Padmore takes victory in FIA Masters Historic Formula One
The FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship cars lined up on the grid of Donington’s Grand Prix circuit under threat of drizzle. At the start, Martin Stretton squeezed around the outside of Nick Padmore at Redgate, with Loic Deman slotting into 3rd by the end of the first lap and Padmore showing no sign of dropping away. Rob Hall climbed to fourth at the expense of Mike Wrigley, who also lost out to Greg Thornton. Bill Coombs sadly pulled off on lap 3 as the drizzle began to get harder and the lead trio circulated just 0.8 of a second apart. Nick Padmore took the lead as Stretton slipped back to third, just as David Abbott dropped out, having taken the Craner curves backwards.
On lap 7, Loic Deman took the lead briefly but Padmore defended strongly around the outside at Redgate, meanwhile Stretton had found his rhythm again and was closing in on the leaders. Further back, Rob Hall was being attacked by Greg Thornton and on lap 10, Stretton moved through to take second from Deman at the Melbourne Loop, repeating the move in a demon braking manoeuvre to take the lead two laps later.
It was far from over though – Padmore took the lead back at Coppice, but as the lead trio closed in to lap James Hagan’s Hesketh, Martin Stretton lost his front wing and pulled straight into the pits. This put Rob Hall into third as Nick Padmore kept it tidy in the run up to the flag, with constant drizzle still falling and making lap times some 10 seconds longer compared to the early laps. Padmore took the victory from Deman in a thrilling race with contrasting fortunes all the way down the order. Max Smith-Hilliard took the win in the Fittipaldi class.