Brands Hatch, UK

25 – 26 May 2019

Stretton, Hartley, Beebee & O’Connell, Thomas & Lockie and Fenn & Hill are all winners at Brands

Five races saw five different winners at the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch, Martin Stretton, Steve Hartley, Robert Beebee/Martin O’Connell, Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie and Rob Fenn/Jake Hill all sharing in the glory on two lovely spring days in the green hills of Kent.


Masters Formula One – Race 1
Stretton fends off Lyons and Ferrer to win first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands Hatch

Martin Stretton prevailed in a tense first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands Hatch, the Tyrrell 012 driver keeping young guns Michael Lyons and Matteo Ferrer-Aza at bay the whole race.

“That was hard work!” said Stretton. “Michael was all over me in various places. It was a great battle.”

Lap after lap, Stretton, Lyons and Ferrer ran flat-out, nose to tail – or even side by side – in the first three places. Cantillon was running a lonely fourth while Christophe d’Ansembourg popped ahead of Steve Hartley on lap 1, only to lose fifth place back to the McLaren on lap 4.

In the pre-78 class, Henry Fletcher initially led Jason Wright, but on lap 5 the Shadow dropped down the order, having spun at Surtees. This left Phil Hall’s Theodore second in class, with James Hagan’s Hesketh in third. On lap 7, though, Fletcher’s March was very slow across the finish line, and now Hall was in the lead of the class.

On lap 9, the top-three began stretching out, Ferrer now over a second away from Stretton who was still holding a narrow lead of Lyons. On the next lap, though, the Ligier was suddenly a mere tenth away from the Williams, Stretton getting a bit of a breather. One more lap, and now Lyons was fastest on track, the Ligier dropping back – it was up and down.

“The pace was so equal”, said Ferrer. “I once got to Michael but then I dropped away, and there was no point in wearing the tyres out.”

The battle for the pre-78 lead was hotting up, Hagan now chasing Hall hard. Ahead of them, Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011 had risen up to seventh from last on the grid after a troubled qualifying session, now leading Jonathan Holtzman’s Lotus 87 and Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012.

On lap 15, Lyons set another fastest lap of the race and now really closed up on the leader. Going into lap 16, the Williams tried a move on the outside into Paddock Hill Bend but went off into the barriers. It meant a premature end to the race, as the red flag came out. On countback, Lyons was still classified second ahead of Ferrer.

Phil Hall won the pre-78 class, his Theodore TR1 narrowly keeping ahead of James Hagan’s Hesketh 308 while Wright came back to reclaim third place in class.

“I never expected to be here, so it’s an absolute pleasure!” said a jubilant Hall. “I had a really good scrap with James, two genuine gentlemen drivers giving each other some space.”

“He’s older than me, so I wanted him to win!” quipped Hagan.

“I missed a gear and spun into Surtees”, said Wright. “I was keeping Henry in sight, so it would have been mine. Such a shame since every point counts…”

Masters Formula One – Race 2
Hartley back on winning form in second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands

Steve Hartley delivered a corker of a race to win the second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands, his McLaren MP4/1 passing early leader Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011) and keeping Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012) at bay until the safety car came out on lap 12 after an off by Mike Cantillon in the Williams FW07D. The race finished under the safety car.

“I really enjoyed that”, Hartley said, “I can’t even remember the last time I won. It might have been here at Brands actually!”

“Yes, I could really have done without the safety car”, said Stretton, “but it’s what happens…”

Christophe d’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) took fourth – and effectively third because Hartley’s McLaren was still in the invitation class – ahead of Matteo Ferrer-Aza (Ligier JS11/15). The Belgian had been chasing Constable in the early laps before succumbing to pressure from Hartley and Stretton on lap 9.

“I’ve never been performing very well at Brands”, said D’Ansembourg. “So a podium here is not bad, because I usually struggle here.”

From the back of the grid, Henry Fletcher stormed to sixth overall to claim pre-78 honours in his March 761 – despite a nose bleed from lap 2! James Hagan’s Hesketh 308 took second in class, Jason Wright was third in the Shadow DN8. Following Stretton home in the post-83 class were Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Mark Hazell (Williams FW08) in ninth and 11th overall respectively.

“I can’t even remember, I just went”, Fletcher said about his storming opening lap. “It was really good fun, trying to pass the ground-effect cars is really difficult.”

“The car was handling much better”, Hagan said. “I really wanted to beat Phil Hall – it makes such a difference when you have a race with someone, so I didn’t enjoy to see him go.”

“I don’t deserve to be here”, Wright said, “I spun again – three times now in the same corner this weekend…”

From the first row of the grid, Jamie Constable was soon past reversed-grid polesitter Jonathan Holtzman (Lotus 87) to open up a good 4-second lead over D’Ansembourg, who had Hartley chasing him in the McLaren, with Cantillon, Stretton and Ferrer-Aza all coming through to pass Holtzman as well. On lap 5, Stretton past Cantillon into Paddock Hill Bend to take fourth.

In the pre-78 class, Fletcher pulled off a demon first lap from last on the grid to be 11th on lap 1 and eighth on lap 4, and in the lead of the class, ahead of Hagan, Hall and Wright. At the back, Michael Lyons was out on lap 1, coasting to a halt at Graham Hill Bend in a car repaired from his off in the first race.

On lap 7, Constable maintained his 4-second lead over D’Ansembourg who now had Hartley, Stretton, Cantillon and Ferrer all breathing down his neck. The next lap, Hartley was up into second, with Stretton following suit at the start of lap 9. Behind them, Ferrer in sixth set fastest lap of the race, the Italian having been ahead of Cantillon and Stretton after the first lap before a mistake dropped him back behind them.

Now in sixth overall, Fletcher continued to imperiously lead the pre-78 class, well ahead of Hagan, but Phil Hall lost third place in class when he had to pit his Theodore on lap 9. The place was inherited by Wright, who in 12th place was chasing post-83 competitors Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Mark Hazell (Williams FW08), the pair sandwiching Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29.

Freed from D’Ansembourg, Hartley set about chasing the leader, and within two laps, the Tyrrell and the McLaren were nose-to-tail, with Stretton looking an attentive third. On lap 11, Hartley swept into the lead, with Stretton aiming for the next opportunity, which came into the same lap. Six seconds down the road, D’Ansembourg kept firm to hold up the quicker cars of Cantillon and Ferrer, before Cantillon went off at Stirlings, provoking the arrival of the safety car.

As the race finished under the safety car, Hartley took a wonderful win in his McLaren MP4/1, ahead of Stretton and Constable, with Fletcher taking the pre-78 class.

Masters Gentlemen Drivers
Thomas/Lockie double up to take another Masters Gentlemen Drivers win at Brands

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie made it two out of two in Masters Gentlemen Drivers as the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé repeated their Paul Ricard win by another victory at Brands Hatch. In his opening stint, Thomas fought the Elans of Jake Hill and Steve Soper before Hill made a break towards the pitstops. With Lockie at the wheel, however, Soper and Rob Fenn in the Elan started by Hill had no answer against the Daytona Cobra.

“I got both on the same lap, and then managed to get a few cars in between them and myself”, said Lockie about the decisive moves. “It’s an absolutely amazing car, Wolfe did a great job on it. It’s so quick, it’s unbelievable.”

Fenn duly finished second, 52 seconds down on Lockie, but Soper was out while trying to remove Fenn from second place in the midst of the pair dealing with a couple of backmarkers. Soper’s evasive action on the Cooper Straight proved costly, resulting in his premature retirement.

“I had great fun fighting Julian and Steve”, said Hill of his opening stint. “And then managed to get a break in traffic. We were fairly lucky with the safety car, I think, and then Rob did a great job of securing the class win.”

Third overall went to the Jaguar E-type of Mark Donnor and Andrew Smith, the latter chasing Marco Attard down in the Corvette started by Tom Ingram. In a dash towards the chequered flag, Smith got the place by 0.131s… Following them home were Nick & Eddie Powell’s Elan and Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R, in second and third in the CLP class.

“It’s easier to chase than to be chased!”, Smith said about his last-ditch overtake on Attard.

After a false start to the race caused by Peter Tognola’s Porsche 911 going into the gravel at Clearways at the end of the opening lap, the field finally roared away on lap 4. WIthin a few corners, Jake Hill in the Elan shared with Rob Fenn nipped past poleman Soper, and then Julian Thomas in the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé slipped into second place to leave Soper’s Elan back in third.

As Hill made a break from Thomas and Soper, Andrew Haddon in another Elan held fourth, with Tom Ingram in the Corvette in fifth and Mark Donnor’s Jaguar E-type in sixth. 15 minutes into the race, John Spiers in the TVR Griffith moved up to sixth, to Donnor’s detriment, while Ron Maydon had climbed up to eighth from tenth at the start. Eight minutes later, however, Spiers was into the pits and out of the race.

In C2, Billy Bellinger’s Morgan Plus 4 Supersports quickly moved to the front of the class while Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus dropped behind Mark Holme as the two Austin Healey 3000s exchanged places. The C1 class was led comfortably by the polesitting TVR Grantura of Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne, the latter doing the opening stint. Bourne’s life was made easier when Mark Bates in the Porsche 911 was into the pits on lap 7. This handed a distant second place in class to the Olivia Wilkinson/Austin Kinsella MGB, Wilkinson behind the wheel.

At one-thirds’ distance, Hill led Thomas and Soper by some eight seconds, but Soper was now really closing up on the big Daytona Cobra, setting fastest lap of the race on lap 14. The top-ten order remained the same, with Haddon in fourth, 14 seconds down, followed by Ingram, Donnor, Maydon, the Nick & Eddie Powell Elan (Nick driving), Jamie Boot’s TVR Griffith and Mark Martin’s Elan. Bellinger and Bourne were still the C2 and C1 class leaders.

On lap 16, however, Ron Maydon passed Donnor for sixth, and moments later Haddon came crawling into the pits with a failed battery. Meanwhile, Donnor losing pace led to Nick Powell pushing him down one more place. On the next lap, the David Smithies/Chris Clarkson Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé was into the pits, handing its recently acquired tenth place to Sander van Gils in the Elan.

As the pit window approached, Hill’s gap to Thomas had increased to 10 seconds, while Soper was three seconds away from Thomas. In C2, Mark Holme’s Healey had become a retirement, but a new Healey battle for second place in class had developed between Nyblaeus and the Crispin Harris/James Wilmoth Healey, Harris at the wheel.

Half of the field – including Steve Soper in third – had already made their stops when on lap 24, the Bates Porsche 911 coming to a stop into Druids with one wheel less than required brought the safety car out at exactly the halfway point of the race. This threw up the order quite a bit, and as the pit window closed while the safety car was still out, Rob Fenn was still in the lead in the Elan started by Hill, but Soper had taken second place from Calum Lockie who had taken over from Thomas in the Daytona Cobra. Marco Attard was fourth in the Corvette started by Ingram.

One lap down now, in fifth, but at the head of the field at the restart was Ron Maydon, with Eddie Powell in the Elan and Andrew Smith in the E-type taken over from Mark Donnor following in sixth and seventh. Martin, Boot and Van Gils were still in eighth, ninth and tenth.

Lockie was on the move, though. On lap 30, the Cobra Daytona Coupé passed both Elans to take the lead, leaving Soper to squabble with Fenn – in fact, while trying to make his way past his rival in the process of lapping a few of the slower cars, Soper was on the grass on the Cooper Straight, and then off in avoiding action of Mark Martin’s Elan. Sadly, that was it for Soper’s efforts, as he retired his Elan into the pits.

Meanwhile in C2, Keith Ahlers in the Morgan Plus 4 Supersports now led James Wilmoth but the Healey was given a drivethrough penalty for speeding in the pitlane, which threw it back out of contention for the class win, but despite the penalty it kept ahead of the Michael Bell/Simon Orebi Gann Plus 4 Supersports in third. The Nyblaeus/Welch Austin Healey had dropped down to a distant fifth in class. The Malcolm/Bourne TVR Grantura still held a huge lead over the Wilkinson/Kinsella MGB in C1.

At the front, Lockie set a scorching pace, having left Fenn in the CLP-class-leading Elan 20 seconds in his wake with 15 minutes still to go. Attard was third in the Corvette, 40 seconds down on Lockie, but Andrew Smith in the E-type was closing fast. Maydon held fifth and second place in CLP class but Eddie Powell kept glued to the Ginetta’s exhaust. On lap 38, Powell was past.

In fact, Powell’s pace was such that he also closed on Smith in the E-type. On lap 46, with two minutes still on the clock, Powell attempted a lunge at Smith into Paddock Hill Bend but had to abort, and as a result dropped nine seconds on the E-type. Smith himself, meanwhile, was right up with Attard’s Corvette – and right on the line, Smith grabbed third by 0.131s!

At the front, Lockie drove the Cobra Daytona Coupé to its second win on the trot, with Fenn eventually finishing 52 seconds behind but still the emphatic CLP class winner. Behind Smith and Attard, Eddie Powell took second place in CLP class, ahead of Maydon. The overall top-ten was rounded out by Jamie Boot’s TVR Griffith, Mark Martin’s Elan, Sander van Gils in another Elan and the Ross Hyett/Chris Fox Elan.

“I just couldn’t pull it off”, Eddie Powell said of his failed move on Smith. “I thought it was the last lap, and wanted to get us on the podium. But we’re on the podium anyway!”

Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger won the C2 class in their Morgan Plus 4 Supersports while Malcolm Paul and Rick Bourne capped a dominant performance in their TVR Grantura with victory in C1.

Masters Pre66 Touring Cars
Fenn/Hill Mustang gallops to Masters Pre-66 Touring Car win at Brands

Rob Fenn and Jake Hill took Masters Pre-66 Touring Car honours at Brands Hatch, Hill in the Ford Mustang passing Mark Sumpter’s Lotus Cortina for the lead on lap 20. Third went to Craig Davies, whose Mustang led until a frantic pitstop phase coinciding with a safety-car period that shook up the order.

“Rob did an amazing stint to keep it up there, even though he got caught up between all the Cortinas”, said Hill. “And then we boxed at the perfect time! I came out in second and for two laps had a good little fight with Mark. We’re so happy to take our first Masters win with the Mustang here at Brands.”

“I’d like to say it was skilled!”, a laconic Sumpter said about his pitstop timing, “I came in to see if we could fix our wipers – and then the safety car came out! I had a good fight with Jake, I made it as hard as I could for him, but you can’t really stop a Mustang with a good driver. Still, I’m really happy to have won the class.”

Behind Davies, Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie took fourth in the Ford Falcon, having been second behind Davies early on, with poleman Ambrogio Perfetti coming in fifth in the second of the Cortinas. The Tom Ingram/Marco Attard Cortina grabbed third in class.

“I’m a bit peaved by that”, said Davies about losing out at the pitstops. “It was a brilliant race to be in, but I just got the pitstop wrong!”

At one time running third overall, Tom Bell and Joe Ferguson took a brilliant win in the Mini class, ahead of Jonathan Lewis and Ian Curley/Bill Sollis. Curley led the class early on before the Bell/Ferguson Mini asserted its authority.

“It’s nice to come back against some real, real good competition”, said Ferguson about their second win of the season.

“Yes, a good start of the season”, said Bell, looking back on their equally strong win at Paul Ricard. “Next up is Donington Park, and we both like Donington, so there we hope to be fighting for the win again!”

The field was unleashed on lap 3, after an initial safety-car period as a result of the Peter James/Chris Snowdon Mini retiring at Graham Hill Bend. In five laps, Craig Davies stormed into the lead, his Mustang consequently building a lead of 10 seconds while he left his rivals squabbling over second place. Julian Thomas in the Falcon saw poleman Ambrogio Perfetti switch places with Steve Soper several times, with Sumpter and Geoff Letts doing the same behind them, chased by Rob Fenn’s Mustang, which had been fifth early on. Behind Fenn, the Mini battle raged between Ian Curley, Tom Bell and Jonathan Lewis, the latter leading the group on lap 3 before Curley asserted himself at the head of the group.

On lap 8, though, a sprinkle of light rain threw up the order, Geoff Letts moving up to second in the space of two laps while cutting Davies’ lead by four seconds. Lockie now held third ahead of Perfetti, Soper, Sumpter and Hill, with Tom Ingram also using the drizzle to move his Cortina up to eighth, ahead of the leading Minis.

For a few laps, the rain abated but upon opening of the pit window, it returned to make it even harder for all the runners – and then, to make it even more confusing the safety car was out two minutes into the pit window! Davies still led Letts, but by just three seconds. Thomas and Perfetti were battling for third, six more seconds adrift, while Soper, Sumpter, Fenn and Ingram all went in on the first occasion. One lap later, Davies, Letts, Thomas, Perfetti and the Minis of Curley, Bell and Lewis took the next opportunity.

While William Ward’s stricken Mini was removed from Clearways, Mark Sumpter’s Cortina emerged from the frantic pitstop phase as the new leader, followed by Hill in the Cortina started by Fenn, with Attard in third, Mark Martin (having taken over from Soper) in fourth, and Marcus Jewell’s Cortina suddenly popping up in fifth, ahead of Lewis, early leader Davies, Joe Ferguson in the Mini started by Bell. Norwegian Martin Strömmen was up to ninth in his Cortina while the Curley/Sollis Mini (now with Bill Sollis at the wheel) rounded out the top-ten. The Letts brothers and Perfetti were among the losers of the shake-up.

The green flag was waved on lap 18, and Jake Hill immediately set about chasing Sumpter, the Mustang passing the Cortina as they entered lap 20. Joe Ferguson was flying the Mini flag in an amazing third overall, with Craig Davies already back up into fourth, ahead of a phalanx of Cortinas pedalled by Attard, Jewell, Perfetti and Mark Martin, all sandwiching Calum Lockie (having taken over from Thomas) in seventh in the Falcon. Later on the same lap, though, Davies passed Ferguson for third.

Setting fastest lap of the race on lap 22, Hill inched away from Sumpter, but Davies wasn’t catching the two leaders yet. Ferguson was still fourth but Lockie had got ahead of Attard for fifth while Perfetti passed Jewell for seventh, and then Attard to take sixth. Further back, in 12th overall, Lewis was into second place in the Mini class, having passed Sollis, who in turn was ahead of emphatic BMW class leader Tom Sharp.

Towards the end, Davies began pulling out fastest race laps to close on Sumpter, but came up a lap short to really pose any danger to the Cortina. So Hill took the win with three seconds in hand on Sumpter, with Davies two seconds further back. Fourth was the Thomas/Lockie Falcon while Perfetti came back to take fifth. Tom Bell and Joe Ferguson claimed sixth overall to consummately win the Mini class ahead of Lewis and Curley Sollis.

Masters Sports Car Legends
Beebee/O’Connell take FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win at Brands Hatch

In a shortened FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race punctuated by three safety-car periods, Robert Beebee and Martin O’Connell emerged victorious, their Lola T70 Mk3B beating stablemate Henry Fletcher in his Chevron B26. Fletcher had moved into the lead on lap 2, but on lap 25 couldn’t keep O’Connell behind.

“It can go both ways”, said O’Connell. “Today we were lucky with the safety car, next week it could happen to us. But it was a good race and it’s a great result.”

“He was just too fast”, said Fletcher. “It’s hard to keep a T70 behind here, there are too many opportunities to overtake here. I had that big lead, but when the safety cars came I always knew it was going to be difficult.”

Third and fourth came the Jason Wright/Andy Wolfe Lola T70 Mk3B and the Joaquin Folch/Nick Padmore Chevron B19. Both cars were hurt by the second safety car, that came right in the pit window, and were denied a shot at victory when the race was redflagged with five minutes still on the clock, Paul Allen having beached his Lola T212 in the Paddock Hill Bend gravel.

“It was a nightmare!” said Wolfe about all the safety cars. “And such a shame about the red flag. I had just got past Henry and was chasing after Martin, who knows what I could have done?”

The Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Cooper Monaco King Cobra looked like it had won the pre-66 class after a huge fight with the Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing Cooper Monaco T61M. When Farthing slowed after running out of fuel, Bellinger was home free for the class win – but then Ahlers was penalised for overtaking under the safety car, the result of which was that Jolly and Farthing won the class after all.

“Chris and I were really close in our opening stints, but it was a very messy race”, said Ahlers. “Any car could have won today.”

“We forgot to switch the fuel tanks, that’s why Steve ran to a halt”, said Jolly, before he knew they had in fact won the class. “The guys finished up at 4.30 reparing the car from our qualifying crash, so to be honest, even to be out there…”

From the rolling start, Henry Fletcher was the man on the move, charging up from third on the grid to remove Jason Wright from the lead on lap 2. Behind them, Matt Wrigley and Jonathan Mitchell were on their way up too, their Chevron B19s having moved up into third and fourth by lap 4, to the detriment of Joaquin Folch’s B19. On lap 5, the Catalan was pushed down even further, as Gonçalo Gomes grabbed fifth in the Lola T212 – even though the Portuguese had been up into third by lap 2 before spinning off and having to do it all over again, as he retook third from Mitchell on lap 7, just as Wrigley headed into the pit for an unscheduled stop.

From the back, Robert Oldershaw’s Lola T290 went past Folch on lap 7, but then the safety car came out as Tom Bradshaw’s Chevron B19 went off at Graham Hill Bend – with Oldershaw slowing down and retiring with a battery-related issue almost immediately after. Fletcher still led, but his advantage to Wolfe, Gomes, Mitchell, Beebee and Folch was cut to zero, while Matt Wrigley in seventh profited greatly as his additional stop didn’t prove half as harmful as he might have feared. The same applied to Nick Sleep, who had lost a lot of places with a first-lap pitstop for his Lola T70 Mk3B but was now back up to ninth, chasing Mike Whitaker’s T70 Mk2 Spyder and passing it on lap 13.

In the pre-66 Hulme class, Chris Drake’s McLaren M1B had done the early running ahead of Keith Ahlers in the Cooper Monaco King Cobra and Chris Jolly in the Cooper Monaco T61M, but a spin by Ahlers and a pitstop for Drake meant that Jolly led the class as we headed towards the pitstop. In the Bonnier class, Julian Thomas had inched away from Mark Owen in a similar Chevron B8, with Frazer Gibney in third. In the Siffert class, John Sheldon led Ross Hyett early on in their intra-Chevron B16-tussle, but Hyett was in the lead when the pit window opened.

At the front, Fletcher held a 7-second lead over Gomes, who soon after the restart had pipped Wright for second place, and the American came in at the earliest opportunity to hand over to Andy Wolfe, with Folch also coming in for his driver change on lap 15, handing the wheel to Nick Padmore. One lap later, Fletcher, Gomes, Beebee and Wrigley Jr all followed them in. Moments later, the safety car was deployed for a second time, as Mitchell’s B19 stopped out on track, allowing the last of the stoppers to come in and take advantage – Owen, Whitaker, Hyett and Gibney among them.

The safety car not quite picking up the leader in all the pitstop confusion led to Wolfe and Padmore momentarily losing a lap, but on lap 19, they and the other cars at the head of the queue were waved past to get back on the lead lap. It meant that Fletcher now led James Claridge in the Lola started by Gomes, but Claridge was soon usurped by Martin O’Connell in Beebee’s T70 Mk3B, with Wrigley Sr chasing the top-three. Wolfe and Padmore – with Padmore now ahead of Wolfe – still had Owen, Whitaker, Hyett and Gibney between them, but in one lap, Padmore was up into sixth chasing Whitaker, with Wolfe following him through. Soon enough, though, Padmore and Wolfe were back in third and fourth.

Steve Farthing and Billy Bellinger – in the Cooper Monacos started by Jolly and Ahlers – were separated by five seconds, as the Drake/Shaw McLaren dropped away from the pre-66 lead battle with its third stop of the day. On lap 25, though, Farthing was slowing and handed the lead to Bellinger. In the Bonnier class, Owen had 13 seconds in hand on Gibney, with Calum Lockie in the B8 taken over from Thomas in third but closing rapidly. Hyett still profited from his safety-car-induced pitstop advantage, and led Sheldon in the Siffert class.

On lap 25, O’Connell was past into the lead but Fletcher didn’t give up on chasing his preparer. Behind them, Padmore had missed a gear out of Graham Hill Bend on lap 23, allowing Wolfe to nick third, while Martin Stretton moved into fifth in Nick Sleep’s T70 Mk3B. One lap later, the top-five were nose-to-tail, as the safety car was out yet again, this time to allow for the recovery of Farthing’s Cooper Monaco that had now come to a full halt.

When the field was released, the crowd would have been treated to a five-car, five-minute dash to the line, but when Paul Allen’s Lola T212 went off in Paddock Hill Bend the race was redflagged. This meant that Beebee and O’Connell won ahead of Fletcher, Wright/Wolfe, Folch/Padmore and Sleep/Stretton. Despite their fuel shortage, Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing prevailed in the Hulme class, with Ross Hyett and Mark Owen taking the Siffert and Bonnier classes respectively.