18/11/1972

Capetown, South Africa. Jochen Mass and Gerry Birrell drove their 2 liter Chevron B25-Ford to victory in the 'Cape Three Hours'

On the Killarney circuit, round two of the Springbok Championship Sports Car series. The win stretched their lead in the point standings. After a chaotic start that saw some cars jump forward and then stop just as the flag waved, Jody Scheckter moved the March 735-BMW into the lead ahead of Birrell. Unfortunately, both were penalized a lap for jumping the start. Their penalties meant Peter Gethin and South African champ Dave Charlton, running 3rd and 4th on the track, were now 1st and 2nd. On lap 2, Charlton drove his Chevron B21 into the side of Gethin's Chevron B25, sending Gethin spinning off into the sand. A very angry Gethin got his 1.9 liter Ford powered car going again, but almost a 1/2 lap behind the leading cars. Gethin drove like mad to work back to 4th by the end of the first half hour before rolling to a stop out on the circuit with a dead ignition. Gethin pushed the car to the end of pit road where Chevron mechanics pushed it to the pits. Upon arriving at the pits, Gethin was promptly disqualified for being pushed. While this played out, Guy Edwards retired the only Lola in the race, followed shortly by Guy Tunmer's Chevron. Up front, Sheckter and Birrell were engaged in a tremendous duel, Scheckter hampered by braking problems on the March while Birrell consistently overreving his Hart engine in an effort to stay in touch. The battle lasted until just before halfway, when Scheckter rolled to the pits with a broken throttle cable. It took several laps to make repairs, but later clutch and gearbox problems dropped him further down the order. Mass got in at mid-race and held a narrow lead over Charlton, who turned his car over to John Hine. Mass was having troubles though, as a split gearbox casing was causing the oil to slowly drain away and resulting in difficulty with gear changes. Fortunately for Mass, Hine had his own problems, as a sticking throttle resulted in a lengthy stop to change throttle cables. This allowed Mass to relax, which was a good thing, as the Chevron eventually lost 2 gears. With Hine down the order, a good battle developed between Brian Robinson and Eddie Keizan/Peter Hanson, both in Chevron B21s. The latter having made up time from 2 stops with minor body damage after a couple of spins on oil. Hanson eased his pace late in the race thinking he was a lap ahead of Robinson, only to discover the officials had them on the same lap. Robinson wound up 2nd and the Keizan/Hanson car 3rd. Hine came home 4th and Scheckter 5th. Yoshimi Katayama and Toshinori Takechi drove their Mazda S102A to victory in the Sedan class, finishing 8th overall and moved into 2nd in the points.

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