By Mick Palmer
Mike Cantillon took a pair of victories in the headline Masters Historic F1 races at Donington Park on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The Williams FW07C driver started his ex-Keke Rosberg machine behind Steve Hartley in his ex-John Watson 1982 Detroit Grand Prix winning McLaren MP4/1 in both races, but managed to take the chequered flag first in both encounters.
In the Good Friday race Cantillon passed Hartley for the lead after two racing laps and built a lead lap after lap to finish 17 seconds ahead of the McLaren after 23 laps of the National configuration of the track.
For race two Hartley kept a hold of the lead in the opening laps of what would turn out to be a tense battle for the win. Cantillon hounded Hartley for the lead, feinting at the Old Hairpin and the chicane numerous times in an attempt to ruffle the feathers of ‘The Jam Baron,’ but Hartley managed to hold his line and keep the Williams at bay for most of the race.
For 17 of the opening 19 laps the gap at the line was less than a second but the valiant efforts of Hartley were undone when he ran wide at Redgate with a couple of laps to go. Cantillon kept the pressure on and it paid off when Hartley outbraked himself at the chicane, leaving the door open for Cantillon to slip through and take the win.
Lucas Halusa – in a McLaren M23 came home third on Friday ahead of Steve Brooks in his Lotus 91. Mark Hazell completed the podium on Saturday in his Williams FW08C after a position swapping battle with Halusa – who finished fourth – and Warren Briggs in his McLaren M29 that he brought home fifth.
John and Gary Pearson won the Gentlemen Drivers hour-and-a-half enduro in a Jaguar E Type. The winning machine was first reserve on the entry list and Gary started the race sharing another E-Type with Alex Brundle, which posted a retirement after 45 minutes. Mie Whittaker finished second in his TVR Griffith.
Callum Grant (March 79B) and Andrew Smith (March 742) took a win apiece in the HSCC Formula Two races. Connor Murphy (March 803B) took the first F3 encounter with Smith adding to his F2 success with a win in his March 783.
Jack Dex (BR01) and Steve Tandy (Lola-Judd B12/60) took a victory apiece in each of the Masters Endurance 40 minute races.
Marcus Jewell and Ben Clucas took the spoils in the Pre-66 Touring Car race in their Lotus Cortina. The one hour pitstop race saw former BTCC ace Steve Soper lead away in an Alan Mann Mustang with Alan’s son Andrew as his partner. That pairing were hit with a pitlane speeding penalty (finishing fourth and being classified eighth) and were taken out of contention along with a number of other entries who fell foul of track limits (it seems Masters stewards could teach F1 Race Director Michael Masi a thing or two about the subject!) Craig Davies finished second after a solo run in his Ford Mustang.