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Stretton wins epic Historic F1 dogfight at Brands Hatch

Saturday, May 25 2019

Martin Stretton claimed the honours in the opening headline FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship race of the weekend on the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon (Saturday), after main rival Michael Lyons crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend amidst a titanic race-long scrap for the lead.

Pole-sitter Stretton led from the off in his Tyrrell 012, but was unable to fend off the attention of Lyons' Williams FW07B who stalked his rival consistently throughout the race. Lyons managed to pull alongside the leader along the Brabham Straight numerous times, but he repeatedly found himself on the outside at Paddock Hill Bend as Stretton robustly defended the inside line.

Lyons had to keep an eye on the stunning ex-Jacques Laffite Ligier JS11 of Matteo Ferrer-Aza as he lingered right behind the leading duo all race long. Indeed, the Italian had a few opportunities of his own to pass Lyons, but wasn't quite able to find a big enough opening.

The battle and the race ultimately came to an end when Lyons, still in hot pursuit of Stretton, suffered from a car problem which sent him into the Paddock Hill gravel trap, resulting in the appearance of the red flag. As the race wasn't restarted thereafter, the result was taken from the positions at the end of the previous lap, with Stretton declared the winner, whilst Lyons retained second ahead of Ferrer-Aza.

Mike Cantillon claimed fourth position in his Williams FW07C after showing strongly in practice arlier in the day, whilst Steve Hartley completed the top-five in his ex-John Watson McLaren MP4/1 from 1982.

FIA Historic Formula One Championship result
1, M Stretton, Tyrrell 012 - 1983, 13 laps
2, M Lyons, Williams FW07B - 1980, +0.212s
3, M Ferrer-Aza, Ligier JS11 - 1979, +2.815s
4, M Cantillon, Williams FW07C - 1981, +12.039s
5, S Hartley, McLaren MP4/1 - 1982, +13.782s

Earlier in the day, Miles Griffiths claimed victory in the first HSCC Historic Formula 2 race of the weekend after recording a 1.5s win from Stretton who appeared in this class behind the wheel of a March 782. Long-time race-leader Mark Charteris suffered from a misfire which dropped him out of contention for the win, but he recovered to salvage a podium place with third.

Click here to view full race results from the weekend. 

Sunday's line-up will include an additional Historic F1 race, plus the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars with the weekend's showpiece Le Mans flavoured, classic prototype race. The Masters Pre-'66 Touring cars should please the crowds too, with current British Touring Car Championship stars Tom Ingram and Jake Hill both set to star. 

Photo: Gary Hawkins

Tickets for the main raceday at the Masters Historic Festival on the full Grand Prix circuit are available on the gate for £29 with FREE entry for under-13s. Click here for more information.