Hartley and Smith shine at Masters Festival

Kiwi Brendon Hartley and Scotsman Andrew Smith were the big winners of day two of the annual Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival.

Hartley, in only his second race in the Roger Wills-owned ex-Nigel Mansell Lotus 92/5, stormed away from the pack to dominate the race, although he was slowed towards the end with a battery that went flat thanks to an overloaded alternator. That allowed Simon Hadfield (Tyrrell 009) to close the gap in second place in a car that Hadfield had never raced before. He was only confirmed as the driver on raceday morning and started from the rear of the grid but after a coupe of cautious laps to play himself in, Simon stormed through the field and passed race one winner Richard Barber (Fittipaldi F5A) for second place.

Andrew Smith triumphed in the Hall & Hall-sponsored Historic Race of Champions for Pre’71 Formula 1 cars. His ex-Jackie Stewart March 701 triumphed on Saturday, and Andrew led all the way in race two, despite the threat of Rob Hall’s Matra MS120. Having broken a halfshaft in race one, Hall started at the rear and carved his way up to second and was catching Smith until a water leak stopped the symphonic-sounding Matra a lap from home.

Hadfield shared Leo Voyazides’ Lola T70 to take World Sportscar Masters honours ahead of the T70 of David Coplowe/Martin Stretton and the Lola T212 of Philip Hall who tigered his way to the podium. Former BTCC ace Anthony Reid turned in an inspired opening stint in Rod Smith’s ex-Jo Siffert Chevron B16, while Ewan McIntyre charged his McLaren M1C to fourth from the rear of the grid having gone off the road in qualifying.

Roger Wills and Joe Twyman took Wills’ McLaren M1B to an easy win in the Sports Racing Masters race from Chris Jolly/Steve Farthing (Cooper Monaco T61M), while local hero Patrick Watts (Ford Mustang) triumphed in the Pre-66 Touring Car race after early leader Leo Voyazides retired his Ford Falcon with gearbox dramas. Second fell to the Lotus Cortina of Mike Gardiner/Phil Keen ahead of touring car rookie Brendon Hartley who shared Roger Wills’ Mercury Comet Cyclone for third place.

The Masters 70s Celebration race, run concurrently with the JD Classics Challenge, was won by first-time racer Simon Watts in his Datsun 240Z, shared by Roberto Giordanelli. Brothers Mark and James Bates (Porsche 911 RSR) took second and Andrew Davies/Anthony Gorman took third in their BMW 2002.

The next stop on Masters Historic Racing’s 2012 tour is Dijon, France, on June 23/24.

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