Race Report: Thruxton, 1 Aug 1971


This Forward Trust round would be the first race to be run to the new engine regulations with the air restrictor opened out to 21.5mm from 20.0mm, it was generally reckoned that power would increase from around 100-108 bhp to the 120-125 bhp range. Pole position was occupied as usual, by Dave Walker who set a 1:20.5 some 3.5 seconds under the lap record showing the bigger restrictors were certainly making a difference. Joining Walker on the front roe and setting an identical time was James Hunt in his March 713M followed by Steve Thompson’s Ensign and Chris Skeaping who was going very well despite a painful eye infection.

Alan Jones was next, complaining of a juddering front wheel followed by Roger Williamson who had engine problems and drove 171 miles to the Holbay factory to get a new engine on Saturday night, he arrived back at 3:30am on Sunday. Barrie Maskell was still not using slicks on his Chevron but it didn’t seem to hamper him too much as he out qualified von Opel (lotus), Scheckter (EMC) and McInerney in the works March who, like the other Vegantune users, was suffering from his engine cutting out on the corners due to incorrect settings on the float chamber. A new convert to the Vegantune camp this weekend was Colin Vandervell who had forsaken his usual Rowland mill. The rest of the grid lined up mostly as expected with the exception of a disappointed David Purley who found himself at the back after his clutch failed after just two laps.

Thompson, Williamson and Walker led away from Hunt with the unfortunate Skeaping stuck on the grid with a stripped first gear, before anything could be done he was struck by the similar Chevron of john Finch accelerating hard from the back row. Peter Hull was also in troubled requiring a push start with an added 10 second penalty. Meanwhile at the front Williamson was leading from Hunt, Walker and Thompson while further back Jones, Maskell and Vandervell were involved in a close battle. Positions at the front were changing all the time as the four leaders slipstreamed each other through Thruxton’s fast sweeping curves. Drivers in trouble included Peter Hull who was out with a broken throttle cable, von Opel who hit the Armco at Club, Scheckter who wrecked the EMC at Seagrave on lap 3 and Pinhol who did the same to his Brabham at Kimpton on lap 5.
Meanwhile up at the front Hunt made a desperate attempt to break free of the rest and it almost seemed as if he had done it but Walker dived inside the March at Club and the two cars raced for the line with Walker getting the verdict although both cars were given the same time. Similarly close was the fight for third with Williamson making a grassy excursion at Club but getting third from Thompson although once again both were given the same time. The next three, Maskell, Jones and Vandervell (who was plagued with his engine cutting out intermittently) had a relatively unexciting finish, separated by 0.6 seconds! The rest were a little more widely detached, Bisignano finishing with a heavily smoking engine and Sutcliife spinning on the last lap and being collected by Lee Kaye’s March.



Race Report: Thruxton, 1 Aug 1971


1 Dave Walker

2 James Hunt March-Holbay 713M 1:20.5

2 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 34:40.2 30

3 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 1:20.7

4 Chris Skeaping

Chevron-Rowland B17 1:21.2

5 Alan Jones

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 1:21.4

6 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 1:21.4

7 Barrie Maskell

Chevron-Holbay B18 1:21.6

8 Rikki von Opel

Lotus-Holbay 69 1:21.6

9 Jody Scheckter

EMC 606 1:22.0

10 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 1:22.2

11 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 1:22.2

12 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 1:22.2

13 Alan McCully

Lotus-Vegantune 69 1:22.2

14 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holbay WDF3 1:22.4

15 Peter Hull

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 1:22.6

16 John Bisignano

March 713M 1:23.2

17 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 1:23.2

18 Richard Longman

Lotus-Novamotor 69 1:24.0

19 Jorge Pinhol

Brabham-Holbay BT35 ?

20 Cavan Riley

March-Novamotor 713M ?

21 Lee Kaye

March-Bloore 713S ?

22 John Finch

Chevron-Holbay B17 ?

23 David Purley

Brabham-Holbay BT28 ?


1 Dave Walke

Lotus-Novamotor 69 20:26.4 15 103.74

2 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 20:26.4 15

3 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 20:27.2 15

4 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 20:27.2 15

5 Barrie Maskell

Chevron-Holbay B18 20:45.4 15

6 Alan Jones

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 20:45.6 15

7 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 20:46.0 15

8 Richard Longman

Lotus-Novamotor 69 15

9 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 15

10 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holbay WDF3 15

11 John Bisignano

March 713M 15

12 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 14

13 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 14

14 Cavan Riley

March-Novamotor 713M 14

15 Lee Kaye

March-Bloore 713S 14

Race Final

Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 1:20.2