OldRacingCars.com

Malaysia Grand Prix

Shah Alam, 28 May 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Albert Poon Chevron B39/B40 - Ford BDA
#66 Albert Poon (see note 1)
23 points
2 Steve Millen Chevron B42 [42-78-01] - Ford BDA Hart
#7 -
21 points
3 Malcolm Ramsay Birrana A78 - Ford BDA Swindon
15 points
4 José "Pocholo" Ramirez Chevron B34 [34-76-21] - Ford BDA
#88 Pocholo Ramirez (see note 2)

5 Rad Ocampo Lola T460 - Ford BDA
#8 Rad O'Campo

7 Graeme Lawrence March 76B [17] - Ford BDA
#1 Team Rothmans (see note 3)

UNK Cherie Schloemmer Brabham BT30 [14] - Ford twin cam
#20 Del Schloemer (see note 4)

UNK Nick Van Nugteren March 73B/74B [13]
#41 (see note 5)

  Romeo David March 732
#10 Romy David (see note 6)
On entry list
  Rolly Abadilla Modus M3 - Ford BDA
#11 Rolly Abadilla
On entry list
  Eddie Marcelo Chevron B39 [39-77-04] - Ford BDA
#17 Eddie Marcello (see note 7)
On entry list
  TBA Chevron B35 [35-76-06] - Ford BDA Hart
#19 Schollum Racing (see note 8)
On entry list
  Chong Kim Fah Chevron B34 [34-76-37] - Ford BDA
#21 Team Rothmans (see note 9)
On entry list
  Narcisco de la Merced Chevron B34 [34-76-25] - Ford BDA
#22 Narcing Dela Merced (see note 10)
On entry list
  Ian Grey Chevron B20 [72-9] - Ford BDA
#71 Ian Grey (see note 11)
On entry list
  Brian Tyler March 73B
#77 Brian Tyler (see note 12)
On entry list

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

Heat 1 Laps Time Speed
1Albert Poon
2Graeme Lawrence
3Steve Millen
4Malcolm Ramsay
Heat 2 Laps Time Speed
1Steve Millen2534m 26.6s
2Albert Poon2535m 00.1s
3Malcolm Ramsay24
4Rad Ocampo
5José "Pocholo" Ramirez
Qualifying
Qualifying information not available

Notes on the cars:

  1. Chevron B39/B40 (Albert Poon): LC Kwan (Hong Kong), owner of the Equipe 66 garage, bought a Chevron B39 in late 1977 from Fred Opert for Albert Poon (Hong Kong) to drive in Formula Pacific in Southeast Asia. The car was in the UK, not the US, for reasons still to be determined, and before it was shipped to Asia, it was borrowed by Ardmore Racing for Divina Galica to race in the Donington Park F2 event in October 1977, using a Swindon BDX engine. It was described as a brand new B40, and had been fitted with a set of Ardmore's blue, white and red bodywork to which Olympus signwriting had been applied. It was then shipped to Hong Kong in time for the Macau Grand Prix a month later. Although Poon entered his car as a B40, an article in the Malaysia Grand Prix race programme in May 1978 described the car as a "new car which he has just bought in the US". Also raced by Kevin Bartlett at Macau in 1978 and by Andrew Miedecke at Macau in 1979. Then raced by Poon at Macau in 1980, 1981 and 1982. Retained by Kwan in Hong Kong until 1989 when it was sold to Gordon Norris and returned to the UK. Sold in 2022 to Bruce Balchin (Southampton).
  2. Chevron B34 [34-76-21] (José "Pocholo" Ramirez): New to Fred Opert Racing for Jim Crawley in the IMSA Formula Atlantic series, appearing at Road Atlanta in April and Laguna Seca in May. He then missed the Ontario Motor Speedway as the car was reported to have been "destroyed" in a testing crash at Willow Springs. It was evidently rebuilt in time to be rented by Ric Forest at Edmonton in May. Crawley raced it again at Westwood, when it was pale blue and entered by Opert as #52. This is presumably the car then entered for Lloyd Callaway (Chicago, IL) to drive at Mont-Tremblant, Halifax and Mosport Park in July and August 1976, as his car was also pale blue and entered by Opert as #52. Like RJ Nelkin's similarly semi-private car, it evidently returned to Fred Opert Racing after these three races. It may then have been one of the cars hired from Opert for the SCCA Runoffs by Bill Anspach and Bill Kneeland. It is then thought to be the car used by Eddie Marcello at the Philippines GP in December. In January 1977, Opert took a team out to the New Zealand Formula Pacific series, and chassis 76-21 was identified as the car raced there by Keke Rosberg, winning three of the five races and taking four pole positions. It was then sold to Pocolo Ramirez (Philippines) and raced by him in southeast Asian races from 1977 to 1982. It is believed to have been imported into New Zealand from Asia by Graham Simms. It was then sold to Ken Smith and then Andy Higgins in New Zealand, then acquired by David Gathercole in 2009. He fully rebuilt it to Formula Atlantic specification by June 2011 for Rod Stead, who raced it at HSCC Donington Park in May 2012. Bought from Stead in November 2012 by Andy Huxtable. Raced by Huxtable in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy races in 2013.
  3. March 76B [17] (Graeme Lawrence): New to Sonny Rajah with a fuel-injected Hart engine, and run for Graeme Lawrence in South East Asia.
  4. Brabham BT30 [14] (Cherie Schloemmer): Sold new to Ecurie Ecosse and run for Graham Birrell in F2 in 1970. Also raced once by Peter Gethin and by Richard Attwood later in the season. To Peter Westbury early 1971 and raced in several F2 races (also raced once by Dieter Quester) until the team's BT36 was delivered. Sold to Dunnett's Garage, converted to F/Atlantic specification and entered for Ronnie Mackay in libre and F/Atlantic in 1971 and 1972, run by MRE. To Chong Boon Seng for south east Asian racing in 1973 and used by him until 1976. Then to Del Schloemer and raced by him and by Cherie Schloemer in 1977 and 1978. To Wybe Valkema around 1980 and retained to 1982. Then to Australia and with Brian Wilson by 1988. Wilson sold it to Art Valdez (Torrance, CA) and from Valdez it returned to Australia when he sold it to Bob Ilich (Perth, WA) in 2010.
  5. March 73B/74B [13] (Nick Van Nugteren): In the mid-1970s, Grant Swartz (Berkeley, CA) was an aircraft maintenance specialist working for the Flying Tiger Line air freight company in Hong Kong and Vietnam. In 1973, he acquired a March 73B, presumably the chassis 73B/13 that is shown in March records as going to Hong Kong, and he raced at the Macau Grand Prix in November that year. Unfortunately, he hit a wall and broke his ankle. Undeterred, he returned to the Macau race in the car in 1974 and 1975. It was then sold to Nick Van Nugteren (Singapore), who raced it at Macau in 1977 and 1978. By 1978 it had been updated to March 742 bodywork, and was sponsored by Black & Decker. It was later owned by Chris Farrell in Australia, and raced by him in HSRCA from 1999 to 2001. To Robert Foster by 2002, and raced by Foster in HSRCA events from 2004 to 2017.
  6. March 732 (Romeo David): New to Sonny Rajah (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and used in British Formula Atlantic in 1973. In August 1973, it was flown to South East Asia, where it spent the rest of its racing career. However, it is difficult to understand exactly how this car was used, as Rajah also owned a March 712M which was updated to 73B specification, and was also involved with a March 723 which had been converted to the local 1600cc 2-valve formula. At the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in early September 1973, it appears that Rajah won using his updated 712M/73B, with the 73B being driven to third place by Percy Chan. Historian Eli Solomon reports that Rajah's 73B was bought by Jan Bussell a couple of weeks before the 1973 Macau GP, so would be the car Bussell drove at that race, through 1974, and in early 1975. In May 1975, Bussell left Malaysian for Zaire, and the 73B was raced by Pocholo Ramirez at two races in 1975. Eli adds that Ramirez' mechanic told him he rebuilt the car for Romeo David in 1978, so this would be the car he entered for the 1978 Malaysia Grand Prix. Subsequent history unresolved.
  7. Chevron B39 [39-77-04] (Eddie Marcelo): New to Eddie Marcelo (Philippines) and presumably the car raced by him in the Malaysian Grand Prix and Penang Grand Prix in April and May 1977. He was also entered for the 1978 Malaysia Grand Prix. This may be the car driven by Chong Kim Fah as part of the Rothmans team in Malaysia in 1979, but Chong had previously driven a B34 and may have upgraded that car with B39 bits. Subsequent history unknown.
  8. Chevron B35 [35-76-06] (TBA): Entered by Fred Opert Racing for the 1976 European F2 season, and raced by José Dolhem in both the Hockenheim and Thruxton races at least, as the chassis number is given in MN reports of both. Chassis number observed on Steve Millen’s car by Dave McKinney at Baypark, 2 Jan 1977, and published New Zealand Motor Action [NZMA] 28 Jan 77 p5. A/S 6 Jan 77 p5, says ex Opert, and the car used by Keegan at Macau late 1976. Car sold by Millen at the end of 1977 and either destroyed or badly damaged in a testing accident by the new owner. Not known after that date.
  9. Chevron B34 [34-76-37] (Chong Kim Fah): New to Albert Poon (Hong Kong), who referred to it as a 1977-series B35. It started out with a Cosworth BDM engine for Southeast Asian racing, and was then fitted with a Cosworth BDA for the Macau GP, which was held to Formula Atlantic rules, and the New Zealand Formula Pacific series in January 1977, before returning to the fuel-injected BDM for racing in Malaysia later in 1977. To Chong Kim Fah and Team Rothmans for 1978, but it is unclear whether Chong actually raced it that season. It is then presumably the "B39" that Chong raced in Formula Pacific in 1979. According to later owners, it then moved to Western Australia and was owned by Peter Nicol in 1979, Peter Morris in 1980, Jim Runciman in 1983. Then to Richard Fearon (Victoria) in 1994, Noel Robson (Victoria) at the end of 1998, and Peter Mohr (Queensland) in 2005. Sold by Mohr to Tony Simmons in November 2008, and raced by him through 2009 and in 2010. Next seen with Martin Bullock (WA) and raced by him at Sydney Motor Sport Park in November 2014, and at Barbagallo in 2016. Then taken to the UK by Bullock and raced at Brands Hatch in May 2019.
  10. Chevron B34 [34-76-25] (Narcisco de la Merced): Invoiced to Fred Opert Racing and believed to be the "brand new" pale blue #75 Chevron B34 raced by Opert's customer Gordon Smiley at Mosport Park in late August 1976. Then raced by Patrick Tambay at Trois-Rivières two weeks later, and by Elliot Forbes-Robinson in the IMSA race at Laguna Seca in early October. It was one of three B34s taken to New Zealand for the Formula Pacific series in January 1977, and was Mikko Kozarowitzky's regular car. After the series, it was sold to Narcisco de la Merced and raced by him in Southeast Asian races from 1977 to 1982. Then to Luis Camus for 1983. Subsequent history unknown.
  11. Chevron B20 [72-9] (Ian Grey): New to John S Green in Formula B specification but there is no evidence of this car being delivered before the end of 1972. Green ran it in the Gap Hill Climb in January 1973, but only circuit raced it once, in the Singapore Grand Prix in April 1973. Green died in early 1974, and the Chevron was sold to David Schollum for Steve Millen in South-East Asian races that year. Then shipped to New Zealand and fitted with a 1980cc Cosworth FVC engine for the 1975 Tasman series. Used by Millen in 1600cc form at Batu Tiga and Macau later in 1975. Sold to Ian Grey in 1976 and raced with a Cosworth BDM at Macau in 1976 and 1977. Later sold to Dick Ward (Perth, Australia) and George Stacey about the end of 1979, and then to Harry Hickling (ACT, Australia). Sold to David Innes late 2014.
  12. March 73B (Brian Tyler): Brian Tyler, described as a Singapore-based Englishman, raced a March "732" in the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in August 1976, and then in two races in 1977, the Malaysian Grand Prix in April and the Penang GP in May. It ran in the 1600cc 2-valve class at Penang, so presumably had a Ford twin cam engine at all three races. It was advertised by Tyler from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September 1977 as a March 732 fitted with a "brand new Holbay 1600cc twin cam" and FG400 gearbox. The engine makes it much more likely that it was a 73B, not a 732. One possibility is that it was the March 722/73B that Dieter Quester had taken out to the Macau Grand Prix in November 1973. Nothing more known.

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 results of the Formula Pacific races in South East Asian at Macau, Penang, Selangor and Shah Alam were originally provided by Chris Townsend based on the short reports in Autosport and Motoring News plus the information supplied by a wide range of contributors. These have been developed further by Andrew Horrox using material in New Zealand Motoraction. For the Macau Grand Prix, further data comes from Philip Newsome's book 'Color and Noise: 40 Years of the Macau Grand Prix' (Studio Publications Ltd, 1993).

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 25 May 1978 p6 described the reopening of the Batu Tiga circuit after safety improvements following an accident at the 1977 Malaysian GP when six children were killed. The race to be held was called the Formula Pacific Malaysian Grand Prix.