Race Report: Silverstone, 28 August 1972
It was two heats and a final again for the latest round of the Lombank North Central Championship the third F3 race in three days, despite this there was an excellent entry with all the top runners present.
Japan’s Masami Kuwashima in his GRD made the best start of the first heat runners and passed the front row occupants to grab the lead, he was pursued by Mike Walker, Tony Brise, Mike Wilds, Andy Sutcliffe and Tom Pryce. Kuwashima led for the next four laps but Mike Walker was determined to get the lead and on lap 6 he slotted his Ensign past the GRD, Kuwashima tried to regain the lead but a slight mistake at Beckett’s allowed Walker to win by 1.2 seconds. Kuwashima took second by a similar distance from Mike Wilds and Tony Brise with Andy Sutcliffe and Tom Pryce next up.
Heat two was all Roger Williamson, he took the lead from pole position, led every lap and won by four seconds. Second place wasn’t so straightforward, Stan Matthews was next up in his new Ensign F372 ahead of Bob Evans (March), Damien Magee (Brabham), Russell Wood (March) and Neil Ginn (GRD). Places were changing all the time with Matthews weaving all over the track in an attempt to break the tow, his efforts were in vain but he still held on to claim second at the flag. Evans came third followed by Wood, Magee and Ginn all within a few tenths of each other.
The fastest 25 from both heats made the final which put Williamson, Matthews and Evans on the front row with Walker and Wood on the second.
Yet again it was Williamson who got away best whilst Walker got his start all wrong and at the end of the first lap the GRD led from Bob Evans, Russell Wood, Tony Brise, Masami Kuwashima, Damien Magee, Mike Wilds, Andy Sutcliffe, Mike Walker and Rikki von Opel. On a couple of occasions Williamson made a small break but the rest were soon with him again, Matthews held second for three laps then it was Evans, next Wood and then Evans again. By lap 7 it seemed as if the only realistic challengers to Williamson were Evans, Wood and Kuwashima but by lap 9 Sutcliffe and von Opel had joined in the fun.
It was all change on lap 13 when Williamson had a moment at Maggotts and in a flash Kuwashima and Evans were ahead with Williamson having to fight off Sutcliffe. On the final lap as they entered Woodcote Williamson decided to go for broke and he left his braking as late as possible, too late in fact and the GRD spun its way down to ninth. It was Kuwashima who led across the line to score his first F3 race win, Evans and Sutcliffe took second and third a few tenths behind the Japanese with Wood fourth and von Opel fifth.