Ringmaster Werner strikes back with win in second Masters Racing Legends race
In Chrome Cars’ Lotus 87B, local hero Marco Werner made up for his previous day’s disappointment by beating Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 to the win in the second Masters Racing Legends race for 1966-’85 Formula One cars at the Nürburgring. Werner quickly took the lead from Mark Hazell, whose Williams FW07 had started from pole on the reversed grid for Saturday’s first five, and then fought off a mid-race challenge from Hartley who then was forced to drop back as the Briton began to suffer from gearbox issues.
“Yes, everything went fine”, said a satisfied Werner. “Just a few vibrations, but no real problems. In the opening laps, I suffered a few misfires of the kind I had yesterday, which allowed Steve to close. After that, I was pushing every lap, as you can always be tripped up by a backmarker.”
“No, not as good as yesterday”, said Saturday’s winner Hartley. “I was getting closer and closer to Marco, and then I got a problem with second, and then third – and then all the gears went. I was lucky to have made it to the end!”
In their wake, Werner’s teammate Michael Lyons took the Lotus 92 to third and the post-82 class win, while Steve Brooks (Lotus 91) came from the back to finish a strong race in fourth, pipping Hazell to the position on the final lap. Hazell put up a spirited fight against the both of them, though.
“We were having some fun”, Lyons said about his battle with Hazell, whom he passed and repassed twice. “It took me back to the time we were both testing in Spain. It was good fun, we were just playing around!”
Mark Higson (McLaren MP4/1B) ended up a lonely sixth after his main competition disappeared – Warren Briggs retiring his McLaren M29 with an overheating engine while Marc Devis in the Lotus 78 succumbed to brake problems. This allowed Harald Becker to take seventh in his Arrows A3, ahead of Michel Baudoin’s March 821 and Arthur Bruckner’s Arrows A6. Sadly, due to an engine issue, Nick Padmore was unable to start in his Lotus 88B.
Closing the Masters weekend at the Oldtimer Grand Prix, the Masters Racing Legends field was out last for once, ready for their 3:15pm start. As the safety car ducked in, Mark Hazell led away from the reversed grid but his Williams FW07 was soon usurped by home hero Marco Werner’s Lotus 87B. Hartley was already up into third during the opening lap, his McLaren MP4/1 taking a look at Hazell into the chicane before he decided to be the wiser.
Meanwhile, Werner used Hartley’s delay well by creating a 1.3-second gap to Hazell, with Michael Lyons in the Lotus 92 trailing further back in fourth. Again proving equally matched, Mark Higson in the McLaren MP4/1B and Marc Devis in the Lotus 78 resumed their battle from the previous day, as they led Harald Becker’s Arrows A3 and the resurgent Steve Brooks in his Lotus 91 and Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, both looking to make up more places. Soon they were up with Higson and Devis.
At the front, Werner now led Hartley by 1.6 seconds, ‘The Jam Baron’ having found a way past Hazell, who still held three seconds over Lyons. Higson was still fifth, but Brooks was looking hard to steal the place, and he did so on lap 4, leaving Higson to fend fellow Marlboro McLaren man Briggs, with Devis lurching in the back. Soon, though, Briggs was in with an overheating engine, allowing Devis and Becker to each move up a place, with Michel Baudoin’s March 821 and Arthur Bruckner’s Arrows A6 being promoted into the top ten.
In the meantime, fastest lap on lap 4 by Hartley set up a battle for the lead, as Werner and his British nemesis exchanged best sector times. Overall, though, Hartley was quicker, and going into lap 7, Werner’s lead was cut to a mere three tenths. Behind them, Lyons had captured third place from Hazell, but was looking at a gap of about eight seconds to Hartley. Hazell was having none of that, though, and on lap 7, the Williams was back up into third!
In fifth, Brooks had stormed the midfield runners, and had gone well clear of them, 11 seconds behind Hazell, but 12 seconds ahead of Higson and Devis, but soon after the Belgian was forced to come in with his Lotus 78, to retire with brake problems.
Meanwhile, the stalemate at the front continued, Werner keeping Hartley at around four tenths. Lyons had made it back into third, but was now 13 seconds down on the leader. On lap 9, though, Hartley had lost serious ground, suddenly looking at a 2.1-second gap. A lap later, Werner’s lead had increased to 2.4 seconds.
Five more minutes remained, and Werner looked in control, hoping to give Chrome Cars their home win in the Lotus 87B, but when the German was baulked by a backmarker, Hartley cut back his lead to 1.7 seconds. 12 seconds further back, Lyons looked safe in third, leading Hazell by four seconds and Brooks by three. Higson was now a lonely and distant sixth, well over a minute behind, but still comfortably ahead of Becker’s Arrows.
In the final few laps, Werner grew his lead back again, to win by 7.4 seconds, as Hartley ran into an increasing amount of gearbox trouble. Ten seconds from Hartley, Lyons took third and the post-82 class win while Brooks decided the battle for fourth in his favour, pushing down Hazell to fifth on the final lap. Higson took sixth from Becker, Baudoin and Bruckner.
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