„Back to the island“ was Wolfgang Kaufmann's motto for the last weekend in July. With his March 782 BMW, the man from the Westerwald travelled to Silverstone for Europe's largest historic Formula 2 meeting. In keeping with period-corrrectness, a number of entrants were housed in the historic paddock complex. „It was my first time back at the circuit after its major remodelling“, said Kaufmann, „and getting to know the new parts of the track was exciting.“
The competition was extremely strong for this event, with more than 50 historic Formula 2 cars entered. The qualifying practice session turned out to be satisfactory for Kaufmann. „I was as high up as 7th place at some point during the session, but in the end four more competitors turned faster laps.“ It added up to a spot on row 6 of the grid for the weekend's first race – a weekend that was going to live up to every cliché about the British weather, with heavy rain pelting the competitors. „Me there in the midst of the field, and in this rain, that wasn't so easy“, Kaufmann said. „Visibility was good for those out in front but when you were right in all that spray, not going off the track was a daunting task!“ Thus, Kaufmann chose to play it safe; nevertheless, he made good progress with his historic March 782 and brought it across the line after 10 laps in an excellent 7th place.
Sunday threatened to be another rainy race day, with the added challenge of fog over the track. But his years of racing experience told Kaufmann to nonetheless select slick tyres. The start, still on a wet track, proved difficult and saw him give up a few positions; but his courageous choice was soon to pay off. With the asphalt progressively drying, Kaufmann was able to pick up his pace without risk, and move his way back up the order. Still, his effort was not rewarded. Two laps before the end, while in 5th position, Kaufmann had to abandon his March with a technical defect. „A thread on the rear suspension was torn, which also damaged the wheel and the tyre. I had to park the car at the side of the track, sadly.“ Still, there was something positive to take away from the event. „In all, it was a very relaxed event, with many spectators and great races. The camaraderie in the paddock was spectacular, many mechanics from these cars' hey-day were here and I had plenty of interesting conversations.“
The next outing for Wolfgang Kaufmann and the March 782 BMW will be the Historic Grand Prix at the Dutch North Sea shore, in the dunes of Zandvoort, on September 5-8.