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Aurora AFX British F1 Championship Round

Thruxton, 10 Sep 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Guy Edwards March 781 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8
#4 Team March [RAM Racing]
45 55m 03.18s
115.55 mph
2 Bob Evans Hesketh 308E [5] - Cosworth DFV V8
#14 J. C. Cooper
45 55m 07.97s
3 Desiré Wilson Ensign N175 [MN04] - Cosworth DFV V8
#80 Mario Deliotti Racing
45 55m 26.82s
4 Val Musetti Ensign N177 [MN09] - Cosworth DFV V8
#7 Mario Deliotti Racing (see note 1)
45 55m 42.36s
5 Geoff Lees (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 [42-78-18] - Hart 420R
#9 Mario Deliotti Racing
45 55m 50.06s
6 Don Breidenbach (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 [42-78-17?] - Hart 420R
#77 Briggs Racing Enterprises
45 56m 09.08s
7 Divina Galica McLaren M23 [14] - Cosworth DFV V8
#1 Melchester Racing/Olympus
45 56m 16.60s
8 Emilio de Villota McLaren M25 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8
#5 Centro Asegurador F1
44
9 Stephen South (F2) 2-litre March 782 [26] - Hart 420R
#12 Stephen South (see note 2)
44
10 John Cooper Hesketh 308E [4] - Cosworth DFV V8
#17 J. C. Cooper
43
11 Richard Jones (F2) 2-litre March 742/752 [15] - Ford BDA Robin Smith
#90 Smith and Jones (see note 3)
43
12 Bruce Allison March 781 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8
#3 Team March [RAM Racing]
42 not running at finish - gearbox
13 Mike Wilds (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/77 [72] - Ford BDG Eden
#6 Graham Eden Racing
42 not running at finish
14 Norman Dickson (F2) 2-litre March 772P [U1] - Hart 420R
#47 Dicksons of Perth (see note 4)
42
15 Alan Baillie (F2) 2-litre March 752 [22] - Ford BDX Swindon
#38 Alan Baillie
42
16 Dennis Leech March 761 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8
#16 Dennis Leech
42
17 John David Briggs (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 - Hart 420R
#71 Briggs Racing Enterprises
40 not running at finish
R Alo Lawler (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/76 [35] - Hart 420R
#10 L & B Excavations
27 engine
R Teddy Pilette BRM P207 [02] - P202 V12
#11 Stanley BRM (see note 5)
21 engine
R Adrian Russell (F2) 2-litre March 762 [752-21] - Ford BDX Swindon
#20 Adrian Russell (see note 6)
17 engine
T Bruce Allison March 75A/761 [1-2] - Cosworth DFV V8
#3T Team March [RAM Racing] (see note 7)
(Only used in practice)

All cars are 3-litre F1 unless noted.

Qualifying
1 Emilio de Villota (F1) 3-litre McLaren M25 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:09.82
2 Bruce Allison (F1) 3-litre March 781 [1] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:10.54
3 Guy Edwards (F1) 3-litre March 781 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:10.93
4 Stephen South (F2) 2-litre March 782 [26] - Hart 420R 1:10.93
5 Geoff Lees (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 [42-78-18] - Hart 420R 1:11.06
6 Bob Evans (F1) 3-litre Hesketh 308E [5] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.23
7 Desiré Wilson (F1) 3-litre Ensign N175 [MN04] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.49
8 Val Musetti (F1) 3-litre Ensign N177 [MN09] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.87
9 Divina Galica (F1) 3-litre McLaren M23 [14] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:11.88
10 John David Briggs (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 - Hart 420R 1:11.94
11 Teddy Pilette (F1) 3-litre BRM P207 [02] - BRM P202 V12 1:12.03
12 Don Breidenbach (F2) 2-litre Chevron B42 [42-78-17?] - Hart 420R 1:12.05
13 Mike Wilds (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/77 [72] - Ford BDG Eden 1:12.27
14 Norman Dickson (F2) 2-litre March 772P [U1] - Hart 420R 1:12.43
15 John Cooper (F1) 3-litre Hesketh 308E [4] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:12.65
16 Alo Lawler (F2) 2-litre Ralt RT1/76 [35] - Hart 420R 1:13.05
17 Richard Jones (F2) 2-litre March 742/752 [15] - Ford BDA Robin Smith 1:15.50
18 Dennis Leech (F1) 3-litre March 761 [2] - Cosworth DFV V8 1:16.21
19 Alan Baillie (F2) 2-litre March 752 [22] - Ford BDX Swindon 1:17.22
20 Adrian Russell (F2) 2-litre March 762 [752-21] - Ford BDX Swindon 1:17.90

Notes on the cars:

  1. Ensign N177 [MN09] (Val Musetti): Mario Deliotti Racing ran Ensign N175 MN04, updated to 1977 specification, in Aurora British F1 in 1978. Towards the end of that season, a new N177 was built for the team, bearing chassis number MN09, although that number would confusingly be used on Ensign's 1979 N179 as well. The N177 was raced by Val Musetti in BF1, then by Geoff Lees in the Australian Rothmans series in 1979. It then remained unraced through four seasons before Ken Moore entered it for Mike Littlewood in the 1983 British Open. When this series was cancelled, Moore ran it in HSCC and libre races for Littlewood in 1983 and 1984. The next two owners did little with it until it returned to HSCC racing in 1992. Five subsequent owners have also used it in TGP and then in Masters F1.
  2. March 782 [26] (Stephen South): To Stephen South for F2 mid-1978 and fitted with a Hart 420R, but South was under-financed and only appeared occasionally. Took pole position at the Brands Hatch Aurora race in late-August. Sold to Adrian Russell (Thornton Heath, Surrey) for 1979 and used in F2, libre and Aurora until August when sold to Scot Jim Stevenson who ran it in libre, mainly at Ingliston, in late 1979 and early 1980. Then to Roger Philpott for hillclimbs in 1981, now with a 2.3-litre Hart engine, but again sold mid-season when Roy Lane pursuaded Philpott in August 1981 to exchange the 782 for Lane's new but underperforming March 802/812. Raced by Lane for the rest of the season, finished second in the Doune hillclimb in October. Sold to Norrie Galbraith for 1982 and upgraded to 79B specification but heavily damaged in Galbraith's fatal accident while filming for Scottish TV at Doune in September. The tub was scrapped but the remains of 782-26 went via Bobby Howlings to Willy Widar in Belgium and were at some point rebuilt on the tub from 792-20, which Galbraith had acquired shortly before the crash. This 782/792 went to Leo Schildkamp (Heerlen, Netherlands) in 1993, then to Per-Owe Soderberg (Laxå, Sweden) in 1994 and then Thomas Fridlund (Arvika, Sweden) in 2001. Then to John Bladon December 2005, and sold by him to Matthew Slinn December 2006. Slinn had plans to rebuild the car to 782 specification using a 78B tub.
  3. March 742/752 [15] (Richard Jones): Sold to Trivellato Racing Team and raced by Gabrielle Serblin in F2 in 1974. Retained by Trivellato as a spare car for 1975 and raced by Alberto Colombo, Francesco Cerulli-Irelli, Serblin and "Gimax" (Carlo Franchi). Raced by Gimax at a few Italian F2 races in 1976 and 1977 then to Richard Jones and Robin Smith for the Aurora AFX series in mid-1978, using the Cosworth BDG (or BDA) engine from the pair's Chevron B31 sports car that had been wrecked at Le Mans. Also raced by fellow sports car racer Tony Charnell at the end of 1978. Later to Jim McGaughey and rebuilt as a Renault 5GT special saloon for 1981. When the special saloon's career ended, it was acquired by the Higgins Brothers of Lincolnshire, and was bought from them by Ian Jones in 1990, by which time it was in a very sorry state. Jones reskinned the monocoque using the original bulkheads, fabricated new suspension parts, and fitted late-1974 (long-nose) F2 bodywork. Jones sold it to Richard Evans in 2010, and by 2012 it was completed with a Gathercole BDG in Stebel livery and was raced in the Derek Bell Trophy races at the HSCC Superprix at Brands Hatch. Shared by Evans and Andrew Smith in Historic F2 from 2013 onwards.
  4. March 772P [U1] (Norman Dickson): New for the works March F2 team in 1977, fitted with a works BMW engine, and raced by Patrick Neve in the opening F2 race at Silverstone, qualifying and finishing third. Then raced by Alex Dias Ribeiro at Thruxton, taking pole position and again finishing third. Jochen Mass took over the drive for Hockenheim and the Nürburgring, winning both races, after which Ribeiro drove it once more at Vallelunga. Bruno Giacomelli, who had been racing a works March 772-Hart, then took over the 772P-BMW for the next six races, winning at Mugello in June. Driven again by Ribeiro at Donington Park in October. Sold to Norman Dickson (Perth, Scotland), fitted with a Hart 420R, and used with great success in libre, Retained by Dickson as a hire car in 1979. To George McMillan (North Berwick, Scotland) for 1980, and fitted with a Swindon BDX engine for libre over the next three seasons. Retained unused in 1983 when McMillan raced a Ralt RT2, and then sold to someone "down south" to use as a GT or Special Saloon. The car reappeared in France a little later, having been acquired by hillclimber Jean-Jacques Lecorre. It was stored briefly in the garage of Alain Prat, and then sold to Jean-François Pelletier (Chinon, France), fitted with a Cosworth BDD, and raced by him from 1984 to 1990. This car was advertised in France in January 2016, with no explanation of where it had been since 1990. By this time it had been restored to Giacomelli's SCAINI livery. It was next seen in 2019, when raced by Pascal Gerbout in Hstoric F2.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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 14 Sep 1978 pp38-39 listed all the finishers and retirements, and gave full practice times, but only for the first 16, the other four being omitted. Marcus Pye again reported.