6 – 8 September 2019

Many silver linings to rainy clouds over spectacular Masters action at Zandvoort

The ever-changing weather conditions at Zandvoort turned the Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort into a special challenge for several of the four Masters grids present at the Dutch seaside track. In Masters Gentlemen Drivers and FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars respectively, Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie and Tom Bradshaw were dominant winners unperturbed by the circumstances but Kyle Tilley and Henry Fletcher weathered the storm to each claim a FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win. Olivier Hart provided a local touch by overcoming a time penalty on his way to Masters Pre-66 Touring Car glory.


Masters Gentlemen Drivers
Thomas/Lockie take commanding Masters Gentlemen Drivers win at Zandvoort

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie took no prisoners in their chase for Masters Gentlemen Drivers glory at Zandvoort, as the pair’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé led Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 250 GTO/64 by a massive 31 seconds until the race finished in safety-car conditions after a fiery off by Caroline Rossi in the daunting Scheivlak corner from which she emerged unscathed. Thomas having set a scorching pace in his opening stint, Lockie’s job was all about conserving the car to the finish.

“We had an amazing race,” said Thomas. “No problem at all, the car was really good…”

Lockie had a bit more to deal with in his stint, though. “Towards the end the front tyre was vibrating so much, I couldn’t see anything on my dials. But yes, we disappeared…”

“It was a bit of a boring race, actually”, said Pastorelli, who only fought with the David & Olivier Hart Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé that later retired with a broken throttle linkage. “I had a good fight with David. It was fun but I lost time with that. Once I was clear, Julian was gone.”

Steve Soper won the CLP-class battle to take third from his main rival Andrew Haddon, both in Elans, as the two kept ahead of the Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield Daytona Cobra and John Spiers’ TVR. Ron Maydon and his team mate for the occasion, Greg Thornton, claimed seventh overall and third in the CLP class.

“It was hard work for an old man!” said Soper. “The car was lovely, even though it was hard work trying to keep pace with the big cars.”

“I don’t think he saw me…”, said Haddon about getting spun around at the chicane by David Hart’s Cobra Daytona Coupé closing the door on him. “I had got past Steve and thought, now let’s get him too. Could I have held Steve off to the end? Ooh, I don’t know…”

In a stunning eighth place overall, the Michiel van Duijvendijk/Pascal Pandelaar Porsche 904 took a crushing victory in C1, winning by four laps from Peter Tognola’s Porsche 911. In C2, Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger led from lights to flag to finish 12th overall, well ahead of the Austin Healey 3000 chase led by the Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus/Jeremy Welch example.

From the start, Thomas immediately made a getaway, lapping two to three seconds faster to leave the warring David Hart and Nicky Pastorelli behind. Steve Soper and Andrew Haddon had jumped John Spiers’ TVR in their CLP-class-leading Elans, Spiers in turn leading Jason Minshaw in the Melling/Minshaw E-type. Voyazides was eighth in the third Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé, chased by Greg Thornton guesting in Ron Maydon’s Ginetta GR4 (third in the CLP class), with BMW GT3 driver Yelmer Buurman rounding out the top-ten in the Bizzarrini shared with father-in-law Alexander van der Lof.

In 11th overall, Keith Ahlers led C2 in the Morgan SLR, well ahead of Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus in the Austin Healey 3000 in 17th overall. In 13th, Michiel van Duijvendijk led the C1 class in the Porsche 904 put a stunning tenth on the grid by his stunningly quick team mate Pascal Pandelaar. Meanwhile among in the top ten, Minshaw had moved past Spiers to take sixth while Thornton demoted Voyazides to ninth, both moves happening on lap 4. On lap 6, Buurman also nipped past the Greek.

Fifteen minutes into the race, Thomas set a searing pace to lead Pastorelli by 16 seconds on lap 8. The lap before, the Ferrari had ambushed Hart’s Daytona Cobra, with three seconds behind them, Haddon had passed Soper for fourth. On lap 9, Haddon closed up on Hart to try a lunge into the chicane but the Dutchman closed the door and the Elan spun, handing fourth back to Soper. Soper’s tenure in fourth didn’t last long, though, as he moved his Elan past Hart to be third, but meanwhile trailing Pastorelli by nine seconds.

In C2, Ahlers was still leading handsomely, but behind him David Smithies stole second place in class from Nyblaeus on lap 10. In the battle of the Healeys, Crispin Harris wasn’t far away either. C1 class leader Van Duijvendijk was now 12th overall, having allowed Mark Martin past in the Elan placed fourth in the CLP class. In 27th overall, Peter Tognola’s Porsche 911 had overtaken the Edward Stone/David Huxley MGB for second in class.

As the pit window approached, Thomas’ lead had increased to an impressive 23 seconds, the gentleman driver in the Thomas/Lockie pairing performing almost on a par with his professional team mate. Soper was 33 seconds down, three seconds ahead of Hart Sr, who in turn was chased by Haddon. Minshaw and Thornton were fighting over sixth (Thornton getting ahead on la p 15), 44 seconds in arrears of the leader, while Spiers led Buurman and Voyazides in eighth.

“I never drove a Ginetta before so I have to thank Ron for giving me the opportunity”, said Thornton. “We stiffened it up overnight, and it felt great. And I loved the fight with the big cars…”

David Hart was the first into the pits to hand over to his quick son Olivier, with Voyazides following suit to change places with Simon Hadfield. Thomas was in one lap later, Lockie taking over the leading Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé, Haddon and Buurman following them in on the same lap. On lap 20, Pastorelli, Soper and Spiers were the last of the leaders to come in.

After the stops, and with half an hour to go, Lockie led Pastorelli and Soper by 22 and 23 seconds respectively, with Haddon in fourth but chased hard by Olivier Hart who was lapping four seconds quicker. Ron Maydon was sixth ahead of Spiers but they in turn were hunted down by another Daytona Cobra, Hadfield closing in at a rapid pace. Van der Lof in the Bizzarrini was ninth while Martin Melling looked set to be usurped by Mark Martin’s Elan and the fast-approaching Pascal Pandelaar in the C1-class-leading Porsche 904.

On lap 22, young Hart’s chase was suddenly over, as the Dutch Cobra crawled into the pits with a broken throttle cable, handing fifth to Maydon. Meanwhile in C2, Billy Bellinger had kept the Morgan SLR in a commanding lead while some 50 seconds down the fight was on between the Healeys of Chris Clarkson, James Wilmoth and Jeremy Welch, the three having taken over from Smithies, Harris and Nyblaeus respectively.

With 17 minutes to go, Van der Lof came in to retire the Bizzarrini, handing an amazing eighth overall to Pandelaar who himself was close to pipping Martin for seventh. Ahead of them, Hadfield had duly passed Spiers and Maydon for fifth. At the front, Lockie’s lead had increased to half a minute, Pastorelli now seven seconds clear of Soper, who in turn had dropped Haddon by 11 seconds. Hadfield trailed Haddon by 42 seconds so the former had to do more than lap three seconds faster to catch the latter. The Healey fight in C2, meanwhile, had developed in such a way that Welch was now on top ahead of Clarkson while Wilmoth had spun and lost touch with his rivals. Tognola was still second in C1, now ahead of the Richard Grube/Gerwig Koch MGB.

On lap 32, with seven minutes to go, Caroline Rossi went off at Scheivlak in her Austin Healey 3000, with a leaking fuel tank catching fire. The marshals were quick on the spot to extinguish the flames but the car was in a dangerous position. Understandably, the safety car was deployed, and the race finished under yellow, Lockie leading home Pastorelli, Soper, Haddon, Hadfield, Spiers and Maydon. Van Duijvendijk/Pandelaar won in C1, Ahlers/Bellinger triumped in C2.

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 1
Tilley weathers the storm to win first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort

On a very wet Zandvoort, Kyle Tilley won from the front to take the spoils in the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at the Dutch venue. The Ensign N177 driver’s main challenge faded on lap 2 when Henry Fletcher went off at Tarzan corner, the suspension of his March 761 having collapsed.

“I was relatively confident that I would be alright. I love racing in the wet”, said the American-domiciled Briton. “This was my first time to Zandvoort, and I love it, it’s a great little track. I was looking forward to fighting Henry – we were team mates in British GT and Britcar years back – but it wasn’t to be. And thanks to James for lending me his car. With a Dutch sponsor on the car winning at Zandvoort in the Ensign is cool.”

At the restart after the safety-car period required to salvage Fletcher’s car, Chris Perkins took second in his Surtees TS16, passing both Jason Wright (Shadow DN8) and James Hagan (Hesketh 308), but was repassed by Wright on lap 7. When Perkins looked like losing third place by incurring a 10-second time penalty for what turned out to be a jumped restart, Hagan dropped back to eighth suffering from gearbox maladies.

“I compromised my race by not knowing the rules!” said Wright about getting jumped by Hagan and Fletcher at the start. “I did get back at Chris, and then got James back – that was my best move.”

“Thanks to FIA technical delegate John Hopwood for explaining the safety-car-restart rules”, said Perkins, “but I still messed up the second one! But I loved racing the Surtees again, it was like putting my shoes on.”

This left Vincent Rivet’s March 811 in fourth but 11 seconds down on Perkins, while Bob Blain (March 761), Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Georg Hallau (Theodore N183) fought tooth and nail over fifth, and finishing in that order. Rivet, Simmonds and Hallau claimed the post-78 honours of a race that started without championship leader Matteo Ferrer.

“Horrible, it was so greasy”, said Simmonds. “I had a nice fight with Bob Blain. He got past me, and then I was trying to get past him – but he wouldn’t give me a lot of room…”

The race got underway with three cars missing on the grid – and some of the most important ones too. In qualifying, Andrew Haddon’s Hesketh 308C lost its engine, and no lesser man than championship leader Matteo Ferrer was the first to arrive at Gerlach corner where the Hesketh had dropped a copious amount of oil. The Italian was a passenger, and his French car crashed backwards into the tyre wall. Then, moments later, Michael Lyons’ McLaren M26 was off too at Slotemaker corner.

On a wet track, Jason Wright lost ground to James Hagan and Henry Fletcher on the first lap, and soon Fletcher got up into second place behind the leading Kyle Tilley. In the meantime, Paul Grant had retired to the pitlane in the oldest car on the grid, the De Tomaso 505/38. Making up ground on Tilley with fastest lap, Fletcher was looking at passing the leader when his March 761 ended up beach in the Tarzan gravel trap. This required the arrival of the safety car.

It took two laps to clear Fletcher’s machine, and then Chris Perkins was right on it at the restart, passing both Wright and Hagan for second place. On lap 7, though, Wright was back into second place and moving away from the Surtees. Behind Hagan in fourth, Vincent Rivet in the March 811 had moved up into fifth, ahead of Bob Blain’s March 761, Ian Simmonds in the Tyrrell 012 and Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183, the three all fighting over sixth place.

Perkins’ demon restart had been a bit too quick, it transpired, and the Surtees driver was penalised with ten seconds added to his race time. But right at the moment that was announced, Hagan disappeared from the order to reappear in eighth place, as Perkins led now fourth-placed Rivet by 11 seconds…. After the race, Hagan explained that he had lost both third and fifth gear but was happy to take eighth for the reversed-grid pole.

At the front, Tilley took a convincing win ahead of Jason Wright and Chris Perkins, Rivet indeed finishing 11 seconds down to not hurt Perkins’ place on the podium. Blain, Simmonds, Hallau and Hagan completed the top-eight, the Irishman despite his setback ensuring pole position for the second race on Sunday.

Masters Racing Legends for 66/85 F1 Cars – Race 2
Fletcher wins from the back in very wet second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort

Henry Fletcher made up for a miserable first day of the Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort by claiming a convincing win in a very wet second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race in the Dutch dunes. Having started from the back, the March 761 driver passed early leader Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183 on lap 5 and charged to a 14-second win over race 1 winner Kyle Tilley.

“I said before the start – whoever is going to stay out of trouble wins”, said Fletcher about the treacherous conditions. “So the beginning of the race was all about damage limitation for me. I knew I had the pace but vision was non-existent, so I was very careful in picking them off, one after the other. Today really makes up for yesterday!”

Two offs at the chicane – the first one induced by contact with Bob Blain’s March 761 – blighted Tilley’s challenge, and Fletcher was too far away when he too moved past the Theodore. With Fletcher responding with fastest lap of the race, Tilley gave up the chase to bring home second place. Hallau finished third to claim post-78 glory.

“I was alright until Bob hit me!” said Tilley about his first-lap contretemps with Bob Blain’s March 761. “I then had to pit for a flat rear tyre and was fighting a lost race.”

“I was lucky to start from the front”, said Georg Hallau. “At least I could see something, which allowed me to build a lead. It was so slippery out there, but that was the same for everyone.”

On a very wet track, Hallau led away in the Theodore N183 from the reversed grid ahead of Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012 and James Hagan’s Hesketh 308 that had stalled on the dummy grid but then got away after all. Braking for the chicane on the first lap, though, Bob Blain’s March 761 and Kyle Tilley’s Ensign N177 touched, leading to Blain’s retirement with a broken left front suspension. This meant that Henry Fletcher went round in fourth when the safety car was called in order for the marshals to be able to retrieve Blain’s car from the gravel trap. Meanwhile, Rivet retired his March 811 to the pits.

At the restart, Hagan immediately tried a pass on Hallau but the German stood firm on the outside line in Tarzan corner – the quicker line in rainy conditions. Further into the lap, Tilley went off at the chicane yet again but resumed, while Fletcher tried a lunge at Hagan into Tarzan, completing his attempt on the exit of the corner. Behind the top three, Tilley held his ground ahead of Chris Perkins in the Surtees TS16, Ian Simmonds and Jason Wright’s Shadow DN8.

Into lap 5, Fletcher made a move at Hallau into Tarzan but for now was too far away. Behind them, Tilley set fastest lap of the race to close on Hagan, and then at the back of circuit, Fletcher managed the pass after all, with Tilley then following his example by moving past the Hesketh. Further back, Perkins, Simmonds and Wright kept squabbling over fifth before Perkins went off for a bit of rallycross in Tarzan corner while Wright’s Shadow stopped and then got going again.

The track still extremely wet, Tilley moved into second place on lap 7 and set after the leading Fletcher. The latter, well aware of Tilley’s threat, immediately responded with fastest lap of the race, increasing his lead over the American-domiciled Briton to 7.4 seconds. Hallau looked a safe third with Hagan dropping back on him with every lap.

Fletcher proceeded to race the win home, increasing his lead over Tilley to 14 seconds at the chequered flag. Hallau took third and the post-78 win. Hagan finished fourth ahead of Simmonds, Wright and Perkins. After the race, though, Hagan was handed a 60-second penalty for retaking his position at the start, having stalled on the dummy grid. This dropped him down to seventh and handed third place in the pre-78 class to Wright.

Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars
Olivier Hart takes home win in Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at Zandvoort

Despite a five-second time penalty for a jumped safety-car restart, home boy Olivier Hart claimed victory in the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at Zandvoort. Across the line, the youngster’s Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA had nine seconds in hand over the Cortina of Mark Martin and Steve Soper. Soper passed pole man Chris Middlehurst’s Mini with five minutes to go, the pair completing an all-under-2-litre top-three on the twisty Dutch track.

“I didn’t have a good qualifying”, said Hart. “The speed was there but I couldn’t get it connected. But I had a good start, passed three cars at once, and then caught the Minis and Cortinas up front. I’m sure I passed the line at the second safety-car restart but I worked away at a lead, having had my tyre pressure lowered at the stops. After that, the car was perfect.”

“He needs dad in the car with him, and then maybe… When I saw he was driving solo, I thought ‘S**t!’” said Soper with a smile. “Chris was on his own and didn’t put up a fight but the other Minis… I passed them and they got back me, I passed them again – it was hard work!”

The Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield Ford Falcon was the only American V8 that broke into the top-five, Hadfield pipping Kevin Abbring on the final lap. The Dutch WRX star guesting in René de Vries’ Mini had run as high as third in his opening stint but was later scrapped from the results for a rules infringement.

“That’s where we should be!” Hadfield quipped about being in the single Falcon among the frontrunners.

Following an additional lap behind the safety car to allow the drivers to explore a damp track, Callum MacLeod got the jump on pole man Chris Middlehurst to momentarily lead, but Middlehurst was soon back in front. Behind them, Olivier Hart was making up ground in the GTA, along with that other local star, Dutch WRX hero Kevin Abbring in René de Vries’ Mini, the pair having passed Jonathan Lewis in another Mini. On lap 4, Hart also moved ahead ahead of MacLeod to take second.

Tom Sharp’s BMW was sixth ahead of Michael Cullen’s Mini, with Mini class leader Tom Bell following next, ahead of Mark Martin and John Spiers in a pair of Cortinas. The first American V8s were still languishing outside the top ten, Voyazides leading Thomas in 11th and 12th.

On lap 5, the safety car was out for a car into the gravel at Hugenholtz but on the restart one lap later young Hart stormed past Middlehurst to take the lead. A big lock-up for the GTA into Tarzan didn’t prevent the Dutch teenager from inching away from the quickest Mini with fastest lap of the race – but then the safety car was out again as Julian Thomas had ground to a halt at Slotemaker with a very smoky and oil-leaking Falcon.

As the Falcon was cleared the news came through that Hart had jumped the safety-car start, along with Chris Wilson’s Dodge Dart, and the pair were consequently hit with a 5-second time penalty.

All the while, the pit window was fast approaching, and indeed it opened on the lap that the safety car was in. The Minis of Middlehurst, Lewis, Cullen and Bell all dashed for the pits, along with Mark Martin handing over to Steve Soper, Leo Voyazides for Simon Hadfield, and Martin Melling for Jason Minshaw. The rest stayed out. Hart was in on the next lap, while pro drivers MacLeod and Abbring continued out there.

With a minute of the pit window remaining, MacLeod, Abbring and Sharp were the last of the leaders to pit, followed in by the Cortina of Spiers and the Minis of Maydon and Stephen Mawhinney, the latter handing over to James Hagan.

On lap 14, once the pitstops had panned out, Hart led Middlehurst by three seconds. Bell had jumped the queue to be third ahead of Lewis, but Steve Soper was closing fast on them in Mark Martin’s Cortina, and caught and passed both on the next lap. Abbring was sixth ahead of Tom Sharp, but the BMW driver was slammed with a 17-second time penalty for overtaking under the safety car. Similarly in a hurry, Simon Hadfield in the first of the V8s was trying to erase a 11-second gap to Sharp, while Lewis dropped down to eighth with a spin. The Falcons of Minshaw and Smithies were still back in 14th and 15th overall.

Hart’s five-second penalty was negated on lap 16 as his advantage on Middlehurst had increased to 5.008 seconds. Steve Soper in third, however, was the fastest man on track, while Abbring held his own in fourth, lapping quicker than Sharp and Bell following him. In sixth, Hadfield then outdid Soper to further close on the penalty-hit Sharp (who he had passed on time anyway) but, more significantly, on Abbring as well.

With five minutes remaining on the clock, Hart looked safely in front with a fastest lap of the race but then Soper beat that to remove Middlehurst from second place.

“It was very slippery at the start”, said Middlehurst, “but when the track started drying out the Cortinas and the Alfa gathered more speed. I’m still first in the Mini class, I couldn’t have done any better. There was no point holding up Steve, so I just let him go.”

Abbring still had five seconds in hand on Hadfield, who was storming to a dominant over-2-litre win over the other Falcons of Melling/Minshaw and Clarkson/Smithies, while Bell dropped behind Sharp (on the road, that is) to lead Lewis by just three seconds in a fight for third place in the Mini class. At the line, Hart beat Soper by nine seconds, keeping four ticks in hand for the win. Middlehurst finished third ahead of Hadfield who pipped Abbring on the final lap before the Dutchman was disqualified.

Masters Sports Car Legends
Bradshaw beats the regulars in FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race at Zandvoort

Tom Bradshaw came, saw and conquered at Zandvoort, driving off to an imperious FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win at the Historic Grand Prix event. In his Chevron B19, he converted pole to a dominant 29-second win over Henry Fletcher who himself starred by hauling his B19 up to second from last on the grid.

“I got a good pace from the off”, said Bradshaw. “The pitstop was really clean. I had an exhaust issue towards the end but that was timed really well with the rain, so everyone backed off. I’m absolutely over the moon. We put blood, sweat and tears into the car, and had lots of trouble with it, so to win makes it all the more sweet.”

“I had nothing to lose today”, said Fletcher. “I just pushed and caught up with the front pack pretty quickly. There was nothing I could do about the lead but I had a good gap behind me.”

In third, the Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield Lola T70 Mk3B won a thrilling duel with Manfredo Rossi’s Osella-Abarth PA1, Hadfield passing the Italian with ten minutes to go. The Simon Fish/Diogo Ferrão Lola T292 and the Jason Wright/Andy Wolfe T70 Mk3B were up next, ahead of Bonnier class winner James Allison in the first of the Chevron B8s, who held off Greg Thornton’s example by a mere whisker.

“We were the first driver pairing home,” said a chirpy Hadfield, “so I consider that a win!”

The Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Cooper Monaco King Cobra decided an exciting battle for pre-66 Hulme-class honours in its favour, Ahlers repassing Chris Drake in the McLaren M1B started by Mark Shaw when ten minutes before the end a light drizzle turned parts of the track into a treacherous place. Behind them, Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing were happy to take third in class in the Cooper Monaco T61M, as it assured them of the pre-66 title.

“After the pitstops I was +4 on the McLaren”, said Ahlers. “He closed that and passed me. But I stayed with him, and when the rain came, I thought ‘Lovely…’.”

“It was fantastic”, said Drake. “Normally in the second stint it’s all about time, but we were fighting all the way to the finish. What a race!”

“We got the championship, that’s all we came for”, said Steve Farthing. “We can now go to Spa and enjoy ourselves.”

After a demon start, David Hart’s Lola T70 Mk3B took up second behind Tom Bradshaw’s pole-sitting Chevron B19, with Michael Gans’ Lola T290 passing Leo Voyazides’ T70 Mk3B for third. On the next lap, Manfredo Rossi’s Osella-Abarth PA1 also moved past the Greek, with Simon Fish – Diogo Ferrão’s team mate on the occasion in the Lola T292 – holding sixth ahead of Matt Wrigley’s Chevron B19. Jason Wright was eighth in his T70 Mk3B, ahead of João Paulo Campos Costa’s Chevron B19, but from the back of the grid after his exclusion from qualifying for his B19 being found underweight, Henry Fletcher was already up to tenth in a 27-car race.

In the Bonnier class, Julian Thomas led the Chevron B8 battle ahead of Greg Thornton and Charles Allison, while in the pre-66 Hulme class Mark Shaw (McLaren M1B) had seven seconds in hand on Billy Bellinger in the Cooper Monaco King Cobra. In the Pescarolo class, Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari Daytona was 14 seconds ahead of James Bates’ RSR, that had lost time with a spin into Tarzan.

Ten minutes gone, Rossi had dropped from the top-five with a spin, resuming in seventh, while Gans was closing on Hart in second place, who was then handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, as his demon start had proved to be slightly too demonic, as it also included overtaking under yellow during the start procedure. The Dutchman and American trailed Bradshaw by 14 seconds, but had ten seconds in hand on Voyazides in fourth, who was trying to keep Fish and Wrigley behind.

As Bradshaw continued to lead imperiously, Hart served his penalty on lap 7, which dropped him all the way down to tenth. Bradshaw’s lead on Gans now amounted to 16 seconds, with Rossi about to lose third to a storming drive from Fletcher who in the previous laps had passed Campos Costa, Wright, Wrigley, Voyazides and Fish for fourth.

In 11th overall, Thomas was still leading Thornton and Allison in the Bonnier class, one place ahead of Siffert-class leader John Sheldon in the Chevron B16. Bellinger, meanwhile, had cut Shaw’s Hulme-class lead to nine seconds, the pair running 14th and 16th overall. At the start of the pit window, though, Thomas’ class-leading Chevron B8 was out with a broken gearbox.

Rossi, Fish, Wright and Voyazides were among the early stoppers, as Bradshaw, Gans and Fletcher continued in their first three places. Gans, Wrigley and Hart were in next, but the leader picked his pitstop time as almost the last in the field. As the pit window closed, Bradshaw held a dominant 32-second lead over Fletcher, as Gans was soon back into the pits with a throttle issue on his Lola T290. That elevated Rossi back up to third, while Simon Hadfield passed Ferrão for fourth, 48 seconds down on the leader. 20 seconds further back, Andy Wolfe was also playing catch-up in the T70 Mk3 started by Wright, Wolfe having passed Wrigley and Hart for sixth.

After Thomas’ demise, Charles Allison was the new Bonnier-class leader in tenth overall – which became ninth when Campos Costa retired his B19. John Sheldon’s B16 split Allison and his class rival Thornton, as Frazer Gibney moved up into third in the Bonnier class. In the Hulme class, the Ahlers/Bellinger Cooper Monaco King Cobra now headed Chris Drake in the McLaren M1B started by Mark Shaw while Pastorelli was still in a comfortable Pescarolo-class lead.

With 15 minutes still to go, Rossi was unable to contain Hadfield, as the Lola powered past the Osella on the way up the hill to take third. Meanwhile, Wrigley had disappeared from the order, his Chevron B19 stopped out on track. This meant that Allison, Thornton and Sheldon now completed the overall top-ten. In 11th overall, Mark Owen in the B8 started by father Andrew was closing rapidly on the three of them, the younger having his eyes firmly set on something better than third in the Bonnier class.

At the front, Bradshaw, Fletcher and Hadfield were all setting similar lap times, the same applying to Rossi, Ferrão, Wolfe and Hart in fourth through seventh. Rossi wasn’t giving up, though, the Italian still hounding Hadfield as the first drops of rain began to fall. Hadfield feeling more comfortable on the slippery surface, the gap soon opened up again. Meanwhile in the Hulme class, the fight had truly heated up between Ahlers and Drake, the latter having repassed the Monaco King Cobra.

After an hour of racing, Bradshaw completed a dominant race to win by 29 seconds from Fletcher, who himself starred to haul his B19 to second from the back of the grid. Hadfield kept Rossi at bay for third. Ahlers profited from the rain to get back at Drake and take the pre-66 Hulme class win while Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing in their Cooper Monaco T61M were happy to take third in class and the championship. Allison, Sheldon and Pastorelli took Bonnier, Siffert and Pescarolo honours respectively, the former staying just 0.103 seconds ahead of Thornton on the line, with Mark Owen four seconds further down the road.