At Oulton Park on Good Friday, the B.R.S.C.C.’s North-Western Centre organised a most successful National Open meeting with a 37-lap combined Group 4 and 6 race and a Formula Three event to be run in two 10-lap heats and a 27-lap final.
A strong entry for the sports and prototype race, the Guards Spring Cup, was headed by Sid Taylor’s Lola-Chevrolet T70 Mk. Ill for Redman, Hawkins’ Ford GT40, and Piper’s Ferrari 330P3/4. But the most interesting entry here was the Howmet TX turbine car, to be raced by Dibley, rebuilt after the B.O.A.C. 500 accident the week before.
After grumbles from the B.B.C. TV people covering the event about the amount of advertising on the cars, Redman took an immediate lead in the Lola, and although later in gearbox trouble, he held on to the end to win by over two minutes from Hawkins’ GT40. Piper had a good fight with the Ford for second place, but spun out of the battle on lap 26, letting the impressive Howmet up into third spot. But this only briefly, for Dibley had to make a scheduled stop for re-“kerosening,” it was found that the starter wiring had burned out, and the car was sadly wheeled away. Tony Dean drove his little Dino very quickly to occupy third place at the end.
A huge F.3 entry had been reduced almost by half before racing began, but competition was very close, with Heat 1 going narrowly to Mike Walker’s Chequered Flag McLaren-Broadspeed, from Lucas’ Titan and Gethin’s neat Chevron. Heat 2 saw Pike’s Titan winning, from Lanfranchi’s Merlyn and Craft’s Tecno, Pike setting a new class lap record of 1 min. 40.2 sec. in the process, The American led early on in the Final too, only to be forced out with a failed transistor box, leaving Lucas, Gethin and Walker in Titan, Chevron and McLaren, respectively, to fight it out. But Lucas had a couple of spins, the Chevron lost its oil pressure and Walker gave the McLaren M4A its first F.3 win from Lanfranchi and the Swede Wissell (who had driven very well on a strange circuit in his Tecno). The first five places were occupied by five different brands of chassis, powered by basically Ford engines from three different tuners.
Track tests: Bathurst
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