Action-packed Historic Race Festival at Brands Hatch
As one of Britain’s most iconic racing circuits, Brands Hatch has enjoyed an illustrious past second to none, playing host in its long history to the most important international events and legendary drivers from every imaginable motor sport discipline.
It was back in 1928 that motorcycle racing was first run at the Kent venue on a grass track, but it was not until 1950 that a surfaced course was in use which was extended the following year to form the 2.1 mile club track still in use today. For 1960 a further extension was added to create the much revered and demanding 2.6 mile Grand Prix circuit, and it remains little changed.
Thus was born one of the most evocative circuits of the 1950s and ‘60s. With more character than any other national track and hugely popular with drivers and spectators alike, ‘The Hatch’, set in a natural amphitheatre offering panoramic views, simply oozes history.
From the great sportscar and GT battles of the BOAC 500 Miles and 1000Km of the mid-1960s, the British and European GPs between 1964 and ’86 and the close-fought championship saloon car scraps from the halcyon days of the ‘50s and ‘60s, right through to the clash and thunder of mighty V8, CanAm-type machinery of the 1970s and the awesome speed of Group C sports-prototypes in the 1000km events of the 1980s, it is little wonder this jewel in the crown of British circuits attracts an ever-growing number of historic motor race events.
This golden age of motor racing will return once more with the Masters Historic Festival over the end of May Bank Holiday weekend. Star attractions of a packed programme on the Grand Prix Circuit include races for Group 4 sports-prototypes, Top Hat classic saloons, pre-ground effect Formula 1 cars, Group C/GTP sports-prototypes, 1960s sports-racing cars, Gentleman Drivers GTs and sportscars, and U2TC for under two litre touring cars - while off-track specialist auctioneer Coys will be holding a mouth-watering sale of classic sports-racing, sports, competition and road machinery.
Situated in the south-east of England, and ideally placed for travel from Europe, the Festival differs from many historic events in having a one-ticket-only policy allowing spectators access to all areas including the paddock. Destined to bring back the character of the much-missed Coys International Historic Festivals of the 1990s, The Masters Historic Festival promises two days of spectacular, nostalgia-fuelled motor sport at Britain’s best-loved racing circuit.
Nor is this a one-off, a long-term contract having been agreed between Masters Racing Series and Brands Hatch owner Jonathan Palmer and his Motor Sport Vision company. "Jonathan Palmer and his MSV team chose in autumn 2006 to work with Masters Racing Series to develop an all new festival", explains the series’ Chris Tate, "and Masters aims to bring a professional, modern approach to the fast-growing business that is current historic motor sport.
"With the terrific buzz about this new event, much of it created by Coys and their all-new Brands auction, with some really great cars to sell, and thanks to the efforts of all our other sponsors - and with a great turnout of truly special race cars and some different twists in entertainment - we think the end of May Bank Holiday weekend will be really something to remember in the great traditions of Brands Hatch".
The Masters Festival at Brands Hatch, Kent, will run on the UK's May Bank Holiday weekend, May 27 - 28th 2007.
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STOP PRESS: All the cars in the Coys auction are now viewable online in the Classic Driver car database. Please CLICK HERE to see full colour photographs, lot descriptions and estimates.
Text - Paul Chudecki
Photos - Coys
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