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Masters Historic at Zolder: thrilling races relive the 60s, 70s and 80s!

Submitted by on April 21, 2016


By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com

Enjoy our report about the thrilling season opener from Masters Historic Racing at Zolder in Belgium and relive the 60s, 70s and 80s with these stunning images by Marcel Hundscheid.

Zolder hosted the opening race from the Masters Historic Racing organization based in the United Kingdom.

Eleven years ago Masters Historic Racing paid the Zolder track its last visit. Zolder hosted the Belgian Grand Prix up to the mid 80s. During the weekend of April 9th and 10th Masters Historic Racing was present with its two FIA Championships, featuring the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship and the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship. Furthermore Masters Historic Racing presented both the Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT Championship as well as the Pre-66 Touring Car Championship. Besides this the Belgian Historic Cup and the Belcar Endurance Championship were present.

Lotus 91/5

FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship

24 epic F1 cars found their way to Belgium including a Lotus 72, 77 and 91/5, Ligier JS11/15, McLaren M19C and M26, Hesketh 308, Tyrrell 001, 010 and 012, Ensign MN177 and N180, Williams FW07, Williams FX3B, Fittipaldi F5A, Arrows A4, Shadow DN8, March 761 and 811 and a Surtees TS9 all powered by a Cosworth DFV engine.

The only car now powered by a Cosworth was a gorgeous looking and sounding Alfa Romeo 179B, powered by a V12! Eventually, 23 cars found their way to the grid as the 24th car, a Japanese build Maki F101 didn’t make it out of the pit box.

Belgian driver Loïc Deman claimed pole positon for the first race on Saturday in his Tyrrell 010, followed by Briton Gregory Thornton in a Lotus 91/5 (+ 0.599 sec). Third fastest was Briton Michael Lyons in a Hesketh 308E. Deman’s race wasn’t too difficult as he converted his pole into a comfortable lead into the first corner. From that moment he created an increasing gap over Michael Lyons who dived past Gregory Thornton in the first seconds of the race. Thornton crossed the finish line third in his Lotus 91/5.

Tyrrell 010

For the second race on Sunday it was Loic Deman who gave his home crowd the second victory of the weekend with another lights-to-flag win.

A three way battle into the first corner on the opening lap between Christophe d’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C), Gregory Thornton (Lotus 91/5) and Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308E) proved how eagerly those men wanted to grab second place behind Deman.

The Tyrrell driver, however, apparently came from another planet as he claimed his second victory of the weekend with a stunning 12 second lead. The three-car-battle for second place between d’Ansembourg, Lyons and Nick Padmore in his Lotus 77 raged until the chequered flag. Thornton retired after he went wide and ran through the gravel trap.

FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship

Twenty sports cars from the sixties gathered on Saturday for their forty-minute qualifying session including seven Lola T70 Mk.IIIBs, a single Lola T70 Mk.III Spyder, three Chevron B8s, two B16s and a single B19, a Lola T210 and T290, as well as a beautiful Lotus 30, a Cooper Monaco King Cobra and a Chevrolet Corvette.

It soon turned to be battle between the Lola T70s and smaller prototypes as Zolder is known for its twisty turns and quite short straights. In the end it was the T70 of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield who topped the times with Hadfield scoring the pole. Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw managed second time on the grid with their T70, in front of the Lola T210 of Scott Mansell and Nick Pink.

Shortly after the session the race director cancelled all the lap times of the Lola T210 due to a technical infringement. Dutchman David Hart inherited third place in his dark green T70.

Lola T70 Mk.IIIB

On Sunday their single sixty-minute race was scheduled in the afternoon. It turned out to be a tough race for the T70s and three had to retire before the chequered flag dropped.

At the start Jon Minshaw managed to beat Leo Voyazides into the first corner. David Hart was passed by Chris Beighton in exactly the same way. The Dutchman quickly recovered and took over third place as he attacked Voyazides for second place. Hart managed to pass the Greek but he had to give back the place one lap later. Hart’s race would soon be over as he suffered from a brake failure and retired in the pits. Beighton managed to pass Voyazides who retired in lap 15 due to a fuel-pressure problem.

After the driver change Phil Keen took over from Jon Minshaw who managed to create a huge gap over the rest of the field. In the end Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw scored a crushing victory crossing the finish line first with a gap of 1:24.103 over the T70 of Mike Donovan who finished second. Finally Jason Wright scored third place in his T70 as Chris Beighton stopped out on the track with just two laps to go.

Lola T70 Mk.IIIB

Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT

Just eighteen classic GTs entered the qualifying session including a Shelby Daytona Cobra, three AC Cobras, two Jaguar E-Types, two TVR Griffiths and two Granturas, a pair of Austin Healy 3000s, as well as a Lotus Elan 26R and a single Elan, a Ginetta G4R, a Morgan Plus SLR, a Cooper Bobtail and finally a Triumph TR4A.

Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield drove their red Shelby Cobra Daytona to pole position. Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen followed second in their Jaguar E-Type, as Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe were third quickest in an AC Cobra.

It was Leo Voyazides who lead the field into the first corner, but within the first lap he was passed by both Jon Minshaw (Jaguar E-Type) and David Hart (AC Cobra). Voyazides had to battle for third as Michael Gans was close behind.

Hart quickly got away and created a five second gap over Minshaw. After the mandatory driver changes it turned out that Voyazides came in to early and handed over to Simon Hadfield. The Shelby Daytona Coupe got a 15 second stop-and-go penalty that dropped Hadfield back to fourth. In the meantime Michael Gans took the lead and had a 27 second lead over Hans Hugenholtz who took over from David Hart. After 90 minutes Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe claimed victory in their AC Cobra in front of the Shelby Cobra Daytona of Simon Hadfield and Leo Voyazides. Dutchmen David Hart and Hans Hugenholtz finished third in their AC Cobra.

AC Cobra

Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars

Fifteen classic touring cars gathered at Zolder for a single 60 minute race on Sunday. Amongst them were six Ford (Lotus) Cortinas, 4 Austin Mini Cooper S, two Ford Falcons and a single Ford Mustang.

Pole position went to the Ford Falcon of Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield. Second place on the grid was claimed by Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe in a Ford Lotus Cortina. The race on Sunday was won by Voyazides and Hadfield in their bright red Ford Falcon, who took a commanding victory over Gans and Wolfe. Podium was completed by Mark Martin and Andrew Haddon in a Ford Lotus Cortina.

Ford Falcon

Belgian Historic Cup

Besides Masters Historic Racing, the Belgian Historic Cup, had their season opener at Zolder, featuring no less than three thirty minute races.

The Belgian Historic Cup is open to Youngtimers, both GT and Touring cars, divided in four different categories. No less than forty cars entered the grid including different types of Porsches, Ford GT40, Audi Coupe, Ford Sierra Cosworth, Lotus, VW Golf GTI, BMW E30 etc.

Belgian Patrick Michiels won the first race in his Porsche 964 just a fraction in front of Luc Moortgat (Porsche 964 Cup) and Erik Bruynoghe in a Peugeot 205 GTI. Patrick Machiels also claimed victory in race 2. This time Machiels lead was no less than 18 seconds over the Porsche 964 of Pierre-Yves Pacque and Bas van Elderen in his BMW 320i E30.

On Sunday the Belgian Historic Cup had their third and final race of the weekend. Patrick Machiels was again the man to beat but no had a straight answer against the Porsche driver who scored three out of three in Zolder. Pierre-Yves Pacque scored his second podium of the weekend finishing in second place. Diederick Ceyssens finished third making it a complete Porsche 964 podium.

Porsche 964

In the end it was a great event at Zolder reliving the golden years of motorsports with great racing and a true flashback to the F1 period at this great track!

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