Padmore doubles up with second FIA Masters Historic Formula One win at Silverstone
Nick Padmore made it two out of two at the Silverstone Classic by also claiming victory in the second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race of the weekend. Storming up from eighth on the grid, the Williams FW07C driver put in a couple of blinding opening laps to lead by lap 2, and opened up a 18-second gap to the pre-78-class-winning Hesketh 308E of Michael Lyons who equally charged through the field from seventh.
Padmore moved up to fourth on the opening lap, and then passed Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012 and Greg Thornton’s March 761 in one sweeping move around the outside at Brooklands before outbraking poleman Henry Fletcher’s 761 into Stowe.
They were all bunched up”, Padmore said about his remarkable move at Brooklands, “so I thought I’d stick on the outside…
Lyons followed through, passing Fletcher at Vale, and in the first half of the race kept the gap to Padmore within five seconds. In the closing stages, however, Padmore’s advantage swiftly increased to 18 seconds at the flag.
I was pushing hard to keep in touch with Nick”, Lyons explained, “but at the end I lost fifth gear. I was just happy to finish…
Behind the leading pair, Christophe d’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) did well to pass Martin Stretton on lap 3 and keep the Tyrrell 012 at bay for seven laps, only to succumb to Stretton’s pressure two laps from the end, the Tyrrell driver having set up and practised the move for several laps.
Christophe was doing great”, said Stretton. “I knew I got him on the brakes but just didn’t want to risk anything. So I decided I must surprise him – I was experimenting at Stowe, and took a long time to work out how to do it.
“I had an amazing start”, said d’Ansembourg, “I already got two cars on the straight! I then managed to keep Martin behind me for most of the race but in the end he got me. I don’t know how he did it – he hid in my mirrors and suddenly he was past me!”
From the back of the grid, Matteo Ferrer (Ligier JS11) produced a brilliant drive to fifth. Trying to redeem his exclusion from yesterday’s race, the young Italian was up to 15th on lap 2, moved into the top-ten on lap 5 and on the final lap pipped Steve Hartley’s Arrows A4, Hartley himself having charged into the top-ten from a lowly starting position, passing six cars on his way to sixth.
Greg Thornton took second in the pre-78 class, passing poleman and class rival on lap 5 in an exciting intra-March 761 battle, the two having started from the front row on the reversed grid.
“I just had to stick with him”, said Thornton about dogging Fletcher lap after lap. “He’s an incredible driver, he just knows where to put his car. But I got him again, as I did yesterday! So another nine points, and I hope fastest lap as well. And last week I didn’t even have a car! Mind you, it’s not the 77 – that’s a flowing car, this March is just hustle, hustle, hustle. But it’s amazing that Katsu [Kubota] let me drive it!”
“The car needs some sorting out”, said Fletcher. “It was so loose everywhere!”
Simon Fish (Ensign N180) and Steve Brooks (Lotus 81) ended up in eighth and tenth respectively, having been in the thick of the midfield battles all race. In 11th, Andrew Haddon (Hesketh 308) beat Thornton’s pre-78 rival Max Smith-Hilliard (Fittipaldi F5A) to fourth in class.