Masters Historic Formula One cars wow Suzuka fans!
The thirteen cars and drivers from Masters Historic Formula One wowed the large and enthusiastic Suzuka crowd at the Sound of Engine over this last weekend! The cars from Europe and the US aimed to showcase cars throughout the Masters era from 1966 to 1985 and consisted of pairs of Tyrrell’s, Lotus’, Brabhams’ and Williams’ plus a Penske PC4, March 761, Hesketh 308B, McLaren M26 and a Maki. The Masters cars were also joined by local Masters-racer Katsu Kubota in his home-based Lotus 88b – the twin chassis car making a rare appearance.
Over a weekend of mixed weather, the historic formula one cars took part in 7 on-track demonstration sessions on the fabulous swoops and turns of the 5.8kms Suzuka GP circuit. There were also two busy lunchtime pit walks that allowed the local Suzuka crowd to get up close to the cars.
The Citizen-liveried Maki, owned by Fred Fatien and driven ably by Jordon Grogor, was a popular car during the weekend. The Japanese team car from period was visited by its period driver, Hiroshi Fushida, over the weekend. During the wet Saturday morning sessions, the car topped the standings as Grogor proved he was the bravest of the pack!
Bob Blain’s March was an early casualty to proceedings, the engine of his 1976 Ex-Brambilla 761 giving up during the first practice session on Friday afternoon. Jamie Constable also had a frustrating weekend in his Carlos Reuteman Brabham BT37; a wheel bearing failed in Friday’s session which was fixed in time for him to go out for second practice on Saturday, only for rear wheel to shear off causing a red flag for that session.
The track was drying for the one-lap time attack on Saturday – an interesting format that showcased each of the cars one at a time on the track. Katsu Kubota showed his knowledge of the track by putting the Lotus 88 on top of the times, closely followed by Greg Thornton in his JPS Lotus 92/5 and Joaquin Folch in his Brabham BT49C.
Ex-Benetton F1 driver and apparent Suzuka hero, Roberto Moreno kept the crowd and signature hunters happy as he completed runs in Ron Maydon’s Williams FW04, James Hagan’s Hesketh 308B and also Tommy Dreelan’s Williams FW08!