Track back -- 50/30/20/10 years ago

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1985 — Porsche plays a waiting game

lckx and Mass win Silverstone 1000Km after Lancia’s double charge falters

For more than half of the Silverstone 1000Km the factory Rothmans Porsches had played an unfamiliar supporting role as a privateer 956 and two Lancia LC2-85s stole the limelight. Slashing 15 per cent of each car’s fuel allocation had heightened the need for responsible heads in the heat of battle this year; Jacky Ickx/Jochen Mass and Derek Bell/Hans Stuck were under strict orders to hold back. But at the flag the ‘tortoise’ tactics clearly paid off.

Nearly five hours earlier Jonathan Palmer (Richard Lloyd Racing 956) and Riccardo Patrese had entertained as the ‘hares’. Fuel economy was put to one side as the Canon Porsche traded the lead with Patrese’s Martini Lancia, with the Wollek/Mauro Baldi sister LC2 running third.

But the duel came to an end on lap 102 when the 956 lost a wheel at the Daily Express bridge. Seven frustrating laps were lost, though Palmer and Jan Lammers charged back to finish fifth.

Alarmingly, four other privateer Porsches also endured disconcerting wheel departures, Thierry Boutsen’s Brun entry twice! Meanwhile, the works cars rumbled on…

The Lancias now looked in command — but it wouldn’t last. Alessandro Nannini, who was sharing with Patrese, lost three laps when a trackrod end broke. Then Wollek pitted, allowing Ickx into the lead. Baldi took over and looked set to fight the lead Porsche only for the gearbox to cry enough — thus Ickx and Mass led home the Bell/Stuck car for a Rothmans 1-2.

Patrese charged back to steal third from Manfred Winkelhock’s Kremer Porsche just one lap from the finish, but it was little consolation for the Italian team —victory had been within reach.

***

Also this month in ’85:

— TWR hat trick

Tom WalkInshaw and Win Percy lead a TWR Rover 1-2-3 in the Donington 500 European Touring Car Championship round. It is the pair’s third win in the three races run this season.

— Five alive

Jean Ragnotti dominates the Tour of Corsica, leading all the way in his Renault 5 Maxi. He finishes 12 minutes ahead of Bruno Saby’s Peugeot 205 T16.

— Lucky Lotus

Elio de Angelis inherits his second grand prix victory when Alain Prost’s McLaren is disqualified for failing to meet the minimum weight in post-race scrutineering at Imola. De Angelis’s Lotus never led a lap.

— Prost hits back

Prost makes up for his Imola disappointment by winning the Monaco GP after a duel with Michele Alboreto.

***

1995:

Jacques Villeneuve inherits victory in the Indy 500, May 28

***

1975:

Niki Lauda ends Ferrari’s 20-year Monaco GP drought, May 11

***

1955:

Maurice Trintignant lucks in at Monaco, May 22

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