Masters News

Saturday 06th May 2023

Padmore claims shock overall win in first Masters Racing Legends race at Hockenheim

Early retirements from front-row men Marco Werner (Lotus 87B) and Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1) in the first Masters Racing Legends race at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic elevated a happily surprised Nick Padmore into a lead that he managed to maintain after a late safety-car period called for the recovery of two cars stranded out on the circuit. Thus, the Lotus 77 driver claimed a famous overall victory for the pre-78 machine as well as a dominant win in class.

“In the old banger, yeah, bless her!” said a jubilant Padmore. “I really enjoyed that. But in the opening laps it felt like back in the karting days – there was so much water and oil [from Werner and Hartley] out there! When the safety car came out, I thought ‘Oh no!’ but in the end it was OK.”

In his Lotus 92, Michael Lyons took a fighting second overall and the post-82 class win, while in the two minutes remaining after the laps behind the safety car Matt Wrigley stunned in another pre-78 car by moving his Penske PC3 past Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 and Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07 to claim a strong third overall.

“When everyone loses their heads around you, you have to keep yours”, said Lyons. “That’s what it was all about today. Marco lost a lot of water, and that made it very difficult in the first few laps. It got quite close with Matt and Ken, but both were great fights. Nick made a great restart but I still had fun chasing him.”

“It was good, but those first laps were chaotic”, said Wrigley. “I’m new to this, so I used the first part of the race to understand how everybody races. I had been following Mark and Ken for a couple of laps, so after the safety car I saw the gaps where I could get them.”

“It was very slippery, but I guess everybody said that!” Tyrrell laughed. “Losing third to Matt was disappointing, and you know, I can come up with all sorts of excuses, but I think he simply caught me sleeping…”

“It was good fun”, Hazell agreed, “and well driven by Matt!”

All the way from the back of the 23-car field, Mike Cantillon starred almost unseen as his Tyrrell 010 moved up to snatch sixth overall, leading home Max Werner, who completed the pre-78 podium in his newly acquired Hesketh 308C. Up next were Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, the returning Simon Fish in Steve Hartley’s Arrows A4 and James Hagan in the Tyrrell 010 that he formerly raced in the US.

“First of all, I thought that the wheels were loose, there was so much oil on the track – Marco chose the best line to drop his fluids!” said Marco Werner’s namesake Max Werner. “This was my first race in the car, I enjoyed it so much – towards the end it started to get more fun with every lap!”

The sun was out in full force, lifting the ambient temperature to a stunning 23 degrees, which was exactly the number of 1966-’85 Formula One cars on this glorious grid. In trouble, however, was Peter Williams in the Lec CRP1, pushed back from the grid to start from the pits, while Mike Cantillon would also start from the back in the Tyrrell 010 that was brought from the UK to replace the Williams FW07C that was damaged in qualifying.

On pole, local hero Marco Werner led away in the Lotus 87B, immediately hurried by Steve Hartley in the McLaren MP4/1 now with a resplendent starting number 1 on its Marlboro-liveried nose. In front of the filled grandstands, Padmore gave chase in the pre-78 class-leading Lotus 77, followed by Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 and Matt Wrigley’s Penske PC3, the latter in second place in the pre-78 class and having to defend from Michael Lyons in the post-82 Lotus 92.

Hartley was soon gone, though, his McLaren in the gravel in the Motodrom, and moments later, Werner pulled off, too! This left Padmore as the surprised leader, still chased by Tyrrell, with Lyons up into third, having passed Wrigley. The latter was on the way down, as Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07 now also moved past to snatch fourth, leaving Wrigley to fend off Warren Briggs’ McLaren M29, Mark Higson in the other McLaren MP4/1 and Max Werner’s in the Hesketh 308C. Amazingly, Cantillon had already made it up to ninth, and soon pipped past Max Werner too.

Halfway into the race, Padmore still led to cherish a strong lead of some seven seconds over Tyrrell, who on the fifth lap saw Lyons storm past into second. Hazell still fought Wrigley for fourth while Briggs led a group also consisting of Higson, Cantillon, Max Werner and Simon Fish returning to historic Formula One action in an Arrows A4 rented from Steve Hartley. Half a minute down on the leader, James Hagan in the Tyrrell 011 he previously campaigned in the US fought Pierre-Brice Mena in the Skol-liveried Fittipaldi F8.

Ten minutes remained when Jonathan Holtzman’s Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler ground to a halt while still on the track, and then something similar happened when Paul Grant’s De Tomaso 505/38 stopped in the grass opposite the Mercedes grandstand – the combined situation provoking a safety car.

Padmore having lost his comfortable seven-second cushion now had to do it all over again. As soon as the green flag was waved, with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, the Lotus 77 driver kept his foot down to immediately break away from Lyons to finish in front in a Chrome Cars 1-2. The man on the move in these dying minutes, however, was Matt Wrigley who dealt best with cold tyres by passing both Hazell and Tyrrell to steal an equally amazing third place overall for another pre-78 car.

All the way from the back, Mike Cantillon snatched sixth ahead of Max Werner (third in the pre-78 class), Briggs, Fish, Hagan, while Marco Fumagalli in the Theodore TR1 came up just short of the pre-78 podium. Higson and Toni Seiler in the ex-Keith Frieser Shadow DN1 were next, followed by Arthur Bruckner who in his Arrows A6 took second behind Lyons in the post-82 class.



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