Ferraris and Maseratis star at Brands Birthday bash
The celebrations of 75 years of Brands Hatch history and 50 years since Ferrari's first grand prix win were dovetailed superbly at the Kent circuit in July. A crowd of around 25,000 was treated to an entertaining blend of racing, both ancient and modern. Guests included Ferrari F1 technical director Ross Brawn, Sir Stirling Moss and three times world champion Sir Jack Brabham.
Of particular note were the gorgeous cars from the Shell Historic Ferrari/ Maserati Challenge, with no less than six races for the three groups of cars on the only visit of the series to Britain this season.
Irvine Laidlaw and Burkhard von Schenk shared the spoils in the races for single-seaters and older sportscars. Laidlaw took his Maserati 6CM to a commanding win over the similar car of Stefan Schollwoeck before jumping into his 250S to win the second sportscar race. Von Schenk, who had suffered gearbox maladies in his Maserati 250F in the opening singleseater race, was back in form to head Laidlaw in the second.
Von Schenk won the opening sportscar race in his 300S and nearly made it three wins from four in the second sportscar encounter, only to spin at Druids on the final lap when under pressure from Laidlaw, who went through to win.
Driving Carlos Monteverde's mighty Ferrari 712 CanAm car, David Franklin restored Ferrari honour with a brace of easy wins in the races for more recent cars. The ex-hillclimb ace romped to victory, although Bill Binnie gave chase in the opening race in his 312PB. With that car sidelined when it cut out in the second race, Franklin headed the 365GTB/ 4 of John Bosch by more than a minute.
Paul Ingram took his first-ever FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix Championship victory, qualifying his ex-Michele Alboreto Tyrrell 011 on pole and leading all the way despite clutch scares after the race needed three attempts to get under way.
Martin Stretton non-started the Tyrrell six-wheeler after gearbox problems in qualifying, and so it was Freddy Kumschick who led the chase of Ingram in his Williams FW07C.Steve Hitchins caused one of the restarts by stalling the Lotus 88B, but recovered to take third in the race.
Simon Hadfield (Lola T330) was a class above his rivals as Formula 5000 returned to its spiritual home for a double-header in the FORCE-organised series. Peter Gethin was on hand to present a trophy in his name for the second race to the charging Hadfield, as Nick Crossley gave chase in his March 73A. PL