16th Masters Historic Festival
The Masters Historic European season made its second visit to UK soil, for the 16th running of the Masters Historic Festival – the premier historic racing event on the Kent circuit. Alongside the customary Masters Racing Legends, for 70s and 80s Formula One cars, Masters Sports Car Legends and Masters Pre-66 Touring cars, crowds were treated to the sight of the LMP and GT field which comprised the Masters Endurance Legends.
The weekend also saw grids from the Gentlemen Drivers – offering a sublime array of GT cars from the 1960s, the quirky and diverse Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge – where Sierra Cosworths fought with Lolas and TVRs as a plucky Trabant 601RS picked its way around the circuit, and the Equipe Libre – a field stacked with pre-66 race cars, TVR Griffiths battling Lotus Elans and Austin Healeys, in some of the most thrilling and absorbing racing of the whole weekend.
Superb racing with more than a tinge of nostalgia
Two elements appear to be becoming somewhat customary in the 2022 season of historic racing in the UK. It seems that unexpectedly, the sun will appear to shine when these historic racers are turned out, secondly, the racing really feels to have stepped up a notch – with hard fought and noticeably clean and respectful racing throughout the fields, it’s an example of the true entertainment one gets from spectating at motorsport events.
Much is made (and lamented) of the artificial overtakes in some top tier series, and Twitter implodes with any controversial pass made in Formula One, where here we see yet again, the respect and skill of drivers delivering an exhilarating showcase of racecraft – testament to the continued success of historic racing on these shores.
Brands Hatch – The perfect historic race setting?
Brands Hatch too, when the GP loop is employed (as it was for the Masters Festival) is a superb place for all involved, a phenomenal circuit to drive, with countless undulations and elevation changes, a sublime blend of fast and slow paced corners and genuine potential to pass, if your pace is befitting of that. For the spectator, there are few places better, numerous unfenced viewing points, open paddocks and the ability to watch long unbroken sequences of racing from a single spot, put it firmly at the top of the pile for viewing pleasure.
For the photographer too, the elevation changes offer a distinct advantage, when twinned with the verdant woodland that enshrouds the GP loop, it facilitates a rewarding array of shots from an event, and the chance to experiment in a spectacular historic racing setting.