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Brands Hatch Motor Show

Brands Hatch International Circuit, Kent, Great-Britain

Date: 24/10/1976
Track length: 4.206 m
Entries accepted:

Pole position: Marshall in 1.49,8
Fastest lap: Walkinshaw in 1.46,4 = 142,39 kmh

Distance: 15 laps
Average speed: 139,20 kmh
Ruleset: Group 1B
Car info: 1976 Cars


The championship saved its best race for the last wound. Even before this final round Bernard Unett knew that he had virtually only to finish to be sure of the RAC title, so from that point of view there was little interest in the outcome; but seen as a race in isolation, it was terrific.

A damp but drying practice session on Sunday morning threw up a major sensation when Gerry Marshall captured pole with a 1.49,8 from his DTV Magnum. Gordon Spice was second quickest at 1.50 dead in his MM Plant Hire Capri, but then Andy Rouse completed the front row with a tremendous wheel-lifting effort in the last minutes of practice that left his Leyland/Ralph Broad Dolomite Sprint on 1.50,2. Former Danish saloon car champion Eric Høyer impressed a lot of people as he absolutely hurled an RS2000 round in dazzling style to claim the best place on the fifth row.

The start was electrifying as Marshall and Rouse both outdragged Spice and rounded Paddock side-by-side. Along Cooper Straight the order was Marshall, Rouse, Craft, but when we next saw them, at Clearways, it had changed to Marshall, Spice, Rouse, Craft, with Brodie, Vandervell, Walkinshaw and Woodman hanging on grimly to form an unbroken eight car bunch at the head of the field.
Lap two and Spice was ahead of Marshall at Surtees with Craft past Rouse for third place, and by the end of the lap it was Spice, Craft, Marshall and Rouse with Walkinshaw now up to fifth. Walkinshaw was really working, leap-frogging both the Class B cars during the third tour to claim third spot right behind Spice and Craft.
Next time round Craft was in front, but as he swept into Brabham Straight his engine bay was encased in a great billow of oil smoke that foretold the Capri's immediate departure. So that left the battle as a straight fight between Spice and Walkinshaw, with Walkinshaw taking control during the fifth tour. Immediately behind them, Marshall was still a few yards in front of a hard trying Rouse with Vandervell shadowing both of them, and then after only the briefest of pauses followed Brodie with Woodman on his tail. Percy had taken charge of the 1600 class from the start and lay next in line, soon to come under pressure from Martin Thomas. Unett was comfortably in command of the small class, but Jon Dooley, Peter Hilliard, Derek Lawrence and Simon Kirkby were having quite a dice in their respective Alfas.

At the top of the order things seemed to be settling down when, with two laps to go, Spice decided to make his big effort to recapture the lead. As he entered lap 14 Gordon closed right up on Tom under braking for Paddock. Walkinshaw saw him coming and chopped across to shut the gate; but he did it a moment too late and Spice hammered into his door, T-boning the leader down the hill in a long slide that brought both cars to a halt. Desperately they scrabbled to restart; Spice got away first but at Druids Walkinshaw tried to repass and again the two Capris bumped into each other, bringing them to a standstill once again.
Vandervell, meanwhile, had edged past Rouse on lap 12 and taken Marshall too next time round, so with only a lap left he was suddenly the leader. And that was where he stayed, snatching the outright win from Marshall by 1.6s before pulling off half way round his slowing down lap. Rouse was third, a second behind the class winning Marshall with an overdrive unit that was slipping and a brake pedal that had taken up residence uncomfortably close to the Dolomite's floor. Fourth was Brodie, still only five seconds behind the class duel ahead of him. After their second tete a tete, Spice had again restarted moments before Walkinshaw, but on the last lap the angry Scot outwitted the Maidenhead wholesaler to pinch fifth place (and second in the big engine class) by a few lengths. That was not enough, however, to deprive Gordon of his class win in the Keith Prowse series.

Ninth overall, Win Percy was delighted with his ninth class win of the season out of ten starts in the Keith Prowse series, and almost inevitably, Bernard Unett put in another superb performance in the immaculately prepared Chrysler Competition Centre Avenger to crown a perfect record of ten class wins from starts, taking the title with maximum points.

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   Triplex
Ford Capri II 3.0
Colin Vandervell, GB
2993 V6 D 15 laps, 27.11,6 6      
2 1   Dealer Team Vauxhall
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Gerry Marshall, GB
2279 L4 C 15 laps, 27.12,2 1 1.49,8 1.47,4  
3 2   British Leyland
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Andy Rouse, GB
1998 L4 C 15 laps, 27.13 3 1.50,2    
4 3   Mazda Dealer Team
Mazda Savanna RX-3
Dave Brodie, GB
2 x 491 R2 C 15 laps, 27.18 5 1.52,0    
5 2   Team Castrol
Ford Capri II 3.0
Tom Walkinshaw, GB
2993 V6 D 15 7   1.46,4  
6 3   Wisharts Garages
Ford Capri II 3.0
Gordon Spice, GB
2993 V6 D 15 2 1.50,0    
7 4   Esso Uniflo
Ford Capri II 3.0
Vince Woodman, GB
2993 V6 D 15 10?      
8 4    
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Martin Thomas, GB
1998 L4 C 15        
9 1   Samuri Racing with Toyota GB
Toyota Celica GT
Win Percy, GB
1588 L4 B 15 laps, 28.14,4 9?   1.51,2  
10 5    
Mazda Savanna RX-3
Roger Dowe, GB
2 x 491 R2 C 15        
11 6    
Ford Escort II RS 2000
Erik Høyer, DK
1993 L4 C 15 11      
12 2   Samuri Racing with Toyota GB
Toyota Celica GT
Barrie Williams, GB
1588 L4 B 15 8 1.55,4    
13 5    
Opel Commodore GS/E
Holger Knudsen, DK
2784 L6 D 15        
14 6    
Ford Capri II 3.0
Stuart Patterson, GB
2993 V6 D 15        
Toyota Celica GT
Bill Sydenham, GB
1588 L4 B 15        
Renault R 17 TS
Maggie Anderson, GB
1565 L4 B 15        
  1   Mopar
Chrysler Avenger 1300 GT
Bernard Unett, GB
1295 L4 A 14 laps, 27.26,6 (1)   1.55,4  
Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti
Jon Dooley, GB
1186 B4 A 14        
Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Junior
Peter Hilliard, GB
1290 L4 A 14        
Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti
Derek Lawrence, GB
1186 B4 A          
      Ottershaw Motors
Opel Commodore GS/E
Gilbert Greenall, GB
2784 L6 D          
      Campari/Alfa Romeo Dealer Team
Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti
Simon Kirkby, GB
1186? B4 A          
DNF     British Leyland
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Geoff Lees, GB
1998 L4 C         Oil pressure
DNF     Tricentrol
Ford Capri II 3.0
Chris Craft, GB
2993 V6 D   4 1.51,0   Engine