The last year of Group 5 in Britain - and the last year of that plastic bomb called the Falcon Sprint. The rules had become a little more strict now - so no FVA engine in Cortinas or Escorts now, in line with the rest of Europe. Class divisions were like 1968 (0-1000 cc, 1000-1300 cc, 1300-2000 cc and over 2000 cc).
Gardner had swapped the 16-valve head in his Escort for a pseudo-blown Twin Cam, which was fast but not fast enough to be champion. A more interesting engine was used at practice only - a 260 HP turbocharged TC. No, the champion would come from the smallest class, with the 1000 cc Mini of Alec Poole on top - neither the first nor the last time the little car would be champion. Chris Craft's misarable start of the season only left him second in the championship.