Ferrer-Aza defies the rain to win first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Silverstone

From the third row of the grid, championship leader Matteo Ferrer-Aza (Ligier JS11/15) stormed to the front for a resounding victory in the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race on a very wet Silverstone. The Italian passed Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012 into Copse on lap 7 to never look back.

The weather was a refreshing change!” said Ferrer. “It was my first wet race in Masters Historic Formula One – and it couldn’t have gone better, really. When you’re happy with the balance you have the confidence to send it… And it was nice to finally have a dice with Martin – and then in these conditions, to see who’s the quicker man…

Stretton held on for second place despite being chased to the line by Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C that started in the lead before Stretton got past on lap 3. Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 was fourth initially, but on lap 7 dropped to seventh to allow Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011) to take the place.

I’ve had a couple of really good races with Matteo, and this was lots of fun”, said Stretton

“I knew I had a job on my hands with these two”, said Cantillon, “but I’m really happy to be here.”

Michael Lyons (McLaren M26) won the pre-78 class from the front, taking fifth overall ahead of post-78 runners Katsu Kubota (Lotus 91) and Hartley, while Kyle Tilley (Ensign N177) fought his way past Henry Fletcher (March 761) to take second in class, the pair finishing eighth and ninth overall.

It’s always fun to drive a Formula One car in the wet”, said Lyons, “and I had a really good fight with Katsu!

Having started behind the safety car, the field was released after 2 laps of the wet track – with lots going on the first flying lap. Ferrer-Aza was past Constable into Abbey and then took third from Hartley while at the front Stretton dislodged Cantillon from first place braking into Vale.

On the next lap, Ferrer hunted down Cantillon to pass the Williams going into Stowe, the Italian – despite disliking racing in the wet! – proceeding to close on the Tyrrell in the lead. In the pre-78 class, Lyons was sixth overall, chasing Constable and leading Kubota, both in post-78 cars, but behind the Japanese Lotus driver, Kyle Tilley’s Ensign had moved into second place in class, passing Henry Fletcher’s March on lap 5.

Ferrer and Stretton having raced side-by-side for the most of lap 6, their duel for the lead was decided on lap 7, Ferrer having a good run out of Brooklands to pass Stretton into Copse. Behind them, Cantillon was closing into Stretton but Hartley spun away fourth place to drop down to seventh, behind Constable, Lyons and Kubota. Tilley and Fletcher were still arguing over eighth place, and second in the pre-78 class.

As Ferrer-Aza crossed the line victoriously, Stretton managed to keep Cantillon behind, with Constable a lonely fourth. Lyons took a comfortable pre-78 class win from Tilley and Fletcher.