Gallego’s TGP title on home ground
IEsbril I Oct 9-10
Local hero Rodrigo Gallego’s allaction drive in the concluding round of the Thoroughbred Grand Prix series was sufficient to secure the fiercely contested title. At the front, American real estate developer Duncan Dayton soaked up the pressure aboard his Williams FIVO7 from Joaquin Folch’s FW08 and the Brabham BT49D of Christian Glasel, and was never headed over the 12 laps. In Class B, Gallego needed to only finish second in class
to seal the title, but it was far from a foregone conclusion: he soon came under attack from John Bosch’s sublime ex-Villeneuve Ferrari 312 T2 as class front-runner John Crowson streaked away into the distance in his Ensign N177. After losing fuel pressure the Ferrari retired, but by this time Gallego’s March 761 had lost the lower three gears and he did well to hold on to the flag. A mixed bag of local entries made for entertaining FIA GTC 1976 battles, with Jorge Ferreira’s rapid Ford Escort RS winning both races. Wolfgang Schachinger’s Alpina
BMW 3.0CSL kept him honest in the first after Armin Zumbotel’s Porsche 906 retired. In the second, Ferreira disappeared into the far distance with only Carlos Santos’s Porsche 911 RSR staying within shouting range.
Schachinger’s demon Chevrolet Corvette took the first of the GTC 1965 encounters after Hans-Jurgen Malsbenden’s similar car retired with brake problems, but he failed to make an impression in the second race. Malsbenden took the lead but spun on oil, leaving Jamie Boot’s TVR Griffith to capitalise.
Carl Gustavsson’s Lotus Cortina secured the first FIA TC 1965 race from a charging Dieter Karl Anton, but Sunday’s damp second event was far more entertaining. Veteran Mini ace Graham Churchill, a class winner in the first encounter, defied kamikaze challenges from wayward Mustangs at the start to reel in Anton’s Alfa Romeo GTA by lap seven, finally taking charge after the German had a grassy moment.
After building up a massive lead in Sunday’s Lurani Trophy race, Denis Welch was forced out when his Merlyn’s distributor cap fell off, leaving Alistair Morrison’s Cooper T67 to take the chequer. Welch made up for it with a commanding solo performance in a processional one-hour Gentleman Drivers’ GT Sports Racing Challenge, his Elva heading the Cooper Monaco-Ford of Chris Phillips and Barrie Williams by a lap. Cobra racers Oliver Bryant and Bill Shepherd took the twohour-long Gentleman Drivers’ GT Endurance race ahead of the ISO Grifo coupe of Antonio Simoes and Francisco Albuquerque.
The final race for Touring GT & Sports Classics saw Richard Eyre’s Leyton House-liveried Porsche 962 outclass the small array of Group 6 and Can-Am challengers with only the enthusiastically driven Chevron B19 of Mario Silva staying within 20 seconds of the Weissach machine after Eyre throttled back towards the end.