British Sprint Championship 1972

After two seasons in which the championship had been largely ignored, it burst into life in 1972 with three drivers taking it very seriously: reigning champion Johnty Williamson who had traded the fearsome Cooper-Chrysler for a F5000 McLaren M10A/B, 'King of Curborough' Rob Rose in his McLaren M10B, and his nearest challenger for that title John Ravenscroft with a 1600cc Brabham BT21A. 14 rounds were scheduled which meant that the best eight results would count, but only ten took place, which meant it was only the best seven that counted. After wins at Gaydon and Duxford, Ravenscroft led into the Weston Speed Trials at the end of September, but when the Brabham driver was unable to start, Williamson came from behind to beat Rose by just 0.01s. At Bassingbourne the next day, Rose won from Williamson, and with four wins, two seconds and a third, Rose's total of 66 points could not be overhauled at the last event, in the chill Cotswold wind at Little Rissington two weeks later. Williamson's win at that event gave him second place in the championship by the narrowest of margins from the unfortunate Ravenscroft, the two being equal on 64 points, just two points behind Rose.

Still many sprint competitors were not registered for the RAC series. For example at Blackpool there was as much interest in the Longton & District championship and the LAC series. John Wallwork came very close to taking BTD at that event in the Brabham BT11-Traco Oldsmobile he shared with Longton series leader Allan Smith.

The races

25 Mar 1972 > Yeovilton

16 Apr 1972 > Curborough

14 May 1972 > Gaydon

04 Jun 1972 > Curborough

18 Jun 1972 > Blackpool

02 Jul 1972 > Duxford

10 Sep 1972 > Duxford

30 Sep 1972 > Weston-Super-Mare Speed Trials

01 Oct 1972 > Bassingbourne

15 Oct 1972 > Little Rissington

1972 RAC British Sprint Championship table

1Bob RoseMcLaren M10B - Chevrolet V866 pts4 wins
2John RavenscroftBrabham BT21A - Ford64 pts2 wins
3Johnty WilliamsonMcLaren M10A/B - Chevrolet V864 pts2 wins
4Geoff InglisMarch 702 - Cosworth FVA55 pts 
5John KingLandar R6 - BMC26 pts 
6=Rob TurnbullAlexis - Ford twin cam22 pts 
6=John McCartneyTechCraft 4WD - BRM V822 pts 
6=John BaileyMallock U2 Mk 11 - Ford22 pts 
9David RenderGinetta G12 - Buick V816 pts 
10Terry SmithCooper T81B - Chrysler RB 440 V815 pts1 win
11Dave HartleyBrabham BT18 - Buick V812 pts 
12=Spencer EltonBrabham BT21B - Ford twin cam Vegantune11 pts 
12=Les EdmundsAlexis Mk15 - Ford11 pts 
14Tony GriffithsBrabham BT35X - Repco V810 pts1 win
15Tom EltonBrabham BT18 - Ford BDA9 pts 
16=Frank AstonMcLaren Special - Ford8 pts 
16=Tony HarrisonMcLaren M12C/M6B - Chevrolet V88 pts 
18Maurice OgierBrabham BT23C - Ford twin cam Vegantune7 pts 

The points system for the championship remained the same as that used for the Hill Climb championship, awarding 10 points for the fastest time in the runoff, then 9 for second and on down to one point for tenth place (R.A.C Motor Sport Year Book 1972 p128). An additional point was awarded to each driver that improved on the best time for the course prior to the meeting.