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Victory for Hartley's McLaren in Brands Hatch Historic F1 thriller

Sunday, May 26 2019

Steve Hartley claimed victory in a thrilling FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship race on the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in his McLaren MP4/1. This allowed the ex-John Watson car to emulate its sister machine's achievements on 1982, when it won the British Grand Prix at the same venue in the hands of the late Niki Lauda.

Hartley rose from fourth position to claim the victory in an action-packed race filled with overtaking, and was led for much of its distance by Jamie Constable in his Tyrrell 011, after he started from the front-row on a grid which was determined by a reverse of yesterday's top-eight finishers.

Contable took the lead early on from the pole-sitting Lotus 87B of Jonathan Holtzman which began to sink down the order, and built himself a handsome lead as many of the other challengers were bottled up in a traffic queue behind the Williams FW07C of Christophe D'Ansembourg.

Amongst those lined up behind the Belgian in the Williams were Hartley, Mike Cantillon in another FW07C, Saturday winner Martin Stretton in a Ligier 012 and Matteo Ferrer-Aza's stunning Ligier JS11. Hartley finally broke through into second position and immediately set about reeling in Constable ahead, though with the supremely fast Stretton hot on his heels.

Hartley made his decisive move at Druids, the hairpin, with a late braking manoeuvre to depose the long-time leader, and Stretton followed him through shortly afterwards to set up another nail-biting showdown.

As the race rocketed towards its denouement, the unfortunate Cantillon went off into the gravel trap on the outside of Clark Curve, summoning the safety car, and the chequered flag was waved at the end of the caution period.

Constable held on to claim the final podium position in third from D'Ansembourg in fourth and Ferrer-Aza in fifth.

Race one runner-up Michael Lyons returned to the grid today after bringing in a Hesketh 308E overnight to replace his damaged Williams. Starting from the back of the grid, Lyons initially appeared set to entertain with a charge through the field, but pulled off with car trouble early in the race.

1, S Hartley, McLaren MP4/1 - 1982 , 16 laps
2, M Stretton, Tyrrell 012 - 1983 , +0.442s
3, J Constable, Tyrrell 011 - 1982 , +0.645s
4, C D'Ansembourg, Williams FW07C - 1982 , +0.723s
5, Matteo Ferrer-Aza, Ligier JS11 - 1979 , +1.162s

Earlier in the day, Robert Beebee and Martin O'Connell raced to victory in their shared Lola T70MK3B in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship, beating Henry Fletcher's Chevron B26 and Jason Wright and Andy Wolfe's T70.

For a full breakdown of results from this event, click here. 

Photo: Az Edwards