Padmore profits from Hartley’s demise to take overall win in second Masters Racing Legends race at Brands
For the second time this season, Nick Padmore recorded a shock overall win for a pre-78 car, the Lotus 77 driver profiting from Steve Hartley’s demise six minutes from the end
From the reverse pole, Hartley had led the second Masters Racing Legends race for 1966- ’85 Formula One cars from the front before it all came to an end at the same spot where he was forced to retire in race 1.
“On the opening lap I got past two cars, and after the safety car I was just fully lit!” said Padmore. “It’s been all right this weekend, from the Mini to the Lotus…”
Padmore then ran home the win ahead of a strong Ken Tyrrell in the Tyrrell 011 and race 1 winner Mark Hazell in the Williams FW07B. Warren Briggs did well to take fourth in his McLaren M29, with Mark Higson yet another man to rack up his best finish in the series with fifth in the McLaren MP4/1B.
“Nick was little tough to catch, but what an experience, with these great competitors on a great track”, said Tyrrell.
“They did really well”, said Hazell of his fellow drivers on the podium. “Jamie went off on cold tyres, and after that I just hung on.”
“I was really pleased to hang on to Mark – great track, great place, great weather”, said Briggs.
In sixth, Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012 claimed post-82 class honours, as Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011B spun off on the opening lap, while Max Werner stormed through the field to capture second place in the pre-78 class in the Hesketh 308, with Peter Williams once again coming third in class in the Lec CRP1.
“It was amazing here at Brands Hatch, such an iconic circuit. It was a great race, I’m super happy to be here, on the podium for the first time”, said Werner.
A second highlight of the Masters Historic Festival Sunday, the Masters Racing Legends lined up their 1966-’85 Formula One cars for the second time, and it was Steve Hartley whose repaired McLaren MP4/1 found itself on pole position on the reversed grid for the first five, ahead of Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011, Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011B, Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77, Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 and race 1 winner Mark Hazell in the Williams FW07B.
Three corners into the race, however, Padmore dived inside of Constable who came under pressure of Hazell and subsequently spun into the grass at Sheene Curve. Hartley still led from Tyrrell, but Padmore was now also harrying the American, and on lap 2 he was up into second place to set after Hartley in the lead. Meanwhile, Ewen Sergison was out of the race as well.
Hartley and Padmore continued to fight into lap 3 while pulling a gap of three seconds to Tyrrell, who found Hazell all over the back of him. Briggs and Higson were up next, after which a seven-second space opened up to Mark Harrison in the Shadow DN9, who was chased by Ian Simmonds in the Tyrrell 012. Simon Fish (Arrows A4), James Hagan (Tyrrell 011) and Max Werner (Hesketh 308) fought over ninth, with Fish coming through.
Four laps gone, Hartley had eeked away to a 1.2-second lead, as Padmore began to drop Tyrrell who on his turn had left Hazell behind by two seconds. With Constable now plum last after having rejoined, Simmonds led the post-82 class in ninth, with Arthur Bruckner’s Arrows A6 second in 15th overall. Behind Padmore, Max Werner was second in the pre-78 class, leading Peter Williams in the Lec CRP1 and Paul Grant in the March 761.
Hartley now truly put the hammer down, leaving Padmore to chase him by 2.7 seconds. Tyrrell continued to move away from Hazell, who now saw Briggs closing in on him, with Higson a further six seconds behind. Harrison and Fish warred over seventh, 27 seconds down, with Simmonds still just ahead of Hagan.
A new fastest lap of the race followed on lap 6, as Hartley further widened the chasm between himself and Padmore to 4.8 seconds. Further back, Fish got the better of Harrison to take that seventh spot, but then suddenly, Hartley had gone! He had stopped at the same spot where he found his nadir in race 1, and the McLaren being parked in a dangerous position, race control was forced to employ the safety car.
Padmore was the new leader, followed by Tyrrell, Hazell, Briggs, Higson, Fish, Harrison, Simmonds, Hagan and Werner. As the field was bunched up again, Hartley got going under his own power but he retired to the pits after a weekend to forget. So it was going to be three-minute sprint to the line. Upon the green flag Padmore powered away to create a safe gap, leading Tyrrell by 1.5 seconds after their first hot lap, with Hazell down four seconds, with Briggs looking for the place. Behind them, Fish lost power to see Harrison, Simmonds and the rest fly past with just one more lap to go…
So Padmore brought home the win from Tyrrell, Hazell, Briggs and Higson, with Harrison and Simmonds inheriting sixth and seventh. Simmonds took post-82 class honours, while Werner and Williams in eighth and ninth overall took the remaining spots on the pre-78 podium.
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