Race Report: Crystal Palace, 9 September 1972


Race Report: Crystal Palace, 9 September 1972


This would be the last F3 race held at the Crystal Palace and a good entry arrived to fight over the two heats and a final of this Forward Trust event.

Although not raining it was wet for both practice sessions and wet tyres were the order of the day. Jochen Mass took pole position for the first heat with a time over a second quicker than anyone else, hurling the red STP-March around the South London track to great effect. Second quickest was Mike Walker in his usual Iberia Ensign, Mike was feeling a bit under the weather due to a sore throat. Next up and going well was American Randy Lewis in his Wrangler Brabham BT38 just ahead of the works Chevron B20 of Chris Skeaping and the newly turned professional Mike Wilds in his Dempster Developments Ensign.

The track was a little drier for the second session and it was Tony Brise, delighted with his new GRD 372, who set the fastest time, next up was Russell Wood’s STP March who was looking confident. Row two consisted of Peter Hull’s Brabham BT38 and the GRD 372 of Alan Jones. Further down the grid Ronnie Mackay was going well in the ex-Russell Wood March 723 whilst Damien Magee only managed 4 laps before his Holbay self-destructed and Peter Lamplough did all his running on slicks.

The track had pretty much dried out for the first heat except for under the trees at Glade which would cause some tricky moments during the race. It was Lewis who got away the best in his Brabham but by the end of the first lap Mike Walker had put the Ensign into the lead and then proceeded to dominate the race quickly leaving the rest behind to win comfortably by 12.4 seconds. By lap 3 Wilds was in second place but Mass went inside him at North Tower which forced the Ensign wide dropping a couple of lengths on the March that Wilds was unable to claw back. There was a big fight for fourth between Lewis, Bisignano, Trimmer, Skeaping and McInerney, Trimmer soon began to show his experience by fighting his way through the group getting ahead of them all by lap 6. The Lotus then set off after Wilds closing the gap very quickly, the two cars crossed the finishing line together and were given the same time although Wilds was given the third spot.
Bisignano left the group when he spun out at New Link on lap 11 resuming in eighth place and a lap later Lewis did the same dropping to tenth, this left Skeaping and McInerney fighting for fifth, the Chevron just getting the verdict at the flag.

It was a very tight first lap to the second heat with half the field trying to lead into North Tower, in the event it was Wood who had a slim lead over Williamson who was already up to second ahead of Brise and Jones. At the end of the first lap it was the familiar sight of Williamson out in front were he stayed until lap 4 when a moment at Glade allowed Wood back in front again, next up came Brise, Jones and Evans all fighting for third with von Opel and Hull a littler further back and also battling hard. There was a big group fighting for the lower places with Matthews leading Gambs, McDonald, Mackay, Patrick and Tyrrell, Magee was well down after a spin at Glade on the opening lap.
Wood seemed to be edging away on the sixth lap with Williamson coming under pressure from Brise for second, as they came up to lap Magee the two leaders, Wood and Williamson, got through without trouble but Brise, Jones and Evans were briefly delayed. Brise soon clawed his way back up to the leaders but Jones and Evans weren’t able to make up the gap. Williamson tried a number of times to regain the lead but Wood wasn’t to be denied coming home the winner by 0.2 seconds, Williamson was second his water temperature sky high which he reckoned was costing him some power and Brise was third another 0.8 seconds down. Fourth and fifth were Jones and Evans less than a second back with the still battling von Opel and Hull in sixth and seventh.
It was judged that the conditions had been different between the two races so the final was made up of the first six from each heat with the next two fastest from each heat making sixteen in total.
It was four abreast into North Tower on lap 1 of the final with Wood, Walker, Williamson and Wilds all trying to lead, unfortunately for Wilds he was on the dusty outside line and under braking the Ensign slid into Williamson riding over the back wheel of the GRD and smiting the sleepers a heavy blow. Wilds clambered out unhurt but the Ensign was looking very secondhand. This left Walker leading at the end of lap 1 with Wood, Williamson, Mass, Trimmer, Brise, Jones, Evans, Hull, Skeaping, von Opel, McInerney, Lewis and Tyrrell all in one enormous squabbling group. Val Musetti was an early retirement with the throttle cable snapping on his Royale.
Lap 2 and Wood was pressing Walker hard whilst Mass had got ahead of Williamson who was to loose another place to Trimmer on lap 4. Walker and Wood were edging away by lap 5 and Williamson found himself in more trouble as his engine was loosing more power (It was unchanged from the heat) and Brise, Jones and Hull all went past. Further back Skeaping, von Opel, McInerney and the others were beginning to drop away from the main bunch. On lap 6 Walker suddenly appeared on his own, Wood had lost it at Glade writing the March off against the sleepers. With no more pressure on him Walker concentrated on setting clean fast laps and at the end of the 20 laps he came home the winner by 17.4 seconds.
Second place however wasn’t so clear cut, it was Trimmer from Mass, Brise, Hull, Jones, Williamson and Evans, lap 8 saw Mass come through to lead the group and lap 9 it was Trimmer again although further back there had been a major change. Coming into Ramp Brise was forced wide and clipped the barrier, the GRD came back across the track, Jones braked hard to avoid Brise and was hit by Williamson who was in turn struck by Evans. Brise and Jones were out whilst Williamson and Evans were able to continue with minor suspension and bodywork damage. This left Trimmer, Hull and Mass fighting for second until Mass lost several places on lap 12 after a moment on some of the debris left from Woods accident, Hull moved up to second with Trimmer trying to outbrake the Brabham at North Tower on every lap to no avail. Mass caught the pair on the last lap and it was three abreast into South Tower, at the line Hull got the verdict over Trimmer although they shared the same race time, Mass got fourth, the STP-March 0.4 seconds further back. Williamson held onto fifth further handicapped by handling problems to add to his engine woes and Bob Evans took the final point in sixth, just pipping Brendan McInerney.



Race Report: Crystal Palace, 9 September 1972

Race Heat 1

1 Vittorio Brambilla

Birel Alfa Romeo 20:09.40

2 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Ford 69 20:09.50

3 Luigi Fontanesi

Tecno-Ford 20:13.10

4 Carlo Franchi (Gimax)

De Sanctis-Alfa Romeo 20:23.40

Race Heat 2

1 Giovanni Lo Voi

Brabham-Ford BT28 15:05.00

2 Adelmo Fossati

Brabham BT28 15:05.00

3 Patrice Compain

Martini-Ford MW7 15:21.00

4 Manfred Möhr

Lotus-Ford 15:34.10

5 Marcello Gallo

Brabham BT28

Race Final

1 Vittorio Brambilla

Birel Alfa Romeo 30:44.30 144.318

2 Marcello Gallo

Brabham BT28 30:44.34

3 Fabrizio Noe

Lotus-Ford 69 30:45.10

4 Adelmo Fossati

Brabham BT28 30:55.40

5 Patrice Compain

Martini-Ford MW7 31:08.00

6 Carlo Franchi (Gimax)

De Sanctis-Alfa Romeo 31:11.50

7 Manfred Möhr

Lotus-Ford 31:59.60

8 Giovanni Lo Voi

Martini-Ford MW7 31:08.00

Race Report: Crystal Palace, 10 September 1971


Race Report: Crystal Palace, 10 September 1971


A top class entry arrived at Crystal Palace to contest the two heats and a final of this Forward Trust Championship round.

Colin Vandervell led away from the grid in heat one and was ahead of the pack into North Tower but by the end of the lap it was Roger Williamson’s March 713M heading the field from Vandervell with Dave Walker’s GLTL 69 in third.Vandervell moved back to the front on the second lap but by lap five it was the familiar sight of Walker’s Lotus out front. However Vandervell wasn’t giving up and on lap 12, despite a misfiring engine, it was the Brabham in first place.

Walker was back in front on lap 14 when Vandervell was delayed when trying to lap Cavan Riley’s March at Ramp and it was Walker who took the chequered flag from Vandervell with Williamson, who also had problems with Riley, a fairly distant third. David Purley’s Ensign was fourth from Alan Jone’s in his BT28, Peter Lamplough’s Palliser should have been sixth but a one minute penalty for a jumped start dropped him to ninth.

Andy Sutcliife (Lotus 69) led away from the start of heat two hotly pursued by pole sitter James Hunt (March 713), Jody Scheckter (Merlyn Mk21) and Barrie Maskell (Chevron B18). Hunt moved into first on lap 4 whilst soon after Scheckter also passed the Lotus and started to challenge Hunt for the lead. Sutcliffe and Maskell fought over third until Sutcliffe’s clutch started to fail, finally packing up completely on lap 12. Scheckter was taking turns at leading but at the end of the fifteen laps it was Hunt first by two tenths from Scheckter, Maskell was a lonely third from the BT 28 of Brian McGuire. The Ensign of Steve Thompson came home fifth despite starting from the back of the grid with a ten second penalty. Hunt was in immediate problems when his engine refused to fire on the grid and he was left furiously waving his arms as the rest of the field started without him, a push start eventually getting him going. Vandervell took the lead from the start with Walker, Williamson, Purley and Scheckter queuing up behind and on lap 2 Walker took first with Scheckter moving ahead of Purley. Walker and Vandervell began to pull away from Williamson who was troubled by a down on power engine and on lap 5 Scheckter also passed the March and set off after the two leaders. Vandervell took the lead on lap 5 but it was Walker in front again almost immediately, the Brabham hit the lead again on lap 9 and stayed there for a couple of tours. Lap 12 saw Walker back in first with Vandervell and Scheckter, who had now caught them up, right behind, the three drivers keeping these positions until lap 19. Coming through the kink before North Tower Scheckter moved inside Walker who was second to Vandervell, as they entered the corner Walker moved out of Vandervell’s slipstream forcing Scheckter’s wheels onto the grass. The three cars were almost side-by-side with the Lotus and Merlyn interlocking wheels, all three cars made contact. Walker and Scheckter ended up firmly planted in the sleepers while Scheckter tried to continue but with his left rear wheel trailing at an odd angle he was forced to retire at New Link.

Behind these three Williamson had been battling it out with Purley’s Ensign and Jones in his BT28 but the Aussie was out after giving the sleepers at South Tower a hefty blow. Purley led going into the last lap but Williamson got ahead and took the chequered flag for a narrow and somewhat fortuitous victory, Purley was second from McGuire and Lamplough who had been squabbling over what became third for most of the race, Hunt finished fifth but his 10 second penalty dropped him to sixth. Retirements included Maskell who had to start on wets after puncturing a slick in his heat, he ended up in the sleepers after an incident with the Lotus of Richard Longman.



Race Report: Crystal Palace, 10 September 1971

RACE Heat 1

1 Dave Walker

Lotus-Novamotor 69 13:38.8 15 91.67

2 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 13:39.0 15

3 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 13:40.6 15

4 David Purley

Ensign-Holbay LN1 13:50.0 15

5 Alan Jones

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 13:50.0 15

6 Richard Longman

Lotus-Ford 69 14:40.2 15

7 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holby WDF3

8 Brendan McInerney

March-Holbay 713M

9 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Ford BT35

10 Ray Mallock

U2-Holbay Mk11B

Fastest Lap

Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 53.4 93.71

Race Heat 2

1 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 13:42.0 15

2 Jody Scheckter

Merlyn-Holbay Mk21 13:42.2 15

3 Barrie Maskell

Chevron-Holbay B18 13:42.2 15

4 Brian McGuire

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 13:54.2 15

5 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 14:04.8 15

6 John Bisignano

March-Ford 713M 14:12.2 15

Fastest Lap

Barrie Maskell

Chevron-Holbay B18 53.4 93.71

Jody Scheckter

Merlyn-Holbay Mk21 53.4 93.71

RACE Final

1 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 18:14.4 20 91.45

2 David Purley

Ensign-Holbay LN1 20

3 Brian McGuire

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 20

4 Peter Lamplough

Palliser-Holby WDF3 20

5 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 20

6 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 20

Fastest Lap

Jody Scheckter

Merlyn-Holbay Mk21 53.0 94.42

Race Report: Crystal Palace, 7 August 1971


Race Report: Crystal Palace, 7 August 1971


This was a non-championship race but sponsors Petonyer had provided a generous prize fund including £300 to the winner so most of the regular British F3 runners arrived for the two heats and a final programme.

Heading qualifying in heat one was Colin Vandervell’s Brabham-Vegantune BT35 whose Thruxton problems had been trace to a broken spring in the distributor, second and third fastest sharing the same time were Andy Sutcliffe’s Lotus 69 and James Hunt in the works March 713M. Roger Williamson was next up despite breaking a cylinder head in practice and equalling him was Steve Thompson’s 

Contac Ensign LN1. The third row was led by Chris Skeaping (Chevron B17) ahead of the Brabham BT28s of Peter Hull and David Purley.

The fourth row belonged to an understeering Richard Longman (Lotus 69) and Jody Scheckter in his hastily rebuilt EMC (after its Thruxton accident), Scheckter contriving to hit the sleepers at Ramp but only damaging his oil cooler. Also making contact with the sleepers, this time at North Tower was Alan Jones and his Brabham BT28 but the damage was repairable for the race. Finally came Randy Lewis (Brabham BT35) and Lee Kaye (March 703).
Nine cars appeared for the second heat and the competitors had to put up with rain showers half way through the session curtailing their track time. Fastest, unsurprisingly, was the Lotus 69 of Dave Walker from Brendan McInerney (March 713M) and Chris O’Brien (Brabham BT35). The second row consisted of Jose Ferreira, his Brabham now sporting a new Novamotor, and Alan McCully. Cavan Riley (March 713M) sat on the third row alongside Rikki von Opel whose Lotus 69 suffered a broken battery and Brian McGuire who twice suffered a broken throttle cable. McGuire decided to withdraw from the race to allow his car to be cannibalised to repair Jones accident damage. Slowest was Sandy Shepard was was using his BT28 for the first time since a Snetterton testing shunt and with no miles on the car found it suffering from fuel feed problems.

Roger Williamson’s March heads the similar car of Hunt and the Ensign of Steve Thompson during the first heat.

Rain began to fall as the cars came out for the first heat and everybody rushed for wet tyres, more panic set in as the rain stopped and the track began to dry. All this indecision caused the cars to end up on a variety of choices, Vandervell (who changed his tyres after the warm-up lap and was therefore relegated to the back row) chose wets as did Williamson and Scheckter, Hunt and Thompson opted for intermediates whilst Sutcliffe and Purley went for the dry route. Hunt took the lead from the start followed by Thompson and Williamson, these three began to pull away from Sutcliffe, Purley, Scheckter and Vandervell. Purley promptly lost it at North Tower damaging the suspension on his Brabham and delaying Vandervell in the process. Williamson got ahead of Thompson as Hunt tried to pull out a lead at the front, Scheckter got ahead of Sutcliffe for a few laps but then the Lotus driver reasserted himself and pulled away from the EMC which then lost another place to the recovering Vandervell.
On lap 6 Williamson got ahead of Hunt with Thompson very close at hand in third but on lap 9 Hunt regained the lead he would hold to the end which was impressive as it was discovered after the race that Hunt’s March was stuck in third gear for the latter stages of the race after the gear lever came out due to a broken bolt. Williamson just managed to hold Thompson off for second who in turn headed Sutcliffe, Vandervell and Scheckter. The only other retirement besides Purley was Peter Hull who lost a wheel from his Brabham at North Tower.

It was dry for heat two but that didn’t stop the start being a little tricky, it appeared that Walker got away slowly and McInerney missed a gear, Ferreira accelerating hard from the second row found himself boxed in and his Brabham was launched over the GLTL car. Walker slowed sideways into the unfortunate von Opel and all three cars were forced out on the spot. O’Brien found himself in the lead from McInerney with McCully closing up rapidly in third. McCully got past McInerney on lap 3 and O’Brien on lap 5. O’Brien tried to retake the lead on lap 8 only to go off into the North Tower sleepers, he was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure with suspected concussion. McCully held the lead easily to the finish from McInerney, Shepard and Riley who had a quick spin at North Tower.

Once again just before the start the rain reappeared but it turned out to be a very short, sharp shower, unfortunately a few drivers mistakenly decided to fit wets notably Vandervell and Scheckter. Also at the last minute the Lotus mechanics tried to get Walker’s hastily repaired 69 onto the grid but since the maximum number of starters were present and no one seemed inclined to give up their place the car was returned to the paddock.

Hunt, wearing intermediates, jumped into the lead at the start from Williamson, McCully, Thompson, Sutcliffe, McInerney, Vandervell and Scheckter. Lap 2 saw significant action when firstly McCully had a moment at North Tower and Thompson in trying to avoid him left the track and hit the unyielding sleepers then, at New Link, Hunt made a major error, spun sideways, and was instantly collected by Sutcliffe who cannoned off into McCully. All three cars were instant retirements leaving Williamson in a comfortable first place from Vandervell, McInerney, Scheckter and Jones. Williams continued to increase his lead for the rest of the race but there was a good battle going on for second between Vandervell, Jones, McInerney and Skeaping. Vandervell was soon in tyre trouble with his wets and had to yield to Jones but going best of all was Skeaping who passed all of the group to finish second and set fastest lap. Jones held third to finish ahead of Vandervell and a fast finishing McInerney. Scheckter who had been up with the leaders fell back to an eventual eighth hampered both with his wet tyres and a not very good engine. Purley in tenth was another driver to make the mistake of fitting wets and duly came home in last place..



Race Report: Crystal Palace, 7 August 1971

Qualifying Heat 1

1 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Vegantune BT35 54.6

2 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 54.8

3 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 54.8

4 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 55.0

5 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 55.0

6 Chris Skeaping

Chevron-Rowland B17 55.4

7 Peter Hull

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 55.8

8 David Purley

Brabham-Holbay BT28 57.0

9 Richard Longman

Lotus-Novamotor 69 57.0

10 Jody Scheckter

EMC 606 ?

11 Alan Jones

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 ?

12 Randy Lewis

Brabham-Holbay BT35 58.4

13 Lee Kaye

March-Bloore 713S 60.0

Qualifying Heat 2

1 Dave Walker

Lotus-Novamotor 69 54.6

2 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 56.0

3 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 56.0

4 Jose Ferreira

Brabham-Novamotor BT28 56.6

5 Alan McCully

Lotus-Vegantune 69 56.6

6 Cavan Riley

March-Novamotor 713M 58.6

7 Rikki von Opel

Lotus-Holbay 69 59.8

8 Brian McGuire

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 ?

9 Sandy Shepard

Brabham-Holbay BT28 67.0


1 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 10:13.2 10 81.60

2 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 10:14.1 10

3 Steve Thompson

Ensign-Holbay LN1 10:14.2 10

4 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 10:22.2 10

5 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 10:25.0 10

6 Jody Scheckter

EMC 606 10:30.0 10

7 Alan Jones

Brabham-Vegantune BT28 10

8 Chris Skeaping

Chevron-Rowland B17 10

9 Randy Lewis

Brabham-Holbay BT35 10

10 Richard Longman

Lotus-Novamotor 69 10

11 Lee Kaye

March-Bloore 713S 10

Race final

1 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 18:45.0 20 88.96

2 Chris Skeaping

Chevron-Rowland B17 20

3 Alan Jones

March-Holbay 713MBrabham-Vegantune BT28 20

4 Colin Vandervell

Brabham-Rowland BT35 20

5 Brendan McInerney

March-Vegantune 713M 20

6 Randy Lewis

Brabham-Holbay BT35 20

7 Richard Longman

Lotus-Novamotor 69 20

8 Jody Scheckter

EMC 606 20

9 Cavan Riley

March-Novamotor 713M 19

10 David Purley

Brabham-Holbay BT28 19

11 Lee Kaye

March-Bloore 713S ?

12 Sandy Shepard

Brabham-Holbay BT28 13 18:45.0 20 88.96

Race Report: Crystal Palace, 18 June 1971


Race Report: Crystal Palace, 18 June 1971


There was a good entry for this non-championship race that was unusually held on a Friday evening but sadly heavy rain all day long rather damped the proceedings and several drivers went home after practice in order to save their cars for Sunday’s Lombard Championship round at Brands Hatch.


The non-starters after practice were the Brabham’s of Randy Lewis, Brian McGuire, Alan Jones, Sonny Eade, Ronald Rossi and Sandy Shepard, also missing was Alan McCully’s Lotus and Norman Moffet’s Crosslé. Fastest in practice was James Hunt in his new March Holbay 713M and for the race he chose an interesting combination of Dunlops on the rear and Firestones on the front of his car. However odd Hunt’s tyre choice may have seemed it obviously worked as he left the rest of the field behind, trailing along in his spray. It was the fight for second that had all the action with Roger Williamson having a great battle with the Puma-BRM of Bob Evans, the Puma benefiting from a BRM with bigger valves and a new camshaft and metering unit. Fourth place went to an untroubled Andy Sutcliffe and his Lotus 69 with Ronald Rossi still nursing a bandaged arm from his Silverstone shunt fifth in his regular Brabham.



Race Report: Crystal Palace, 18 June 1971


1 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M

2 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M

3 Bob Evans


Fastest Lap

Bob Evans



1 James Hunt

March-Holbay 713M 13:18.0 10 62.71

2 Roger Williamson

March-Holbay 713M 10

3 Bob Evans

Puma-BRM 10

4 Andy Sutcliffe

Lotus-Holbay 69 10

5 Jose Ferreira

Brabham-Holbay BT28 10

6 Barrie Maskell

Chevron-Holbay B18 10

7 Cavan Riley

March-Holbay 713M 9

8 Chris O'Brien

Brabham-Holbay BT35 9