Announced last month by the Motor Circuit Developments Ltd. combine was news of what is billed to be the richest motor race in Europe. The total prize fund will be £50,000 with the winner taking £20,000. The race will be staged at Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday, August, 1972, and is to be called the Rothmans 50,000 in deference to the sponsors, the cigarette manufacturers, Rothmans of Pall Mall.
The Rothmans 50,000 will be open to any type of car running on normal pump or turbine fuel (but not nitro and other special fuels, thus ruling out Indianapolis-type cars) and the organisers are hoping that the lure of the big money will be enough to persuade some constructors to build specials. No doubt there will be entries from Formula One, Formula Two, Formula 5000, Can-Am cars and 5-litre sports cars like the Porsche 917. One would also expect to see Formula 5000 cars with possibly 6-litre Chevrolet engines and also a few turbine cars.
But Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, being rather bumpy and quite twisty, tends to be a great equaliser so we could be in for some giant-killing. Another consideration is that the race will be over 118 laps, which is 500 kilometres, so refuelling and tyre changes will be necessary.
The organisers have already opened the entry list and confidently expect that by June of next year they will have up to 100 entries which will be seeded to take part in three days’ qualifying trials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 24th, 25th and 26th. Qualification will decide the fastest 30 cars to take part in the race, while the next 30 will be eligible for a consolation race.
The admission price for this race will be the highest ever charged in Britain at £2 per head, but the booking office is already open and tickets can be purchased at £1.50 if booked in advance.
It will be interesting to see how the race shapes for it is over a year off at the moment. However, on the face of it the idea seems an excellent one.—A. R. M.