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An enjoyable event
Brands Hatch, April 10th
It would have been difficult to find a weekend more unsuitable for staging a non-championship Formula One race than April 9th/10th, for in the International calendar were the 1,000 kilometre race at Monza for Group C cars, the European Touring Car Championship round at Vallelunga, the Formula 2 round at Hockenheimring, a big meeting at Donington Park, and a Michelin and Pirelli tyre-testing weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit, to say nothing of the French Grand Prix meeting due to start four days later. In spite of all this the BRSCC went ahead with their revival of the Race of Champions meeting and provided a very entertaining weekend. Many years ago the British season used to open with a big meeting on Easter Monday at Goodwood, which gave the opportunity of trying out Grand Prix cars before the serious business began. Then later on when Goodwood had disappeared from the racing scene Brands Hatch staged a Formula One event as a season-opener and called it the Race of Champions, for want of a better title, but as the Formula One Grand Prix season spread to sixteen or seventeen events the Race of Champions died a death by saturation. It was a brave attempt to revive the fixture for such races are badly needed in the Formula One scene, as practice grounds or stepping stones into the big league. The way things are organised at present a new driver or new team has to plunge straight into the deep end of Grand Prix racing, often well over their heads. A few simple non-championship events scattered through the season would be a good thing, but with seventeen World Championship races and nearly as many tyre-testing sessions there simply isn't time or space for small light-hearted events like the Race of Champions, which is a pity.