The Masters Historic Racing series kicked off its 2010 season with a new event at Silverstone on April 2-4, supporting the Superleague festival over Easter.
The weekend vintage action saw Grand Prix Masters and World Sportscar Masters racing at Silverstone on the same 3.194 mile Bridge Grand Prix circuit used by the Superleague Formula and Dutch Supercar Challenge series. Grand Prix Masters are three litre Formula One cars built between 1968 and 1985, while World Sportscar Masters are Le Mans-type Group 4 prototypes built between the mid-1960s and 1974.
2010 Masters Historic Racing at Silverstone – Grand Prix Masters Results and Photos
Two Grand Prix Masters races took place, one on Friday and the other on Saturday. Anthony Reid took pole position for the first race driving a 1980 Williams FW07B by over 2.6 seconds from Bill Coombs in a 1979 Tyrrell 009 and Frank Sytner in a 1974 ex-James Hunt Hesketh 308B. Katsuaki Kubota failed to complete a lap in practice in his 1981 Williams FW07C and started from the back of the grid.
The first race – held on a wet track – saw Anthony Reid lead from the start, with Bill Coombs falling further behind in second place as the race progressed. Reid continued to open out a massive lead until lap 6 when he retired, leaving Bill Coombs to come through and take the win in his Tyrrell.
The best progress was made by Katsuaki Kubota who, starting from last place, powered through the field. By the end of the first lap, Kubota was up to 7th, having passed three cars. He was in 4th place by lap 4 and 3rd by lap 5 only 22 seconds behind 2nd place Coombs. He made a huge surge on lap 6 to close to only 6.2 seconds behind new leader Coombs on lap 7 but had to settle for 2nd place at the end. Abba Kogan took a steady 3rd place in his 1977 Arrows A3.
The second race grid was the finishing order from the first race, so Coombs started from pole position, while Anthony Reid started from the 4th row. The weather was better on Saturday, with cloudy but dry conditions. From the rolling start, Coombs made a flyer and had a good lead at the end of lap 1 from Frank Sytner in the Hesketh who had both Williams FW07s climbing all over the back of him, with Anthony Reid holding 3rd from Katsuaki Kubota. By the second lap Reid had passed Sytner for 2nd and was over 5 seconds behind Coombs. Reid then started to cut into Coombs lead over the next few laps. Sytner held on to third while Kubota had a problem and dropped behind John Grant in the 1978 Shadow DN9A as they came through Luffield, but had regained 4th position through Woodcote.
By the sixth lap Reid was pressuring Coombs for the lead in to Brooklands, and Kubota had passed Sytner for 3rd place. Next time round, Reid had the lead from Coombs, while Kubota was charging in 3rd place, about 16 seconds behind Coombs. Reid slowly pulled out a lead while the other Williams continued to push in third place. By lap eleven, Kubota had caught and passed the Tyrell of Coombs for 2nd place and continued to push. He soon caught up to Reid and on the last lap managed to pass Reid for the lead and took the victory by only 0.134 second, giving a Williams 1-2. Bill Coombs finished 3rd in his Tyrrell. With just 3 laps to go Abba Coombs, who had sported a bent front wing for the entire race, managed to squeeze past Frank Sytner for 4th place at Brooklands, forcing Sytner to slide a little wide and on to the dirt on the outside of the circuit.
Further down the field, an interesting battle had taken place between Steve Allen in his 1978 Arrows A1 and John Grant in his 1978 Shadow DN9A. These two cars in their day were considered clones, as the designs were very similar. Jackie Oliver and designer Tony Southgate left Shadows and formed the Arrows team and took a large number of Shadows staff with them. Don Nichols, owner of the Shadow team, took the Arrows team to court over the Arrows FA1 which was built to the Shadow DN9A design. Nichols did eventually win the court case. In the modern battle, Allen in the Arrows beat Grant in the Shadow in the second race, but on overall results it was Grant in the Shadow which came out ahead.
Silverstone Grand Prix Masters Race Two Results
1. Katsuaki Kubota, Williams FW07C, 14 laps, 25mins 7.193secs
2. Anthony Reid, Williams FW07B, 14 laps, 25mins 7.327secs
3. Bill Coombs, Tyrrell 009, 14 laps, 25mins 24.389secs
Silverstone Grand Prix Masters Combined Race Results
1. Katsuaki Kubota, Williams FW07C, 22 laps, 44mins 13.304secs
2. Bill Coombs, Tyrrell 009, 22 laps, 44mins 21.834secs
3. Abba Kogan, Arrows A3, 22 laps, 45mins 18.511secs
4. Frank Sytner, Hesketh 308B, 22 laps, 45mins 47.668secs
5. John Grant, Shadow DN9A, 22 laps, 46mins 12.269secs
6. Ian Simmonds, Tyrrell 012, 21 laps
7. Ron Maydon, Amon F101, 21 laps
8. Anthony Reid, Williams FW07B, 20 laps
9. Steve Allen, Arrows A1, 19 laps
10. Philip Hall, Arrows A3-3, 5 laps
11th Anthony Hancock, Surtees TS20, 2 laps
2010 Masters Historic Racing at Silverstone – World Sportscar Masters Results and Photos
The World Sports Car Masters series started over the Easter weekend. Practice on Saturday saw rain develop shortly in to the session, but it was not enough to stop the Martin Stretton and David Coplowe Lola T70 Mk3B claim pole position. John Crowson and Richard Evans managed to get the small Abarth PA01 on to the front row, just knocking Bobby Rahal from the front row in his Lola T212. The powerful Lola T70 Mk III Spyder of Anthony Reid and Shane Kelly completed the second row.
The race was held on Easter Sunday, round the Silverstone Grand Prix Bridge circuit. From the start the Lola T70 Spyder of Reid/Kelly grabbed the lead from the second row, but by the second lap the Crowson/Evans Abarth hit the front and managed to slowly pull out a lead from the Reid/Kelly Lola.
By the time they pitted the Abarth for the driver change on lap 25, they had lapped the entire field. The Reid/Kelly Lola had pitted for their driver change on lap 18 which allowed them to grab the lead on Lap 26 when the Abarth pitted. They then maintained their lead until the chequered flag. When the Abarth pitted, Steve Tandy and Peter Chambers bought their Lola T70 Mk IIIb up to 2nd place which they held until the finish. After their pit stop, the Crowson/Evans Abarth slipped to 3rd place, but was passed with 3 laps remaining by the Lola T210 of Chris Fox/Hales.
American Bobby Rahal, who qualified 3rd in his Lola T212, held 2nd place at the end of the first lap, but slipped down the order before unfortunately retiring on lap 6.
Silverstone was the first of fifteen Masters Series events planned for this year, highlighted by Masters Festivals at Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Portimao and Monteblanco. Masters races will also feature prominently at major events including the Silverstone Classic, Nurburgring Oldtimer GP and the Spa Classic Six Hour meeting.