Mallory Park featured another two heat format for this Lombard Championship round with overall positions decided on aggregate times, a disappointing 14 cars arrived from an entry nearly double this figure.
There was a general feeling that the times weren’t too accurate but most people agreed that Roger Williamson with a new Holbay in his March 713M deserved pole position. Second fastest was Barrie Maskell’s Chevron B18 suffering from gear selection difficulties, next came Scheckter in his EMC, even Jody didn’t believe the time credited to him. The second row consisted of Steve Thompson (Ensign)
and Peter Hull’s Brabham BT28 with what was probably another dubious time. Colin Vandervell was on row three after third gear broke early in the practice section, also in trouble and on the back of the grid was Andy Sutcliffe with a broken gearbox mount. There were two new F3 faces to be seen, Jorge Pinhol in the ex-Brendan McInerney Brabham BT28 and John Finch in the ex-Ken Sedgley Chevron B17.
Maskell needed a push start to get his Chevron running before the start but he got away well enough to be third to Williamson and a fast starting Scheckter at the end of the first lap. Scheckter’s bright start wouldn’t last and he quickly found himself pushed down the order, first by Vandervell and then by Thompson’s Ensign. Maskell moved into the lead on lap 3 as he found the Chevron working well at Gerards and for one lap it was three abreast at Stebbe as Maskell, Williamson and Vandervell all tried for the lead, but it was Maskell who came out best and he slowly pulled away from the other two. Victory seemed to be Maskell’s but with four laps to go gear selection problems struck the Chevron, in an instant Williamson, Vandervell and Thompson were back on the tail of the Chevron and Vandervell forced the Brabham into the lead on lap 12, Maskell fought back and the two collided at Gerards, Maskell was out and Vandervell lost places to Williamson and Thompson before he recovered. On the final lap Thompson sneaked past Williamson to take the heat victory from an annoyed Vandervell who blamed Maskell for the crash, neutral observers feeling it was a simple racing accident, Scheckter came home fourth in front of Bisignano. Retirements in addition to Maskell were Longman who suffered some damage after a spin and Hull on lap 1 with gearbox problems bought on by a last minute ratio change leaving out something vital.
Heat 2 started without Hull and Finch whilst Maskell had to start from the back of the grid. Thompson got away in the lead from Vandervell and Williamson who wasn’t happy with his engine, Maskell quickly carved his way through the slower runners to sit on the back of the leading three. Vandervell was able to pull level with Thompson along Stebbe but was unable to get past the Ensign, Williamson and Maskell fought hard for third, too hard perhaps as the Chevron driver found himself with nowhere to go at the hairpin three laps from the finish. At the end therefore Thompson took the win from Vandervell and Williamson with Sutcliffe just crossing the line ahead of Scheckter.