Hart & Pastorelli storm to home win in FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars at Zandvoort

Local heroes David Hart and Nicky Pastorelli won at their home track by taking their Lola T70 Mk3B to a popular win in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race at Zandvoort. In his opening stint, Hart took the lead from Leo Voyazides’ similar T70 Mk3B on lap 2 and opened up a 12-second lead towards the pitstops. With Pastorelli in the car, their lead grew to 15 seconds over Simon Hadfield in the rival car, Hadfield unable to close the gap.

We finally did it the way we always wanted to do it with this car”, said Pastorelli on a car that has proved troublesome for the Dutch team on many occasions. “First stint was good, second stint was good, and we finished the race without a single issue.

“I can match him but I can’t catch him”, said Hadfield on not being capable of making an impression on Pastorelli. “I lost time when I had to take to grass for a Chevron, and that was it, really.”

Jason Wright’s T70 Mk3B took a fighting third, battling with the Gonçalo Gomes/James Claridge Lola T212 and Marc Devis in the Chevron B19 all the way. Devis dropped out on lap 30. Henry Fletcher, in another B19, briefly led on lap 6 but threw away his lead with a spin on lap 8 and then dropped further down the order when he had to make a second pitstop after stopping too short during his mandatory stop. He continued to finish fifth.

My temperature went off the clock, and lights were coming on all over the place”, said Wright on an eventful race for the Italian-domiciled American. “But I didn’t see any smoke, and didn’t seem to lose any power, so I just continued. In fact, I so love this track that at the end I hurried to just get one more lap in!

The race started with Voyazides leading away from pole but quickly Hart came flying past to take the lead on lap 2. The Dutchman soon had Henry Fletcher following his every move, the Chevron B19 also having passed Voyazides on lap 2. Four laps later, Fletcher got past while braking for the chicane, while four seconds behind the lead pair Voyazides and Wright fought over third place. Meanwhile, Gonçalo Gomes (Lola T212) and Marc Devis (Chevron B19) kept pace with the two Lola T70 Mk3B.

In fact, Gomes had almost caught up with Wright when he suddenly found Fletcher in his way, the leader having spun while braking for the chicane. The Portuguese driver soon had a different driver in his mirrors, though, when he passed Wright for what was now third place.

In front, and with ten laps done, Hart was now 11 seconds clear of Voyazides who now had the emergent Gomes to deal with. Behind them, Fletcher was back up into fourth, having nipped past Wright on the previous lap, the three now circulating in very close proximity, as Wright dropped back into the clutches of Devis. One lap later, Voyazides was down to fourth, being passed by both Gomes and Fletcher. It was up and down in the order between these three, though, because Voyazides was back through in third when Fletcher missed a gear.

Hart, Voyazides and Fletcher all came in on lap 14, Gomes and Wright electing to continue. As the cars returned to the track, Hadfield (having taken over from Voyazides) and Pastorelli (having taken Hart’s seat) were 12 seconds apart and the pair soon started exchanging fastest laps of the race, both now well clear of James Claridge in the Lola T212 previously occupied by Gomes. Fletcher, meanwhile, was back into the pits to counterbalance a mandatory pitstop that was almost half a minute too short, dropping him down to seventh. Behind the top-three, Devis was up into fourth, having passed Wright at the stops.

With 15 minutes still on the clock, Hadfield failed to make inroads into Pastorelli’s lead, the Dutchman in fact having increased it to 14 seconds, and adding one more second at the finish. On lap 25, Wright made it a Lola T70 Mk3B 1-2-3 when he passed Devis for third, Claridge having dropped back to fifth, with Fletcher unable to make an impression on Claridge in sixth. There was one more late order change when Devis pulled off at the back of the circuit, allowing Fletcher up into fifth.

Julian Thomas and Calum Lockie won the Bonnier class, Thomas passing Mark Owen for the class lead on lap 2, and then maintaining a six-second lead to the rival Chevron B8. Greg Thornton was third initially but was forced to retire with clutch issues on lap 12. This allowed Paul Ingram’s B8 into third. Ingram was elevated into second when Andrew Owen crawled into the pits on lap 23, throttle linkage broken. Despite a drivethrough penalty for speeding in the pitlane, Frazer Gibney;s B8 took third in class.

The Siffert-class battle was prematurely decided when Jamie Boot had to retire with steering issues after his Chevron B16 touched with Hart’s leading Lola on lap 8. No further action was required on the contact. John Sheldon had been consummately leading the class anyway, and the Le Mans veteran duly took the class win.