Hockenheimring, Germany

BOSCH HOCKENHEIM HISTORIC
5 – 7 May 2023

Great racing in the Hockenheim Heat!

Masters’ first appearance at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic proved to be a resounding success, as three grids thrilled the thousands that had flocked to Hockenheim on a weekend where the German circuit basked in sunshine for three consecutive days right until the finish of the combined Masters Gent Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Car race on Sunday. Nick Padmore and Michael Lyons shared the Masters Racing Legends spoils while Steve Brooks became a double winner in Masters Endurance Legends.

RACE REPORTS

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Brooks wins Peugeot battle in Hockenheim’s first Masters Endurance Legends race

Steve Brooks took a commanding win in the first Masters Endurance Legends race of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic event by beating his fellow Peugeot 90X driver Stuart Wiltshire by 24 seconds. Brooks led away from pole to create a decisive gap with a string of very strong out laps after his mandatory mid-race pitstop.

“It’s a great event, and the race was great fun”, said a delighted Brooks. “Not a bad way to spend a morning, and in these cars… Yes, I really put my foot down after the stop, and almost got down to my qualifying time.”

Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S ran home a distant third, having fended off an early challenge from Marco Werner’s Lotus Lola B12/80, which later dropped behind Christian Gläsel’s MG Lola EX257. Gläsel drove a storming race from the back to claim the P2 class win, in the process also passing Mike Newton who gave his MG Lola EX264 its Masters debut.

“It was pretty lonely out there”, said Frieser. “I tried to stay with Peugeots but just couldn’t do it. The fight with Marco in the opening laps was good, I enjoyed that!”

“Mine was equally lonely!” said Wiltshire, the double winner at the previous round who said that wanted some competition. “But not that good a competition! I want competition to make me look good!” he quipped. “Steve did great today, he had the legs on me. I’m going to try harder tomorrow. First time for me on this circuit, I’m still learning.”

Without his regular co-driver Craig Davies, Ron Maydon starred by taking his Ligier JSP3 to a P3 class win over the Stephan Joebstl/Andy Willis JSP3 that Willis crashed on the final tour. Nick Padmore, meanwhile, cruised to GT victory in the mightly V12-engined Aston Martin Vantage GT3, as Jason Wright’s Ferrari 430 GT2 pipped Günther Alth’s Vantage GT3 for second in class.

“It was great fun”, said Padmore, “but it soon started to smell of engine oil, and it got really got at the stops, so the team told me to simply bring it home after all. It was great fighting Ron [Maydon] in the opening laps, he was lit!”

“I’m still learning the car”, said Wright. “It’s an old GT2, so no driver aids like ABS – it’s hard work! But it sounds awesome…”

“This was my very first race with the car”, said Alth. “And we finished, so I’m happy!”

A bright morning with the sun peeking through a hazy cloud cover awaited the Masters Endurance Legends cars on their way to the grid, the two Peugeot 90Xs lining up at the front. At the start, the two French diesels stormed off with Keith Frieser giving chase in his Zytek 09S. The P2 cars of Werner and Newton were next, but Werner was soon on Frieser’s tail. Sadly, on no-one’s tail was Brad Hoyt’s Ligier JSP3, the French P3 machine hampered by a fuel leak and out of this race before it had started.

On the opening lap, Brooks immediately made a break to lead Wiltshire by 1.1 seconds, as Frieser powered away from Werner on the fast bits. Behind Newton’s MG Lola EX264, Maydon had taken the P3 class lead from Stephan Joebstl while Nick Padmore led the GTs in his Aston Vantage V12. Meanwhile, coming from the back after his qualifying mishaps, Christian Gläsel was up into sixth in his MG Lola EX257.

The next time around, Wiltshire set fastest lap of the race to inch back into Brooks’ wheel tracks, with Frieser now four seconds down on the leader, the Canadian having dropped Marco Werner’s Lotus Lola B12/80 by three seconds after the German’s opening charge. Ten seconds further back, the battle of the MG Lolas was poised to develop, as Gläsel had closed the gap to Newton to under three seconds. Respective P3 and GT class leaders Maydon and Padmore continued to war over seventh overall.

Five laps down, Brooks had retaken the initiative to eek out a two-second lead over the other Peugeot while Frieser had put some more air between himself and Werner. The two MG Lolas now ran nose-to-tail but for the moment Newton hung on in fifth overall and second in P2 – until lap 6, when the German finally found a way through. Behind Joebstl, Jason Wright in the Ferrari 430 GT2 and Günther Alth in his Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had their private battle over second place in the GT class.

All the way to the pit window, that would open 15 minutes into the race, the ebb and flow between Brooks and Wiltshire kept both separated by around those two seconds, but towards the back, Alth had managed to usurp Wright’s Ferrari for second in class. On lap 9, though, Brooks lowered fastest lap of the race to a 1.34, just one second above his qualifying time, resulting in his lead mushrooming to 4.2 seconds. Frieser was 14 seconds down, with Werner a further 12 ticks back, before the German was the first to take his pitstop, along with his countryman Gläsel, and Austrian Stephan Joebstl, who handed over to Andy Willis.

One lap later, the leader was in, allowing Wiltshire to claim a temporary lead. Frieser, Padmore and Alth were the next to pit, leaving Wiltshire, Newton, Maydon and Wright to still continue, but on lap 12, the second Peugeot made its mandatory stop, with those that had stayed all electing to join it in the pits on the same lap.

The pitstop cycle now all done, the pre-pitstop phase order returned for the first three, but some blinding out laps from Brooks had increased his lead over Wiltshire to a comfortable 12 seconds. Frieser now trailed the leader by 30 seconds while Gläsel had pipped Werner at the stops, due to Werner’s elite-driver pitstop penalty having come into effect. Newton was still sixth ahead of Maydon, Padmore and Willis, while Wright had reclaimed second in class from Alth.

Brooks now truly turning up the wick, the leader took fastest lap of the race down into the 1.33s, emulating his qualifying pace, and the result was that Wiltshire looked at a 14-second deficit. Going into the final ten minutes, Brooks continued to stretch his lead and demonstrated that he was really trying by momentarily taking a very wide line through the Südkurve but recovering quickly.

As the clock wound down, Brooks slowly loosened the reins but when Wiltshire got caught in traffic the gap remained the same. In fact, towards the end, the second Peugeot decided to coast to the finish himself, and when the chequered flag dropped, Brooks’ lead had grown to 24 seconds. Behind the Peugeots, Frieser was in no man’s land to claim third, 53 seconds down, while Gläsel kept a safe 16 seconds between his MG Lola and Werner’s Lotus Lola. Newton was sixth ahead of P3 class winner Ron Maydon whose rival Andy Willis crashed his Ligier out of the final corner on the final lap… Padmore equally converted class pole into a dominant GT win, while Wright won his race-long battle with Alth to claim the class’s runner-up spot.

Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Brooks fends off Gläsel to double up on Hockenheim Masters Endurance Legends wins

Steve Brooks made it two from two at Hockenheim by claiming another Masters Endurance Legends win in his Peugeot 90X. Despite a fierce challenge from fellow Peugeot driver Stuart Wiltshire disappearing on the opening lap, as Wiltshire’s 90X spun on its own fluids, Brooks was pressured all race by local hero Christian Gläsel, who was on fire in his ex-Dyson Racing MG Lola EX257.

“It was good fun, Christian drove very well”, said Brooks. “I saw Stuart spin, but then he came along!”

After the lengthy safety-car period needed to retrieve Wiltshire’s stricken Peugeot, Gläsel quickly dealt with Marco Werner’s Lotus Lola B12/80 and Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S to chase after Brooks in the lead. Gläsel got to within a second of the Peugeot and hounded Brooks in the twisty bits while the French diesel machine stretched its legs on the straights again, Brooks keeping four tenths in hand across the line.

“What can I say?” said Gläsel. “We didn’t really know where we were. We couldn’t keep up with the Peugeot on the straights, but the car was really good in the corners. It was a good fight with Steve.”

“It was quite OK”, Werner summarised. “We didn’t expect a podium, as we really don’t have any straightline speed against the Peugeot. So it’s a nice result, it’s good for team morale, as we weren’t so lucky with my Formula One car.”

Werner took P2 class honours ahead of Mike Newton’s MG Lola EX264 while the Stephan Joebstl/Andy Willis hit back in P3 to make it one-all in their class fight with Ron Maydon’s similar Ligier JSP3. Nick Padmore brought home the GT class win in the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 while Günther Alth’s Vantage GT3 created an Aston 1-2 by beating Jason Wright’s Ferrari 430 GT2 across the line.

“It was a bit lonely, I must say”, said Padmore. “In the beginning, I made the race for Ron but after that I just brought it home, really.”

“It was a tough race fighting the Ferrari”, said Alth, “they are similar cars on power, so it was very hard. We had a hard fight but it was fair.”

“It was more fun today!” said Wright, despite losing out to Alth this time. “The problem is staying out of the way of the fast cars, and that was less of an issue today.”

It was a warm but overcast Sunday morning when the Masters Endurance Legends cars lined up for their second bout of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic meeting, the pair of Peugeots again leading away the field, with Stuart Wiltshire in the second 90X example aiming to redress the balance with the previous day’s winner Steve Brooks. The Peugeots were nose-to-tail into the Spitzkehre for the first time, with Keith Frieser also having a cheeky look in his Zytek 09S. Four corners on, however, having only just passed Brooks for the lead, Wiltshire lost the rear exiting the Sachskurve, while Christian Gläsel in the ex-Weaver/Leitzinger MG Lola EX257 nicked the second position that Frieser had just inherited. In fact, moments before the safety car was called, Marco Werner in the Lotus Lola B12/80 also passed the Canadian.

With the back of Wiltshire’s Peugeot soon enveloped in smoke, it became obvious that he had tripped over his own oil – a fact later confirmed by Wiltshire, who had experienced a power loss as he entered the stadium section. Post-race inspection proved that the fuel rail had gone. So now, Brooks led Gläsel, Werner and Frieser, with Mike Newton up next in the MG Lola EX264, followed by the respective class leaders in P3 and GTs, Ron Maydon in the Ligier JSP3 and Nick Padmore in the V12 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Maydon’s class rival Stephan Joebstl trailed the Aston, and was followed by Jason Wright’s Ferrari 430 GT2 and Günther Alth’s Vantage GT3.

Beached on the exit kerb and still smoking, the Peugeot took quite a while to recover, so it took right up until the pit window before the safety car returned to the pits. Werner and Frieser elected to pit immediately, followed by the rest of the field, but Brooks and Gläsel thundered on, followed by Newton. The German wasn’t letting go of the Peugeot, however, continuing to chase it around as the others rejoined the race. In fact, Gläsel’s first hot lap was quicker than Brooks’s, meaning that the ex-Dyson Racing machine was making this into a race. Meanwhile, the pair had dropped Newton by ten seconds.

On lap 9, Werner was also coming into play, now beating Gläsel’s time, but his Michelin now fully hotted up, Brooks slashed another couple of tenths off that to create some distance to Gläsel who responded by taking his mandatory stop, along with Newton. Next time around, the leader was in. As soon as he rejoined, it became obvious that Werner’s early stop had paid off: the Lotus Lola led from the Peugeot, with Frieser’s Zytek now ahead of Gläsel, while GT class leader Padmore had jumped Newton through his early stop.

It took Brooks less than a lap to return to the front, though, while Gläsel took over third when Frieser spun at the Spitzkehre while under pressure. As Brooks eeked away, the Peugeot left the two Germans to fight over second place. On lap 13, the P1 MG Lola outbraked the P2 Lotus Lola into the hairpin to resume hunting down the French diesel machine in the lead.

With ten minutes to go, Gläsel was now truly on it, lowering the fastest lap of the race to a 1.36 to begin to really push the leading Peugeot, which was only capable of making a break on the fast bits. The agile MG Lola, however, was quicker in and out of the stadium. Further back, behind Werner, Frieser and Newton, Andy Willis had forged his way through in the Ligier started by Joebstl to claim the P3 class lead that had been Maydon’s. The latter, meanwhile, resumed a fight with Padmore that had also raged in race 1. Behind them, Wright and Alth were split by less than a second, as they had been the day before.

Five minutes later, the tide had once more turned to Brooks, as the Peugeot driver lowered Gläsel’s previous mark by four tenths to open up a slightly safer 1.4-second lead over the German. Werner was five seconds down but safely in the P2 class lead, while Frieser had been dropped by 24 seconds. Next time around, however, the ebb and flow went Gläsel’s way, as the MG Lola got back to within six tenths of the Peugeot. This was far from over.

In the dying minutes, Gläsel gave it one more shot but Brooks kept his cool to win by four tenths. Werner was third, seven seconds down, followed by Frieser, Newton, Willis and Maydon, class wins going to Werner and Joebstl/Willis. In GTs, Padmore once again led home Wright and Alth, but this time Alth managed to turn it into a Vantage 1-2, the German in the final stages of the race pipping Wright to second place in class.

Masters Racing Legends – Race 1
Padmore claims shock overall win in first Masters Racing Legends race at Hockenheim

Early retirements from front-row men Marco Werner (Lotus 87B) and Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1) in the first Masters Racing Legends race at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic elevated a happily surprised Nick Padmore into a lead that he managed to maintain after a late safety-car period called for the recovery of two cars stranded out on the circuit. Thus, the Lotus 77 driver claimed a famous overall victory for the pre-78 machine as well as a dominant win in class.

“In the old banger, yeah, bless her!” said a jubilant Padmore. “I really enjoyed that. But in the opening laps it felt like back in the karting days – there was so much water and oil [from Werner and Hartley] out there! When the safety car came out, I thought ‘Oh no!’ but in the end it was OK.”

In his Lotus 92, Michael Lyons took a fighting second overall and the post-82 class win, while in the two minutes remaining after the laps behind the safety car Matt Wrigley stunned in another pre-78 car by moving his Penske PC3 past Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 and Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07 to claim a strong third overall.

“When everyone loses their heads around you, you have to keep yours”, said Lyons. “That’s what it was all about today. Marco lost a lot of water, and that made it very difficult in the first few laps. It got quite close with Matt and Ken, but both were great fights. Nick made a great restart but I still had fun chasing him.”

“It was good, but those first laps were chaotic”, said Wrigley. “I’m new to this, so I used the first part of the race to understand how everybody races. I had been following Mark and Ken for a couple of laps, so after the safety car I saw the gaps where I could get them.”

“It was very slippery, but I guess everybody said that!” Tyrrell laughed. “Losing third to Matt was disappointing, and you know, I can come up with all sorts of excuses, but I think he simply caught me sleeping…”

“It was good fun”, Hazell agreed, “and well driven by Matt!”

All the way from the back of the 23-car field, Mike Cantillon starred almost unseen as his Tyrrell 010 moved up to snatch sixth overall, leading home Max Werner, who completed the pre-78 podium in his newly acquired Hesketh 308C. Up next were Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, the returning Simon Fish in Steve Hartley’s Arrows A4 and James Hagan in the Tyrrell 010 that he formerly raced in the US.

“First of all, I thought that the wheels were loose, there was so much oil on the track – Marco chose the best line to drop his fluids!” said Marco Werner’s namesake Max Werner. “This was my first race in the car, I enjoyed it so much – towards the end it started to get more fun with every lap!”

The sun was out in full force, lifting the ambient temperature to a stunning 23 degrees, which was exactly the number of 1966-’85 Formula One cars on this glorious grid. In trouble, however, was Peter Williams in the Lec CRP1, pushed back from the grid to start from the pits, while Mike Cantillon would also start from the back in the Tyrrell 010 that was brought from the UK to replace the Williams FW07C that was damaged in qualifying.

On pole, local hero Marco Werner led away in the Lotus 87B, immediately hurried by Steve Hartley in the McLaren MP4/1 now with a resplendent starting number 1 on its Marlboro-liveried nose. In front of the filled grandstands, Padmore gave chase in the pre-78 class-leading Lotus 77, followed by Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 and Matt Wrigley’s Penske PC3, the latter in second place in the pre-78 class and having to defend from Michael Lyons in the post-82 Lotus 92.

Hartley was soon gone, though, his McLaren in the gravel in the Motodrom, and moments later, Werner pulled off, too! This left Padmore as the surprised leader, still chased by Tyrrell, with Lyons up into third, having passed Wrigley. The latter was on the way down, as Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07 now also moved past to snatch fourth, leaving Wrigley to fend off Warren Briggs’ McLaren M29, Mark Higson in the other McLaren MP4/1 and Max Werner’s in the Hesketh 308C. Amazingly, Cantillon had already made it up to ninth, and soon pipped past Max Werner too.

Halfway into the race, Padmore still led to cherish a strong lead of some seven seconds over Tyrrell, who on the fifth lap saw Lyons storm past into second. Hazell still fought Wrigley for fourth while Briggs led a group also consisting of Higson, Cantillon, Max Werner and Simon Fish returning to historic Formula One action in an Arrows A4 rented from Steve Hartley. Half a minute down on the leader, James Hagan in the Tyrrell 011 he previously campaigned in the US fought Pierre-Brice Mena in the Skol-liveried Fittipaldi F8.

Ten minutes remained when Jonathan Holtzman’s Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler ground to a halt while still on the track, and then something similar happened when Paul Grant’s De Tomaso 505/38 stopped in the grass opposite the Mercedes grandstand – the combined situation provoking a safety car.

Padmore having lost his comfortable seven-second cushion now had to do it all over again. As soon as the green flag was waved, with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, the Lotus 77 driver kept his foot down to immediately break away from Lyons to finish in front in a Chrome Cars 1-2. The man on the move in these dying minutes, however, was Matt Wrigley who dealt best with cold tyres by passing both Hazell and Tyrrell to steal an equally amazing third place overall for another pre-78 car.

All the way from the back, Mike Cantillon snatched sixth ahead of Max Werner (third in the pre-78 class), Briggs, Fish, Hagan, while Marco Fumagalli in the Theodore TR1 came up just short of the pre-78 podium. Higson and Toni Seiler in the ex-Keith Frieser Shadow DN1 were next, followed by Arthur Bruckner who in his Arrows A6 took second behind Lyons in the post-82 class.

Masters Racing Legends – Race 2
Lyons grabs the spoils in shortened second Masters Racing Legends race at Hockenheim

Michael Lyons proved victorious in a closely contested second Masters Racing Legends race at Hockenheim, as the first seven were covered by less than six seconds when the red flag came out three minutes from the end. In his Lotus 92 that also won the post-82 class, Lyons came through to pass early leader Mike Cantillon’s Tyrrell 010 on lap 6 and proceeded to keep the Tyrrell at bay until Mark Hazell – driving a strong race in third – beached his Williams FW07B on the outside of the entry to the Parabolika, as a result of contact with Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011. On countback, Hazell still kept his third place, however.

“A little bit of sweat was lost!” Lyons joked. “The guys worked really hard to make the car better and better. I was impressed by Mark Hazell, and together we closed on Mike, and I managed to pass when he made a mistake, but after that Mike and I were side by side towards the flag!”

“My tyres went off in the heat, but with the problems I’ve had all weekend, I’m just happy to be on the podium”, said Cantillon about losing his Williams FW07C in qualifying. “The guys worked all night to get the Tyrrell ready after it was brought in from the UK overnight, so all credit to them.”

Ken Tyrrell narrowly missed out on the podium but was in the mix all race, while in fifth and sixth Matt Wrigley (Penske PC3) and Nick Padmore (Lotus 77) warred over the pre-78 class win while keeping a close watch at the four cars in front. Behind the pair, Steve Hartley finished a fighting seventh, having fought his McLaren MP4/1 up all the way from the back.

“It was a great race”, said Wrigley. “So good to be able to see seven cars all together. Padmore hounded me all race, so I had to keep it tidy…”

“In a straight line it didn’t have any go,” Padmore rued. “Frustrating, but it is what it is.”

When reverse polesitter Max Werner (Hesketh 308C) dropped out at the same time that Hazell found himself on the Parabolika kerb, Jonathan Holtzman was elevated into third place in the pre-78 class, his popular Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler finishing 13th overall.

On a bright Sunday afternoon, twenty-one 1966-’85 Formula One cars got going under the watchful eyes of the many thousands of spectators that again had flocked to the Hockenheimring for the third day of the Bosch Hockenheim Historic. Marco Werner was missing, his engine issues from the previous day proving terminal. On the reverse grid for the first few rows, Max Werner’s Hesketh 308C started from pole, with Mike Cantillon’s Tyrrell 010 besides. Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 was right at the back.

Werner led away from Cantillon, Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07B, Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011, Matt Wrigley’s Penske PC3 and Michael Lyons in the Lotus 92. Race 1 winner Nick Padmore was seventh in the Lotus 77. Hartley was already up into 14th. Soon though, Cantillon hit the front, as Hazell and Tyrrell began to pressure Werner, as Lyons passed Wrigley for fifth. Next time around, as Cantillon roared off, Hazell was second, followed through by Lyons, with Tyrrell in fourth ahead of Wrigley, the order of the pursuers completely shuffled around.

Cantillon, who had started from the back in race 1 to climb his way up to sixth, was unable to shake off Hazell, however, the Williams driver really on it. Pole sitter Werner was now seventh ahead of Warren Briggs (McLaren M29), Simon Fish (Arrows A4) and Steve Hartley having their own fight, the McLaren MP4/1 now the fastest car in the field and soon past Briggs and Fish. James Hagan in the other Tyrrell 011 was 11th ahead of Pierre-Brice Mena (Fittipaldi F8) and Mark Higson (McLaren MP4/1B).

Four laps into the race, Cantillon had eeked out a 1.3-second lead as Hazell was now pressured by Lyons, and coming into the stadium the Lotus 92 grabbed second spot. Behind Ken Tyrrell, the fight was truly on for the pre-78 class lead, Wrigley for now keeping Padmore at bay. Five seconds behind the pair, though, Hartley’s McLaren was already looming in the distance.

On the next lap, Lyons had the bit between the teeth to cut his deficit to Cantillon, and braking for the Parabolika entry, the Lotus 92 passed the Tyrrell 010. For the rest of this tour and the one following, however, Cantillon declined to be dropped and kept hounding Lyons. Hazell, meanwhile, continued to be pressured by Tyrrell who for now was unable to find a way past. At close quarters, the top-seven now within five seconds, Wrigley and Padmore still warred over the pre-78 class lead while Hartley had hooked on to their tails.

Five minutes remained in this tense race, and the gaps remained close, but then two cars caused the premature end of the race, as the red flag came out on lap 9. Max Werner’s Hesketh had pulled off at the Spitzkehre, while Mark Hazell beached his Williams FW07B on the kerbs at the entry to the Parabolika as a result of contact with Tyrrell’s Tyrrell. On countback, however, he was allowed to keep his spot on the podium, where his OC Racing mechanic was on hand for the trophy reception.

So Lyons was declared the winner ahead of Cantillon and Hazell, as Wrigley won the pre-78 class from Padmore, with Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 taking third in class while finishing 13th overall after an eventful race while fighting Toni Seiler’s Shadow DN1 and Peter Williams in the Lec CRP1.

Masters Gentlemen Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Cars
Ward/Maydon complete dominant Masters Gent Drivers run at Hockenheim while Rosendahl/Nyblaeus corner Pre-66 Touring Car win

Robin Ward and Ron Maydon drove home a dominant Masters Gentlemen Drivers win after a stunning opening stint by Ward put their Ginetta G4R at the front by well over a minute, helped by their main rival – the Ollie Reuben/Harry Barton TVR Griffith – missing the pit window and having to come in for a second time.

“It was good”, said Ward about his demon opening stint. “Both Ollie and Harry are good drivers, but I knew Ollie was going to have brake trouble, so I just kept pushing him, not really trying to overtake him. Yes, I gave Ron a good lead but he got down to good times himself, though!”

George McDonald in the pole-sitting Ginetta shared with Owen Adelman made it a G4R 1-2 by relently chasing down the Lee Mowle/Phil Keen Jaguar E-type and making the pass with two minutes left on the clock. German Markus Jörg put down a storming drive to have his Lotus 11 up to second overall, but could do nothing about the Keen and McDonald comeback drives.

“I kept trying but I didn’t think I would get him, as I was getting low on brakes,” said McDonald. “I set it up all the way from the arena, and knew I could get him if I tricked him into defending when the Elite [of Robert Ingram] came up…”

“He was pretty good through the infield”, Keen confirmed. “And then when the Elite appeared it indicated me to go to the right, and he went past on the left!”

James Hagan and Andrew Haddon brought their Cobra Daytona Coupé home in fifth while Harry Barton salvaged sixth in the TVR. Behind the two Ginettas in front, Peter Reynolds took third in the CLP class in his Lotus Elan 26R. In C2, Caroline Rossi took the spoils in her Austin Healey 3000 after the Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Morgan SLR faltered early on.

In the concurrent 60-minute touring car race, Swedes Johan Rosendahl and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaus proved victorious in their Ford Falcon, partly aided by the Harry Barton/Alex Brundle BMW 1800 tiSA failing to make it to the finish.

Rounding off the Masters grids playing their part at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic, the combined Masters Gentlemen Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Car field came out right on time to start their 90-minute race – with the touring cars running 30 minutes shorter. Owen Adelman in the Ginetta G4R put on pole by team mate George McDonald was immediately put under pressure by Lee Mowle’s E-type, but it was Ollie Reuben, however, who soon passed both of them to take an early lead in the TVR Griffith. Reuben was followed through by the fast-starting Robin Ward in the second Ginetta G4R as well as Michiel Campagne in the thundering Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

Another man on the way up was Markus Jörg in the open-top Lotus 11, the German soon snatching sixth at the detriment of James Hagan’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé. The next time around, Jörg was fourth ahead of Alexander Kolb’s Cobra that had also dealt with Mowle’s Jag, Hagan’s Daytona Cobra and Stephan Joebstl’s Lotus Elan. Adelman, meanwhile, having made a mistake, dropped to tenth behind Peter Reynolds’ Elan.

Three laps into the race, the field had settled into its natural rhythm, with Reuben leading Ward by 4.6 seconds and Campagne by nine. Jörg remained fourth, 12 seconds down on the leader, while Kolb and Mowle gave chase, separated by three seconds. Joebstl and Reynolds had moved up a place thanks to Hagan dropping time while Manfredo Rossi was up into tenth with his Shelby Mustang GT350.

In C2, Billy Bellinger’s Morgan SLR led Caroline Rossi’s Austin Healey 3000 while among the touring cars Harry Barton’s BMW 1800 tiSA kept Johan Rosendahl at bay in Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus’ Ford Falcon. At the back, Robert Ingram held his own in the Lotus Elite S2, with Marc Sydow bringing up the rear in his Mini Cooper S.

The first 15 minutes gone, Reuben still led but Ward had closed the gap down to 2.4 seconds while dropping Campagne by 14 seconds, the Dutchman now under fierce pressure from Jörg in the nippy Lotus. Kolb and Mowle still circulated with five-second gaps in front as well as behind them, the same applying to Joebstl, Hagan and Reynolds, the latter now chased by Adelman who had repassed Rossi. Bellinger continued to head C2, followed around by Mark Drain’s Elan, while Harry Barton had put some 16 seconds between himself and Rosendahl in the Falcon.

On lap 7, Jörg’s little Lotus found a way past Campagne’s brawny Corvette Grand Sport while on lap 10 James Hagan snatched seventh overall from Joebstl, but apart from that, the situation looked to remain unchanged until the field reached the touring-car pit window. Not so for the leading touring car, however, as Harry Barton went missing about a minute away from handing over to Alex Brundle, who as a consequence, would sit out this race without any work on his hands. Then, another car in trouble proved to be the Morgan SLR, Bellinger coming in for an unscheduled stop on lap 12 before announcing their retirement with an engine issue, leaving Keith Ahlers without a race drive. With Caroline Rossi passing Rosendahl’s Ford Falcon on the road, she now grabbed the opportunity to go into the C2 class lead.

As Reuben maintained his slender 1.7-second lead over Ward, Jörg was a firm third, 28 seconds down, as Campagne now trailed the Lotus by 11 seconds. Behind them, Mowle’s E-type had deposed Kolb’s Cobra from fifth while Hagan had put some space between himself and Joebstl in eighth. The Austrian was chased hard by American Adelman in ninth, himself followed at close quarters by Peter Reynolds in another Elan 26R.

Sydow was the first touring car driver to take his mandatory stop, as Rosendahl left it late to switch over to Nyblaeus, while in among the CLP class occupying second to fourth in class Adelman, Reynolds and Joebstl had switched around to reflect the order just mentioned.

After many laps of stablemate, things at the front were hotting up, however, as Ward closed up on Reuben to finally make the pass stick on lap 16. And no sooner than Ward had claimed the lead, the TVR Griffith was into the pits for an untimely stop, adding to the misery of its team’s BMW having failed before. One minute and 42 seconds later, it was back out again, the team admitting to mixing up pit windows, but the result was that the TVR dropped down to eighth behind Reynolds in the Elan. Almost simultaneously, Campagne’s Corvette was in as well, and the Dutch car remained static while the Gent Drivers pit window opened, with Ward now leading Jörg, Mowle, Kolb, an ever-improving Adelman and Hagan.

The latter was the first to blink as the Irishman handed the Daytona Cobra to Andrew Haddon. Hagan was soon joined in the pits by Joebstl (handing over to Philipp Buhofer) and Mark Drain, while at the front Ward’s lead now amounted to a massive 46 seconds over Jörg. Next into the pits were Rossi (M.), Rossi (C.), Adelman (to change over to George McDonald), Kolb and Mowle (handing the wheel to Phil Keen). Meanwhile, news emerged from the garages that Campagne had retired with brake problems. On lap 22, Ward came in to hand the leading Ginetta G4R to Ron Maydon.

Two cars were in trouble as a result of their stops, though. Manfredo Rossi was forced to retire with a flat tyre while Marc Sydow’s Mini coasted to a halt at pit exit, as Jörg and Reynolds were the last ones to pit – and then, just as the pit window closed, the Reuben/Barton Griffith was back in to correct their earlier mistake.

With all the stops behind us, Maydon nursed a massively comfortable lead of well over a minute over Jörg, but behind the German the quick relief drivers Keen and McDonald were both flying. Kolb was fifth ahead of Haddon and Reynolds while Harry Barton had his work cut out for him in eighth. The Elans of Buhofer and Drain were next, followed by C2 class leader Caroline Rossi and the car that would soon be flagged off as the touring car winner – the Ford Falcon of Swedish pairing Johan Rosendahl and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus.

While lapping a couple of seconds off the ultimate pace, Maydon looked to have enough in hand to bring the car home for the win but Jörg could not afford to take a rest, as Keen and McDonald cut the German’s lead by two seconds every lap. Keen now trailed by 18 seconds, with McDonald a further nine ticks behind. Meanwhile, Haddon had passed Kolb for fifth and trailed McDonald by 20 seconds. One lap later, on lap 28, Barton also passed the German Cobra to be sixth, as Reynolds led the Reynolds/Buhofer/Drain Lotus Elan train in eighth, ninth and tenth, with third place in the CLP class at stake. It was obvious that all was not well with Kolb’s Cobra as it plummeted down the order, now also caught by Reynolds, with Buhofer closing in fast.

As Maydon continued to cruise in the lead, the attention of the next few minutes was focused on Jörg rapidly losing his lead over Keen who himself was caught by McDonald. Haddon was now 26 seconds down on the quicker cars in front of him while Barton tried all he could to cut the 11-second deficit to the Cobra Daytona Coupé.

33 laps gone, Keen had done it to pass the Lotus 11 but behind them McDonald was in the 2.05s to go even faster than both of them, and duly, two laps later, the Ginetta demoted Jörg to fourth to continue its chase of Keen’s Jag, as McDonald improved to set fastest lap of the race.

With ten minutes remaining on the clock, Maydon’s lead was still a full minute, so all eyes were on Keen and McDonald fighting over the runner-up spot. Lap after lap, the pair were nose to tail, Keen defending hard, but on lap 40, with two minutes remaining, McDonald completed the pass with a trick move involving a backmarker. Maydon, meanwhile, kept 47 seconds in hand to drive home a dominant overall win and a CLP class win. Behind McDonald and Keen, Jörg took fourth ahead of the Hagan/Haddon Daytona Cobra and the Reuben/Barton Griffith. In seventh overall, Peter Reynolds took third in the CLP class, with Kolb sandwiched by two more Lotus Elans – those of Joebstl/Buhofer and Drain. Despite a spin on the final lap, Caroline Rossi won in C2.