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RAC Trophy Croft

Croft, North-Yorkshire, Great-Britain

Date: 10/7/1971
Track length: 3.423 m?
Entries accepted:
Starters: 17
Finishers: 12

Pole position: Gardner in 1.13,2
Fastest lap: Gardner in 1.14,0

Distance: 35 laps
Average speed:
Ruleset: Group 2/70
Car info: 1971 Cars


The Group 2 entry was poor, and non-starters made the field even smaller for the seventh round of the RAC title. Chasing the 1.15,0 lap record, Frank Gardner took the SCA European Road Services Camaro round in 1.13,2 to take pole position from Brian Muir in the Wiggins Teape Camaro. Muir, fresh from a win at Zandvoort the previous weekend in a Benelux Cup race, was again using the new flat-tappet Ted Grace V8.

Initially the 35 lap race featured a good four car thrash, with Muir leading from Gardner, and Crabtree, who had changed his Dunlops after practice, chivvying Taylor to unexpectedly good effect. Birrell was up there with them initially, but he dropped back to fifth place as the gearbox played up, and when on lap 13 it jammed in third he retired. The spectacle only lasted four laps, for Muir made a hash of his gears coming out of the chicane and Gardner powered past into the lead. Gardner made quite sure he didn't lose the advantage to win by 3.2s, making Muir's chase for his first RAC title even more difficult. If Gardner carries on winning, 'Yogi' could lose the championship to McGovern, Fitzpatrick or Matthews.
As Muir dropped Taylor, so Crabtree fell back when he decided to back off because of oil fumes coming into the cockpit, although before he did so he enhanced his reputation as Gp2's leading private Escorteer by lapping faster than Taylor, setting a new 2-litre record only 0.8s slower than Gardner's best time. Another lap, and he would have won the class, for Taylor spluttered across the line out of fuel!
Bloomfield, wrongly geared to make the best use of his new engine's narrow power band, was fifth well ahead of Matthews, who had pulled away from Woodman before the Bristolian retired on unlucky lap 13 when something expensive broke in his engine. Littler was sixth well clear of Mendham, while one of the precious few place-changes in this mostly tedious race came when, with seven laps to go, McGovern claimed ninth place from Ellice, although his Imp was not quite au point.

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   SCA Freight Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Frank Gardner, AUS
5736 V8 D 35 laps, 44.05,0 1 1.13,2 1.14,0  
2 2   Malcolm Gartlan Racing/Wiggings Teape Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Brian Muir, AUS
4956 V8 D 35 laps, 44.08,2 2 1.14,4    
3 1   Team Broadspeed Castrol
Ford Escort RS 1600
Trevor Taylor, GB
1701 L4 C 35 laps, 44.27,4 3 1.14,6    
4 2   John Willment Racing
Ford Escort RS 1600
Mike Crabtree, GB
1986 L4 C 35 laps, 45.01,4 6 1.16,4 1.14,8  
5 3    
Ford Escort RS 1600
John Bloomfield, GB
1800 L4 C 34 7 1.16,4    
6 1   Melton Racing with Broadspeed
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Dave Matthews, GB
1298 L4 B 33 9 1.19,8 1.19,6  
7 2    
Ford Escort 1300 GT
John Littler, GB
1298 L4 B 32 11      
8 3    
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mo Mendham, GB
1293 L4 B 32 12      
9 1   George Bevan
Hillman Imp
Bill McGovern, GB
998 L4 A 31 10 1.21,2? 1.23,4  
10 4    
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Richard Ellice, GB
1298 L4 B 31 13      
11 2    
Hillman Imp
Melvyn Adams, GB
998 L4 A 30 14      
12 3    
BMC Mini Cooper
Jeremy Bean, GB
998 L4 A 29 17      
DNF     VMW Motors
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Vince Woodman, GB
1298 L4 B 16 8 1.19,8   Engine
DNF     Wylie's of Glasgow
Ford Escort RS 1600
Graham Birrell, GB
1800 L4 C 13 4 1.15,0   Gearbox
Ford Mustang Boss 302
Dennis Leech, GB
ca. 5000 V8 D 6 5 1.15,6   Overheating
DNF     C.A.M. Potters Bar Ltd
Hillman Imp
Adrian Webb, GB
998 L4 A   16     Drive shaft doughnut
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Jeremy Nightingale, GB
1298 L4 B   15     Fuel pump