|The BRM P160 of Peter Gethin at the 1972 Race of Champions. He was one of my favourite F1 drivers of the time and qualified second on the grid for this event and eventually finished fourth.|
The race was won by Emerson Fittipaldi in the John Plater Lotus 72. He also took pole position and fastest lap. It was the first of three times I was to see Emerson and his Lotus win at Brands Hatch that year as he also won the British GP and the Rothmans 50,000 Formula Libre race. Whilst, Emerson was never one of my favourite drivers in the seventies, I remember his early career well as I saw him win in Formula Ford and Formula Three and I also saw him drive in Formula Two and on his F1 debut Brands in 1970. Later when watching him on television in Indy Car, funnily enough, I became much more of a fan.
A few more memories of this meeting:
Whilst the F1 race was fairly routine there was a great British Group 2 saloon car race in which Frank Gardner's Camaro really had to fight for his victory from Dave Matthew's much smaller engined Broadspeed Ford Escort and Martin Thomas in another Chevrolet Camaro.
There was also a Formula Three race that a young Welshman called Tom Pryce won with some ease. Other future F1 drivers in this field included Bob Evans, Tony Trimmer, James Hunt, Roger Williamson, David Purley and Rikki Von Opel. I was there at the Race of Champions again a few years later to see Tom win his only F1 race in the Tony Southgate designed 1975 Shadow. Great memories!
I mentioned the F5000 cars earlier in the blog. If like me you remember these wonderful cars, you may be interested in a book on them called La Formule 5000 Européenne 1969 - 1975 by Christian Navaux. It contains a report and results on every race plus some great photos including many by my good friend Gareth Rees (who was certainly also at the 1972 Race of Champions meeting as one of his pictures is in the report on the Saturday F5000 race). It is all written in French. I would have thought they would get more sales if it was translated into English as most of the race took place in the UK. It is published by www.editions-palmier.com.
My first memories of F5000 are watching on television the first ever F5000 race at Oulton Park on Good Friday 1969 and then going along in person to Brands Hatch on 11th May 1969 to see Peter Gethin win both heats in his McLaren M10A-Chevrolet and loving the sound these big engined cars made.
If you have memories of the 1972 Race of Champions meeting please enter them in the comments box below.
If you are interested in motor racing from the sixties, you might want to visit my 1965 page. Click on the 1965 button at the top of this page or click here on 1965. During 2015 I will be adding a new post to this page each week.
Further of my "From the Archives" photos can be accessed by clicking on the From the Archives button at the top of this page or click here in Archives.
The photographer John Etherton asserts his copyright to the photographs on this blogpost. However, you may publish them elsewhere on the web as long as you provide a link to this web page and credit the photographer and mention the name of this blog.