TGP title closes up after Donington

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Flinging his ex-Keke Rosberg Williams FW08B round with abandon as he explored the limits of tyre adhesion, Bob Berridge chiselled the gap to Tony Smith back to four points at the head of the Thoroughbred Grand Prix table in a thriller which overshadowed a dull FIA GT feature at Donington on September 6.

Berridge shook off former circuit winners Steve Hitchins (Lotus 91-10) and John Wilson (Williams FWO8C-9), who traded places several times and were locked in combat for the last 12 laps.

Behind a lonely Mike Wrigley, back in his ex-Martin Brundle Tyrrell 012-3, Mike Whatley (Ensign N177) and Paul Ingram (Shadow DN9-2B) slugged it out for fifth having carved their way from the pits and the back of the grid respectively.

Whatley’s pre-ground effect class victory denied Smith maximum points, but he guided his Williams FW06-4 home in second, once early leader Dave Abbott’s March 761-5 had careered off at Redgate, as a result of a jammed throttle.

A super JPS Lotus dice saw Junro Nishida (77) overcome Graham Willcox’s 87B, but Joaquin Folch crashed his 87 at the Craner Curves having braved it out on the outside of Ian Giles’s Brabham BT49D. In the FIA Championship finale, third place was sufficient for Briton Tony Thompson to clinch his third successive FIA Lurani Trophy in Formula Junior’s 40th anniversary year with the Miller Oils Lotus 27, despite a spin. Swedish Ford Falcon ace Bengt Winqvist and the Scuderia del Portello team of Marco Cajani/Antonio Maglione (Alfa Romeo Giulietta) both finished on maximum points in the FIA Historic Touring Car series. MP