Hartley leads all the way to win first Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands
Steve Hartley took a dominant win in the first Masters Historic Formula One race at Brands Hatch, the McLaren MP4/1 driver racing off from pole and never looking back, despite a late safety-car period that allowed Lukas Halusa (McLaren M23) to beat Warren Briggs (McLaren M29) to second place on the final dash to the chequered flag.
The 20-minute race was livened up by three entertaining fights not only between Briggs and Halusa, but also between Phil Hall’s Theodore TR1 and Mark Hazell’s Williams FW08 in fourth and fifth, and between Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) and Marc Devis (Surtees TS16) for sixth and seventh.
Hall had stormed up to fourth from ninth on the grid but was forced to retire when his Theodore gave up three minutes from the end. Hazell was another man on the move, the Williams driver passing class rival Simmonds for the post-82 class win. Behind the first six, Mark Harrison took seventh, the Shadow DN9 driver unable to hold on to his fourth place on the grid.
From the green, Hartley put his foot down to lead by four seconds when the opening lap was completed. Halusa, meanwhile, put Briggs under pressure but the Kiwi held on to second. The star of the first few tours, however, was Phil Hall in the Theodore, making up five places to be fourth before the end of the third lap. In Hall’s wake, Hazell streamed past his post-82 class rival Ian Simmonds, who in turn fought Belgian Marc Devis for sixth. Going the other way after his stunning qualifying form was Mark Harrison, the Shadow dropping down to eighth.
Five laps down, Hartley had checked out, a series of fastest laps putting him seven seconds clear of the Briggs/Halusa battle, the three Marlboro McLarens still leading the way. Hall still shaded Hazell while Simmonds held off Devis. Further back, American Ken Tyrrell was ninth in the Tyrrell 011 of his famous namesake, leading Neil Glover (Arrows A5), Jonathan Holtzman in the Tyrrell P34 closing in on the Arrows, and Chris Perkins in the Surtees TS14.
Halfway into the race, Hartley maintained his lead at around eight seconds as the three dogfights behind him kept raging, with especially Hazell trying his best to have Hall trip up in front of him. Then, with less than four minutes to go, Hall’s Theodore coasted to a halt at Druids. This resulted in a safety car, with the race looking to finish under yellow. But when the Theodore was cleared quicker than expected, the field was released for one more lap…
Hartley duly disappeared again, but Halusa had a big look at Briggs arounds Druids while Simmonds was really pushing Hazell for the post-82 class lead. Briggs initially fended Halusa but the Austrian refused to give up and hung on around the outside through Clearways, ultimately snatching second from the Kiwi on the line!
So Hartley took the win ahead of Halusa and Briggs, the Austrian in second place also claiming pre-78 honours. Hazell was handed fourth through Hall’s misery and successfully defended the post-82 class win from Simmonds. Devis was sixth ahead of Harrison, Tyrrell and Glover, with Holtzman completing the top-ten.
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