Tyrrell does it again in third Masters Racing Legends race at Zandvoort
Not having enough with his debut win in the category the day before, Ken Tyrrell took his second 1966-’85 Formula One victory in the space of two days when the American prevented a shock overall Masters Racing Legends win for Matt Wrigley in the leading pre-78 machine. Tyrrell led away from pole but after a mid-race safety car, Wrigley’s Penske PC3 caught Tyrrell on the hop at the restart. However, the Tyrrell 011 driver got the bit between his teeth and managed to reclaim the lead two laps from the end of what was uniquely the weekend’s third race.
“I feel good!” said a happy Ken Tyrrell. “It was a nice race with some strong competition. At the start it was good to get away and get a little break but at the restart I floored the throttle on the covered oil trail in the final corner so I slipped sideways – that was the catalyst for Matthew to get right on me…”
“I missed a gear!” said Wrigley about being forced to allow Tyrrell back past. “And the tyres were gone anyway so it was really close with Nick right at the end. In fact, we were side by side around the back on the final lap… Still, two class wins and a second place overall is good!”
The pass allowed Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77 to also have a go at Wrigley, as the two fought hard over pre-78 class honours, but Wrigley held the spot by a mere 0.115 seconds in a photo finish for the second and third-placed car. In the Lotus 92, Michael Lyons sat and watched it all while claiming fourth overall as well as the post-82 class win while Werner d’Ansembourg starred by getting his father’s Williams FW07C up to fifth on his debut weekend in historic Formula One.
“So close, but not enough!” said Padmore about his attempt to steal the class win from Wrigley. “It was a good race and really enjoyed that, but I needed two more laps…”
“I’m happy, very happy!” said d’Ansembourg, delighted with his post-78 podium on his debut weekend. “I tried to keep it steady and it paid out. Good memories to take home – the first of many, I hope!”
Jamie Constable (Tyrrell 011B) and Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1) drove fighting races coming from the back, Constable ending up sixth ahead of Lukas Halusa who in the McLaren M23 took third in the pre-78 class, while Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29 held Hartley to ninth. Pierre-Brice Mena’s Fittipaldi F8 completed the top ten ahead of Max Werner’s Hesketh 308C while Ewen Sergison (Surtees TS9B) made it three from three in the pre-72 class. In the post-82 class, meanwhile, Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) ended a race-long battle with Georg Hallau (Theodore N183) as they warred over third in class.
All day, the tension had been building in the paddock and on the grandstands packed with thousands and thousands of Dutch historic motorsport enthusiasts, as straight after lunch the Masters Racing Legends machines lined up for their third race of the weekend – a first in the history of historic Formula One racing for cars from the 3-litre era. The grid was formed according to Saturday’s finishing order, meaning that Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 was joined on the front row by Matt Wrigley’s pre-78 Penske PC3. Next up were Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C and Warren Briggs in the McLaren M29, with Nick Padmore’s Lotus 77 and Michael Lyons in the Lotus 92 sharing the third row.
21 cars remained of the original 29 that were entered for the events, as the previous two races had taken their toll, but it was still a strong field for Zandvoort’s humid final day of a very well attended Historic Grand Prix event. As the lights switched to green, Tyrrell led Wrigley and Cantillon, but Padmore had already found space to overtake Briggs, and further into the opening lap, so had Lyons. Lukas Halusa in the McLaren M23 and Werner d’Ansembourg in the second Williams FW07C hung on to their places, as did Max Werner in the Hesketh 308C, but Jamie Constable was already up into tenth in his flat-bottomed Tyrrell 011B.
The next time around, however, Cantillon had gone, his Williams stranded around the back, with Devis also failing to appear, and as a result of the Irishman’s fate, Padmore, Lyons and the result all moved up a spot. The Belgian’s trouble consisting of an engine that had let go in the final banked Arie Luyendijkbocht, and so the safety car was dispatched to ensure the safe cover-up of the trail of oil dumped by the Lotus 78. Meanwhile, moments before the pace car’s deployment, Steve Hartley in the plagued McLaren MP4/1 had reached as high as ninth as he followed Constable up through the field.
While the track was being cleared it was decided to lengthen the race to ten minutes once the safety car pulled in, instead of the six minutes that actually remained, so at the green flag, Tyrrell once again stormed off for what would be another five or so laps. Wrigley, however, had the American covered and was hot on his heels towards Tarzan. Tyrrell defended the inside line, but the pre-78 class leader managed to pull off the move anyway! Padmore and Lyons continued to chase, but behind them d’Ansembourg had made it stick on Briggs while Constable had passed Halusa for seventh. Further back, Pierre-Brice Mena – another one to come from the back in his Fittipaldi F8 – vaulted up to 11th by passing Sergison’s Surtees and Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 011 in one go.
Eight laps done, and both Constable and Hartley weren’t done moving up, the Tyrrell claiming sixth from Briggs while the McLaren robbed eighth from Halusa. Meanwhile up front, Tyrrell wasn’t allowing Wrigley to disappear, and indeed had opened up a modest gap to Padmore and Lyons.
Affairs remained static all throughout laps 9 and 10, but Tyrrell had closed right down to the Penske, as the leading pair were now covered by less than three tenths. Further back, Paul Grant’s March 761 nipped past Geoffroy Rivet’s Trojan T103 for 16th while Brad Hoyt in the Hill GH1 took Arthur Bruckner’s Arrows for 18th.
With less than two minutes to go, Tyrrell got back at Wrigley to reclaim the end, as Padmore in the second pre-78 car inched towards Wrigley for the coveted class win. Meanwhile, behind Halusa in ninth, Mena moved into the top ten by passing Werner. So with one more lap remaining, Ken Tyrrell went from no wins to two 1966-’85 Formula One wins in the space of two days. Padmore almost beat Wrigley to the line, but the Penske won the pre-78 class by a whisker. Lyons was fourth and the post-82 class winner, with d’Ansembourg a strong fifth on his debut weekend in the category. In sixth, Constable took second in the post-82 class, and Halusa brought the M23 home third in the pre-78 class, ahead of Briggs, Hartley (who slowed towards the end), Mena, Werner and pre-72 class winner Sergison. In another close battle, Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 011 beat Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183 to third in the post-82 class.
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