Masters Historic Donington Park

Masters Historic Racing finally began their 2020 season at Donington Park last weekend, with a fantastic meeting on the National Circuit.

Top of the bill was a pair of races for the FIA Historic F1 Championship. Race one was an absolute thriller, with victory going to Mike Cantillon in the ex-Keke Rosberg Williams FW07C after a race long battle with Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 and the always hard-charging Michael Lyons in a Hesketh 308E.

Race two featured a reversed grid, and was just as good as the previous day’s encounter. Steve Brooks led the field away from pole in his Lotus 81, with Lyons, Cantillon and Hartley close behind. Lyons took the lead with an excellent move around the outside of Redgate on lap three, with Cantillon and Hartley soon following. Lyons surged into a 3.5 second lead, before being reeled in and passed by Cantillon and Hartley. Cantillon then withstood huge pressure from the McLaren for 10 laps, but Hartley was never able to find a way through, leaving the Williams driver to complete a double victory.

The FIA Masters Historic Sportscar Championship also had their first round at Donington, with a 60-minute race on Sunday afternoon. Jonathan Mitchell emerged victorious in his Chevron B19, following several mechanical retirements at the head of the field. 

The Gentleman Drivers series for Pre-1966 GT cars delivered one of the best looking grids of the weekend, with the beautiful Jaguar E-Type of Gary Pearson taking a commanding victory in the 90-minute enduro on Saturday evening. Such was Pearson’s pace that he took the lead on lap one and was never headed for the rest of the race.

The Aston Martin Endurace Legends grid may only have featured 8 cars, but it delivered a pair of intriguing races over the weekend. Shaun Lynn took victory in race one aboard his BR 01 LMP2 car, with a mid race safety car intervention gifting Lynn a full lap over the rest of the field. Steve Tandy tried his best to reel Lynn in, with the LMP1 Lola flying around the Donington park circuit in just 61 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome such a huge deficit.

Tandy made up for his race one disappointment in the day’s second race, taking a commanding win from car racing newcomer Jack Dex, also aboard a BR 01 LMP2 car. 

Other winners over the weekend were Craig Davies in the Pre-1966 Touring Car race, his Ford Mustang emerging from the 60 minute race victorious, and Tom Bell in the Pre-‘66 Mini race. 

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