'La Grande Passione' - The Masters Series at Donington May 2007
Consisting of twelve races spread over the Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday, 'La Grande Passion' took us back to motor racing in the 1950s '60s and '70s with grids packed full of the historic cars from those decades. By combining events from the Masters series and the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association the organisers managed to give us a selection of races that spread from Formula 1 through Sports and Le Mans cars, to Saloons.
As well as classic racing machines the line up included some famous motor racing faces, Richard Attwood and Brian Redman were in attendance. Frank Sytner was driving in his usual 10/10th style, so much so that he blew the engine of his 1975 Penske PC3 in spectacular fashion while dicing for the lead with James Hanson’s 1976 March 761 during the Grand Prix Masters race, this gave second place to Le Mans veteran Andy Wallace driving a 1971 Brabham BT33.
Andy just had time to clean Frank’s oil from his helmet visor, with the aid Brian Redman’s expert help, before jumping into his 1964 Brabham BT11 to take part in the HGPCA pre 66 Grand Prix race, where he finished 5th.
Many other historic racing series were using this meeting as a round in their championships, so the line-up included races from the CanAm and Le Mans. The crowd's favourite Jackie Oliver was throwing his 1965 BMW through the corners like a man possessed during the Top Hat Saloon Car race, bumping over the kerbs and flattening the corner markers as he went. With such a wonderful career behind him Jackie has nothing to prove it so must have been just for the fun of it and to give the spectators a treat.
With full grids of historic race cars, the Masters Series and the HGPCA go from strength to strength, if only the sun had been shining it would have been a perfect weekend of classic motor-sport, but then it wasn’t wall-to-wall sunshine in the 50s/70s either.
If you weren’t at the meeting you missed a treat, but all is not lost, the Masters Series moves on to Brands Hatch for the next bank holiday weekend 27th/28th May and the HGPCA are racing in Pau at the same time.
For further information on The Masters Series and HGPCA events please visit -
Story and photos by Roger Dixon - all strictly copyright. For further information please visit www.rogerdixonphotography.com
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