John Fitzpatrick to make racing return to Brands Hatch in a BMW 3.5 CSL

Touring Car and sportscar legend John Fitzpatrick will head for Brands Hatch later this month, to race there for the first time since 1983. The event is the Masters Historic Festival, and the car is one of Roger Wills’ BMW 3.5 CSLs.

“I am delighted to be going back to Brands Hatch,” says Fitzpatrick, who won the 1983 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometres with Derek Warwick in his J David-sponsored Porsche 956, but has not raced at the Kent circuit since then. “I consider the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch to be the best and most challenging circuit in the UK, and the most interesting for spectators. Brands Hatch brings back many good memories for me. I won my first race there in an 850 Mini back in the 1960s and I won my last international race there in 1983.”

As well as many BMW successes, Fitzpatrick won the British Saloon Car Championship in a Ford Anglia in 1966 and the famous Bathurst 1000 in 1976 with Bobby Morris in a Holden Torana. Comments Top Hat event manager James Beckett, “It’s great to have someone with the reputation of John Fitzpatrick racing with Masters. Fitz is a legendary figure in Touring Cars and sportscar racing, both as a driver and team manager, and it will be fabulous to see him reunited with the BMW.”

Fitz is clearly looking forward to the weekend as much as the organisers: “The BMW CSL is the best-handling Touring Car I ever drove and it took me to two of my best wins, the Six Hours of the Nürburgring in 1972 and the 1000Km at Silverstone in 1976.”

The Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival runs from 28-30 May 2011, with races on the Indy circuit (28 May) and the Grand Prix circuit (29/30 May).

Text: Classic Driver
Photo: Masters

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