Saturday 18th August 1979, Kaldenkirchen, World Championship

Report from Short Circuit Magazine, September 1979

Eight British drivers made the trip to Germany for the World Championship at Kaldenkirchen on August 18th. A notable absentee was Basil Craske who refused to travel as the German organisers had stated that engine noise could not be above 90 decibels. As Craske is unable to get his engine below 120 he thought it pointless to travel.

Henk Hanssen had his dream come true when he drew pole position in the public draw whereas Jan van Rengs was right at the back having drawn 19. Mick Bonner has the best draw for the British drawing grid 3 with Alan Fretten (5), John Lowe (8), Brian Harding (10), Geoff Hughes (11), Harold Lowe (12) driving a Lotus TC supplied by Vulcan Engineering, Derek Johnson (15) and Dan Hornby (17).

Drama started as early as the warm up lap when Henk Hanssen found that he had a fuel leak which was tracked to the petrol filter. Poor Henk was forced to retire and had to watch his World crown slip away. Mick Bonner moved up to take pole position.

As the flag dropped Mick Bonner stormed into the lead obviously realising that this was his chance to build up a big lead. By lap three Mick had a straight between himself and second place man Norbert Fleuren. Derek Johnson was coming though the pack very fast making it up to third place by lap eight but he had Jan van Rengs right on his tail. Van Rengs was pressing Johnson hard and they had soon caught Fleuren to make it a three way battle. Van Rengs challenged Johnson down the back straight on lap 25 but Johnson left his braking very late to pass van Rengs and Fleuren in one move to take second place.

Johnson was still a quarter of a straight behind Bonner at this point but four laps later there was a tight battle fro the lead between Bonner, Johnson and van Rengs. Mick Bonner was driving his heart out to stay in front of the more powerful cars and also being handicapped by a leaking brake cylinder. Van Rengs soon found a way past Johnson going under him on the pit bend to take second but Johnson was having none of this and he retook van Rengs on the next bend. On the next lap though van Rengs used all of his VW Scirocco power to pass Bonner and Johnson in one go to take up the lead. From then on it was van Rengs all the way and he went on to open up a lead of half a lap by the end to take the World crown to add to his European. The only other significant place change was when Derek Johnson took Mick Bonner for second place on lap 39. It was a good performance by the British drivers taking two out of the top three places.

Result: 1st Jan van Rengs (grid 19), 2nd Derek Johnson (grid 15), 3rd Mick Bonner (grid 3), 4th Norbert Fleuren (grid 7), 5th Henk van Rengs (grid 4), 6th John Lowe (grid 8)

Henk Hanssen made up for the disappointment the previous day by winning both of the heats on the Sunday. The final was yet again won by the unbeatable Dastle/Scirocco combination of Jan van Rengs winning easily from Norbert Fleuren and Henk Hanssen. Mick Bonner finished fourth with Brian Harding fifth.