A few years ago, I decided to take in the Masters Series Racing event at Brands Hatch; a three-day festival of speed, sound and octane.  I had convinced my brothers and a friend that it would be an amazing day out, that we would be able to get up close and personal with some of the most iconic cars to grace the track.

So we bought our tickets and made our way to the circuit.  We found a great spot to watch the cars as they came around Paddock Hill Bend, holding on to the track surface with what seemed to be the faintest hint of grip, and then stood enthralled as they raced up to meet us on the other side of the fence at Druids.  And then the rain came!

Sorry, did I not mention that it had been on a Bank Holiday weekend?  No?  Well – it was a Bank Holiday weekend and it was wet.  The rain fell and fell with no sign of relief from the cold and no indication that we would ever be dry again.  The cars in the wet were a joy to behold, but the day out was an anticlimax and the dream weekend came to a disappointing end.

So you can imagine my apprehension when, again, I decided in my infinite wisdom to make the pilgrimage back to Brands Hatch yet again.  Another Bank Holiday, another Masters Series Racing weekend and another opportunity to be soaked to bone – drenched.

However, this time around, quite unusually for a British Bank Holiday, the rain never came.  There was I, water-proof clothing in the boot of the car, and not a drop of water in the sky – just wonderful rays of glorious sunshine; rays that danced off the gleaming skins of the cars on show and helped to ensure it was the weekend I had always dreamed it would be.

The cars on show were from an era when motor racing was a less sterile affair.  A period in time when it was all about horse-power and less about the aerodynamics that proliferate motor-racing of the modern era.  As the cars raced around the Brands Hatch circuit, one that is cradled in a natural amphitheatre, the sounds of V12 engines created a cacophony of sound that provided the perfect backdrop to what became quite an emotional affair.

As my brother and I stood in the same spot we had occupied on our previous visit to Brands we noticed that there was a bridge that allowed you to cross the track just before Druids, so you could stand inside the hairpin and watch the cars as they made the run down to Graham Hill Bend.

How had we not noticed this before?  Well, that would probably be due to the fact we had been unable to see it through the driving rain the last time we came.  But as it was the brightest of days this time around, we had seen our opportunity and had taken it – an opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars screaming by at full pelt.

There were Ford GT’s, TVR’s, Aston Martin’s Austin Healey’s and one of my personal favourites, the Shelby Cobra – a muscle car from a bygone age of evocative motor-racing legend.  And just when I thought the event could not possibly get any better, the Formula One cars took to the track again.  But this time, it wasn’t just the cars of the 60’s and 70’s – this time we had demonstration laps of cars that had once been driven by Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet and other house-hold names.

The entire day was quite simply, unbelievable – none more so that when I walked through the paddock area mere inches from the cars that had previously been racing on track during the day’s events.  At that point I realised just how sterile modern Formula One has become and why events such as the Masters Series Racing will always make me long for that bygone age; the age when the fans, the public, could walk up to the drivers in the paddock, touch the cars and feel part of the event.

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Comments
  1. This looks great. I’m not a car man myself but pics of old cars like this always bring back a nostalgic tinge of the days when I would run them along the kitchen table.

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