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Historic Formula One: “Brett Lunger” wins at wet Nurburgring

Submitted by on September 16, 2011

Rush the latest racing film about the 1976 Formula 1 season, being shot by Ron Howard, was on hand at the Nurburgring for the Historic Formula One event.

The film called for “Brett Lunger” to drive a Surtees TS16 as car 18 carrying Campari livery to match the story line loosely based on Hunt/Lauda rivalry during 1976.

The car is now owned by Richard Austin who willingly decorated the car in period livery and with son Rob growing longer sideburns for his part in front of the cameras an entry was made for the Historic Formula One race at the Nurburgring last weekend. Cameras we set up around the GP circuit for the race and several of the period cars, including the McLaren M23 driven by Hunt, were generating action material for the film.

Rob put the TS16 on the front row of the 12 car grid behind the pole sitting Williams FW07 of Richard Eyre with Cosimo Turizio’s Hesketh 308E a very well driven third and reigning champion Peter Meyrick’s March 761 fourth fastest. Katsu Kubota entered his beautiful Lotus 72 and took fifth place, just ahead of the Lotus 87 of Nico Bindels. The grid of course featured the stalwarts of HFO racing John Delane in the Tyrrell 002 and Terry Sayles’s pretty Osella FA1D. Philippe Bonny has spent 12 months rebuilding the Trojan T103 but this pretty little car carried him to 10th on the grid just behind Michel Baudoin’s Shadow with Scott Walker in the Hunt M23 and Luciano Quaggia and his Theodore completing the grid.

The circuit Director assured HFO that a thunder storm and torrential rain would arrive exactly at 13.30 with the race due to start at 14.15. In typically German precision the heavens opened on time and the Nurburgring was sheathed in a monsoon storm for a good 30 minutes delaying the start. With the track still awash Austin got traction first with Cosimo Turizio also getting a good level of grip to move to second at the first corner followed by Meyrick and Bindels as Richard Eyre dropped several rows as the FW07 struggled for grip. Austin slid wide at turn 4 but made a good recovery to be back on track ahead of Eyre’s Williams. Turizio headed the field at the end of lap 1 followed by Meyrick, a smooth starting Bindels, the recovering Austin, Eyre, Kubota, Delane and the rest of the pack slithering along. Meyrick had a big slide on lap 3 promoting Bindels and Austin. Next lap Austin passed Bindels for second and took the lead on lap 5, never to be headed. It took Bindels another four laps to unseat Turizio and hold second place to the finish. Meyrick started a series of entertaining spins including a spectacular one on the pits straight which caused everyone on the pit wall to hold their breath for a moment but a damaged front spoiler ended his race in the pits.

Austin’s Brett Lunger decorated Surtees took victory after a skilful drive in the really wet conditions. A delighted Bindels had his best result of the season followed by a happy Cosimo Turizio who showed why he has been a multiple Italian Champion in his long career with Richard Eyre fourth, Katsu Kubota fifth with little grip and no clutch from lap 4, Quaggia and Delane having had a good fight for the places, Bonny’s Trojan showing its true colours, Scott Walker’s M23 complete with camera brackets and recorders, Michel Baudoin’s Shadow and Terry Sayles who didn’t enjoy the run at all.

The next round is the popular Algarve Historic Festival at Portimao and all teams will be hoping to see the sun again before the end of the season which takes place a week after at the famous Jarama Circuit in Madrid.

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