The Masters Series - Brands Hatch 27-28 May 2007
Are the Masters Series organisers in league with that famous Time Lord, Doctor Who? It seems that way, although there is no sign of his police phone box, but it is a Bank Holiday and we are all at Brands Hatch circuit. I’m holding two Brands programmes, one dated Monday 30th August 1965, the other 27/28th May 2007 and the confusing thing is that they both have almost identical race entry lists; Lola T70s, AC Cobras, E-Types, Elvas, Lotus Elans, Alfa GTZs, Lotus 23s, and saloon car races that are full of Mustangs, Galaxies and Cortinas. There’s even a Fiat Abarth 1000 in each. Have I really been transported back to the days of my youth?
There is one difference I don’t remember August Bank Holiday Monday 1965 being this wet and cold - had it not been for the weather the Masters Series might have pulled the deception off.
Last weekend’s Masters meeting wasn’t all 1965, there were races on both days for Group C cars with David Mercer taking top spot in the Spice SE90C on Sunday and Andy Purdie, Porsche 926C, romped home in first place on a soaking Monday.
Sunday’s Grand Prix Masters race saw Richard Meins come home first in his McLaren M23, just as James Hunt had done in an identical car on this very circuit 31 years before. Unfortunately Monday’s race was cancelled when the race officials decided that the flooded track conditions were too dangerous for grand prix cars. Taking into account the atrocious weather conditions a very respectable number of hardy spectators enjoyed a good weekend of racing with the very damp track conditions providing plenty of spins and slides to keep these visitors amused.
Ex-grand prix driver Jackie Oliver, BMW 1800 TiSa, was taken by surprise when Emilio Zago took his Cooper S through on the inside of the BMW at Druids hairpin to take the lead in the under 2-litre Saloon car race. They sparred for first place for two further laps sliding and slithering around the corners but by then Jackie had got the measure of the Mini and stared to pull away leaving Zago to eventually finish sixth.
Australian Wayne Park took his Lola T70 Mk3B to victory in both Sports Car Masters races, with Monday’s win taken in pouring rain with the track awash with water. The Gentleman Drivers GT race was run in similar conditions and saw a great battle between the Cobras of Chiles/Ingram and Wykeham/Bendall with the former pairing eventually taking the honours.
At first in the Top Hat Saloon Car event it looked as if the “Big Bangers” were going to be beaten by the nimble Lotus Cortina of Simon Garrad, but after a Safety Car session closed the field back up he had to settle for third place with the Graeme and James Dodd Mustang winning in the end.
Apart from the torrential rain there’s no doubt that the Masters Brands Hatch Historic Festival was a journey back to the times when this great venue held some fantastic meetings. Talking of rain, what about 1970 and Rodriguez in the 917 do I hear you say?
“Anorak”? Well you certainly needed one of those last weekend.
For further information on The Masters Series events please visit -
Story and photos by Roger Dixon - all strictly copyright. For further information please visit www.rogerdixonphotography.com
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