Race Report: La Chatre, 4 June 1972

la chatre_4_6_72

There was a small but select entry for this non-championship race held on the tiny 1.2 km La Chatre circuit. Due to its small size and restricted width only 10 cars are allowed to start so a two heats and a final were adopted to give everyone a race.

Heading the UK runners were Roger Williamson in his GRD 372 and Tony Brise in his Brabham BT38, also from England was Stan Matthews (March 723). James Hunt was entered in his March 713M but team-mate in the La Vie Clare team, Philippe de Henning, had badly damaged his car at Mallory and Hunt stood down to let de Henning use his car to gain more recognition with the French F3 organisers. Heading the French runners were the two works Alpine-Renault A364s of Michel Leclere and Alain Serpaggi backed up by the private A360 of Lucien Guitteny. A host of Martini Mk 9s arrived for Jacques Coulon, François Rabbione, Bernard Beguin, Guy Dhotel, Joel Auvray, Patrice Compain (in the ex-José Dolhem car) and Philippe Munier. Christian Ethuin had the Narval JC3 that had been running well recently, there were Lotus 69s for Freddy Link and Gerhard Witti, and finally Brabham BT35s for Hannu Maurer Stroh and Yannick Auxemery (the latter wearing Alpine influenced bodywork).

Heat one was all about Williamson and Brise as the two Englishmen pulled away from the rest of the field, the GRD driver led until near the end when a small mistake allowed Brise to take the lead and win by 1.5 seconds. Auvray was third until lap 19 when his engine suddenly went off allowing the Alpines of Leclere and Serpaggi through to third and fourth.

It was all Coulon in the second heat, he was initially challenged by Ethuin but the Narval driver found that,. like several other Novamotor users, his fuel lines were getting too hot in the high ambient temperatures and causing fuel vaporisation. Stan Matthews March was another to suffer from this problem and he fell away from a qualifying place, Witti, Dhotel and Compain completed the five qualifiers for the final.

The final proved to be another Williamson versus Brise battle but this time Williamson kept his cool to win by 0.4 seconds, Coulon took third 4.2 seconds further back with the Alpines of Serpaggi and Leclere lagging surprisingly far back in fourth and fifth.



Race Report: La Chatre, 4 June 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