Rather strangely this race was made a round of the Shell Super Oils Championship, strange because this race took place on a Wednesday (as part of the Bastille Day celebrations) but on Thursday practice began for the Shell Super Oils round supporting the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. This meant that only a handful of the usual British runners crossed the Channel and Lotus had worked out a complicated itinerary to get Dave Walker and his car from Croft on Sunday to Magny on Tuesday for qualifying and back to Silverstone on Thursday.
Heading the time sheets were the Alpine-Renaults of Depailler and Jabouille despite mutterings from several of their compatriots (who didn’t have a Renault engine) about the legality of the Dudot tuned engines. There was also unhappiness amongst several competitors about the accuracy of the timing, the Lotus pit had Dave Walker at a second quicker than the time he was given which, due to the closeness of the times, dropped him from the second row to the sixth. Third fastest was Pierre-François Rousselot in his Brabham-Holbay BT35 just ahead of Roger Williamson (March 713M) who in turn lead the Martini MW7s of Rabbione and Migault. Christian Ethuin’s Tecno-Renault lead the next row from the Brabhams of Lafosse and Lewis. The top 24 qualifiers made it into the race which left a disappointed 13 runners including Alan McCully who had a bad misfire and the Brabhams of Pettersson and Palm who had various dramas.
The two Alpines continued their dominant form in the race, leading from start to finish and pulling out a substantial lead on the rest of the field. Dave Walker quickly made up ground from his lowly grid position and by lap 3 was in with the group fighting for third which consisted of Williamson, Rabbione, Migault, Jones and Rousselot in addition to the Aussie. Unfortunately on lap 7 Walker made contact with Migault when they both tried to share the same section of track, Walker retired with damaged steering, Migault minus a wheel. Next to go was Jones when he was assaulted from the rear by Rabbione and he was followed shortly by Williamson with clutch failure.
Up at the front Depailler and Jabouille took it in turn to lead whilst Rabbione and Rousselot did the same for third. Dolhem had moved up to fifth after a bad start and sixth was being disputed by Lacarrau, Coulon and Ethuin. McGuire was the last of the “foreign” entries to quit when his fuel pump, which had been giving him trouble all of the race, finally called it a day. Thus Depailler led Jabouille home ahead of Rabbione and Dolhem, unfortunately Rousselot who had been dicing with and was leading Rabbione saw the starter getting the chequered flag ready, thought the race was over and backed off, Rabbione and Dolhem getting past before he realised his error.