Race Report: Brands Hatch, 4 November 1973


This was the final round of the Lombard North Central Championship and 17 cars arrived at Brands Hatch on a cold, wet November day to decide the championship.

It began raining just as practice was due to start and although it only lasted for a few minutes the track was damp for the entire 30 minute session. Tony Brise took pole in his Kent Messenger March from the similar cars of Mike Wilds and Richard Robarts. Mo Harness lined up fifth in his March despite an off when he selected the wrong type of tyres, the right hand front of the car had to be rebuilt for the race but Harness wasn’t happy with the way the car handled after the repairs. Further back Brian Henton was having an outing in the ex-Jean Ragnotti March lent to him by the works as Ensign had decided to stop building F3 cars in order to concentrate on F1. Wella F. Ford champion Ted Wentz was having a go in the works Elden and qualified a good ninth despite a big moment at Clearways. Rod Smith non-started his GRD 372 after a huge shunt at Clearways, he was trapped in the chassis and had to be cut free. Brazilian “Teleco” was another to suffer a practice shunt but his March was repaired in time for the race.

Richard Roberts made the best start in the still damp conditions as the flag dropped hotly pursued by Tony Brise, Ian Taylor, Mike Wilds, Mo Harness, Russell Wood and Brian Henton. Brise made a determined effort to take the lead on lap 3 on the inside of Bottom Bend but wasn’t able to make it stick and the Kent Messenger car immediately began to fall away from Robarts and into the clutches of Ian Taylor and Mike Wilds.
Henton pushed Harness down a place to sixth on lap 16 and a lap later tried to dive inside Wilds at Kidney without success. Ted Wentz’s F3 debut was over on lap 17 when he did his Elden a power of no good with a big shunt at Druids. Meanwhile Wood had also succeed in passing Harness and on lap 18 he had Henton in his sights, both Marches then tried to take Clearways side by side, almost inevitably as a result of the slippery conditions the two cars made contact. Henton’s car was launched into the air and across the track where it hit the bank hard enough to damage the oil tank and rear wing, Wood’s car was also damaged and both were instant retirements.
Robarts was now comfortably leading the race as Brise grew ever smaller in his mirrors and on lap 22 Brise found some of Henton’s spilt oil at Clearways and he had a quick spin loosing a place to Wilds. Taylor now began to catch Brise and on the last lap as the two cars entered Clearways he pushed the Kent Messenger car down to fourth. Thus it was that Robarts took the victory after an excellent race that he had dominated from the flag, never putting a foot wrong in the tricky conditions. Wilds took the runner-up spot with Taylor completing the podium, Brise was a disappointed fourth complaining of fuel pressure problems.

After the race the Myson team of Richard Robarts lodged a protest that Brise had passed under a yellow flag at Druids following an accident by Val Musetti’s Royale. The protest was later denied which meant that Brise and Robarts tied at the top of the table with 52 points apiece but Brise took the Lombard North Central Championship on countback having taken more victories.



Race Report: Brands Hatch, 4 November 1973

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