Tyrrell inherits win in first Masters Racing Legends race at Silverstone as Cantillon is disqualified
By storming from fourth to first on one single lap after a mid-race safety-car restart looked to have done enough to win the first Masters Racing Legends race at the Silverstone Festival, but the Irishman’s post-race disqualification saw victory being handed to Ken Tyrrell. Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 had led away from pole, followed by Steve Hartley (McLaren MP4/1), while Cantillon initially lost third to Martin Stretton’s Tyrrell 012. However, an absolutely brilliant lap straight after the first safety-car period took the Williams FW07C driver from fourth to first within a single tour of the Silverstone circuit. Behind the unleashed Irishman, Tyrrell and Hartley completed the podium.
Later on the day, however, Cantillon was excluded from the results for a technical infringement. This meant that Tyrrell took his third consecutive Masters Racing Legends victory on the trot.
“I’m very grateful for the safety car, actually”, said a jubilant Cantillon before he was made aware of his exclusion. “I made a few mistakes in the first half of the race but the safety car gave me a chance to get a jump on the guys. I went down on the inside of Steve, and God bless him, he didn’t run into me, and same with Ken, so some fantastic driving by my competition and what a wonderful win. That was for my father.”
“It was fantastic”, said Tyrrell as he stepped onto the podium. “Almost perfect, but I’ll take a second place. If there’s a competitor out here I’d like to finish second to it’s Mike.”
“I haven’t had any good results recently, so third is great”, said Hartley before being promoted to second. “Let’s see what we can do tomorrow…”
The race finished behind another safety car but not after Nick Padmore had hit back at Matt Wrigley, whose Penske PC3 had beaten Padmore’s Lotus 77 in qualifying. This ensured that Padmore took the pre-78 class win from Wrigley, as Max Werner (Hesketh 308C) took third in class while finishing 11th overall.
In fourth overall, becoming third after Cantillon’s disqualification, Stretton claimed post-82 class honours, with Michael Lyons second in class, as his Lotus 91 finished in seventh overall behind Jamie Constable’s Tyrrell 011. Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012) grabbed third in class with 13th overall. Ewen Sergison (Surtees TS9B) won the pre-72 class in 16th overall.
Morning downpours of a diluvial kind had left part of the Silverstone track still in slightly damp conditions when the Masters Racing Legends cars lined up for their first 20-minute race of the weekend. With Ken Tyrrell on pole after his surge of two consecutive wins at the previous round at Zandvoort, the 27-car field poured into Abbey for the first time. Tyrrell’s Tyrrell 011 led away, followed by Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1, Mike Cantillon’s Williams FW07C, Martin Stretton in the Tyrrell 012 and the two other Tyrrell 011s of Jamie Constable and Kyle Tilley. Leading the pre-78 class was Matt Wrigley’s Penske PC3, given chase by his class rival Nick Padmore in the Lotus 77, as the sun started to break away the clouds.
On the first lap, however, Tilley’s Tyrrell disappeared, as did Mark Higson’s McLaren MP4/1B and Miles Griffiths in the RAM March 01, the latter engine’s having died. Meanwhile into lap 2, Stretton made his way past Cantillon to be third, while Werner d’Ansembourg was another casualty, his Williams FW07C dropping out from tenth place at the Loop, with Warren Briggs also in the wars in the McLaren M29, after a possible contretemps with the young Belgian – leading to the safety car coming out. Behind Wrigley and Padmore, Michael Lyons had risen to eighth in the Lotus 91, followed Mark Hazell’s Williams FW07B and Charlie Kennedy moving up in his Surtees TS16 to be third in the pre-78 class. In 18th, Ewen Sergison led the pre-72 class in his Surtees TS9B.
Recovering both cars took a while, so the green flag was waved with less than eight minutes to go. Cantillon instantly hit back at Stretton to reclaim third and then move into second by also usurping Hartley. Towards the end of lap 6, Cantillon then made a bold move for the lead, which he pulled off. It was a brilliant lap by the Irishman. Behind them, Padmore had the bit between his teeth equally to pass Wrigley for the pre-78 lead, as Lyons demoted Constable to eighth.
With five minutes remaining, Cantillon produced two stormers of fastest laps of the race to pull out 1.4 seconds on Tyrrell, with Hartley and Stretton still following close-by – but then the safety car came out yet again. This time, Kennedy was in trouble, while Kyle Tilley’s rejoined Tyrrell 011 stopped out on the start-and-finish straight. This meant that the cars crossed the line under safety-car conditions, with Cantillon taking a brilliant win from Tyrrell, Hartley and Stretton while Padmore beat Wrigley to the pre-78 class win. Constable was next up, ahead of Lyons who took second to Stretton in the post-82 class. Hazell and Christophe d’Ansembourg’s Brabham BT49 rounded out the top ten while in 12th overall Max Werner’s Hesketh 308C took third in the pre-78 class, with Ian Simmonds’ Tyrrell 012 completing the post-82 top-three in 14th. Sergison drove home the pre-72 class win in 17th overall.
However, later on the day it proved all for nothing for Cantillon when the stewards excluded his Williams FW07C from the results for a rear-wing infringement. As a result, Tyrrell took his third straight win in Masters Racing Legends while every other finisher moved up one spot in the results.
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