Welcome to Who? What? Where? When? Why? on the World Wide Web. Your comments, criticism and suggestions: editors#8w.forix.com (replace # with @).
8W is forix.autosport.com's motorsport history section and covers the drivers, cars, circuits, eras and technology that shaped the face, sounds and smells of motor racing.

2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival report
Brands Heat


Related articles


Martin Stretton


Tyrrell-Cosworth 012


Brands Hatch


2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival (May 26, 2017)

Martin Stretton, Tyrrell 012, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Three fine days and a thunderstorm or two. That’s how one of the locals described English spring weather to me. And that’s precisely what happened during the recent Brands Hatch Masters Festival, where Masters Historic Racing and Motor Racing Legends combined to create a wonderful two-day programme, preceded by an open test day on the Friday.

That Friday was boiling hot, and it was inevitable that Saturday morning had to start with a thunderstorm that freshened things up only momentarily. Soon after, temperature was rising again and for two days you could almost touch the next thunderstorm in the air. It eventually came on Sunday, late in the afternoon, and made for an interesting FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race.

Williams bodywork, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Array of Williams bodywork and colour-matching Martin Stretton Racing pit board. (photo 8W)

In qualifying, Nick Padmore had put his Chevron B19 on pole, beating the similar example of Martin O’Connell, fresh at Brands from its appearance at Spa the weekend before. In the race, however, Padmore’s starting team mate Max Smith-Hilliard felt much more uncomfortable in the rain than O’Connell who charged away to dominate proceedings. When Smith-Hilliard got tangled up with Michael Gans and Robert Oldershaw into Druids for the first time, the pole-sitting B19 was out of contention for the win. Oldershaw’s Lola T212 went on to finish second, ahead of Gary Pearson, who was driving solo in Carlos Monteverde’s Lola T70 Mk3B. Gans fought back from a spin to claim fourth.

On a wet but drying track, several drivers starred in the early stages of the race, notably Mark Owen in his Chevron B8, who worked his way up to third when the pit window opened. Andrew Owen eventually held on to ninth overall to still comfortably win the Bonnier class.

Chiles Sr/Chiles Jr AC Cobra, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

The Chiles/Chiles AC Cobra at speed through Druids. (photo 8W)

In the Pescarolo class, Aaron Head’s early charge up to fourth overall came to nought because of a lengthy pitstop which handed the lead to Mark Bates’ similar 911 RS, who helped by his Porsche’s superior traction had done an almost equally impressive first stint and went on to finish a remarkable seventh overall.

Mike Whitaker won the Hulme class in his Lola T70 Mk2, having battled with the Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Cooper Monaco King Cobra all race before creating a bit of gap. When Ahlers went off at Surtees to cause the red flag that finished the race prematurely, Whitaker was sure of the class win.

Paul Grant, De Tomaso 505/38, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Paul Grant's beautifully restored ex-Piers Courage De Tomaso 505/38. (photo 8W)

It was Whitaker’s second podium of the weekend, since his TVR Griffith had finished second to Michael Gans in the 90-minute Masters Gentlemen Drivers race the day before. Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie had been in contention for the win, Thomas fighting Gans early on in his E-type, but a lengthy pitstop because of a broken starter motor dropped the car back to fourth. Lockie later repassed Roger Wills’ Bizzarrini 5300 GT for third.

This race also ended with a red flag, this time ten minutes before the end, when Michael Schryver went off in his Elan. The results being declared on the standings one lap before the red flag, Schryver still finished third in class. Remarkably, Andrew Haddon had passed the John Davison/Ed Morris Elan for the class lead just five corners before the red flag was waved, grabbing the CLP class win for himself and Mark Martin. Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger won the C2 class in their Morgan SLR while Mark Bates took the first of his two class wins of the weekend by dominating the C1 class.

Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie, Jaguar E-type, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

When the rains came... The Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie E-type splashing past. (photo 8W)

After the race, Gans declared he was knackered, since he had to do the race all by himself – as would Graham Wilson in the Chevron B8 the day after – as Andy Wolfe had dislodged his thumb in a brush-up with Steve Hartley, battling with the Arrows A4 driver over second place in the first of two FIA Masters Historic Formula One races. Michael Lyons dominated the first one in his RAM Williams FW07B but dropped out just one lap into the second race, his driveshaft broken. This handed the lead and the eventual win to Martin Stretton, whose Tyrrell 012 was knocked out in the first race after contact with Andy Wolfe’s Tyrrell 011 when they dove into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.

Nick Padmore won twice in the pre-77 class, driving the same Shadow DN5 that Max Smith-Hilliard took to two class wins at Barcelona, thus continuing the car’s unbeaten streak.

Marc Valvekens, Lola Mk1, Serge Kriknoff, Lotus XI, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Marc Valvekens (Lola Mk1) leads Serge Kriknoff (Lotus XI) up the hill. (photo 8W)

Both of Motor Racing Legends’ fifties sports car races saw domination by a single car, the Charles Gillett/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards Cooper-Jaguar T38 winning the RAC Woodcote Trophy while Chris Ward’s Lister ‘Costin’ proved uncatchable in the Stirling Moss Trophy.

The Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race was easy pickings for the Alan Mann Ford Mustang driven my Henry Mann and Steve Soper, although the former was kept honest by Craig Davies’ similar Mustang during the early part of the race. Mann and Soper had free rein, however, after Davies returned to the pits with third gear gone.

Simon Fish, Ensign N180, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Looking into the eyes of Simon Fish in his Ensign N180. (photo 8W)

Initially, the big V8-engined cars of Roger Wills (Mercury Comet Cyclone) and Warren Briggs (Ford Falcon) battled over second place, but the two Kiwis were overhauled by the fast-finishing Cortinas of Mark Sumpter and Geoff Letts. Ron Maydon and Nick Swift won the Mini class, Swift catching up and passing the Matt Kelly/Ian Curley Mini that had held a massive lead in the opening phase of the race.

There were two more touring-car races, as eighties touring cars fought over the Tony Dron Trophy. Mark Smith was looking the likely victor in the first race but failed to finish the race in his BMW E30 M3. This gave Steve Dance the win in the Capri RS 2600 but Smith set the record straight in the second race.

Chris Ward, Lister Costin, 2017 Brands Hatch Masters Festival

Chris Ward dominated the Stirling Moss Trophy in his Lister 'Costin'. (photo 8W)

The curtain fell on the weekend with the Tony Brise Trophy for Formula Ford cars. Adriano Medeiros won in his Van Diemen RF80, leading Mike O’Brien’s Merlyn Mk20, that won the class for older cars. Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk4 provided lots of spectacle by storming up to seventh from last on the grid.

The full Brands Hatch Masters Festival event gallery