The FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship race for Le Mans style sports cars and Group 4 cars 1962 – 74 rounded off Sunday’s racing at the Donington Historic Festival and managed to pull out its usual surprises at the end of the one hour, safety car interrupted feast of sight and sound.
An unusual retirement for the Voyazides/Hadfield Lola T70 with gearbox trouble saw it and the rest of the field quickly fall back from the dice that would develop between the two T70s of poleman Grant Tromans and Olly Bryant.
A first lap spin into the gravel and retirement for the T70 of Carlos Monteverdi at the Old Hairpin split the field immediately and it would be Tromans who lead Bryant for several laps. After Bryant took the lead, Tromans slid into the gravel at McLean’s, having developed brake trouble.
A lengthy safety car period ended as the Lola was recovered and limped back to the pits. It would emerge after losing eight laps with a determined Martin Stretton at the wheel, he sliced through the field to 17th, posting fastest lap in the process.
Equally determined, in the Lola T70 hired from Steve Tandy, was the experienced Mike Donovan who qualified 7th after struggling with understeer all day.
After taking second place, a pit stop window timing mix up at race control, meant he had to take a stop-go penalty, dropping him to third behind Jason Wright’s similar T70 Mk3B. Donovan’s post-race appeal saw his penalty quashed and a similar penalty applied to Jason Wright.
The amended result gave Olly Bryant an overall and Rodriguez class win by 18 seconds ahead of Donovan and Wright.
The following five places were reserved for Chevrons with Benedini brothers B16 in fourth and Siffert class winners, the Marco class B23 of Tim Cousins and Steve Hart was 5th ahead of the Siffert class B16 of Mike Wrigley who had enjoyed a strong race with the similar of David Carrington-Yates.
Andy Newall drove the wheels off the JCB-entered B8 to take the Bonnier class in 7th.
Words and images ©Mick Herring