1971 World Championship Victory Race
- Sunday, October 24, 1971
- Rothmans World Championship Victory Race
When the Mexican Grand Prix was cancelled Brands Hatch's idea of holding a Formula One race on the same date to bolster up the already heavy Motor Show 200 meeting programme seemed an excellent idea. The race was hurriedly given the title of the Rothmans World Championships Victory race and further light-hearted fun was added by the plan to have an Escort Mexico race for team managers. With these ingredients and beautiful weather on the day the meeting looked as if it would bring an ideal end to the 1971 season. But in motor racing the unexpected is ever present and death always lurks around the corner. As is now history, on lap 15 of the main race Jo Siffert's BRM P160, which had served him so well during the year, careered into a bank at an unlikely point and burst into an inferno from which the Swiss driver had little chance of surviving. That Brands Hatch day is now one we would rather forget.
The entry list of combined Formula One and 5000 cars included a brand new Formula One car, the Tecno flat-12 built in Bologna, but there was no sign of it and the firm's British representative explained that the bag tanks had been manufactured incorrectly but otherwise the car was ready to run. Nanni Galli was to have been the driver. Another new car which failed to appear was the latest Surtees Formula 5000, designated the TS11, which was lacking the appropriate Chevrolet engine. Mike Hailwood had been nominated as driver but he took over the second TS9 Formula One, leaving Italian Andrea de Adamich without a drive. Hailwood thus drove TS9/004 and Surtees himself was racing the usual Eifelland car TS9/002, the later side-radiator model having been despatched to Kyalami for testing.
A new Formula One face was that of the Argentinian Carlos Reutemann, who has had such an excellent Formula Two season. He drove a works Brabham BT33/1 (as used by Schenken at the start of the year) as a prelude to joining the team full time for 1972. In fact it wasn't his Formula One début for he had driven a Bonnier McLaren M7C in the Argentinian GP in January. Interestingly it was the first time since 1966 that Ron Tauranac's Motor Racing Developments' team were running three cars for they also fielded Tim Schenken in his regular BT33 and Graham Hill in the BT34. Former Gilbey F1 driver and Broadspeed and Ecurie Evergreen Team Manager Keith Greene had joined MRD in a similar capacity, thus relieving Tauranac of some of his worries.
Permanent road course
Niki Lauda (Ferrari 312B3) and Tom Pryce (Shadow DN5A-Ford), 1m21.1, 117.632 mph, F1, 1974 and 1975 respectively
First Race1956 Brands Hatch F2