Archive for July, 2019

Touring Car and Sportscar tustle at Longford in 1965…

Don Gorringe, John Goss, Bob Curran and Greg Ellis blast over the River Esk- they have just completed the fast left-hander onto Long Bridge.

These blokes are all Tasmanian’s- I think it’s probably one of the locals only races, Gossy learned his trade pretty well down south- the only fella to win the Australian GP and Bathurst 1000 race double of course.

Goss is in an Appendix J Holden FJ, in front Gorringe is aboard a Jaguar XK150- which is clearly the successful businessman’s ‘daily driver’ given the rego plate affixed to the front bumper. Bob Curran’s Triumph TR4 was a machine he raced through to 1970 at least and the last car is Ellis’ MGA, it too appears as though he raced it for quite a bit.

Do any of these cars still exist? Who won the race?

Love this David Keep photo, it’s very much a ‘feel the noise’ shot…

Credit…

oldracephotos.com.au/D Keep

John Surtees, the reigning World F1 Champ, aboard his Cooper T75 BRM P80 during the ‘London Trophy’ weeekend at Crystal Palace in June 1965…

He was a busy boy that year, fitting in F2 races around his primary programs for Ferrari in F1 and Endurance events.

Ken Tyrrell entered two Coopers that weekend, the other for Jackie Stewart, above, very much on his career ascent- he scored his first GP win with BRM that season at Monza in September aboard a P261 after a great dice with his teammate Graham Hill.

Surtees, Cooper T75 BRM

The London Trophy comprised two heats of 25 laps, the top four in each race were the same, Jim Clark, Lotus 35 Cosworth SCA, Graham Hill, Brabham BT16 BRM, Richard Attwood, Lola T60 SCA and Jochen Rindt, Brabham BT16 SCA.

(Getty)

The off, Heat 1.

Stewart at left and Clark right, Brabham on the inside of row 2.

Clark won both heats, the Tyrrell Coopers had problems in this heat which were fatal for their chances of a start in the second race- Stewart had half-shaft failure after completing 16 laps and a rod let go in the BRM engine after 21 of the 25 laps in Surtees case.

There was plenty of depth on the grid, other starters included Mike Spence, Trevor Taylor, Chris Amon, Denny Hulme, Jack Brabham and Peter Revson with the DNQ list including Jo Siffert, David Hobbs and Chris Irwin.

Credits

Getty Images

Tailpiece: Jim Clark, Lotus 35…

Jim Clark aboard his Lotus 35 SCA, final chat to his mechanic who has a tyre pressure gauge at the ready. I’m not sure this is Crystal Palace, if it is, the car behind is Bill Bradley’s Brabham BT10 SCA.

Finito…

An impressionist’s perspective of the Ferrari 126C4 or thereabouts.

I cropped it off an AGIP ad of the period, I rather like it…

These turbo-charged Ferraris were an evocative series of Gee Pee cars for those of us in Australia who saw our first F1 machines ‘in the metal’ in the early Adelaide years.

Dangerous cars, high powered, towards 900 bhp depending upon the specs, aluminium monocoque chassis early on and then carbon fibre from the 1982 Harvey Postlethwaite designed 126C2.

Alboreto off to the shops in Turin- 126C4 in 1984 (unattributed)

 

Carbon fibre and kevlar monocoque chassis, disc brakes all round, rack and pinion steering. Pull rod and twin wishbone suspension front and rear. 1496 cc DOHC, 4-valve, twin-turbo charged 120 degree V6- 660bhp @ 11000 rpm. 5 speed manual transaxle (unattributed)

Gilles Villeneuve died in one at Zolder in 1982 and Didier Pironi had a huge career ending shunt at Hockenheim six races later.

Some talented fellas raced the cars to ten wins from 1981 through 1984- the roster included Villeneuve, Pironi, Andretti, Tambay, Arnoux and Alboreto. All won at least one race except Mario who had only two starts- at Monza and Las Vegas in late 1983.

(Getty)

Patrick Tambay 126C3 montage from 1983, above, and Michele Alboreto in a C4 at Monaco in 1984 below.

Tambay took two 126 wins at Hockenheim and San Marino in 1982 and 1983 respectively, whilst Michele won at Zolder in 1984.

Credits…

AGIP, Getty Images, Paul-Henri Cahier, LAT Images

Tailpiece: Ferrari 126C4, Monaco June 1984…

Arnoux and Alboreto were third and sixth at Monaco in 1984, Alain Prost won the race in a McLaren MP4 TAG- Porsche from Ayrton Senna’s rapidly closing Toleman Hart.

Only the early red flagging of the race- because of the awful wet conditions prevented the precociously talented Brazilian taking his first F1 victory.

Prost, McLaren MP4-2 TAG Porsche from Mansell, Lotus 95T Renault early in the race- Mansell lost it on lap 16- and we saw it all from the in-car footage. Monaco in the wet with 800 bhp or thereabouts to tame (unattributed)

Factory Porsche 956 driver Jacky Ickx was the Clerk of The Course, he took the decision to red flag the race in favour of the TAG-Porsche engined McLaren, at a time the rain had eased somewhat- without recourse to the race stewards.

Mind you, it’s said that Senna’s car had damaged suspension and would not have lasted too many more laps- and then there is Stefan Bellof, Tyrrell Ford mounted who was catching them both hand over fist, he too was disqualified later for weight restrictions broken by Tyrrell…

(unattributed)

Senna, Toleman T184 Hart 415T and Bellof, Tyrrell Ford DFY with Ayrton pulling away, but Stefan surged back to third later in the race- and was threatening Senna and Prost.

Speed, drama, excitement, politics- all the elements that make GP racing great.

Finito…

(G Bruce)

Ron Tauranac’s two Brabham BT5 Lotus-Ford twin-cams’s were built in 1963…

The Ian Walker Racing ‘SC-1-63′ achieved plenty of success in the hands of both Frank Gardner and Paul Hawkins.

The car used a typical Tauranac multi-tubular spaceframe chassis with upper and lower wishbones at the front and lower links, inverted top wishbone and two radius rods- coil spring/shocks front and rear. Rack and pionion steering, disc brakes all around, a Hewland 4-speed gearbox and a Cosworth tuned Lotus-Ford Twin-Cam of 1596cc giving circa 140 bhp completed the package.

The photograph below is a BT5 test session at Goodwood early in 1963 with the Aussies out in force, oh, and a Kiwi.

From left in the nice, warm ‘jumper’ is Paul Hawkins, lanky Frank Gardner, the Guvnor and Denny Hulme. All rather handy at the wheel of a motorcar- and on the end of a ‘spanner’.

(unattributed)

Credits…

Gordon Bruce, frankgardnermotorsport.com

Tailpiece: Gardner, BT5 Ford, Mallory Park…

(FGM)

Finito…

Mark Webbers Porsche 919 looking somewhat alien-like during the June 2014 running of the Le Mans 24 Hour classic…

He shared the car with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, the trio led the race a couple of times, as late as during the twenty-first hour but a broken roll bar forced them into the pits at that point and the car was retired.

 

Ultimately the Andre Lotterer/Marcel Fassler/Benoit Treluyer Audi R18 e-tron 4 litre turbo-diesel V6 won from the similar car of Tom Kristenson/Marc Gene/Lucas di Grassi with the Toyota TS040 Hybrid 3.7 litre V8- its crew Anthony Davidson/Sebastien Buemi/Nicolas Lapierre, third.

 

The best placed Porker was in eleventh- Marc Lieb/Romain Dumas/Neel Jani aboard the 2 litre turbo-V4 919 Hybrid. Webber and Co completed 346 laps but were non-classified, the winners did 379.

 

Most of you will recall Mark Webber left Formula 1 for Endurance Racing at the end of 2013 doing three seasons with Porsche before his retirement at the end of 2016.

He won the World Endurance Drivers Championship together with Hartley and Bernhard in 2015, the trio took eight wins over the three years they raced together helping Porsche win the Manufacturers Championship In 2015 and 2016.

Getty Images is an orgy of photography, regular readers will be well aware of the value of the resource to me, do have a look- key ‘Le Mans’ into the search engine and the 62,351 images which pop up will keep you busy for a while.

This piece is visual, with a focus on the more creative of Getty’s Mark Webber 2014 ‘Lee Manz’, as Larry Perkins calls it, shots. More on the Porsche 919; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/10/testing-testing/

My posts may be a bit hap-hazard over the next three weeks, I am on safari in England and Italy for a bit.

 

Credits…

Getty Images

Tailpiece…

Finito…

(G Morris)

Ralph Morris about to leave the line in his 1937 Riley Sprite, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria 19 September 1937. He won the half-mile sprint with a time of 22 4/5 seconds…

The event is being conducted on the road between Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne. Bacchus Marsh is 60 Km to Melbourne’s west on the Western Highway- the road to Adelaide and beyond.

The TT Sprites were a series of cars built to take part in the Tourist Trophy races run in the UK in the mid thirties, it is thought that as many as 10-12 were built, with a variety of engines- 12/4, 15/6 and at least one with a six-cylinder engine.

The chassis was either the 22T or 44T. The 12/4 engine was an undersquare 1496 cc 4 cylinder unit fed by two SU carbs and gave 61 bhp @ 5500 rpm. A 4 speed pre-selector gearbox was used and semi-elliptic solid axle suspension front and rear. Top speed was quoted as 88 mph.

The Melbourne ‘Argus’ announced the arrival of the first Sprite in Australia in its 4 May 1937 issue, has to be this chassis surely?

Rileys were popular light sporting cars in Australia, the ‘lineup’ from front to rear above are ’37 Kestrel, probably a ’34 Sedan and a 1931/2 Australian bodied Riley 9 Coupe.

The photo below is of the same group of cars- the car in the centre is the Kestrel owned by Club President Norman Horton who is doubtless at the wheel, he was second with a time of 26 3/5 seconds. Ralph Morris is standing next to the car. To the far left is the front of the Imp and to the right the Riley 9.

(G Morris)

Click on this link for an excellent website on Rileys in Australia, it is amazing just how many of these light, sporting and robust cars came to Oz.

http://www.phil.soden.com.au/ria.html

I am also intrigued to know the whereabouts of any of the cars featured.

Photo Credit…

G Morris

Finito…

 

French GP, Rouen 1968…

It has the feel of final practice/qualifying about it doesn’t it?

The wing in the foreground is either Jacky Ickx’ winning Ferrari 312 or Chris Amon’s sister car.

Graham Hill stands patiently at left whilst the mechanics make adjustments to his car with Lotus boss Colin Chapman leaving the boys to it, resting against the pit counter.

At far left, obscured, Jack Brabham is being tended to in his Brabham BT26 Repco ‘860’ V8- Jochen Rindt popped his BT26 on pole proving the car had heaps of speed if not reliability from its new 32 valve, DOHC V8. The speedy Austrian took two poles with it that year.

The dude in the blue helmet is Jackie Oliver who is about to have the mother and father of high speed accidents when wing support failure saw him pinging his way through the French countryside, clobbering a set of chateau gates and dispensing aluminium shrapnel liberally about the place at around 125 mph.

He survived intact – shaken but not stirred you might say. It wasn’t the last of his career ‘big ones’ either. Click here; https://primotipo.com/2017/01/13/ollies-trolley/

In the distance is Goodyear blue and white striped, jacket wearing Tyler Alexander so there must be a couple of McLaren M7A’s down that way.

Ickx won a tragic wet race in which French racer Jo Schlesser died on lap 2 when he lost control of the unsorted Honda RA302 in the fast swoops past the pits, burned alive in the upturned car it was a grisly death.

Ickx’ first GP win, no doubt it was memorable for the Belgian for all of the wrong reasons.

He won from John Surtees, below, in the conventional Honda RA301 V12 and Jackie Stewart’s Matra MS10 Ford.

Surtees did not have a great Honda season retiring in eight of the twelve GP’s- his second at Rouen and third place at Watkins Glen were the two high points of the season.

Honda withdrew from GP racing at the end of the year to return with a vengeance a decade or so hence.

Click on this article for a piece on the 1968 French GP and also the evolution of wings in that period; https://primotipo.com/2016/08/19/angle-on-the-dangle/

Credits…

Getty Images, oldracingcars.com

Tailpieces: Jo Schlesser, Honda RA302…

You would have to have a crack wouldn’t you?

The offer of a works car in your home Grand Prix, however badly your vastly experienced team leader felt about the radical magnesium chassis, 3 litre (88mm x 61.40 mm bore/stroke- 2987 cc) 120 degree air-cooled V8 machine would have been too much to resist ?

And so it was that poor, forty years old, Jo Schlesser died having a red hot go after completing only 12 Km of the race.

Denis Jenkinson looks on, above, as Schlesser prepares for the off during practice, the look on the great journalists face says everything about his interest in this new technical direction. The car behind is Richard Atwood’s seventh placed BRM P126 V12.

The air ducts here and there are clear and necessary to try to keep the engine lubricant coolish.

I’ve a feature part finished on this design so let’s not go too berserk now.

A magnesium monocoque chassis supported the unstressed, fuel injected V8 which is variously quoted at between 380 -430bhp at this early stage of its development- I am more at the conservative end of that range.

Inboard rocker front suspension and outboard at the rear, note the ‘boxed’ inboard lower inverted wishbones, single top link and two radius rods. Engine ducting again clear.

John Surtees tested another RA302 during the Italian GP weekend at Monza in September but declined to race the car, that chassis still exists.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see that machine at the Phillip Island Historics/Australian GP ‘double-whammy’ one March?

Finito…