Race Report: Brands Hatch, 11 September 1971


Only 13 cars made it to Brands Hatch for this Lombank round after the rigours of Crystal Palace the day before.

Pole position was the property James Hunt hoping that the starting problems that had ruined his Crystal Palace race were now cured, another March came next, the L&M car of John Bisignano although some doubted his time. Brian McGuire was continuing his recent good form to line up third in his Brabham BT28, the second row consisted of the Lotus of Andy Sutcliffe and the Ensign of David Purley. Leading the third row was a surprise, the Brabham BT35 of Colin Vandervell whose poor mechanic had a

sleepless night trying to screw the damaged machine back together again, not surprisingly it wasn’t handling to Vandervell’s satisfaction. Next up were Peter Lamplough (Palliser) and Steve Thompson (Ensign) who was suffering from a down on power engine, Roger Williamson only managed three laps of practice before injector trouble stopped his March and Brendan McInerney’s similar car was hampered by running a standard cam in his engine. Bringing up the rear were the Brabhams of Chris O’Brien and Jorge Pinhol in BT35s and Sonny Eade in a BT28.

McGuire slotted into an early lead from Hunt, Sutcliffe, Purley and Bisignano with the whole field covered by about a second at the end of lap 1, by the end of the next lap Sutcliffe had got ahead of Hunt and the final runners O’Brien, Pinhol and Eade were dropping back. Lap 3 saw McGuire still leading from Sutcliffe, Purley, Hunt, Bisignano, Williamson, Lamplough, Thompson, McInerney and Vandervell who was recovering from a grassy moment at South bank. Lap 6 and it was Sutcliffe in front with the positions behind chopping and changing from corner to corner, it all went wrong at Clearways on lap 9, Sutcliffe spun collecting McGuire and Hunt, the first two were out instantly, Hunt recovered but was too far back to be a threat anymore.
Williamson was now first with a 4 seconds lead due to the Clearways kerfuffle but Vandervell was in determined mood and began to haul the March in, his cause being helped by Williamson’s Holbay loosing power due to suspected ring failure. For the last three laps Williamson weaved furiously as Vandervell sat on the March’s tail, coming through Clearways Vandervell dived up the inside his wheels nearly touching the pit wall but it was Williamson’s race by a couple of inches. Bisignano took third by fractions from Lamplough and Purley with Thompson less than half a second behind them



Race Report: Brands Hatch, 11 September 1971


1 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 48.6

2 John Bisignano

March-Holbay 713M 49.0

3 Brian McGuire

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 49.2

4 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 49.2

5 David Purley

Ensign-Holbay LN1 49.4

6 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 49.4

7 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holbay WDF3 49.6

8 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 49.6

9 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 50.0

10 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 50.0

11 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 ?

12 Jorge Pinhol

Brabham-Holbay BT35 ?

13 Sonny Eade

Brabham BT28 ?


1 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 16:46.2 20 88.73

2 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 16:46.2 20

3 John Bisignano

March-Holbay 713M 16:49.0 20

4 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holbay WDF3 16:49.4 20

5 David Purley

Ensign-Holbay LN1 16:50.0 20

6 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 16:50.4 20

7 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 20

Fastest lap

Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 48.4 92.23

Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 48.4 92.23