Heritage GT action to support...

A1GP featureThe Heritage Grand Touring Car Challenge will feature in one of the biggest race meetings of the year in Britain when it is a leading support race to the A1GP event on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of 3/4 May.A capacity grid of sports, saloon and GT cars of the 1960s and 1970s will be one of the many crowd-pleasing aspects of the weekend’s fabulous programme at Brands Hatch, which will be the second round of the Heritage GT season. In fact, the chance to race at such a prominent event and tackle the awesome Grand Prix circuit at Brands meant that places on the 44-car grid have been at a premium, with a number of reserves waiting in the wings.The spectacular series of races for period machinery is an incredibly popular part of the British motor racing scene, with cars ranging from Mini Coopers to Ford Mustangs and from Jaguar E Types to Sunbeam Tigers and Aston Martin V8s. The bigger cars have more power than grip, so the action is always fast and furious and the two-driver format makes for some great racing.Setting the pace when the season opened at Donington Park in mid-April were the thundering Sunbeam Tigers of Chris Beighton/Jon Finnemore and Jackie Cochrane/Andy Rouse. Former British GT frontrunners Beighton and Finnemore scored an impressive victory in the season opener, but the Cochrane/Rouse combination is equally strong and won the second race. Rouse has joined Cochrane for at least the first two weekends of the Heritage season and Donington marked the first time since 1972 that the multiple BTCC champion had raced a car without a roof.Aston Martins have always played an important part in the Heritage races and a strong solo drive by Chris Scragg netted a podium at Donington in his V8, while the classic DB5 of Peter Wheeler/Ben Samuelson is another leading contender.Among the saloon cars, the American V8s are to the fore and the Chevrolet Camaro of Alec Hammond/Graham Hathaway will be quick as Hathaway races an American car for the first time in his 40-year racing career. Rick Lloyd/Peter Horsman joined the Camaro ranks at Donington, but Lloyd will revert to his very quick Morgan Plus 8 for Brands with Morgan expert Matthew Wurr sharing the car. Indeed, Lloyd’s Morgan could be one of the biggest threats to the Sunbeam Tigers. Add in the very quick Jaguar E Type of Mike Luck and the stage is set for two fine races.The two classes for the less powerful cars will produce races within the race, with Mini Coopers of Conor O’Brien and Harvey Death to the fore in class A. However, the presence of the remarkable Ford Anglia of local veteran Gordon Streeter will give the Minis a hard time and the progress of the BMW 2002 of Bob Godbold/Anthony Matthews will be watched with interest.Finally, in class B the Ford Escort Mk1 of Tim Glover/Rikki Cann takes on the Daimler SP250 of Piers Townsend/Chris Conoley and the Triumph TR6 of Irish commuters Jonathan and Richard White.

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