Group 1 Ford Capri 1972

1972 - the Luton Motors sponsored Capris. Mick`s Boss supersaloon left and the Group 1 production racer right.

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Rare photo of Mick Hill in a production race car. Believed to be Silverstone , July 2nd 1972 in one of the 2 Luton Motors Capri 3000GTs on his way to an unspectacular 4th overall in poor conditions . Gabriel Konig follows in the Camaro.

1972 saw an explosion in popularity in saloon car racing. Beyond the British Saloon car championship and the many special saloon championships across the UK `Production Saloon` racing really took off. Both MCD ( with Castrol sponsorship ) and BARC ( Britax ) put on busy schedules of 21 rounds and 12 respectivley. Unlike the traditional class structures based on engine size the 4-classes were split by retail price of the car , at over £1100 , up to £1100 , up to £800 and up to £600. With equal points per class winner it was Tony Lanfranchi who won both championships in the unlovely Moskvich which dominated the £600 class winning 28 of the 29 races over both championships !
Some very talented saloon car drivers of the day got involved to put on a show of pushing a standard car to its limits . Gerry Marshall , Dave Brodie , Dave Matthews joined the regulars when their commitments elsewhere permitted and Mick Hill too in Luton Motors` Capri 3000 GT ( reg PVX 306K ). His rival for so many years Gerry Marshall had a page in each month`s CCC Mag and in the July edition noted "The following week saw us all back at Brands for another Castrol round...the notable exception being Mick Hill who has only started one group 1 race in the 3 litre Capri and stuffed it so badly that even Luton Motor Co`s enourmous body shop still hasnt repaired it".
The Capris used in G1 that season were pushing out about 175 bhp at the flywheel.

MICK HILL`s Group 1 career :
Race 1 - MALLORY PARK - April 30th . Having already put in a 'masterly win' in the wet Hepolite Glacer Special saloon race in the V8 Capri Mick was back out 2 races later in the LuMo Group 1 Capri in the Castrol championship.Autosport reported of Dave Brodie 'another spin at Gerrards this time into the bank where Mick Hill had already deposited the LuMo Capri on lap 4. Hill having collected Mike Beckwith's Citroen in so doing'.

Race 2 - SNETTERTON - May 7th as he was present for the Triplex Special saloon round but let Teddy Savory race his Boss Capri. Autosport noted in the G1 race the same afternoon that `Mick Hill took over Graig ( Craig ? ) Hinton`s NSU and took second in class` in the Castrol Production Saloon Car Championship probably due to his Capri not being repaired from Mallory as referred to by Gerry Marshall. .

Race 3 - SILVERSTONE - July 2nd . Hill underlined his supremacy in special saloons with a 10-second win in the Forward Trust race over Marshall and came out for the final race in the LuMo group 1 car for this trime a Britax round. With rain now falling Hill ,Brodie and Konig had a slippery dice behind the lead trio. Hill taking 4th from Konig in her Camaro and Barrie Boult in the second LuMo Capri.

Race 4 - SNETTERTON - September 17th. Another raceday blighted by bad weather saw a Clubman race stopped with a driver suffering a broken leg. Hill again trusting his V8 Capri for Savory to race whilst Hill was in the non-championship Hobbs Padgett Trophy G1 race. 'Mick Hill further slowed the proceedings by putting the LuMo Capri into the Riches bank on the first of the warm up laps,damaging the front suspension and bending the car considerably' wrote Mike Dixon for Autosport.

Race 5 - BRANDS HATCH - September 24th. As part of the quality programe that included the Rothmans F5000 round Mick had a better weekend firstly winning the Triplex round in his Boss Capri ( as per usual ) before switching to the G1 Capri. This may have been the 2nd tem car in light of the previous weeks 'bending' . Richard Lloyd won in the Camaro ,Hill finished 4th but 2 places ahead of his old rival Gerry Marshall in the Magnum on this occasion.

This seems to be it racing anything in production spec until a Saab in 1986 at the end of his career. So not helped by poor weather but maybe Production racing just wasnt for Mick.

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Not looking at all apprehensive ahead of his Group 1 debut ,Mick oversees preparations to the G1 Capri at Mallory. It wasnt a happy debut though collecting the Citroen SM on way to hitting the Gerrards banking.

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