The Vee Six Honda powered Halt established itself as the car to beat in Formula Two right from the start of the season. At Silverstone’s opening round of the 1981 European Championship works driver Mike Thackwell put his on pole and led from the start (above) chased by works March/BMW driver Corrado Fabi and works Maurer driver Eje Elgh. However, on the wet track the Pirelli shod cars (including the Ralts and Marches) found themselves in trouble and were forced to make early stops for slick tyres, leaving the few outsiders running Goodyear covers at the front. The leader for many laps was Swiss privateer Jurg Lienhard in a March/BMW. Leinhard’s Goodyear wets lasted the entire race, even though the track gradually dried out but his battery started losing power near the end, forcing him to concede the lead to Thackwell who was making a fast recovery from his stop for slicks. Leinhard’s problem eventually dropped him right out of the top six, which was completed by Italian newcomer Riccardo Paletti (below, his wet shod March leads Thackwell) Fabi, the Toleman/Harts of Jim Crawford and Carlo Rossi and Brian Robinson’s elderly Chevron/Hart which ran throughout on Goodyear wets.
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Roberto Guerrero’s Maurer/BMW (left) was one of the most interesting new cars at Silverstone. It caused controversy as its bodywork is spring loaded; Maurer claims that it can move upwards to minimise kerb hitting damage, but denies that it can sink at speed to reduce the gap between the sidepods and the track. Former Lotus Grand Prix driver Jim Crawford (right) is running an ex-works Toleman/Hart in all rounds of the European Championship,
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Belgian Thierry Boutsen and Italian Corrado Fabi, both graduates of the European Formula Three Championship, are driving for the works March/BMW Formula Two team. Boutsen (above) spun out of contention due to a gear selection problem but Fabi (below) finished third.