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Radio 210 Raceday

Thruxton, Great-Britain

Date: 11/9/1977
Track length: 3.792 m
Attendance:
Entries accepted:
Starters:
Finishers:

Pole position: Dron
Fastest lap: Graham in 1.31,5 = 149,19 kmh

Distance: 20 laps
Average speed: 146,92 kmh
Weather:
Ruleset: Group 1B
Car info: 1977 Cars

 

That Tony Dron should sit on pole in his Leyland Dolomite Sprint for the Tricentrol Championship race was not that surprising. That he should have practised a complete second faster than the rival Capris was a surprise. And with a further single second covering the next seven cars on the grid, all the ingredients were there for an interesting race.
It wasn't to be a letdown.
Stuart Graham, who shared the front row with Dron, leapt into the lead at the start, with Gerry Marshall's Magnum demoting the pole man still further by the time the pack reached the Complex.
It took the Dolomite two laps to retake the Magnum, Dron simply flying past Marshall on the approach to the chicane. And within another three laps Marshall found himself a further place down, Chris Craft's smoking Capri also finding a way through at Club.
By half distance Graham had put a comfortable 2s gap between himself and Dron, who in turn was a matter of a few lengths ahead of Gordon Spice. Chris Craft was a somewhat lonely fourth, then came the duelling Vince Woodman and Gerry Marshall, The order was soon to change, however. For further down the field Bernard Unett's Avenger and Richard Longman's Mini were having a terrific scrap for 1300 cc class honours. Not all the driving was strictly above-board, though, with Unett more than once bouncing high over the concrete 'apron' out of the chicane to take Longman along the start-line straight. Approaching Club for the 15th time, Graham's leading Capri dived inside both Longman and Unett, only to be immediately retaken by the Avenger in an impossibly late and unnecessary braking manoeuvre. Unett seemed destined to hit the armco, but he gathered it together at the very last moment, only to clip the rear end of Graham.
The Faberge car spun helplessly to a halt in the middle of the bend just as the rest of the leading bunch arrived and for one frightening moment glass and sparks flew everywhere as everyone searched for a path through the melee.
When the dust had settled Spice was in front albeit with Dron on his tail, then came Craft, Woodman and Marshall. Tom Walkinshaw's BMW, hindered in the opening stages by a coming together with Holman Blackburn's Magnum, was sixth, followed by Muir's Dolomite and Allam's Magnum.
But there was still more drama to come at the front, and again it all happened at the chicane. Racing up the hill for the last time with headlights flashing Spice found a backmarker about to enter Club and had to back off, allowing Dron to close right up, hug the inside line on the exit to the bend and then win the sprint to the flag by half a length.
Chris Craft and Vince Woodman were fourth and fifth respectively, while Walkinshaw also left it until the last bend before taking Marshall's slowing Magnum for fifth place. Brian Pepper's VW Scirocco easily won the 1300-1600 cc class, while Unett just pipped Longman for the small car class, despite some last minute door bashing and chicane cutting by the Mini driver.


Touring Cars class A-D
Pos Pos in class # Team / Entrant
Car- Engine
Drivers, Nationality Engine
vol. (cc)
Engine
Type
Group Distance,
time
Qualifying position Qualifying time Fastest lap Reason out,
remarks
1 1   British Leyland
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Tony Dron, GB
1998 L4 C 20 laps, 30.58,2 1   1.31,8  
2 1   Gordon Spice Group
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Gordon Spice, GB
2993 V6 D 20 laps, 30.58,4        
3 2   Hammonds Sauce Group
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Chris Craft, GB
2993 V6 D 20        
4 3   Esso Uniflo
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Vince Woodman, GB
2993 V6 D 20        
5 4   BMW racing with Castrol
BMW 530i US
Tom Walkinshaw, GB
2985 L6 D 20        
6 2   Dealer Team Vauxhall Castrol
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Gerry Marshall, GB
2279 L4 C 20        
  3   Allam Motor Services
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Jeff Allam, GB
2279 L4 C 20        
  1    
VW Scirocco GTI
Brian Pepper, GB
1588 L4 B 19 laps, 31.17,9     1.37,1  
  2   SRG
Renault R 5 Alpine
Marc Smith, GB
1397 L4 B 19        
  3   Napolina Alfa Romeo Dealer Team
Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT
Peter Hilliard, GB
1570 L4 B 19        
  1   Mopar
Chrysler Avenger 1300 GT
Bernard Unett, GB
1295 L4 A 19 laps, 31.31,4     1.37,2  
  2   Patrick Motor Group
Mini 1275 GT
Richard Longman, GB
1275 L4 A 19        
  3    
Mini 1275 GT
Alan Curnow, GB
1275 L4 A 19        
      Fabergé Racing
Ford Capri II 3.0S
Stuart Graham, GB
2993 V6 D 20     1.31,5  
       
VW Golf GTI
Richard Lloyd, GB
1588 L4 B       1.37,1  
       
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Brian Muir, AUS
1998 L4 C          
      Luton Products
Vauxhall Firenza Magnum 2300
Holman “Les” Blackburn, GB
2279 L4 C