Brands Hatch is set to host Formula 1 races under the illustrious ‘Race of Champions’ title for the first time in 29 years.
The Historic Race of Champions has been added to the bill for the Masters Festival to be held at the Kent circuit on May 26/27. It will cater for Grand Prix cars from the early years of the 3-litre era, between 1966 and ’71.
The idea celebrates the non-championship F1 races held in April between 1965 and ’83 and has been initiated by racers Joe Twyman, Andrew Smith and Roger Wills. It will allow the Masters organisers to gauge support ahead of a possibly expanded series of races in 2013.
“We are hoping to provide a platform for the earlier cars,” said Twyman, who wants to entice owners entering the Monaco Historique meeting held two weeks earlier to stay on in Europe for a second race weekend. “Apart from Monaco every two years, there is no other race for this era of car and we want to change that.”
Two March 701s are early confirmed entries: Smith’s ex-Jackie Stewart car, which won the 1970 Race of Champions (above) and Wills’ ex-Chris Amon works sister version.
A pair of 20-minute races is the chosen format, while plans are underway to organise a traditional prize of 100 bottles of champagne to the driver who claims pole position. It is hoped that the races, which will be sponsored by preparation company Hall & Hall, will attract an entry of at least 20 cars.
The contemporary Race of Champions survives today as a sports stadia-based shootout event held each winter for star drivers from F1, sports cars, rallying and US racing.