushion to Glover, Van Oranje and Vladikin. Reynolds trailed the GT4 class leader by 15 seconds who in turn held a similar margin over Hugenholtz.

 

As the pit window approached ever nearer, Wilkins led by 22 seconds from Wright, with McInulty a further six ticks behind, still very much arguing with Cup class leader Tordoff over third place. Meeuwissen trailed the pair by 12 seconds, with Stahl a further ten seconds down the road. Meanwhile, Van Oranje and Vladikin had managed to pass Glover, while Reynolds was the first to come in for his car’s mandatory stop. He would hand the Ginetta over to Daniel Quintero. Stahl was in next, with Michael Lyons taking his seat, but was found to have exceeded the pitlane speed limit. This resulted in a drivethrough penalty that Lyons would have to serve. Tordoff, Vladikin, Van Oranje, Hugenholtz and Hartl all used lap 11 for their pitstop, Tordoff coming in from third position, having passed McInulty just ahead of his stop.

 

On lap 12, Glover handed his Super Trofeo Evo to Aaron Scott before Wilkins, Wright and McInulty and Meeuwissen all came in on lap 13, the latter handing over to father Jac. However, Wilkins had also been caught speeding in the pitlane and because he was quite a bit over, he was issued a five-second stop-and-go penalty that would certainly ruin his race. For the moment, Wilkins led Wright by 11 seconds, with Tordoff in third, half a minute behind the Italo-American, while Lyons came in from fourth to serve his penalty. This allowed Meeuwissen Sr back up into fourth, followed by McInulty and Van Oranje. Vladikin still led in GT4, but Quintero was lapping quicker than the Cypriote, setting the class up for an exciting finale.

 

Next time around, Wilkins was in for his penalty, to rejoin in second, as right at that moment Sam Tordoff had lost a big chunk of time with an off at the back part of the circuit to drop down to sixth behind McInulty. So now Wilkins trailed Wright by 18 seconds, with five minutes remaining on the clock. Further back, Vladikin and Quintero were now neck and neck, the pair having passed Van Oranje, who had also made a mistake.

 

On lap 20, Wright’s lead remained at 18 seconds, leaving the American well in charge, while Lyons in third was closing on Wilkins but not at a rate of knots. Meeuwissen Sr was fourth ahead of the recovering Tordoff, with McInulty and Scott in sixth and seventh ahead of Quintero who had passed Vladikin for the GT4 class lead.

 

As the clock wound down, Wright kept those 18 seconds in hand over Wilkins to win the race, with Lyons in third and Meeuwissen in fourth. On the line, Tordoff missed out on fourth overall by 0.056 seconds but still took his second Cup class victory on the trot. The two other Lambos of McInulty and Scott were up next while Quintero got one back over Vladikin to win the GT4 class for himself and Peter Reynolds. They were split by Van Oranje’s GT3 Mosler. In 11th overall, Hans Hugenholtz took third in the GT4 class ahead of Sam Adriaans in the other M3 GT4, while both finished ahead of André Hartl’s Porsche 997.2 Cup that took second in the Cup class.

 

Masters GT Trophy – Race 1
Wilkins staves off Ferrari challenge to win first Masters GT Trophy race at Zandvoort

 

Defending champion Craig Wilkins had to trounce a pair of Ferrari 458 GT3s to come away with the win in the first Masters GT Trophy race at Zandvoort. Wilkins’ Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo soon cleared the similar polesitting Lambo of Neil Glover but could do nothing about a Michael Lyons unleashed in the Ferrari shared with German driver Christopher Stahl. Starting from the back, Lyons managed to create a 31-second cushion at the stops, but in the second part of the race, Wilkins got the bit between his teeth to vanquish his German rival and win by 19 seconds.

 

“It was a very good race”, said Wilkins. “The track was very different this morning to how it was yesterday. And although I won the race, I was quite inconsistent in my driving, so it’s been explained to me. I have to do better tomorrow!”

 

“It was fun to see the start of the race” said Lyons. “I haven’t started the race when I share the cars very often. So, yeah, we had good battles all the way through. The pace was strong and then Chris had a strong race at the end.”

 

With Jason Wright closing up on Stahl in another 458 GT3, the two finished in something close to a dead heat, the Italo-American eventually missing out by a mere nose length. Jason McInulty was fourth in the second Huracán Super Trofeo Evo, while in fifth overall Sam Tordoff took a convincing Cup class win in his Porsche 997.2 Cup, ahead of Aaron Scott in the Lamborghini started by Glover and the Ferrari 488 Challenge of Dutch father-and-son duo Jac & Ties Meeuwissen.

 

“I had tyres I’ve used quite a bit”,  said Wright. “I’m trying to save tires for next week, for the GT3 race at Spa. So I was struggling with tyres, so happy to be so close at the finish.”

 

“I didn’t really have anyone to race against, so it was a bit lonely”, said Tordoff. “But I’m just excited to be driving the car around Zandvoort. It’s the one race on the calendar that I really wanted to do in the Porsche this year, just because I love the circuit. I think it’s fabulous. And it’s not disappointing so far. So, yeah. We had a good race. I think fifth was probably as good as we were ever going to finish overall given the other cars in front. But I enjoyed it. And it’s just great to be here.”

 

In eighth, Vasily Vladikin claimed an empathic GT4 class victory, his BMW M3 GT4 leading the way from start to finish. The Cypriote was chased home by Daniel Quintero and Peter Reynolds in the Ginetta G55 GT4 and Hans Hugenholtz in the Ford Mustang FR500C.

 

At the break of dawn on this second longest day of the year, the Masters GT Trophy grid were welcomed by the morning sun after a day of clouds and rain on the Friday of the Historic Grand Prix event. Sam van Vollenhoven, joining the fun with father and track owner Bernhard van Oranje in a Mosler MT900R, was late leaving the pitlane so had to join at the back of the queue as soon as the formation lap got underway. At the lights, Neil Glover was away first, but was soon usurped by Craig Wilkins and Jason McInulty in their intra-Lamborghini duel. A storming opening lap left Wilkins 3.2 seconds clear of his pursuers, the Lambos chased by Jac Meeuwissen’s Ferrari 488 Challenge, Jason Wright in the Ferrari 458 GT3, with Michael Lyons in the similar 458 GT3 shared with Chris Stahl already up into sixth place after his qualifying times were annulled, forcing him to start from the back.

 

Two laps into the race, Wilkins led the closing McInulty but Lyons was up into third, having already cleared Wright, Meeuwissen and Glover. Sam Tordoff was fifth in the leading Porsche Cup car, now ahead of Meeuwissen, Wright and Vasily Vladikin in the first of two BMW M3 GT4s in the race. André Hartl’s 997.2 Cup and Daniel Quintero’s Ginetta G55 GT4 were up next.

 

On lap 3, there was nothing McInulty could do about Lyons stealing another spot, with Wilkins also seeing his margin evaporate. The next lap, the Ferrari was in the lead, as Wilkins and McInulty trailed by three and seven seconds respectively – Lyons had surely not missed out on his coffee this morning. Further back, Hans Hugenholtz was trying to keep pace with Hartl in the oldest car in the field, the Ford Mustang FR500C GT4 holding out well, as he as well as Armand Adriaans in the second BMW M3 GT4 found a way past on lap 5, with Van Vollenhoven now chasing after Hartl, who had lost further ground after contact with Quintero.

 

Six laps into the race, Lyons led by ten seconds from Wilkins and 15 seconds from McInulty, with Tordoff a further 12 ticks behind. Wright and Glover fought over fifth place, as Meeuwissen kept a close guard in seventh. In eighth and ninth, Vladikin and Quintero disputed the GT4 class lead, with Hugenholtz and Adriaans aiming to join them.

 

As the pit window approached, Lyons’ lead had swollen to 24 seconds, as Wilkins kept his margin to McInulty intact. In fourth, Tordoff saw Wright closing in, the Italo-American having dropped Glover into the hands of Meeuwissen Sr, who just about to hand over to son Ties. Vladikin was the first to pit on lap 10, duly followed by Meeuwissen, with the 997.2 Cups of Tordoff and Hartl in on the same lap.

 

At the front, Lyons kept pushing for as long as he could, his advantage over Wilkins now 31 seconds, as Glover came in to allow the rapid Aaron Scott into his Huracán Super Trofeo Evo. Glover was joined by Adriaans (handing over to son Sam), Van Vollenhoven (handing over to father Bernhard van Oranje), Hugenholtz and Wright, as they now came pouring in one after the other. At the end of lap 13, it was Lyons’ turn, followed by Daniel Quintero who handed Peter Reynolds the Ginetta, with Wilkins and McInulty the final ones to blink. Soon after, though, the Van Oranje/Van Vollenhoven Mosler was slammed with a drive-through penalty for not following the yellow-flag start procedure.

 

It took one more lap for all the pitstops to pan out, but on lap 15 Stahl led Wilkins by 17 seconds, with Wright up into third ahead of McInulty. Tordoff was fifth, 13 seconds in arrears of the Lambo, with Meeuwissen Jr and Scott up next, the latter at a pace three seconds faster than anyone else. Vladikin still led the GT4 chase, but Reynolds was a mere five seconds adrift. Van Oranje was tenth but still to take his penalty, while Hugenholtz in 11th had broken free of Sam Adriaans in the second M3 GT4. Hartl was 13th but with a rough sounding engine.

 

At the front, Wilkins left no time to wipe out his disadvantage to Stahl, as two laps later, the gap was down to five seconds. Meanwhile, having been too late to serve his penalty, Van Oranje’s Mosler was meatballed, the MT900R GT3 coming in on lap 18, just as Wilkins was nose-to-tail with Stahl as the aimed to reclaim the lead. On lap 19, he had duly done so to lead by a healthy margin of four seconds. 13 seconds further down the road, Wright maintained his gap to McInulty in a strong performance in the second 458 GT3, with Tordoff in fifth also lapping at the same pace. On lap 20, Scott had done enough to pass Meeuwissen Jr for sixth. In eighth, Vladikin looked safe for the GT4 class win, as he now held some 25 seconds over Reynolds and another 20 ticks over Hugenholtz.

 

As the clock ran down to zero, Wilkins ran home the win, completing the 23 laps some 19 seconds clear of Stahl and Wright who crossed the line in almost in unison. Ten ticks later, McInulty finished fourth, seven seconds clear of Tordoff, while Scott ended up sixth ahead of the Meeuwissens’ Ferrari Challenge. Vladikin ruled in GT4, the BMW M3 GT4 coming home 38 seconds ahead of the Quintero/Reynolds Ginetta, with Hugenholtz a further 43 seconds behind to leave the Adriaans BMW and Hartl’s Porsche trailing the top ten.

 

Masters Gentlemen Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Cars - Race
Thomas storms to Masters Gentlemen Drivers victory at Zandvoort, Tordoff dominates touring car section

 

A solo-driving Julian Thomas survived two safety-car periods and a red flag to win the Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Zandvoort, as the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé driver fought off the renewed challenges of Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 250 GTO ’64, the David & Olivier Hart Daytona Cobra and the Felix Haas/Michael Lyons AC Cobra.

 

“I was channeling Calum!” said Thomas about driving the full race instead of sharing with his mentor Calum Lockie. “I was using all of his advice and just thinking about what he would be doing. I kept trying to make a gap and then they’d take it away from me. In the end, I just went for it. The last 15 minutes, it was just qualifying lap, qualifying lap, qualifying lap…”

 

The Ferrari 250 LM of Yelmer Buurman/Alexander van der Lof was the victim of those two cautions, as Buurman’s advantage went up in smoke, forcing Van der Lof to give up places to Pastorelli, Hart Jr and Lyons. In sixth overall, Philipp Buhofer and Andy Willis took a dominant CLP class victory, as their Elan remained on the lead lap while their rivals Mark Drain/Andrew Haddon and Luc De Cock were put a lap down by the safety cars and subsequent red flag.

 

“It was a fantastic race”, said Pastorelli. “I tried to make a gap as I knew I was forced to stop longer as an elite driver, and at the end I really had to fight for second place, with Oli right behind me, and Lyons right behind him again.”

 

“We were having issues with our car”, said Hart Sr, “as it was losing some 50hp under full throttle. And that’s apart from the fact I needed to get used again to driving a car that you need to wrestle!”

 

In the touring car section, Sam Tordoff ran home an unchallenged win to remain undefeated in this Masters Pre-66 Touring Car season. Partly aided by a safety car in the dying minutes of the tourers’ 60-minute race, Tordoff’s Ford Falcon was a lap ahead when the Dutch national flag was dropped. Profiting from the safety car, Robin Ward’s Falcon and Harry Barton in the BMW 1800 tiSA vaulted the Lotus Cortina of Michael Lyons and Chris Stahl that had run second for the entire up until that moment. Right at the end, the Falcon of local father-and-son duo Henk and Thijs van Gammeren also caught up with the Lyons/Stahl Cortina to snatch fourth overall and third in the over-2-litre category.

 

“Yes, it was good”, said Tordoff. “I think we got lucky with the safety car to get a lap ahead of everyone else, but I enjoyed it. It was a long hour, actually, in the sunshine at Zandvoort. The car was good. We made some changes from two years ago, actually, that seemed to work. Yes, just had fun out there. I was dicing with the GT cars for the first 40 minutes or so until I had to stop and really enjoyed it.”

 

“We had a problem in qualifying, so we started at the back. It was hard work”, said Ward. “The car was really hot. I’ve done longer in it at Spa, but not in the heat. We had a good, fun, clean run through the field, caught Harry up, had a bit of a dice. That was good. The safety car was good because it gave me a break, but Harry caught up again. Then we had another dice, and it was good. Really good, clean racing.”

 

“It was a difficult one”, said Barton. “We qualified well in the wet. The car is fantastic in the wet. I was lucky to get out first and get a good lap in early on. In the race, I was very conscious in my mirrors, just trying to make sure I get through the first lap. When the race settled down, I was like, let’s get some lap time in. We had to swap a gearbox early on just because of a mechanical fault. This one wasn’t quite as good as the other one, so it was interesting having to adapt in order to go around as quick as we could. I prefer in the race to not know where I am at all. I was talking to the car the whole race saying, you see that E-Type over there? I think we can get him. Let’s go. Robin and I had a great fight early on, then the safety car brought us back in together. I managed to get him on the safety car restart, but he had so much punch underneath that bonnet. I have a feeling if I had another lap or two, I might have gotten him. Ifs and buts…”

 

“We had some really great fights”, said Henk van Gammeren, “and to get third in class, we couldn’t be happier!”

 

“The level at Masters is tougher than anywhere else”, said Thijs van Gammeren, “so it’s an additional challenge. But we’re very pleased with the result.”

 

As the curtain closer for the Saturday of Zandvoort’s Historic Grand Prix, the combined Masters Gentlemen Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Car grid lined for their respective 90 and 60 minutes of racing in which the John Spiers/Nigel Greensall TVR Griffith was a sad absentee following its forceful off during Friday’s wet qualifying session. Two local family teams were up front, David & Olivier Hart sharing a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé and Alexander van der Lof sharing a Ferrari 250 LM – the car for which Enzo Ferrari fought hard to allow it to be a GT car – with son-in-law Yelmer Buurman. After the opening lap, however, it was a third Dutch-run car that cheekily claimed the lead, as former Italian F3000 champion Nicky Pastorelli passed both in his Ferrari 250 GTO ’64, with Julian Thomas driving solo in the other Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé coming through into second.

 

The new order that established itself on lap 3 was Pastorelli leading Thomas by eight tenths, followed by Hart Sr fighting with Buurman and Felix Haas in the TVR Griffith over third. In sixth overall, Sam Tordoff led the touring car division in his Ford Falcon, while in seventh, Philipp Buhofer’s Lotus Elan was in charge of the GT cars’ CLP class for now. Michael Lyons was eighth in the Lotus Cortina he would share with Chris Stahl, with Lee Mowle’s Jaguar E-type and Stephan Joebstl’s Elan completing the top ten for the moment. Belgian Luc De Cock’s Elan was 12th overall and third in the CLP class, while Geoff Letts ran third in the touring car race, two positions ahead of Matt Johnson’s Mustang and Harry Barton’s BMW 1800 tiSA. Local man Henk van Gammeren’s Falcon ran sixth among the tourers.

 

Five laps in, and Pastorelli’s lead over Thomas had increased to 2.5 seconds, while Buurman despite the 250 LM leaking fluid had cleared Hart Sr for third, with Haas and Tordoff and Buhofer all giving immediate chase. Six seconds further down, Lyons’ Cortina was another machine leaving fluids behind while Mowle was under investigation for a false start, which on lap 7 led to a five-second time penalty. In Mowle’s rubber tracks, Peter Thompson’s AC Cobra had reached the overall top ten at the cost of Joebstl’s Elan. Further back, Robin Ward’s Ford Falcon was making up places following a troubled qualifying session and was about to pass Barton for fifth in the touring car race.

 

The 250 GTO ’64 at the front had grown its lead to 6.2 seconds at one-sixth’s distance while Buurman already trailed Pastorelli by half a minute, having left Hart to worry about Felix Haas a further five seconds behind. In seventh overall, Buhofer continued to lead the CLP class, while De Cock had taken second place in class from Joebstl. In the touring car race, Tordoff led Lyons, while Johnson had passed Letts for third, with Ward and Barton up next.

 

As the tourers’ pit window approached, Pastorelli’s lead over Thomas remained the same at about six seconds, with Buurman a further 30 seconds adrift. Hart and Haas circulated at 47 seconds from the leading Ferrari, with Tordoff keeping a close watch on the fight between the Daytona Cobra and the Griffith. The first pit window now open, Matt Johnson was the first to come in to hand the Mustang to Robert Ross, while father Henk van Gammeren was relieved in the Falcon by son Thijs. Further back, Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus came in to swap places with Jari Konola in another Falcon. Next time around, leader Tordoff was in for his stop, which would be longer due to his elite-driver status. Ward, Barton and Allan Thom in another Cortina were the next to stop, with Lyons now also coming in to hand over to Stahl while Geoff Letts was relieved by brother Alan.

 

Meanwhile, the stalemate between the GTs continued to exist, with Pastorelli, Thomas and Buurman all circulating at a similar pace. The Hart versus Haas battle now raged a full minute down on the leader, with Buhofer up in sixth following Tordoff’s stop. Mowle was seventh ahead of Thompson and De Cock, as Joebstl came in for an unscheduled stop to hand third in class to Drain’s Elan. Tordoff still led the touring car race but now from 12th overall, with Stahl in second place and Letts in third, ahead of Ward, Barton and the younger Van Gammeren.

 

On lap 18, however, Pastorelli’s Ferrari entered the pits for an unexpected visit, leaving Thomas in an untroubled lead. Once the GTO had rejoined it was down in seventh place, ironically just moments before the GT pit window would open. Drain was the first to come in, to hand his Elan to ‘fast amateur’ Andrew Haddon and he was soon joined by David Hart (handing over to son Olivier) and Markus Schenkl (handing his E-type to Nick Padmore). Mowle was in next, to allow Phil Quaife into action, while Joebstl’s Elan remained stuck in the pits, retiring with a bent front wishbone. On lap 21, Haas came in to have Lyons take his second stint, now in a GT car, while Buhofer switched places with Andy Willis. On lap 22, it was De Cock’s turn, followed by Steve Jones who handed his Elan to Chris Atkinson. At the same time, Dutchman Abraham Bontrup came in for his stop in the AC Cobra, along with leader Thomas and Thompson in another Cobra, with Charles Allison taking over. Buurman followed on the same lap, with father-in-law Alexander van der Lof waiting to step into the Ferrari 250 LM.

 

Further back, Alan Letts had gone missing in the touring car section, in the process handing third place to Robin Ward’s Falcon which was still chased by Barton’s BMW. Letts’ stricken Cortina was enough to warrant the arrival of the safety car on lap 24, with 40 minutes still remaining for the GTs and just ten for the tourers, so this definitely set the ball back rolling again in both races. It definitely put Pastorelli back into play, as the Dutchman had managed to vault Van der Lof just before the safety car came out. Hart Jr would be another one to profit, as he was now right on the back of Van der Lof. On the other hand, those cars with a lap down, starting with Phil Quaife’s E-type, now had a mountain to climb.

 

Less than four minutes remained on the tourers’ race clock when the field was released. At the front, Thomas thundered off, soon chased by Pastorelli and Hart Jr, with Van der Lof, Willis and Lyons up next. In seventh overall, and as the only car on the lead lap, Tordoff had to complete one more tour before being flagged off as the dominant touring car winner, making it two from two so far. Behind him, Ward, Barton and Van Gammeren took full advantage of the safety car to demote Stahl to fifth, with Ross in sixth and Konola in seventh.

 

The GT race would rage on for half an hour, as Thomas for the moment maintained his eight-second lead over Pastorelli and Hart Jr. Van der Lof still held off Lyons, now 26 seconds down on Thomas, while Willis was the clear leader in the CLP class, a full lap ahead of Haddon and De Cock in second and third. With 18 minutes to go, though, Thomas’ hard work which had seen him increase his lead to 12 seconds was undone when Abraham Bontrup dropped his Cobra at Scheivlak. This evoked another safety car, but with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, this was converted into a red flag.

 

It wasn’t over yet, however, as the race was restarted behind the safety car, which in fact allowed Bontrup to rejoin the race. After the restart, Thomas wasn’t going to be thwarted, as the Daytona Cobra once again stormed off to leave Pastorelli trailing. Behind the Dutchman, Lyons was up into third ahead of Hart Jr while Van der Lof was losing ground in fifth. As the final car on the lead lap, Willis was safe as the CLP class leader, despite having to serve a drivethrough penalty.

 

As the leaders raced towards the chequered flag, Thomas only put more space between himself and his pursuers, who were nose-to-tail until the flag dropped. Pastorelli remained second, but Hart Jr fought back to regain third from Lyons. Van der Lof was a distant fifth, while Willis claimed CLP class honours in sixth. Quaife was seventh, one lap down, ahead of two more CLP class runners, Haddon and De Cock in another two Elans. The Peter Thompson/Charles Allison AC Cobra completed the top ten.