Round 13 of the BP Championship and 20 cars arrived at Thruxton for their 15 lap race. Pole position was Gunnar Nilsson’s despite the Swede not being happy about the handling of his March 753, he was also feeling a little under the weather from an infection he had picked up whilst back in Sweden. Team mate Alex Ribeiro equalled Nilsson’s time and Danny Sullivan completed the front row, the American lucky to be the first of four drivers to set the same time. Patrick Neve was another driver not 100% with a strained neck as a result of a road crash in Belgium a few days earlier.
Eddie Cheever’s works supported Modus was fitted with a Novamotor Toyota for the first time although the young American could only manage the ninth fastest time. Donald MacLeod was having another try in the GRD formerly driven by Ian Taylor and Tim Brise had joined the works Modus team to replace the Swiss driver Fritz Stehlin who had returned to his native country for business reasons. Stephen South was having chassis problems with the Ray and after practice the team decided to pack up and give the race a miss. Towards the back Chris Barnett had a hastily rebuilt BMW engine in his March, new inlet valves having only arrived from Germany the night before, and Bob Arnott was suffering from his sixth blown head gasket of the season.
Alex Ribeiro made the best start from the middle of the front row to lead Danny Sullivan and Ingo Hoffman into the complex, Hoffman tried giving Sullivan’s Modus a bit of a nudge, luckily both cars got away with it. Nilsson’s team had tried some last minute adjustments to try and improve the March 753 but they went the wrong way and the Swede found himself unable to run with the three leaders from the start. Richard Hawkins made a slow getaway when he missed second gear and dropped well back and had to spend the early laps of the race carving through the slower backmarkers. Hawkins soon caught up with Eddie Cheever and Tim Brise and he gained a place when Brise spun at the chicane on lap 5 and it was up another spot on lap 11 when Cheever’s Novamotor threw a rod. Rupert Keegan was the New Zealander’s next target but Keegan drove coolly and calmly over the remaining laps to keep his seventh place safe.
Back at the front Ribeiro led the entire 15 laps, the Brazilian pursued by a train of cars consisting of Sullivan, Hoffman, Nilsson, Parsons and Neve. The latter managed to demote the Modus of Parsons on lap 6 and the both of them made strenuous efforts to pass Nilsson but the Swede was in command of the situation. There were no further lead changes despite Sullivan making a great effort in the closing laps to reel in Ribeiro, his cause wasn’t helped by the oil on the track from Cheever’s demise and at the flag Ribeiro was still 0.8 seconds to the good.
Other retirements during the race were Bob Arnott who had his plug leads fall off, Chris Barnett who lost the drive in his March and Tony Rouff with problems with his Ehrlich.