Race Report: Aintree, 19 April 1975
To show the new found confidence in F3 this was the second non-championship race to be held and a very good entry of 20 cars arrived at Liverpool’s Aintree circuit for the Blakeford F3 Trophy race.
Gunnar Nilsson continued his excellent start to the season by taking pole position in the wet qualifying ahead of Brazilian team mate Alex Ribeiro, both men in the works March 753s. Danny Sullivan was a disappointed non-starter with a blown engine, a fate shared by Bob Howlings in his ex-Arie Luyendijk Ensign and Ken Silverstone in his self-converted FF2000 Hawke.
It was a clean start although there was a lot of brake locking into Country Corner and as they exited Beechers it was Ribeiro from Nilsson, Richard Hawkins, Mike Tyrrell, Stephen South and Tony Rouff with the rest of the field following behind. Nilsson had a big moment at Village on lap 2 with all four wheels off the track, he backed off and rejoined the circuit down in fifth with a damaged nosecone. Ribeiro now found himself under attack from Kiwi Richard Hawkins who was using his track knowledge to the full, in turn Tyrrell was trying to displace Hawkins making a determined if unsuccessful attempt on lap 3 at Club.
Nilsson was going hard to make up for his earlier indiscretion and he took Rouff for fourth on lap 4, Tyrrell at Country for third on lap 6 and Hawkins for second at Club on lap 8. Nilsson immediately moved onto the gearbox of Ribeiro and on lap 11 the Swede made his move at Club, the two cars touched briefly and Ribeiro spun ripping the nose off his March as he rotated. As Ribeiro motored slowly towards the pits it looked as if Nilsson had the race won especially as Hawkins spun off at Country on lap 13 with a broken gearbox. However Tyrrell who was now second following Hawkin’s demise was really on a charge reducing the gap to the leader every lap. Going into the last lap the two cars were nose to tail but despite all of Tyrrell’s efforts, notably at Club, Nilsson held on to take the win. Stephen South took a very good third in the Ray after running with Tyrrell for a large part of the race whilst Tony Rouff brought the Ehrlich home in fourth.