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Exciting day of racing kicks off Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival

Saturday, May 28 2011

The Masters Historic Festival got underway today at Brands Hatch, with a thrilling day of racing on the Indy circuit.

Grids of huge variety embraced the Kent venue, as well as an historic karting demonstration during the lunch break.

Simon Hadfield and Will Schryver dominated the first race of the weekend, their Lotus Elan securing the win by over a lap from Jonathan Bloohn and Andy Nunn in their TVR Griffith. Karl Wetherell claimed the final step on the podium.

Chris Jolly was an even more emphatic winner in the Oldies but Goldies race, his Aston Martin crossing the line two laps ahead of the Austin A95 of Nick Naismith which had qualified on pole. Anthony Robinson's Austin A35 crossed the line in third.

The most entertaining action of the day came from the Formula Ford Champion of Brands. Alex Kapadia made a strong start from second on the grid to pass pole man Josh Barnett, Barnett slipping to third behind Jonathan Hoad before the pack entered Paddock Hill Bend. Barnett passed Hoad with twelve minutes remaining, and then closed down the gap to Kapadia before slipping past on the approach to Paddock Hill Bend on lap 16, after several laps of classic slipstreaming action. Barnett was largely untroubled for the rest of the race, with Kapadia claiming second and Roger Wills finishing third in the Van Diemen RF92 he had rented specifically for the Champion of Brands, as part of his challenge to compete in all the events this weekend.

The Pre-66 Touring Car race saw the narrowest winning margin of the day, Leo Voyazides claiming the win by just 0.892 seconds ahead of ex-BTCC racer Patrick Watts after 45 minutes. Arne Berg and John Haughland finished third in their Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1, a lap down on the leaders.

Saturday's action concluded with the 45-minute 70s Celebration encounter, with Mark Bates securing the win driving a Porsche 911 RSR with Mike Wrigley second and Ken Welch and Nick Swift third. John Fitzpatrick, driving at Brands Hatch for the first time since 1983, was set for a podium finish, but fell to fifth after being awarded a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and then retired shortly after.

Roger Wills' plans to enter every event this weekend were scuppered, as he was unable to make the grid for the Oldies but Goldies event.

Wills had secured a fifth place finish in the Cloth Cap with XK Challenge race, sharing a Lotus Elite with Joe Twyman, but failed to start the second event of the day after a technical issue struck the pair's Gaz Volga M21. The third place in the Champion of Brands event was some consolation, but he was forced to retire his BMW 3.5 CSL from the 70s Celebration race at the end of the day with an oil pressure problem.

Tickets for the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch are available on the gate for £21 on Sunday and Monday with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click on the link below.