Following Jean-Pierre Jarier’s crushing victory in the opening round of the European Formula Two Championship at Mallory Park in March, a month elapsed before round two at Hockenheim in Germany. This gave everyone the time to catch up and the entry doubled from the twenty cars seen at Mallory. The Motul Rondel team appeared with a full complement of their own Motul M1s, there were no fewer than nine March-BMWs, several more GRDs, the Alpine-based Elf 2 and various other additions. Last year’s F2 Champions Team Surtees were also well represented but as the meeting clashed with the International Trophy at Silverstone the works Matchbox cars were driven by Jochen Mass and Derek Bell.
Practice for the thirty places on the grid showed that the March-BMW was far from invincible with Mass’ Surtees setting equal fastest time with Beltoise’s March. Jarier was third fastest while Patrick Depailler, having his first race since his seventh place in the US Grand Prix for Tyrrell, was fourth fastest in the Elf 2.
As usual at Hockenheim the race was split into two twenty-lap parts with combined times to count for the overall result. When the flag dropped for the start of heat one, it was Jarier who steamed off into the lead taking Beltoise with him and the pair soon pulled away from Mass and Depailler, the German later stopping with a puncture. Thus it was the three Frenchmen—Jarier, Beltoise and Depailler—who filled the first three places. Driving in only his second single-seater race Hans Stuck jnr. made a tremendous impression by bringing the third works STP March-BMW through to fourth place ahead of Bell’s Surtees and the works Chevrons of Birrell and Gethin. Pescarolo was the first of the troubled Motul drivers (Schenken and Scheckter collided on the warm-up lap and lost time) while Wilson Fittipaldi in the works Brabham and Coulon’s March-BMW completed the top ten.
Heat two was simply another March-BMW demonstration although Stuck had to be push-started and was disqualified. Jarier took an immediate lead but Beltoise lasted only two laps before his engine swallowed a stone and damaged a valve. Depailler thus was a clear second ahead of the rest led by the works Surtees although, again, Mass ran into trouble and had to retire. This time Schenken finished fourth ahead of Roger Williamson’s GRD which had been dicing for many a lap with Colin Vandervell’s March-BMW, the pair having previously been rivals in Formula Three.
On combined results it was Jarier the 20-sec. victor over Depailler with Bell third, Pescarolo fourth and Wilson Fittipaldi in fifth place for Brabham. Vandervell claimed sixth place in his second ever F2 race and Coulon seventh in his first. The combination of the latest March chassis and the BMW engine is undoubtedly going to be a difficult combination to beat, while Jean-Pierre Jarier is certainly rewarding March for the confidence they have shown in him. – A. R. M.
Jim Clark Memorial Trophy – Hockenheim – Formula Two – 2 x 20 laps – 267 kilometres
1st: J-P. Jarier (March 732-BMW) … 1 hr. 22 min. 27 sec. – 197.6 k.p.h.
2nd: P. Depailler (Elf 2-Ford/Hart BDA) … 1 hr. 22 min. 46.9 sec.
3rd: D. Bell (Surtees TS15-Ford/Hard BDA) … 1 hr. 23 min. 59.4 sec.
4th: H. Pescarolo (Motul M1-Ford/Smith FVD) … 1 hr. 24 min. 55.5 sec.
5th: W. Fittipaldi (Brabham BT40-Ford/Wood BDA) … 1 hr. 25 min. 20.8 sec.
6th: C. Vandervell (March 732-BMW) … 1 hr. 25 min. 53.4 sec.
Fastest lap: J-P. Jarier (March 732-BMW), 2 min. 2.4 sec. – 199.7 k.p.h.