This was the first round of the 1972 Forward Trust Championship and 23 cars arrived at Mallory for this supporting event to the European F2 Championship race. There were two practice sessions on Saturday, the first one was slightly damp so all the quick times came in the later session. Times were generally 0.5 seconds slower than the lap record due, it was felt, to the new rim width restrictions introduced for this year.
Fastest at the end of practice was a delighted Barrie Maskell who was driving one of the Travisco Lotus 69s (the ex-Geddes Yeates car) and even though his first acquaintance with it was on Saturday morning he found the handling suited his style perfectly. Brands Hatch winner Andy Sutcliffe in his GRD was next with Roger Williamson’s March 723 completing the front row, Williamson not being happy with the handling of his car. James Hunt was fourth quickest in his March 723 despite too much oversteer that would hopefully be eliminated for the race, next to him was the works Royale RP11 of Ian Ashley who was also in handling bothers and had a couple of spins to his name.
Andy Sutcliffe made an excellent getaway and led at the end of lap one from Williamson, Maskell, Hunt Evans and Yeates who had already opened out a gap from Ashley, Magee, Rousselot and Ginn. Williamson put his March into the lead on lap 2 but he was still suffering from handling problems and was unable to pull away from the rest. On lap 6 Williamson, Maskell and Sutcliffe were three abreast along Stebbe and into the Esses it was Maskell in the Lotus who braked last and took the lead. Maskell immediately began to pull away from the others, his cause helped when Sutcliffe found himself sharing the same piece of track with the slow March of Powers at the hairpin, the resultant bent wishbone creating terrible understeer for the rest of the race.
Williamson meanwhile was falling back with tyre problems and Hunt was quickly past him on lap 12, the works March then targeting Sutcliffe. Hunt quickly caught the GRD but was unable to find away past and the two cars fought over second for the rest of the race. So at the finish Maskell took an excellent victory from Sutcliffe and Hunt, Yeates took fourth from Williamson on lap 14 with the March finishing fifth, 1.2 seconds ahead of Evans. Seventh was a delighted Trimmer who had moved confidently through the field from the start, he felt the Lotus had a lot of potential but there was still a lot of work to be done on it first.
After the race the top four finishers were given vacuum tests on their air boxes, once again Hunt’s failed and he was disqualified moving everyone from fourth down up a place.