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The Brands Hatch Masters 2021

Image of Terry SmithTERRY SMITH tells us all about the 2021 Masters at Brands Hatch.

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This could almost be a picture from any GP at Brands Hatch dating between 1973 and 1985. A Williams FW08c holds of a bunch of McLarens, with all cars powered by Cosworth V8s limited to 10,000rpm.

If you have not been to a Masters event, you are missing out. This is where you can see Historic F1, Sports and Touring cars being raced in anger at iconic tracks around the world. On the 29/30th May 2021, the series came to Brands Hatch and, although a welcome return since events like this were cancelled last year, there were still a few restrictions. Having been a regular at the Kent track since 1968, it was one of the few times that I couldn’t get into the pits due to the current restrictions. Luckily for me, I did manage to charm my way through the paddock entrance and into the paddock itself. I did feel a bit self-conscious being one of very few people other than the owners, mechanics and drivers wandering through the area though.

While the paddock was off limits to most, I still got in and came across this amazing ex-Denny Hulme Lola T70.

Also in the paddock was this Tyrrell P34 recreation. While some might not agree to people making fake classic race cars, with the originals being almost priceless, its wonderful to still see things like this race. It was constructed using the original drawings from Tyrrell.

Perhaps the highlight for many is the 25-minute Formula 1 race limited to cars powered by the Ford DFV Cosworth engine between 1967 and 1985. This means you can see hordes of McLarens, Tyrrells, Lotus’ and Williams', along with other smaller teams racing each other with a similar power-plant. This gives the cars a great leveller when it comes to performance.

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Looking similar to the ex-Hulme car, this Lola was driven to victory in the GT race by Alex Brundle, son of ex F1 star and Sky commentator Martin Brundle.

Looking like Hunt's car from the C4189A British GP set, this McLaren M23 was actually driven by James’ team-mate, Jochen Mass. This car was, however, at the 1976 British Grand Prix with Mass retiring after just one lap with a faulty clutch.

Along with the F1 and GT races, there are also rounds for pre ‘66 touring cars, Minis, and a series called Gentleman Racers which gives to owners of E-Types, Cobras and early Mustangs a chance to use their machines in anger. The event at Brands is always held over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, so put it in your diary for next year!

Unless you are an FIA-approved photographer, where else could you get this up-close and personal to an F1 car racing? Even if it is Just an ex-Keke Rosberg Williams FW08c!

Taking the honours in both the Saturday and Sunday F1 races was Steve Hartley in his ex-John Watson McLaren MP4/1B.

If you like your racing a little bit more down to earth - how about a field of pre-1966 Mini Coopers? These are amazing to watch and have not changed much since they raced in period all those years ago.

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