Entrants in Britain's Brands Batch Grand Prix raced for grid positions during the opening practice run at the race circuit on Thursday (18 July).
SV PAN FROM Car No. 5, Fittipaldi, TO car No. 4, Depailler, pulls in after practice
SV PAN Car No. 1, Peterson, and car No. 2, Jacky Ickx, leaving pits for training (3 shots)
GV Cars taking bend including car No. 1
GV PAN Car No. 2 overtaking another car at bend
GV PAN Cars No. 8 and 35 round bend
GV PAN Cars round bend
GV PAN Cars No. 1 accelerates past car No. 16 and around bend
Initials BB/2305 BL/PN/BB/2315
SPORT: CAR RACING
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Background: Entrants in Britain's Brands Batch Grand Prix raced for grid positions during the opening practice run at the race circuit on Thursday (18 July).
A total of 36 cars were battling for the 25 places available on the grid for the start of the Grand Prix on Saturday (20 July).
The 25-year-old Welshman, Tom Pryce, in his first season as a Formula One driver, clocked the fastest time on Thursday, lapping the 2.65 miles (4.25 kilometre) circuit in one minute 21.4 seconds.
Pryce was nearly two seconds inside the official lap record shared by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Austrian, Niki Lauda and Sweden's Ronnie Peterson.
Lauda, the current championship leader and race favourite and his Swiss team mate Clay Ragazzoni, were second and third behind Pryce.
Britain's James Hunt was fourth fastest while Carlos Reutemann of Argentina, in a Brabham and Emerson Fittipaldi in a Texaco Marlboro shared fifth place. A second qualifying round was to be held the next day.
South African Jody Scheckter -- also strongly favoured to win the Brands Hatch -- had some engine problems during the practice run. Ronnie Peterson changed the tyres on his Lotus to improve its handling.
The Grand Prix -- covering 75 laps of the Brands Hatch course is worth GPB75,000 sterling (188,000 dollars U.S.) this year. The staging cost of GBP150,000 sterling (375,000 dollars U.S.) makes the event the most expensive motor race ever held in Britain.