Duncan Dayton kicked off the 2001 FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix season with a dominant victory at Barcelona on April 8.
The American’s Hoole Racing-run Williams FWO7C set fastest time during both qualifying sessions on Saturday, and led Sunday’s 11-lap encounter from start to finish. He built an early advantage and was never threatened.
‘The car was perfect,” said Dayton, “and I’d like to thank the team for making me look good.”
Swiss Fredy Kumschick made it a Williams 1-2 in his FVV07, impressing on his first outing with the car. He qualified third, but made good use of backmarkers to draft by the FW08 of local man, Joaquin Folch, on lap six. The Spaniard, who was nursing sore ribs, the result of some karting, was also having his first run in a Williams, and he was hampered again three laps later, the Martin Stretton Racing-run Brabham BT49D of Christian Glasel slipping by to prevent a Williams 1-2-3.
Stretton himself scored his usual victory in Class B (for pre-ground effect cars 1972-79), but his six-wheel Tyrrell was not without its problems. Only after the team changed a crank sensor on Saturday night did its DFV refrain from cutting out. The reigning champion made an early charge from 20th on the grid, but spent much of the race holding the car in third gear and fending off the Lotus 78 of Mauro Pane to finish seventh.
Steve Hitchins was fifth in the amazing Lotus 88B (see story page 4), Richard Eyre (FW08) was sixth, his Simon Hadfield-prepared car losing 1.5sec per lap between testing and the race, while Steve Allen (FW07) and Switzerland’s Hubertus Bahlsen (Arrows A4) rounded out the top 10.
Paul Ingram enlivened the race in his Tyrrell 011, which he got up to fourth by lap two only to spin out.
Sid Hoole completed his weekend by taking the Class A spoils in Dayton’s 1970 Brabham BT33.