Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch

Yesterday I went and visited my local race track: Brands Hatch. I used to go there all the time with my Dad when I was little - rain, sun, snow, hail, nothing could stop us from watching the cars zoom around Druids! Visits to Brands are somewhat more infrequent now, largely due to the price of the events now that I don't get in for free, however we still go every couple of months if we can.

One event that is pretty awesome to watch is the Masters Historic festival. Dad and I went to this event in 2009, but missed it last year as we went to Crystal Palace instead. So, to make up for last years absence at Brands we decided to go along to the Masters, taking my Mum along too.

There were all sorts of cars there, from Minis to vintage F1 cars (definitely my favourite). The racing started early at 9:15 and finished at about 6 in the evening, so the day was well worth the £17 entry fee! The first two races were long races - almost two hours. Surprisingly, there were only a few retirements and the classic cars held out well.

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a classic car. I drive an old Series 3 Land Rover myself - the lack of power steering and drum brakes build character (I have a sticker on the back of the car reading 'Disc Brakes Are For Cowards'), and I love the surprise on Transit Van Drivers' faces when they're being overtaken by a 19 year old girl in a classic Landy! I love the style of classic cars. I tend to find that most 'ordinary' cars today all look alike and are mass-produced things which lack in character. Classic cars are for life, not just for when you need to get from A to B. Plus, classic off-roaders like my Landy go for the 'you can go fast, I can go anywhere' factor. Yeah, journeys may be fraught with worrying about actually arriving at your destination, and may cost a fortune in petrol, but the fun you have with them more than makes up for that.

The fun you can have with a classic car was so well demonstrated yesterday at the Masters. The Mini race was by far the most entertaining race of the day. The lead car was in an epic battle with the second place car most of the way around, swapping positions on every lap. However, sadly the second place car broke down and finished the race well down the standings. This didn't lead to a boring race though - the first place man slowed up a little and allowed the next placed car to catch up for a battle to the finish. A battle which would have easily been won by the leading car until he slowed up too much and the following car took the lead by one thousandth of a second!

The Formula One cars were by far and away my favourites however. I fall in love with the sound that these cars make - even if I do have to put my hands over my ears because of the noise of them! Even though F1 cars have been so advanced since the time of the cars which were running yesterday, I was still thrilled with how fast the cars were. Seeing them come along Hawthorne Hill was amazing. Of course, I was armed with my camera and managed to put together a few clips that I took yesterday. There could only be one choice of backing track too:

I also have some more pictures from the races yesterday - including the orange Cobra which I would gladly buy if I had the money! Although come to that, if I had the money I'd probably take home the whole grid from every race...

So, if you're really a petrol head like me, you have to go to Brands! Seriously, they have events there for everyone - DTM, Bikes, Historic festivals... You name it! Here's a link to their website. Trust me, once you've been there once you'll be addicted. Although a word of advice: take suncream with you - as much as I loved the cars yesterday I'm regretting the sunburn!