Race Report: Thruxton, 30 April 1972


A good field of 26 cars made it to Thruxton for this Lombard North Central round despite there having been a race for the same championship at Oulton Park the day before and a clashing round on the same day at Zandvoort for the Shell Championship. The only non-starter was Oulton runner-up Damien Magee who blew the engine in his Palliser during practice.

It was Sutcliffe away first as team-mate Neil Ginn muffed his start and at the end of the first lap it was the Sutcliffe (GRD 372) from Alan Jones (Brabham BT38), Mo Harness (Brabham BT28), Brian McGuire (Brabham BT38), Rikki von Opel (Ensign F372), Neil Ginn (GRD 372), Pierre-François Rousselot (GRD 372) and Ray Mallock (U2 Mk12). Harness moved up to second place and began challenging Sutcliffe for the lead and these two seemed to be pulling away from the others. A few places back Brian McGuire was giving team-mate Alan Jones a hard time until McGuire spun on lap 3 with locking front brakes, he retired for the same reason a few laps later. Rousselot then moved up to harry Jones together with Ginn, von Opel and Tony Brise who had moved his Brabham BT38 up well after stating from the sixth row.

Eight laps down and it was still Sutcliffe and Harness fighting for the lead with the GRD usually in front, Jones was beginning to fall away with third gear problems and Rousselot moved his GRD up to third position. Next it was to move up to third was Rikki Von Opel on lap 9 followed by Tony Brise, these two then concentrated on towing themselves onto the back of the leaders which they achieved by lap 12, further back Rousselot began to pull away from Jones and Ginn.
Lap 15 and the the final tour, it was still Sutcliffe with von Opel second and Brise third, Harness had fallen away behind Rousselot. As the three leaders came through Brooklands and Club von Opel slipstreamed past Sutcliffe into the lead, the GRD driver made a desperate attempt to regain the lead bouncing across the second half of the chicane but in rejoining the track Sutcliffe spun and the car entered Pit Straight backwards and careered off onto the grass and Sutcliffe was out. So it was von Opel first with Brise just a second behind, Rousselot just managed to hold off Harness for third, Ginn took Jones for fifth on the last lap when the Aussie’s gearbox wouldn’t engage third at the chicane. Notable retirements were Chris Skeaping who sun off at Club and Richard Mallock in the second U2 Mk12 who was out on lap 10 when he and Ross Ambrose (Lotus 69) went off together at Goodwood.



Race Report: Thruxton, 30 April 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