Brands Hatchings

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René Arnoux’s miserable day was completed by having to make a second pit stop as he didn’t like the Goodyear tyres fitted at his first stop. It made little difference, apart from dropping him a lap behind Piquet.

* * *

It was a great day for the newly-formed Nelson Piquet Fan Club.

* * *

Jonathan Palmer did a nice tidy job on his “courtesy drive” in the Williams FWO8C / 06, qualifying without any drama, and running a good regular race to finish 13th, obviously learning as he went along.

* * *

The Didcot factory was at full stretch, fielding three Williams cars for practice and then bringing along a fourth car to replace FWO8C / 07 which Rosberg damaged in practice. It was FWO8C / 02 but was not actually used.

* * *

The Brands Hatch flying display excelled, with Hawker Hind, Supermarine Spitfire, Avro Lancaster, Hawker Hurricane, de Havilland Mosquito, and Boeing Flying Fortess among others.

* * *

The only hospital case of the day seemed to be the victim of a lawn-mower accident, during a race for grass-cutters on the Clearways arena. Yes, everything happened at the Autumn Fayre.

* * *

Patrese set off from the pits for the starting grid in BT52B/6, his own car, but it was running badly so he returned promptly and jumped into BT52B/1, the spare car which was set up for Piquet. He went round again and took his position on the grid and in the 15 minute wait before the parade lap the Brabham mechanics re-set the pedals, controls and seat to suit the Italian.

 * * *

In Saturday qualifying there was a speed trap at the start / finish line which recorded the instant speed of the cars. The Brabham-BMWs were clocked at 173 mph, while Lauda’s McLaren-Porsche clocked 170 mph, a lot depending on the speed of exit of Clearways corner coupled to high-speed acceleration. Fastest Cosworth power was Sullivan’s Tyrrell with 154 mph. Slowest was Boesel’s Ligier with 147 mph.

* * *

It was the penultimate race for Patrick Tambay in a Ferrari, as the following Tuesday saw Enzo Ferrari announce that he was replacing Tambay with Alboreto for 1984. The result of some “behind the scenes” Italian manipulation to suit interested parties, nothing to do with Tambay’s ability or record.