March 29 - 31 - 2016

Le Castellet Motors Cup

LOCATION: Le Castellet, 48kms from Marseille

NEAREST AIRPORT: Marseille Provence Airport (66kms)

RACE REPORT

Masters kicked off its 2019 Tour with HVM Racing at the Le Castellet Motors Cup! The stunning Circuit Paul Ricard welcomed us with unbroken blue skies for the weekend.

Great racing, new cars and new faces along with some social fun - what a great start to the 2019 season....

 

 


Race 1

Matteo Ferrer was never headed as the Italian powered his Ligier JS11/15 to a commanding win in the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race of the season. Mastering the Paul Ricard track from pole, Ferrer racked off a string of fastest race laps to edge away from Jamie Constable who finished in a strong second place in his Tyrrell 011, 8 seconds in arrears of the Ligier. 

Constable initially fought Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C but was handed a breather when the Williams headed into the pits on lap 10. This gave third overall to dominant pre-78 class winner Henry Fletcher in the Jägermeister-liveried March 761. Fletcher ended up well ahead of Patrick d’Aubréby’s F&S Properties-liveried 761 and Jason Wright’s Shadow DN8 who battled over second place in class all race, as they finished eighth and ninth overall.

Fletcher was followed home by the Brabham BT49s of Christophe d’Ansembourg and Joaquin Folch, the Williams FW07 of Charles Nearburg, and Fabrice Lhéritier in the Tyrrell 010. Mark Hazell won the post-1983 class in the Williams FW08, finishing tenth overall. Bruno Ferrari’s pre-71 March 701 was 12th.

 

Race 2

Matteo Ferrer made it two from two by storming to an emphatic win in the second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Paul Ricard. Leading after one lap having started from the fourth row of the reversed grid for yesterday’s top eight, the Italian romped home unchallenged in his Ligier JS11/15. 

On lap 10, Mike Cantillon moved his Williams FW07C past Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011 to claim second place. Charles Nearburg ran second early on but finished fourth in his Williams FW07C, heading Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 in fifth.

Patrick d’Aubréby took his March 761 to a pre-78 class win, leading Jason Wright in the Shadow DN8 and Philippe Bonny in the Trojan T103. Yesterday’s class winner Henry Fletcher ended up bringing up the rear after a pitstop during the safety-car period from lap 3 to lap 6.

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie gave their new Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé a triumphant Masters Gentlemen Drivers debut by claiming a dominant lights-to-flag win at Paul Ricard. They were followed home by the CLP-class-winning Lotus Elan of Rob Fenn and Jake Hill, the pair inheriting CLP class victory when Aaron Heads Elan agonisingly retired from second place with just eight minutes to go.

In third, Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R took second place in the CLP class ahead of the Steve Soper/Mark Martin Elan. Didier Gruau’s AC Cobra and Nikolaus Ditting’s Jaguar E-type completed the top-three C3 class runners while Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus and Jeremy Welch (Austin Healey 3000) beat Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger (Morgan Plus 4 Super Sports) to the C2 class win. 

Overcoming a drivethrough penalty for a jump start, Michiel Campagne (Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport) won the GT race for the guesting Dutch Historic Touring Car & GT Championship, running concurrently for 60 minutes of the 90-minute Gentlemen Drivers race. Campagne beat Oliver Douglas in the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé and Roger Grouwels in the Iso-Rivolta 300 GT.

 

Henry Fletcher made up for his Formula One setback earlier on the day by taking a commanding FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win at Paul Ricard. On the opening lap, the Chevron B26 driver grabbed the lead from poleman ‘Mr John of B’ in the Ligier JS2 and never looked back. 

The race was denied a fight between Fletcher and rapid ex-F3000 driver Soheil Ayari in the Ligier, as the French car remained stuck in gear after ‘Mr John of B’ came in for his mandatory pitstop. The Gonçalo Gomes/James Claridge Lola T212 had risen to second in the hands of Gomes, but Claridge had to give way to Andy Wolfe in the Lola T70 Mk3 started by Jason Wright, with Charles Nearburg in the Osella-Abarth PA1 also finding a way past to take over third place. But when the American pulled off on the final lap, the Lola was back to claim the final podium spot. 

Chris Jolly and Steve Farthing (Cooper Monaco T61M) came out victorious in a tense pre-65 Hulme class battle, as Farthing passed the Cooper Monaco King Cobra shared by Billy Bellinger and Keith Ahlers with six minutes still on the clock. The Graham Wilson/David Pittard Lola T70 Mk1 never quite posed a threat, Wilson spinning on lap 2 and Pittard retiring halfway into his stint while closing on Ahlers and Farthing.

John Sheldon (Chevron B16) won the Siffert class in sixth overall while Mark & Andrew Owen took Bonnier class honours in ninth overall. The Owens went largely unchallenged when the rival Chevron B8 of Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie retired as early as lap 3.

Emerging from a thrilling three-way battle in the first part of the race, Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie claimed a resounding Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars win at Paul Ricard in their yellow Ford Falcon. Thomas fought hard with Jake Hill’s Mustang and Jason Minshaw in another Falcon but Lockie had a much quieter stint as Rob Fenn in the Mustang started by Hill was out quickly after taking over while Martin Melling in the Falcon was unable to keep with Lockie. 

Dutchman Roel Korsten drove a very strong race to take second place as well as being the leading driver from the guesting Dutch Historic Touring Car & GT Championship, with the Mark Martin/Steve Soper Lotus Cortina in third, and the first of the under-2-litre cars. Carlo Hamilton’s Falcon finished fourth and was second of the Dutch cars, both getting ahead of Melling halfway into their stints. 

Tom Bell and Joe Ferguson starred in the Mini class, taking an emphatic win ahead of Ron Maydon and Carl & Billy Nairn. Carl Nairn was Bell’s nearest challenger in the opening half of the race but Maydon moved past Billy Nairn into his second stint.

Race 1

Having run third initially, Kriton Lendoudis turned the tables on his rivals in the second part of the Paul Ricard weekend’s first Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends race. In the end, the Greek Peugeot 908 HDi FAP driver romped away to a win by 20 seconds over Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2, Steve Tandy finishing a close third in his Lola-Mazda B12/60. 

D’Ansembourg had done the early running, opening out a six-second lead on Tandy and Lendoudis before his pursuers swapped places and began close in again towards the pitstops. The Peugeot ended up in the lead after the stops, with Tandy in second and d’Ansembourg in third. Tandy initially cut Lendoudis’ lead but then spun while braking for the Mistral chicane, dropping him drop down to third. In first place, the Greek easily remained in control of an ever-increasing lead on d’Ansembourg who was nearly re-passed by Tandy near the end. 

In P2, Darius Ahrabian was never headed in the Lola-Lotus LMP2 Coupé, claiming a dominant win over the ORECA-Nissan 03s of Keith Frieser and Philippe Papin/Karl Pedraza. The GT class was led initially by the Jake Hill/Paul Whight Aston Martin Vantage GT2 but after the stops Nikolaus Ditting took control in his Aston Martin DBR9. When the GT2 Vantage faltered, Grant Tromans in the Vantage GT4 claimed second in class.

Race 2

In a top-three separated by less than a second, Christophe d’Ansembourg (Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2) returned to the top spot of the Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends podium by narrowly keeping his rivals Kriton Lendoudis (Peugeot 908 HDi FAP) and Steve Tandy (Lola-Mazda B12/60) at bay in a thrilling finish to the second race of the weekend at Paul Ricard. 

Lendoudis had led away from the start but d’Ansembourg took over on lap 3 and never looked back – even though the Peugeot and the Lola-Mazda grew bigger and bigger in his mirrors as his initial six-second lead evaporated towards the end of the race.  

Darius Ahrabian (Lola-Lotus LMP2 Coupé) took his second P2 win of the weekend, with Keith Frieser coming second in the first of the ORECA 03s. Meanwhile, Nikolaus Ditting  (Aston Martin DBR9) repeated yesterday’s GT-class win.

 


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