(K Hyndman)

Jody Scheckter’s works F2 McLaren M21 Ford BDF (left) at Trojan Racing’s workshops in Beddington Farm Road, Croydon on 1 October 1972…

Alongside it is the first Trojan T101 ‘101’ F5000 coming together, the cars are close relations.

Jody took one European F2 Championship win in chassis # M21-72-01 at Crystal Palace in May, the title was won that year by Mike Hailwood’s works Surtees TS10 Ford BDA.

The South African charger was competitive throughout the season, but like others running BDA’s stretched close to 2 litres struck engine dramas. The standard cast iron Ford Cortina 711M block just didn’t want to be bored that far, pistons came close to kissing each other which is rather sub-optimal. The bespoke alloy Ford Cosworth BDG block solved that from 1973. Hailwood ran Brian Hart prepped 1850cc BDA’s and took a hotly contested first 2 litre Euro F2 title from Jean-Pierre Jaussaud Brabham BT38 Ford and Patrick Depailler March 722 Ford.

Jody recalled his McLaren M21 F2 year in an article titled ‘McLaren and Me’ on mclaren.com…

It was Phil Kerr who approached me about driving for McLaren…I don’t think F2 was their major interest, and I think in a way they were playing on the side with it. Teddy Mayer preferred the big time stuff.

F2 obviously wasn’t F1 or CanAm, which had been their main thing, and I had the only M21. I can’t remember thinking at the time that they weren’t putting enough effort into it, however I would probably not have known at that stage. That was the first works drive after running my own car, so whatever it was was fantastic.

At the beginning we had an 1800cc motor, and the other guys were 2-litres, so it was underpowered. We would run less and less wing to try and do the same speed on the straights, and then we had no downforce.

The car wasn’t bad. But initially it had a broken shock absorber, which nobody discovered. We weren’t competitive at all, and with me being new in, obviously people thought I wasn’t competitive. If you’re on your own, when you go well it’s good, and if you don’t, you wish had others cars to compare against!

In one way it was nice because you’re the only driver they’re concentrating on. If there was another one could you have developed the car quicker? Possibly, but I didn’t really think about it.

After a few races we went down to Goodwood and Denny Hulme drove the car and played around with it a bit. They had found in the workshop that one of the shock absorbers was broken. So they changed that, and Denny went out and did 1m14.2s or something like that, and I went out and in three laps did a 1m13.8s. I think we were doing 1m15s before that.

London Trophy, Crystal Palace 29 May 1972. Scheckter won in his #60 McLaren M21 Ford BDF by 1.5 seconds after 50 laps from Mike Hailwood’s #46 Surtees TS10 Ford BDA and Carlos Reutemann’s Brabham BT38 Ford BDF (J Fausel)

And then we went to Crystal Palace. I’d raced there in F3 and Ford Escort Mexicos, and I quite liked that circuit. The car was going well, and we won. After that everyone was looking at the car, wondering why it was going so quickly. I remember at Rouen passing Carlos Reutemann on the outside of a bend going down the hill.

Crystal Palace was a real breakthrough in a way. In those days there were F1 drivers competing, and, if you did well in an F2 race, you immediately showed that you were good enough to go up to the next level. Which is what happened.

Later Lotus came and wanted me to drive for them. I told McLaren and they said, ‘OK, we’ll give you a drive in the last Grand Prix, at Watkins Glen.’ I don’t think they’d thought about it, but when other teams start making offers, they knew they had to do something!

Watkins Glen (1972 US GP) was good because nobody recognised me, and I could walk around and not be bothered. I thought the M19 was fantastic. It was my first F1 car, and it just seemed to grip more and more, you could go faster and faster and nothing was happening, rather than sliding all over the place. It was nothing compared to the downforce of today’s cars, but in comparison to my F2 car the M19 had much more downforce, and bigger tyres as well’.

The story of Scheckter’s rather successful F1 career is one for another time.

McLaren pulled out of the production racing car market with effect the end of 1972. Trojan, acquired by Peter Agg in 1960 took over Elva Cars in 1962, Bruce McLaren worked with Elva to develop his McLaren-Elva Mk1A for the 1965 season, the Trojan built McLaren cars dated from 1969. The mutually fruitful partnership lasted until the end of 1972 at which point Agg continued building cars named Trojan- the T101 was the first.

January 1973 Trojan T101 ‘101’ is the car shown ‘as advertised before Ron Tauranac arrived in the design department’ Ken Hyndman

Trojan went into 1973 with a new F5000 design which was in essence the marriage of  the Ralph Bellamy designed F2 M21 front end with an M18/22 McLaren F5000 rear attached to a new chassis. Bruce would have approved, very much in his ‘Whoosh-Bonk’ tradition this machine!

The new car, designated ‘T101’ was designed by Paul Rawlinson with Ron Tauranac- post-sale and exit of Brabham to Bernie Ecclestone, brought in by management at the seasons commencement to ‘make the car work’.

Work it did- Jody Scheckter won the US F5000 L&M Championship in 1973 with 3 wins in T101 chassis ‘103’ at Laguna Seca and Michigan in May and Mid Ohio in early June. He then decamped and raced a Lola T330 (HU20) owned by Bob Lazier winning in it at Watkins Glen in mid-June after boofing T101 ‘103’ during practice.

He was back aboard T101 ‘103’, the chassis repaired at Trojan, at Road America Elkhart Lake on 29 June and Road Atlanta in mid-August and then raced another T330 (HU24) said to have been bought with his winnings, at Pocono on 3 September before ending the season in his faithful T101 ‘103’ in the final of the nine round championship at Seattle on 30 September where he was 3rd.

Scheckter and Redman at Pocono in 1973 (J Knerr)

Brian Redman aboard a sinfully sexy Carl Haas Lola T330 Chev (HU14) at the Riverside first L&M series round in 1973, he won. Mechanics names anyone? (M Paden Hewitt)

The above puts a wonderful gloss on the Trojan season but does not tell the whole truth!

Brian Redman started his reign as the ‘King of F5000’ in 1973, although he was uncrowned that year. He won the US Championship from 1974-76, and aboard the works Carl Haas Lola T330 in ’73 won five rounds- Riverside, Elkhart Lake, Road Atlanta, Pocono and Seattle.

The only thing which cost him the title were his factory Ferrari 312PB World Endurance Championship sportscar rides, he missed several rounds. The only L&M Championship race where Jody beat Brian ‘man on man’ was at Watkins Glen where T330 ‘HU20’ prevailed over Redman’s ‘HU8’.

The evolved for 1973 Lola T330 (from the late ’71-’72 T300) was a stunning production racing car which begat a whole series of dominant F5000 and single-seat Can Am cars- T332, 332C, 332CS and 333. Category destroyers in some ways, these cars!

But let’s not take anything away from the Scheckter/Trojan 1973 L&M wins- to finish first, first you have to finish and that they did that in spades! Jody won with 144 points from Redman’s 130 and Mark Donohue, Lola T330 AMC on 64 points.

Scheckter in the Trojan T101 ‘103’ Chev at Brands on 17 March 1973, first British F5000 championship round. DNF in the race won by Peter Gethin’s Chevron B24 Chev from Brett Lunger’s Lola T330 Chev and Tony Dean’s Chevron B24 Chev (R Bunyan)

The team did a couple of British early season F5000 Championship rounds to shake the car down before shipping it to the US, where they were ‘match fit’ from the start of the season.

Sid Taylor and Jerry Entin owned the car Scheckter raced and expected Tauranac would work on its development during the season but Ron was sucked into the 1974 Trojan F1 program, so Taylor/Entin received little help. What development the car lacked was more than made up for by Jody’s endeavour behind the wheel mind you!

Scheckter 1st from David Hobbs Lola T330 3rd, Peter Gethin Chevron B28 at left 2nd and Kevin Bartlett Lola T330 DNF behind Gethin. Laguna Seca 1973. Bartlett had a guest drive of Redman’s works/Haas machine whilst Brian was away on Ferrari sportscar duties- he was 3rd in his heat and DNF the final (unattributed)

Kiwi Ken Hyndman worked at Trojan Racing and took the colour factory shots on his first work day there on 1 October 1972…

Hyndman wrote on ‘The Roaring Season’- ‘The M21 F2 race car that Jody Scheckter had driven at Oulton Park a few weeks prior (on 16 September, DNF transmission in the race won by Peterson’s works March 722), was in the midst of being dismantled so as to form the basis of a new F5000 car. The main body/tub was a McLaren M22 and the suspension/steering was from the M21.’

In fact it seems clear that whatever Trojan did with ‘M21-72-01’ late in 1972 the car was sold to French hillclimber Yves Martin who used it in the following years.

In more recent decades the car is part of Scheckter’s collection of cars he raced.

Perhaps some components were used in the F5000 T101-1 build. Given the M21 was a one-off- only one chassis was built and raced by Jody in 1972, maybe the car was used in the workshop to help create the necessary drawings/patterns for components needed for the T101 batch build of six cars.

Shape of the T101 nose as raced different in profile compared with the original design as being constructed here in October 1972. M21/1 at right (K Hyndman)

The photo above shows ‘The Trojan F5000 T101X (T101 ‘101’) was first drawn up by a likeable young designer, Paul Rawlinson. He had also been a mechanic…Paul had the design that was M21 ahead of the engine and a M22 F5000 behind.’

‘The T101X had a concave surface nose section like a Porsche 917/10 Can Am car for added downforce. It had a full width nose with NASA type ducts for cooling the front brakes. This was to be powered by an Alan Smith tuned 5 litre engine…and looked pretty neat…’

‘Note in the background is the inverted M10B tub for (then Australian F5000 coming-man) Warwick Brown’ Hyndman observed, adding in relation to the Brown tub ‘that does not seem to match the records of the car (M10B-19)’ which indeed it does not but the chassis at a glance does look like that car at that time Ken!

Etcetera…

McLaren M21 ‘M21-72-01’

Yves Martin in his ex-Scheckter McLaren at Saint-Germain-sur-Ille hillclimb in 1974.

(T Le Bras)

Trojan T101 ‘103’

Ron Bennett and Scheckter (below) ponder the setup of the T101 in the Elkhart Lake paddock in June 1973. Alan Smith brought over his slide-injected engine for this race, Jody didn’t like the feel of it though, so they went back to carbs for the rest of the season. Clearly from the Brands shot above Jody used the injection engine early in the season too.

Suspension of the T101 was period conventional- single top link, inverted lower wishbone, coil spring/dampers and adjustable roll bar at the rear with upper and lower wishbones at the front. The gearbox is the good ‘ole Hewland DG300, F5000 standard issue.

(J Entin)

Scheckter gridding up at Riverside. ‘Look’ of the car in terms of chassis and nose similar to its Chevron B24/8 and Elfin MR5 contemporaries (M Paden Hewitt)

 

References/Photo Credits…

 Ken Hyndman Collection, oldracingcars.com, Jutta Fausel, Jerry Entin, Joel Griffin, Richard Bunyan, Jim Knerr, Thierry Le Bras, Michael Paden Hewitt

Tailpiece: Scheckter in the mist, Trojan T101 Chev, Michigan 1973…

Jody won at Michigan on 20 May from Derek Bell guesting in the Haas/Redman T330 and Peter Gethin’s Chevron B24 Chev (unattributed)

Finito…

Comments
  1. David Rees says:

    Good stuff as usual Mark. The shot of Redman at ’73 Riverside is by Michael Paden Hewitt and the shot of Scheckter on the grid in the #0 Trojan T101 is from the same race.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s