Race Report: Brands Hatch, 28 May 1972


There were some old faces in new cars for this round of the Lombard North Central Championship, there had been major changes to the works March team and the cars formerly driven by James Hunt and Brendan McInerney were now in the hands of Alan Jones and Russell Wood. In an attempt to help with their straight line speed problem a new bulbous nose with fairings on the end of the front wings was being tried on the STP 723s. Bob Evans had hoped the new Puma would be ready but as it wasn’t he was still using his usual March 723.

Practice saw pole go to Mike Walker’s Iberia Ensign, he was joined on the outside of the front row by team-mate Rikki von Opel with the Brabham BT28 of Mo Harness splitting the pair of them. Well down the grid was the man currently leading the Lombank Championship, Andy Sutcliffe, a last minute change to Dunlop rubber saw his GRD suffering from excessive understeer.

It was Mike Walker who made the best start with Mo Harness tucking in behind him through Paddock, Walker continued to lead as far as Kidney where he spun the Ensign, and with nowhere to go the Brabham of Harness hit Walker and they were both instant retirements. Also out were both STP Marches, Wood slowed to avoid the Walker/Harness accident and was hit from behind by his Australian team-mate, both cars retired in the pits with minor damage. Final victim of the shunt was F3 newcomer Bill McGovern who also damaged his ex-Alan McCully Brabham BT38 in the confusion. It was Tony Brise who managed to get through the melee and take first place from Bob Evans, but on lap 2 Brise spun out at Paddock and it was Evans who gratefully took the lead.
Due to cars getting delayed in the Kidney kerfuffle Evans found himself with quite a good lead from von Opel, Magee, Sutcliffe, Hull, McGuire and the recovering Brise. By lap 5 Brise had climbed back up to second helped by Magee who, in his efforts to hold onto third, seemed to be holding up Sutcliffe, Hull and von Opel. Brian McGuire was falling away in his Brabham BT38 and was being caught by the GRD of Pierre-François Rousselot.
Just when it looked like Brise would take the lead he was black-flagged for overtaking under a yellow, Brise was forced to pit to receive a lecture from the Clerk of the Course and resumed at the back of the field. This left Evans still in front with a good lead over Sutcliffe, Hull and von Opel who had managed to find a way past Magee. Hull moved his BT38 up to second on lap 13 and started to chase after Evans whilst Magee gained a place back from von Opel but could only hold it for a lap. With four laps to go it looked as if Hull was going to catch Evans but the New Zealander went wide at Paddock damaging his side radiator and dropping to fourth. Rikki von Opel then moved his Ensign into second ahead of Sutcliffe whilst Hull had to retire his Brabham with two laps to go as a result of his off-course excursion. So at the finish Evans took a slightly fortuitous win from von Opel with Sutcliffe third and Magee fourth, Rousselot narrowly took fifth from McGuire and a fast closing Neil Ginn.



Race Report: Brands Hatch, 28 May 1972

Race Heat 1

1 Vittorio Brambilla

Birel Alfa Romeo 20:09.40

2 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Ford 69 20:09.50

3 Luigi Fontanesi

Tecno-Ford 20:13.10

4 Carlo Franchi (Gimax)

De Sanctis-Alfa Romeo 20:23.40

Race Heat 2

1 Giovanni Lo Voi

Brabham-Ford BT28 15:05.00

2 Adelmo Fossati

Brabham BT28 15:05.00

3 Patrice Compain

Martini-Ford MW7 15:21.00

4 Manfred Möhr

Lotus-Ford 15:34.10

5 Marcello Gallo

Brabham BT28

Race Final

1 Vittorio Brambilla

Birel Alfa Romeo 30:44.30 144.318

2 Marcello Gallo

Brabham BT28 30:44.34

3 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Ford 69 30:45.10

4 Adelmo Fossati

Brabham BT28 30:55.40

5 Patrice Compain

Martini-Ford MW7 31:08.00

6 Carlo Franchi (Gimax)

De Sanctis-Alfa Romeo 31:11.50

7 Manfred Möhr

Lotus-Ford 31:59.60

8 Giovanni Lo Voi

Martini-Ford MW7 31:08.00