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1974 Brands Hatch RoC 
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Mallory Park

Mallory Park, Leicester, Great-Britain

Date: 10/3/1974
Track length: 2.173 m
Entries accepted: 17 (A-B); 20 (C-D)
Starters: 14 (A-B); 12 (C-D)
Finishers: 8 (C-D)

Pole position: Rouse in 1.04,6 (A-B); Graham in 1.00,6 (C-D)
Fastest lap: Dron in 1.01,4 (A-B); Lloyd in 0.59,2 (C-D)

Distance: 30 laps
Average speed: 124,13 kmh (A-B); 127,78 kmh (C-D)
Weather: Wet
Ruleset: Group 1B
Car info: 1974 Cars


Class A and B
In the sleeting rain that veiled most of the mornings practice, Andy Rouse captured pole position with a time of 1.04.6 in the quicker of the two Team Castrol Triumph Dolomite Sprints. Tim Stock recorded an impressive 65s dead for the middle of the front row in last year's car brought up to the latest spec; however, his new more powerful engine will not be ready until Silverstone at the earliest. Completing the front row with a 65.8s lap was former motoring journalist Tony Dron in the second Broadspeed/Castrol Dolomite Sprint.
Bernard Unett led the Chrysler Dealer Team Avenger GTs and the 1600 cc class with a time of 67,2 seconds.

By the time the cars took their grid-positions the apparently incessant rain had at last stopped. The road was still very wet, however, and Stan Clark decided not to bother without the right equipment, leaving just fourteen to face the starter. When he did his bit the two Dolomites straddling the front row surged forward with Dron momentarily slicing across his team-mate as they entered Gerards.
Once on Stebbe Straight the order established itself as Rouse, Dron, Williams and Stock, and as they splashed their way back past the pits after the opening lap this bunch of four were already breaking clear from Unett, Kirkby, Lyon, Handley (now on wet Dunlops) and Bell. Entering the Esses for the second time Williams thrust the Mazda in front of Dron, almost losing the tail in the effort but just holding it to chase Rouse. On the third lap Stock's gallant challenge came to naught when a fuel pump or fuel line broke.
By lap nine Williams had closed to within twenty yards of Rouse; a tour later and the gap was hardly three lengths. The Unett/Bell duo pulled out a couple of seconds over Kirkby and were able to extend it slightly each lap.
"Whizzo" was trying his hardest so it was all highly entertaining as he tried to seek a way past, but leaving Gerards for the fourteenth time the Mazda's mill hiccupped a "Ha-So" and before you could say Kung Fu had put the honourable Mr Williams into the bank.
With eight laps left Rouse was rounding Devils Elbow while Dron was at Shaws and Lyon was roaring through the Esses, but then came dramas in quick succession. First Bell overcooked it at Gerards and spun out of the race and then on the next lap, the twenty-fourth, there was an enormous cloud of blue smoke as Dron rushed up to Shaws: the Dolly's overdrive switch had been playing up, causing him to over-rev the engine inadvertently - eventually it had to yield and the conrod he extracted to show his former colleagues would have done credit to Henry Moore.
This extended Rouse's lead to some 25s with Lyon's Alfa a secure second and Handley third, while Kirkby could not do anything about Unett's lead in the 1600 category. And so they finished, with Rouse half a minute ahead of Lyon and Handley a further 11 seconds away.

Class C and D
Practice for the big boys was as wet and murky as it had been for the smaller cars. Stuart Graham was fastest in the 45 minute session at 60.8s in the Camaro he had last year but with the usual mods to bring it up to full RAC Gp1. Four-fifths slower was Richard Lloyd, also in last year's Camaro. On the outside of the front row was Gerry Marshall's Martin Thomas-prepared Camaro, still in its primer and absolutely new: its time of 63.4s was more creditable considering the total lack of sorting and, in consequence, a tendency to lock its brakes.
Braking problems also afflicted Tony Lanfranchi's Van Der Steen-entered BMW 3.0 CSL, which was turning a wheel for the first time. The scrutineers made this car carry some 100lb of ballast to meet the 2850lb homologated weight (at least they discovered it before the race this year), but with an estimated 240 bhp on tap this car was a strong contender.

Despite the small size of the grid it was not a particularly clean start. Graham pulled out a sizeable lead over Marshall as they waded through Gerards with Lloyd relegated to third. When they peeled into Devils Elbow to complete the standing lap, the three rumbling Chevys were chased by Walkinshaw, Lanfranchi, Dutton, Blackburn, Woodman, Fletcher, Hanson, Birrane and Hunt, with the last five already somewhat detached from the main bunch.
On the second lap the leading trio began to pull right away with Lloyd mounting a major assault on Marshall, but he need not have bothered for after another tour the second-placed Camaro retired with water in the oil -an inlet manifold gasket was suspected. An exciting dogfight was brewing between the four-litre class leaders, but this too came to an end on the fourth lap when the Capri's clutch plates refused to clutch any longer.
Lloyd closed right up on Graham, harrying him only a few feet away and setting fastest lap, but he could not get past the former motorcycling Champion. Lanfranchi held a safe third place, but it lasted only a few miles before the BMW blew a piston.
Unknown to anybody watching, Lloyd had a tyre slowly going soft. As the two Camaros braked for the Esses on the sixteenth lap Lloyd tried to slip inside Graham but instead got it sideways and slid backwards onto the infield. Such was the gap to Dutton that Lloyd was able to get away again without losing second place, but it assured Graham of victory provided he kept going. Lloyd's front offside tyre was now visibly flattening.
Some way behind Dutton, Woodman was easing away from Blackburn, who lost fifth place to Hanson on the twentieth lap. Except for the Capri dice for last place the outcome now looked settled, so long as Lloyd could hold his wayward beast on the road which seemed doubtful. Hold it he did though, and as all the rest were lapped he retained second place after an exceptionally brave and skilful drive, for the road was still damp with big puddles in places. Graham won by 33 seconds but could not claim full points because his class had only five starters.
With a class win in the bag, Dutton eased up in the final laps to make sure of it, and in doing so let Woodman through for third place. He still took the 4-litre division by 7.6s from Hanson, with Blackburn third only a couple of seconds adrift of the Commodore. Birrane ultimately won his scrap with Hunt by just 0.6s.

Touring Cars class A-B
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   Team Broadspeed Castrol
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Andy Rouse, GB
1998 L4 B 30 laps, 31.30,4 1 1.04,6    
2 2    
Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
John Lyon, GB
1962 L4 B 30 laps, 32.00 9      
3 3   Roller Chain Distributors Ltd
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
John Handley, GB
1998 L4 B 30 laps, 32.11 13      
4 1   Chrysler Dealer Team
Hillman Avenger 1500 GT
Bernard Unett, GB
1498 L4 A 29 laps, 31.48,8 5 1.07,2    
5 2   Team Hartwell
Hillman Avenger 1500 GT
Simon Kirkby, GB
1498 L4 A 29 laps, 31.54,4 6 1.07,6 1.04,0  
6 4   Shellsport Arden
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Rob Mason, GB
1998 L4 B 29 8      
7 5   Penthouse Racing
Mazda Savanna RX-3
Wendy Markey, GB
2 x 491 R2 B 28 11      
8 3    
Simca Rallye 2
Jenny Birrell, GB
1294 L4 A 28 12      
9 6    
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Dennis Bissell
2279 L4 B 27 15      
10 7    
Ford Escort Mexico
Gordon Dawkins, GB
1601 L4 B 27 14      
Vauxhall Firenza
Tim Stock, GB
2279 L4 B 2 2 1.05,0   Fuel system
DNF     Team Castrol
Mazda Savanna RX-3
Barrie Williams, GB
2 x 491 R2 B 13 4 1.06,2   Accident
DNF     Team Broadspeed Castrol
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Tony Dron, GB
1998 L4 B 23 3 1.05,8 1.01,4 Blown engine
DNF     Chrysler Dealer Team
Hillman Avenger 1500 GT
Roger Bell, GB
1498 L4 A 22 7 1.07,8   Spin
DNS     Roger Clark Cars/Esso Uniflo
Alfa Romeo 1600 GT Junior
Stan Clark, GB
1570 L4 A   10     Unsuited tyres

Touring Cars class C-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   Castrol
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Stuart Graham, GB
5736 V8 D 30 laps, 30.36,2 1 1.00,8    
2 2   A.J. Rivers Simoniz Racing
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Richard Lloyd, GB
5736 V8 D 30 laps, 31.31 2 1.01,6 0.59,2 Puncture
3 3   VMW Motors - Team Esso Uniflo
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Vince Woodman, GB
5736 V8 D 30 6      
4 1    
Ford Capri 3000 GT
Ivan Dutton
2993 V6 C 29 laps, 31.01,6 7      
5 2   Dealer Opel Team
Opel Commodore GS/E
Peter Hanson, GB
2784 L6 C 29 laps, 31.08,2 11      
6 3   Hermetite Products
Ford Capri 3000 GT
Holman “Les” Blackburn, GB
2993 V6 C 29 laps, 31.01,6 8      
7 4   Adlards of Brixton
Ford Capri 3000 GT
Martin Birrane, IRL
2993 V6 C   10      
8 5    
Ford Capri 3000 GT
Thomas Hunt, GB
2993 V6 C 0,6 sec behind Birrane 12      
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Gerry Marshall, GB
5736 V8 D 1 3 1.03,4   Inlet manifold
DNF     Van Der Steen
BMW 3.0 CSi
Tony Lanfranchi, GB
2985 L6 C 2? 4 1.03,4   Piston
DNF     Shellsport
Ford Capri 3000 GT
Tom Walkinshaw, GB
2993 V6 C 2 5 1.04,0   Clutch
DNF     Glazepta Products Ltd.
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Jon Fletcher, GB
5736 V8 D 1 9     Engine
Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Malcolm West, GB
5736 V8 D         Weather too bad