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Alex Dias Ribeiro in the Hollywood GRD 374 is pursued at Oulton Park 28 Sep 1974 by the works SPI March 743 of José Chateaubriand and Nick von Preussen's March 733.  Copyright Alan Cox 2012.  Used with permission.

British Formula 3 1973

The main championship in 1973 was the John Player title which went into the final round with Alan Jones leading the points table by just five points from Jacques Laffite with early-season leader Russell Wood third and Tony Brise still in contention in fourth. Brise underlined his talent by winning the last round from Wood, who would have already easily clinched the title but for engine problems mid-season. Jones and Laffite both fell back leaving the Australian second in a championship he had led since May.

All four drivers were expected to make it into F1 and three did: Jones became world champion, Laffite won six GPs and Brise had already joined them before his untimely death at the end of 1975. Russell Wood is a lost talent, and now a somewhat forgotten one. Despite winning a Grovewood Award at the end of 1973, he decided to retire as his wife was pregnant with their first child and he believed that to race to the best of your abilities you must have nothing to lose.

Of the two junior championships, Tony Brise also won the MCD's Lombard North Central F3 Championship and Ian Taylor took the BARC's Forward Trust F3 Championship.

The March 733 emerged from a highly competitive season as the leading car, having overtaken the GRD which did not evolve far enough from the successful 1972 design. The Ensign remained popular but was also an ageing design while the Brabham BT41 seemed oversized for F3 and found few buyers. Jacques Laffite proved the effectiveness of the Martini MK12 but none were sold to British drivers.

The races

04 Mar 1973 > Oulton Park (Lombard Round 1)

18 Mar 1973 > Silverstone (Lombard Round 2)

24 Mar 1973 > Thruxton (Forward Trust Round 1)

01 Apr 1973 > Snetterton (Forward Trust Round 2)

08 Apr 1973 > Silverstone (John Player Round 1)

20 Apr 1973 > Oulton Park (John Player Round 2)

23 Apr 1973 > Mallory Park (John Player Round 3)

06 May 1973 > Mallory Park (Forward Trust Round 3)

13 May 1973 > Snetterton (Lombard Round 3)

20 May 1973 > Zandvoort (John Player Round 4)

20 May 1973 > Brands Hatch (Forward Trust Round 4)

28 May 1973 > Oulton Park (John Player Round 5)

02 Jun 1973 > Monaco (John Player Round 6)

10 Jun 1973 > Silverstone (Forward Trust Round 5)

17 Jun 1973 > Thruxton (Forward Trust Round 6)

24 Jun 1973 > Brands Hatch (Lombard Round 4)

01 Jul 1973 > Paul Ricard (John Player Round 7)

01 Jul 1973 > Silverstone (Lombard Round 5)

08 Jul 1973 > Snetterton (Lombard Round 6)

14 Jul 1973 > Silverstone (John Player Round 8)

15 Jul 1973 > Cadwell Park (Forward Trust Round 7)

22 Jul 1973 > Mallory Park (Lombard Round 7)

29 Jul 1973 > Brands Hatch (John Player Round 9)

05 Aug 1973 > Thruxton (Forward Trust Round 8)

11 Aug 1973 > Oulton Park (Lombard Round 8)

12 Aug 1973 > Croft (Forward Trust Round 9)

19 Aug 1973 > Brands Hatch (Forward Trust Round 10)

26 Aug 1973 > Mallory Park (non-championship)

27 Aug 1973 > Silverstone (Lombard Round 9)

27 Aug 1973 > Castle Combe (Forward Trust Round 11)

02 Sep 1973 > Paul Ricard (John Player Round 10)

08 Sep 1973 > Oulton Park (Lombard Round 10)

09 Sep 1973 > Silverstone (Forward Trust Round 12)

16 Sep 1973 > Thruxton (Forward Trust Round 13)

30 Sep 1973 > Brands Hatch (John Player Round 11)

07 Oct 1973 > Oulton Park (John Player Round 12)

14 Oct 1973 > Mallory Park (John Player Round 13)

21 Oct 1973 > Brands Hatch (John Player Round 14)

28 Oct 1973 > Thruxton (Forward Trust Round 14)

04 Nov 1973 > Brands Hatch (Lombard Round 11)

1973 MCD John Player F3 Championship table

1Tony BriseGRD 372 - Ford twin cam Holbay
GRD 373 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
123 pts2 wins
2Alan JonesGRD 373 - Ford twin cam Vegantune121 pts3 wins
3Russell WoodMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Novamotor119 pts2 wins
4Jacques LaffiteMartini MK12 - Ford twin cam Holbay112 pts2 wins
5Ian TaylorMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay78 pts 
6Masami KuwashimaGRD 372 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
76 pts 
7Mo HarnessEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Vegantune
49 pts 
8Alain SerpaggiAlpine A364 - Renault R16 Dudot48 pts 
9Mike WildsEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
44 pts1 win
10Brian HentonGRD 373 - Ford twin cam Holbay
Ensign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
42 pts1 win
11Conny AnderssonBrabham BT35 - Ford twin cam
March 733 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
35 pts1 win
12Larry PerkinsGRD 372 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
Brabham BT41 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
34 pts 

Next: the 1974 season

The MCD John Player series ran over 14 rounds and used a 20-15-12 points system with double points at the last race. The above table is from Autocourse 1973/74 p190 and matches one constructed from the results. The other two wins in this championship fell to Tony Rouff at the high-profile British GP support race at Silverstone on 14 July and Michel Leclère when the series visited Paul Ricard on 2 Sep.

1973 BARC Forward Trust F3 Championship table

1Ian TaylorMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay64 pts5 wins
2Tony BriseGRD 372 - Ford twin cam Holbay
GRD 373 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
42 pts2 wins
3Richard RobartsGRD 373 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
32 pts2 wins
4Mo HarnessEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Vegantune
24 pts 
5Lionel FriedrichMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
23 pts 
6Mike WildsEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
20 pts1 win

Next: the 1974 season

The BARC's Forward Trust F3 championship comprised 14 rounds and used a completely straightforward 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system. The only difference from the above table, which came from Autosport, and a table constructed from results is that Autosport gives Mo Harness one extra point so there may be a disqualification somewhere of which we're not yet aware.

1973 MCD Lombard North Central F3 Championship table

1Tony BriseGRD 372 - Ford twin cam Holbay
GRD 373 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
52 pts3 wins
2Richard RobartsGRD 373 - Ford twin cam Novamotor
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
52 pts2 wins
3Mike WildsEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford twin cam Holbay
March 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay
33 pts 
4Russell WoodMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Novamotor29 pts1 win
5Alan JonesGRD 373 - Ford twin cam Vegantune25 pts2 wins
6Ian TaylorMarch 733 - Ford twin cam Holbay25 pts1 win

Next: the 1974 season

The MCD Lombard North Central series ran over 11 rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system but with one or two slight complications. It looks like double points were awarded at the last race and that fastest lap was worth one or two points.