British Formula Atlantic 1972
The 1972 Atlantic season started with grids of older machinery but Bill Gubelmann got his March 722 sorted and won two races. Reigning champion Vern Schuppan also acquired a March and 1971 runner-up Cyd Williams also got one to replace Graham Eden's 1971 Chevron. John Nicholson's Lyncar 002 was competitive but its unreliable replacement 003 dropped him out of contention. John Lepp's Chevron B20 and Mike Walker's works Ensign put in the odd competitive appearance and two Royales took pole positions but little else. With so many new cars, entries were often over-subscribed, a novelty for British racing at this time.
The season turned into an epic battle battle between Williams and Gubelmann. After 19 races, with just two to go, Williams had won eight races to Gubelmann's four but the American had a string of second places to boost his points total. With a six-point lead and a new March 722, Williams looked odds-on but Gubelmann won the penultimate race from his rival and then pipped him again at the final race, by just 0.8s, to take the title.
After the 1971 title had been won with a Ford twin-cam, BDA engines completely took over in 1972. However, there was a nasty and protracted controversy over the legality of these engines in the series, which led to Chris Meek winning at Snetterton on 7 May with a BDA engine everyone felt to be illegal, and being disqualified. Meek was sick of the interpretation of loose rules by other competitors, so deliberately flouted the regulations; his pole time was 1.2 seconds ahead of previous front-runner Gubelmann. Then at Mallory Park on 29 May and at Silverstone on 10 June Meek then turned up with a Ford twin cam back in his car, claiming it was the only legal engine in the field. The legitimacy of his original contention about the loose framing of the regulations was demonstrated when he was re-instated as Snetterton winner by an RAC tribunal.
05 Mar 1972 > Brands Hatch
18 Mar 1972 > Oulton Park
19 Mar 1972 > Silverstone
26 Mar 1972 > Mallory Park
31 Mar 1972 > Snetterton
03 Apr 1972 > Brands Hatch
16 Apr 1972 > Brands Hatch
30 Apr 1972 > Mallory Park
07 May 1972 > Snetterton
28 May 1972 > Brands Hatch
29 May 1972 > Mallory Park
11 Jun 1972 > Silverstone
18 Jun 1972 > Mallory Park
25 Jun 1972 > Brands Hatch
09 Jul 1972 > Snetterton
22 Jul 1972 > Oulton Park
30 Jul 1972 > Brands Hatch
06 Aug 1972 > Croft
27 Aug 1972 > Mallory Park
28 Aug 1972 > Silverstone
10 Sep 1972 > Brands Hatch
30 Sep 1972 > Oulton Park
15 Oct 1972 > Brands Hatch
22 Oct 1972 > Yellow Pages Trophy Race at Brands Hatch
26 Dec 1972 > Brands Hatch
Championship events shown in bold
Yellow Pages Championship table
|1.||Bill Gubelmann||March 722||105 pts||6 wins|
|2.||Cyd Williams||Chevron B18C and March 722||102 pts||8 wins|
|3.||John Nicholson||Lyncar 002||52 pts||1 win|
|4.||Bob Salisbury||Brabham BT35||46 pts|
|5.||Vern Schuppan||March 722||44 pts||2 wins|
The other races were won by Clive Santo (Palliser 'WDB4'), Chris Meek (March 712M), Mike Walker (Ensign LNFB) and John Lepp (Chevron B20). Four non-championship races are also included above, two won by Williams, one by Schuppan and one by Tom Pryce in the rarely-seen Royale RP12.
Had there been a constructors' title, it would have been won comfortably by March, from Brabham, Chevron, Lyncar and Lotus.
Points table provided by Michael Ferner.