Video: Group 1 British Saloon Car aces at Brands Hatch

13th January 2017
Henry Hope-Frost

With the 75th Members’ Meeting fever levels spiking thanks to today’s (January 13th) news that the hugely popular Gerry Marshall Trophy saloon car thrash is set to race into the dusk on the Saturday evening of the March 18-19 event, how about a bit of period drama from Brands Hatch during the British Grand Prix meeting in July 1980?

The footage focuses on Win Percy and the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Mazda RX-7 squad as they bid for a sixth straight class win in the Tricentrol British Saloon Car Championship in the Japanese rotary-engined machine.

The Englishman, who for many years acted as driving-standards advisor at Goodwood, offers his thoughts on the season so far and his plan to maintain his 100 per cent record in the Pentax-sponsored car.

The grid is packed with familiar shapes, certainly to fans of the time and Gerry Marshall Trophy converts, and comprises Class D 3-litre V6 Ford Capris and 3.5-litre V8 Rover SD1s up at the front, all complemented by a chasing pack made up of Class C RX-7s and Triumph Dolomite Sprints, Class B Audi 80s (one of which is pedalled by Stirling Moss), a Renault 5 Gordini driven by triple F1 World Champion Jack Brabham, Ford Fiestas, VW Sciroccos and Toyota Celica GTs, and Class A Alfa Romeo Alfasuds and Mini 1275 GTs.

Image courtesy of LAT

Image courtesy of LAT

As the cars thread their way round to the grid for the start of the last race of the day at the packed Kent venue, the F1 podium car can still be seen circulating with Grand Prix winner Alan Jones, Brabham ace Nelson Piquet and Jones’ Williams team-mate Carlos Reutemann waving to the crowds. Imagine that now!

It’s the Capris of Gordon Spice and Vince Woodman that take up their front-row spots, both drivers having gambled on slick tyres as the expected rain arrives. An inspired choice of intermediate rubber by fifth-fastest qualifier Jeff Allam, who you’ll remember returned to action in last year’s 74th Members’ Meeting Gerry Marshall Trophy, would surely give the Triplex Esso Rover man a distinct advantage at the start.

The race is interrupted by a nasty lap-17 smash that blocks the track, with the results declared after 16 full laps. We won’t spoil it by revealing who wins, or who takes class honours…

  • Gerry Marshall Trophy

  • brands hatch

  • 75MM

  • 2017

  • Touring Cars

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    Members' Meeting

    Gallery: Battling into the dark

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    Goodwood SpeedWeek

    Gallery: Gerry Marshall Trophy presented by Sure races into the night

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    Members' Meeting

    Gerry Marshall Trophy touring cars set to battle into the dusk at 75MM