Another weekend, another action-filled two days of Historic Grand Prix racing. This time, historic race cars and their drivers got together at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands on the 4-6th September for a weekend of awe-inspiring racing.
Masters was able to produce four grids to Zandvoort, where drivers, team members, and onlookers were spoiled with the late-summer weather creating a memorable weekend.
Masters Historic Sports Cars
During the Sunday Masters Historic sports cars race, David Hart put on quite a show on the track, taking the silverware after an action-packed race. This was Hart’s third win in just as many races here at Zandvoort. The Dutchman made a great duo alongside Nicky Pastorelli, with whom he won the previous Aston Masters Endurance Legends race, making a superb win of the race behind the wheel of a Lola T70 Mk3B.
Since the rolling start, the Dutch team only lost the lead during the mandatory halfway pitstop, when David Hart ceased his place at the wheel to Pastorelli. Shortly after, Pastorelli went back in front and maintained a healthy lead right until the checkered flag rose above signaling the end of the race. Pastorelli also managed to hit a 1.42.280 fastest lap time, one lap before the end of the race, at a time where he already had a gap bigger than 20 seconds from second place.
At the other end of the pack, the Osella-Abarth PA 1 having Manfredo Rossi behind the wheel displayed a spectacular performance but had an unfortunate spin which made him drop a position to Matt Wrigley in his Chevron B19.
Wrigley had his fair share of the fight on the track, catching up seconds each lap after being forced to start from the pitlane. After two-thirds of the race completed, Manfredo Rossi fought his way back in front of Wrigley, achieving 2nd place- a whole 25 seconds behind race winner, Pastorelli. Wrigley managed to stay close to Rossi but could get only 3 seconds within the tail of the Osella-Abarth PA 1.
Further down the pack, Marc Devis’ Chevron B19 lost position against Wrigley, finishing fourth. The fight for fifth and sixth position was carried between Robert Beebee and Nikolaus Ditting, the latter also having to defend his position from John Sheldon’s B16. The end of the pack was marked by Chris Lillingston and Chris Jolly. Sadly, Eric Mestdagh had to retire his Mk3B due to gearbox issues.
Masters Historic Formula 1 Races
Mike Cantillon qualified on pole during the first race of Zandvoort Masters Historic Formula 1 event and kept the lead until the end. Working his way around the track behind the wheel of a Williams FW07C, Cantillon was only required to defend against an early attempt at passing by Marco Werner in his Lotus 77.
The triple Le Mans winner, Marco Werner, eventually dropped from chasing the leader but had to fight big time in order to preserve his position, as Steve Brooks (Lotus 81) and Mark Hazell (Williams FW08) pressured constantly for the remaining of the race.
The pack of four put heavy distance between fifth place finished Jamie Constable and his Shadow DN8, which, after a bad qualifying that put him last on the grid, fought his way back into the midfield. Marc Devis kept a good grip on sixth position right until the last lap, when a failure of his Surtees TS16 allowed Andrew Beaumont’s Lotus 76 to surge ahead.
Although Ron Maydon had a good race at Brands Hatch, he was forced now to retire due to a broken clutch on his Lec CRP1. The opening lap wasn’t kind on Patrick d’Aubreby, who saw his March 761 leave a streak of oil and had to retire as well.
During the second race on Sunday, Mike Cantillon took the victory one more time, although this time starting from the fourth position after a not so forgiving qualifying session. It took him just three laps to get in front of the pack, then moved away into the distance, leaving Steve Brooks and Marco Werner to fight for second place. While it seemed that Brooks had secured 2nd place with his Lotus 81, an unexpected spin gave Marco Werner the opportunity to bypass Brooks in his Lotus 77. Mark Hazell managed to go around Brooks as well, pushing his Williams FW08 to third position.
Christophe d’Asembourg drove his way into fifth position after his Brabham BT49C started ninth on the grid. Jamie Constable followed in sixth position after his Shadow DN8 was overtaken by d’Asembourg. Starting from the very end of the grid, Georg Hallau pushed to 7th, followed by Marc Devis, Andrew Beaumont, and Steve Farthing.
Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends Races
During the first Masters Endurance Legends race, Jack Dex dominated the entire field converting a pole to a win on the Zandvoort circuit behind the wheel of his BR01. Dex did not get off the throttle for one second, and as a result, he managed to lap David Hart and Nicky Pastorelli’s Maserati MC12 GT1 by the end of the race.
Third place was occupied by the ORECA-Nissan 03 of Phlippe Papin and Karl Pedraza who made a move on James Hagan as his similar spec P2 went into mechanical issues in the last part of the race. The Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 of team Marco Werner and Oliver Mathai stuck to fourth position, while Nikolaus Ditting and Sam Hancock drove their Aston martin DBR9 for the fifth position overall and second position for the GT1 category.
Glaser, behind the wheel of his Porsche 993 GT 2 Evo managed to hang on tight to sixth position with immense pressure put on by Philippe Papin. Sadly, stewards deemed a 20-second penalty to Glaser as he was found to have jumped the start. Devis took eight place away from Marcus Jewell, while a mechanical failure from Manfredo Rossi pushed David Methley and his Corvette C6 into ninth place.
Hagan managed to snatch second place away from Hart/Pastorelli, but by lap 18, Pastorelli brought the MC12 back by dropping no less than 4 seconds a lap from his gap to the Irishman. Things were about to take a turn for the worse for Hagan’s ORECA, as it dropped further down the grid and with just two minutes to go on the race it got stuck in the Gerlachbocht gravel trap.
As the second Aston martin Masters Endurance Legends race went on, David Hart and Nicky Pastorelli fought Philippe Papin and Karl Pedraza to a photo finish. There were only 0.114 seconds separating the Maserati MC12 GT1 from the ORECA-Nissan 03.
Jack Dex showed promise for another amazing race, leading the Hart and Pedraza by 30 seconds. However, an unsafe release during the mandatory pitstop caused him to receive a stop-and-go penalty.
On the other hand, James Hagan showed an impressive skill after starting from the back and incurring a penalty for a jumped start. His ORECA-Nissan 03 drove through the field and into third, pushing back Nikolaus Ditting and Marco Werner in their Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 and Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3, respectively.
When the pit window opened, the BR01 had a 26-second lead while Hart kept Pedraza behind by just a second. Jewel was first to take the mandatory pit stop and switched places with his teammate Ben Lucas. Glaser and Hagan followed up in the pits, while Hart and Dex waited until the next lap to box. Hart gave control of the wheel to Nicky Pastorelli.
With Dex dropping to ninth after the unsafe release penalty, Pastorelli went all out hunting for Papin who was now in the lead. Pastorelli pushed the Maserati hard, gaining 5 seconds per lap, and within the last turn, drafted Papin and took the lead by a gut-wrenching 0.114 seconds, winning the race.
Masters Gentlemen Drivers Race
Even after being slapped with a stop-and-go penalty and under tremendous pressure from Nigel Greensall and Mark Martin in their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, David and Olivier Hart managed to breakthrough and win the 90-minute Zandvoort Masters Gentlemen Drivers race inside their Bizzarini 5300GT.
Michiel van Duijvendijk and Pascal Pandelaar squeezed all the performance they could from the Porsche 904/6 GTS and took second overall. Sander Van Gils dropped to third after the Porsche overtook his Lotus Elan but managed to stay in front of David Methley and Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R (fourth).
Right from the start of the race, the pole-sitter Nigel Greensall put in a lot of effort trying to distance his Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe from Hart Sr’s Bizzarini 5300GT. Mathai started the race from 3rd position and was slapped with a 12.8-second penalty for a jumped start. The penalty became irrelevant later when a front suspension issue caused the Mathai’s TVR to retire to the pits.
After Mathai’s retirement, Ron Maydon brought his Ginetta G4R into third place, closely followed by Sander van Gils. Behind them, Roeland Voerman found his way into fifth at the wheel of a Corvette followed by Michiel Campagne. Although Campagne qualified his Corvette Grand Sport on 3rd, he was forced to start from the pitlane and after a furious advance through the pack, overtook Voerman in lap 7 to conquer 5th place.
Hans Hugenholtz held 7th place in the Cobra and was tailed by the three E-Type Jaguars of Laurent Jaspers, Nikolaus Ditting and Dirk Ebeling.
Although Greensall had seven seconds between himself and Hart Sr, it was soon proven that the former wasn’t yet putting it all out. Within the last 15 minutes of the race, Greensall was lapping 1.58s and put another 13 seconds between himself and the Bizzarini whom was averaging 2.01s per lap.
Within the pit window, Greensall had a 30-second lead on Hart Sr which made a lighting switch to his fast-driving son. Greensall switched the driving seat to Martin, although the latter had issues with his HANS device which cost precious seconds in the pits. On the other hand, Hart Jr was already lapping 1.58s and blazed past Martin on lap 26.
Pandelaar recovered a 55-second gap and managed an astonishing fourth place while Ron Maydon took fifth, with Jasper’s E-Type resting on sixth position. A late stop-and-go penalty incurred by Hart/Hart for a shorter-than-required pitstop seemed to put Martin’s Cobra back into the race. Hart Jr. got the fastest lap of the race (1.57.8s), attempting to recover, but a puncture from Martin ensured his victory. Towards the end of the race, Hart Jr dropped the hammer even harder and took the fastest lap record down to 1.57.6 and finished almost 90 seconds ahead of Pandelaar who fought his way into second place.
With the unfortunate cancellation of the Spa Six Hours event, the only remaining date on the Masters European calendar is the AMMEL Support Race to ELMS at Monza on 9/11 October.
More details can be found at Masters Historic Racing
[Source: Masters Historic Racing]