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Aurora AFX British F1 Championship Round

Thruxton, 29 May 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Tony Trimmer McLaren M23 [14] - Cosworth DFV V8
#1 Melchester Racing
50 59m 57.03s
117.90 mph
2 Bob Evans Hesketh 308E [4] - Cosworth DFV V8
#14 J. C. Cooper
49
3 Ray Mallock Ensign N175 [MN04] - Cosworth DFV V8
#9 Mario Deliotti Racing
49
4 Bruce Allison March 75A/761 [1-2] - Cosworth DFV V8
#3 Team March [RAM Racing] (see note 1)
49
5 Val Musetti March 752/761 [15] - Cosworth DFV V8
#7 Val Musetti (see note 2)
49
6 Mike Wilds (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/77 [72] - Ford BDG Eden
#6 Graham Eden Racing
49
7 Emilio de Villota (F2) 2-litre Boxer PR276 [001] - Hart 420R
#22 Boxer Cars
48
8 John Cooper Hesketh 308C [FW05/3] - Cosworth DFV V8
#17 J. C. Cooper
47
9 Adrian Russell (F2) 2-litre March 762 [752-21] - Ford BDX
#20 Adrian Russell (see note 3)
46
NC Alan Baillie (F2) 2-litre March 752 [22] - Ford BDX Swindon
#38 Alan Baillie
43
R Geoff Lees March 781 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8
#21 Team March [RAM Racing]
44 collapsed aerofoil
R Guy Edwards March 781 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8
#4 Team March [RAM Racing]
23 accident
R Teddy Pilette BRM P207 [02] - P202 V12
#11 Stanley BRM (see note 4)
14 engine
DNS Kim Mather (F2) 2-litre Chevron B35D ["D"] - Ford BDG
#15 Kim Mather (see note 5)
Did not start
(DNS: Engine)
DNS Kevin Bowditch (F2) 2-litre Lola T360 [HU5] - Ford BDG Richardson
(see note 6)
Did not start

All cars are 3-litre F1 unless noted.

Qualifying
1 Guy Edwards (F1) 3-litre March 781 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:09.81
2 Geoff Lees (F1) 3-litre March 781 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:10.11
3 Tony Trimmer (F1) 3-litre McLaren M23 [14] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:10.27
4 Ray Mallock (F1) 3-litre Ensign N175 [MN04] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:10.61
5 Teddy Pilette (F1) 3-litre BRM P207 [02] - BRM P202 V12 1:11.37
6 Val Musetti (F1) 3-litre March 752/761 [15] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.57
7 Bruce Allison (F1) 3-litre March 75A/761 [1-2] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.63
8 Bob Evans (F1) 3-litre Hesketh 308E [4] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.68
9 Emilio de Villota (F2) 2-litre Boxer PR276 [001] - Hart 420R 1:13.25
10 Kim Mather * (F2) 2-litre Chevron B35D ["D"] - Ford BDG 1:13.54
11 Mike Wilds (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/77 [72] - Ford BDG Eden 1:14.42
12 John Cooper (F1) 3-litre Hesketh 308C [FW05/3] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:14.56
13 Adrian Russell (F2) 2-litre March 762 [752-21] - Ford BDX 1:17.06
15 Alan Baillie (F2) 2-litre March 752 [22] - Ford BDX Swindon 1:19.09
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. March 75A/761 [1-2] (Bruce Allison): John MacDonald (RAM Racing) 1975. Raced in UK 1975: driven by Alan Jones (3rd BARC Thruxton 17 Aug 1975) - Hexagon Garage for Damien Magee UK 1976 - Guy Edwards UK 1977; rebuilt on a March 761 monocoque, and then converted to DFV power for last few races of 1977. Edwards UK 1978 (first two races); then for Bruce Allison (five races). Also used by Desire Wilson in a test session prior to the British GP. To Terry Smith (Felton, Somerset), fitted with a 5-litre Repco engine, and used in the British Sprint Championship 1979, 1980 and 1981. Used by Smith and John Meredith British Sprint Championship 1982. To Ray Rowan 1983, and retained by him until about 1987 when the Repco engine was sold to Australia and the rolling chassis was sold via a dealer to Italy. Reemerged four years later when sold by Andrea Frasson (Rosà, Vicenza, Italy) to Daniel Pouteau (Paris, France) in December 1991. Retained by Pouteau, still apart and in still Terry Smith's livery, until sold via Bernard De Dryver to Paul Grant (Brussels, Belgium) in April 2013. Rebuilt for Masters F1 in 2015, and debut at the Spa 6 Hours in September 2015.
  2. March 752/761 [15] (Val Musetti): New to Masami Kuwashima for Formula 2 in 1975, prepared by Roy Kennedy's team in London, and entered by Masami Kuwashima Racing. After just two races, Kuwashima returned to Japan, and the 752 was sold to Tom Walkinshaw.who had it converted by Kennedy to F5000 specification, with the installation of a 3.4-litre Ford V6 engine. Raced by Walkinshaw in the 1975 Shellsport F5000 Championship. To Val Musetti, and raced in Shellsport G8 in 1976 and 1977. Converted to F1 specification for 1978, with a Cosworth DFV engine, and referred to as a 761 that season. Wrecked at Mallory Park in August but rebuilt again for 1979, when it was described as a 771, but wrecked at Zolder at the start of the Aurora season and finally written off.
  3. March 762 [752-21] (Adrian Russell): Originally intended for Trivellato but not collected so fitted with a F3 rear wing and sold instead to Markus Hotz (Lippoldswilen, Switzerland) for European hillclimbs and Swiss championship events. At the beginning of 1976, it was raced by Harald Ertl in the F2 race at Hockenheim, finishing sixth. Hotz continued with Swiss championship events but damaged the car, and returned it to the factory in part exchange for a new March 762. March sold the 752 on, unrepaired, to Roger Heavens, who rebuilt it as a 762 and intended to fit the turbocharged 1.4-litre Ford Formula 2 engine that Geoff Richardson was developing. When the car appeared, in the Shellsport G8 series with Derrick Worthington driving, it used a Richardson BDX instead. Also raced in G8 and libre events by José Maria de Uriarte. Retained for 1977 and entered by Heavens for Pablo Brea and Hervé Leguellec. Taken over by Adrian Russell (Thornton Heath, Surrey) later in 1977, and raced by him in British F1 and libre in 1978. Sold to Paul Brooks (Selby, North Yorkshire) for 1979, and raced in libre. Subsequent history unknown.
  4. BRM P207 [02] (Teddy Pilette): Built half way through the 1977 season, BRM P207-02 failed to qualify for any race in F1. Teddy Pilette was the usual driver. The Stanley-BRM team moved into Aurora British F1 for 1978, with Pilette again driving. John Jordan then acquired the whole team, and 207-02 was raced for him by Tony Trimmer and David Williams in British F1 and in HSCC racing. The car was eventually sold to North America where it was restored and racing by 2006. It appeared regularly in US historic racing from 2014 to 2016.
  5. Chevron B35D ["D"] (Kim Mather): In early 1977, Gilles Villeneuve raced a Chevron B39 in South African Formula Atlantic, crashing it in an accident with Ian Scheckter at Killarney 19 Feb 1977. The car was rebuilt on a new chassis and sold on but the damaged chassis was also repaired and acquired by Kim Mather. He built it up into a new car using B35 suspension and a 2-litre Richardson BDA engine and called it the "B35D". Mather raced this in libre, Shellsport, Aurora and F2 in 1977 and 1978 and then sold it to Ken Brill who raced in the Aurora series in 1979 before crashing it heavily into the wall at Redgate Lodge at Donington Park in June. Brill had to be cut from the mangled footwell of the car, and it was not seen again. This car was later recreated for historic racing.
  6. Lola T360 [HU5] (Kevin Bowditch): New to Nigel Clarkson (Cirencester, Gloucestershire) and raced by him and by Richard Scott (London) in British Formula Atlantic, backed by Hurford Jones Ltd. To Nick May (Sutton, Surrey) for the 1975 British series, with Strakers of Wimbledon Ltd sponsorship, and run by Dave Price Racing. To Brian Robinson (Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham) and fitted with a 2-litre Cosworth BDG engine for Shellsport Group 8 races in 1976. To John Brown for John Morrison (Warwick) to drive in Shellsport G8 and libre racing in 1977, then to Kevin Bowditch (Maidenhead) for a few race appearances in 1978. It was sold to Martin Mansell (Middlesex), who raced it as a Lola "FA79" with Winchmore Hill Garage sponsorship in Formula Atlantic in 1979. Mansell crashed heavily at Brands Hatch in April 1979, and did not appear again. It was next seen in 1990 when it was bought by Robert McGimpsey (Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland) from a dealer somewhere in the English midlands. It was then fitted with a 3-litre Weslake engine, and McGimpsey used it for one season in hillclimbing before the engine and chassis were sold separately. It was bought by two friends in 1993 or 1994, and in 2012 they still had it.

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.

These results were compiled primarily from the race reports in Autosport during the season, with some additional information from the results section of Autocourse, and some details compiled by Jeremy Jackson from a variety of sources, including Autosport, Motoring News and the Formula One Register books. All the chassis identities were taken from research elsewhere on this site.

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.

Individual sources for this event

Autosport 1 Jun 1978 pp38-39 listed all the finishers and retirements, and gave a full grid. Autosport's Club Editor reported this Thruxton race and his infectious enthusiasm transformed Autosport's coverage of the series. His intro, "For 37 glorious laps the large Bank Holiday Monday crowd witnessed a superb display of precision driving in an untried car by one man, Geoff Lees" set the tone.