The 1982 season was one of the most flawless in Ayrton Senna’s career before he made it to Formula One. In his second year in Formula Ford, the Brazilian driver had 22 wins and 18 poles in 28 races, counting both the European and the British tournaments.

In June 26, Senna achieved his 11th win out of 12 races in the British Championship, after a victory in Oulton  Park. The Brazilian crossed the finish line four seconds ahead of Britton Calvin Fish, his main rival that season.

During the qualifying sessions, Senna led both heats and was confident he could walk away with another win to increase his lead in the standings. Before the start, the rain that was falling over the circuit seemed light, but it was enough to create pools of water on the spot the Brazilian was supposed to start from, on the grid.

At the start, his tires spun in place and his Van Deiemen car was overtook by Fish. Before the first lap was over, the driver in the number #11 car had made a recovery and took the lead back from his British rival. Ayrton held on to that lead for the full 15 laps and won.

In the championship, the Brazilian went up to 239 points, while Fish – who was in second place both in the race and the standings – had 159.

Take a look at the race’s final results (top 5 only):

1- Ayrton Senna (Brazil) – 15 laps in 16min10s04 – 147,1 km/h on average

2- Calvin Fish (England)

3- Kenny Andrews (England)

4- Max Bourlinger (Germany)

5- Russel Spence (England)

Interestingly, Senna used to write his own account of each race to British Photographer Keith Sutton, which was then forwarded to his manager and friend, Armando Botelho. One of the rarities stored at the Ayrton Senna Institute is the press-release about the Ayrton Senna’s Frmula Ford title, which was distributed to the international press.

As a Globo TV reporter (Brazil), Reginaldo Leme got to know Senna even before the driver started in F1. The driver and the journalist first met in 1982, when Senna won the opening race for the German F1 GP, in Hockenheim, which counted towards the European Formula Ford championship. The race took place on August 8, but Ayrton went looking for the reporter, at his hotel, to introduce himself.  Learn more about the story in Reginaldo’s interview to Senna TV.

One year later, in 1983, as journalist Castilho de Andrade told Senna TV, the Brazilian driver toured the newsrooms of several newspapers in order to talk about his career, which was unusual for a driver to do, at the time. His concern in having a good relationship with the media was one of Ayrton’s greatest virtues, according to the journalist.