Gary Pearson continued his successful season by taking David Pennell’s Cooper-Climax T51 to victory in the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association race at Nogaro on 9/10 September. It was an all-Cooper result, with Pearson followed to the line at the end of the two-part race by Alan Miles (153) and Rod Jolley (T51).
The first race had featured an incredible five-car battle. John Beasley (Cooper T45) and Philip Walker (Lotus 16) lapped in close company with the three leaders, all five cars arriving at the hairpin in line abreast on more than one occasion. There was still nothing between the first two at the last corner, but a quick spin by Miles enabled Pearson to win by eight seconds, with Jolley, Beasley and Walker following them home.
Sunday’s race took place in a heavy downpour, through which Pearson kept a cool head and ran home five seconds clear of Miles. Beasley was caught out by the conditions and spun into the wall on the opening lap, leaving Jason Wright (Cooper T51) to finish fourth ahead of Walker.
Drive of the race came from Tony Merrick, whose ERA finished sixth in spite of a last-lap spin, after which the marshals demanded he leave the car. He leapt out, started it on the handle, and raced off to claim his prize.
Merrick’s effort in the second race hauled him up to sixth on aggregate, behind Pearson, Miles, Jolley, Walker and Wright.