British Sprint Championship 1976

Dave Harris retained his championship in his McLaren M10B/M14D, but it was a close fought battle with David Render after Render turned up at the fourth round, at Curborough with a Formula 1 Lotus 76, loaned to him by his friend Colin Chapman. Render won four of his first six events in it, and when the cars assembled on the West-Super-Mare seafront, early-season leader Harris still needed to finish third to hold on to his title. He had to borrow Terry Smith's ex-Roy Lane McLaren M14D, and did exactly what he needed, having to ensure a nervous wait to make sure nobody beat his time.

Simon Riley had also moved to a F1 car, buying Tony Griffiths' well-known Brabham BT33, the winner of the previous two Weston Speed Trials, and Riley scored one win and five second places on his way to third place in the championship. Johnty Williamson was the only other regular front runner in his F5000 Surtees TS11 but Terry Smith also won one round in the McLaren M14D and hillclimber David Franklin won two in his March 742. The new 'King of Curborough" John Ravenscroft only appeared a few times, preferring to spend his weekends setting new course records on the Staffordshire track in his ex-F1 Token RJ02.

The races

21 Mar 1976 > Longridge

28 Mar 1976 > Yeovilton

03 Apr 1976 > Oulton Park

25 Apr 1976 > Curborough

20 Jun 1976 > Blackpool

01 Aug 1976 > Wroughton

08 Aug 1976 > Bassingbourne

15 Aug 1976 > Gaydon

29 Aug 1976 > Bassingbourne

12 Sep 1976 > Curborough

26 Sep 1976 > Wroughton

02 Oct 1976 > Weston-Super-Mare Speed Trials

1976 RAC British Sprint Championship table

1Dave HarrisMcLaren M10B/M14D - Chevrolet V8
McLaren M14D - Chevrolet V8
72 pts3 wins
2David RenderLotus 76 - Cosworth DFV V871 pts4 wins
3Simon RileyBrabham BT33 - Cosworth DFV V869 pts1 win
4Johnty WilliamsonSurtees TS11 - Chevrolet V860 pts 
5Terry SmithMcLaren M14D - Chevrolet V837 pts1 win
6John RavenscroftToken RJ02 - Cosworth DFV V829 pts 
7David FranklinMarch 742 - BMW Euroracing29 pts2 wins
8Rob TurnbullBrabham BT35 - Ford BDA20 pts 
9Peter FiskMarch 702 - Ford BDA18 pts 
10=John TaylorBrabham BT16/21B - Ford Essex V615 pts 
10=Richard WhiteMcLaren M10A/B - Chevrolet V815 pts 
12Richard LesterLola T100 - Ford BDA9 pts 
13=Bob RoseMcLaren M14D - Chevrolet V88 pts 
13=John McCartneyBRM P153 - BRM P142 V128 pts 
13=Clive BraceyVebra Mk1 - Chevrolet turbo8 pts 
13=Chris HillMallock U2 Mk 14 - Ford8 pts 
13=Ted WilliamsEnsign LNF3/73 - Ford BDA Holbay8 pts 
18=Alan RichardsSurtees TS8 - Chevrolet V87 pts 
18=Martyn GriffithsMarch 74B - Hart 422R7 pts 
18=Allan StaniforthTerrapin Mk7B - BMC7 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 1976 p102). There was no longer an extra point awarded for beating the course's previous record time. With 12 rounds taking place, even if the Top 10 Runoff was abandoned at one of them, the best eight results would count (ibid. p102).