Italian Manfredo Rossi di Montelera claimed honours in todays maiden GP Masters race at the Historic Grand Prix at Zandvoort in glorious sunny conditions.
Starting from pole position, the Italian secured the lead at the first corner before building a small advantage over the chasing Christophe DAnsembourg (McLaren M26). The McLaren fought back and the elasticated gap stretch and shrank as each driver tried to up his pace over the 25 minutes, but it was Rossi who prevailed, despite huge pressure late in the race from DAnsembourg.
That was a really good race, said Rossi. Christophe was always close so I could never relax, but it was great to win here on such a good track.
DAnsembourg secured second from Phil Hall (Arrows A3) who in turn was caught at the end by Ian Simmonds (Tyrrell 012). Simmonds had lost places early in the race, but after half-distance, suddenly upped his pace and caught the Surtees TS20 of Alex Furiani. A very brave dive at Tarzan the first right-hand hairpin, secured fourth place for Simmonds in the ex-Michele Alboreto Tyrrell, and he then set the fastest lap of the race in his quest to catch Hall for third position. He missed out by just four-tenths of a second.
Behind the Surtees, a tremendous tussle between Ron Maydon (Amon F101) and Andrew Beaumont (Lotus 76/1) for sixth was resolved in favour of Beaumont five laps from home.
GP Masters has a second race at Zandvoort this afternoon with Rossi starting from pole position.