Nick Padmore doubles up to take a fitting victory in his Williams FW07C
At the scene of Williams Grand Prix Engineering’s maiden grand prix victory with Clay Regazzoni in 1979, two well crafted wins by Nick Padmore in Max Smith-hilliard’s ex-carlos Reutemann FW07C extended his unbeaten run to six.
Behind him, the action which showcased the most open and colourful era of F1 was incredible – particularly in Sunday’s epic race when an ever-changing train of five cars fought every inch of the way. And, get this, overtook each other repeatedly without artificial aids…
Ollie Hancock hooked-up father Anthony’s 1978 Fittipaldi F5A perfectly on both days, hurtling round Greg Thornton’s Lotus 91 and poleman Padmore at Abbey to lead. Nick was through and away at Becketts on Saturday, but Ollie enjoyed a lap ahead 24 hours later.
Loic Deman – this term’s only other winner – carved his Candy Tyrrell 010 from seventh to third on lap one on Saturday, then drew Thornton past Hancock. Both gained on Padmore when he lapped Marc Devis’ Maki cautiously at Becketts, but Thornton survived a hairy 360 degree spin at Abbey without losing third as he attacked Deman.
Once ahead on Sunday, Padmore scarpered leaving Hancock to fend off a growing pack with some brilliant defence. As Martin Stretton’s Benetton Tyrrell 012 [retired from race one with tyre issues] struggled for grip, Mike Wrigley (FW07D), Thornton, Deman and Christophe d’ansembourg (FW07C) piled on the pressure.
Suspected piston failure ended Wrigley’s run, but the battling Deman and Thornton, the resurgent Stretton and Rob Hall (Ligier-matra JS17) intensified the chase, with Simon Fish (Ensign N180) and Steve Hartley (Arrows A4) trying to join in as d’ansembourg faded.
Deman wrested second from Hancock, with a move round the outside at Stowe on the final lap. Ollie, a dominant class winner, was third in his wake with Hall, Thornton, Stretton and Fish snapping at his heels. Second to seventh were covered by 3.1s.
Hancock battled on but Padmore (r) triumphed