Hartley comes through to win second Masters Racing Legends race at Red Bull Ring
Steve Hartley kept his record of winning one race every Masters Racing Legends weekend by coming through from second on the grid to win the Austrian Historic’s second race for 1966-‘85 Formula One cars. Having chased Michael Lyons’ pole-sitting Lotus 92 for five laps, Hartley swept into the lead going into lap and quickly built a five-second lead that the McLaren MP4/1 driver would never relinquish.
Lyons’ teammates Marco Werner (Lotus 87B) and Nick Padmore (Lotus 88B) each took turns in third place, Padmore impressively storming through from the back, but both were forced to retire. This lifted Steve Brooks into third place, his Lotus 81 coming home 51 seconds adrift of the winner.
Jonathan Holtzman held fourth until the penultimate lap, but while the American still took pre-78 class honours in his Tyrrell P34, the six-wheeler was caught and passed on the final lap by Marc Devis in the Lotus 78.
A bright and sunny Styrian afternoon saw the Masters Racing Legends come out for their second race of the weekend, with first-race winner Michael Lyons leading away from pole in his Lotus 92, joined from the first row by Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1. After the opening lap, Lyons held a lead of three tenths over Hartley, as their battle of the day before resumed, with Werner in the Lotus 87B 2.2 seconds behind, followed by Brooks in the 81, Holtzman in the pre-78 class-leading Tyrrell P34, and Nick Padmore, storming up from the back in his double-chassis Lotus 88B.
Lyons added another tenth on the next lap but Hartley was holding on with all his might, while Padmore moved up into fifth at the cost of Holtzman. Behind them, Georg Hallau was seventh in the Theodore N183, heading Marc Devis in the Lotus 78, Arthur Bruckner in the Arrows A6 and Philippe Bonny in the Trojan T103.
It was no change at the front on lap 3, but Padmore continued his rise up the order by also usurping Brooks to be fourth, still only seven seconds behind the leader and just four behind Werner in third. A storming lap of the Red Bull Ring from Hartley then brought him to within two-tenths of Lyons on the next tour.
Getting his head fully down now, Hartley was all over the back of Lyons’ Lotus, and with the fastest laps of the race, ‘The Jam Baron’ romped into the lead at the start of lap 6. Werner held steady at three seconds but his teammate Nick Padmore was the second fastest man on track and now trailed the German by less than two seconds. Meanwhile, on the edge of the top ten, Bonny found a way past Bruckner to move up into ninth, which soon became eighth when Hallau retired his Theodore at turn 2.
Once in the lead, Hartley put the hammer down to further improve on his best and immediately opened up a visible gap to Lyons who was now losing ground to fellow Chrome Cars drivers Werner and Padmore, as the three Lotuses ran nose-to-nail with Hartley almost four seconds up the road on lap 7.
Again, Hartley beat his own fastest lap to run away from the Lotus train at the tune of close of two seconds, as Padmore switched places with Werner, who looked like he was in trouble. Indeed, the German was in on the next lap, retiring with a failed brake calliper. Almost simultaneously, Bonny from his newly inherited seventh place was in with an engine issue, but after a check ventured out again, although he had of course handed the place to local hero Bruckner in his ex-Marc Surer A6.
With ten minutes remaining, Hartley in the Anthony Seddon-prepped McLaren MP4/1 looked very much in control, leading Lyons by 5.6 seconds, with Padmore another 1.9 seconds adrift. Just like on Saturday, Steve Brooks was having a lonely race, trailing Padmore by 19 seconds while heading Holtzman by a similar margin.
Five minutes later, the situation was still the same, Hartley leading Lyons by exactly the same 5.6 seconds, but on lap 13 Padmore was in trouble, as the 88B pulled off at the final corner, handing third place to Brooks. Meanwhile, Bonny was back into the pits to retire his Trojan for good.
That was the last bit of drama, though, as Hartley had Lyons covered and reeled off the laps to take his fourth win of the season – one each on every Masters Racing Legends weekend so far. Lyons took second, 5.8 seconds behind, with Brooks in third, 51 seconds down on the winner. Behind them, the battle was on for fourth overall, as Devis had caught Holtzman, and indeed the Belgian pipped the American on the final lap, even though that didn’t hurt Holtzman’s pre-78 class victory.
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