Race Report: Thruxton, 27 August 1972


47 cars were entered for this round of the Forward Trust Championship of which 30 could start after qualifying. Practice was dominated by the works Iberia Ensign-Vegantunes of Rikki von Opel and Mike Walker, Andy Sutcliffe’s GRD joining them on the front row.

There was drama at the first corner of the opening lap when 10 of the runners were out on the spot following an unexplained incident, those out were Tony Trimmer (Lotus 73), Mo Harness (GRD 372), Mike Tyrrell (Ensign F372), Bernard Vermilio (Lotus 73), Mike Wilds (Ensign F372), Richard Knight (Martini Mk9), John Bisignano (Martini MK9), Ross Ambrose (Lotus 69), Stan Matthews (March 723) and Chris O’Brien (Brabham BT38). John MacDonald was also involved and ended up in a ditch but he was able to get out and continue albeit well back.

The marshals managed to quickly clear the track and at the front it was Walker from von Opel, Sutcliffe, Jochen Mass, Damien Magee and Roger Williamson who was making up ground after a poor grid position due to a fire and a blown engine. Lap 2 saw Williamson with problems again as he arrived at the chicane and found his GRD brakeless, he half spun the car loosing four places in the process. Meanwhile von Opel was leading a group consisting of Walker, Sutcliffe, Mass and Magee. Walker moved to the front on lap 4 and he and von Opel found themselves with a clear lead on lap 6 after Mass touched Sutcliffe at the chicane. The GRD skated off onto the infield, Sutcliffe regained the track in 13 place with a damaged tub but retired shortly after with engine problems.
For the rest of the race it was all about the two Ensigns with Walker doing most of the leading, starting the last lap they were nose-to-tail at Church when they came up to lap Cavan Riley who stayed well to the right. As Walker pulled out to overtake von Opel who had used the double tow to good effect went to the inside of Walker, as von Opel (with one wheel on the grass) pulled level Walker closed the door a little too hard. Walker hit von Opel and half spun and then hit him again, Walker then found himself spinning down the track and into the ditch whilst an undamaged von Opel was able to keep going and win the race easily. After the race both drivers blamed the other and team boss Mo Nunn blamed them both.
Behind the battling Ensigns Mass and Magee had been having a good clean fight, the verdict going to Mass in the STP March who finished in what was now second place, Williamson bought his brakeless GRD into fourth just ahead of Russell Wood and Randy Lewis.



Race Report: Thruxton, 27 August 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