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Boxing Day Brands 1975


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#1 marksixman

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 12:36

Hi All,

 

At the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting 1975, Gerry Marshall ran Baby Bertha in the Formula Libre race ("for a giggle") against a selection of single-seaters including Val Musetti (F2 March) and others, and apparently won !

 

Has anyone ever seen any video footage of this race, and if so know where it might be available ?

 

Adam.



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#2 John Ginger

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 13:16

According to the results in Gerry’s Biography, Gerry won the Special Saloon race but was 4th in the Libre race

Perhaps Gregor can confirm…

#3 sat

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 13:27

1.   March 752-Ford Val Musetti

2.   Ralt RT1-Ford John Wingfield

3.   Lola T294-Ford Richard Lloyd

4.   Vauxhall Firenza Gerry Marshall

5.   Modus M1-Toyota Jock Robertson

 


Edited by sat, 02 January 2022 - 13:29.


#4 marksixman

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 14:33

Thanks John, Thanks sat. That sounds like solid information.

 

I was looking at the photograph on page 118 of "Only Here for the Beer", which shows Bertha behind Musetti's March (#2) but is captioned "We entered a Libre race at Brands for a giggle. Here I give Philip Guerola's March a frightening spectacle in the mirrors before passing to win !". Guerola was in the race, but driving a Brabham BT30, I think.

 

So, looks like that caption is wrong on two counts ! Never mind, would still like to see see a vid if I can find one !!

 

Adam.



#5 dolomite

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 15:17

BBC Genome shows that the event was televised on BBC1 Grandstand on Sat 27th December 1975. https://genome.ch.bb...631c859aefe20da

#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 18:18

Here’s the Motoring News report of the race:

FORMULE LIBRE - 10 laps

There was no denying Val Musetti in the Jack Brabham Trophy Formule Libre race that closed the meeting. With John Dunn’s Swindon Engineering BDX engine - an experimental 2-litre F2 unit based on the BDG - in the back of his March 75B, Val took pole position with a lap 0.4s under his own Libre record. In the race he snatched the lead from the start, won by almost half a minute, and set a new class lap record of 44.4s - a 100 mph lap that should stand forever, owing to the circuit changes planned for the winter.

Behind him, Gerry Marshall drove Baby Bertha brilliantly to fend off Richard Lloyd’s Roger Heavens-prepared Lola T294 and John Wingfield’s F2 Ralt-BDG for four laps. Not surprisingly the pressure could not be resisted for long, and on lap five the bulky saloon fell to fourth place. Lloyd and Wingfield continued their scrap for second to the line, the single-seater getting it by a few lengths after passing Lloyd’s sportscar on the last lap. Marshall hung on gallantly for a worthy fourth place, while Jock Robertson made fifth in his single-seater debut with the F3 Modus usually handled by Danny Sullivan.



#7 marksixman

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 18:35

Thank you dolomite, Thank you Tim.

 

Adam.



#8 Carl R.S.

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 18:36

Gerry Marshall and Baby Bertha won the Formule Libre race at the Brands Hatch MG Car Club meeting on 7th December 1975, beating Philip Guerola's Brabham BT30 who finished second.



#9 chr1s

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 20:22

Slightly off topic and i know this has been asked before but never answered,  does anyone know when the last Boxing day meeting at Brands was? 



#10 marksixman

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 21:18

Ahhh ! Thank you Carl.

 

That does explain things a lot. The picture in "Only Here for the Beer" is very definitely a March ahead of Bertha, not a Brabham, and Val Musetti was #2 at the Boxing Day event. So, I am guessing that the picture was simply mis-captioned due to confusing the two events. VERY unlikely to find a vid of the MGCC meeting, but will continue to try for Boxing Day, as that did at least get broadcast, it would seem.

 

Adam.



#11 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 06:19

Slightly off topic and i know this has been asked before but never answered, does anyone know when the last Boxing day meeting at Brands was?


The last Boxing Day race meeting was in 1980 (actually run on Sunday 28th December). For 1981 a rallycross event was scheduled in its place but didn’t happen due to heavy snow. It continued as a rallycross event for several more years.

#12 pete53

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 14:49

The last Boxing Day race meeting was in 1980 (actually run on Sunday 28th December). For 1981 a rallycross event was scheduled in its place but didn’t happen due to heavy snow. It continued as a rallycross event for several more years.

So Tim, was that an unbroken run of Boxing Day meetings through to 1980? I only ask because I regularly look on Ebay for old race programmes and don't recall seeing any progs for Boxing Day meetings for the late 70s - although now I think about it I may have seen one for 1977.



#13 MCS

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 15:39

I went in 1977. Was the meeting cancelled once in the 70s though?



#14 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 16:25

The 1970 meeting was called off due to snow. It then ran every year until the final event in 1980. I have Autosport and/or Motoring News reports for all the ‘70s events except the one in 1977 which MCS attended.

#15 chr1s

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 20:56

The last Boxing Day race meeting was in 1980 (actually run on Sunday 28th December). For 1981 a rallycross event was scheduled in its place but didn’t happen due to heavy snow. It continued as a rallycross event for several more years.

Brilliant, thanks for that,  that has bugged me on and off for years!



#16 BRG

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 22:17

There was traditionally a winter sprint at Brands, the only time that the circuit was available for sprinting.  I think it was Sevenoaks & DMC that ran it?  I recall one year, the track was clear but all the trackside grass was under snow.  Now there is a single venue rally at Brands in January, part of the MN Circuit rally championship.



#17 small block

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 08:45

The 1970 meeting was called off due to snow. It then ran every year until the final event in 1980. I have Autosport and/or Motoring News reports for all the ‘70s events except the one in 1977 which MCS attended.

The 1970 meeting was called of due to fog rather than snow. According to the Motoring News report it was abandoned at 1pm then the fog cleared within 30 minutes.

 

The 1964 Boxing Day meeting was postponed by snow and took place in early February 1965.


Edited by small block, 04 January 2022 - 08:48.


#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 11:22

The 1970 meeting was called of due to fog rather than snow. According to the Motoring News report it was abandoned at 1pm then the fog cleared within 30 minutes.

This was 1969, not 1970, I believe. The item in Autosport for 31-Dec-70 is reproduced below. I don’t have a 1969 race [cancellation] report, but do have Autosport for the following week (8-Jan-70) where an angry entrant took to the correspondence column to complain about the last-minute cancellation due to fog, arguing that it had been much worse during the practice sessions.

70-FECE59-5-A6-C-4-A1-E-AB81-14871-CE8-C

(Very OT, sorry, but that same 8-Jan-70 correspondence column features a letter from TNF’s Rob29 pointing out that Autosport had got their Brazilian motor sport history wrong. Good to know that the TNF spirit was flourishing back in 1970. )

#19 Geoff E

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 11:33

Aberdeen Express, 27 Dec 1969

 

The Brands Hatch Christmas

motor racing meeting was can-

celled this afternoon after fog

blanketed the circuit.  It was

only the second Christmas

meeting to be cancelled 

through bad weather in more

than 15 years.



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#20 john winfield

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 11:51

Tim is entirely correct.

 

The late December 1970 Motoring News had wintry shots of Paddock and Druids on the front page with the caption 'Christmas Sport Snowed Out'. I liked a bit of snow but was thoroughly fed up that year as I was going along to the winter Brands meeting for the first time. Managed to get there in 1971/72/73/75 and 1976.  

 

Mallory Park used to have Christmas meetings too. I'm not sure when they began, but there was definitely one in 1965. That was my first visit to the circuit, my last being the Plum Pudding meeting in 2008. I wonder if there have been others since then.  (Edit.  Yes, there was even one this year, cars and bikes, as in 2008)


Edited by john winfield, 04 January 2022 - 12:07.


#21 small block

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 15:42

Tim is entirely correct.

 

The late December 1970 Motoring News had wintry shots of Paddock and Druids on the front page with the caption 'Christmas Sport Snowed Out'. I liked a bit of snow but was thoroughly fed up that year as I was going along to the winter Brands meeting for the first time. Managed to get there in 1971/72/73/75 and 1976.  

 

Mallory Park used to have Christmas meetings too. I'm not sure when they began, but there was definitely one in 1965. That was my first visit to the circuit, my last being the Plum Pudding meeting in 2008. I wonder if there have been others since then.  (Edit.  Yes, there was even one this year, cars and bikes, as in 2008)

Yes. Tim is entirely correct and I am a pillock for an obvious blunder  :lol: 



#22 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 04 January 2022 - 15:46

Hi All,

 

At the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting 1975, Gerry Marshall ran Baby Bertha in the Formula Libre race ("for a giggle") against a selection of single-seaters including Val Musetti (F2 March) and others, and apparently won !

 

Has anyone ever seen any video footage of this race, and if so know where it might be available ?

 

Adam.

 

Hi Adam

 

As you can see, the question has been ansered, Dad did two Formula Libre races in Baby Bertha, winning one (7th December) and finishing fourth in another, which would be the Boxing Day race (which was the 27th December 1975 and he had won the Special Saloon race earlier in the day).
I know for one of the Libre races (I think the 7th), Dad had a £50 bet with John Wingfield (his business partner) as to who would be first into Paddock and Dad duly won the £50 ;) 
I do have photos from both of the Libre races, some even in colour, but no video footage unfortunately.
I do have the full 1974 Boxing Day race though, Dad driving Old Nail and beating Nick Whiting in his Escort.
As a slight aside, the last Boxing Day race Dad did was 1979 and was actually the 27th.
Hope this helps, but feel free to message me with any other questions. 



#23 pete53

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 15:41

So, 1964 snow and ice saw the Brands Boxing Day meeting called off ( although Mallory went ahead, and the Brands meet was rearranged for the end of January), 1969 it was fog, and 1970 snow. I believe the 1956 event was cancelled due to the Suez crisis.

 

There were also couple of close shaves. In 1962 the meeting just beat the heavy Boxing Day snowfall - a photo in Autosport shows snowflakes already descending as the Saloons set off for the final race of the day. In 1965 the meeting was, I think, on the 27th. It was an extremely cold day, but fortunately dry. Photos show a coating of frost on the grass surrounding the track whilst racing took place.