Race Report: Brands Hatch, 5 March 1972


The entry for this opening Lombard Championship round was a little disappointing as neither of the two new works Ensigns were ready and there had been some delays at Brabhams so there were no new BT38s to be seen.

Practice was held in very wet conditions and despite suffering from a heavy cold it was Andy Sutcliffe in the works GRD 372 in pole position, an excellent achievement for a manufacturer in only its third race. Next to the GRD was Damien Magee in the ex-Peter Lamplough Palliser now employing a new Rowland lump and Ian Ashley who was using Tom Pryce’s Royale RP 11 whilst waiting for his own to be completed. Row two saw James Hunt in the works March 723 in its new red STP colours, Hunt was suffering badly with his visor misting up in the rain, David Purley sat next to the March in his Ensign.

Formula Three debutante Paul Butler was going very well in his ex-Alan Jones Brabham BT28 to head row three from Stan Matthews in his new March 723 and Chris Skeaping in the works Chevron B20 which, strangely given the conditions, wasn’t using a rear wing. Row four comprised John MacDonald’s March 713M and Val Musetti’s Royale RP 11. Bob Evans was on the fifth row with his brand new March 723 which was showing a worrying appetite for fuel pumps destroying two in as many laps. A pair of GRD 372s came next, Pierre-François Rousselot disappointed to be so far down as was Neil Ginn. Final runner was Welshman Davy Powers in his new March 723 whilst non-starters were Jeremy Gambs who knocked a corner off his new Ensign with a spin on the grass opposite the pits and Reg James in his ex-David Purley Brabham BT28 was unlucky to do similar damage to his car on the pit wall when trying to avoid Gambs.

Conditions were appalling for the start of the 15 lap race, from the pits it was impossible to see either Druids or Clearways due to a low lying mist and it was still raining heavily. It was the three front row cars who got away the best and at the end of the first lap they had already pulled out a gap on the rest of the field with Sutcliffe leading Magee and Ashley. Purley was in fourth from Hunt, who was trying an open faced helmet, next up were Butler, MacDonald, Matthews, Evans and Skeaping who had made a slow start. Hunt passed Purley on lap two but his engine was beginning to sound rough with water in the electrics and he could make no impression on the leaders. Further back Chris Skeaping had passed several cars and was now looking for a way past Butler’s Brabham and MacDonald’s March. Magee tried to pass Sutcliffe’s GRD on lap 3 but couldn’t complete the manoeuvre and fell back and was nearly overtaken by Ashley. The Royale continued to harass the Palliser and on lap 9 Ashley made it up to second but it only lasted for a lap as Ashley became the next victim of waterlogged electrics and Magee retook his second place. Hunt still held fourth but Purley was close behind him and Skeaping was catching both of them. As the remaining laps unwound Sutcliffe pulled away to a 4.6 victory to claim a maiden win both for himself and GRD, Magee and Ashley finished second and third with Hunt just hanging onto fourth.



Race Report: Brands Hatch, 5 March 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