Donington Park, UK

MASTERS RACE WEEKEND
2 – 3 April 2021

RACE REPORTS

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Dex fends off every challenge to win first Masters Endurance Legends race at Donington Park

Jack Dex staved off challenges from Steve Tandy’s Lola B12/60 and team mate Max Lynn in a similar BR Engineering BR01 to in the end take a convincing win in the first Masters Endurance Legends race at Donington Park.

Having started from pole, Dex first kept a fast-starting Tandy at bay until the Lola spun off at Redgate, and then soaked up mid-race pressure from Max Lynn to increase his lead to a dominant 21 seconds at the chequered flag. In fact, towards the end it was Lynn who was forced to pull out all the stops in order to defend from his father Shaun in yet another BR01 P2 prototype.

Following home the BR01 1-2-3, Mike Newton in his MG-Lola EX257 claimed fourth ahead of Richard Cook in the Riley & Scott Mk3C and Richard Meins in the last of the BR01s. In GT’s, Olly Bryant was in a class of his own in the Ford Mustang GT-S1.

In the opening stages, Tandy was the man on the move, demoting Max Lynn to second in his chase of Jack Dex in the lead. Setting fastest lap of the race on lap 4, and further improving on that on lap 5, Tandy was soon harrying the BR01 in front of him while the two similar Russian cars of son Max and father Shaun Lynn grew ever smaller.

Mike Newton in fifth was in no man’s land, seven seconds down on the leader, but 11 seconds up on Richard Cook in the Riley & Scott Mk3C, who in turn was leading Richard Meins in the last of the four BR01s. However, from lap 7 on, Tandy had to do all over again as he spun going into Redgate, dropping down to fifth behind Newton.

In the GT class, Olly Bryant was way ahead of everyone else, first leading Mike Furness in the Courage LC75 before the next car GT car appeared – the Porsche 997 Grand-Am of Tom Jackson that in itself had some ten seconds in hand over Marcus Jewell in the 996 RSR. Next up was Colin Sowter in the Ferrari 458 GT3.

Now with three BR01s occupying the top-three, Max Lynn was closing on Dex while leaving his father trailing by five seconds. On lap 11, Tandy was back up into fourth but the gap to Shaun Lynn was still nine seconds, with Lynn setting almost identical lap times. Meanwhile at the back, Max Girardo was back in, the Dallara SP1’s engine issue from qualifying again playing up in the race.

The pit window now open, Dex had soaked up the pressure from Max Lynn to increase his lead to three seconds, with Lynn Sr now a further 15 seconds adrift. Tandy was nibbling away at the third BR01’s lead that was now cut to six seconds, while increasing his lead over Newton, Bryant and Furness.

On lap 21, suddenly all the leaders were in the pits for their mandatory stops – with Tandy coming in a second time! His spin had caused a bad vibration in his Lola B12/60 – enough reason to wisely decide on retiring the car

After the stops, Dex quickly increased his lead to 14 seconds over Lynn Jr and 20 seconds over Lynn Sr, with Newton now in a safe fourth. Cook was keeping some 13 seconds ahead of Meins in sixth, while Bryant continued to dominate in GT. Behind Furness in eighth, Jewell had got ahead of John Cockerton in the Grand-Am Porsche started by Tom Jackson, the pair chased by Sowter, the Michael McInerney/Aaron Scott Mosler MT900R and Andrew Lawley’s Porsche 911 GT3 RS, who at the end saw Simon Watts in the Lola B2K/40 come past.

As the time ticked away, Dex looked safe for the win, but Shaun Lynn was putting son Max under increasing pressure. As the 35th and final lap was completed, Max held on to take second ahead of his father. Newton, Cook, Meins, Bryant, Furness and Jewell were next up, while on the final laps Aaron Scott pipped Sowter and Cockerton for tenth overall and second of the GT cars.

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Tandy fends off the BR01s to win second Masters Endurance Legends at Donington

Steve Tandy took a hard-fought win by fending off everything that the BR01s of Jack Dex, Max Lynn and Shaun Lynn could throw at him. Taking the lead after the mandatory halfway pitstops, Tandy’s Lola B12/60 soaked up immense pressure for well over 15 minutes, the lead trio separated by less than a second lap after lap.

Ollie Hancock was an early star in Richard Cook’s Grand-Am and ALMS Riley & Scott MkIIIC but the car was thrown back by a jump-start penalty as well as an ‘elite driver’ pitstop penalty, while Mike Newton’s MG-Lola EX257 also featured strongly in the first half of the race, mixing it with the much newer BR01s and Tandy’s ex-Dyson Racing Lola.

As on Friday, Olly Bryant was the runaway leader in the GT class, followed by the Grand-Am Porsche of Tom Jackson and John Cockerton but the class turned upside down when Bryant retired his Trans-Am Ford Mustang GT-S1 while Jackson’s Porsche went off in a straight line at Redgate, having suffered from brake failure. Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3 and Marcus Jewell’s Porsche 996 GT3 RSR consequently fought over the class win, with Sowter coming out on top.

As the field was let loose, Hancock wasted no time in passing Dex for second into Redgate and then surprised all by also jumping Max Lynn at Holly Wood for first! It soon proved that it wasn’t just for fun as the much older open-top Riley & Scott opened up a four-second gap on the younger Lynn. Hancock’s moves weren’t a fair cop, however, as he was deemed to have made a jump start.

Behind them, Dex had Tandy all over him but a botched move by Tandy on lap 4 helped a sly Newton to pip both and grab third ahead of Tandy and Dex. Lynn Sr was sixth, as Olly Bryant once more led the GT class in his Trans-Am Mustang GT-S1, again keeping ahead of Mike Furness in the P2 Courage LC75. Tom Jackson in the Grand-Am Porsche was next up, followed by Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3 and Marcus Jewell in the Porsche 996 GT3 RSR.

Lots went on at lap 10, as Hancock came to serve his stop-and-go penalty just as Tom Jackson suffered a violent exit as Redgate, bringing out the safety car. Brake failure was the obvious cause for the Porsche’s demise. At the same time, Olly Bryant was seen limping into the pits with engine failure.

So now Max Lynn was the first car behind the safety car, trailed by Newton still punching well above his weight against Tandy’s newer P1 machine and Dex’s later P2 car. Shaun Lynn moved up into fifth while Hancock slotted back into the field in sixth, ahead of Richard Meins in the last of the BR01s. Sowter now led the GT class ahead of Jewell.

As the safety-car period endured, the pit window had opened, but none bar Tandy and then leader Max Lynn were taking the opportunity yet. Instead, Hancock was flying and in two laps had regained the lead from Newton. From third, Dex came to pit as well, leaving Hancock and Newton to come in at the next opportunity. Now S Lynn, Meins and Furness were the only ones left to pit, and they did just short of the pit window ending.

After the stops, the situation panned out with Tandy barely in the lead from M Lynn and Dex, the latter having produced fastest lap of the race. Newton trailed the leading pair by eight seconds while Richard Cook in the Riley & Scott started by Hancock had lost out in the pits by almost a minute, courtesy of the ‘elite driver’ time penalty for having Hancock in the car.

Now the fight was on for the final 12 minutes. Tandy still led but now had Dex breathing down the Lola’s rear wing, the two BR01s having swapped places. The battle was coming down to a veteran driver in an older P1 car against two young guns in newer P2 machinery. In their GT fight at the back, meanwhile, Jewell had got ahead of Sowter to lead by 1.2 seconds.

With five minutes to go, Shaun Lynn was eager to join the fun, as he set fastest lap of the race to close up to his son’s BR01 by less than three seconds. And then, Tandy got a big break as he lapped Meins in the fourth BR01 who then inadvertently baulked his teammates turning into the final chicane. Tandy’s breather was shortlived, though, as Dex cut his nine-tenths deficit to four tenths within a few corners.

Tandy’s Judd-powered grunt looked like saving him on the straight but the nimbler BR01s kept on closing in the Craner curves but then a small error by Dex into Macleans on the final lap was the decider – the win was Tandy’s. Behind Dex and his son, Shaun Lynn set another fastest lap of the race, with Newton taking fifth ahead of Meins. The Hancock/Cook Riley & Scott ended up seventh, while Sowter turned the tables on Jewell to take GT honours after all.

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 cars – Race 1
Cantillon beats Hartley to win first Masters Historic Formula One race at Donington Park

Having lost out in qualifying, Mike Cantillon turned the tables on rival Steve Hartley in the first Masters Historic Formula One race at Donington Park, as with four laps into the race the Irishman slung his Williams FW07C past Hartley’s pole-sitting McLaren MP4/1 to disappear into the distance.

Cantillon won by 17.8 seconds while Lukas Halusa in the McLaren M23 drove a strong race to overtake the much more recent Lotus 91 of Steve Brooks for third and run out to a dominant pre-78 class win. His engine violently expiring one corner short of the finish line, Brooks failed to meet the chequered flag but was still classified fourth ahead of post-83 class winner Mark Hazell who came back to finish fifth in his Williams FW08.

Meanwhile, Warren Briggs was another casualty, his McLaren M29 dropping out of fourth place on lap 14. Ron Maydon (Lec CRP1) and Chris Perkins (Surtees TS16), both having managed to keep Hazell behind for the best part of the race, took second and third in the pre-78 class.

Soon after the start, the leading trio of Hartley, Cantillon and Brooks initially broke free from the pack led by pre-78 class leader Halusa, as Briggs and Maydon had made their way past Hazell into fourth and fifth. Behind Hazell, Chris Perkins in the Surtees TS16 was eighth while Neil Glover’s Arrows A5 had demoted Mark Harrison’s Shadow DN9 to tenth. Meanwhile, Hazell’s post-83 class rival Ian Symmonds failed to leave the grid in his Tyrrell 012.

Going into lap 4, Cantillon made his move, inching past Hartley while setting fastest lap of the race. Going even quicker on lap 5, the Irishman had now put 1.5 seconds between himself and the carbonfibre McLaren, and repeated the trick on lap 6 with the result that the gap was up to 2.7 seconds. Brooks was now five seconds off, with Halusa clinging on 7 seconds behind the leader. At the back, Harrison was forced to retire his Shadow.

By lap 10, Cantillon’s lead over Hartley had increased to 5.4 seconds as the Irishman moved ever closer to the win. Behind the two leaders, Halusa’s tenacity had paid off, as the Austrian swept past Brooks’ Lotus to claim third overall, while Briggs and Maydon were still holding off Hazell’s more recent Williams FW08.

Easing off his pace after that, Cantillon maintained his five-second lead over Hartley, with Halusa continuing to keep Brooks at bay. On lap 14, however, Briggs dropped out on fourth right at the moment Hazell got ahead of Maydon, the Williams FW08 thus moving up two places in a single lap.

As he ran towards the chequered flag, Cantillon once again showed his might by further improving his best lap time, lowering the fastest lap of the race to a stunning 1.01.569. Now gaining 1 to 1.5 seconds per lap on Hartley, the Williams’ lead over the McLaren eventually grew to 17.8 seconds at the finish.

40 seconds down on the winner, Halusa finished a strong third overall in the class-leading pre-78 McLaren M23, ahead of Brooks whose Lotus 91 pulled off on the final lap as its Cosworth DFV expired in a mighty cloud of smoke, but he was still classified fourth ahead of Hazell, both a lap down. Maydon and Perkins completed the pre-78 podium in sixth and seventh overall.

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 cars – Race 2
Cantillon makes it two from two in Masters Historic Formula One at Donington

Mike Cantillon bided his time to pressure long-time race leader Mike Hartley into a mistake two laps from the end, as the yesterday’s winner did it again in the second Masters Historic Formula One race at Donington Park. In his Williams FW07C, Cantillon harried Hartley’s pole-sitting McLaren MP4/1 lap after lap – and just as Hartley seemed to have done it again, he ran wide in the Roberts chicane, allowing his rival through for a second F1 win of the weekend.

Behind them, the battle for third was equally entertaining, as Warren Briggs ran third for much of the race, but the Kiwi’s McLaren M29 was usurped right at the end by Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08. Hazell ran fifth early on but only a few laps before had managed to pass Lukas Halusa’s McLaren M23 for fourth, after a race-long fight. Hazell won the post-83 class while Halusa grabbed the pre-78 spoils.

As soon as the field was given the green, Warren Briggs had his foot down as the Kiwi tried to separate Cantillon from second place going into Redgate. The Irishman held on, however, and then powered away in pursuit of Hartley. Briggs then continued to fend off Halusa and Hazell.

On lap 5, Cantillon produced the fastest lap of the race to latch onto the McLaren’s gearbox, the pair having left Briggs behind by some five seconds now. Hartley, however, was having none of that and the ‘Jam Baron’ now clocked the fastest lap himself to get the gap back up to seven tenths. Further back, sadly, Mark Harrison was forced to retire the ex-De Angelis Shadow DN9, his strong qualifying coming to nought.

In third, fourth and fifth, Briggs, Halusa and Hazell were now separated by less than a second, the trio having dropped Ron Maydon’s Lec CRP1 by ten seconds, Ian Simmonds in the Tyrrell 012 by twelve. For a moment, Hazell got up into fourth out of the Roberts chicane but Halusa got the place back as the pair braked into Redgate.

Ten laps gone, the tense fight at the front continued unabated, just six tenths between Hartley in the lead and Cantillon in second, but five laps later, the McLaren’s advantage had grown to nine tenths – hardly enough to give Hartley a breather but he was soaking up the pressure. At the back, meanwhile, Chris Perkins had to retire his Surtees TS16. Now 27 seconds, behind the lead pair, Briggs had Hazell to worry about, the Williams finally having made its way past the pre-78-class-leading McLaren M23 of Lukas Halusa.

With less then four minutes to go, Cantillon had closed up yet again and looked to outbrake the leader into Redgate but the Williams went wide and Hartley was back through on the inside. One minute later, Hazell made a similar move on Briggs and made it stick to take third. Behind them, Maydon was into the pits with a likely brake issue.

Hartley now needed to keep cool for two more laps but then finally cracked, misjudging his braking into the Roberts chicane – and Cantillon was through, as a dejected Hartley let the Williams out of sight by six seconds. Hazell was third, with Halusa on the final lap pipping Briggs as well. Ian Simmonds took sixth ahead of Neil Glover’s Arrows A5.

Masters Gentlemens Drivers
Pearsons take Masters Gentlemen Drivers glory at Donington Park

Gary & John Pearson won an exciting five-way battle for victory in the 90-minute Masters Gentlemen Drivers enduro that closed the first day of the Masters Historic Race Weekend at Donington Park. Initially running fourth to pole-sitter Mike Whitaker, the James Cottingham/Joe Twyman Cobra and the second Pearsons Engineering E-type shared by Alex Brundle and Gary Pearson, their E-type in the hands of John Pearson successfully defended an ever decreasing margin to Whitaker’s TVR Griffith.

Having led with James Cottingham at the wheel, the Cottingham/Twyman Cobra inherited third after the Mark Donnor/Andrew Smith E-type retired just minutes from the end. Meanwhile, the Brundle/Pearson Jag had already disappeared during the pit-window stage, Brundle taking the fight to Cottingham in the first part of the race. Father-and-son-duo Mike & Matt Wrigley proved best of the rest in their E-type, as they led home the Cobra pairings of Harvey Stanley/Richard Cook and Richard Hywel Evans/Olly Bryant.

Mike Wilds led the CLP class initially before contact damage ruled the out Ginetta G4R shared with Ron Maydon. This gave way to a dominant class win for Nick & Eddie Powell, whose Lotus stayed well ahead of the similar Elans of Mark Martin and Steve Jones/Chris Atkinson.

The Welch-run Austin Healey 3000s were in a class of their own in C2, the Mark Holme/Jeremy Welch entry heading home the sister car of Jeremy Welch/Doug Muirhead. Another Healey shared by Mark Pangborn and Harvey Woods took third in class.

In C1, Mark Bates pulled out a huge lead over Sebastian Perez, both in Porsche 911s shared with James Bates and George Gamble respectively, but when both cars were forced to retire, the 911s of Guy Ziser/Wil Arif and Roger Whiteside took control of the class.

The race got off to a good start with Whitaker leading a fast-starting Cottingham, with Brundle in third, Gary Pearson in fourth and Harvey Stanley’s Cobra in fifth getting ahead of Mark Donnor in the E-type. Next up was Mike Wilds in the CLP-class-leading Ginetta, leading Mike Wrigley’s E-type, Nick Powell in the Elan and Richard Hywel Evans in another Cobra. However, proper racing was soon neutralised when John Spiers was found in the gravel trap, having spun off on the oil of his expiring TVR Griffith engine.

Racing only resumed on lap 10, as Nathan Dod added to the TVR woes, his Griffith shedding a wheel while under the safety car, and getting stuck in the entrance to the pitlane – and as the SC boards continued to be held out, David Methley’s CLP-class Marcos 1800 GT returned to the pits with a steering problem.

Within a few laps after the restart, Cottingham was putting Whitaker – in a TVR still functioning well – under immense pressure, with Brundle holding a close watch, looking to pounce as well. On lap 13, the Cobra was up into the lead as the pair past the start-and-finish line.

In CLP, Wilds continued to lead his class in seventh overall but his Ginetta was wearing battle damage that looked like becoming a bigger issue every lap. Powell was second in class, well ahead of Mark Martin’s Elan in third. Starting the Healey he shared with Doug Muirhead, Jeremy Welch led C2 ahead of Mark Holme in the car that Welch would take over during the stops. A long way behind, Mark Pangborn – another Healey veteran – was third in class. In 18th overall, Mark Bates was being his customary self by running away with the C1 class, his Porsche 911 leading Sebastian Perez’s similar example by a healthy margin already.

At the front, the leading trio were at it hammer and tongs, Cobra, Griffith and E-type split by a mere second, as on lap 17, Brundle made a successful lunge for second place. Gary Pearson in the second Pearsons Jag was now joining the fun as well, having left Stanley and Donnor steadily behind. Meanwhile, another car to fall by the wayside was the Harry & Joseph Willmott Healey, with Harry at the wheel. As with the Dod TVR, a lose wheel was found to be the culprit.

On lap 21, Wilds finally gave up on his damaged Ginetta, as his car was given the black-and-orange ‘meatball’ flag, allowing Wrigley to move up into seventh while Powell gained control of the CLP class lead. In the pits, a smashed fuel tank proved to be the reason of Wilds’ demise. Behind Powell, the Cobras of David Smithies and Richard Hywel Evans completed the top-ten at this stage, with some 50 minutes of 90-minute race still to go.

As the pit window opened, the gaps between the leading quartet had slightly opened up, Cottingham now leading Brundle by three seconds, with Whitaker a further 1.5 seconds adrift. Pearson in fourth had lost touch with Whitaker, having dropped five seconds on the TVR, and was the first of leaders to pit for a driver change. Soon after, Mark Donnor was in to hand over to Andrew Smith, and on lap 29 almost everyone was seen scrambling into the pits, with only Cottingham staying out for another two laps.

A fresh picture was about to emerge as right during the closure of the pit window, the safety car was sent out as the engine of Perez/Gamble Porsche 911 had let go, spreading oil all over the track. Now, John Pearson in the E-type started by Gary Pearson found himself leading Joe Twyman in the Cottingham Cobra, with Smith now in third ahead of Whitaker. Richard Cook in the Cobra started by Harvey Stanley was fifth while Matt Wrigley was sixth having taken over the E-type from father Mike. So why had the Brundle/Pearson Jag suddenly disappeared? That proved to be another non-survivor of the pit window, its radiator pump gone. Meanwhile, the Smithies/Clarkson Cobra Daytona Coupé was forced to retire with contact damage.

As the field was given the green flag on lap 37, both CLP and C2 class leaders had worked their way into the overall top-ten, Eddie Powell in a strong seventh place, and Jeremy Welch in ninth in the Healey started by Mark Holme. They were sandwiching Richard Hywel Evans’ Cobra that was now piloted by Olly Bryant. Jamie Boot’s TVR Griffith had made into the top-ten as well, Boot leading the other Denis Welch Motorsport Healey, Doug Muirhead now in the 3000 started by Jeremy Welch. Mark Martin, second in the CLP class, was 12th, while third in class was now occupied by the Rory & Patrick Jack Elan.

There was a turn-up for the books in C1, though, as James Bates in the 911 started by brother Mark had gone. As the Perez/Gamble 911 had also retired, now the Guy Ziser/Wil Arif 911 was leading the class, Arif having taken over from Ziser and leading Roger Whiteside by half a minute.

On lap 43, with 20 minutes still to run, Whitaker had closed the gap to Twyman to surge past into second place. Lapping roughly a second faster than John Pearson in first place, the TVR would have enough time to shed the 16 seconds that still separated it from the lead. Behind him, though, Andrew Smith was going even quicker. Indeed, one lap later, Twyman lost another spot as Smith moved his E-type into third and set about chasing Whitaker who in turn was chasing J Pearson. A few laps before Matt Wrigley in the E-type had demoted Cook’s Cobra to sixth.

All this meant that the final ten minutes were setting up for a stunning finale between two E-types and a TVR. With seven minutes to go, Whitaker had cut Pearson’s lead to ten seconds while his 2-second margin to Smith was up and down depending on the traffic. Twyman, Wrigley and Cook looked set for fourth, fifth and sixth, while Eddie Powell was still dominantly leading the CLP class, even though he had to succumb to Bryant in the Cobra that was now the fastest car on track. Boot was ninth, while Charles Allison had moved the Thompson/Allison Cobra up into tenth.

The bit between his teeth, Whitaker slashed Pearson’s advantage to six seconds with three minutes still on the clock, but would his efforts bare fruit? Whitaker had one less thing to worry about anyway, as Smith pulled the E-type into the pits, its head gasket blown. But as the final ticked away, John Pearson had it all under control to maintain his six-second lead towards the chequered flag. Behind Whitaker, Twyman crossed the line in third, 35 seconds down, followed by Wrigley, Cook and Bryant.

In seventh overall, the Powells took a dominant win in the CLP class, heading home Mark Martin, while Chris Atkinson in the Elan shared with Steve Jones pinched third in class from the Jacks. The C2 class saw a Healey 1-2-3, Mark Holme/Jeremy Welch winning ahead of the Jeremy Welch/Doug Muirhead car, with Mark Pangborn/Harvey Woods in third. The Guy Ziser/Wil Arif Porsche 911 won C1 ahead of Roger Whiteside’s similar car.

Masters Pre66 Touring Cars
Jewell/Clucas beat the Mustangs to win Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars at Donington

Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas very much held their own against a five-strong Ford Mustang challenge, as their Ford Lotus Cortina beat all that the American V8s could muster against them to win the one-hour Masters Pre-66 Touring Car touring race at Donington Park.

The first half of the race was dominated by Steve Soper in the Mustang shared with Henry Mann, with Alex Taylor and Craig Davies squabbling in his wake. Jewell had kept in touch while fighting the other Cortina of Richard Dutton – and then the race turned when right after the pit window closed the safety car was out to recover Mark Martin’s stranded Cortina.

Now in the car, Clucas was within striking distance of Taylor, as slightly slower stops had put Mann and Davies back with the Mustang shared by Dave Coyne and Jon Miles. Within two laps, Clucas found his way past Taylor, who then was forced to retire with a fuel issue. This handed second place to Davies who had meanwhile put space between himself and the Soper/Mann and Coyne/Miles cars. Dutton finished fifth as the second Cortina.

Endaf Owens became an unchallenged Mini class winner, as Phil Bullen-Brown’s example was the only other Mini runner left after one hour of racing. William Dyrdal led early on while fighting with class polesitter Dan Wheeler before the latter dropped out. Owens then passed Dyrdal for the class lead and faced no more opposition after Dyrdal spun off into the gravel.

On cold tyres, Soper held his own in the rolling start but from the third row Craig Davies powered his way into second place even before turning into Redgate. Dutton also beat fellow front-row man Marcus Jewell away from the line, followed by the yellow Mustang of Alex Taylor, with British GT driver Mark Farmer in the Studebaker dropping down to sixth. Among the Minis, William Dyrdal was quick away, leaving poleman Dan Wheeler to fend off Endaf Owens.

Soon, it was three Mustangs out in front, as Taylor caught and passed Dutton, leaving the Fortec Motorsport boss to deal with Cortina rival Jewell. Further back, Dave Coyne in the Mustang and Patrick Shovlin in the Cortina also got passed the big Studebaker, while Justin Law had risen to ninth in his first race in a Lotus Cortina.

By lap 6, Soper had created a 4-second gap to Davies as Taylor inched closer to within seven tenths of the second red-and-gold Mustang, while Coyne had split the Cortinas of Dutton and Jewell to move up into fifth. Jason Minshaw in Martin Melling’s Ford Falcon, meanwhile, had got up to eighth place ahead of the unsorted Studebaker that now had Law’s Cortina breathing down its neck. In the Mini squabble, Dyrdal was keeping his own, with three bigger cars between himself and his pursuers. Shovlin was out, though, with a suspected puncture.

On lap 8, Taylor snatched second place from Davies, while Tom Sharp in the lone BMW 1800 tiSA was forced to pull off from his position on the edge of the top-ten. Further down the road, Coyne made it a Mustang 1-2-3-4 by demoting Dutton to fifth, allowing the intra-Cortina fight with Jewell for the class lead to resume. Minshaw and Law were up next, while biggest car was fighting smallest, as Dyrdal harried Farmer for ninth, with Mark Burton in the Mustang on the look-out. Further back, Ashley Davies in the Mini shared with Leon Window had to retire his Mini with failed brakes. A few laps later, Wheeler was forced to say goodbye to the lead Mini fight.

16 laps gone, Soper’s gap to the warring pair of Taylor and Davies was up to eight seconds, as Dutton fought back to re-pass Coyne, only to be usurped by American V8 brawn yet again. Just as Taylor looked set to succumb to Davies, a backmarker cost the latter five car lengths, but then Taylor ran wide to gift Davies the place after all. On the next lap, the pit window was about to open, Soper leading Davies, Taylor, Coyne, Dutton, Jewell, Minshaw and Law, as the Studebaker went off to hand Burton ninth. Behind Burton, Alex Thistlethwayte (Ford Mustang) and Shaun Balfe (Lotus Cortina) had also moved in front of the leading Minis, Owens now ahead of Dyrdal.

As one car after the other entered the pits for their mandatory stop, Taylor had recovered enough to reclaim second from Davies, before, on lap 21, the yellow Mustang became the first of the leading cars to pit. At the half hour, Dyrdal’s race was over, as his Mini got stuck in the gravel at Coppice – but fortunately, there was no need to neutralise the race to recover his car. Soper, Davies and Coyne were in on the final opportunity before the pit window closed, Soper handing over to Henry Mann while Coyne made way for Jon Miles.

When all was done, Taylor found himself leading the race ahead of Ben Clucas who after an early stop had been pounding in the quick laps, with Mann now in third after a longer stop for the Alan Mann Racing car. Miles had swapped places with Davies, with Dutton in sixth (but still with 15 seconds worth of penalties to collect), followed by Thistlethwayte, Tom Ashton in the Cortina started by Balfe, Burton and the leading Mini of Endaf Owens. Phil Bullen-Brown was the next Mini up, but in 16th overall.

On lap 26, though, the safety car came out to bunch up the field, as Mark Martin’s Lotus Cortina was buried deep into the gravel at the exit of the Roberts chicane. A quarter of an hour of racing was left when the field was let loose. Taylor and Clucas were quick away, but Martin Melling was holding up the three Mustangs of Mann, Miles and Davies. As Mann was bogged down, Miles and Davies pipped past into Redgate, with Davies then pouncing on Miles for third. Mann’s race was then further compounded by a penalty for speeding in the pitlane…

At the front, Clucas was all over Taylor in the curvy bits before making his way past into Coppice. Within two laps, the Cortina had opened up a 2-second gap to Taylor, as Davies homed in on the yellow Mustang – but then it was all over for Taylor, as he parked his car with a fuel issue to leave Davies in pursuit of Clucas.

With less than five minutes to go, Clucas led Davies by five seconds, as a still to be penalised Mann passed Miles to be third on the road. Dutton was fifth, another with penalties still to be added, ahead of Thistlethwayte, the recovered Studebaker now driven by Adrian Willmott, and then Mark Burton, Roy Alderslade in the Jordan Cortina and Tom Ashton in another Cortina. Owens was still consummately leading the Mini class, as three other cars separated him from Bullen-Brown, his closest pursuer in class. Remarkably, all other Minis had meanwhile dropped out of the race!

So Clucas crossed the line in first, ahead of Davies, the Coyne/Miles Mustang, the Soper/Mann Mustang, Dutton, Thistlethwayte, the Studebaker of Farmer/Willmott and Burton, with the Balfe/Ashton and Alderslade Cortinas rounding out the top-ten. Owens in 11th overall won the Mini class.

Masters Sports Car Legends
Bradshaw dominates Masters Historic Sports Car race at Donington Park

Tom Bradshaw (Chevron B19) fended off Alex Brundle in the opening stages of the Masters Historic Sports Car race at Donington Park and ran out to a dominant win when on lap 7 Brundle’s Lola T70 Mk3B limped into the pits with a broken gear linkage.

Jonathan Mitchell (Chevron B19) and Chris Beighton (Lola T70 Mk3B) had a race-long scrap for the remaining steps on the podium, and while Beighton managed to slip ahead in the final part of the race, Mitchell disagreed with finishing third by taking back second place with two laps to go.

Robert Beebee and Steve Brooks recovered from a pitlane start to claim fourth ahead Gary Culver in a similar T70 Mk3B. This came at the cost of Henry Fletcher who, after another pitlane start, looked to have salvaged fourth but dropped to sixth in the dying seconds of the race.

From the start, Brundle led away from pole to open up a one-second gap on the opening lap but Bradshaw wasn’t letting him go. Two consecutive fastest laps of the race got him back to five tenths from the leader, as Beighton and Giordanelli in third and fourth were dropped at the rate of three seconds per lap. Meanwhile, the B19s of Mitchell and Padmore had moved up into fifth and sixth, at the cost of Halusa’s Alfa Romeo 33TT3 and Gary Culver’s T70 Mk3B, and soon the pair had also darted past Giordanelli.

In the fiercely competitive Bonnier class, Mark Owen had overcome the bad hand dealt to him and father Andrew in qualifying, and with a fresh driveshaft in place in their B8, Owen was into the class lead within two laps. In the Hulme class, meanwhile, the battle was over before it could begin, as Mike Whitaker was forced to pull over his Lola T70 Mk2 Spyder on the very first lap.

On lap 7, the complexion of the race changed when Brundle limped into the pits with a broken gear linkage. This left Bradshaw out on his own in front, now leading Beighton by some 19 seconds, as he kept pounding in the fastest laps of the race. Then on lap 10, Padmore dropped out of fourth, with Halusa and Rory Jack in the non-B T70 Mk3 moving up the order, ahead of Giordanelli and Culver. Robert Beebee’s T70 Mk3B and Henry Fletcher’s Chevron were now back up into eighth and ninth respectively, both having been forced to start from the pitlane.

In the Bonnier class, Owen Jr led Roderick Jack, Phillip Nelson and Peter Thompson, as Chris Lillingstone-Price was still fighting back from another pitlane start. Then, with 42 minutes still on the clock, contact involving Ted Tuppen’s Siffert-class Chevron caused the race’s first neutralisation, but the green flag waved again shortly before the pit window was opened.

Bradshaw now led Beighton by 8 seconds, who in turn was trailed by Mitchell and Culver, the latter up to fourth after a demon re-start. Rory Jack was fifth ahead of Beebee, Halusa, Fletcher and Giordanelli, as the open-top Lolas of David Tomlin and Chris Fox warred over tenth overall.

On lap 21, Culver and Giordanelli were the first to pit, the latter handing over to BTCC star Jake Hill. The lone Hulme-class McLaren M1B of John Spiers and Tiff Needell – Needell now stepping into the car – was in 12th overall while Mark Bates in the Pescarolo-class Porsche 911 RSR was 16th. On the next lap, Beighton was in from second place, momentarily creating a Chevron B19 1-2 with Bradshaw leading Mitchell, but their turns were still to come.

With Bradshaw and Mitchell following on the next tours, and Fletcher the last one to stop, Bradshaw resumed his spot at the top of the leaderboard, now leading Mitchell by 21 seconds, as the second Chevron B19 had leapfrogged Beighton at the stops and led the T70 Mk3B by just short of two ticks. Giordanelli’s Chevron B26, now in the hands of the speedy Jack Hill, was back into fourth while Fletcher had jumped Steve Brooks who had taken the place of Robert Beebee in their Mk3B. Culver was seventh ahead of Halusa’s Alfa Romeo, with Patrick Jack in the T70 Mk3 in ninth. Tomlin’s Lola T210 completed the top-ten.

It was all change in the Bonnier class, as Lillingstone-Price now headed David Methley who was in the car started by Nelson. However, with the two separated by a mere two seconds, and with Charles Allison in the Allison/Thompson B8 and Roderick Jack in a similar dogfight a further eight seconds behind, nothing looked close to any kind of decision yet.

At the front, though, with 15 minutes still on the clock, Bradshaw’s run of quick post-pitstop laps had all the symptoms of a pre-emptive strike, the Chevron B19 now leading Mitchell by 32 seconds and Beighton by 36. Hill was down another eight seconds but closing on Beighton, with Fletcher in fifth. Meanwhile, Culver in sixth had a fight on his hands with Brooks, the Spitfire pilot now anxious to swap the order of the two T70 Mk3Bs.

In the Bonnier class, the fight between Lillingstone-Price and Methley was now truly on, just two tenths splitting the B8s, while both had left Allison and Jack trailing by 17 seconds. Unable to sustain the pace, Andrew Owen had dropped down to fifth in class, ahead of Roger Whiteside’s B8.

It wasn’t all over at the front – even though it was at the very front, Bradshaw now holding a comfortable 44-second lead. By lap 39, though, Beighton had eaten away Mitchell’s slender margin and soon enough popped back up into second place, as 22 seconds further down Fletcher had inherited fourth place from Hill, who had to retire the Chevron B26 at Goddards. Brooks was now ahead of Culver.

As Bradshaw crossed the line as the dominant winner, Mitchell hadn’t given up and was back up into second with two laps to go. This meant that Beighton had to make do with third after all, as he led home Brooks and Culver, as Fletcher dropped away to sixth on the final lap. Halusa, Patrick Jack, Tomlin and John Emberson in the Chevron B26 rounded out the top-ten.

In 12th overall, David Methley had done the job to steal the Bonnier-class win from Lillingstone-Price, as Thompson held off RoderickJack for third in class. Mark Bates in the Porsche 911 RSR and John Spiers/Tiff Needell in the McLaren M1B took the respective spoils in the Pescarolo and Hulme classes.