THORNTON FINDS WISCONSIN REDEMPTION; WINS MASTERS HISTORIC FORMULA ONE USA RACE NO. 2 AT ROAD AMERICA
Yesterday morning, in soggy conditions at this weekend’s WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman Presented by Hawk, Greg Thornton’s race ended early when he slid off the track between Turn 8 and Turn 9 (the latter being Road America’s famous Carousel).
This morning, Thornton won this weekend’s second Masters Historic Formula One USA race by setting up a quintessentially perfect pass at the same location, slipping around the outside of pole-sitter Ethan Shippert midway through the Carousel. The pass on Lap 3 allowed Thornton to ease away from Shippert and claim a 12.489 second margin of victory over the Brabham BT44 driver in the eight-lap, 32-mile race.
“It was all about faith in Ethan,” Thornton said in Victory Lane. “That’s what it was about, faith in him.”
On the previous lap, Shippert had gotten a “little sideways,” Thornton explained. “I think he knew what I was thinking about. On the next lap (Lap 3), we got a good exit, and we went straight to the bridge and into the Carousel. He could just see me, and he held his inside line, which was the gentlemanly thing to do, and I drove around him on the outside.”
Had he done anything else, Shippert said, he might have put both of them in “the tulies.”
The race began under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-70s, a significant turnabout from Race 1 on Saturday. Shippert was on the pole, with Thornton alongside him. At the start, Shippert beat Thornton to Turn 1 and kept him at bay throughout the first two laps, with Thornton often trailing by milliseconds.
“Greg got the run coming into the Carousel, and like he said, I knew what he was thinking, and I knew where he was stronger, so there was no point in fighting it,” Shippert said.
So, for Thornton, a disappointing experience in Turns 8 and 9 on Saturday, and redemption at the same location on Sunday.
Behind Thornton and Shippert, Chris Locke (Lotus 77) claimed third, and James Hagan (Tyrrell 011) and Robert Blain (March 751) rounded out the top five.
In Victory Lane, Brian Redman, the namesake of the WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman Presented by Hawk, presented the trophies to Thornton, Shippert, and Locke.
The Masters Historic Formula One USA next visits the Monterey Pre-Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca August 10–11 and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 15–18, also at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The 2019 Masters Historic Formula One USA series concludes November 1–3 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, where it will serve as a support race for the United States Grand Prix.