Race Report: Mallory Park, 1 October 1972


A clashing race at Magny Cours meant that although a healthy entry arrived at Mallory Park none of the frequent French visitors were on hand and the field was very much what would be expected at a Forward Trust or Lombard North Central round. Notable UK absentees were the JPS Lotus 73s, although both Tony Trimmer and Bernard Vermilio were in the Paddock rumour had it that the generally disappointing cars were being shelved and the F3 project had been abandoned.

Fastest in the misty practice for heat one was Russell Wood in the Novamotor-powered works STP March 723, sharing the front row with him were the GRD of Tony Brise and the Brabham of Damien Magee. The second row consisted of Stan Matthews, running well again in his new Ensign, and the familiar face of Barrie Maskell in an unfamiliar GRD. Sponsored by Competition Car this was the 372 chassis Ian Taylor had failed to qualify at Oulton Park. Next up was the Royale of Martin Howse with a time nobody believed ahead of the Ensign of Mike Walker. Further back Brendan McInerney was pleased with his new Ensign and Scotland’s Ronnie Mackay had hired Russell Wood’s March 723. Slowest of all was Bev Bond who was so disgusted with the performance of his Ehrlich that he scratched from the race.

Heat two pole sitter was the familiar Roger Williamson GRD, sitting next to him was Jean-Pierre Jarier who was having a ride in the second works March usually driven by Jochen Mass and Colin Vandervell in his Ensign. Row two consisted of Mike Wilds in his Ensign and Masami Kuwashima’s GRD. An interesting new runner was Dave Brodie who was in the La Vie Claire March normally pedaled by Jean-Pierre Jarier, this was the Brode’s first F3 race since 1968 when he drove a Titan. Mo Harness was a disappointed non-starter after he suffered engine problems with his GRD-Leabro.

Tony Brise made the best start to lead into Gerards on the opening lap of heat one, Magee followed chased by Wood and Maskell, Mike Tyrrell initially held fifth but a wild spin on lap two at the Esses dropped him back and caused a lot of the field to have to take heavy avoiding action. As Wood and Magee became involved in a fierce duel for second Brise began to edge away at the front. Further back Walker was making progress after being eighth at the end of the first lap and by lap 12 he had pulled up behind a battling bunch consisting of Maskell, Magee, Wood and Matthews. Walker passed Matthews on lap 14 and nearly passed Maskell on the line although the GRD driver held onto fourth. The only retirement was Howse whose Royale had quickly slid down the field eventually retiring with gear selection problems, similar difficulties also handicapped McInerney who otherwise might have expected to finish higher than twelfth.

It was Williamson who jumped into the lead at the start of heat two with Vandervell and Jarier close behind. Tim Brise slotted his GRD into fourth until under pressure at the Esses on lap 2 Brise lost control and the car spun heavily into the barriers. Hitting the Armco/sleepers sideways-on the GRD was launched into the air landing back on the side of the track upside down. Fortunately this time the rollhoop on the GRD only partially collapsed and Brise was able to crawl out with only minor injuries. The race was run under the yellow flags for several laps whilst the marshalls cleared away the debris from Brise’s accident. Jarier appeared to get ahead of Vandervell under the yellow but no action was taken against the March driver, Williamson was forced to retire his GRD when a rear shock absorber snapped possibly as a result of contact with Vandervell at the hairpin.
Once the yellow flags were removed Jarier found himself under pressure from a closing Vandervell but the March driver held on to take the chequered flag by 0.4 seconds from Vandervell with von Opel third a further 2.2 seconds adrift. Mike Wilds had been running well in fourth but suffered a puncture as a result of a nudge at the hairpin from Peter Hull, the New Zealander moving up to take the place, Mike Knight taking fifth from a down on power Kuwashima. Due to the Brise incident only these six qualified for the final from the second heat.

Tony Brise jumped into an immediate lead at the start of the final as a result of a perfectly timed getaway with Magee taking second place. Unfortunately the Irishman was suffering from engine problems and only suceeded in delaying the other runners as they struggled to find a way past. Magee began to find himself slipping down the order as the other drivers passed him one-by-one, the Brabham eventually retiring on lap 15 when in twelfth place. Wood and Vandervell had moved up to second and third by lap 6 and had a great battle until Wood missed a gear at half distance which did his engine no good and resulted in his retirement. Colin Vandervell began to come under increasing pressure from Rikki von Opel who was flying having been in thirteenth on lap 1 he was third by lap 24. Setting a new lap record von Opel closed on Vandervell who was suffering from increasing understeer and on lap 32 the Iberia Ensign demoted the Potterton version to third and although Vandervell held on to von Opel to the finish he was unable to retake the runner up spot.
Mike Walker had been lying fifth in the second Iberia Ensign when on lap 7 contact with Jarier who drove into the side of him at the hairpin forced his retirement with damaged rear suspension. Jarier was able to continue to finish sixth although he was subsequently fined £70 for his dubious driving having already been warned about passing under a yellow in the second heat. Maskell found himself being chased hard by Rousselot in the final laps but some determined driving saw him hold onto fourth with the Frenchman taking fifth 0.2 seconds behind.
It looked as though Peter Hull would take sixth but a coming together with Alan Jones at the hairpin two laps from the finish saw Jones retire and Hull drop to seventh just ahead of Stan Matthews who was suffering from an inoperative limited-slip diff. Retirements included Kuwashima who gave up with a powerless Holbay mill, Ronnie Mackay who did his hired March a power of no good by hitting the bank backwards at Gerards and Richard Knight who was disqualified following a push start.



Race Report: Mallory Park, 1 October 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