Masters News

Saturday 18th July 2020

Cantillon storms to victory in Historic F1 thriller at Donington Park

Cantillon storms to victory in Historic F1 thriller at Donington Park

Mike Cantillon triumphed in a thrilling opening FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship season-opener at Donington Park this afternoon.

Starting from pole position, Cantillon’s ex-Carlos Reutemann/Keke Rosberg Williams FW07C bolted into an immediate lead of the 25-minute race chased by Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1and a quick starting Michael Lyons (Hesketh 308E). As Cantillon tried to break away, Hartley lost out to a prowling Lyons who then set off in pursuit of the leader. However, an early spin by Chris Perkins (Surtees TS14) at the Chicane caused a brief safety car period but just before the boards came out, Lyons was quicker on his toes than Cantillon exiting the final corner and jumped ahead as they crossed the timing line.

As officials investigated the overtake, Lyons tried to open the gap to Cantillon with Hartley dropping away a little. However, as Cantillon brought down the gap, and Lyons went defensive, that enabled Hartley to close the gap and briefly set the fastest lap of the race. As Cantillon closed to within striking distance, the Williams seized its opportunity at Coppice Corner on lap 14, surging alongside the older Hesketh on the run to the Chicane. Lyons fended off the advances as best he could, but Cantillon claimed the inside line for Redgate Corner starting lap 15 and with it the race lead.

The drama wasn’t over yet, though, as Lyons started to drop away meaning that as Cantillon cantered clear, Hartley moved up to second spot and Lyons had to content himself with third overall and a class win, the older Hesketh unable to stay with the later ground-effect cars..

A superb battle raged for fourth place as well, with Jamie Constable (Shadow DN8) heading the pack. However, he was a cork in the bottle as Steve Brooks (Lotus 81), triple Le Mans winner Marco Werner (Lotus 77) and Mark Hazell (Williams FW08C) all queued up behind. As Constable’s progress was arrested by a battery problem, Brooks moved up to fourth ahead of Werner with Hazell rounding out the top six.

Cantillon secured honours in the Head class for later Ground-effect cars and Lyons took gold in the Fittipaldi class for earlier ground-effect machinery. Hazell won the Lauda class for flat-bottomed cars (ahead of Ian Simmonds’s Tyrrell 012) and Matthew Wrigley’s March 721G took the Stewart class in seventh overall.

With Chris Perkins out of the race after a spin and Jamie Constable’s battery travails stopping his Shadow, the other driver out of luck was Frenchman Patrick D’Aubreby who was forced to park his March 761 mid-race. Missing from the grid was Masters supremo Ron Maydon whose Lec CRP1 was damaged in qualifying.

Race two will be at Donington tomorrow, Sunday, at 14:15.


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