Driving a Ford Cosworth GA-powered Chevron, David Purley twice won ShellSport Group Eight rounds at Mallory in 1976. But three years earlier he was racking up the successes at the Leicestershire circuit in Formula Atlantic.
Purley’s BP series win in August ’73 came despite a disputed qualifying time which left him on the third row. His March 722 burst through from the third row to take second place from the start, before moving ahead of Ray Mallock on the third lap. Mallock stopped with ignition trouble, meaning that Ken Bailey and John Nicholson chased Purley home.
A new lap record also went Purley’s way — and it was only a second slower than François Cevert lapped his F1 Tyrrell on the same day. Still using the gear ratios from the previous weekend’s grand prix at the Osterreichring (rather different in nature to Mallory…), the Frenchman narrowly failed to beat compatriot Jean-Pierre Jarier’s F2 lap record. Proving himself a good sport, Cevert also competed in the Escort Mexico celebrity race, demoting Willie Green on the last lap to finish third behind Gerry Marshall and Keith Holland.
Mallory’s Atlantic Stars
Dave Morgan: won at Mallory before his F2 success – and after it.
Bill Gubelmann: double winner in 1972, but sadly sustained serious head injuries at Mallory in ’76 when he crashed his F2 March.
Tom Pryce: up-and-coming Welshman won for Royale in ’73.
Jim Crawford: successful in ’74 and ’75.
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