The Algarve Classic Festival, season-closer for Masters, the HGPCA, the GTSCC and the FJHRA presented its competitors with a wild variety of weather conditions – from hot and sunny to ‘mildly moist’. Most of the precipitation was released over the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on the Sunday, strangling much of the action, which meant that Masters lucked out after having arranged that all of its races would take place on Saturday. Mattijs Diepraam Reports…
Hot, Wet and Wild
Next to three Masters grids, the 2-hour GTSSC race and a pair each of HGPCA and FJHRA races, the programme was completed by a trio of local grids consisting of ‘70s touring and GT cars, ‘80s and ‘90s sports cars and tourers and a fair gaggle of 1300cc tin tops from the ‘60s into the ‘90s, while on Sunday a full hour was devoted to car clubs being allowed on track with a bewildering variety of supercars as well as family cars in mint condition.
No fewer than 23 entries from the UK, Germany, France and Italy showed up for the two Masters Racing Legends races for 3-litre Formula One cars, and those included many new faces – some in familiar machines. The fastest new combination of them all, however, proved to be former F3000 hotshoe Soheil Ayari, who has acquired one of Mr John of B’s flat-bottomed 1983 Ligier JS21s. In the second race, Jamie Constable initially led fellow Tyrrell 011 driver Ken Tyrrell, but at the restart following a mid-race safety-car period Tyrrell got the jump on the other Denim-liveried machine to claim his fourth victory of the season, with d’Ansembourg following through.
The Historic Grand Prix Cars Association’s members, meanwhile, produced two absolute corkers that thrilled from start to finish, as Justin Maeers and Rüdi Friedrichs took on Tim Child’s Brabham BT3/4 in their Cooper T53s. Michael Gans made it a warring quartet in Saturday’s race before the American fell back to recover to fourth in his Cooper T79. Friedrichs led early on but with five minutes remaining Maeers got the better of the German to win the first race.
On Sunday’s damp track, the action was even tighter, with Mark Shaw’s Lotus 21 joining the fun up front before giving way to Rod Jolley’s T53 and Michel Kuiper’s BT4.
Both Formula Junior races were won by Clive Richards whose Lotus 22 twice held off Philipp Buhofer’s Lotus 27, on Saturday by a margin of eight seconds, with Lukas Buhofer’s Brabham BT6 completing the family affair on the podium of a race red-flagged with ten minutes remaining.
Much of the interest in the pair of Masters Endurance Legends races went up in smoke when the engine in Stuart Wiltshire’s Peugeot 90X expired on Thursday’s test day. This left Wiltshire’s rival Steve Brooks, in the other Peugeot, to reel off the laps to win the first race, despite the best efforts of Keith Frieser trying to keep up in his Zytek 09S. Later in the day, it was Frieser’s turn to dominate when the remaining Peugeot 90X succumbed to gearbox failure on the opening lap of the race.
GT and Touring Cars
Several of the leading cars in Saturday’s Masters Gentlemen Drivers race would be two-timing in the two-hour GTSCC race on Sunday, so in a way the 90-minute Masters bout would provide a perfect way to gauge their respective performances. An exciting opening half was led by John Spiers in the TVR Griffith, who was chased by the E-types of Richard Kent/Chris Ward and Gary Pearson (driving solo as brother John proved unwell), with Robin Ward provocatively putting his Ginetta G4R pigeon amongst the cats before handing the CLP class-winning car to Maydon. After the stops, Pearson came out on top and had one less rival to worry about when Nigel Greensall ground to a halt in Spiers’ TVR. Chris Ward initially closed on Pearson at a rate of several tenths a lap before his gearbox began to stiffen up, forcing him to go into preservation mode, his eyes firmly focused on the next day’s race.
Following an overnight ‘box change, Kent and Ward indeed turned the tables on Pearson when they reeled in their rival to storm off to a convincing 56-second lead and take the overall win in the GTSCC two-hour race.
To Read Mattijs’s full report, see our December 2023 Issue….
These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News. Some have been abbreviated for this web site. If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available. A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.