It was no longer a foregone conclusion that the British team would pick up the spoils, in fact when they left Brands Hatch after an hectic Good Friday encounter they trailed the US side by 141 to 130!
Over 20,000 fans packed the Brands Indy circuit and they could hardly believe their eyes as the two teams engaged in battle. Even before racing began David Aldana and Tony Jefferies had crashed out. Aldana made the start but Jefferies’ Triumph Triple was so badly damaged he had to sit the day out, although he was back in action at Mallory Park.
Enjoy more Classic Racer reading in the monthly magazine.
Click here to subscribe & save.
Cal Rayborn, pictured right, with Harley-Davidson team mates Doug Sehl, centre, and dirt track legend Mert Lawwill, left, leapt away from the start, taking up where he left off the previous year, pursued by Peter Williams, John Player Norton, and Dave Potter, Kuhn Norton.
Behind them exiled Brit, Ron Grant, riding for the Americans, went down hard at Paddock when he touched Paul Smart. Shortly after it was Rayborn’s turn to crash out at the same spot, followed by new leader Williams at Druids.
Rayborn bounced back to win the second leg at Brands from Smart. The racing at Mallory Park, on Easter Sunday, was equally as intense, and after a win apiece for Williams and Yvon DuHamel the teams left for the final two races at Oulton Park with the Brits on 272 and the USA 270.
It was Kawasaki duo DuHamel and Gary Nixon, along with Suzuki USA rider Art Baumann, who took the fight to the Brits at Oulton, but two stunning victories from Peter Williams gave the British team a last gasp overall victory, by just 18 points, after some of the best racing the large crowds had seen in a long time.
? View more images at www.mortonsarchive.com