Circuit of The Americas, USA
Support Race at the FORMULA 1 LENOVO UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
19 – 22 October 2023
Meeker Emerges Triumphant in Texas!
Under sweltering blue skies and a Texan vibe, the Masters Support Races at the Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix stole the hearts of the adoring crowds at the Circuit of The Americas. The 31-strong grid, made of up Masters Racing Legends 1966/1985 F1 cars and Masters Formula Atlantic cars, provided some stunning racing during the weekend.
Masters Historic Racing – Race 1
Cal Meeker converted pole position into victory in Race 1 of the Masters Historic Racing weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, in support of Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix!
Meeker led away from top spot but faced an early challenge from Charles Nearburg, as the Williams FW07C driver chased the Tyrrell 009 racer around the 5.5km track. Nearburg dived for the lead into Turn 1 on the second lap and wrestled away top spot as the pair came close to rubbing wheels through the downhill right-hander at Turn 2, with Meeker slotting into second. But Nearburg’s advantage lasted only half a lap as Meeker emerged ahead after the duo scrapped through the stadium section, emerging ahead to re-take a lead that he would not relinquish.
Meeker stretched his lead through the rest of the race before proceedings were neutralised in the closing stages after several cars stopped trackside, necessitating the deployment of the safety car. The race finished behind the safety car, with Meeker greeting the chequered flag ahead of Nearburg, while Lotus 91 driver Steve Brooks maintained third spot to take a podium finish.
Mike Cantillon provided most of the action as he carved his way through the pack in the wake of an error in qualifying.
Cantillon started from 21st on the grid but was quickly up into the top 10 and eventually climbed his way to fourth spot in the Williams FW08. Carlos de Quesada (McLaren M26) claimed fifth position, ahead of Danny Baker (McLaren M23), Gray Gregory (March 761) and Kirt Bennett (Shadow DN5). Bud Moeller climbed from 14th on the grid to ninth aboard his Williams FW08 while Mark Hazell (Williams FW08C) rounded out the top 10.
In the Formula Atlantic Classes, there were plenty of exciting close battles through the field. Todd Willing (March 78b), in 12th overall, took the honours, just ahead of Bill Cord (Chevron B39) and Geir Ramleth (Ralt RT4).
Masters Historic Racing – Race 2
Cal Meeker made it two wins out of two at Masters Historic Racing at the Circuit of the Americas after prevailing in a thrilling duel against Mike Cantillon.
Race 1 victor Meeker led away as the mist rolled through COTA early on Sunday morning while Cantillon swiftly worked his way into second place after starting from fourth. Cantillon’s Williams FW08 remained glued to Meeker’s Tyrrell 009 and, mid-way through the race, lunged for the lead into Turn 12, but it was Meeker who emerged still ahead. The pair began the final lap separated by just a tenth of a second, and had to contend with lapped traffic, with Cantillon prising the lead into the Turn 11 hairpin.
Meeker swiftly counteracted and the duo ran side-by-side along the back straight and the Canadian grabbed the inside line and with it re-took the lead. Meeker preserved his advantage across the remainder of the 11th and final lap to make it back-to-back victories, with Cantillon following him across the line in second.
Charles Nearburg captured third place in his Williams FW07C while Lotus 91 driver Steve Brooks took fourth, and Carlos de Quesada (McLaren M26) held off Danny Baker (McLaren M23) by just three-tenths of a second in the scrap for fifth place.
Kirt Bennett (Shadow DN5) beat Gray Gregory (March 761) to seventh place while Bud Moeller (Williams FW08) and Richard Griot (March 741) rounded out the top 10.
In the Formula Atlantic class Bill Cord made an early move on Todd Willing into Turn 12 to move into the lead, and kept his Chevron B39 ahead across the remaining laps. Willing nonetheless kept Cord honest and the pair crossed the line split by just 1.1s, with Kyle Buxton taking third place in class.