13th July 1979
The fourth Procar series race took place in Silverstone and was staged over 20 laps at 4.718 km. The winner mastered the race distance of 94.360 km at an average speed of 185.8 km/h.
Both Brabbham Formula 1 drivers, Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet, set the pace at the Procar race in Silverstone, whilst Markus Höttinger provided action on the field. Hans-Joachim Stuck suffered from tyre problems; Regazzoni, Reutemann and Winkelhock collided at the first turn.
There was no messing with Niki Lauda: Following an average performance in Dijon (“there I simply didn’t drive well”), he completely sped ahead of his enemies at Silverstone. After one lap Jones was in the lead, ahead of Piquet, Lauda and Stuck, but then the Australian made a mistake and was suddenly at the back of this foursome.
At that moment, Lauda put Piquet under pressure (which he is no longer so successful at in Formula 1) and overtook the Brazilian after 5 laps. The winner was now clear. Niki had an advantage in Silverstone: He had completed many test laps here with the BMW and had found the optimum balance. Piquet on the other hand: The mechanics did not have to adjust a single screw on his car since the Gunnar Nilson Race in Donington. Nelson didn’t care much about springs, stabilisers and wing adjustments, his motto is simply put your food down.
There was an applause for Clay Regazzoni, who was able to qualify for the Procar race on Thursday during the last Formula 1 practice lap – at BMW the Swiss driver is a favourite.
Reutemann drove a touring car for the first time in his life. “I almost felt claustrophobic with this roof over my head”, claimed Carlos in respect of the new feeling and was amazed by the handling of these massive juggernaut.
However, the two couldn’t really show what they are made of in the race, as for the first time there was already a first accident at the first turn from the start. Manfred Winkelhock, new in the Procar racing series, risked a huge feat. However, Regazzoni was in the gap, which he wanted to squeeze through, Clay turned and Reutemann was carries along with him. Manfred had to retire, the other two were able to continue (Regazzoni after a pitstop).
Without a doubt, Markus Höttinger was man of the race. He started at the back of the grid (vibration damper was torn off after a few practice laps), impressively fought his way up the grid and collided with Stuck three laps before the finish. Unexpected: Höttinger successfully overtook Strietzel in the final lap, Stuck: “I had no chance with my tattered tyre.”