Greg Thornton and Loic Deman scored a win apiece as the FIA Masters
Historic Formula One Championship blasted off the Barcelona grid last weekend,
Christophe D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) took a maiden pole position to head
the 33-car field but was bested at the lights by Loic Deman (Tyrrell 010) and
Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308E) but it was Greg Thornton’s ex-Elio de Angelis
Lotus 91/5 that set the pace as he fought through the field to take the lead by
mid-distance and establish a lead he was never to lose. Deman secured second
from Martin Stretton (Tyrrell 012), with Lyons winning the Pre-78 division in
fourth overall, conquering Katsu Kubota (March 761) and Robert Blain (March
761) in the process. Deman was unstoppable in race two, shortened when oil on
the track caught out Mike Cantillon who spun his Williams into the pit wall.
Deman blasted past Thornton on the opening lap to establish a lead, while
Stretton’s run in third place ended three minutes before the end with
transmission woes. That allowed D’Ansembourg up to third, while Lyons won the
Pre-78 division but only after a late-race lunge to wrestle the lead away from
Kubota who bagged second from James Hagan (Ensign N177). Lyons and Thornton won
the two divisions on aggregate.
On a damp but drying track, Jason Wright (Lola T70 Mk3B) took honours in the
FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship opener. With the Lola T70 of
Carlos Monteverde having spun out on the opening tour, Wright’s life became
easier after early leader Leo Voyazides (Lola T70 Mk3B) pitted after 10 minutes
with a loose kingpin. Wright led the T70 of Chris Beighton but both were chased
after the mandatory pit stops by Simon Hadfield (in for Voyazides) who secured
second after Beighton pitted on the penultimate lap. That allowed Pedro Macedo
Silva’s Lola T70 up to third overall as well as securing the Pre-66 division.
A mixed grid of Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT cars and Pre-66 Touring Cars
delivered entertaining racing, with Henry Mann’s Ford Mustang the best of the
touring car field after Leo Voyazides had to withdraw his Ford Falcon with
engine problems. Behind the flying Mann, Jason Minshaw worked wonders in
co-driver Martin Melling’s Ford Falcon with the Ford Galaxie of David Hathaway
third in the over 2-litre section. Andrew Beaumont/Nigel Greensall (Lotus
Cortina) won the under 2-litre race, enlivened by 1993 Le Mans winner Eric
Helary (Austin Cooper S) who took third on his Masters debut.
Once the AC Cobra of Andy Wolfe/Michael Gans retired with breather problems,
the Shelby Daytona Cobra of Leo Voyazides/Simon Hadfield won the Gentlemen
Drivers’ race from the AC Cobras of Pedro Macedo Silva/Joaquin Jorge and Carlos
Monteverde/Gary Pearson, while an inspired fourth was the giant-killing Lotus
Elan of Grant Tromans/Richard Meaden which secured under 2-litre honours.