Gans/Wolfe run away with Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at Most
Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe made easy pickings of the Masters Gentlemen Drivers race at the Most Historic Grand Prix this weekend. The AC Cobra pair were never headed in the 90-minute race, taking victory by 26 seconds of CLP class winner Rob Fenn in his Lotus Elan 26R.
At the pitstops, however, the Cobra lost almost its entire 30-second lead to Fenn, who chased the big American car for three or four laps before Wolfe began stretching his legs.
It may have looked easy”, said Gans, “but I can tell you, it’s really hard work as opposed to the Elans that can dance through every corner. The only way to get the Cobra go around a corner is to let the tail slide, so we changed the outside rear tyre. No, that didn’t cost us the time at the pitstop, we were just a bit, let’s say, conservative on the release…
Fenn battled with Ron Maydon’s Ginetta G4R in the early stages, Maydon beating Fenn away from the lights. Once the Elan got past on lap 8, however, profiting from a mistake by Maydon, it stretched its legs to pull out what became a one-and-a-half minute gap at the end.
“He outbraked himself!” Fenn explained. “And then after the pitstops I thought could chase the Cobra but he just teased me…”
I was thinking: he’ll make a mistake, he’ll make a mistake. But then I made it!” said Maydon
Third in the CLP class and fourth overall, new pairing Mark Martin and Steve Soper were unable to catch Maydon despite Soper trying his best in Martin’s Elan.
“This was where we expected to end up”, said Martin. “Steve should have had a better co-driver… Can I just say that it’s been a total honour to be racing with Steve? It’s been amazing.”
Fifth overall to take second in the C3 class was Jamie Boot whose TVR Griffith had a good fight with Mark Martin early on.
“It was tiring!” said Boot. “It was lonely at the end, but there was some good racing with the Elan [of Mark Martin] to begin with. And then after the pitstops I had a grandstand view of the battle between the Cobra and the other Elan. This is a great track, and the organisers have been wonderful.”
David Smithies and Chris Clarkson finished a distant third in the big-cars class, their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé suffering from a troublesome oil light at the end. They had been fighting for sixth overall with the C2-class-leading Morgan SLR of Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger before the issue occurred. Smithies and Clarkson’s mishap allowed the Elans of Richard Bateman and Rick Carlino/Jonathan Lewis to each make up a place.
“The oil light came on, but the gauge was alright”, Clarkson explained about the delay. “So I even stopped out on the circuit, thinking this can’t be alright. Then I got going again and then three laps later the light went on again! So I pitted, and the team said to just take the wire out. And that was it!”
Keith Ahlers and Billy Bellinger (Morgan SLR) took an unchallenged C2 class win when the rivaling Austin Healey 3000 of Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus/Jeremy Welch developed a spark-plug issue. The Philip Danby/Tom Dunstan MGB won the C1 class.