International Formula Three at Brands Hatch

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The Motor Show is the occasion for British car manufacturers to tempt their customers with as much glitter and excitement as they can. In motor racing, too, the Brands Hatch long circuit is now traditionally the venue on the first Sunday after the Show opens, of a fierce Formula Three race in which every driver in the Formula, from whatever country he hails, makes a special effort to persuade any prospective sponsors who may be around that his ability is greater than anyone else’s.

This year’s event, held on October 19th, had the best F3 entry of any yet held at the Kentish circuit, and although the 74-car programme was badly hit by non-starters, the quality of the racing hardly suffered. Sorted out by two 10-lap heats, 35 cars started the 25-lap final, five of them detaching themselves from the remainder to fight another nerve-tingling battle for the lead. Although positions changed all around the circuit, usually more than twice per lap, it was Swede Reine Wisell in his works Chevron B15 and Midlander Morris Nunn in one of three Gold Leal Team Lotus 59s who stayed in front, trying desperately to outfox each other all the way. Nunn calculated that if he could stay in second place until the final long straight, he might then be able to come out of Wisell’s slipstream and pass into the lead for the last lap. But Wisell was having trouble with steering which was gradually becoming stiffer and stiffer: on the last lap he had a slight moment in Druid’s which forced Nunn to go ahead, so it was Wisell who was better-placed for the win, which he duly took in impressive style. Close behind a somewhat disappointed Nunn came a second Gold Leaf Team Lotus 59, driven by former Hampshire karting man Bev Bond, while the French Formula Two works Tecno driver Francois Cevert was third, and counted himself lucky to get the place, for he had been passed by New Zealander Howden Ganley (Chevron B15) on the run-up to the final corner, Ganley recovering from a low grid position. Ganley put a wheel on the grass at the last corner and had to throttle back, but he still made fifth place in front of American Roy Pike in a third red, white and gold Lotus 59. These last three were to close that they were given the same time by the timekeepers, 1.4 sec. behind the winner. Ganley recorded the fastest F3 lap time ever around the long Brands Hatch circuit at 100.00 m.p.h. exactly, the first time a Formula Three car has ever lapped at this speed.—M. G. D.

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