Aston Martin Racing driver Andy Meyrick dominated the first race showcasing Formula One cars of the 1970s and 1980s, dominating the Grand Prix Masters event on Saturday at Silverstone Classic.
A late entry into the 33 car field in a 1976 March chassis Meyrick had taken pole and moved into the lead at the start of the 25 minute race. Front row partner Nathan Kinch faded to fourth in McLaren MP4 before fighting back to second, passing Bill Coombs' Tyrell 009 in the inside of Stowe before catching Formula Renault turned British GT regular Michael Lyons for second.
Kinch needed less than half a lap behind the Essex-based driver before Lyons made a mistake locking up under braking for Brooklands, arrowing deep in the gravel to retire from the race.
The field a total of half a dozen cars representing the early years of the Arrows F1 team, with two A4 chassis, in the hands of Rob Austin and Steve Hartley squabbling, over fifth in the early laps. The pair swapped positions at least once in a tight, and predictably even matched, battle – the pair having also qualified together on the third row of the grid – before a mistake caused Hartley to drop back, falling behind both Austin and Ollie Hancock's Surtees.
Austin himself would soon have his Arrow's flight cut short, crawling into the pits with only a handful of minutes left. Sadly mechanical problems were all too common.
In its first ever race – having only been tested – the instantly recognisable March 2-4-0 was making steady progress away from its lowly grid slot in the hands of Jeremy Smith before the six-wheeled car came to halt having picked up eight places.
Meanwhile Meyrick's March – a year older than the 2-4-0 – was untouchable at the front, while Kinch was able to match lap times with the leader the gap was too far too great to bridge. Kinch, however still looked set for second until an engine problem reduced him to a crawl on the final lap allowing Coombs and Hartley to take second and third, Ollie Hancock having slipped back behind the Arrows in the final laps.
Kinch limped home in fifth, with Richard Meins' 1981 Williams completing the top six, with everyone else ending the race one lap down.
Peter Meyrick – Andy's father – was seventh in his Arrows A5. John Wilson finished eighth in his 1982 model Tyrrell after playing his part in another committed battle with Fittipaldi driver Richard Barber.
Wilson had taken eighth place with a move through the new first corner at Abbey, Barber trying to retake the position the following lap with an attempt at a move on the inside of Brooklands – no DRS on a Fittipaldi in case you're wondering. The car, carrying the Copersucar livery best associated with the team, briefly took the position before spinning out with a squirt of acceleration on the way to Luffield.
Barber recovered to tenth, behind Steve Allen in the Arrows A1.