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1972 Rothmans '50,000'


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#1 fines

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 15:25

Aug 28, 1972
Brands Hatch
312.56 miles (=118 laps?)

1st Fittipaldi (Lotus_Ford) 109.84 mph
2nd Redman (McLaren_Ford)
3rd Pescarolo (March_Ford)

Anyone with more information?

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#2 TonyKaye

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 16:06

4. Gerry Birrell March-Ford 722 BDA
5. James Hunt (who he?) F2 March Ford 712M BDA
6. John Watson Chevron-Ford B20 FVC
7. Alan Rollinson F5000 Lola-Chevrolet T300
8. Tom Belso F2 Brabham-Ford BT38 BDA
9. David Prophet Mclaren-Chevrolet M10B
10. Claude Bourgoigne F2 GRD-Ford 272 BDA
11. Steve Thompson F5000 Surtees-Chevrolet TS8
12. Mario Casoni 3.0 Lola-Ford T280
13. Keith Holland F5000 Lola-Chevrolet T190/2
14. Ronnie Mackay 1.6 Brabham-Ford BT30 FVA
15. Jean-Pierre Beltoise F1 BRM P160C
16. Tim Schenken F2 Brabham-Ford BT38 BDA
17. Richard Scott 1.9 Brabham-Ford BT38 FVC
18. Ray Allen F5000 Mclaren-Chevrolet M18
19. John Wingfield F2 Brabham-Ford BT36 BDA
20. Alan Jones (who he?) GRD-Ford 272 BDA
Fastest lap: Fittipaldi 1'25.1" 112.10 mph
There were a lot of retirements too.
It was a good race. I know because I was there!
Any other data needed?

#3 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 16:24

from Motor Sport October 1972

BRANDS HATCH, August 28th EARLY in 1971 John Webb and his band of merry helpers at the Brands Hatch racing circuit announced that they would hold a special race on August Bank Holiday 1972. It was to have two outstanding features, (1) it would be open to any type of racing vehicle, and (2) first prize would be £20,000. There were numerous other interesting details, such as the length being 118 laps of the full circuit, other prize moneys making the total up to £50,000, regulations would be FIA Group 9, which is Free-Formula, 100 entries would be accepted, 30 starters would be allowed, the selection being the 30 fastest, and the next 30 fastest would get a consolation race, the final 40 entries would have wasted their time. Promise was made of a small bag of gold for the leader on each lap, and MOTOR SPORT offered £25 a lap for the first 10 laps, but none of the ether motoring publications supported Webb in this ambitious venture. Overall everyone seemed keen on the idea and very grateful for the long period of warning, more than 18 months. The whole thing seemed a bit like a Kentish version of Indianapolis, but at least it was something different from the usual segregated races for Formulae 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and so on, and so on. Put the whole boiling lot into, one big race and may the best combination of car and driver win ,was the general idea.
There were general mutterings about building specials for this one race, with unlimited engine power and unlimited streamlining, and so -on, and some European organisers became sufficiently interested in this idea of a Free Formula race that they suggested that they might organise further events for the unregulated specials that were visualised, After that everything went quiet and everyone got on with their normal racing to the existing Formulae and to the various categories of sports cars and saloon cars, and time went by very quickly. The British Grand Prix was held at Brands Hatch in July, with a lot of high-pressure publicity before the event, and the Rothmans 50,000 seemed to get overlooked. Suddenly it was all too late, entries were scarce, no one had built specials, few of the big names were interested in taking part, and the whole thing looked like fizzling out. Everyone made excuses and blamed this or that, some saying that they could not hope to win so what was the point of entering, as most of the money was for first place, so the £20,000 prize was halved and the second £10,000 was spread down the line from second place, but that did not help much. Others found they were already committed to races elsewhere, even though the Rothmans 50,000 had its date long before the 1972 International calendar was drawn up, others said they were too busy on the existing Formula One season or the World Championship, or something.
In the end the British racing team sponsors came to the rescue of the sponsors of the event (honour among thieves?) and the three major Formula One teams from England entered to represent John Player, Yardley and Marlboro, with standard Formula One cars slightly modified in order to carry a bit more fuel and run the 118 laps non-stop. The rest of the scene was private and amateur teams, individuals, and a few hopefuls making around 65 entries.
It did not need much imagination to see the pattern of things for lap speeds are known for almost any form of racing vehicle at Brands Hatch, and it does not need much in the way of pencil-and-paper work to decide upon the optimum vehicle speed and endurance round the Kentish circuit. Emersorn Fittipaldi in a Lotus 72, Stewart in a Tyrrell or Ickx in a Ferrari must be the choice and a Formula One car is quicker than anything else round the circuit, as shown by times of Porsche 917 and Ferraris in the BOAC sports car race, while no type of saloon could get near them and more powerful things like Can-Am cars are too big for the little circuit. As Stewart and Ickx did not enter, and Fittipaldi did, the result was a foregone conclusion, providing the Lotus would keep going for 118 laps. This is exactly what it did, and Fittipaldi led from start to finish, running through non-stop at a fairly leisurely pace, driving the spare works Lotus, number 72D/R5. The McLaren team entered their spare Grand Prix car, number M19A/1 and Redrnan drove it equally effortlessly into second place, also from start to finish and these two were the only ones to complete the 118 laps. BPM entered two of their Grand Prix cars, fitted with bulging cockpit sides to carry more fuel, but they both fell by the wayside, Beltoise having fuel-pump trouble on his car and Ganicy having the rear suspension break. The Frank Williams team entered its March 711, normally raced by Pace and Pescarolo drove it, keeping the engine revs down below 10,000 and it lastred the distance, though it had to make a stop to refuel. In consequence it ws hampered throughout by the faster FormulaTwo cars, in particular those of Gerry Birrell, Hunt and Watson, the first named running a beautifully regulated race knowing he could not match the performance of the Formula One cars, and he finished on the same lap as Pescarolo's March 711. A very large contingent of formula 5000 Chevrolet-powered cars entered the race, a good number qualifying in , the fastest 30 cars, but round the twisty Brands Hatch circuit they:were left behind by the more nimble Formula 2 cars who were themselves left behind by the better Formula One cars so that the whole event was in effect three races in one. And Rollinson won the F5000 category. Only one sports car qualified for the main event, that being the Lola T280, with Cosworth V8 power driven by Casoni. and it only just scraped in. During practice Fittipaldi lapped in 1 min-22.5 see., just one tenth of a second faster than his best practice lap in the British Grand Prix, and qualifiers were all well under 1 min 30 sec., so it was easy to see why a lot of people did not bother to enter.
Looking back on the event it would appear that it suffered mainly from being held at Brands Hatch as everyone knows exactly what their drivers and cars are capable of round the full circuit, and in addition -the circuit is not fast enough for sheer power to overcome sophisticated cornering power. Had it been held at Silverstone there might have been a different scene, or had it been held on a new circuit with no known facts and figures, more people might taken a gamble The facts and figures at Brands Hatch are too well known for the professionals to gamble, and presumably £20,000 was not enough to justify the building of a one-off special, though quite what it could. have been to beat Fittipaldi in the Lotus 72 is difficult to see. Had the race been for 1,000 kilometres, or even 500 miles, there might have been a different story. As it was it did not quite come off as-hoped for, but it was a brave effort and nobody can say that the Brands Hatch people and the BRSCC do not try-

It's also got the retirements mentioned by Tony if you want to know.





#4 fines

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 17:36

Superb effort, Tony and Roger! :):):):)

Of course I'm interested in the retirements, also non-starters. If you take a look at http://grand-prix-ra...974/1974-gb.htm you will find an example of the amount of information I dream of. :blush: Starting numbers and chassis numbers would really make my day... :):):):)

I hope I don't appear too greedy :confused:[p][Edited by fines on 10-21-2000]

#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 18:46

Fittipaldi was in 72D/R5 race number 5
Redman M19A/1 race number 1
Pescarolo 711/3
Beltoise P160/1

Retirements:
J Cannon March 725
V Schuppan March 722
C McRea McRae GM1
J Schekter McLaren M21
G Spice Kitchmac
P Westbury Brabham BT 38
G van Lennep Surtees TS11
H Ganley BRM P160/04
D Purley March 721G/1
C Reutteman Brabham BT38

There was a consolation Race for the second 30 non-qualifiers

1st D Morgan Brabham BT38
2nd I Ashley Lola T191
3rd A Dean Brabham BT36
4th A Lanfranchi McLaren M10B
5th A Trimmer Brabham BT38
6th C Santo McLaren M10B




#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 23:47

O.K. fines, you asked for it!
I'll give you one of the non-starters.
Car #7 Connew Ford PC2 - Driver Francois Migault.
Reason for non-start: Blown engine.
In fact, to make a short story long, as Francois came past the pits during Saturday afternoon qualifying, the engine sounded flat. A mechanic from another team rushed up to us and warned us to get him in as his experience told him that things were VERY bad. We hung out the IN board as he came by next time, but it was already too late!
A circlip holding the little end bearing had broken, allowing the piston to move very slightly sideways. This in turn split the cylinder liner, and oil came out from various apertures. We ran across the grass to where he stopped at the bottom of Paddock Hill Bend, (incurring the wrath of the stewards, I might add) but we might as well have taken our time because the engine was finished; and so, sadly, was Francois Migault's involvement with our little team. We packed up and went home.
It was not the final chapter for that engine, though, but that's another story...........

#7 fines

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 23:56

Hi Barry, somehow I knew you'd have something to say in this thread :D:D

A somewhat sad story, but a fascinating insight just as well! Tell us, what happened to the engine? What better place than here to discuss it?

#8 fines

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 00:03

Tony, if you've been there that weekend, may I ask you if you still have the programme with the entry list?

#9 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 00:08

We took it apart, and there it sat in all its glory, in bits, until David Purley came along with an offer. He would pay for the rebuild if we let him drive the car in the end of season non-champ race at Brands.
Naturally, we bit his hand off! Ironically, there is a link back to the Rothmans event, because he retired his March from that race when his throttle jammed open. It gave him quite a scare so he insisted that we fit a kill button on the steering wheel. We did. And the wires from that button got snagged on something on the parade lap, pulled loose and killed the electrics and the car rolled to a silent halt, between Hawthorns and Westfield, I believe.
The Connew never ran again as an F1 car.
The engine was to be returned to McLaren, from whence it came, but Phil Kerr kindly allowed Peter to sell it, taking only the amount of money that was originally agreed when we first borrowed the engine.
I think I am right in saying that Alain de Cadenet bought it, and it went into the back of one of his home-built sports cars, and eventually ran in the 24 hour race at Le Mans.
I have this vague feeling that it now resides in the Donington Collection, connected to the back of...... I know not what. But I may be completely wrong about that one.
Right, Malaysia is on at 8 a.m. and it's late so I'm off to bed now! Good night.

#10 fines

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 00:21

Yeah, you're right boy! It's time to hit the pillow - there's one more race to go in this millennium! That's probably the reason for it being so quiet in the NF tonite :D So long, good night.

#11 David Beard

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Posted 19 January 2003 - 21:30

Originally posted by Barry Boor
We took it apart, and there it sat in all its glory, in bits, until David Purley came along with an offer. He would pay for the rebuild if we let him drive the car in the end of season non-champ race at Brands.
Naturally, we bit his hand off! Ironically, there is a link back to the Rothmans event, because he retired his March from that race when his throttle jammed open. It gave him quite a scare so he insisted that we fit a kill button on the steering wheel. We did. And the wires from that button got snagged on something on the parade lap, pulled loose and killed the electrics and the car rolled to a silent halt, between Hawthorns and Westfield, I believe.
The Connew never ran again as an F1 car.
The engine was to be returned to McLaren, from whence it came, but Phil Kerr kindly allowed Peter to sell it, taking only the amount of money that was originally agreed when we first borrowed the engine.
I think I am right in saying that Alain de Cadenet bought it, and it went into the back of one of his home-built sports cars, and eventually ran in the 24 hour race at Le Mans.
I have this vague feeling that it now resides in the Donington Collection, connected to the back of...... I know not what. But I may be completely wrong about that one.
Right, Malaysia is on at 8 a.m. and it's late so I'm off to bed now! Good night.


When I was at school, aged 10 and three quarters, I wrote an essay about the life of a penny. Plenty of time is spent by many people in tracing the life of various racing car chassis...but like a penny, what a story the life of one DFV might be!

(I think I have resurrected an interesting thread, anyway :) )