Evans Wins Grovewood Award
Rothmans Formula 5000 Championshipwinner Bob Evans won the £1,000 top award in the Grovewood Motor Racing Awards for 1974. Evans, who drove a Lola-Chevrolet T332 entered by McKechnie Racing, had four wins, three seconds, four thirds, one fifth and two sixths from 17 starts in the Rothmans Championship. He also shared a March-DFV 745 in the British Airways 1000 and finished eighth overall, won one Ford Mexico Celebrity Race and finished fourth in another.
In the opinion of the judges, Mike Cotton, Editor of our sister weekly magazine Motoring News, Roger Bell, Editor of Motor, Ray Hutton, (new) Editor of Autocar, and fan Phillips, Editor of Autosport, Evans was, as the Grovewood citation demands, the driver who, in his early career, showed the most outstanding ability and promise, having regard to the car and facilities at his disposal, which could take him further in Motor racing.
This is the second time that one of the McKcchnie Racing Organisation’s drivers has won the award—Mike Walker won it in 1969.
Richard Morgan, Formula Ford-driving brother of David who won the premier award in 1972, won the second award of £500, Australian driver Alan Jones won the third award of £300 for his performances in Formula Three, and special commendations of £100 each went to Formula Atlantic man Jim Crawford and British Touring Car Champion Stuart Graham.
Return of Ecurie Ecosse
The famous name Ecurie Ecosse, probably best known for its successes at Le Mans with D-type Jaguars in the days when David Murray ran the team, will be seen on the circuits once again this year, in International Formula Three events. In full, the new team will be known as MacDonald Shand-Ecurie Ecosse following an agreement between the Dumfries-based MacDonald Shand Racing Team and the Earl of Elgin, who holds the title to the name Ecurie Ecosse on behalf of the Friends of Scotland Organisation. Drivers will be Graham Hamilton from Kirkbean, Dumfriesshire, Stuart Lawson from Kirkliston near Edinburgh, and Gordon Dalzell from Dumfries.
A five-speed gearbox made by Getrag of Germany, who make most of BMW’s gearboxes, has been introduced as standard equipment on the Jensen-Healey. It replaces the four-speed Chrysler gearbox. Improved fuel consumption, acceleration and more restful high-speed cruising are claimed for this aluminium-encased, Porsche-type synchromesh gearbox. Other changes include the raising of the final-drive ratio from 3.73 to 1 to 3.45 to 1, the fitting of a two-piece propeller-shaft with constant velocity joints, the introduction of a wood veneer facia with a new-style glove box, the re-positioning of the clock and the addition of a lockable fuel-filler cap. The bad news is that those dreadful “5-m.p.h. bumpers” shown at the Motor Show are to be standard for all markets.
Revised Oulton Park
The famous Island and Esso Bends have disappeared in a winter revision of Oulton Park circuit, which has whittled the circuit down from 2.76 miles to 1.654 miles. The revised section leaves the existing track at Cascades corner which will become a slight kink instead of a sharp left-hander. Then the track turns right to rejoin the existing circuit at a much slower approach to the righthanded sweep of Knicker Brook. It is claimed that the new circuit will be safer and provide better spectating. Motorcycles will Continue to use the full circuit—without its Armco round the Esso complex.