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MCD/Southern Organs Formula Atlantic Race

Silverstone, 31 Mar 1974

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Geoff Friswell March 73B [18] - Ford BDA Hart
#5 (see note 1)
15 13m 47.6s
104.92 mph
2 Bev Bond March 74B [U1] - Ford BDA LEC
#14 Custom Made/Harry Stiller Racing
(see note 2)
15 13m 51.2s
3 Ken Bailey March 73B [20] - Ford BDA LEC
#4 H&J Quick Group Ltd (see note 3)
15 13m 57.2s
4 Ray Mallock Ensign LNFB/74 - Ford BDA Swindon
#10 The Chequered Flag
15 13m 59.4s
5 Stephen Choularton March 73B [1] - Ford BDA Hart
#6 S.D.C Racing (see note 4)
15 14m 05.4s
6 Jim Crawford March 73B ['SDC1'] - Ford BDA Hart
#7 S.D.C Racing (see note 5)
15 14m 05.6s
7 Val Musetti Royale RP11A [6] - Ford BDA Wood
#23 (see note 6)

8 Robin Smythe GRD 372 [036-F3] - Ford BDA
#38

9 Roy Baker MRE 74 - Ford BDA Hart
#28

R Woody Harris Genie Mk 13 - Ford BDA Emery
#30
3
R Chris Oates March 73B [21] - Ford BDA
#18 (see note 7)
3
R Robert Cooper March 73B [722-5] - Ford BDA
#12 (see note 8)
3
DNS Matt Spitzley March 74B [733-7] - Ford BDA Hart
#22 Rapid Movements Ltd
Did not start
(Crankshaft pulley)
DNA Peter Williams Martin BM12 ['1'] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#11 Pinch Plant Ltd
Did not arrive
DNA John Gillmeister March 73B - Ford BDA
#17 Prototype Tooling (Kent) Ltd
(see note 9)
Did not arrive
DNA Bobby Brown March 74B [9] - Ford BDA
#20 B&B Racing Enterprises of Derby
(see note 10)
Did not arrive
DNA Gordon Smiley Merlyn Mk 21 - Ford BDA
#35 Colchester Racing Developments
Did not arrive
DNA Gillian Orchard HRS 732 [March 722-"18"] - Ford BDA
#39 Anglo Swiss Racing Team (see note 11)
Did not arrive
DNA Donald MacLeod unknown
#40
Did not arrive
DNA Doug Thomson GRD 273 [051-F2] - Ford BDA Swindon
#45 Thistle Metallic (see note 12)
Did not arrive

All cars are 1.6-litre F/Atl unless noted.

Qualifying
1 Geoff Friswell (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B [18] - Ford BDA Hart 0.54.0
2 Ken Bailey (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B [20] - Ford BDA LEC 0.54.4
3 Bev Bond (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 74B [U1] - Ford BDA LEC 0.54.4
4 Ray Mallock (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Ensign LNFB/74 - Ford BDA Swindon 0.54.8
5 Stephen Choularton (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B [1] - Ford BDA Hart 0.55.4
6 Val Musetti (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Royale RP11A [6] - Ford BDA Wood 0.56.0
7 Matt Spitzley * (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 74B [733-7] - Ford BDA Hart 0.56.6
8 Woody Harris (F/Atl) 1.6-litre Genie Mk 13 - Ford BDA Emery 0.58.2
9 Robin Smythe (F/Atl) 1.6-litre GRD 372 [036-F3] - Ford BDA 0.58.6
10 Chris Oates (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B [21] - Ford BDA 0.58.8
11 Roy Baker (F/Atl) 1.6-litre MRE 74 - Ford BDA Hart 0.59.8
12 Robert Cooper (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B [722-5] - Ford BDA 1.00.4
13 Jim Crawford (F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 73B ['SDC1'] - Ford BDA Hart No time
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. March 73B [18] (Geoff Friswell): According to surviving March records, this was a F/Atlantic car built for Geoff Friswell (Coventry) and raced by him in the UK series through 1973 and 1974. It was then sold to Andy Barton (Newcastle upon Tyne) as a libre car and upgraded to 74B and then 75B spec over the next two seasons, also acquiring a F2 BDG engine at times in 1976. Barton sold it to Bob Rollo (Prestonpans, Scotland) for 1977, as an Atlantic again, and it then went to Stewart Robb (Alloa, Scotland) during 1978 in F2 spec. The car was rebuilt on a "new" 752 tub after a crash in 1978 and then rebuilt to 782 spec by Robin Smith after the 1979 season. It was raced again by Robb as a "March 75/782" with steel 2-litre Cosworth BDG engine from 1980 to 1982 and was sold to Roger Andreason at the new Chevron Cars Ltd around 1984. A "March 75/782" which had been "completely rebuilt over winter" was advertised from an Epsom number in August 1985.
  2. March 74B [U1] (Bev Bond): New to Harry Stiller Racing and entered for Bev Bond in a few late-season 1973 Formula Atlantic races, but only appeared once. Rebuilt by March to 74B specification over the winter and appeared as 74B chassis 'U1' for Bond in 1974, until he announced his retirement in June 1974. Alan Jones took over the drive for the rest of the season and won three races. Advertised by AW Brown (London) in January 1975. Briefly to Frank Blanchard in early 1975 but then to Bill Gowdy (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for Irish Formula Atlantic. To Gerry Kinnane for Des Donnelly to drive in 1976, then to Eddie Jordan (Dundrum, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland) for 1977. Subsequently to Colin Simpson (Dundee, Scotland) for Scottish hillclimbs in 1978 and 1979, when it was fitted with a 1800cc Cosworth BDE; then to Grahame Brown, a Scot who emigrated to Australia and took two Formula Atlantic cars with him. Raced by Geoff Nicol in Australian Formula Pacific in 1981, and by John Blennerhasset in 1982. Then to Michael Miller, brothers Peter and Terry Simms, then the Kendall family, then to Bryan Miller in 2002. Sold by Bryan to Richard Carter (Berry, NSW) in September 2018, and shortly afterwards sold to Richard Ellingworth.
  3. March 73B [20] (Ken Bailey): New to Charles Lucas (Ellington, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire) in July 1973, and raced in British Formula Atlantic. In September, he took the car to Ireland for the Phoenix Park for the Player's No 6 GP and was running in an aggregate second place near the end of the second heat when he left the road at Phoenix Corner and wrapped the March round a tree. He was still classified third. The March was rebuilt and sold to Ken Bailey (Stretford, Greater Manchester) for 1974, but sold on again in May to touring car driver Andy Rouse (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire). Rouse crashed it at Snetterton at the end of October, and it was not seen again. Ralph Broad, Rouse's touring car boss at Broadspeed, then insisted Rouse choose between single-seaters and touring cars, and Rouse wisely chose the latter. He would be British Saloon Car Champion four times. The fate of the March 73B is not known.
  4. March 73B [1] (Stephen Choularton): Stephen Choularton (Hale Barns, Cheshire) acquired the first production March 73B and raced it in libre events and in the British F/Atlantic series with support from Autovita Developments Ltd. His mechanic Jim Crawford also raced this car in a libre race that year. Choularton continued with the car in 1974 when it was driven by Crawford in one round, at Brands Hatch in September, after Crawford had damaged his usual car. The car was next seen in May 1975 when Choularton dusted it off for Cyd Williams to drive after Williams had wrecked Graham Eden's Brabham BT40. Choularton retained the car, unused, until 1977 when it was sold to Paul Gardner (Preston, Lancashire) and used in libre racing in 1977. It then travelled out to the West Indies, quite possibly via Manchester-based racing car dealer Bobby Howlings, who would have known Gardner well, and was a regular visitor to the West Indies series. Raced by Mark Moodie in 1978 and 1979, winning the 1979 Jamaican National Championship. Subsequent history unknown, but it may have gone to Gordon Gonsalves in Trinidad.
  5. March 73B ['SDC1'] (Jim Crawford): Over the 1973/74 winter, Jim Crawford built up Steve Choularton's March 73B spares in to a second car. He raced the car with great success in the two British Formula Atlantic series in 1974, winning two John Player races and narrowly losing the title to John Nicholson after the two collided at the last race. He also won one race in the Southern Organs series, before crashing at Brands Hatch at the end of September, which resulted in the car being rebuilt on a new tub from March. The car was then raced at least once by Choularton, while Crawford moved over to Fred Opert's Chevron B27 for the last two races, winning both, and taking the title. The 73B that appeared for Cyd Williams in May 1975 is thought to be Choularton's 73B/1. The ex-Crawford car was sold to Derek Cook (Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire) in July 1975 but in practice for his first race, the British GP support race, Cook spun off and hit Val Musetti's March, writing off both cars.
  6. Royale RP11A [6] (Val Musetti): New factory car for Tom Pryce to drive, replacing the one wrecked at the 1972 Monaco GP F3 race. To Reystan Racing for 1973 for Andy Sutcliffe to drive, but Sutcliffe left the team in April, and his seat was taken over by Val Musetti, who had written off his own RP11 in testing. Raced by Musetti through to the end of the season. Converted to Formula Atlantic specification for 1974 and raced by Musetti in the British championship up to May. Sold later in the year to Mike Franey and raced in libre racing. Raced by Franey in a couple of British Formula Atlantic races in 1975. Subsequent history unknown.
  7. March 73B [21] (Chris Oates): New to Stan Mathews (Wicken, Wolverton, Bucks) in June 1973, and raced in British Formula Atlantic. To Chris Oates (Kimberley, Notts) for 1974, but sold mid-season to Val Musetti (London). Retained by Musetti for 1975, when it was updated to 74B specification. It was also rebuilt on another tub about this time, but the details are obscure. Damaged by Derek Cook's March 73B in practice at Silverstone in July, and rebuilt in time for the race on the car's original tub - only to be crashed and damaged again in the race. At the end of 1975, Musetti built up a March "742", which could be said to have inherited the identity of 73B-21, but as the tub had been changed, the chassis plate had long gone, and its appearance and description were radically different, it could be argued that 73B-21 had dissipated by the end of 1975. The successor "742" later went to Bill Wood, then Ray Rowan, before spending much of the 1980s in Monoposto and then being rebuilt as a "712M" for historic racing in the late 1980s.
  8. March 73B [722-5] (Robert Cooper): New for STP-March number two driver Niki Lauda for F2 in 1972 (won at Oulton Park in March), then for Pedro de Lamare in Torneio do Brasil. To Robert Cooper (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire) for Formula Atlantic 1973, and rebuilt mid-season to 73B spec. Retained for early 1974, then sold to Dairmuid McFeeley (Clonee, Dunboyne, County Meath, Ireland) for Irish Formula Atlantic in 1974, 1975 and early 1976. To John Ledlie in 1976, then sold to Richard Lester (Yoxall, Staffordshire) for sprints from 1978 to 1984. With Keith Wanklyn (Wimborne) for hillclimbs from 1985 to 1990. Via three other owners to John Gale (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 2006. Sold to Steve Weller (Sydney, NSW) in 2017.
  9. March 73B (John Gillmeister): Australian John Gillmeister had a red and white March 73B in British Formula Atlantic 1974. Gillmeister had a workshop making bodywork for March, and acquired a monocoque, suspension and other parts. This was built up for him by Ralph Hume over the winter of 1973/74 using a Richardson BDA engine with the intention of running in the British series. After a sponsor pulled out, Gillmeister sold the car mid-season to Gil Nickel Racing, and it was run by Bob Eggington for Wes Dawn to drive. Dawn was from Hollywood, California, and was a very successful makeup artist in film and TV. He and Gil Nickel (Park Hill, Oklahoma) finished fifth in the 1975 Cannonball Run in a Mercedes-Benz 450SL. He later took the 73B/74B back to the US where he used it in minor Formula Atlantic races. Dawn advertised the car in 1983, but still had it when he died in 1990, aged just 51. His widow sold the car in April 1991. Subsequent history withheld.
  10. March 74B [9] (Bobby Brown): New to Bobby Brown (Hicksville, NY) and raced in the British Formula Atlantic series at the start of the year, then moving to North America in May for the Canadian Players series. In June, Brown acquired a new Chevron B27, and the March was traded to Fred Opert as part of the deal. However, Brown demolished the Chevron in September and used a 74B, presumably this one, to completely dominate a SCCA National at Bridgehampton on 22 September. Advertised by Opert in June and November 1975, and shown as "in stock" in November 1975, with a comment that it had not raced since June 1974. Next seen in late 1978 and again in late 1979, when raced by Peter Moodie (Kingston, Jamaica) in a series of Jamaica National Championship races. Subsequent history unknown
  11. HRS 732 [March 722-"18"] (Gillian Orchard): New to Mike Beuttler, and entered by Clarke-Mordaunt Team for him to race in F2 in 1972. Consistently reported at the time to be chassis 722-18, but the same chassis number was also reported for John Smith's car in Ireland. The ex-Beuttler car was used as a test chassis for the new BMW F2 engine during October, when both Jean-Pierre Jarier and Hans Stuck used it. Not seen in 1973, but reappeared in 1974 as the "HRS 732" run by Jock Topin and entered by Anglo Swiss Racing Team for Gill Orchard to race in Formula Atlantic. The car was reported to be a 713M before Topin told Autosport in April 1974 that it was based on the ex-Beuttler March 722, "extensively modified by his Ecurie Santos operation" and produced "with blessing from March". Subsequent history unknown.
  12. GRD 273 [051-F2] (Doug Thomson): New to Tom Wheatcroft for driver Roger Williamson in F2 in 1973, and used as a T-car at the opening race. The two cars travelled in Wheatcroft's transporter, but at the start of the season were looked after by GRS International chief mechanic Alistair Dimmock. By June, the cars were run by the team's own mechanics, Rick Olivant, formerly with Surtees, and Trevor Foster from Gerard Racing. If it is correct that chassis 052 was destroyed in Williamson's accident in practice at Nivelles-Baulers, then 051 was the team's unused spare after Wheatcroft bought a new March 732. To Doug Thomson for 1974, and fitted with a Ford BDA for Formula Atlantic and hillclimbs. Badly damaged when crashed in practice at Oulton Park in October 1974, and Thomson recalls that the tub was a write off. He acquired a new tub from GRD over the winter and rebuilt the car. It was then sold early in 1975 as a rolling chassis to dealer Mike Gue, who Doug believes sold the car to someone in South Africa. It appears however, that the car went to North America, where it was next seen being raced by Russell Thomson (Vancouver, BC, Canada) in the ICSCC's Formula B class in 1979. It then passed to Graeme Hutton (Vancouver, BC) who raced it in one late-season 1979 event and at least once in 1980, again in ICSCC Formula B. Bought from Hutton in 1990 by Robert Morris (Seattle, WA) and stored at his workshop since then.

Sources

The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.

The British race results have been compiled by Chris Townsend based on material in Autosport and Motoring News reports in the UK plus the information supplied by a wide range of contributors.

All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can help in any way with our research.