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Mike Wilds in the BRM P201 in 1975. Photo: Mike Wilds Archive

I’d raced the Cosworth-powered Ensign N174 at the 1974 USGP at Watkins Glen, it was my fourth time in the car and fifth Grand Prix I’d entered that season—I’d driven a March 731 at the British GP at Brands Hatch—entered by Dempster International Racing Team—but this was the first race I’d qualified to start. I think there were 30 cars and the fastest 25 got grid positions and I was 22nd so near to the back, but the non-qualifiers included the likes of Tim Schenken in a third works Lotus 72, Hans Stuck in a works March and Jean-Pierre Beltoise in the BRM.

Mike WildsPhoto: Pete Austin
Mike Wilds
Photo: Pete Austin

I was so pleased even to get onto the grid in the Ensign! In the race, I had to make a pit stop on the first lap. There was a problem with the pressure release valve, and I lost four or five laps. Once fixed, the team told me to go out, even though there wasn’t much chance of me being placed, and just have some fun driving the car to the finish. I found myself four or five laps behind the leaders and hooked up with Chris Amon, who was driving the BRM P201. We were both tail-end Charlies, but played around and appreciated our own race. I’d overtake him and he’d overtake me until the conclusion of the race. For me, it made for a bit of excitement in an otherwise uneventful afternoon. Although meaningless, we enjoyed the dicing.

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