Brands Hatch, Kent
THE 2011 EDITION OF THE BIGGEST historic meeting on the Brands Hatch schedule was easily the best yet, with a vast entry of 450 cars spilling out of the paddock and into the spectator car parks.
Ironically, while the HSCC’s grids were packed, the headlining FIA Historic F1 field was down to just nine cars – the smallest grid in its history. A raft of no-shows, for many and varied reasons, decimated the field and was a stark reminder that the upper end of the historic race calendar is getting overcrowded.
Hideki Yamauchi starred in Historic F1 and Group C in cars from Katsu Kubota’s fleet. Having seen neither the track nor the cars before qualifying, the 22-year-old Japanese set a blistering pace to win Historic F1 in Kubota’s March 761 and set up a Group C victory for the pair in a Nissan RC90.
Much interest centred on the opening Jaguar E-type Challenge races, celebrating 50 years of the model. Graeme Dodd and Jon Minshaw took a win apiece from a 34-car field, with Dodd claiming the opener. Minshaw had a clear run to victory in the second race and only 24 hours later discovered that a broken anti-roll bar had caused his handling gremlins.
Martin Stretton (March 742) steamrollered the pair of Historic F2 races, as Darwin Smith (March 722) and Andrew Smith (March 79B) chased. John Burton claimed a Martini Trophy double in his Chevron B26, while Stuart Roach (Alexis Mk4) and James Murray (Lola Mk5A) scored a Lurani Trophy win apiece as Pierre Tonetli (Brabham BT6) twice finished between them in two barnstorming races.