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Freddie Hunt leads Masters celebrations at Brands Hatch

Sunday, May 29 2016

Motor racing's rich post-war history was recalled at today's (Sunday) Masters Historic Festival main raceday on the glorious Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, with several golden ages celebrated, including the 1970s, with F1 races and demonstrations in tribute to 1976 World Champion James Hunt.

Hunt's son Freddie was in attendance, and paid tribute to his father by signing autographs for fans at a display dedicated to James. He also took part in a demonstration of many of the vehicles on display, taking to the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro that marked his 1973 Tour of Britain victory. Other cars included his Formula One McLaren M23, which initially won the 76 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch before being excluded on a technicality, and a Hesketh from his breakthrough period at the sport's peak.

In the FIA Masters Historic Formula One race, Nick Padmore followed up his Saturday win in his ex-Carlos Reutemann Williams FW07C, and this time he led from the start. Loic Deman followed in the 1980 Tyrrell 010, but was unable to make an impression the leader, finishing over six seconds in arrears by the chequered flag.

Steve Hartley's Arrows A4 remained in a podium position throughout the encounter, whilst behind, Mike Wrigley used his Williams FW07D to good effect to hold off Gregory Thornton's Lotus 91. There was disappointment for Michael Lyons, who retired his Hesketh 308E on the opening lap, having been unable to race the ex-James Hunt McLaren M26 all weekend. James Hagan's Hunt-era Hesketh also failed to complete the distance.

FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship Race Two
1, Nick Padmore, Williams FW07C, 19 Laps
2, Loic Deman, Tyrrell 010, +6.727s
3, Steve Hartley, Arrows A4, +14.023s
4, Mike Wrigley, Williams FW07D, +21.847s
5, Gregory Thornton, Lotus 91/5, +22.199s

Elsewhere there were two races for the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association for cars from the 1930s to 50s. Philip Walker took a brace of wins in his Lotus 16, with Tony Smith's Ferrari Dino and Rod Jolley's Lister Jaguar Monza following him home both times.

The FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race was claimed by Mark Piercy and Martin Stretton in their Lola T210, finishing just six seconds ahead of Philips Hall's T212 after an hour of racing. The mighty McLaren M8F of Andrew Newall won the Can Am 50 Interserie Challenge.

Earlier in the day Craig Davies' Ford Mustang won the hour-long Pre-66 Touring Car race, with Andy Wolfe's Lotus Cortina missing out by a mere second, the pair finishing ahead of Roger Wills' Mercury Comet Cyclone. The following decade was covered by the Masters 70s Celebration and Masters Allcomers race, which was won by Stephen Dance's Ford Capri RS2600.

The weekend was rounded off with Classic Formula Ford cars, almost half a century from the category's debut. Single seater ace Richard Tarling duelled with Ben Mitchell, and with Adriano Medeiros keeping the pair in his sights, it was a fittingly thrilling end to proceedings that was claimed by Tarling.

Freddie Hunt will return to Brands Hatch to race in the Whelen NASCAR Euro Series at American SpeedFest IV on 11/12 June. Tickets are available from £18, with free admission to under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.