Brabham and March were victorious on the Masters Racing Series’ first visit to Magny-Cours
By Paul Lawrence
Six different non-Cosworth Grand Prix engines running in one event marked the first Masters Festival to be run outside Britain, when the Masters Racing Series took over the French GP circuit of Magny-Cours.
A date at the end of a busy summer did not help grids, and entries were generally modest. What began as a 19-car Grand Prix Masters field was beset by problems and was down to 12 cars by the start of qualifying. But what made this a memorable event was the sheer diversity of Grand Prix engines on parade.
Aside from the regular Cosworth DFV pack, the Nevers circuit reverberated to 12-cylinder power from Matra, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari, and V8s from Repco and Alfa Romeo.
Victories in the pair of races were shared between the Brabham BT42 of Manfredo Rossi and the March 761 of David Methley. It could have been a double for Methley had he not been put out of the opening race when a stone jammed in the rear brakes and shredded the disc on the warm-up lap.
The Proto 70s races continue to show promise despite small fields and the Magny-Cours entry included a debut appearance for the ex-Guy Edwards March 75S-DFV, now restored in period Ultramar livery by Simon Hadfield for new owner Frank Sytner. Having put the car on pole, Sytner was sidelined by teething problems in the opening race. Instead, Cosimo Turizio made his journey from Naples worthwhile with a double win in his Osella PA5.
Consolation for Sytner/Hadfield came in the hour-long Sports Racing Masters race when they won in Sytner’s Lola T70 Spyder. The T70Mk3B pack dominated the results of the 90-minute World Sportscar Masters race, with Carlos Barbot/Oliver Bryant heading a clean sweep of the top four places. However, the
Lola T210 of Chris Fox/Charlie Kemp led until the closing minutes when Kemp fell foul of increasing rain and slid off into the gravel.