BANK HOLIDAY AT BRANDS HATCH
THE 13.R.S.C.C.„ with the financial backing of Guards Cigarettes, put on an enjoyable series of races on I Ioliday Monday, under warm skies and watched by a large crowd of spectators. Main event of the day was a Formula Two event, run in two warm-up Heats, of so laps each, and a Final of 40 laps, and Brabham, Rindt, Hill, Attwood, Stewart and Irwin flew back to England overnight, from Canada, to take part. The entry was divided into two groups for the Heats, and in the first one Rindt just ran away from the other tz runners, driving a Winkelmann 13rabham-Cosworth FVA, and won as he pleased. Stewart (Matra-Cosworth) got himself boxed-in at the start, and Brabham had a poor grid position, so that though they finished second and third, respectively, they had to work for their final positions, Brabham doing a typical ” Brands Dive Inside ” manoeuvre on Beltoise (Matra-Cosworth) going into Druids. The German Hahne drove the works Lola-B.M.W., which seemed to be going quite well, and Widdows had some moments of glory in second place, thanks to an excellent start, until the works drivers caught him up.
This short dice was followed by a 20-lap race for Group 4 sports cars, which produced -a very fine entry of Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, M.G., Lotus Elan and Diva cars. In practice Crabbe had a wheel break off his Ford CiT40 and crashed badly, wrecking the car but escaping very lightly himself. Hawkins looked like being favourite for the overall victory, but he was handicapped by a gearbox that only wanted to select 4th and 5th gears most of the time, so that it was David Piper (Ferrari 275I,M) who took the lead and held it throughout. It was a popular victory and showed that the old Ferraris can still be competitive. Liddell (Ford GT40) made a good start from the front row of the grid, but was gradually worn down by faster drivers Attwood (Ferrari LM) and Dean (Porsche Carrera 6). The Porsches of de ‘Lrely and Bradley had a slight nudging match, which caused the Stewards to wag fingers at de ‘Udy and tell him not to be a ” naughty boy.”
6th P. Sutcliffe Ford GT461.
Fastest lap : P. Hawkins (Ford .CiT40),1 min. 39:0 sec.-155.676 k.p.h.
96.36 m.p.h.). Class Winners : Class A-Over z,soci c.c.: D. Piper (Ferrari 2751.W. Class B-1,601-z,sao c.c.: A. G. Dean (Porsche Carrera),
Class C-t,t x,600 c.c.: W. Dryden t Lotus Han,, Class fl-Up to 1.150 c.c.: J. BlOontheld :Diva UT). The second Heat of the Formula Two event contained the second half of the entry and Surtees (Lola-Cosworth) shot off into a lead like Rindt had achieved in Heat I. Graham Hill (Lotus-Cosworth) was a bit sleepy after travelling and started off in 3rd gear, so that he was last away, and his team-mate Oliver (Lotus-Cosworth) vainly chased .Surtees. The second Team Surtees car, the Lola-B.M.W. driven by Irwin; failed to get away and lost a number of laps while the battery was changed, but meanwhile the leading Team Surtees car was pouring out smoke as the sealing ring on the oil filter had split and oil was leaking all over the engine and the track. It lasted for five laps and then all the oil was gone and Sot-tees stopped belOre the engine went bang. Hill got going properly and drove hard to work his way
right through the field to take the lead and win, with Oliver just behind him.
Some light relief was added now by a rather unruly Saloon Car Races over 20 laps, with spins, crashes, bumpings and borings going on all the time. A very tightly packed field was led all the Way by Oliver in the D.R. Racing Mustang, while behind him Gardner spun the Alan Mann Falcon and was rammed by Hill in the works LotusCortina FVA. Out of the confusion and strife a good race was put on by F,Iford (Porsche 911) and Ickx (Lotus-Cortina FVA), the bravado of the Belgian driver getting the better of Elford in the closing stages.
Class Winners :
Class A-Over 2,000 c.c.: J. Oliver (Ford Mustang).
Class II-1,301-2,000 C.C.: 3. Ickx (Lotus-Cortina OVA).
Class C-t,00r-1,300 c.c.: M. Young (Ford Anglia).
Class D-Up to 1,000 c.c.: J. Fitzpatrick (Ford Anglia).
To finish the day nineteen Formula Two cars formed up on the grid, according to times recorded in the Heats, and due to Surtees oiling the track the Heat 2 runners were rather slow and a long way back on the final grid, flill and Oliver being in row five! Beltoise (MatraCosworth) should have been On the second row of the grid, but his engine blew up on his way from the paddock. Having not finished Heat 2 Surtees was a non-starter, so it was a foregone conclusion that Rindt would have an easy victory. ‘Phis he did, leading from start to finish, his immaculately prepared Winkelmann car never missing a beat throughout the 40 laps. Stewart tried in vain to keep up with the flying Austrian driver, and Brabham was never in the running, retiring with art unhappy engine, while Courage made a nonsense and slid sideways off the circuit, ending up on an earth bank. Schlesser (Matra-Cosworth) gradually worked his way through the field, as did Oliver and Hill, but the Team Lotus boys were not happy. Hill had his front anti-roll bar break, which ruined the handling, and Oliver Was driving splendidly but was being penalised i min. for jumping the start (from the fifth row, oh dear!), so that though he worked his way up to third overall, he was officially demoted to sixth place. (Makes a driver want to give up trying, doesn’t it, all these petty rules and regulations ?) However, it was an amuSing, day, and all sorts of Championships seemed to have been at stake, especially in the muddled world of Formula Two.-D. S. J.
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