As a support race for the Swedish GP and the latest round of the BP Super Visco Static Championship an excellent field arrived at Anderstorp with most of the top UK runners mixing with the best of the Scandinavian teams. There were also a number of some of the faster Italian cars making the long journey North. There were a few notable absentees, the two Ralts of the Perkins brothers and Ian Taylor’s works GRD as well as Monaco F3 winner Renzo Zorzi. There were some unkind suggestions that the stricter Swedish scrutineers might not be completely happy with the latter’s GRD-Lancia had it arrived.
Practice was dominated by the Marches with Alex Ribeiro fastest ahead of Conny Andersson and Gaudenzio Mantova. Gunnar Nilsson managed to badly damage the rear suspension on his March following a journey over the kerbs, luckily the F1 team were able to supply the necessary spares to repair the car for the race. Non-starters included the B&O March of Pierre Dieudonné after the Belgian seriously damaged his chassis with an off into the catch fencing during practice. Also out was Patrick Neve who burnt the clutch on the Safir when trying to negotiate the spectators as he drove to the marshalling area.
Conny Andersson made a good getaway and entering the first corner he took the outside line and took the lead ahead of Alex Ribeiro who had tried to dive up the inside. Mantova initially took third but Nilsson, who wasn’t totally happy with his rebuilt car, demoted him to third during the first lap. Mantova lost some more places with a spin and then retired, there was obviously something amiss with his March 753.
Nilsson passed team mate Ribeiro on lap 2 and the three leaders Andersson, Nilsson and Ribeiro began to pull away at a second a lap from their pursuers lead by Conny Lungfeldt in Conny Andersson’s old March 743. Danny Sullivan, who might have expected to give the leaders a run for their money, had to pit to have some stones removed from the cockpit that were jamming his clutch pedal. Ribeiro suddenly disappeared from third on lap 9, his driving had been getting more and more untidy as the Brazilian battled with a slow puncture and he eventually lost control of the car and spun. Ribeiro made it back to the pits and had a new tyre fitted, he resumed a couple of laps down behind Nilsson and in front of Ljungfeldt on the road. Nilsson closed the small gap to Andersson on lap 11 when the Swede who had been trying to escape Nilsson’s attentions hit the chicane fortunately without damaging his car.
The lapped Ribeiro had now caught up with Nilsson and immediately began to attack him, with two laps to go he pulled alongside Nilsson on the main straight and promptly left his braking too late. The Brazilian March hit the side of the Swedish version and vaulted over its front wheels, Nilsson was out on the spot whilst Ribeiro continued only to spin shortly afterwards and retire as his rear wing was hanging askew. Nilsson was justifiably furious saying afterwards “There’s no excuse for doing something as stupid as Ribeiro did, even when you’re both on the same lap, and when you’re in the same team….”.
Ribeiro’s excuse was that he had been after the 500 Crowns prize for the fastest lap, no one else seemed convinced that this explained his actions.
Conny Ljungfeldt took advantage of Nilsson’s misfortune to take second and make it a Rotel March 1-2, Clas Sigurdson took third in his elderly Brabham BT41 with Gunnar Nordström’s Warsteiner Modus fourth. Stephen South, whose engine hasn’t been rebuilt all season, had been running fifth but he lost a place to Luciano Pavesi’s Brabham BT41 on the last lap, Pavesi had driven up from the back of the grid following a troubled practice. Bob Arnott came home in tenth hampered by a down on power engine and Graham Hamilton retired with his rear wing at a funny angle following a big spin.