FORMULA 3 REVIEW
FOLLOWING the opening round of the MOTOR SPORT/Shell Championship on Good Friday at Snetterton the scene changed to Silverstone and the opening event of the popular International Trophy Meeting on April 26th. The Formula Three races at this circuit have always been exciting, for the fast Northamptonshire circuit tends to produce fast slipstreaming groups. Going quickly in an F3 car at Silverstone is a rather specialist art which can only be gained from experience and, even then, one needs to be exceptionally strong of heart to indulge in the frightening weaving bunches of the leading contenders. All good training, however, for F2 races at Hockenheim and the Italian GP at Monza.
A rival meeting at Barcelona on the same weekend attracted away a few of the British contenders, but the entry was still some 30 strong. The rain played havoc with practice so some of the top men who didn't get out early for practice had to start from the back. Fastest overall was the young but experienced Aberdonian driver Richard Scott who runs a Brabham BT28 in a most professional way from London headquarters.
Once the race was underway a group of about 12 cars broke away from the rest and were all swopping and chopping positions. Gradually the two works Gold Leaf-Team Lotus 59s driven by David Walker and Bev Bond managed to pull away from the rest, but in the process they took with them the Chevron B15 driven by Ian Ashley. Ashley, with limited help from the Rose Bearings firm, had hired the car for the day and was really giving his sponsors value for money. The works Lotus drivers managed to stay ahead, but often Ashley split them. Behind, a tense battle for fourth place was contested by a much larger bunch of cars circulating within inches of each other.
With a lap to go this bunch split up as a couple of the cars spun in avoiding a backrnarker. The Chevron of New Zealand ex-Denny Hulme Formula Three mechanic Bert Hawthorne was eliminated, while Keith Jupp, who finished third in the first round, lost a lot of time recovering.
The final lap was terrific, with the verdict in doubt to the last corner. Into Woodcote the Australian, Walker, was just ahead, but Ashley managed to snatch second place from Bond. As they swept round the long Woodcote Corner, the little 1-litre 120 b.h.p. engines working overtime, Bond tried to re-pass Ashley by going wide. Unfortunately he lost control and, as Walker took the flag ahead of Ashley, Bond left the track backwards and smashed into the sleepers on the outside of the corner. The car was wrecked but he stepped out uninjured and was still credited with third place.
The rest were led by James Hunt in a Lotus 59, backed by the Molyslip additive people, followed in quick succession by Brazilian Carlos Pace, Tony Trimmer (winner of round 1), Dave Morgan in one of the new March F3s, Mike Beuttler, Wilson Fittipaldi (brother of F2 man Emerson) and New Zealander Alan McCully. The others were hardly in it.
The result put Walker into a firm lead of the Championship as he had already finished second at Snetterton. Trimmer moved down to second place, having transferred his allegiance from Lotus back to Brabham since Snetterton.
GKN BIRFIELD TRANSMISSION TROPHY—Silverstone—Formula Three 20 laps-58.54 miles—Dull but dry
MOTOR SPORT/SHELL FORMULA THREE CHAMPIONSHIP—Round 2
1st: D. Walker (Lotus 59-Holbay Ford) 33 min. 04.2 sec.-106.21 m.p.h
2nd: I. Ashley (Chevron B15- Holbay Ford) .. 33 min. 04.4 sec.
3rd: B. Bond (Lotus 59-Holbay Ford) .. 33 min. 06.7 scc.
4th: J. Hunt (Lotus 59-Holbay Ford).. 33 min. 21.3 sec.
5th : C. Pace (Lotus 59- Holbay Ford) 33 min. 22.3 sec.
6th: A. Trimmer (Brabham BT28- Holbay Ford) 33 mm. 23.8 sec.
Fastest lap : Walker (Lotus) 1 min. 37.1 sec.-108.52m.p.h.
The Formula Three race which supports the Monaco GP is always reckoned to be the most important event in the Junior Formula's calendar, the one that everyone wants to win. For this reason we included the race in the Championship as the only non-British round, although, needless to say, there was a huge British contingent amongst the 60 prospective entrants. These were whittled down to the fastest 40 in practice, rain again catching put those drivers who didn't get in some fast practice times early on. With 40 selected there were two heats to further reduce the number to 22.
The veteran F3 ace Jean-Pierre Jaussaud (Tecno) was strong favourite for victory and he ran to an easy win in his heat. Behind there was a tremendous battle which resolved itself in a multiple accident at the chicane. This eliminated the Brabhams of Mike Beuttler and promising new Frenchman Bob Wollek, the Chevron of the Swiss Jürg Dubler and the Lotus of Wilson Fittipaldi. Somehow Tony Trimmer, in his Brabham, managed to avoid everyone as the non-injurious accident happened all round him and finished second ahead of Richard Scott.
The second heat provided a somewhat surprise win for the little Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Cassegrain, who has been racing F3 cars for four years or so and has suddenly started to go quickly with his Brabham BT28. Second was Gerry Birrell in the works-backed Brabharn with Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier third. GLTL driver Bev Bond crossed the line fourth with a front wheel hanging off after a last corner bump with Jarier.
In the final Jaussaud took the early lead, but before the end of the first lap his distributor gave trouble and he stopped at the pits. This left Cassegrain in from, although he was being worried by Trimmer, and the British driver snatched the lead at the Gasworks hairpin on lap 3 and never relinquished it. Cassegrain hung on to Trimmer but never had a chance to re-take the lead.
Next were three more British drivers, Bev Bond in his works Lotus, Birrell in the Brabham (despite a spin) and Richard Scott who lost his clutch towards the end. Jarier finished sixth ahead of fellow Frenchman Jimmy Mieusset (Martini) and Silverstone winner Dave Walker in his works Lotus. Walker had trouble in his heat and only qualified on the back of the grid.
Other British finishers were Barrie Maskell (Chevron) in tenth place, Mike Keens (Tecno) 13th, Dave Morgan (March) 14th, Peter Hanson (Chevron) 15th and Ray Allen (EMC) 16th.
Trimmer's win in the Race Cars International Brahhani 13T28 puts this 27-year-old professional racing driver back at the top of the Championship stakes. It is also interesting to note that the first six finishers at Silverstone were all using Holbay-tuned F3 engines and at Monaco the first three. This company up at Martlesham Aerodrome has for a long time played second best to Charles Lucas Engineering, who utilise mainly Cosworth parts, but Holbay appear to have the upper hand at the moment. There seems to be little between the various chassis designs at the moment apart from the drivers sitting in them. On this score at present the Brabham BT28s and Lotus 59s undoubtedly have the edge.
12th GRAND PRIX MONACO F3-Monte Carlo-Formula Three
24-lap Final-75.5 kms.-Overcast
1st: A. Trimmer (Brabham BT28-Holbay Ford) .. 38 min. 00.8 sec.-119.14.k.p.h.
2nd: J-P. Cassegrain (Brabham BT28-Holbay Ford) .. 38 min. 01.9 sec.
3rd: B. Bond (Lotus 59-Holbay Ford) .. 38 min. 19.3. sec.
4th: G. H. Birrell (Brabham BT28-Lucas Ford) 38 min. 28.7 sec.
5th: R. Scott (Brabham BT28-Lucas Ford) 38 min. 32.0 sec.
6th: J-P. Jarier (Tecno-Novamotor Ford) .. 38 min. 36.4 sec.
Fastest lap: J-P. Cassegrain (Brabham), 1 min. 33.5 sec.-121.09 k.p.h.