FIA Historic Formula One – Round One: Hockenheim
Pole, fastest lap, and race victory – Bobby Verdon-Roe’s victory at round one of the FIA Historic Formula One championship, driving a McLaren MP4, was comprehensive. Absorb all the action from the race in this race report and photo gallery from the guys at Historic Racing Photography.
HISTORIC FORMULA ONE – ROUND 1 HOCKENHEIM 15TH-17TH APRIL 2011
Verdon-Roe mimics Lewis for McLaren F1 victory at Hockenheim
On the same afternoon that McLaren took victory in China, the marque was collecting another Formula One trophy as the glorious MP4 of Bobby Verdon-Roe stormed away from the field to win the FIA Historic Formula One Championship opener at the Hockenheim Historic meeting in Germany. From an emphatic pole position BVR took a comfortable 31 second victory and fastest lap to start his points haul for the season, determined to win the Championship having come within a point in 2010.
The expected challenge from the two Kumschick run Brabham BT49s of Joaquin Folch and Christian Gläsel did not materialise having been withdrawn the previous week as the Spaniard has a damaged knee and Christian immersed in a strategic commercial activity. This left the challenge in the hands of Steve Hartley with his Mirage Arrows A4 and Richard Eyre’s Williams FW08. Land speed record holder Charles Nearburg made his HFO debut in the March 761B and Nico Bindels ran his pretty Lotus 87 in class C. The early class A cars included the evergreen John Delane with Tyrell 002, Günther Alth’s March 701 and Bruno Ferrari’s similar car. The latter lunched the transmission in the first session and did not reappear all weekend. Unfortunately Nearburg’s car had an engine failure which also sidelined the WDK prepared machine.
The dozen cars that lined up for the 16 lap race on the Sunday made an impressive noise at the start but Verdon-Roe was away, albeit as gently as he could having had to re-engineer the drive pegs on Saturday afternoon having sheared some of the McLaren components. Hartley had taken second place on the grid and kept the red and white car in sight for a few laps but by half distance the gap was already 24 seconds. Cosimo Turizio had his Hesketh 308E up to third, battling with Eyre’s Williams, the Wolf of Peter Wuensch, Abba Kogan’s CGA Williams and Bindel’s Lotus.
On lap four Kogan brought the FW06 slowly into the pits to complain of smoke emanating from his upper thigh areas subsequently diagnosed as a shorting electrical connection at the battery! With the two front cars away and seemingly settled a battle royal was taking place for third to sixth place, eventually settled at full distance with Weunch third overall ahead of Eyre and Bindels. Turizio dropped out before the finish with electrical problems. Delane took a well earned class win and sixth overall with Terry Sayles JRT Belgium Osella heading class D and seventh ahead of Michel Baudoin’s Shadow, Luciano Quaggia in his Theodore and Alth’s March completing the results.
Clearly BVR is determined and with Alan Mugglestone engineering the MP4 accurately, the first round result poses a major challenge for the Brabhams at future races. Katsu Kubota is concentrating on his group C machine this season but is another Williams starter surely needing to challenge the skilled BVR.
The next round will be a starring role at the opening meeting of the newly refurbished Red Bull Ring in Austria in May. The former A1 Ring now has typically glamorous pits and VIP facilities and the Kick-Off event will see Messrs Vettel and Webber show-off to an expected 60,000 spectators. Many of Red Bull’s extreme sports stars will also be present with HFO providing the exclusive race action.