Always a highlight for the large crowds, a race for F1 cars of the pre-1986 era has long been a feature of the Estoril Classics meeting. Soheil Ayari lived up to his status as a serious professional driver at the wheel of the ex-Jarier/Boesel Ligier JS21 as he cantered away, ahead of Katsu Kubota’s Lotus 72. Behind, the duel between Laurent Fort (Ensign MN181-B) and Mark Hazell (Williams FW07C) ended in a spectacular collision as they exited the Variant side by side, resulting in the Ensign being left stranded on the track after a short flight and the Williams returning to the pits with its front left suspension badly damaged. Red flags flew with just two and a half minutes to go and race was not resumed. Ayari completed the nine laps with a lead of 26secs over Kubota, who won Class A with a top-class performance. Hazell, despite being involved in the incident that triggered the red flags, was classified third ahead of Laurent Fort.
In Sunday’s rematch, cheeky Kubota was quickest off the mark and took the lead, but soon had to give way to French superiority. Behind Ayari, there was an all-out battle between Kubota’s Lotus and Martin O’Connell, up from mid-grid in his Brabham BT37. Hazell was in the mix too but was called away for a drive-through for jumping the start. As O’Connell got past, the Japanese driver began to fade and Hazell became the focus of attention as he worked his way up to attack O’Connell for second place. The Williams FW08 driver ended up overtaking his team-mate, while O’Connell held third to win Class A.
These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News. Some have been abbreviated for this web site. If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available. A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.