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NCR Trophy Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch International Circuit, Kent, Great-Britain

Date: 30/8/1971
Track length:
Entries accepted:
Starters: 28
Finishers: 17

Pole position: Fitzpatrick in 1.41,2
Fastest lap: Fitzpatrick in 1.43,2

Distance: 25 laps
Average speed: 145,88 kmh
Ruleset: Group 2/70
Car info: 1971 Cars


Yet again the supporting G2 race proved that the formula is no longer worthy of being included at major meetings when the crowd was driven home early by a very processional race and cars dropping out with mechanical failure at an alarming rate. A first lap incident eliminated Brian Muir and Gerry Birrell from further competitive racing and John Fitzpatrick went on to win by about 1 m 43 s in the Broadspeed Escort. During the closing laps John Bloomfield provided the only interest by having a big go at Dennis Leech for second place but predictably he never managed to get in front.
The entry for the Wiggins Teape-sponsored race was much the same as usual except that the Camaros of Thomas and Gardner were absent. After being at Zandvoort on Saturday, John Fitzpatrick arrived on Monday to find his Escort fitted with a new BDA and already run-in by Chris Craft on Saturday. He wasted no time in capitalising on this and put it on pole position with a 1 m 41.2 s. Brian Muir was next up (1 m 42.2 s) with his now wholly legal Wiggins Teape Camaro. The engine was measured after Oulton Park and found to be 4.957 litres.
On the outside of the front row was Gerry Birrell in the Ford Capri. Gerry was very pleased with the car as the handling had at last been sorted out and in eight laps on Saturday he managed 1 m 43.0 s before a pushrod broke. On Monday he took 0.8 s off this before an oil seal on the gearbox selector perished. Dennis Leech pushed the 5.7 Mustang round in 1 m 42.6 s on Saturday afternoon but found the handling very difficult and all the springs and dampers were changed over the weekend.
An excellent performance came from John Bloomfield in the David Wood prepared BDA engined Escort. After fitting a 5:1 differential and 12” in Goodyear slicks he got down to 1 m 43.8 s. Mike Crabtree’s similar Racing Services engined car headed the third row on 1 m 44.4 s well ahead of Martin Birrane’s ill-handling Boss Mustang (1 m 45.2 s). Birrane was so unhappy with the handling, despite changing everything, that he declined to start the race. Lawrie Hickman did 1 m 47.0 s in the down-on-power 1700 cc BRM BDA powered Escort of Gerry Edmonds while Dave Matthews did 1 m 47.8 s in the 1300 Broadspeed car.
Both he and Fitz were very enthusiastic about the new Dunlops they were running; Fitz had 370 slicks while championship leader Matthews had the latest 376s. Rod Mansfield had trouble with fumes in the cockpit and a slipping clutch in his Hart-engined LuMoCo RS1600 but got down to 1 m 47.8 s Zekia Redjep’s was the fastest twin-cam on 1 m 48.6 s despite gearbox problems on Saturday. Vince Woodman got his Escort GT down to 1 m 49.0 s once a leaking oil seal in the duff had been cured. Bill McGovern ran in a new engine on Saturday afternoon, having done 1 m 50.2 s in the morning to head his class easily as usual. The sixth row was shared by Brian Peacock (Escort GT) and Jon Mowatt (Cooper 5) who did 1 m 51.4 s and 1 m 52.0 s respectively while Teddy Savory in Woodmans sister car did 1 m 52.4 a. Mo Mendharn was the second best EL representative with 1 m 53.0 s. John Turner managed 1 m 53.8 s in only a few laps on Monday, the Guys Automobiles Imp breaking a camshaft after only a handful of laps. The all-Imp eighth row was shared by Trevor Willcocks (1 m 55.6 a) and Melvyn Adams (1 m 55.8 s) while the Minis of Bob Riley, Mac Ross and Bob Jones were next up with 1m 56.0 s, 1m 56.2 s, and 1m 56.4 s respectively. Adrian Webb (Imp) and Jeremy Nightingale (Escort GT) did 1 m 57.0 s while Mike Drinkwater led the rest with 58.0 a. The penultimate row was completed by Richard Ellice (Escort GT) who did 1 m 58.6 s and Jeremy Bean who just failed to break the 2 m barrier with his Mini. The final row was filled with the troublesome Escorts of John Littler (GT) and Willy Kay (Broadspeed/Kay RS1600). Littler had to run in a brand new AVJ engine which replaced the Broadspeed mill while Kay had fuel feed problems.

What excitement there was going to be was lost on the first lap at Paddock. Fitzpatrick held the inside line from Birrell who had made the best start and Muir who was right on the outside. There were conflicting reports about what happened but Muir nudged Birrell’s rear end and set him spinning in the centre of the track as the hordes of screaming cars came round the bend. Luckily major damage was avoided and the result was that Fitz had a huge lead from Leech, Crabtree, Hickman, Bloomfield and Redjep. Both the Capri and Camaro limped to the pits with punctures and restarted, the Wiggins Teape crew, trying to pull a fast one and fitted wets as heavy rain spots were dampening the track considerably. It misfired somewhat as the three laps it took to fit them saw the rain stop and the track dry. After three laps Fitz led by a long way from Leech, Bloomfield, Crabtree and Redjep. Woodman led Matthews in the 1300 class; the Broadspeed car had broken a tappet screw on the warm up lap and was misfiring badly. It was put Out of its agony when a rod came Out for a breath of fresh air. Rod Mansfield was another earlier retirement when the front brakes locked on at Westfield and John Turner’s G2 gremlin struck again, this time on the clutch.
As Fitz disappeared into the distance Bloomfield started to catch Leech from about lap 10 and this sustained a mite of interest although the Capri and Camaro were circulating nose-to-tail briefly. The Capri eventually retired with a gearbox oil leak and Muir had another puncture. He replaced a wet with a dry and continued to motor in a very hairy manner to the end.
It took Bloomfield until lap 20 to catch Leech but he was unable to make up quite enough on the corners to be able to get past the big Mustang and so far the final five laps he had to sit a very frustrating one second in arrears. Crabtree went well to be the last man unlapped in fourth while Redjep drove well into fifth after Hickman retired with a major oil leak. Woodman took the 1300 class and sixth overall, well ahead of Peacock and Savory. Littler pulled up well to take ninth ahead of the ultra reliable Bevan Imp, although McGovern did seem to slow towards the end with a suspect doughnut.

(report by Ian Phillips)

Touring Cars class A-D
Pos Pos in class # Team / Entrant
Car- Engine
Drivers, Nationality Engine
vol. (cc)
Group Distance,
Qualifying position Qualifying time Fastest lap Reason out,
1 1 111 Team Broadspeed Castrol
Ford Escort RS 1600
John Fitzpatrick, GB
1800 L4 C 25 laps, 43.50,8 1 1.41,2 1.43,2  
2 1 105 Castrol-Leechtune Engineering
Ford Mustang Boss 302
Dennis Leech, GB
5700 V8 D 25 laps, 45.03,0 4 1.42,6    
3 2 114  
Ford Escort RS 1600
John Bloomfield, GB
1800 L4 C 25 laps, 45.04,4 5 1.43,8    
4 3 116 John Willment Racing
Ford Escort RS 1600
Mike Crabtree, GB
1986 L4 C 25 laps, 45.16,0 6 1.44,4    
5 4 117 Mobil Racing
Ford Escort TC
Zekia Redjep, CY
1594 L4 C 24 11 1.48,6    
6 1 121 VMW Motors
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Vince Woodman, GB
1298 L4 B 23 12 1.49,0 1.51,4  
7 2 125 Woodhead Shock Absorbers
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Brian Peacock, GB
1298 L4 B 23 14 1.51,4    
8 3 122 VMW Motors
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Ted Savory, GB
1298 L4 B 23 16 1.52,4    
9 4 124  
Ford Escort 1300 GT
John Littler, GB
1298 L4 B 23 29 no time    
10 1 141 George Bevan
Hillman Imp
Bill McGovern, GB
998 L4 A 23 13 1.50,2 1.54,6  
11 5 126  
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Richard Ellice, GB
1298 L4 B 23 27 1.58,6    
12 6 130  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mac Ross, GB
1293 L4 B 22 22 1.56,2    
13 2 143 Tony Charnell
Hillman Imp
Melvyn Adams, GB
998 L4 A 22 20 1.55,8    
14 7 127  
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Jeremy Nightingale, GB
1298 L4 B 22 25 1.57,0    
15 3 146  
BMC Mini Cooper
Jeremy Bean, GB
998 L4 A 22 28 2.00,0    
16 5 120 Willy Kay
Ford Escort RS 1600
Willy Kay, GB
1800 L4 C 22 30 no time    
17 2 102 Malcolm Gartlan Racing/Wiggings Teape Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Brian Muir, AUS
4956 V8 D 22 2 1.42,2 1.44,6 Punctures
DNF   145  
Hillman Imp
Trevor Willcocks, GB
998 L4 A   19 1.55,6    
DNF   142 Guys Automobiles
Hillman Imp
John Turner, GB
998 L4 A   18 1.53,8   Clutch
DNF   144 C.A.M. Potters Bar Ltd
Hillman Imp
Adrian Webb, GB
998 L4 A   24 1.57,0    
DNF   131  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Jon Mowatt, GB
1293 L4 B   15 1.52,0    
DNF   123 Melton Racing with Broadspeed
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Dave Matthews, GB
1298 L4 B   9 1.47,8   Engine
DNF   129  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Bob Jones, GB
1293 L4 B   23 1.56,4    
DNF   119 Gerry Edmonds Racing
Ford Escort RS 1600
Lawrie Hickman, GB
1701 L4 C   8 1.47,0   Oil leak
DNF   134  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mike Drinkwater, GB
1293 L4 B   26 1.58,0    
DNF   106 Ford Motor Company
Ford Capri RS 2600
Gerry Birrell, GB
2940 V6 D   3 1.42,2   Gearbox oil leak
DNF   133  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mo Mendham, GB
1293 L4 B   17 1.53,0    
DNF   115 Luton Motor Corporation
Ford Escort RS 1600
Rod Mansfield, GB
1800 L4 C   10 1.47,8    
DNF   128  
BMC Mini Cooper S
Bob Riley, GB
1293 L4 B   21 1.56,0    
DNS   101  
Ford Mustang Boss 302
Martin Birrane, IRL
ca. 5000 V8 D   7 1.45,2   Broken differential on warm-up lap