Masters News

Friday 17th June 2022

Werner goes two for two in Zandvoort’s Masters Racing Legends

Marco Werner (Lotus 87B) did the double at Zandvoort by also winning the second Masters Racing Legends race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend, as the German overcame a strong challenge from Michael Lyons in the Lotus 92 before the young Brit’s challenge faded, allowing Lukas Halusa (Williams FW08) to complete a stunning recovery drive from the back of the grid with second place.

“I suffered from a few misfires”, said Werner about being initially caught and passed by Lyons. “But then the misfires disappeared again, and after that it went perfectly. It’s such a nice track, I love it – especially the fast corners such as Scheivlak!”

From the reversed grid for Saturday’s first five, Werner and Lyons soon hit the front, with Lyons hunting down Werner to pass him on lap 6. However, Werner stayed with the leader to repass Lyons on lap 9 and run away to a six-second lead of Halusa at the finish, Lyons coming home third, three seconds down on the Austrian.

“It was a mix of a vibration coming up and a bit of misfortune with traffic”, said Lyons about dropping away at the end. “But it was nice to have the fight in the beginning – and another [post-82] class win is always good!”

“I was on it!” said a beaming Halusa. “I knew we had an opportunity, because after only a few laps of practice and qualifying, we had a fresh set of tyres. So I was confident going into the race. But to stay ahead of Steve in the McLaren, who had similar issues in practice and was also on fresh tyres was very pleasing.”

Also coming from the back, Steve Hartley’s McLaren MP4/1 got up to fourth before losing pace towards the end, allowing Steve Brooks’ Lotus 91 to reclaim the position. Behind Marc Devis (Lotus 78) and the pole-sitting Georg Hallau (Theodore N183), Jonathan Holtzman’s Tyrrell P34 sixwheeler also completed the double by taking its second pre-78 class on the trot.

“It’s always helpful to have a few more miles on a new track”, said a delighted Holtzman. “And the weather is perfect, it’s a great venue, and that crowd – I mean, after Monaco I think this is the biggest! I’d better perform!”

In front of a main grandstand filled to capacity with Dutch fans, the Masters Racing Legends fired up their engines for Sunday’s second race of the Historic Grand Prix weekend, with Georg Hallau’s Theodore N183 and Warren Briggs’ McLaren M29 on the front row of a reversed grid for the first five. The troubled McLaren MP4/1 of Steve Hartley and Williams FW08 of Lukas Halusa were right at the back.

After the opening lap, Hallau still led, the German followed by Briggs and the four JPS Lotuses of Steve Brooks, Michael Lyons, Marco Werner and Marc Devis. Remarkably, Halusa was up to seventh, ahead of the pre-78 class-leading Tyrrell P34 of Jonathan Holtzman, who led Neil Glover’s Arrows A5, Hartley and Mark Dwyer’s Osella FA1D.

On the next lap, though, it was change all round, as Werner had leapt into the lead, followed Briggs, Lyons, Hallau and Brooks, as Marco Coppini’s March 761 came trundling into the pits, its right CV joint destroyed – a big blow to a possibly exciting pre-78 battle with Holtzman. After his initial rise, Halusa was still seventh, while Hartley was up to ninth.

At the front, Werner had opened up a 1.3-second to Lyons, whose Lotus 92 was now in second place, ahead of Brooks and Hallau in third and fourth, joined by Halusa in fifth, ahead of Devis and Hartley. Lyons wasn’t letting the German go, though, as they went side-by-side into Tarzan corner for lap 4. Meanwhile, Halusa got up to fourth, passing Brooks, while Hartley had jumped Devis.

The leading pair continued to fight, only separated by 35 hundredths going into lap 5, as Halusa rose to third at the expense of Briggs, the New Zealander now focusing on his battle with Brooks – and not for the first time this season. Hartley was sixth, having passed Hallau, and would soon attempt to make his way past Briggs and Brooks.

On lap 6, Lyons was through, but only just, as Werner hung on by 0.171 seconds. With a demon fastest lap of the race, though, Halusa was happy to make it a three-way fight up front, but Warren Briggs was less pleased, the McLaren retiring to the pits, its engine running hot, handing fourth and fifth to Brooks and Hartley. Devis was seventh in his Lotus 78, now ahead of Hallau and Mark Hazell in the Williams FW08C, with Holtzman still leading the pre-78 class in ninth while involved in a non-class-related fight with Glover’s Arrows. Behind them came Dwyer’s Osella, Paul Grant in the pre-72 class-leading De Tomaso 505/38 and Austrian Arthur Bruckner’s Arrows A6.

At the halfway point, Werner still challenged Lyons, with Halusa holding a watching brief. Hartley had passed Brooks for fourth but the two were trailing by 12 seconds. Devis was 17 seconds down in sixth, ahead of Hallau and Hazell.

On lap 9, Werner hit back, the Lotus 87B regaining first place from Lyons’ 92, as Halusa aimed to threaten Lyons too. One lap on, it appeared that Werner had found some additional pace to lead Lyons by 2.5 seconds, the order and the gaps remaining virtually unchanged as the top trio went into lap 11. In fourth, Hartley trailed by 15 seconds, now four ticks ahead of Brooks, with Devis a further eight seconds back in a midfield that started to spread out.

As Werner’s lead increased to 3.7 seconds, it seemed that Lyons had taken too much out of his tyres, allowing Halusa to finally steal second place. At the back, Paul Grant’s De Tomaso cried enough to pull off in the Gerlachbocht.

Going into the final three minutes, Werner seemed safe for a Zandvoort double, leading Halusa by 3.8 seconds while Lyons dropped away to a 6.3-second deficit. Hartley, however, was starting to feel the pressure from Brooks, the Spitfire pilot closing into 1.2 seconds. On the penultimate lap, Brooks was through. Meanwhile, in ninth, Holtzman had got into a six-wheeled rhythm and was catching Hazell’s much younger Williams.

Nothing was going to trouble Werner anymore, though, the German going two for two in his Lotus 87B, with Halusa second, six seconds down, while Lyons trailed home nine seconds behind the leader. Brooks took fourth ahead of Hartley, with Devis and Hallau leading home pre-78 class winner Holtzman who had pipped Hazell going into the final lap. Neil Glover competed the top ten.


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