There was another new face this week in the Lombard North Central round, Sweden’s Gunnar Nilsson in his March 743 and indeed it was Nilsson who sat on pole although many felt his time was a little optimistic. Danny Sullivan only managed three laps before his engine threw a belt damaging the head, a new head was fitted for the race but Sullivan was well down the grid. Also in difficulties was Mike Tyrrell with a broken clutch line and then on the warm up lap his March stripped a gear.
Nilsson took the lead from pole position chased by Ribeiro, Chateaubriand, Henton who had clutch slip, Santo and Andersson whilst Robert Joubert was left on the grid and needed a push start on his Brabham BT41 before he could start. At the end of the first lap Nilsson and Ribeiro had opened out a small gap on Henton and Chateaubriand but at the end of the next lap there was one long train consisting of Nilsson, Ribeiro, Henton, Chateaubriand, Santo, Andersson, and Danny Sullivan who was making up ground well. Already out was Tony Rouff with an off at Druids and Nick von Preussen was in the pits with a broken wing that was dragging along the track.
Nilsson’s engine began to misfire on lap 3 and he lost places to Ribeiro and Henton and the Swede now found Chateaubriand looking for a way past his sickly March. Henton closed right in on Ribeiro and by lap 10 he was trying for the lead,. Nilsson had lost another place to Chateaubriand but he was trying to retake the Brazilian. Santo was still ahead of Andersson who was under heavy pressure from Sullivan, Santo’s challenge was soon blunted however when his engine began to overheat and he fell away whilst the unfortunate Nilsson had to pit as his misfire worsened.
Henton decided to go for broke on the last lap at Clearways in an attempt to wrest the lead from Ribeiro but Superhen got all crossed up loosing several places before he recovered. So at the finish a delighted Ribeiro took the win from Chateaubriand who just managed to hold off Andersson and Sullivan, the three cars separated by 0.6 seconds with a chastened Henton another 0.6 down in fifth. Mention should be made of Joubert who finished ninth after a good recovery race following his push start.