Padmore makes it ten wins in FIA Masters Historic Formula One with measured drive

The power of ten applied for Nick Padmore as the Williams FW07C driver stormed to a lights-to-flag victory in the second FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort. With his tenth win of the season, Padmore further cemented his lead in the championship, which is now up for grabs at the next round at Spa in two weeks.

Padmore had to keep an inspired Greg Thornton at bay, whose Lotus 91 outbraked second-placed Christophe d’Ansembourg into Tarzan corner on lap 3 and then set after Padmore. Mid-race, Thornton saw Stefano Di Fulvio close in, the Italian having passed D’Ansembourg on lap 8, but in the end the Lotus driver shook off Di Fulvio’s Tyrrell 012 to finish just 1.3 seconds off the winner. In his chase of Padmore, Thornton also put fastest lap of the race in the bag on lap 15. D’Ansembourg (Williams FW07C) finished a lonely fourth.

It was all very good”, said a delighted Padmore. “I got my head down in the first few laps to pull out a gap. I was very worried about the tyres but they were good. The wind was really bad, though, it really hit me hard in the final corner. And Greg kept me honest in the end. Did he really nick fastest lap from me?

You weren’t even trying!” quipped Thornton before explaining where he found the extra speed. “We took away some wing which got us some more straightline speed. That is how I got past Christophe. It’s four years in a row now that I finished second here. I still want to go one up!

Starting from the pitlane again, just as in race 1, Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308E) took a mere six laps to snatch the lead in the pre-77 class. On lap 2, the young Briton was up to ninth position and blasted past early class leader Jason Wright (Shadow DN8) four laps later to add a second pre-77 class win to his weekend’s tally.

It was a shame I couldn’t fight out front”, said Lyons, “but I love it out here. Racing an F1 car on this track is so cool, I could drive here all weekend!

Wright was a lonely second in class but behind him the battle raged for the final step of the podium, Max Smith-Hilliard (Surtees TS9B) passing Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 76) on lap 9, with the newer cars of Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Tommy Dreelan (Williams FW08) adding to a four-car dogfight.

Simmonds dropped out of the fight with a pitstop on lap 10. This brought Keith Frieser’s Shadow DN1 into the top-ten. The American headed the Ligier JS11/15 of Pierre-Alain France, the Frenchman having earlier on duelled with Frank Lyons in the McLaren M26. Lyons Sr then dropped back for a ‘family album’ finish as he trailed his son Michael across the line, one lap down.

Phil Hall’s fast-starting Theodore TR1 was up to sixth on the first lap but dragged to a halt at the start of lap 2. Local man Frits van Eerd retired his March 761 with gearbox problems on lap 2, while James Hagan pitted his Hesketh 308 twice before retiring the car with a broken gear linkage. Robert Blain was the final retiree when he spun his March 751 in no-name corner on lap 9.