Nick Padmore beats Kennard and Lyons to victory in first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Silverstone

Williams FW07C driver Nick Padmore came from third on the grid to win the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at the Silverstone Classic. Using similar passing manoeuvres into the Loop, Padmore dealt with Michael Lyons (Williams FW07B) on lap 2 before deposing Jonathan Kennard (Arrows A3) from the lead on lap 8.
Kennard’s car was still ineligible for points, so Andy Wolfe – back from the thumb injury that he sustained at Brands Hatch – clinched the final podium spot in his Tyrrell 011 while finishing fourth on the road.

Padmore initially trailed Kennard and Lyons but quickly looked he was the man on the move. Into the second lap, the reigning FIA Masters Historic Formula One champion was chasing Lyons hard and took second place while outbraking Lyons into the Loop. Padmore then set after the surprise pole man, but despite Kennard having been out of single-seater racing for six years and only doing five exploratory laps in the Arrows before the start of the Silverstone weekend, the former British F3 driver initially kept a gap of just over a second lap. On lap 7, though, Padmore brought it down to three tenths before repeating his move into the Loop to take the lead.

“Yeah, I took the lead doing that as well”, said a jubilant Padmore about his overtaking prowess. “I would have thought they’d known… And I can’t believe it since I’ve never that done manoeuvre before!”

“I tried to hang on”, said Lyons, who closed in on Kennard initially but had to let him go in the end, “but they were very fast in the slow-speed sections, and at a tyre advantage, of course. These guys are not in the championship and you’re only allowed to pick new tyres twice in the championship, so it was hard to keep up with them. But it was nice to have someone to race with.”

Wolfe drove a lonely race to finish fourth, 13 seconds down on Padmore at the finish.

“My thumb was hurting like hell”, said Wolfe. “These boys are just too good for me, so I just saved the car for tomorrow, and hope to give it a proper go then.”

Martin Stretton was comfortably fastest of the three Tyrrell 012s competing in the Lauda class for post-1983 flat-bottomed cars, finishing fifth overall. Katsu Kubota was tenth, Ian Simmonds was 18th. Stretton was followed home by three more ground-effect cars, Steve Hartley (Arrows A4) passing Nick Wrigley (Williams FW07C) for sixth on lap 7, with Simon Fish (Ensign N180) a distant eighth.

Greg Thornton (Lotus 77) chased Fish hard for the entire race before easing off to take a comfortable pre-78 class win, some 20 seconds up the road from Max Smith-Hilliard’s Fittipaldi F5A. From the outside, it looked like an easy win for Thornton.

“Looked easy?” the Lotus driver laughed. “I was chasing Simon Fish in his ground-effect car, I was all over him all race, the turbulence was killing me. Then I suddenly realised that I need these tyres for tomorrow! When the boys put up a +20 sign I decided to take it easy and bring the car home.”

“It all got a bit mixed up in the first few laps, with ground-effect cars getting in between me and Greg. So I really drove for points after that”, said a philisophical Smith-Hilliard.

Phil Hall (Theodore TR1) beat Jamie Constable (Shadow DN8) to third in class after a successful passing move on lap 6.

“I didn’t know where I was until I crossed the finish line!” said Hall, still beaming. “I got Jamie taking the inside line at Copse and then got ahead before Becketts. We had a great fight for a few laps before I got past.”

David Shaw took an easy win in the Stewart class for pre-73 cars, his unique Eifelland Typ 21 finishing well ahead of Philippe Scemama’s Surtees TS9B and John Delane’s Tyrrell 001.