It was Tony Brise that came out on top after practice for the latest round of the Forward Trust Championship, still running his hybrid GRD he shared the front row with Mike Wilds and Alan Jones. The Australian had a difficult practice, having taken over Jeremy Gambs entry and his bodywork Jones lost the GRD under braking for the Esses, a dented tub and new suspension needed were the outcome.
It was slightly damp for the race but everybody started on slicks and Mike Wilds led into Gerards ahead of Tony Brise, Damien Magee and Ian Taylor. As the leaders entered the hairpin for the first time Magee made contact with Brise spinning the GRD and delaying himself. To further confuse things as the rest of the runners exited the corner Mo Harness tipped the luckless Brian Henton off the track and into the barrier.
All of these dramas gave Wilds a big lead at the end of the first lap with Magee in second from Taylor, Harness, Jones and Russell Wood who was recovering from a poor practice that had left him on the sixth row. Ian Taylor quickly overhauled the Brabham of Magee and he immediately set out to reduce the gap to Wilds’ Ensign. Lap 7 saw Taylor through to the lead and although Wilds never gave up the chase the Baty March of Taylor took the win by 0.8 seconds. The seventh lap also saw Wood forced to retire his March with a broken damper, the Chequered Flag car had been fifth right behind Harness at the time, this moved the battling Leonel Friedrich and Masami Kuwashima up a place. The Japanese driver was having his first outing in his new March 733 and was still getting used to it, Freidrich who had started well back after practice gradually pulled away from Kuwashima to take fifth at the finish.
Sadly however much of the race was ruined by the antics of Tony Brise, he was fourteenth after his first lap incident with Magee with his nose cone flapping in the breeze. He dropped a couple of more place on the second lap and then started to move up again until he met John Sheldon’s Royale at the Esses. Brise made a poorly judged effort to pass Sheldon causing both cars to spin, Brise briefly pitted and then rejoined. He then cruised around looking for Magee he appeared to deliberately baulk the Brabham at least twice causing Magee to loose places to his pursuers on both occasions. There were harsh words between the drivers after the race and the stewards fined Brise £20 which was generally viewed as very lenient in view of how potentially dangerous his antics could have been. Magee also received a £10 fine for his first lap manoeuvre, the Irishman was less than pleased as he and most other observers felt it was a racing incident.