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Masters Festival Zolder 2016

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It was a nice surprise for the Belgian Racingfans to see the Masters Festival at Zolder as the first race of the year on the Masters Historic Racing Calender.
Pre-66 GT, pre-66 Touring cars, FIA Historic Sports cars and especially the announcement of the FIA Masters Historic F1 on Zolder, excites a lot of the older F1 fans,  especially people who remember the sensational soundtrack these cars produce. Back when the Grand Prix Formule 1 in  Belgium was held at the track in Limburg. The track is hardly the same since 40 years have passed, luckily the cars from then are well preserved. This way the new generation of F1 fans gets a glimpse of what F1 looked like in the seventies and eighties.

Quite a few well known drives have won at Zolder: Lauda, Stewart and Andretti yet it is mainly Gilles Villeneuve’s name that comes to mind when thinking about F1 at Zolder. The Charismatic Canadien did not survive a crash in his Ferrari during the qualifying rounds for the 1982 Belgian Grandprix. Back to the past to countryman Loïc Deman who managed to qualify for pole position in his Tyrrell 010, Deman who was runnerup in his 2015 debut year in the FIA Masters Historic F1. Is determined to get first place in 2016, he’s getting off to a great start with 2 victories in the books at Zolder. He wasn’t the only Belgian in the race, Christophe D’Ansembourg managed to secure fifth place during the first race in a Williams FW07/C and eventually ended on the podium next to Deman by getting the second place in the second race. Marc Devis didn’t get off to a great start of the season in his Maki F10, he managed to finish the first race but had to forfeit in the second race due to technical issues. If we take in account the history his Japanese F1 car we can still consider this a success.

No big surprise in the Historic Sports cars race, the victory went to a Lola T70, this time a Lola T70 Mk3 from thet British duo Minshaw-Keen, second place was for Mike Donovan and Jason Wright also in a Lola T70. As dominant as the Lola’s in de Sportscar race, were the AC Cobras in the Gentleman Drivers pre-66 GT race, with 47 rounds in the books it was Michael Gans en Andy Wolfe’s Cobra who placed first. Leo Voyazides and Simon Hadfield had to settle for second place because they received a time penalty. In the pre-66 Touring cars race the podium spots were reversed as Voyazides and Hadfield in their Ford Falcon were faster than De Gans and Wolfe Ford  in their Lotus Cortina.

It was a very busy weekend for the people who had three races on their schedule. Patrick Michiels was the big winner, Michiels managed to win all three Belgian Historic cup races in his Porsche 964. Bas Van Elderen managed to do the same in his BMW 325 in the 4C-class. It is common knowledge that the brothers Wauters can drive, they lived up to the expectations and won in the Class 1 of Belcar endurance race in their Mext-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 cup. The overall victory was for De Cock – Dejonghe in a Norma M20 FC.

Pictures & Text by Steven Translation: Jonas

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