Michael Lyons became the youngest ever winner of an F1 race when he won the Grand Prix Masters event at Brands Hatch aged just 18 years and four months.
Although his main focus for 2009 is the contemporary Formula Renault category, Lyons (above) joined the grid at Brands in the ex-Rupert Keegan Hesketh 308E from his father Frank’s stable.
What ultimately became a resounding victory was not easy in the early stages after suspension failure in qualifying. “We had to go back to base to get bits for the front suspension and we had to borrow a damper,” said Michael. Having taken third in the first race, Lyons dominated race two as he fended off the challenge of Katsu Kubota before the Japanese driver’s March 761 hit gearbox problems.
“The hardest part was driving round in the later stages, because the Hesketh has given me a few problems in the past,” said Lyons. “It was very special and it was good to get my first F1 win at Brands.”
In the F1 World Championship, the youngest winner is Sebastian Vettel, who was 21 years and two months old when he won the Italian Grand Prix last September.
Elsewhere during the Masters Festival at Brands were strong grids and excellent racing. Andrew Smith won both World Sportscar Masters races in his Lola T70 Mk3B, despite the terrier-like attentions of Charlie Kemp’s 2-litre Lola T210.
Simon Hadfield won the opening GPM race in Irvine Laidlaw’s Williams FW06, but chassis damage was then found on the car before race two.
Will Schryver scored his first win at this level when he took his Lotus 27 to victory in the HGPCA Pre-66 event after some fierce battles. He was helped by both Mark Piercy (Cooper T51) and John Harper (Brabham BT4) being sidelined by transmission ills.