1973 Thruxton Esso 
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Thruxton, Hampshire, Great-Britain

Date: 28/5/1973
Track length: 3.792 m
Entries accepted:

Pole position: Muir in 1.24,0
Fastest lap: Gardner in 1.23,2

Distance: 35 laps
Average speed:
Ruleset: Group 2/70
Car info: 1973 Cars


Pole belonged to the BMW, a full second beneath Gardner's Chevy record, a performance which boded well for a close race, whilst the SCA entry managed a fractionally slower time and Matthews was clearly going to be out of the hunt for the lead with 1.26,6 (no offence intended). Amongst the Escort brigade, the honour fell to Jonathan Buncombe (1.28,0) with Dave Brodie's Norman Reeves machine (which Brodie will race this coming Sunday in the ETCC round at Mantorp Park, sharing with Claude Bourgoignie) 0.6s slower.
By the time the field came out to the grid, the threat of rain looked immediate and most teams had their wet weather rubber close at hand. In the event, all the leading runners chose slicks with the exception of the pair of Esso Uniflo entries, Hanson's Escort GT and the two Bevan Imps. As the flag fell, Muir made the most of his inside position and rocketed the blue and white BMW into an immediate lead with Gardner tucking in behind. But, as anticipated, the SCA Camaro took the lead by the end of the first lap, Gardner passing the pits with Muir glued to his tail and already a slight gap before Dave Matthews passed in the Capri RS. Then came Brodie and Hickman, locked together in a close tussle, Rouse, after a terrific start on a slightly wet track, Hanson, Mowatt, Gillian F-T, the Coopers of Paul Burt and Mick Osbourne, Terry Sanger's Camaro (which had started from the pits, late), Jim Burrows (Mini), Richard Elice (Cooper) and the rest.
As far as the lead was concerned, that was just about the story of the race. Although Muir kept the BMW hard on Gardner's heels, there was no holding the Chevy once it got into its stride and the Australian pulled remorselessly away into the distance. After 15 laps, the Camaro was 11 seconds in front and still gaining ground, while Matthews had dropped away in his hard struggle to keep the Capri in contention. The tyres had gone off after a few laps, and David's struggle to keep control left him utterly exhausted with his third place at the finish.
Hickman's Escort stopped with a shortage of oil pressure on lap seven, leaving Brodie with an untroubled run home to fourth place, the last car to be lapped by Gardner's flying Camaro. A faulty metering unit had already claimed Buncombe's rapid Escort on the opening lap.
Although the results show a victory for Gardner by a margin of fractionally over fifteen seconds, the gap to Muir closed dramatically with just over ten laps left to run. The Chevy's gear selectors had gone awry and it was a couple of laps before Gardner acclimatised himself to trundling the car round in top gear all the way, allowing Muir to close up a bit. But it was false hope for the BMW pit as the Camaro eased its advantage open again in the last few miles.
Hanson's splendid efforts took him through to fifth place and a class victory in the barbarous Escort, beating Vince Woodman by 13 seconds while Rouse was second in his class, albeit two laps down with his unsuitable choice of tyres. The smallest class went to Jim Burrows' Swiftune Mini ahead of Ivor Goodwin's Imp, the latter driver protesting his engine after the race; poor Bill McGovern stopped with carburettor trouble on lap eight while Les Nash's similar Imp failed to leave the line.

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 3 SCA European Road Services
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Frank Gardner, AUS
7000 V8 D 35 laps, 50.05,4 2 1.25,0 1.23,2  
2 2 6 Dealer Team BMW
Brian Muir, AUS
3303? L6 D 35 1 1.24,0    
3 3 7 Lindrick Finance Racing with Broadspeed
Ford Capri RS 2600 LW
Dave Matthews, GB
2999 V6 D 35 3 1.26,6    
4 1   Norman Reeves Ltd.
Ford Escort RS 1600
Dave Brodie, GB
1996 L4 C 34 5 1.28,6 1.27,2  
5 1   The Barbarians
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Peter Hanson, GB
1298 L4 B 33 7 1.30,6 1.30,8  
6 2 45 VMW Motors - Team Esso Uniflo
Ford Escort 1300 BDA
Vince Woodman, GB
1298 L4 B 33 8 1.31,2    
7 2 21 VMW Motors - Team Esso Uniflo
Ford Escort RS 1600
Andy Rouse, GB
1996 L4 C 33        
8 3    
Ford Escort 1300 GT
Oli Thatcher, GB
1298 L4 B 31        
9 4    
BMC Mini Cooper S
Gordon Dawkins, GB
1293 L4 B 31        
10 5   Aldek Shopfitting & Joinery Ltd.
BMC Mini Cooper S
Barry Johnson, GB
1293 L4 B 31        
CL 1   Swiftune Engineering Ltd
BMC Mini Cooper
James Burrows, GB
998 L4 A          
CL 2   John Godfrey
Sunbeam Imp
Ivor Goodwin, GB
998 L4 A          
CL 3    
BMC Mini Cooper
Jeremy Bean, GB
998 L4 A          
CL 4    
Sunbeam Imp
Andy Holloway, GB
998 L4 A          
BMC Mini Cooper S
Jon Mowatt, GB
1293 L4 B          
Morris Mini Cooper S
Richard Ellice, GB
1293 L4 B          
DNF     Research Consultants Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro
Terry Sanger, GB
5736 V8 D   6     Started from pitlane
Ford Escort 1300 BDA
Gill Fortescue-Thomas, GB
1298 L4 B   9 1.34,0   Bearing
BMC Mini Cooper S
Paul Burt, GB
1293 L4 B         Head
Hillman Imp
Melvyn Adams, GB
998 L4 A       1.37,0  
Ford Escort RS 1600
Jonathan Buncombe, GB
1975 L4 C   4 1.28,0   Metering unit
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mick Osborne, GB
1293 L4 B         Oil loss
DNF     Gerry Edmonds Racing
Ford Escort RS 1600
Lawrie Hickman, GB
1975 L4 C 8 10 1.34,4   Oil pressure
DNF     George Bevan
Sunbeam Imp
Bill McGovern, GB
998 L4 A 7 12 1.37,6   Carburettors
DNF     Selhurst Business machines Ltd.
BMC Mini Cooper S
Mike Drinkwater, GB
1293 L4 B         Accident
Hillman Imp
Les Nash, GB
998 L4 A   11 1.36,4   Transmission