September 1 - 3 - 2016

Historic Grand Prix

LOCATION: ZANDVOORT, NORTH HOLLAND

NEAREST AIRPORT: SCHIPHOL, AMSTERDAM

RACE REPORT

The posters say “The Boys Are Back In Town” and every year they
do not disappoint as the cars and the drivers swarm back to get
their fill of this fun and sociable weekend! A combination of the sea
air and a party feel coupled with the charms of the local town of
Zandvoort make the former home of the Dutch Grand Prix one of
the most popular historic events.

 

 


Steve Soper produces brilliant recovery drive to win Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race

From 36th on the grid, after mishap in qualifying, Steve Soper produced a storming drive to win the under-2-litre Cortina class in the Masters Pre-66 Touring Car race at Zandvoort, while taking the overall win as well. Soper was unleashed from the start, and was up to fifth by lap 3 of the shortened 40-minute race. His Cortina surged to the front on lap 6, as he passed Julian Thomas in the Ford Falcon, who took second overall and was the fastest of the over-2-litre cars. Even a 10-second time penalty for ‘misbehaviour on the track’ could not stop Soper from claiming the win.

“I have two blisters on my hands, but apart from that all OK”, said a phlegmatic Soper. “Did I have fun in the opening laps? No, not really. I was racing people that I don’t know, so I didn’t know how they would behave on track. Oh, and I have no idea what my ‘misbehaviour’ was about!”

For almost the entire race, Thomas battled with the pole-sitting Cortina of Italian Andrea Stortoni, and was passed by it on lap 8, midway into the pit window. On lap 15, however, Stortoni retired his car into the pits.

“It was brilliant", said Thomas. “We did a little setup change before the race, and it absolutely transformed the car. Suddenly I had a race car on my hands! The battle with Andrea Stortoni was fantastic, I had good fun.”

A gaggle of three more Cortinas pedalled by Graham Pattle, Martin Strommen and John Spiers followed Thomas across the line, all in close company. Norwegian Strommen ran close to the front during his opening stint but was later caught and passed by Pattle, with Spiers finishing hot on his heels.

The René de Vries/Jonathan Lewis Mini Cooper S ended up as high as sixth, as the Anglo-Dutch pairing dominated the Mini class. Their win was made easier by Chris Middlehurst retiring his Mini on lap 5.

In seventh – and third of the big cars – came Mark Burton in his Ford Mustang. Burton had been ahead of most of the Cortinas but dropped back in the second part of the race.

“It was hard”, Burton explained. “I struggled with the handling. We had set it up softer for the rain yesterday, and I think we stiffened it a bit too much for today.”

The touring-car segment of the Dutch Historic Touring Car & GT Championship ran concurrently with the Masters cars, the overall win on the road going to Mark Dols in Marcos 1800 GT. Poleman Dols led until the pitstops but was overtaken by the similar Marcos of Robert Hamilton. The latter had done his overtaking by stopping short of the mandatory 60 seconds, and the resulting time penalty dropped him back behind Dols again.

 

Voyazides/Hadfield storm to the front to beat local man Pastorelli

In their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé, Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield took top honours in Sunday morning’s Stena Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Zandvoort after Hadfield put in a storming drive to catch and pass Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 250 GTO 64 with ten minutes to go.

“Not too bad!” said a beaming Hadfield. “I’m a really, really pleased. We were all a bit rusty, but the car was fantastic. Fighting and beating a real racing driver, that’s pretty cool!”

“My race wasn’t very good”, said Voyazides. “I hadn’t driven the car for months so I was struggling a lot in the beginning. But as you saw it went reasonably well in the second part…”

“Yeah, we had a little problem with the brakes”, said Pastorelli, “and I decided to bring it home in one piece. We’ll try again next time!”

Poleman Pastorelli led from the start and was initially chased by the Andy Willis/Rob Hall and Michael Gans/Andy Wolfe Cobras, but after the pitstops Hadfield dealt with both to hunt down Pastorelli, who was struggling with his brakes. After his move around the outside into the Hans Ernstbocht, Hadfield pulled out a 2-second lead to take the win in a thrilling race.

Meanwhile, on lap 31, Wolfe passed Hall for third place. Wolf had been given more work as Gans had spun out of second place shortly after a safety-car restart on lap 15. The race had been neutralised on lap 11 to allow the marshals to clear away a long trail of oil.

“I was battling with Pastorelli for the lead”, said Gans, “when I had a stupid slow-speed spin. That cost me ten seconds – precisely the ten seconds that would have made it a three-car race…”

“Yeah, Michael left me a little bit more to do today”, said Wolfe. “It was an eventful race, as I got cramp in my right leg, and I had to race left-footed for a while! Apart from that, I didn’t have an answer to Simon anyway.”

After problems in qualifying, the Hans Hugenholtz/Tom Coronel AC Cobra charged up to fifth from 43th and last position on the grid, but team mates David & Olivier Hart were given the black flag for ignoring a stop-and-go penalty given for contact with John Spiers’ TVR Griffith. The Hart & Hart Cobra had run as high as third with father David at the wheel.

With half an hour still on the clock, the GT section of the Dutch Historic Touring Car & GT Championship that ran concurrently with the Masters cars was flagged off, the Allard Kalff/Michiel Campagne Corvette Grand Sport taking the win ahead of Bob Stevens’ Lotus Elan and Tom Kuiper’s Corvette Stingray. The presence of the Dutch cars – on M-section Dunlops whereas the Masters were on L-sections – played its part in the fight for class wins.

Starting well up front, David Pittard and Graham Wilson were able to dominate the CLP class in their Elan, taking sixth overall, ahead of Jamie Boot’s TVR Griffith and Alasdair Coates’ AC Cobra. Mark Martin, driving solo in the Elan he usually shares with Andrew Haddon, was ninth overall and second in class.

“It was a very good race”, said Wilson. “I had a lot of fun fighting the Dutch cars. We were sliding around a lot more on our L-sections...”

“Graham set it all up, he did a mega job”, said Pittard, who had no clutch at the end but still managed to finish the race.

“With the rolling start all the big engines [of the Dutch cars] came past”, said Martin, “so I had to overtake them all. And then after the safety car, they came flying past again, and had to do it all over!”

In C2, Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger (Morgan SLR) beat Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus/Jeremy Welch (Austin Healey 3000). The local Healey 3000 of Robert-Jan ’t Hoen came third in class. Mark and James Bates (Porsche 911) again triumped in C1, beating Mark Hope’s MGB.

 

Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield came from last on the grid to win a fraught and incident-packed FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race at Zandvoort. Along with second-placed Jason Wright, their Lola T70 Mk3Bs were the only front-running cars that stayed out of trouble, as one rival after another fell by the wayside – either by mechanical misery or by their own doing. Voyazides drove well to claim the lead during his opening stint already, giving Hadfield little else to do than drive it home for the win.

“This time, my half of the race was best”, said Voyazides, referring to the pair’s Stena Line Masters Gentlemen Drivers win earlier on the day. “I went from last to first, and did some good overtaking. Simon just finished the job.”

“Yes, we didn’t do any sillies”, said Hadfield. “Looking at our form I thought we would be third, so I’m really pleased for Leo.”

“It’s always my goal to keep my nose clean”, said Wright. “You’re not going to win the race on the first lap. I just didn’t want any damage. At the end, I had a nice race with Paul – we gave each other space, it was really nice.”

Third-placed driver Paul Gibson first battled problems with his Lola’s door after which – right after a safety-car restart – he ran into the back of Phil Hall’s Lola T212, which at the time was leading the race. Gibson then caught up with Wright and passed the American’s similar Lola before Wright got back at him to secure second place.

“First I was boxed in the pits, and had my trouble with the door”, said Gibson when asked about his early problems. As for the run-in with Phil Hall, “He just braked too early! I was committed, what can you do?”

German Frank Jacob was fourth, also staying out of trouble in his Lola T212, while Chris Lillingstone-Price took fifth in his invitational Chevron B8.

A chaotic few opening laps saw local hero David Hart take to the gravel in Tarzan corner while pre-race favourite Michael Gans retired his Lola T290 at the end of the first lap, its gearbox broken. A safety-car period for a spin by Michiel Smits’ Lola T70 Mk1 Spyder was followed by Mark Piercy retiring his Lola T210 with a puncture and David Hart pulling off with a broken right rear suspension.

After 8 laps, another safety-car period was called when Marc Devis pulled off in his Chevron B19, with Hart’s machine also still parked on the run to the Gerlachbocht. The caution period endured into the pit window, as the broken Lola could not be lifted onto the flatbed recovery truck, forcing the need for another flatbed to come to help. The bottom half of the cars slowed just enough to catch their first opportunity to do a pitstop, while the top half came in after the following tour, and David Pittard on the one after that, shaking up the order to no end.

 

As, at the restart, Nicky Pastorelli (still due for a drivethrough because of a jumped start) led away Jamie Boot’s Chevron B16, Michiel Smits’ recovered Lola T70 Mk1, the Beaumont/Middlehurst McLaren M1B and the Buurman/Van der Lof Corvette Stingray ahead of ‘virtual leader’ Voyazides/Hadfield, the safety car was out again almost immediately when Boot’s Chevron and Smits’ Lola made contact at the end of the straight, leading to immediate retirement for Boot while Smits limped back to the pits with a flat left-rear, having been beached in the Tarzan gravel initially. Meanwhile, Phil Hall retired his damaged Lola T212. Only in the final ten minutes, relative normalcy set in.

Class battles were tight as well, Andy Middlehurst (McLaren M1B) passing Andy Wolfe’s Lola T70 Mk1 Spyder on the penultimate lap for sixth overall and the Hulme class win. For Wolfe, it was all for nothing, though, when afterwards his car was disqualified. Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger, so used to class wins in their Cooper Monaco King Cobra, were a distant third in class, trailing the two Bonnier-class-leading Chevron B8s.

“He was quicker on the faster stuff”, Middlehurst explained. “But he was braking a bit gingerly, and that’s where I got him.”

“I had a problem with oil surge”, said Wolfe about the Lola T70 Mk1 that was owned by David Hart before. “So I had to back off the engine.”

“It was a straightforward run for us”, said Ahlers, “we were just not fast enough…”

In a similarly tight fight for Bonnier class honours, Graham Wilson got back to the front with three laps to go. David Pittard had been leading the class in Wilson’s Chevron B8 but after the stops the Andrew & Mark Owen B8 took the lead when Pittard stayed out for two laps while the pit window was open during another caution period.

Despite his drivethrough penalty, Nicky Pastorelli (Ferrari 365GTB/4) crossed the line first in Pescarolo class, heading the troubled Porsche 911 RS of Mark & James Bates. In their Corvette Stingray, local duo Alexander van der Lof/Yelmer Buurman were contenders too, until they retired their car two laps from the end.

 

Stretton surges to straightforward win in Sunday’s FIA Masters Historic Formula One race

Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012) took a dominant victory in Sunday’s FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort as a blistered tyre put paid to Michael Lyons’ challenge in his Williams FW07B. From pole, Stretton eased away to a lead of 11.5 seconds at the finish.

“Yes, it sort of was”, said Stretton when asked if his had been a straightforward win. “I was expecting and hoping for a challenge from Michael, but that didn’t happen. The car was fabulous, and driving it on a day like this at Zandvoort – I could do that all day.”

“The front tyre failed on me”, said Lyons, “it blistered heavily. There was nothing I could do.”

Nick Padmore (Shadow DN5) was third and leading the pre-78 class before team mate Max Smith-Hilliard (Fittipaldi F5A) passed him with four laps to go. Halfway into the race, Smith-Hilliard started closing up on Padmore, overtaking him on lap 12. Padmore tried his all to get back at Smith-Hilliard, but under braking his car was seen to shudder heavily.

“I had a good start”, said Smith-Hilliard, “and looked into my mirrors and saw Phil Hall behind. I then concentrated on managing my lead on Phil, as Nick pulled me along. Nick must have had a problem with his car or something.”

“The brakes were jumping like mad”, Padmore explained, “but Max was there, he’s in it for the championship, so all credit to him.”

Behind them, a titanic battle raged for third place on the pre-78 podium, Phil Hall (Theodore TR1) initially leading Jason Wright (Shadow DN8) and Greg Thornton (Lotus 77), the latter hampered by a troublesome differential. Adapting to his handicap, Thornton passed Wright on lap 12 and one lap later pounced when Hall missed a gear out of the chicane, to still claim third in class.

“Diff!” said Thornton. “I just couldn’t accelerate. The only way around it was to carry a lot of speed onto the straight and brake very late. So that fight with Phil and Jason wasn’t entertaining at all! In fact, it was really depressing…”

Eighth and ninth were Andrew Beaumont’s Lotus 76 and Jamie Constable’s Stewart-class-winning Brabham BT37 while Neil Glover (Arrows A5) took tenth and the final spot on the post-78 podium after an entertaining battle with Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012. On lap 7, Glover made the decisive move and stayed ahead until the end.

 

 

 

 

 

“The fight with Ian Simmonds was good – fair and clean”, said Glover, surprised to be third in class.

 

 

 


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