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Wills narrowly misses out on 15 race Masters Festival challenge

Tuesday, May 31 2011

Roger Wills may have just failed in his quest to compete in every race at the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch last weekend, but admits he thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

The New Zealander had planned to take part in all 15 races at the Masters Historic Festival held on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit (May 28-30), in what was believed to be a record attempt. However, mechanical issues dashed his hopes of completing the task, though, he still managed to take part in an impressive 11 races.

Wills said: "It was a great weekend and there was lots of really close racing on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, which I love. I'm not really frustrated that I didn't compete in every race, it would have been great if I achieved it, but unfortunately we had a few mechanical issues."

Wills, a veteran on the historic racing scene, hadn't originally planned to compete in all of the meetings races. But as he owned cars that were eligible for 14 of the 15 events, he decided to rent a Formula Ford car for the weekend to enter the Champion of Brands race to complete the set.

But his gruelling challenge suffered a blow on the opening day of the meeting on Saturday, when he was unable to take part in the Oldies but Goldies race in his Gaz Volga. Mechanical issues with his BMW CSL forced him out of both Interserie Revival races and he missed the Pre-66 Mini Sprint on Monday.

Despite the mechanical issues, he still completed 11 of the 15 races, which included guiding his McLaren M1B to victory in the Sports Racing Masters and securing a third place in the second Grand Prix Masters encounter, driving a Williams FW05 Formula One car.

He said: "I'm not super tired but I feel pretty worn out. My hands are not cramping up but they certainly feel like they've done a few races. I spoke to Jonathan Palmer on Monday and told him that these cars are old and things break. They are not like the over engineered modern racing cars of today."

Wills hopes to return to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the Masters Historic Festival next year.

The next major Historic event at Brands Hatch is the HSCC Superprix featuring the FIA Historic Formula One Championship on July 1-3. Tickets cost from £17 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click on the link below.