National reports: Zandvoort; Donington Park; Anglesey; Snetterton; Oulton Park; Mallory Park
ZANDVOORT HISTORIC GP SEPTEMBER 1-2 “I needed those cars. I’d got my nose ahead two or three times but wouldn’t have passed him without them,” beamed World Touring Car driver Tom Coronel. His audacious last-lap pass of Andy Wolfe, made possible by traffic, snatched victory in last Saturday’s Masters Pre-’66 Touring Car race – a gripping one-hour catchweight contest that delighted spectators at Zandvoort’s seventh Historic Grand Prix.
Andrew Haddon forged his Lotus
Cortina ahead of the Ford Falcons of Mike Gardiner and Julian Thomas initially as
Alex Furiani, having fired David Hart’s
Alfa GTA through the gravel at the Tarzan hairpin, worked it back through the Mini Cooper Ss of Chris Middlehurst, Nick
Swift, Jonathan Lewis and Ian Curley.
Into the Cortina jumped Mark Martin and he kept the lead, but the race’s complexion changed when Coronel leaped aboard the DHG Alfa during a middle-third safety car interlude in which Middlehurst’s short (by four seconds) stop attracted a 21-second penalty, gifting Curley the class.
Coronel chased down leader Wolfe
(in for Gardiner), and for a mesmeric 10 minutes they were locked in combat. Coronel repeatedly seized the initiative in the corners, where V8 grunt habitually kicked the Falcon’s tail out as Wolfe fed its power in gently with Dunlops past their best for the subsequent drag races.
Running out of options Coronel rounded Wolfe into Tarzan, exiting on the kerb as they accelerated towards the off-camber right-handed Gerlach kink and the plunge into the dished left Hugenholtzbocht, which magnifies momentum for the climb into the dunes. Ahead lay a duelling Mustang and Mini to be lapped. “As I chose left, I knew I was sunk,” said Wolfe. The pair wafted into his path and Coronel sailed imperiously round them all to lead.
Coronel duly steamed to victory over Wolfe, with Thomas/calum Lockie a solid third. The Haddon/mark Martin and John Spiers Cortinas were next, ahead of the top three Minis. Norbert Gross won the concurrent local Touring Car section, his Falcon 10th but lapping quicker than the leading Appendix K versions.
Wolfe’s glory came on Sunday morning, soloing Michael Gans’ AC Cobra in a scintillating 90-minute Gentlemen Drivers GT bout in which he hounded Nicky Pastorelli’s Ferrari 250 GTO for 30 laps until its clutch failed. “I was in my element, happy to let Nicky do the work [in traffic],” Wolfe said. “It was beautiful to watch, but I knew putting new rear tyres on at the pitstop would give me the traction I needed to pass the Ferrari, which I did straight after the pace car.” Following “the race of my life”, Wolfe took the flag 16s clear of Alexander van der Lof and Yelmer Buurman’s Cobra.
After an adventure-filled weekend the Head brothers, Dale and Aaron, finished a superb third in their new John Danby Racing-built Lotus Elan. Martin/haddon’s 26R was fourth, ahead of Nurburgring winners Leo Voyazides/simon Hadfield’s Cobra. A brake drama had forced Voyazides to start from the pits – where he was held until the separate Dutch grid (racing for an hour) was released – then the Greek stopped a lap before the window. Allard Kalff/michiel Campagne dominated the subset in the latter’s magnificently unruly Tachyon-built Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport clone.
Pastorelli’s turn for victory came in the FIA Masters Sports Car round in which he took over David Hart’s Lola T70 MK3B and kept it 16 seconds clear of Hadfield, finishing Voyazides’ ex-fittipaldi brothers
version. Henry Fletcher, whose Chevron B19’s pace was blunted by a misfire following a gravelly spin, and Goncalo Gomes (Lola T212) kept the V8s on their toes. The Portuguese led well, but American Jason Wright completed a
T70 1-2-3 with water temperature “off the clock”. Thomas/lockie’s Chevron B8 ran metronomically to Bonnier-class honours.
All the single-seater classes resulted in double wins, none closer than Saturday’s Lurani Trophy leg in which 2015 and ’17 champion Bruno Weibel repelled Nurburgring king Mark Shaw by 0.021s, squeezing him over the pit-entrance line at the finish. “I wasn’t going to back off,” said Shaw, who crashed his Brabham BT6 in qualifying and suffered suspension failure while challenging on Sunday. Manfredo Rossi di Montelera moved up.
Christian Olsen won the inaugural FIA Historic F3 European Cup races, but having popped an oil line he had to be loaned the Alfa Romeo engine from father Tom’s sister Martini MK39 to take up pole in his ex-frederic Delavallade car. Slim Borgudd’s teamster overcame 2017 Zandvoort winner Thomas Warken, fortunate to escape serious injury when his Ralt RT3 vaulted Francesco Macri’s during lappery at Hunserud on Sunday. Despite lacking torque, Briton Tom Bradshaw scuttled his ex-thierry Tassin Argo JM6 from 13th to a second on day two. Haddon topped the early class, loving his ex-riccardo Patrese Chevron B34.
Because Mark Dwyer was sidelined from the Historic F2 races by clutch and gearbox issues, Matthew Watts outran a fabulous grid in his ex-norman Dickson March 772. Enthusiastic series newcomer Rossi (in James King’s car) and Robert Simac pursued Watts like terriers in 1600cc March 712s each time. Star of Sunday’s stanza was venue debutant James Hadfield, who shot his Formula Atlantic Modus M1 from the back to a class-winning fifth behind Matt Wrigley’s younger March 79B.
Retro speedster George Shackleton won at the third attempt in 500cc F3. “Darrell [Woods] was on my tail the whole time,” said Shackleton. He finished, hand aloft, 0.629s ahead of Woods’ Staride-norton as previous winner Brian Joliffe (Cooper-jap) faded to third in Sunday’s 21-car field.
From the back of Sunday’s reversed eight-car FIA Historic Formula 1 grid – with Canadian Keith Frieser’s Shadow DN1 on pole – Nick Padmore (Williams FW07C) took three laps to oust early leader Georg Hallau (Theodore N183). Greg Thornton (borrowing Katsu Kubota’s March 761) blew a Cosworth DFV in qualifying and so was overjoyed with second ahead of the determined Jason Wright (Shadow DN8).
Klaus Ludwig – among four Le Mans winners present – shared German Tourenwagen Classics gold in Jorg Hatscher’s 1996 DTM Mercedes.
After Furiani took the Alfa GTA (middle) through the gravel, he and Coronel had to fight through the pack
Olsen became the first winner in new-for-2018 Historic F3 European Cup
Snake versus prancing horse: Wolfe (Cobra) hounded down Pastorelli (250 GTO) in GT race
Weibel (r) just pipped Shaw by 0.021s in the Lurani Trophy