Richard Barber and Andrew Smith were the winners of the two Formula 1 races on day one of the annual Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival on Saturday.
Barber won a thrilling GP Masters race in his Fittipaldi F5A, the reigning champion enjoying a tremendous tussle with historic racing newcomer Brandon Hartley (Lotus 92/5). Barber led early on until Hartley sneaked by, but Brendon was under constant pressure. A missed gear on the last lap allowed Barber back ahead to score a well-deserved win from Hartley and Andrew Smith (March 701). Smith worked hard to fend off Roger Wills’ six-wheel Tyrrell P34.
Smith triumphed in the first part of the Historic Race of Champions after an early battle with Rob Hall (Matra MS120). When a halfshaft failed on the Matra, Smith had an easy run to take his first ever single-seater win, while Tyrrell fan John Delane guided his 002 to second place and the ex-John Watson March 721/711 to third place, his first podium finish in the UK.
Roger Wills debuted his Lancia LC2 and triumphed in the CanAm Interserie Challenge from David Mercer (Spice SE90), while Mike Whitaker paced himself, and the brakes on his TVR Griffith, to win the 90-minute Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT Cars race. Mike led the opening lap but Gary Pearson (Jaguar E-type) moved ahead to lead the opening stint. After the mandatory pit stops, Ant Scragg (Jaguar E-type) led from Joe Twyman (in Roger Wills’ Bizzarini) with Whitaker charging along behind. Having paced the car in the heat, Whitaker’s brakes were in good enough shape to push hard in the closing stages and take the win. Wills/Twyman were second, while Allen Tice/Chris Conoley (Marcos 1800GT) secured third place.
Day two of the Masters Historic Festival includes the second GP Masters and Historic Race of Champions events, plus touring cars and World Sportscar Masters.