It was a busy 2-day timetable at Donington Park Circuit that finally saw the Masters 2020 schedule get to an explosive start.
During the 2 days, all six Masters European grids took part and boy was the action on the track a perfect start to the season.
Victory for the event was taken out by Mike Cantillon, Gary Pearson, Shaun Lynn, Craig Davies, Jonathan Mitchell, Tom Bell, Steve Tandy and Joe Ferguson.
FIA Masters Historic Formula One
In Race 1, Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C secured pole position.
Initially, Mike Cantillion commanded the lead however an early spin from Chris Perkins (Surtees TS14) at the Chicane caused a safety car period.
Mike Cantillion was able to lead through the incident zone but it was Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308E) who would be faster on leaving the yellow flag zone and sped ahead.
Mike Cantillon managed to catch and pass Lyons once more on the restart and triumphantly pulled clear to secure first place.
Steve Hartley’s ex-John Watson McLaren MP4/1 moving past Lyons to take second (Micheal Lyons third).
Gentlemen Drivers Pre-1966 GT Opener
It was Gary Pearson in his Jaguar E-Type that was victorious in the opening Gentlemen Drivers Pre-1966 GT race of 2020.
Pole position was taken by Mike Whitaker (TVR Griffith) but at the Old Hairpin on the opening lap he lost out to Gary Pearson’s Jaguar E-type.
Mike Whitaker lost some time as he looked after tyre and brake life, but the group crowded up again after an early safety car period caused by Mark Martin’s Lotus Elan 26R catching fire at Redgate.
As well as overall winner Pearson, class wins were claimed by Malcolm Paul/Rick Bourne (TVR Grantura), Mike Wrigley/Matthew Wrigley (Jaguar E-type) and Nick Powell/Eddie Powell (Lotus Elan).
Masters Pre-66 Minis
It was Tom Bell who came out on top in the Masters Pre-66 Minis in a race comprising some of the best Mini racers in the UK.
Tom Bell sped away from the start and built a healthy early lead. He was able to further extend his advantage throughout the race and win by the proverbial country mile.
A battle played out for second place involving Mini champions Ian Curley and Jeff Smith. It was classic Mini racing as the pair traded places throughout the race. However, Ian Curley crossed the line to take second followed by Jeff Smith in third.
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship
More drama played out in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car championship with Tom Bradshaw, who looked to have the race under control. His Chevron B19 extended its advantage over Gary Pearson (Lola T70 Mk3B). Unfortunately, both cars met trouble prior to the pit window opened allowing Jonathan Mitchell (Chevron B19) with the similar car of Henry Fletcher to chase hard.
There was a brief safety car period (demise of James Hanson (De Tomaso Pantera) at Redgate with a mechanical problem) but without the leader being picked up by the safety car, leader Mitchell’s advantage grew hugely.
Despite making a gallant effort, Fletcher’s Martin O’Connell-tended Chevron wasn’t able to catch Mitchell, who finished first. Fletcher picked up a one-second stop-go penalty for too short a pit stop, while the third-placed car of Beebee/Brooks also copped stop-go a penalty of three seconds for the same offence.
Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends
In the Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends races, wins were shared between Shaun Lynn (BR 01) and Steve Tandy (Lola B12/60).
Lynn won the opener, aided by a well-timed pit stop and a confused safety car period.
In race two, Steve Tandy was victorious with Jack Dex crossing in second place. Shaun Lynn took out third place.
Masters Historic Racing to Continue
Next stop, is the Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends Support Race to WEC at Spa on August 13th-15th.