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Sam Posey in the Delta Tires Surtees TS11 at Lime Rock in 1972. Copyright Greg Rickes 2012. Used with permission.

SCCA L&M Formula 5000 1972

As McLaren's 1971 offering had been something of a flop, Carl Hogan bought new Lola T300s for reigning champion David Hobbs and his new No 2 driver Brett Lunger. Hobbs' arch rival Sam Posey stayed with Surtees and had the latest F1-based Surtees TS11. These two started the opening race on the front row, but some interesting new competition was close behind them. George Follmer had a Matich A50 third on the grid, the Australian car having been put on pole position by Frank Matich at all five recent Australian Internationals. A little further back on the Laguna Seca grid was Graham McRae, who had designed the Leda LT27 in collaboration with Len Terry, and had then won four Tasman series races as well as three early-season races in Britain before transferring the car to the US series. The Kiwi passed Posey and then Hobbs to win the first heat, and then won the second after Hobbs retired. Hobbs bounced back with a win at Edmonton, but McRae won the next two to take a big points lead.

Two more new F5000 cars had reached the series by this time: Brian Redman in Sid Taylor's Chevron B24 and John Cannon in his Oldsmobile-powered March 72A, and the rest of the season was remarkably competitive. Eppie Weitzes won at Donnybrooke in his Lola T300, then Lunger won the next two from Redman, as Hobbs' run of retirements continued. Lunger was the only person who could overtake McRae's points total at the final race at Riverside, but he crashed out on the opening lap. Hobbs was again on pole, again took fastest lap, and again retired, leaving Redman to take a deserved victory in the Chevron, and McRae, who finished third, took the title.

The races

07 May 1972 > Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca

04 Jun 1972 > Lucerne "100" at Edmonton

18 Jun 1972 > Watkins Glen Grand Prix

16 Jul 1972 > Road America Grand Prix

30 Jul 1972 > Minnesota Grand Prix at Brainerd

20 Aug 1972 > Road Atlanta Grand Prix

04 Sep 1972 > Lime Rock Grand Prix

24 Sep 1972 > Riverside Grand Prix

1972 L&M Continental 5000 Championship table

1Graham McRaeLeda GM1 - Chevrolet V887 pts3 wins
2Sam PoseySurtees TS11 - Chevrolet V869 pts 
3=Brian RedmanChevron B24 - Chevrolet V860 pts1 win
3=Brett LungerLola T300 - Chevrolet V860 pts2 wins
5Eppie WietzesLola T300 - Chevrolet V847 pts1 win
6Skip BarberMarch 711 - Cosworth DFV V844 pts 
7Lothar MotschenbacherMcLaren M18 - Chevrolet V832 pts 
8David HobbsLola T300 - Chevrolet V831 pts1 win
9Bob MuirLola T300 - Chevrolet V822 pts 
10Jerry HansenLola T300 - Chevrolet V821 pts 
11Gus HutchisonLola T300 - Chevrolet V818 pts 
12John GunnLola T300 - Chevrolet V816 pts 
13=Derek BellMcLaren M10B - Chevrolet V815 pts 
13=Allan LaderMcLaren M18 - Chevrolet V815 pts 
15John MortonLotus 70B - Ford V814 pts 
16Rocky MoranSurtees TS8 - Chevrolet V813 pts 
17Sandy ShepardLola T300 - Pontiac V812 pts 
18Kevin BartlettMcLaren M10B - Chevrolet V8
Lola T300 - Chevrolet V8
11 pts 
19=Peter GethinChevron B24 - Chevrolet V810 pts 
19=Horst KwechLola T300 - Chevrolet V810 pts 

The points table is taken from the SCCA's issued table, which said a 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 points system was used for the first 10 places, and that the best six finishes from the eight events counted. McRae's total was the only one affected by this limit. See also Wolfgang Klopfer's excellent Formula A and Formula 5000 in America p50.