Race Report: Brands Hatch, 21 March 1971

Brands Hatch
An improved entry of 16 cars arrived for this first round of the Shell Super Oil Championship, there were Brabham BT35s for Colin Vandervell, Brendan McInerney and Chris O’Brien and a BT28 for Alan Joy. Marches appeared for James Hunt with a spaceframe 713S, whilst Tim Goss, Roger Williamson and Tom Walkinshaw had the monocoque 713M variants. There were also four Lotus 69s with Gerry Birrell in the ex-works test hack, and Andy Sutcliffe, Claude Bourgoignie and Fabrizio Noe in their production versions. Two Martini MW7s were on hand for Patrice Compain and Jacques Coulon whilst there were singleton entries for Bev Bond (Ensign LN1) and Bob Evans (Puma).

Both of the qualifying sessions were held in wet conditions and there was a certain amount of indecision as to what tyres to use but most of the quickest times were set on Dunlops, at the end of the day Gerry Birrell was fastest in both sessions to take pole from Colin Vandervell, Brendan McInerney and a surprised Bob Evans, Bev Bond’s Ensign only did a limited number of laps due to a faulty high pressure fuel pump. Neither Noe or O’Brien managed to set qualifying times after accidents, O’Brien’s damaging the chassis too badly to continue with the meeting.

The race started on a nearly dry track although there were plenty of black clouds overhead, Hunt made an excellent start from the second row to take the lead from Birrell, Vandervell and Williamson, these four together with McInerney, Bond and Walkinshaw soon pulling away from the rest of the pack. Bob Evans was an early pit visitor with timing problems to his engine after mistakenly advancing the camshaft timing. Bond soon began to make his move, passing Birrell, Vandervell and Hunt on successive laps to take the lead on lap 6. Hunt stayed with Bond for several laps until a sticking throttle and a broken fuel pipe ended his race. Bond slowly stretched his lead over Vandervell to 4 seconds by lap 15 whilst Birrell held third despite a damaged nosecone. Vandervell began to close again on Bond until he was sitting on his tail by lap 26. On lap 29 Bond spun at Stirlings following gear selection problems and a recalcitrant 2nd gear and fell to fourth behind Vandervell, Birrell and Walkinshaw.

Bond quickly reeled in Walkinshaw and Birrell and set off after Vandervell who was having to drive cautiously with sagging oil pressure. Going into the final lap Bond was just over a second behind Vandervell, he closed up all round the track and dived inside the Brabham at Clearways. However Vandervell had the better line and took the chequered flag inches ahead of the fast finishing Ensign. The two drivers were so close at the finish that they were given the same finishing time. Birrell was a second behind the battling duo in third place ahead of Walkinshaw who was having a petrol bath due to a broken fuel line and Williamson. All the other finishers were a lap or more behind these first four.



Race Report: Brands Hatch, 21 March 1971


1 Gerry Birrell

Lotus-Holbay 69 1:54.1

2 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 1:54.9

3 Brendan McInerney

Brabham-Holbay BT35 1:56.0

4 Bob Evans

Puma-Piper 1:56.1

5 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 1:56.6

6 Jacques Coulon

Martini-Rowland MW7 1:57.4

7 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 1:57.8

8 Tim Goss

March-Holbay 713M 1:58.0

9 Tom Walkinshaw

March-Lloyd 713M 1:58.5

10 Patrice Compain

Martini-Rowland MW7 ?

11 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 2:03.3

12 Claude Bourgoignie

Lotus-Holbay 69 2:03.5

13 Bev Bond

Ensign-Holbay LN1 2:30.2

14 Alan Joy

Brabham-Rowland BT28 2:42.1

15 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Novamotor 69 NT

16 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 NT


1 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 1-07:38.1 40 94.03

2 Bev Bond

Ensign-Holbay LN1 1-07:38.1 40

3 Gerry Birrell

Lotus-Holbay 69 1-07:39.3 40

4 Tom Walkinshaw

March-Lloyd 713M 1-08:34.1 40

5 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 1-08:43.2 40

6 Patrice Compain

Martini-Rowland MW7 39

7 Jacques Coulon

Martini-Rowland MW7 39

8 Brendan McInerney

Brabham-Holbay BT35 39

9 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Novamotor 69 35