Ferrao/Stretton claim second FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win of the season at the Nürburgring

After their wet win at Magny-Cours, Diogo Ferrao and Martin Stretton (Lola T292) doubled up at the Nürburgring to claim their second FIA Masters Historic Sports Car win of the season. Ferrao stuck with Michael Gans’ Lola T290 throughout the first stint, after which Stretton was made to work hard to pass Gans for the lead, the latter defending bravely for four laps before Stretton was past. The race was red-flagged with 7 minutes still to go when Harms Winter’s McLaren M1A spun and blocked the track.

Depending on the traffic the gap with Michael went up and down”, said Ferrao. “Once, I got very close but then I was held up again, and had to do it all over again.

“Yes, it was very close, and that wasn’t quite enough”, said Gans about Ferrao sticking with him throughout the Portuguese driver’s stint. “And then I had a horrible pitstop, with a Porsche in front of me that did 40 from the pitlane entry. That cost me about ten seconds!”

Michael put up a hard fight”, Stretton said. “He was driving great!

Jason Wright took third despite a drivethrough penalty for an out-of-position start. In his private Lola T70 Mk3B battle with Mike Donovan, the American caught up and passed Donovan after 20 laps, even though he couldn’t quite shake the blue-and-yellow Lola off. Afterwards, Donovan said he was hamstrung by an engine misfire that gave him 500 revs less.

“It was very close at the start, I just miscalculated”, said Wright on why he got the drivethrough penalty. After the pitstops, the American truly enjoyed the fight with Donovan: “He wasn’t getting ahead of me, my car was getting wider and wider!”

In the early stages, Manfredo Rossi (Osella-Abarth PA1) trailed Ferrao and Gans but the Italian gradually saw the two open-top Lolas disappear into the distance, the gap to Gans opening up to 16 seconds at the pitstops. He then lost further ground with a spin on lap 23, in the process slipping back behind Wright and Donovan.

In the Bonnier class, the usual frontrunners were hit by trouble, both the Pittard/Wilson and Owen/Owen Chevron B8s dropping down the order around the halfway stage. Pittard fell down behind Mark Owen after serving a similar penalty to Wright but got back in front on lap 11. On lap 15, Owen Jr pulled off before he was able to hand the car over to Owen Sr. He eventually got the car going again, but the father-and-son duo had lost five laps. Then, on lap 20, Graham Wilson – having taken over from Pittard – was back in the pits for an unscheduled stop, pushing him well down the order. This handed the class win to local B8 driver Lothar Wilms. He was followed by Uwe Bruschnik’s Porsche 910 and the David Smithies/Chris Clarkson B8.

Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger had an easy time of it, comfortably winning the Hulme class in their Cooper Monaco King Cobra, finishing well ahead of Harms Winter’s McLaren M1A and Arthur Bruckner’s Lotus 23B.

Being honest, it wasn’t really a race today”, said Ahlers. “We had a good battle with the Healeys in the Gentlemen Drivers race this morning, but this was one of our easier victories.

German Rolf Lamberty won the Siffert class for Chevron B16 cars after seeing off an early challenge from Ross Hyett’s example. Nikolaus Ditting finished a distant third.

Finally, the Mark & James Bates Porsche 911 RS handsomely beat the Klaus Horn/Pablo Briones 911 RSR for another Pescarolo class win.