Padmore paces first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort

Nick Padmore did what he had to do by winning the first FIA Masters Historic Formula One race at Zandvoort from pole, along the way setting a fastest lap almost as quick as his pole time before easing off and controlling the pace to the flag.

It may have looked easy”, said Padmore, “but it’s always hard. You know, when you go slower your concentration goes off, and then I missed a gear out at the back.

Behind the Williams FW07C, however, all eyes were on a tense battle between the two pre-78 class leaders, Jason Wright’s Shadow DN8 initially leading Greg Thornton’s March 761, now equipped with what he called his ‘donkey’ engine after his first DFV failed halfway into yesterday’s qualifying.

At the start of lap 5, Thornton was close enough to give it a go at the end of the main straight but couldn’t quite pull off the move. Continuing their fight, Thornton closed up again to finally get past on lap 8. The two ran side-by-side into Tarzan corner in true Hunt/Andretti style but without hitting each other, and only into the next corner did Wright give way. The American then continued to track the March, the two cars on lap 12 going side-by-side yet again, but Thornton narrowly held on for the class win.

“I had great fun watching these two”, Padmore continued. “Ďt was brilliant!”

He was hard work to overtake!” said Thornton, lauding a worthy adversary, “and then I couldn’t pull away. No, it wasn’t because of my donkey engine, it was his skill!

It was a great fight”, Wright agreed. “We were going for it as hard as we could! And it’s wonderful to race a guy like Greg.

Andrew Beaumont’s Lotus 81 and Alexander Furiani’s Surtees TS20 were a distant fourth and fifth while Neil Glover (Arrows A5) did well to chase and pass Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183 for sixth. Their fight lasted for four laps before Glover found a way past up the Hunserug towards Scheivlak corner.