1977 Thruxton 2 
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Donington Park National Circuit, Derby, Great-Britain

Date: 8/7/1977
Track length: 3.149 m
Entries accepted:

Pole position: Spice in 1.25,2 (C-D); Pepper in 1.31,4 (A-B)
Fastest lap: Marshall in 1.24,6 (C-D); Pepper in 1.31,2 (A-B)

Distance: 15 laps
Average speed: 130,78 kmh (C-D); 122,47 kmh (A-B)
Ruleset: Group 1B
Car info: 1977 Cars


Over 1600 cc
Making their first ever appearance at Donington were most of the regular contenders in the very successful Tricentrol British Saloon Car Championship. And the big question was whether the circuit, with its combination of twisting bends and long, fast straights, would suit either the big Capris, or the smaller-engined but better handling Dolomites and Firenzas? The make-up of the grid gave no conclusive answer, with Gordon Spice claiming pole for the Capris on 1.25,2, but with Tony Dron's Dolomite Sprint sitting right alongside barely 0.6s slower.
On the outside of the front row sat Stuart Graham's Capri, but fourth fastest was Gerry Marshall, who wound his Magnum up to 1.26,6. Two regular contenders were not to be found amongst the front rows of the grid, however. For having a one-off drive in Chris Craft's Hammonds Sauce Capri, and enjoying every moment of it, was Motor Sport's Jeremy Walton, who qualified a respectable 10th fastest. And right at the very back, and with a 10s penalty to boot, was Tom Walkinshaw's Castrol BMW. The rapid German car had been ominously missing from the afternoon practice session, and it was only after racing had begun that the team arrived at the circuit, the transporter having broken down. Walkinshaw was allowed three qualifying laps just before the main race, although he obviously had no time to set the car up properly.
Right from the flag, the big saloons were providing the kind of excitement that has made the series one of the highlights of the season. Gerry Marshall burst through from the second row to lead at Redgate, but Spice, Graham and Dron couldn't decide who should follow through in second place, all three cars rounding the corner side-by-side with Spice and Dron both taking to the grass on the exit to the bend.
The next round and Spice was in the lead, albeit with a rather large dent in the side of his white Capri, while Marshall clung onto second place just ahead of Graham, Dron, a very on-form Jeff Allam in his Magnum and Win Percy.
The Samuri Capri spun out of sixth place in a huge cloud of dust at Redgate on the fourth lap, while up front Graham edged ahead of Marshall in the stirring three-car battle for second place. Come the sixth lap and Graham was in front, Spice being relegated to fourth place behind Marshall and Dron.
A mere 1.5s covered the first four cars for the next three laps. This was saloon car racing at its best with Graham holding on to his tenuous lead while behind him Marshall, Dron and Spice contrived to outbrake or slipstream each other in a heart-stopping fashion.
But as the four cars dived into Redgate for the 11th time it seemed as though the inevitable had happened as the silver Magnum leapt high into the air, crashing back to earth in a cloud of sparks. As the dust cleared, though, Dron and Spice had disappeared into the distance while the bulk of Gerry Marshall could be seen clambering out of the Magnum just an as errant rear near-side wheel rolled gently into the concrete retaining wall. That left Tony Dron in second place, a position he held to the flag just 1.2s behind the victorious Graham. Third, and barely a length behind the Dolomite Sprint came Gordon Spice's battered Capri, while Jeff Allam finished a very creditable, if lonely, fourth. In fifth place, after a determined drive through the field overshadowed only by the battle for the lead, came Tom Walkinshaw, the BMW crossing the line with its bonnet just showing in front of Colin Vandervell's Capri. Vince Woodman (Capri), Holman Blackburn (Magnum) and Stuart Patterson (Capri) filled the next three places, while Motor Sport's Jeremy Walton completed the first 10 home.

Under 1600 cc
On pole position for the race catering for the two smaller classes in the British Saloon Car Championship sat Brian Pepper, some intense development work at Silverstone paying dividends on the bright yellow VW Scirocco. Alongside Pepper, 0.6s slower on 1.32,0, was Richard Longman in the Patrick Motors Mini, while Longman's arch rival, Bernard Unett, completed the front row.
But it was Longman who led the pack into Redgate for the first time, the blue Mini taking to two wheels in its attempt to stay in front of Unett and Pepper.
By the time the cars came round to complete their second lap, however, Unett was in front with Pepper second, the VW having finally consolidated its position after an abortive attempt at taking Longman through Redgate. In fourth place came Peter Hilliard's Alfetta GT, with Martin Brundle's Toyota and Alan Curnow's Mini in fifth and sixth place.
At one-third distance Pepper made his move and came through in front of Unett and Longman, the three cars thereafter maintaining their positions to the flag.
Behind, however, a fierce battle raged for fourth place involving Curnow, Brundle, Hilliard, Richard Lloyd's VW Golf and the Alfa Romeo of Barrie Williams, with paint and places being swapped at almost every bend.
Eventually Martin Brundle and Alan Curnow broke clear to finish fourth and fifth respectively, while just over 2s covered Hilliard, Lloyd and Williams at the chequered flag.
Pepper's margin of victory was some 6s, while Unett and Longman, though just under 3s apart shared the joint fastest lap in the smaller class.

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   Fabergé Racing
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Stuart Graham, GB
2993 V6 D 15 laps, 21.39,0 3      
2 1   British Leyland
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Tony Dron, GB
1998 L4 C 15 laps, 21.40,2 2 1.25,8    
3 2   Gordon Spice Group
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Gordon Spice, GB
2993 V6 D 15 1 1.25,2 1.25,4  
4 2   Allam Motor Services
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Jeff Allam, GB
2279 L4 C 15        
5 3   BMW racing with Castrol
BMW 530i US
Tom Walkinshaw, GB
2985 L6 D 15   no time   10 sec penalty for missing practice
6 4   Triplex
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Colin Vandervell, GB
2993 V6 D 15        
7 5   Esso Uniflo
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Vince Woodman, GB
2993 V6 D 15        
8 3   Luton Products
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Holman “Les” Blackburn, GB
2279 L4 C          
9 6    
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Stuart Patterson, GB
2993 V6 D          
10 7   Hammonds Sauce Group
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Jeremy Walton, GB
2993 V6 D   10      
      Samuri Racing with Bradshaw Hire Plant
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Win Percy, GB
2993 V6 D          
DNF     Dealer Team Vauxhall Castrol
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Gerry Marshall, GB
2279 L4 C   4 1.26,6 1.24,6 Accident

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    
VW Scirocco GTI
Brian Pepper, GB
1588 L4 B 15 laps, 23.08,8 1 1.31,4 1.31,2  
2 1   Mopar
Chrysler Avenger 1300 GT
Bernard Unett, GB
1295 L4 A 15 laps, 23.14,8 3   1.31,4  
3 2   Patrick Motor Group
Mini 1275 GT
Richard Longman, GB
1275 L4 A 15 laps, 23.17 2 1.32,0 1.31,4  
4 2    
Toyota Celica GT
Martin Brundle, GB
1588 L4 B 15        
5 3    
Mini 1275 GT
Alan Curnow, GB
1275 L4 A 15        
6 3   Napolina Alfa Romeo Dealer Team
Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT
Peter Hilliard, GB
1570 L4 B 15        
7 4    
Richard Lloyd, GB
1588 L4 B 15        
8 4   Marshall Wingfield
Alfa Romeo 1300 GT Junior
Barrie Williams, GB
1290 L4 B 15