On arrival at Oulton Park, a thick blanket of snow covers the Cheshire venue, but practice eventually gets underway – after plenty of snowball fights and snowman building. The tricky conditions give teams a tyre-choice dilemma, although Purley is quick enough against his 5-litre Chevrolet V8-engined rivals to put the 3.4-litre V6-powered Chevron third on the grid.
Noakes is on pitboard duty for Purley in the race, which is eventually won by the Reed Racing Lola T332 of Gordon Spice, ahead of the similar car of Guy Edwards. Purley hangs on to finish on the lead lap in third place, with fourth-placed Brian Robinson a lap down in his McLaren M19C.
Just three days later, Purley and the LEC team travel down to Kent for the Bank Holiday Monday round at Brands Hatch, where he seals his first victory in the Chevron. It was a portent of things to come; when the rules changed for 1976, welcoming Formula 1, F2 and Atlantic cars into the series, Purley and the Chevron capitalised on a season’s head start. They went on to take six wins together and lift the Shellsport Group 8 crown, providing the springboard for Purley and LEC to make the jump to the F1 World Championship for 1977 – four years after that tragic 1973 season.