Cheerio (in reference to a toast, and not goodbye, as we’ve just arrived), to the Silverstone Circuit in jolly old England. The Silverstone 1,000 Kilometers is set to be held over a 212 lap distance of the 2,93 mile Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. Back again, is the surprise lucky winner from Monza after the tree fell. Manfred Winkelhock, the German, and Swiss driver, Marc Surer, will qualify in fourth spot. However, the blokes with the advantage are definitely Martini Lancia, as both of their sleek LC2 prototypes are again on the front row of the starting grid.
Derek Bell and Hans Stuck, in the #2 Rothmans Porsche 962 they are slower than the Lancia’s by a good 2.5 seconds. That’s a long way. Meanwhile, there was a big wreck for the Cheetah Aston Martin, run by a Swiss team, for two British drivers, John Brindley and John Cooper. They may start the race, but the car took a major wallop into the barrier. Also, Stefan Bellof is not competing here at Silverstone. The #19 Porsche with Torno livery, will be shared by Thierry Boutsen, and Swiss team owner/driver, Walter Brun. We are ready for a start, here, at Silverstone!
It’s green lights, on, in Jolly Old, and here we go! Lancia’s lead 1-2 around Woodcote corner and into Becketts for the first time. Manfred Winkelhock dives past Bob Wollek and/or Mauro Baldi in the second of the Lancia’s and says “thank you very much, I’ll take that place.” He is now ahead of Riccardo Patrese in the sister Martini Lancia. Bob Wollek and Riccardo Patrese have both of the Lancia’s in the top two places here at Silverstone. Manfred Winkelhock is third followed by Johnny Palmer and Thierry Boutsen. In case you are wondering, the Rothmans Porsche’s are eighth and tenth. In C2, Mike Wilds has the Ecosse in the lead ahead of the #74 Gebhardt Engineering Gebhardt Cosworth with the driving squad of Frank Jelinski of Germany, Canada’s John Graham, and Britain’s Nick Adams, sharing the car.
Patrese leads Wollek, but Wollek has his hands full with Johnny Palmer, who dives past the Frenchman putting the Canon Porsche in second spot. Thierry Boutsen in fourth is right there as well. So, we have a fine scrap for the top positions so far, here at Silverstone. Talk about determination! Jonathan Palmer, he’s flying and he passes Riccardo Patrese’s Lancia for the lead of this motor race! Palmer definitely has the welly down at the moment. He and Riccardo Patrese are engaging in an enthralling battle, no doubt keeping the British crowd happy.
In the meantime, there’s the wheel, but where’s the Porsche? Ah. The Porsche is still running but not much longer. It’s game over for Thierry Boutsen in the #19 Brun Porsche after his left front wheel departs company with the stub axle. You’ve picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel. There’s a good battle for fourth that we see briefly before focusing on the seventh place #1 Rothmans Porsche 962 in the hands of Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. Boutsen mercifully brings the Brun Porsche into the lane. It’s Ecosse vs. Tiga in C2 right now. Third is the Canadian Labatt’s beer Gebhardt.
Check that. Gebhardt is a German team with Canadian sponsorship. In the meantime, Rothmans Porsche is set up in pit lane for Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass. Both of the Rothmans cars are fourth and fifth in the overall. Mass will hand the car to Ickx on this pit stop. It’s a tactical battle, and the Canon Porsche has good fuel consumption. That is one of the cars that has not had to make a fuel stop yet. But, there’s trouble on track, and big damage for one of the all-white liveried John Fitzpatrick Racing Porsche 956’s. It’s the #55 car that has crashed, hard!
Peruvian Manuel Lopez was at the wheel of it at the time, sharing with Brits Guy Edwards and Dudley Wood. Lopez has absolutely demolished the car. Lopez is lying down, receiving medical attention. He’s shaken, but not stirred, although he probably cannot believe what he’s done to a very expensive Porsche and will have some explaining to do for team boss John Fitzpatrick once he feels OK. Lopez actually spun coming off pit lane.
Ecosse are in the pit lane for routine service, meanwhile. Ray Mallock and Mike Wilds lead the C2 class ahead of Gordon Spice and Ray Bellm. 103 laps (just a hair over 300 miles) into the race, the #14 Canon Porsche driven by Johnny Palmer, lost another left front wheel! It’s game over for Palmer and Lammers here at Silverstone. They will finish fifth overall, but what a shame for a team that had such a good run going earlier in this motor race. Into the lead goes Riccardo Patrese and Alessandro Nannini with the #4 Lancia LC2. Lancia runs 1-2 with the Rothmans Porsche’s chasing, but having to get past the C2 leaders, which now is the Spice Tiga of Gordon Spice and Ray Bellm, the #70 Holts, Hawaiian Tropic sponsored car.
The Porsche’s have put up a good challenge to the Lancia. But, they may be lucky. 148 laps run (434 miles), and the Lancia is in the pit lane with a seized right front wheel bearing. Game over, for Lancia #4. Fortunately, they have one more bullet in the gun, and into the lead goes the #5 Lancia, the Bob Wollek, Mauro Baldi entry. They lead both the Rothmans Porsche and the #10 Kremer Porsche with Manfred Winkelhock at the controls, which is making a pit stop. It looks as though one of the Kremer brothers is not too happy about fuel consumption for their car at this moment. But, there’s more drama! 184 laps (539 miles in), major problems for Lancia #5! There is a ruptured transmission oil cooler on that car, which spells immediate retirement.
This is handy for the #1 Rothmans Porsche which has turned it on in the last part of the race. Rothmans Porsche win at Silverstone! It’s Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass finishing ahead of (and a lap up on) Derek Bell and Hans Suck. Lancia #4 makes its way past the Kremer Porsche to score the final step on the podium. In the points standings, it shakes out with Ickx and Mass on 50 points, Winkelhock and Surer on 45, and Bell and Stuck on 30, all tied, again because both drivers score equal points numbers in the 1,000 kilometer races. Likewise, filling out the top of the table are Riccardo Patrese and Alessandro Nannini, and, Johnny Palmer and Jan Lammers.
Here are the team’s championship points.
- Rothmans Porsche 40
- Kremer Porsche 25
- Lancia Martini 22
- Brun Motorsport 13
- Spice Engineering 35
- Ecurie Ecosse 20
- Carma FF 19
Next up, it is the granddaddy of all sports car races, the 53rd running of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, in France, in June.