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Richard Evans Abarth takes spoils in first World Sportscar Masters race

Sunday, May 30 2010

The Abarth PA01 of Richard Evans has clinched victory in the opening race from the World Sportscar Masters at the Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival on Sunday.

Evans started from the front row of the grid following an exciting tussle with pole-sitter Oliver Bryant in qualifying.

A poor start by Bryant's Lola T70 dropped him down to third place and allowed Evans to take the lead on the opening lap, although Bryant quickly fought his way back to second place past Roger Wills' McLaren M1C with a skilful manoeuvre round the outside at Hawthorn Bend.

Bryant attempted to chase down Evans for the remainder of the race but the Abarth proved unassailable, ultimately securing victory by more than nine seconds. "I knew it was a case of 'now or never' going into the first corner, although it turned out to be fairly easy to get past as Oli had a slide at Paddock so I went round the outside," said Evans. "I did drive flat out from then on in case he caught me though!"

Behind the leading pair, Roger Wills held third place until fuel pressure problems caused his McLaren to slow and he was forced to pit. After making some alterations the team sent him out again, but he returned to the garage to retire a handful of laps later.

Wills' mechanical misfortune promoted Leo Voyazides to the final podium spot, although he was also forced into the pits after he spun and made contact with the barrier just one lap later.

Jon Minshaw's Lola T70 then inherited third position and he was initially challenged by David Hart's Ferrari 512 until the latter retired with gearbox problems.

Lola T70 drivers Steve Tandy and Richard Meins enjoyed a close battle for fourth position, with Tandy taking the spoils. Meins ultimately finished sixth after he was overtaken by Chris Beighton's Lola on the final lap.

The T210 of Bob Houghton clinched seventh place ahead of Andrew Middleton's Taydec Mk3. Chevron pairing Tim Cousins and Roberto Farneti rounded out the top ten.

The World Sportscar Masters will be back in action at 3.05pm today (Bank Holiday Monday). There will also be racing from the Grand Prix Masters seres, pre-66 Minis and Touring Cars, and the Interserie Revival competition for 1970s sports prototypes.

World Sportscar Masters, Brands Hatch GP, race one:
1. Richard Evans (Abarth PA01), 20 laps
2. Oliver Bryant (Lola T70 Mk3b), +9.640s
3. Jon Minshaw (Lola T70 Mk3b), +1m05.841s
4. Steve Tandy (Lola T70 Mk3b), +1m24.264s
5. Chris Beighton (Lola T70 Mk3b), +1m34.727s
6. Richard Meins (Lola T70 Mk3b), +1 lap
7. Bob Houghton (Lola T210), +1 lap
8. Andrew Middleton (Taydec Mk3b), +1 lap
9. Tim Cousins (Chevron B23), +1 lap
10. Roberto Farneti (Chevron B16), +1 lap

The Masters Historic Festival concludes on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit today (Monday 31 May). Tickets are available on the gate for £21 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.