Race Report: Rouen, 25 June 1972


This race was a round of the French F3 Championship and several of the UK runners who had been racing at Anderstorp and Estoril decided to join in the fun. There was a qualifying session on the Thursday before the race to select the 20 runners for the race, amongst those not making it through were Barrie Maskell whose trailer broke down at Southampton stranding his Lotus 69, the March 723s of Davy Powers and Stan Matthews, the Brabham BT38 of Randy Lewis and the Ensign F371 of Ken Sedgley all of whom had various engine maladies, the other non-qualifiers were sundry French F3 runners.
Practice was dominated by the two works Alpine-Renault A364s of Michel Leclere and Alain Serpaggi although Colin Vandervell went well to equal Serpaggi’s time with his Ensign despite not liking the circuit very much.

Walker was pleased with his fifth fastest time which was equalled by F3 returnee Jean-Pierre Jarier who racing one of the March 713Ms of James Hunt’s former team La Vie Clare. The two JPS Lotuses of Bernard Vermilio and Tony Trimmer were running well to set the eighth and tenth fastest times, they sandwiched James Hunt who, like Steve Thompson at Monaco, was showing there was nothing much wrong with the Dastle Mk9. Other UK based runners on the grid were Bob Evans who set a 2:05.8 after aerodynamic problems with his March 723, Mike Tyrrell (Ensign F372) with a 2:06.1 and John MacDonald who set a 2:07.4 with his March 713M. Amongst the four non qualifiers on the day were Bubbles Horsley with a 2:09.0.
Once again the 25 lap race was an Alpine benefit, Serpaggi lead Leclere away from the grid but lap 2 saw Leclere move into the lead and the two cars proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field. There was a nine car battle going on behind the two leaders, Colin Vandervell managed to pull away from them for a few laps on lap 2 but then he was caught and passed by Guitteny and then Walker. The Iberia Ensign of Walker had been baulked at the start and had dropped to twelfth but some inspired driving saw him move up to fourth at the finish only 1 second behind Guitteny.
After Walker and Guitteny broke away from the pack the remaining bunch consisting of Vandervell (Ensign), Vermilio (Lotus), Jarier (March), Hunt (Dastle), Trimmer (Lotus), Coulon (Martini), Ethuin (Narval) and Rabbione (Martini) had a frantic battle passing and repassing each other all round the track. Coulon was first out of the group when he was punted into the barrier by Jarier, the Martini driver was able to continue further down the field, Vermilio found himself forced wide into the catchfencing which tore a corner off the Lotus. Team-mate Trimmer had his nosecone knocked askew by a Martini and Ethuin was out with overheating, this left Hunt and Jarier fighting over sixth. Hunt led on the penultimate lap and looked slightly more in control than Jarier who was locking his brakes up everywhere but on the last lap Jarier made it past and Hunt’s attempt to regain the place was thwarted by a tardy backmarker. Behind them Trimmer led Beguin home, next there was a very tight battle between Tyrrell, Evans and Compain, Compain had been chopping Evans at every opportunity but at the last corner the March driver forced the Martini wide and Evans was able to follow Tyrrell home in eleventh.



Race Report: Rouen, 25 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