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GP Masters win for Richard Barber tops Masters Festival Day One

Saturday, May 26 2012

The first day of the Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival has come to a close after a scintillating day of F1 racing.

The main highlight was a great race for the Grand Prix Masters which was won by Richard Barber's Fittipaldi F5A, a race only decided on the final lap when long time leader Brendon Hartley's Lotus 92/5 suffered gearbox issues and had to settle for second place.

Richard Meins' Williams had led from the front, converting his pole position into the lead at Paddock Hill Bend. He lead for the first eight laps but when he hit mechanical drama was forced out of the race, as was second placed man Steve Allen. This transformed the battle for third between Barber and Hartley into a scrap for the lead, with Harley forcing his way through on lap 11, a lead he held until his dramas on the final tour. Former GP2 racer Hartley had difficulties getting into fourth gear, and Barber surged past to grab the win.

Andrew Smith claimed third in his March 701 from ninth on the grid but had to fend off the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 of Roger Wills who closed dramatically in the final laps.

The biggest improver was Manfredo Rossi di Montelera in the Lotus 80, who had started last on the grid but surged up to fifth overall with Ian Simmonds in a Tyrrell 012 sixth.

Nordea GP Masters, Race 1 - result:

1. Richard  Barber, Fittipaldi F5A, 25:55.062s
2. Brendon Hartley, Lotus 92/5, +5.860s
3. Andrew Smith, March 701, +22.286s
4. Roger Wills, Tyrrell P34, +22.659s
5. Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Lotus 80, +52.710s
6. Ian Simmonds, Tyrrell 012, +57.284s

Away from the GP Masters an eventful race for the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association for Pre-66 F1 cars was won by Peter Horsman's Lotus 18 ahead of Rod Jolley in a Lotus Cooper T45 and Andy Middlehurst third in his Lotus 25.

The other F1 race of the day was for the Historic Race of Champions which was won by Andrew Smith in a March 701, 43 seconds ahead of the Tyrrell of John Delane. Rudolf Ernst rounded off the podium in a March 721.

Othe races were held for the CanAm Interserie Challenge, and Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT Cars.

Tickets for the second day of the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch on Sunday 27 May are available on the gate for £21 with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.