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F1 cars delight fans at Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival

Sunday, May 30 2021

Fans were treated to two days of exquisite retro motor racing at the Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival this weekend, as F1 machines, sports cars, GTs and tin tops from the '60s, '70s and '80s took to the iconic Grand Prix circuit.

Steve Hartley was the star of the weekend's two Masters Historic F1 races, winning twice in his McLaren MP4/1 ahead of a field of cars from manufacturers including Williams, Shadow, and Surtees.

Hartley led a McLaren 1-2-3 from pole in Saturday's opening 25-minute race on the Kent circuit's revered longer layout in his 1982 MP4/1, heading home Lukas Halusa's 1976-spec M23 and Warren Briggs' M29 from 1980.

Race two was won from fourth on the grid as Hartley passed both Briggs and Halusa before hunting down the Williams FW08C of Mark Hazell to take a lead he'd hold until the finish. Halusa passed the Williams too, with Hazell hanging on to take third.

Masters Historic Formula 1, Saturday Top Five
1, Steve Hartley, McLaren MP4/1, 14 laps
2, Lukas Halusa, McLaren M23, +3.133s
3, Warren Briggs, McLaren M29, +3.455s
4, Mark Hazell, Williams FW08C, +3.739s
5, Ian Simmonds, Tyrrell 012, +4.738s

Masters Historic Formula 1, Sunday Top Five
1, Steve Hartley, McLaren MP4/1, 14 laps
2, Lukas Halusa, McLaren M23, +22.629s
3, Mark Hazell, Williams FW08C, +28.280s
4, Warren Briggs, McLaren M29, +32.903s
5, Ian Simmonds, Tyrrell 012

For full results of this weekends action including the two F1 races, click here.

Another manufacturer strongly represented on the F1 grid was Tyrrell, which won its one and only F1 manufacturers' title with a car of its own design 50 years ago in 1971. Tyrrells on the grid included Jonathan Holtzman's stunning P34 six-wheeler continuation, Ian Simmonds' 012 and an 011 driven by an American named Ken Tyrrell - no relation.

To celebrate, MSV and Masters arranged for a special Tyrrell Trophy to be awarded to the 'driver of the weekend'. The trophy was awarded to Andrew Haddon for his solo exploits behind the wheel of a Lotus Elan in the Gentlemen Drivers GT race, with team founder Ken Tyrrell's grandson Adam on hand to present.

The Gentlemen Drivers race itself was won outright by James Cottingham, driving solo in a Shelby Cobra for 90 minutes. Other race winners included Alex Brundle, son of former F1 driver Martin, in the Masters Historic Sports Cars behind the wheel of a Lola T70 and Calum Lockie/Julian Thomas in the Pre-66 Touring Cars, racing a Ford Falcon.

Elsewhere, Tom Smith was a double winner in the Equipe Libre races, taking the chequered flag twice in his MGB. Steve Tandy was two times a winner in the Masters Endurance Legends, whilst former BTCC racer Ian Curley claimed the spoils in both Pre-66 Mini races. 

In between the races, spectators on the banks were treated to displays from powerful single-seater racing cars that don't conform to any of this weekend's race regulations. These included machinery from Benetton and Coloni, plus a powerful Lola Formula 5000. 

Photo: Gary Hawkins