Grind Prix anniversary party to take place at famous circuit

Brands Hatch will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first world championship Grand Prix later this month with two days of historic entertainment on and off the track.

The racing line-up on May 24 and 25 will be headlined by the FIA Masters Historic Formula One championship for normally aspirated Grand Prix machines raced in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Brands’ Grand Prix heritage dates back to the 1964 European Grand Prix, in which Jim Clark headed home countrymen Graham Hill and John Surtees to complete a British podium lockout and cement the venue’s place in the hearts of the British public.

The Grand Prix circuit has changed little since that first contest, meaning that drivers will be presented with challenges very similar to those faced by Clark, Hill and Surtees at this event.

Grand Prix machines in action at this event will include Chris Nearburg’s McLaren M23, the same design raced to the 1976 world championship by James Hunt, and heavily featured in Ron Howard’s 2013 Rush motion picture.

The grid will be ripe with championship pedigree with John Delane entering in a Tyrell 006, the car which carried Sir Jackie Stewart to the 1973 crown.

North Kent’s Richard Barber is also expected to appear in his Williams FW08C, a car in which circuit owner Jonathan Palmer made his Grand Prix debut, also at Brands Hatch.

Away from the circuit Williams Grand Prix Engineering will be displaying one of its Williams FW11 chassis, as raced to victory by Nigel Mansell in the 1986 British Grand Prix, the last Formula 1 race to have taken place at the circuit.

A turbocharged Beatrice-Lola from the same year will take part in demonstration runs over the course of the weekend, whilst more F1 content will be announced nearer the time.

Grand Prix cars built before 1961 will also be competing in a pair of contests arranged by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association.

These machines evoke memories of an era in which Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss competed without aerodynamic aids, whilst also harking back to Grand Prix racing’s pioneering pre-war epoch and the heroics of drivers like Tazio Nuvolari.

Brands Hatch isn’t only famous for Formula 1 however and this will be reflected by a rich and diverse racing programme, including an appearance from the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship which celebrates the circuit’s history as the host of 1000km sportscar races.

There will also be contests for Historic Touring Cars, several historic single-seater formulae, and a variety of sports and GT classes.

A number of car clubs, including the GT40 Enthusiasts Club, Jaguar Drivers Club and Ferrari Owners will be arranging displays in the off-track areas, while the Fiat 500 Enthusiasts Club will caters for fans of more compact machines.

There will also be a selection of steam engines on display, contributing a complete contrast to the thoroughbred speed machines featuring across the rest of the venue.

Live music will be provided by The General, who will be demonstrating their lo-fi guitar driven sound on-stage throughout the Sunday.

Tickets for the Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch on May 24 and 25 are available from £15 with free entry for children aged 12 and under.

For more information, visit brandshatchmastersfestival.com or call 0843 453 9000.

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