British F2 hopes chase big prize
Brands Hatch provides a final opportunity for five of our brightest young drivers to score a Formula Two win on home soil this year
On July 22-24, the FIA Formula Two and Spanishbased International GT Open championships make their way to the sweeps and curves of Brands Hatch.
The prize for winning the F2 title is a test in the current Williams Formula 1 car, while the secondand third-placed drivers will get behind the wheel of a GP2 machine. For single-seater drivers who want to carve their way to the top echelon of the sport, these are serious prizes, so expect to see some very close and hard racing.
Having finished on the F2 podium on four occasions and won a race during the 2009 season — before moving to GP3 in 2010— Mirko Bortolotti will be out to claim the championship this year. He won the opening race at Silverstone and then finished second in the following one, so will be a hot contender when the lights go out at Brands.
The Austro-Italian won’t have it all his own way, however, as all of the five Brits competing in F2 would love a win on home soil. James Cole, Alex Brundle, Jack Clarke, Will Bratt and Jon Lancaster have all shown promise, so a podium finish is certainly not out of the question. A win? Well, Brundle’s testing form has been particularly strong so we certainly wouldn’t write him off, nor the others, especially as this is the last chance this season to score a victory in Britain.
The International GT Open series came to Brands Hatch for the first time in 2010 and was considered a huge success. The Spanish series includes a mouth-watering line-up of supercars as well as races at Imola, Magny-Cours, Spa, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Portimao, Monza, Montmelo and Brands. The visit to the Kent circuit is the only round in Britain and promises to be an event brimming with action.
Grand Prix classics to top Superprix
For the first time ever Brands Hatch’s HSCC Historic Superprix is to be run over three days, from July 1-3.
The annual meeting is a must-see for historic racing fans. Not only does it include the FIA Historic Formula One Championship but also Historic Formula 2, Group C and 2-litre spots cars, the Jaguar E-type Challenge and the Derek Bell Trophy, which caters for F5000, F2, Formula Atlantic, F3, Formula Ford and Formula Super Vee machinery. There will also be races for the Guards Trophy for sports racing, spots and Grand Touring cars complying to FIA appendix K historic road sports and ’70s road sports.
Entries for more than 400 cars are expected for the event, but the usual entry list for the Historic Formula One series alone should persuade people to head to Kent for the race meeting. A McLaren MP4/1 being pitted against a Wolf WR1 and a Williams FW08 (above)? It doesn’t get much better.
Get up close to Gold Cup runners
Visitors to Oulton Park on August 28 and 29 are in for a treat, as the international circuit will be echoing to the sound of historic single-seaters, saloons and sports cars.
The Oulton Park Gold Cup was started as a non-championship Formula 1 race in 1954, when Sir Stirling Moss won it aboard a Maserati 250F, and has now become the north west’s premier historic car event attracting over 400 entries a year. Highlights will include historic F2 and F5000 singleseaters as well as classic touring cars, historic Grand Prix cars and 1-litre Formula 3 cars.
One of the best things about the meeting is that paddock access is free during the weekend, so you can get a proper look at the cars and ask drivers what they are like on the limit through Druids. Quite exciting, we would imagine…