25 – 27 August 2023
Silverstone Festival bursting with brilliant Masters action!
Six bumper grids, bustling paddocks, glorious Formula One demos and one exciting race after another – those were the ingredients that had the 2023 edition of the Silverstone Festival bursting with brilliant Masters racing action. In the mixed conditions, Ken Tyrrell and Michael Lyons shared the Masters Racing Legends 3-litre F1 wins, with Steve Brooks doing the double in Masters Endurance Legends. Gary Pearson and Alex Brundle brought the Ferrari name back on top in historic sportscar racing while Sam Tordoff, Craig Wilkins and the ever-consistent Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie combo also climbed the top step of our podiums.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 1
Brooks diesels to victory in first Masters Endurance Legends race at Silverstone
Steve Brooks in the Peugeot 90X held off a late charge by Tim De Silva in the Pescarolo-Judd 01 started by father Harindra De Silva to win the first Masters Endurance Legends race at the Silverstone Festival. The two leading cars were led by Jonathan Kennard during their first stint, but Kennard’s P2 Muscle Milk-liveried Acura ARX-01b succumbed before it could be taken over by Jamie Constable.
Stuart Wiltshire powered to the front to claim third in the second Peugeot 90X, leading home Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S and Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2. Following Kennard’s demise, the P2 class battle turned into a true thriller, as Bradley Ellis in the Morgan LMP2 shared with Andy Cummings pipped Max Lynn’s BR Engineering BR01 right on the line, with Nick Tandy’s HPD-Honda ARX-04 and Shaun Lynn’s other BR01 close behind.
P3 was equally entertaining, with a mere two seconds separating the top three. Rob Hall’s Ligier JSP3 came out on top, a smidgeon ahead of Bradley Smith’s Norma M30 and Jon Minshaw’s similar JSP3. The GT class, however, saw complete domination in the shape of the Claude Bovet/David McDonald Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Wayne Marrs took second in the Mercedes AMG GT3, with Sean & Michael McInerney claiming third in their Mosler MT900R.
It was late in the afternoon already when a massive 43-car grid lined up for its first 40-minute Masters Endurance Legends race. Harindra De Silva initially led away in the Pescarolo 01 and while the father of qualifying king Tim De Silva did well to hang on for a full lap, he soon had to give way to Steve Brooks who made a storming start in the Peugeot 90X and Jonathan Kennard in the second-tier Acura ARX-01b that naturally also led the P2 class. On lap 2, Christophe d’Ansembourg in the Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 also had a look at De Silva, but first it was Kennard who nipped through to take the lead.
Andy Cummings in the Morgan LMP2 was fifth in the second P2 car, ahead of Gregor Fisken in the Dallara SP1, Stuart Wiltshire in the second Peugeot 90X, Keith Frieser in the Zytek 09S and Antoine d’Ansembourg’s Dallara-ORECA DO-05. Max Lynn and dad Shaun in their pair of BR Engineering BR01 P2s were ninth and tenth. In P3, Bradley Smith’s Norma M30 led in 13th overall while Claude Bovet’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was well in front in the GT class.
At the front, Kennard and Brooks fought tooth and nail, but behind them D’Ansembourg Sr and Wiltshire were on the up, both passing De Silva, who now had Frieser to deal with. On lap 5, Wiltshire and D’Ansembourg swapped places for a Peugeot 90X 2-3, but Wiltshire now trailed Brooks by 14 seconds already. On the same lap, Kennard lowered the fastest lap mark to a 1.47.482. Further back, Steve Tandy had broken into the top ten with his HPD-Honda ARX-04 P2 machine, now chased by Nigel Greensall in one of Tandy’s former cars, the Lola-Mazda B12/60.
P3 class leader Bradley Smith was now up into 11th overall, the Norma well ahead of the Ligier hordes led by Jon Minshaw and Rob Hall in 18th and 19th. Bovet continued to lead in GTs, now in 21st overall, chased by Wayne Marrs in the Mercedes AMG GT3 in 25th and Vasily Vladikin in the Audi R8 LMS Ultra in 29th.
On lap 7, with the pit window approaching, Frieser got past De Silva for fifth, as Kennard had drawn away from Brooks who now trailed by four seconds, with Wiltshire a further 22 seconds further adrift. Harindra De Silva was first in to hand over to his quick son Tim, but then – shock, as Kennard parked the Acura to hand the lead to Brooks who on lap 9 came in for his mandatory pitstop. This handed Wiltshire the momentary lead, as Frieser and D’Ansembourg (C.) also pitted, followed by Max Lynn, while Greensall handed the Lola-Mazda over to Chris Milner. Meanwhile, Tim De Silva was absolutely flying, setting a new fastest lap of the race while unlapping himself from the Peugeot. On lap 11, Wiltshire was the last of the leaders to pit.
By the time the pitstops had all cycled through, Brooks was back in the lead but De Silva ran at a pace that was three seconds quicker than the leading Peugeot. 23 seconds still separated them, with some 12 minutes remaining on the clock. Wiltshire resumed in third, four seconds ahead of Frieser and D’Ansembourg Sr, while Max and Shaun Lynn now were first and third in P2 in sixth and eighth overall, sandwiching Tandy’s Acura, the trio having pipped the Andy Cummings/Bradley Ellis Morgan. In P3, Rob Hall was the new leader, as he continued his fight with Minshaw, with Smith’s Norma now in third. David McDonald had relieved Bovet in the GT class-leading Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that was still chased by Marrs’ Merc, with the Sean & Michael McInerney Mosler MT900R now in third, just ahead of Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3, as the Vasily Vladikin/Frank Wrathall Audi was forced to retire with a broken gearbox.
Eight more minutes remained, and De Silva had clawed back his deficit to 16 seconds, but traffic wasn’t playing into his hands, the young American losing two seconds on lap 16. Wiltshire in turn trailed by 23 seconds but losing time on the two cars ahead, while Frieser and D’Ansembourg still contested fourth place, the Canadian valiantly keeping in front of the Belgian’s screaming Lola-Aston. In P2, Max Lynn and Steve Tandy were five seconds apart, while Ellis got one back on Shaun Lynn to recover to third in class. P3 wasn’t done either, as Hall and Minshaw were separated by a mere 1.3 seconds. The Bovet/McDonald Aston, however, continued its domination of the GT class.
As the final minutes ticked away, Brooks seemed to have De Silva covered, and indeed, the French car crossed the line in first with five seconds in hand on the Pescarolo. Wiltshire put another Peugeot on the overall podium, while Frieser held on to fourth over D’Ansembourg (C.). The P2 class fight was decided right on the line, as a flying Ellis pipped Lynn (M.) to victory by 0.287s, with Tandy a further ten seconds back. Lynn (S.) was ninth, a lap down, with the Gregor Fisken/Sam Hancock Dallara SP1 rounding out the top ten. An equally thrilling P3 battle ended with Rob Hall holding off Bradley Smith by 0.324s, with Jon Minshaw two seconds further down the road. Meanwhile, the Bovet/McDonald Aston Martin Vantage GT3 completed its GT domination ahead of Marrs and the McInerneys.
Masters Endurance Legends – Race 2
Brooks goes on repeat with second Masters Endurance Legends victory at Silverstone
Having already prevailed on Saturday, Steve Brooks doubled up with a strong win in the second Masters Endurance Legends race at the Silverstone Festival, the Peugeot 90X driver only giving up his lead during the mid-race stops. Stuart Wiltshire in the other 90X put on a fierce challenge in his first stint but Brooks was able to extend his lead after the stops. Christophe d’Ansembourg (Lola-Aston Martin DBR-1) initially fought Keith Frieser’s Zytek 09S but soon left the Zytek behind to claim a lonely third while Frieser faltered right at the end to finish seventh.
“That was awesome!” said Brooks. “The track is just amazing in those cars when they start to flow. It’s just like being in heaven.”
“I tried my hardest to stay with Steve”, said Wiltshire, “but he was just too quick. I did my best.”
“Really good”, said D’Ansembourg who inadvertently tapped the Harindra & Tim De Silva Pescarolo 01 on the opening lap. “It was a difficult race, I had a small shunt at the beginning, but the car was fine. I really had to fight to remain third, because there were a lot of people behind.”
In fourth overall, Max Lynn dominated in P2, bringing his BR Engineering BR01 home in front of the Andy Cummings/Bradley Ellis Morgan LMP2 and his father Shaun’s similar BR01. The three-headed Frieser and the Gregor Fisken/Sam Hancock Dallara SP1, with Jonathan Kennard and Jamie Constable charging up all the way from the back in their Acura ARX-01b to take fourth in P2 and ninth overall.
Rob Hall decided a tight P3 battle in his favour, his Ligier JSP3 fending off Bradley Smith’s Norma M30 that initially led before the pair finished 10th and 11th overall. Phil Quaife and James Thorpe took third in class. Meanwhile, Wayne Marrs dominated GT proceedings, his Mercedes AMG GT3 finishing well ahead of the Vasily Vladikin/Frank Wrathall Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3.
The track was still a bit damp for the final Masters race of the Silverstone Festival, as the Masters Endurance Legends got ready for their second race of the weekend. With the previous day’s winner Steve Brooks on pole and Harindra De Silva in the Pescarolo 01 next to him, the field poured into Abbey for their 30-minute race, but only after the Aston Martin of Claude Bovet/David McDonald – the previous day’s GT winner no less – was taken out of the way. The car had broken down at Becketts on the formation lap.
Brooks wasted no time once the safety car released the field, as the Peugeot stormed off into the distance, but coming out of The Loop, De Silva went wide to see Stuart Wiltshire fly past in the second Peugeot, with Keith Frieser in the Zytek 09S also following through. Coming onto the Wellington Straight, however, the recovering American was hit from behind by Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2 before the Belgian proceeded to pass Frieser into lap 2.
In the battle for the P2 class lead, Andy Cummings in the Morgan 01 was soon swamped by the BR01s of Max and Shaun Lynn, with Gregor Fisken in the Dallara SP1 following in eighth ahead of two more P2 cars – Steve Tandy’s Acura ARX-04 and Michael Birch in the Ligier JSP2. In 11th, Bradley Smith led the P3 class in the lone Norma M30, three ticks ahead of the Ligier JSP3s of Rob Hall and Jon Minshaw. Following the Aston’s early demise, Wayne Marrs now headed the GTs, his Mercedes AMG GT3 leading stablemate Christopher Compton Goddard’s Ferrari 430 GT3 and Vasily Vladikin’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
On lap 4, Brooks was still leading but Wiltshire was hunting him down, setting fastest lap after fastest lap to bring the gap down to two seconds. D’Ansembourg and Frieser were 10 and 13 seconds in arrears respectively, while Gregor Fisken now split the BR01s, with Tandy also having made it past Cummings in the Morgan, as the pit window opened – with Brooks taking the first opportunity. Further back, Tandy passed Shaun Lynn for seventh, while Mike Newton in the MG-Lola EX264 also began to make progress, passing the leading LMP3s to enter the top ten.
On lap 7, Wiltshire thundered on at the front but found himself stuck in traffic while Brooks looked he had returned in clear air. This made the leader come in for his own stop, and he was followed straight in by D’Ansembourg, Frieser, Lynn (M.) and Tandy, with Lynn (S.) already having made his stop. Meanwhile, for Brooks things were looking good with a fastest lap of the race on lap 8 but immediately after the Peugeot almost shot off the track, losing a big chunk of time.
As the leading bunch cycled back into the order, it transpired that Brooks had still found some eight seconds over Wiltshire to lead by ten seconds. D’Ansembourg remained in third, 28 seconds down on the leader, while Max Lynn in the leading P2 car was now up to fourth ahead of Frieser and father Shaun. The older Lynn looked under threat, though, as Bradley Ellis was flying in the Morgan started by Cummings and was quickly closing down a 10-second gap. Tandy, meanwhile, had lost huge amounts of ground and was languishing in 18th. In P3, Hall was ninth overall to lead Smith in 13th and the Phil Quaife/James Thorpe JSP3 in 15th. Marrs still led the GTs and quite comfortably so, but Frank Wrathall in the Audi started by Vladikin had managed to pass Goddard for second in class.
At the front, Brooks now sat in the quicker Peugeot as his 90X put three more ticks between itself and Stuart Wiltshire’s example – but neither French diesel was the fastest car on track. That was Tim De Silva’s Pescarolo 01 trying to recover from Harindra’s early mishap, now in 14th but making up places really fast – however, on lap 12, it proved to be all for nothing as the Pesca suddenly slowed.
Two more minutes remained, and Keith Frieser was the next one to run into trouble with a spin for the Zytek. However, nothing could stop Steve Brooks from doubling up, leading home Wiltshire and D’Ansembourg. The Lynns looked like completing a 1-2 in P2, their BR Engineering BR01s in a strong fourth and fifth overall with one lap to go, but Ellis beat the older Lynn to second place in class on the final lap. Frieser and Sam Hancock (in the Dallara SP1 started by Fisken) were up next, ahead of the Jonathan Kennard/Jamie Constable Acura ARX-01b coming up from the back of the grid.
Rob Hall took P3 class glory in 10th overall, fending off Smith’s Norma and the Quaife/Thorpe Ligier, while Marrs brought home the GT win from Vladikin/Wrathall and Colin Sowter’s Ferrari 458 GT3, the latter making it past Goddard’s 430 GT3 towards the end.
International Trophy for Classic GT Cars (Masters Gentlemen Drivers)
Thomas/Lockie charge to Masters Gent Drivers win at Silverstone
Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie bagged yet another Masters Gentlemen Drivers win by triumphing in the International Trophy for Classic GT Cars at the Silverstone Festival. Thomas fought hard with Nigel Greensall in John Spiers’ TVR Griffith, and while he finally succumbed, Lockie soon got their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé was soon ahead of Spiers before the race was red flagged with eight minutes remaining on the clock.
“I’m exhausted, that was fantastic!”, said a delighted Thomas before Lockie spoke a few more words. “Julian drove an amazing first stint”, said Lockie. “To be honest, I just had to bring it home, and out came the red flag, unfortunately.”
“Nigel did all the hard work!”, said Spiers before handing over to his teammate. “It was a thriller”, said Greensall. “But it’s what racing’s all about, dicing and racing absolutely flat-out. It’s the purpose of racing to give it full beans!”
“I’m feeling tired…”, said a smiling Whitaker. “It’s a long way for an old man. And my son’s quicker than me, so I don’t let him in it! And mum won’t let him in, too…”
Dan Eagling absolutely crushed the CLP class opposition by coming home fourth overall in his Ginetta G4R, ahead of the Graeme & James Dodd E-type and the David & Olivier Hart Daytona Cobra that narrowly beat the Andy Priaulx/Miles Griffiths Cobra. The Phil Keen/Jon Minshaw E-type took eighth ahead of Harry Barton’s TVR Griffith, while the similarly mounted John Davison rounded out the top ten after losing fifth spot through a big spin towards the end.
“I’m feeling a bit warm, actually”, said Eagling, “I had to give it my all – at the start, it’s difficult to race in the lower-class cars against the big boys. Eventually, when I got past a few I got a bit of a break, put some consistent lap times in and get a big of a gap. The pitstop went well and obviously, when the safety car came out I was a bit concerned with all the big cars coming up behind, but it’s a shame that it went red. It would have been nice to see if I could play with Mike Whitaker a bit, but yeah, really good.”
“This man, I was trying to chase him down”, said Dawson while pointing to Eagling. “The weather wasn’t the problem, but the oil slick was. I saw it, I stayed away from it but others got caught out. But it’s just been an absolute mega weekend, and my team, my dad, has put the car together and it was just absolutely phenomenal – but we’re going to be back to beat this man next year!”
“It’s great to be up here”, said Ashton, “with 60 cars to be on the podium is just great. That makes it really special.”
“The race is bonkers out there”, said Balfe, “with all the different speeds and lines – it’s just wacky racers!”
Giles Dawson’s Lotus Elan was Eagling’s nearest rival in CLP, ahead of the similar Elan of Shaun Balfe/Thomas Ashton. A trio of Austin Healey 3000s headed the C2 class, Joseph Willmott winning the class ahead of Michael Russell and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus/Jeremy Welch. Meanwhile, the Turner 1650s of Luke Wos and Nikolaj Mortensen monopolised the top positions in C1.
The sun had just reappeared as the massively oversubscribed Masters Gentlemen Drivers field of 61 cars lined up for the 50-minute International Trophy for Classic GT Cars to go five-wide into the first corner! At the end of it, John Davison had completed a monster start in his TVR Griffith to lead Julian Thomas and David Hart in the Cobra Daytonas, but Thomas hit back coming out of Copse. Behind them, Mike Whitaker and Nigel Greensall – starting in the Griffith, as John Spiers had only just completed his pre-66 Formula One race – were on the move as well, Greensall moving in front going into lap 2.
Thomas continued to lead, but Greensall pipped Davison for second into Copse in a very eventful few opening laps. Behind Whitaker, Phil Keen – another unexpected elite start driver – had Jon Minshaw’s Jaguar E-type up into fifth ahead of Hart Sr, while Andy Priaulx was similarly making hay in the Cobra shared with Miles Griffiths. Continuing his stunning qualifying form, Dan Eagling was eighth overall in the CLP class-leading Ginetta G4R, ahead of Graeme Dodd’s E-type and Jason Minshaw in Martin Melling’s E-type. Giles Dawson was second in the CLP class in his Lotus Elan that was now in 11th place ahead of Peter Thompson’s AC Cobra and John Pearson in the Pearsons E-type. In 17th overall, Formula Junior star Horatio Fitz-Simon was third in the CLP class in another Elan.
In C2, Joseph Willmott was doing the early running in his Austin Healey 3000, followed by the similar cars of Michael Russell and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus, but the Swede would still hand over to Jeremy Welch later on. In C1, Nikolaj Mortensen had, for now stolen a march on fellow Turner 1650 driver Luke Wos, with Neil Fisher holding a strong third in class in the MGB.
At the front, with five laps gone, gentleman driver, Thomas heroically held his professional rival Greensall at 1.4 seconds, the pair turning in similar lap times. Whitaker was third, close to ten seconds down on the leader, with Keen snapping at the second Griffith’s heels. Davison held fifth but Eagling was now up in a startling sixth overall, having passed Priaulx, as Dodd, Thompson and Pearson rounded out the top ten, with Pearson overtaking David Hart for tenth on lap 6.
Soon, though, things were hotting up at the front, as Greensall inched closer and closer after all, and holding the Griffith in big slides through the complex, he finally made it past Thomas – who knew that Calum Lockie was still waiting to pounce during their second stint. Despite that knowledge, Thomas wasn’t giving up, enjoying the fight with Greensall just too much.
Two laps later, the pit window had opened, and Keen and Eagling were among the first to come in, followed by Harry Barton in another Griffith. Thomas then came in on lap 10 to hand over to Lockie. On the next lap, Greensall was in to swap places with John Spiers, with Whitaker the last of the leading cars to come in. Meanwhile, Lockie’s demon out-lap had pulled him clear of Spiers already, the pair now split by a couple of seconds.
The pit window now closed, Lockie led Spiers, with Whitaker in third, but the light blue TVR was chased by the remarkable Dan Eagling whose Ginetta G4R was now up in fourth. Davison was fifth but chased hard by James Dodd in the first of the E-types, with Miles Griffiths and Olivier Hart up next, ahead of Jon Minshaw and Harry Barton. In 14th overall, Dawson still held second in the CLP class while Thomas Ashton (in the Elan started by Shaun Balfe) fought Fitz-Simon over third in class, but Sam Tordoff in the Elan started by Dad John was closing in fast.
In C2, Michael Russell now led the field ahead of Willmott and Welch, while Wos had turned the tables on Mortensen in C1 while Fisher in the unfavoured MGB still held third over the Mark Burnett/Scott Kendall Ogle SX1000 and the Malcolm Paul/Will Nuthall TVR Grantura.
On lap 13, however, the safety car was out with oil at Aintree launched Davison into a big spin that dropped the Griffith driver to tenth. Meanwhile, the William & Martin Addison Jaguar E-type had crashed, and when it transpired that it would take too long to recover it, the red flag was waved and the result declared after 15 laps. Thomas and Lockie notched up another win, with Greensall/Spiers in second and Whitaker in third. Dan Eagling dominated in CLP to win the class from Dawson and Balfe/Ashton. Russell, Willmott and Nyblaeus/Welch made C2 into an Austin Healey 3000 benefit while Wos and Mortensen ran home a Turner 1-2 in C1. However, Russell’s class win was overturned by a 10-second time penalty for pitting before the pit window opened.
Masters GT Trophy
Wilkins storms to another Masters GT Trophy win at Silverstone
Craig Wilkins led home a Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo 1-2-3 as during the mandatory stops hSeries leader Craig Wilkins stormed to a convincing win in the Masters GT Trophy race at the Silverstone Classic, as his Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo quickly moved up from third on the grid to win by 35 seconds and cement his position at the top of the standings.
A massively entertaining fight between the invitational Aston Martin Vantage GT2 of Paul Whight / Alistair MacKinnon and Jason McInulty in another Super Trofeo Evo resulted in McInulty succumbing on the final lap to hand second place to the Aston. Behind them, Michael Lyons charged up to fourth in the Lambo started by Neil Glover, ahead of Keith Frieser’s non-Evo Super Trofeo.
Coming home in sixth overall in his Porsche 991.1, Miles Griffiths dominated the Cup class ahead of Dallas Carroll’s 991.2 Cup, with the Nathan Luckey/David Harrison 991.1 Cup taking third in class. In his Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Dave Albutt led the GT4 class from start to finish, while Martin Addison almost turned it into an Aston 1-2 in class before the George Haynes/Adam Sharpe BMW M3 GT4 made it past right at the end.
As the second afternoon race on Saturday, the 30 cars of the Masters GT Trophy got away without any real hiccups. Chris Milner led away from pole, but he was soon overtaken by series leader Craig Wilkins, with Jason McInulty also moving ahead before the end of lap 2. Craig Davies was fourth, before a storming few opening laps by Miles Griffiths in the Porsche 991.1 broke the string of Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evos at the front.
Davies got ahead of Milner into lap 3, while Paul Whight in the invitational Aston Martin Vantage GT2 got up to sixth, at the cost of Neil Glover’s Super Trofeo Evo. Dallas Carroll was next in the second of the Porsches, leading Keith Frieser in another Super Trofeo. In tenth, John Pearson’s invitational Ferrari 430 was soon passed by Wayne Marrs in the Mercedes Ferrari 488 Challenge – finally something other than a Lambo in the Corse class.
In 15th overall, Nathan Luckey’s 991.1 GT3 Cup was third in the Cup class while Dale Albutt led the GT4 class in 19th, his Aston Martin Vantage GT4 ahead of Peter Reynolds in the Ginetta G55, with George Haynes (BMW M3 GT4) and Martin Addison (Aston Martin Vantage GT4) up next.
At the front, Wilkins continued to power away, now eight seconds clear of McInulty, with Davies a further eight ticks adrift. Griffiths held his own in fourth, hounding Davies, but Whight was now making some strong process, passing both Griffiths and Davies on lap 6. Frieser was on a march too, as the Canadian stole sixth from Neil Glover, with Marrs up next, followed by Rob Fenn in the Motosport Elise. In GT4, Addison proved to be the man on the move, as the Aston stormed up into second place in class to make it a Vantage 1-2 in class for the moment. At the front, however, Milner was in trouble, preventing Nigel Greensall from doing his stint.
The pit window opened on lap 8, and McInulty was the first one to blink – with Whight and Carroll also coming in. Meanwhile, Nathan Luckey handed over to David Harrison, while Griffiths was in as well, as was the leader, but Davies was staying out for another bit, but eventually came in to hand over to Ron Maydon. Along with Frieser, Fenn was among the last at the front to make his stop, but the GT4 top-three remained out until lap 10, with two minutes remaining in the pit window. Meanwhile, Michael Lyons – having taken over from Neil Glover – set a blistering fastest lap of the race in 14th overall, but despite his 15-second elite-driver penalty he would soon move up the order.
When all the stops were over, Wilkins led McInulty by a massive 25 seconds, with Alistair MacKinnon in the GT2 Aston started by Whight in third, Maydon in fourth and Griffiths in fifth. Frieser was up next but Lyons about to take the Canadian’s place. Marrs, Fenn and Carroll completed the top ten for now. Further back, Reynolds in the Ginetta G55 had spun to give away his third place in class to Adam Sharpe who had taken over the BMW M3 GT4 from George Haynes. Meanwhile, Tim Mogridge in the second M3 GT4 and Tim Kuijl in a E46 320i fought over fifth in class, with Michiel Campagne further back in the Ford Mustang FR500C that the Dutchman also campaigned in period.
With five minutes still remaining, Wilkins had increased his margin over McInulty to half a minute, who was chased by MacKinnon, while Lyons was up into fourth and an effective third in the Corse class. Behind Lyons, Griffiths maintained his Cup class domination as he chased Ron Maydon for fourth, with Frieser, Marrs, Fenn and Carroll all giving chase at close quarters from Maydon and Griffiths. In GT4, Albutt and Addison continued their Aston 1-2 but Sharpe was closing down the gap, with Richard Dougal in the Maserati Gran Turismo GT4 started by Vance Kearney now on a pace similar to Sharpe and also narrowing the gap to the leading Aston pair.
As the clock ticked down, Wilkins ran home a strong win to increase his title chances, with McInulty eventually giving up second place to MacKinnon after a hugely entertaining fight all the way to the line. Lyons was fourth, a mere four seconds behind the battle for second and 36 seconds clear of Frieser, with Miles Griffiths taking a dominant Cup class win from Dallas Carroll in sixth and seventh. A late misfire took care of Maydon’s Lambo, so Fenn, Marrs and Christopher Goddard’s Ferrari 430 GT3 completed the top ten. In GT4, Dave Albutt hung on to win but Sharpe demoted Addison to third with a last-gasp effort.
Adrian Flux Trophy for Transatlantic Pre 66 Touring Cars
Tordoff prevails in exciting Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at Silverstone
Sam Tordoff’s mighty Ford Falcon Sprint claimed one more victory in Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars as his Ford Falcon Sprint came out on top in a hugely entertaining Transatlantic Trophy at the Silverstone Festival. Battling Nigel Greensall in the Spiers/Greensall Mustang early on, Tordoff pushed through in his second stint to negate his elite-driver pitstop penalty by catching and passing John Spiers. Leading the pair by three seconds at that moment, however, was young Mike Whitaker Jr who was hoping to keep Tordoff behind in the closing minutes before the diff of his Mustang exploded in spectacular fashion. The oil trail that this produced was enough for the race to finish under safety-car conditions.
“I was grateful for the safety car in the last few laps, actually”, said Tordoff. “It was tough, I didn’t have the car quite where I wanted it, and Mike did a great job to get into the lead, so I was gutted for him for the car to break with three laps to go. It was going to get tasty! Really chuffed, we came here to win, and that’s what we’ve done, so really happy.”
“This is what we live for!”, said Greensall. “The race was fantastic, I love it when conditions are mixed, me and Sam were having so much fun out there in the early stages of the race, I loved it!”
“A little briefer than I would have liked”, said Spiers. “As usual, Nigel did the heavy lifting, but such a great car to drive, so much fun.”
The Steve Soper/Henry Mann (Soper eventually driving solo) and Andy Priaulx/Alex Taylor Mustangs were also in the mix all race, and while Soper took third, Taylor was caught for fourth by the Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie Ford Falcon coming from behind.
“Yeah, it was good!” said Soper. “I wanted to be on the podium, since we’ve had a few breakdowns, so it’s great. Once I came in and saw the position, Henry said, stay in!”
Two more Mustangs with Craig Davies and Tom Sharp at the wheel took home sixth and seventh ahead of the class-winning Lotus Cortina of Mike Gardiner/Phil Keen, the pair taking THC victory after the Andy Wolfe/Ben Tinkler Cortina ran into trouble right at the end. The class was initially led by the David & Olivier Hart Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA but the Alfa retired at the stops. This allowed the Henry Neal/Gordon Shedden and Shaun Balfe/Thomas Ashton Cortinas to take the two remaining class podium spots.
In the Mini class, Phil Bullen-Brown, Ian Curley and Tom Bell in the Mini shared with Joe Ferguson battled early on before Bullen-Brown disappeared into the distance for a dominant class victory over Aaron Smith, who passed Ferguson and then profited from an off by Curley over Whitaker’s oil trail.
With on-and-off rain all day on the final Sunday of the Silverstone Festival, it was anybody’s guess what conditions would be awaiting the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car competitors for their 45-minute Transatlantic Trophy race. In the end, damp was the track’s best description. Nigel Greensall’s Mustang took the initiative at first, but Sam Tordoff soon stormed through into the lead, with Andy Priaulx also working his way up to third, followed by Alex Brundle, with James Thorpe, Mike Whitaker Jr and David Hart up next, leading Steve Soper, with Richard Dutton in the lead Lotus Cortina.
After two laps, Tordoff’s Falcon and Greensall’s Mustang had formed a lead pair, with the ‘Brustang’ in third in a big fight with Priaulx as another couple to get away from the pursuers consisting of the Mustangs of Whitaker, Soper and Thorpe, as Dutton got ahead of Hart’s Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA to take the THC class lead. Behind them, Davies’ Mustang was tenth ahead of Julian Thomas in the second Falcon, Tom Sharp’s Mustang and Henry Neal in the second Cortina just ahead of Andy Wolfe in another Cortina. Meanwhile, in the Mini class, Phil Bullen-Brown led Tom Bell and Ian Curley, the trio running nose to tail in 27th to 29th.
Into the third lap, however, Dutton lost his THC class lead in a big way to hand the initiative back to the Dutch Alfa, as Hart was chased by Soper who into the lap was overtaken by an unleashed Thomas. At the front, Tordoff set another fastest lap of the race, but Greensall wasn’t letting the Falcon Sprint out of sight, keeping the gap within one second. The pair led Brundle by seven seconds, as the driver/commentator had dropped Priaulx by three seconds. In fact, the former multiple touring car world champion saw Whitaker Jr approach ever nearer while David Hart in the THC class-leading Alfa now had to worry about Thomas’ big Falcon even bigger in his mirrors.
By lap 6, the pit window was open, and Tordoff was the first one in to serve his elite-driver penalty along with his mandatory stop, while young Whitaker had hounded and passed Priaulx for fourth and subsequently also dealt with Brundle to be third. David Hart was another one to come in early, handing over to son Olivier – but without the young Dutchman reappearing. This handed the class lead to Andy Wolfe who had Henry Neal still following closely in his tracks. In the Mini class, Bullen-Brown had opened up a gap to Curley who in turn had left Bell behind.
While the stops were in full progress, Thomas continued his storming drive by passing Soper and Priaulx, but the two former WTCC stars hit back on the next lap, while Whitaker Jr came in for his stop, along with Henry Neal handing over to Gordon Shedden. Now in the lead, Greensall continued to hammer the fast laps in, to lead Brundle by 24 seconds, but the ‘Brustang’ was soon swamped by the fast-approaching train of Soper, Priaulx and Thomas, who along with Brundle came in for his stop, Thomas to be relieved by Calum Lockie.
With 18 minutes left, Greensall came in to give the bright blue Mustang to John Spiers, but Priaulx and Soper continued for one more lap, as they finally handed their ‘stangs to Alex Taylor and Henry Mann, respectively – but eventually Mann decided to leave Soper in. After all the stops had panned out, Spiers led on lap 12, but Whitaker Jr was four seconds away and closing, as was Tordoff in third, four ticks further adrift. Soper and Taylor were fourth and fifth but Lockie was on a charge, and the Falcon soon passed Taylor for fifth to set after Mann. Seventh after a quiet but solid run was Craig Davies, with Tom Sharp up next. Ben Tinkler in the Cortina started by Wolfe led the THC class – that with the demise of the Harts was back to being the Cortina class – as Chris Hoy in the ‘Brustang’ rounded out the top ten. Among the Minis, Bullen-Brown was now well up the road from Curley, with Aaron Smith having demoted Joe Ferguson in the Mini shared with Tom Bell to fourth in class.
Next time around, the lead change was there, as Whitaker hit the front while Spiers also saw Tordoff blast past on Hangar Straight – and the Falcon Sprint was running a couple of tenths quicker than the leader. Then, on lap 14, Whitaker’s diff let go in a big way, making Tordoff’s work much easier. So now Spiers was back into second place, with Soper in third ahead of Lockie, Taylor, Davies and Sharp, as the safety car came out because of the oil trail that Whitaker had left behind – especially after it led Ian Curley to slide off in his Mini. Fortunately, the lightweight car made it back out of the gravel trap safely, but it had missed Whitaker’s Mustang by mere inches.
With three minutes remaining, that would prove to be it. Tordoff took another Masters Pre-66 Touring Car win, with Greensall/Spiers in second and Soper in third. The top three were followed home by the Thomas/Lockie Falcon, the Priaulx/Taylor Mustang, and two more Mustangs with Davies and Sharpe at the wheel. Andy Wolfe and Ben Tinkler looked to have won the Cortina class but their car failed right at the end to hand victory to the Mike Gardiner/Phil Keen Cortina in eighth overall. In 13th, Henry Neal and Gordon Shedden took second in class while Shaun Balfe and Thomas Ashton were third in class and 15th overall. Phil Bullen-Brown completed a dominant drive in the Mini class with a strong win from Aaron Smith while Curley salvaged third place in class.
Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 1
Tyrrell inherits win in first Masters Racing Legends race at Silverstone as Cantillon is disqualified
By storming from fourth to first on one single lap after a mid-race safety-car restart looked to have done enough to win the first Masters Racing Legends race at the Silverstone Festival, but the Irishman’s post-race disqualification saw victory being handed to Ken Tyrrell. Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 had led away from pole, followed by Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1), while Cantillon initially lost third to Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012. However, an absolutely brilliant lap straight after the first safety-car period took the Williams FW07C driver from fourth to first within a single tour of the Silverstone circuit. Behind the unleashed Irishman, Tyrrell and Hartley completed the podium.
Later on the day, however, Cantillon was excluded from the results for a technical infringement. This meant Tyrrell took his third consecutive Masters Racing Legends victory on the trot.
“I’m very grateful for the safety car, actually”, said a jubilant Cantillon before he was made aware of his exclusion. “I made a few mistakes in the first half of the race but the safety car gave me a chance to get a jump on the guys. I went down on the inside of Steve, and God bless him, he didn’t run into me, and same with Ken, so some fantastic driving by my competition and what a wonderful win. That was for my father.”
“It was fantastic”, said Tyrrell as he stepped onto the podium. “Almost perfect, but I’ll take a second place. If there’s a competitor out here I’d like to finish second to it’s Mike.”
“I haven’t had any good results recently, so third is great”, said Hartley before being promoted to second. “Let’s see what we can do tomorrow…”
The race finished behind another safety car but not after Nick Padmore had hit back at Matt Wrigley, whose Penske PC3 had beaten Padmore’s Lotus 77 in qualifying. This ensured that Padmore took the pre-78 class win from Wrigley, as Max Werner (Hesketh 308C) took third in class while finishing 11th overall.
In fourth overall, becoming third after Cantillon’s disqualification, Stretton claimed post-82 class honours, with Michael Lyons second in class, as his Lotus 91 finished in seventh overall behind Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011. Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) grabbed third in class with 13th overall. Ewen Sergison (Surtees TS9B) won the pre-72 class in 16th overall.
Morning downpours of a diluvial kind had left part of the Silverstone track still in slightly damp conditions when the Masters Racing Legends cars lined up for their first 20-minute race of the weekend. With Ken Tyrrell on pole after his surge of two consecutive wins at the previous round at Zandvoort, the 27-car field poured into Abbey for the first time. Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 led away, followed by Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1, Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C, Martin Stretton in the Tyrrell 012 and the two other Tyrrell 011s of Jamie Constable and Kyle Tilley. Leading the pre-78 class was Matt Wrigley’s Penske PC3, given chase by his class rival Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77, as the sun started to break away the clouds.
On the first lap, however, Tilley’s Tyrrell disappeared, as did Mark Higson’s McLaren MP4/1B and Miles Griffiths in the RAM March 01, the latter engine’s having died. Meanwhile into lap 2, Stretton made his way past Cantillon to be third, while Werner d’Ansembourg was another casualty, his Williams FW07C dropping out from tenth place at the Loop, with Warren Briggs also in the wars in the McLaren M29, after a possible contretemps with the young Belgian – leading to the safety car coming out. Behind Wrigley and Padmore, Michael Lyons had risen to eighth in the Lotus 91, followed Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07B and Charlie Kennedy moving up in his Surtees TS16 to be third in the pre-78 class. In 18th, Ewen Sergison led the pre-72 class in his Surtees TS9B.
Recovering both cars took a while, so the green flag was waved with less than eight minutes to go. Cantillon instantly hit back at Stretton to reclaim third and then move into second by usurping Hartley. Towards the end of lap 6, Cantillon then made a bold move for the lead, which he pulled off. It was a brilliant lap by the Irishman. Behind them, Padmore had the bit between his teeth equally to pass Wrigley for the pre-78 lead, as Lyons demoted Constable to eighth.
With five minutes remaining, Cantillon produced two stormers of fastest laps of the race to pull out 1.4 seconds on Tyrrell, with Hartley and Stretton still following close-by – but then the safety car came out yet again. This time, Kennedy was in trouble, while Kyle Tilley’s rejoined Tyrrell 011 stopped out on the start-and-finish straight. This meant that the cars crossed the line under safety-car conditions, with Cantillon taking a brilliant win from Tyrrell, Hartley and Stretton while Padmore beat Wrigley to the pre-78 class win. Constable was next up, ahead of Lyons who took second to Stretton in the post-82 class. Hazell and Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Brabham BT49 rounded out the top ten while in 12th overall Max Werner’s Hesketh 308C took third in the pre-78 class, with Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012 completing the post-82 top-three in 14th. Sergison drove home the pre-72 class win in 17th overall.
However, later on the day, it proved all for nothing for Cantillon when the stewards excluded his Williams FW07C from the results for a rear-wing infringement. As a result, Tyrrell took his third straight win in Masters Racing Legends while every other finisher moved up one spot in the results.
Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 2
Lyons’ slick gamble pays off to produce dominant Masters Racing Legends win at Silverstone
Michael Lyons was the only driver to dare start on slick tyres, but his gamble paid off in full as the Lotus 91 driver danced off into the distance on a damp Silverstone circuit to dominantly claim glory in the second Masters Racing Legends race of the Silverstone Festival weekend. Behind Lyons, positions changed every lap in a hugely exciting and entertaining race, with Martin Stretton eventually coming out on top as the best of Lyons’ pursuers. Lyons and Stretton also claimed the first two spots in the post-82 class.
“I was smiling on the first lap, but when it started raining on the in-lap I was really smiling”, said a delighted Lyons. “It was hard work in the beginning, it took a while to get the tyre on, because it was wet down here but so much better out there. I knew it was going to come to me and I was looking at the clouds when I was down at this side, and said ‘Just stay away a bit longer, a bit longer…’, but it was alright.”
“We took the wrong gamble, but I’m happy with second”, said Stretton. “We had a few lairy moments, but just pleased to finish, and it’s great to be back in the car – it’s just been rebuilt.”
From ninth on the grid, Ken Tyrrell (Tyrrell 011) added a podium to his race 1 win, as the American claimed a fighting third ahead Steve Hartley whose McLaren MP4/1 survived a big spin at Stowe to be fourth while battling with Jamie Constable in the other Tyrrell 011, and Mike Cantillon (Williams FW07C) who concluded an absolute barnstormer of a race from the back of the grid.
“It was always lairy!” said Tyrrell. “But I will tell you, I am thrilled to be standing on this podium with these two; they’re such fantastic competitors. It was such fun out there.”
Fighting at the front initially, Nick Padmore (Lotus 77) still salvaged the pre-78 class win in seventh overall as his main rival Matt Wrigley dropped even further back to finish a distant tenth, while Max Werner (Hesketh 308C) claimed another third place in class in 13th overall. Miles Griffiths’ RAM March 01, meanwhile, took third in the post-82 class, with Ewen Sergison completing the pre-72 class double in his Surtees TS9B.
It had been raining on and off all through the morning, and the track was still damp when the Masters Racing Legends took to the track for their second race of the Silverstone Festival weekend. With Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Brabham BT49 on pole on the reversed grid for the first nine on the grid, and Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07B sat besides it, the field streamed into Abbey, as Michael Lyons (Lotus 91), Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011), Matt Wrigley (Penske PC3), Nick Padmore (Lotus 77), Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012), Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1) and Saturday’s winner Ken Tyrrell (Tyrrell 011) followed through. Right at the back was Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C after the Irishman lost his win in the first race. At the front as well as at the back, everyone was on wets but Lyons was the one to gamble on slicks.
On the Wellington Straight, soon the order changed, as Lyons stormed into the lead into Woodcote, with D’Ansembourg in second, Stretton in third and Wrigley in fourth as the biggest movers and shakers. The Hangar Straight, however, was still wet, but Lyons managed it safely through Stowe. But now Constable started pushing, and moved past a bunch of cars to clinch the lead into the second lap, but then the Tyrrell spun into the Loop! So Lyons reassumed the lead with his teammate Padmore now following his tracks. Wrigley was third but pushed hard by Hartley, with Constable up into fifth having passed Stretton.
Padmore was already looking for damp patches, as Lyons continued to lead with Padmore already sliding behind him in the slower drier corners. Hartley, meanwhile, had stormed up into third as now it was Wrigley’s turn to tumble down the order, with Constable coming back at him, as did Stretton. 11 seconds down, Tyrrell was seventh ahead of Cantillon who had secretly produced a storming run through the field, with Max Werner in the Hesketh 308C again third in class, with Kyle Tilley running in tenth.
On lap 4, Charlie Kennedy lost a wheel on his Surtees TS16 but he parked it in a safe spot, so a safety car could be avoided. At the front, Lyons had stretched his lead to seven seconds over Padmore, but Hartley was on a prowl and passed the Lotus for second. Constable and Stretton continued in fourth and fifth, both still in touch with Hartley and Padmore. Four seconds down the road, Tyrrell had taken sixth from Wrigley as now Cantillon was pushing the Penske to go past.
As Lyons continued to stream away while setting fastest laps, Hartley was coming under pressure from Stretton in the latest car to come alive, as Padmore began dropping back, also losing places to Constable and Tyrrell, the latter having closed up to the group chasing the leader. But then, Hartley went off at Stowe to hand a bunch of positions to Constable and Tyrrell, the pair of 011s swapping places as the American pulled off a brave outside move on the other Tyrrell.
Hartley had dropped down to sixth and now had Cantillon hunting him down, while at the back Paul Grant was forced to retire his March 761 with a broken wheel rim. Lyons, meanwhile, was unperturbed at the front, as the post-82 class leader now had the other quick post-82 car as his nearest rival, 15 seconds down. Behind Stretton and Tyrrell, Constable now found himself in no man’s land, as Hartley passed Padmore who on lap 7 was also forced to see Cantillon go past.
Padmore’s class rival Wrigley was a long way back now, 51 seconds down, but still in eighth and with five seconds in hands on father and son Christophe and Werner d’Ansembourg in their Brabham BT49 and Williams FW07C, young Werner d’A like Cantillon had produced a barnstormer coming from the second-to-last row on the grid to pass his father on lap 8. Behind them, Miles Griffiths ran third in the post-82 class in the RAM March 01.
As the final seconds ticked away, Lyons’ gamble had paid off in full, the Lotus 91 clinching a dominant victory as a result. Second was Stretton, both overall and in the post-82 class, with Tyrrell claiming a second podium on the weekend. Hartley took a fighting fourth from Constable and Cantillon who finished a storming drive in fifth. Padmore took his second pre-78 class win in seventh ahead of the D’Ansembourgs – Junior ahead of Senior – with Wrigley completing the top ten while taking another second place in the pre-78 class. In 11th and 13th respectively, Griffiths and Max Werner bagged their third places in the post-82 and pre-78 classes. Pre-72 class winner Ewen Sergison (Surtees TS9B) finished 20th overall.
Masters Sports Car Legends
Pearson/Brundle take famous Ferrari win in Masters Sports Car Legends race at Silverstone
Gary Pearson and Alex Brundle brought the Ferrari 512M back to the top in historic sportscar racing, as Brundle held off Olly Bryant’s Lola T70 Mk3B for a famous win in the Yokohama Trophy for Masters Sports Car Legends at Silvestone. In a hugely exciting final race of the Silverstone Festival, the top ten cars fought hard for the top spots, with the pole-sitting Lola T296 of James Claridge/Gonçalo Gomes eventually coming away with third ahead of the Diogo Ferrão/Martin Stretton Lola T292 and Tim De Silva’s Taydec Mk3.
“It was great!” said Brundle. “That Ferrari 512 is an unbelievable machine. They kept us honest out there, I kept looking in the mirror and seeing an Olly Bryant-shaped car and I wished he leave me alone! But we had a fantastic race and it’s just a privilege to be able to race such a car.”
“Ah, I loved it”, said Pearson. “Honestly, after the stops, I’ve been able to watch it on the TV, and these are the coolest cars, and I think if we get a good bunch of these big cars racing, there’s nothing like it. It’s the best historic racing in the world.”
“It was great, it was fantastic”, said Bryant. “It was great fun from the start, got to fight with Gary and in the end there with Alex, and it’s not even that a Chevy has not enough grunt to keep in front… but it was fantastic racing that Ferrari, and great to see it out. It’s been a big effort to get the car here, as we only got the new engine on Wednesday – so thanks to Masters for such a last-minute entry.”
“When you get a grid of these cars, with such variety – they’re fantastic”, said Claridge.
The second Ferrari 512M in the field, shared by Dutch father and son David & Olivier Hart, was also in the mix but Hart Sr spun away his initial lead while Hart Jr was penalised for a safety-car infringement, leading to a 10-second stop-and-go penalty. This allowed the Chris Beighton/Simon Hadfield Lola T70 Mk3B to also finish ahead of the Dutch pairing. Initially, Martin O’Connell was well up too, but the T70 taken over by Steve Brooks at the stops retired on the final lap to drop down from sixth to a classified tenth.
John Spiers and Nigel Greensall led home a McLaren M1B 1-2-3 in the Hulme class, with Andrew Haddon losing out on second place to Richard McAlpine on the final lap. In the Bonnier class, Dominik & Simon Jackson vanquished the ubiquitous Chevron B8 by taking their Lenham P70 to a unique class win ahead of Stephen Nuttall and Charles Allison/Peter Thompson.
Drawing the curtains on a brilliant Saturday of the Silverstone Festival, some 30 Masters Sports Car Legends car rumbled onto the grid for their 50-minute race. One corner into the race, two Ferraris were leading the field, Pearson from David Hart, but soon the Dutchman was ahead, with Diogo Ferrão following through into third in the Lola T292, the Portuguese driver passing James Claridge in the T296. Olly Bryant in the first of the Lola T70 Mk3Bs was into fourth before the end of the opening lap, with Martin O’Connell in another T70 also following through. On lap 2, Henry Fletcher moved up into seventh in the Chevron B26, ahead of Tim De Silva in the Taydec Mk3.
At the front, Hart inched out a 1.4-second lead over Pearson, as the T70s of Bryant and O’Connell powered through into third and fourth, both demoting Ferrão, who now had to deal with Fletcher. In the Bonnier class, Stephen Nuttall led the Chevron B8 battle from Julian Thomas and Christian Pittard, while in the Hulme class John Spiers and Andrew Haddon in their McLaren M1Bs were ahead of Billy Bellinger in the Cooper Monaco King Cobra.
As Hart Sr set fastest lap of the race, Pearson was coming under pressure from O’Connell who had relieved Bryant as the top T70 driver. Behind them, on lap 4, Ferrão, Fletcher and De Silva ensured that the entire top seven were covered by less than nine seconds! Claridge was in no man’s land in eighth, with Chris Beighton bearing down on him in the third T70, with Jason Wright a further six seconds back in another T70.
On lap 6, however, it was all change, as David Hart spun off his twitchy Ferrari 512M to relinquish the lead to Pearson who still massively pressured by O’Connell, Bryant and Ferrão, in a thrilling fight that now had the lead at stake. Behind Fletcher and De Silva, Hart resumed in seventh, before on lap 7, Pearson succumbed to pressure at the end of the Wellington Straight, as both O’Connell and Bryant got ahead of the yellow Ferrari.
In the Bonnier class, Thomas had passed Nuttall for the lead while they fought with Hulme class leader Greensall in the McLaren. Haddon, meanwhile, had to work hard to defend his second place in class from Bellinger’s close attention. Third place in the Bonnier class was taken over by Simon Jackson in the Lenham P70, as the Christian Pittard/Darren Burke Chevron B8 had faltered on lap 6, and needed to be recovered.
As a result, on lap 8, the safety car came to coincide with the opening of the pit window – and so on lap 9, the entire field came streaming into the pits all at once! The ‘race’ in the pits was won by the Thomas/Lockie Chevron B8 (although you had the feeling that something had gone wrong there) and Olly Bryant, with Steve Brooks up next in the Lola started by O’Connell, with Fletcher and De Silva another two having made up places. Alex Brundle in the Pearsons Ferrari was fourth, with a couple of hotshoe preparer-drivers right behind him – Martin Stretton in Ferrão’s T292, and Simon Hadfield in Beighton’s T70.
At the restart, the little Chevron was soon usurped as Bryant swept into the lead, with the Ferraris of Brundle and Olivier Hart following through, as De Silva took fourth off Brooks’ hands, with Stretton, Fletcher and Hadfield next, while Gonçalo Gomes was also coming on strong in the T296. Bryant’s time in the lead proved shortlived, however, as Brundle surged past on lap 14, while Hart Jr continued to harry Bryant for second. Sadly though, the young Dutchman faced a ten-second stop-and-go penalty for a false start at the restart, so that issue dealt with the red Ferrari 512M, allowing De Silva in the Taydec to move up into third.
Ten more minutes remained, and it was still all to play for. Brundle led Bryant by 2.4 seconds while six seconds further down the road, De Silva did everything to keep ahead of Stretton, but the American had to concede on lap 17, but Gomes was closing fast on both of them, with the Lola T296 passing the Taydec on the next lap. Moments later, Fletcher passed Brooks for sixth, while Hadfield was also looking for Brooks’ position. Seven ticks in arrears of Hadfield, the Stephan Joebstl/Andy Willis T70 had also moved into contention.
John Spiers continued to dominate the Hulme class in tenth overall, with Haddon a very distant second in class in 19th overall, while Richard McAlpine made it a McLaren 1-2-3 as the Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Cooper Monaco King Cobra was forced to throw in the towel on lap 17. In the Bonnier class, Simon Jackson’s Lenham P70 had robbed the lead from the seemingly tight grip of Stephen Nuttall’s Chevron B8, as the Thomas/Lockie B8 was docked a full lap for indeed pitting too early under safety-car conditions.
In the dying minutes Brundle held firm to win by 2.9 seconds from Bryant, with the James Claridge/Gonçalo Gomes Lola T296 charging up to third ahead of the Ferrão/Stretton T292. They were followed home by De Silva, Fletcher, the Beighton/Hadfield T70, the recovering Ferrari 512M of David & Olivier Hart and the Joebstl/Willis T70, as the O’Connell/Brooks T70 retired on the final lap but was still classified tenth. In 11th overall, Spiers and Greensall led home two more McLaren M1B, but it was McAlpine instead of Haddon who took second in class, as Haddon was another one to retire on the final lap. Dominik & Simon Jackson’s Lenham P70 broke the Chevron B8 stranglehold on the Bonnier class by beating Nuttall and Charles Allison/Peter Thompson combo to the win.