Posts Tagged ‘Chris Amon’

Derek Bell, Tecno PA123/3, Canadian GP 1972 (LAT)

Only one of hundreds of Kart manufacturers made it to F1. Tecno had won Kart, F3 and F2 championships before they leapt into Grand Prix racing in 1972 but the venture failed dismally after only 10 grand prix starts thanks to Ferrari-esque levels of intrigue and infighting.

Bolognese engineers Luciano and Gianfranco Pederzani ran a successful truck hydraulics business named Oleodinamica Pederzani & Zini which was inspired by the technology in American trucks they saw post-war. Another American idea they rather liked was Karts!

Ronnie Peterson and Susanna Raganelli, Tecno Barilla in Denmark during the 1966 Kart World Championship weekend, she won

Tecno Kart operated from premises in Via Bufalini, Borgo Panigale, Bologna from 1962. Tecno were the first to volume produce ‘sidewinder’ chassis to take advantage of the newly developed Parilla air-cooled, rotary-valve motors.

These Parilla GP15L powered Tecno Kaimono’s (the caiman is a small alligator, the reptile featured on the Tecno logo) won the World Kart championship three times on the trot from 1964-66. Ex-Italian GP motorcyclist Guido Sala was victorious in 1964-65, then Susanna Raganelli won in 1966 after a furious battle with a couple of Swedes, Leif Engstrom and Ronnie Peterson.

Tecno put a toe in the water with Formula 250 cars in 1964, then Formula 850 machines in 1966, before building their first F3 car in 1966.

Tecno Automobili’s kart inspired, wide-track, short wheelbase TF66 debuted with Carlo Facetti at the wheel at the Circuito del Mugello on July 17. Two laps of a challenging 66km road course through the Tuscan countryside was a good test for the new chassis! In a good start for the marque, he finished fourth, Jonathan Williams was up front in a De Sanctis Ford.

Other early Tecno F3 pilots included Grand Prix winner, Giancarlo Baghetti, Chris Craft, Mauro Nesti and Tino Brambilla. Tecno’s breakthrough win came when Brambilla’s TF67 Ford won the Luigi Musso Trophy at Vallelunga in October 1967. Clay Regazzoni’s TF67 Ford Novamotor took the honours in the more prestigious GP Espana, Jarama, a month later.

After a modest start in 1967, Tecno sold 40 cars in 1968, commencing a great run of F3 success. They won the Italian championship from 1968-71, three French titles from 1968-1970 (Francois Cevert in 1968), not to forget Swedish titles for Reine Wisell and Ronnie Peterson in 1968-69.

Tecnos were quick at Monaco too, with wins for Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Ronnie Peterson in 1968-69, and in Switzerland where they won championships in 1969 and 1972.

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford, winner of the Circuit de Vitesse at Nogaro in August 1968 (unattributed)
Ronnie Peterson on the way to winning the Monaco F3 GP in 1969, Tecno 69 Ford-Novamotor (unattributed)

Luciano Pederzani adapted his Tecno 68 design to F2 specifications by adding bigger brakes, a five-speed Hewland FT200 transaxle and 210bhp Ford FVA 1.6-litre engine. 1968 works cars were raced by Regazzoni, Jaussaud and Facetti. Regga’s sixth place in the European championship was the best of the Tecnos which included Ron Harris entered cars for such notables as Pedro Rodriguez, Richard Attwood and Jonathan Williams.

Cevert and Nanni Galli raced the works F2s in 1969, with Francois taking Tecno’s maiden F2 victory in the GP de Reims in June. Cevert was third in the championship and Galli seventh in a year the Bologna boys built 60 F2 and F3 spaceframe chassis.

The bring-home-the-bacon (pancetta actually) year was in 1970 when Clay Regazzoni won the Euro F2 title with victories in four of the eight rounds, with Cevert sixth. That year both Tecno men made their F1 debuts, Regazzoni with Ferrari and Cevert with Team Tyrrell.

For 1971 the Pederzani’s secured Elf sponsorship but Equipe Tecno Elf had a lean time despite the best efforts of Cevert, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Patrick Depailler, all of them rather handy Grand Prix pilots of the future.

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford FVA aviating during the 1969 German GP, DNF CWP. Henri Pescarolo won aboard a Matra MS7 Ford (MotorSport)
Drivers angle into the cockpit of Cevert’s Tecno 68 Ford FVA at Thruxton in 1969. Eighth in the race won by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 59B Ford (picfair.com)
Clay Regazzoni, Tecno 69 Ford FVA. Second in the London Trophy at Crystal Palace May 1970. Jackie Stewart won in John Coombs’ Brabham BT30 Ford (LAT)

For 1972 the Pederzanis, confident in their own abilities, decided to take the giant leap into Grand Prix racing.

Not for them the garagista path either, purchase of a Ford Cosworth DFV 3-litre V8 would have been too easy, after all, they had been fitting Ford Cosworth FVAs into their F2 cars for three years!

They decided to build the chassis and engine, both of which had more than a nod to Ferrari practice.

Luciano Pederzani, Renato Armoroli – recruited from Ducati just down the road in 1968 – and other technicians commenced work on Project 123 (12-cylinders, 3-litres) a twin-cam, four valve, fuel injected a 180 degree 3-litre flat-12 in early 1971.

To shorten development time the team adopted the familiar bore and stroke ratio of Ford/Cosworth’s 1-litre F3 engines – 80.98x48mm – which resulted in a displacement of 2960cc, later tickled up to 2995cc by a small increase in stroke.

By early 1972 the first way-too-heavy (205kg, 40 more than a Cosworth DFV) engines were on the dyno, the best result after early fettling was a claimed 402bhp @ 11,000rpm.

Tecno hired Parma born engineer Giuseppe Bocchi from Ferrari, where he had been working on engine structural stiffness and vibrations. Bocchi redesigned the Tecno engine to incorporate four main bearings, rather than its original seven – just like Ferrari’s flat-12 – making the structure lighter and stiff enough to be used as a structural chassis member.

Tecno PA123-72 (B Betti)
Tecno flat-12 on the test bed in 1971 (researchracing)
Tecno PA123/1 public unveiling in Milan, December 24, 1971

While progressing the engine, the team also turned their attention to a narrow track, short wheelbase chassis based on existing F2 practice; at 2270mm it was 120mm shorter than the Ferrari 312B.

Tecno’s first monocoque chassis was designated PA123 (Pederzani Automobili- 12 cylinders-3-litres) and followed Ferrari Aero practice. It comprised aluminium sheets rivetted and glued to a light-gauge tubular frame. While side radiators were planned, the engines voracious appetite for coolant resulted in a large front radiator, and bluff-nose of the type Tyrrell popularised in 1971.

Martini and Rossi’s spectacular livery had adorned Porsche Salzburg 908s and 917’s in 1971, but with the end of the fabulous 5-litre sportscar era their sponsorship was destined for Tecno’s GP racing adventure.

Upon John Wyer’s suggestion, Count Gregorio Rossi engaged the now out of work, very well credentialled JW Automotive Team Manager, David Yorke, as motor racing consultant for Martini & Rossi International to replace Hans-Dieter Dechent.

Vic Elford aboard the winning Martini Porsche 908/3 he shared with Gerard Larrousse at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1971 (MotorSport)

Initially it appeared the M&R money was destined for Brabham, a home it found in 1975. Derek Bell had been offered a Brabham drive, but ultimately Tecno got the lire, their nominated team were drivers Nanni Galli and Bell with Yorke as team manager.

Predictably, despite track tests in December 1971, the complexity of building the car’s core components in-house ensured the Tecno PA123 ran late. Derek Bell expressed his admiration for Tecno about that first test to MotorSport all the same.

“Finally, we (Bell and Yorke) got the call to fly to Italy. We arrived at Pirelli’s test track to find a delegation from the Rossi family but no car. First, I was hoping it wouldn’t show and, when it did, that it wouldn’t start. I’m convinced that if Tecno had had a disaster that day, I would have been off to Brabham. It was an icy cold day and the team poured hot water in the engine, fired it up and it ran and ran. We couldn’t believe it. David had to concede that it was a remarkable showing for a first test.”

(MotorSport)

The car took its public bow during the Belgian GP weekend at Nivelles (above), the fifth round of the 1972 championship ultimately won by Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 72D Ford.

Galli about to spin, and be hit hard enough to write off PA123/1, by Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari 312B2 (MotorSport)
PA123/1 certainly had a touch of the prototypes about it. Luciano Pederzani has gone to all that effort to have a nice low engine – in part to aid the flow of the airstream onto the rear wing – and then we go and plonk the oil tank and related up high in the air costing rpm and upsetting airflow onto the all-important wing (MotorSport)

PA123/1 impressed the masses with its sound if not its speed. Galli qualified second last but ran reliably until spinning and taking out Tecno compatriot, Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari. The Tecno was written off in the process.

The team next contested the non-championship Gran Premio della Republica Italiana at Vallelunga in mid-June. Galli finished third aboard a new car, PA123-2, in a performance which cheered the team despite the machine being way off the pace in a small, but reasonably classy eight car grid.

Bell at Clermont Ferrand in PA123/2
Nanni Galli on the Brands Hatch pit counter, PA123/2
PA123/2, Brands Hatch

Bell had his first race drive in that car at Clermont Ferrand but got no further than practice. Four of the nine bolts attaching the engine to the rear chassis bulkhead had cracked from the engine’s massive vibrations, somewhat impairing the car’s handling. Good Vibrations they were not.

Galli was entered at Brands Hatch where PA123-2 appeared with a new rear suspension cross-member which mounted the coil spring/dampers more conventionally (mounted less vertically) on the advice of Ron Tauranac.

Tauranac was freelancing having sold Motor Racing Developments, and later left them, he was marginalised and short-paid by Bernard Charles Ecclestone.

Nanni qualified the car 18th on the 27-car grid, not bad at all given its shortage of power and surfeit of weight on this technically demanding circuit.

The Tecno 123 never gave more than 420/430bhp, 20 and 60 less than the contemporary DFV and Ferrari, while the car weighed 640kg, far more than the 550kg Ferrari 312B2, 540kg Tyrrell 003 Ford and 575kg McLaren M23 Ford.

The relative practice performance was ruined by an accident on lap 10 of the race.

Bell in PA123/2 at the Nurburgring (LAT)
Engine change for Bell in Germany (LAT)
Galli in the Osterreichring pits, PA123/2 (MotorSport)

Bell was the more experienced Ring racer and took the wheel of PA123-2 in Germany. The car was further modified with wider front track and revisions to the oil tank. Derek was Q25 of 27 but out after only four laps with valve failure. Up front, the other flat-12 car, a 312B2 driven by Ickx won from pole.

Back in Bologna, Pederzani and his team wrestled with engine vibrations and lubrication issues in the same way Mauro Forghieri struggled to stop his flat-12 breaking its crankshafts early in its late 1969 life; seemingly insurmountable problems which resulted in Chris Amon leaving Ferrari…

Off to Austria, Galli qualified Q23 of 36 but 3.5 seconds adrift of winner/poleman Fittipaldi’s fastest Lotus 72 practice time. This time the Tecno finished the race with invaluable race mileage, albeit an unclassified 17th nine laps adrift of Emerson. Tecno had such a climb to make!

There was plenty of pressure too, with unhappy drivers, sponsors and Bologna technicians. The team’s home event at Monza was next. Armaroli left in frustration, believing the engine unreliability was due to inexperienced engine fitters at base and among the race team members.

Derek Bell aboard PA123/2 waving Carlos Pace and John Surtees through at Monza; March 711 Ford and Surtees TS14 Ford (LAT)
Galli in PA123/5 at Monza in 1972 (MotorSport)
Tecno PA123/5 drawn in 1972 Monza spec (G Piola)

Two cars were entered in Italy. A new machine, chassis PA123-5 (sic-what happened to chassis 3 and 4?) with neater front suspension and Matra-like nose for Galli, alongside PA123-2 for Bell.

With Fittipaldi again up front, Galli was Q23, while poor Derek didn’t make the cut. Worse still, in front of their home crowd – Galli’s, the Pederzani’s and Rossi’s – the car only completed 6-laps before, you guessed it, the engine failed.

The Martini Racing Team took the new car to North America for Bell to race, but it wasn’t a happy trip with Derek crashing on the warm up lap at Mosport from Q25, last on the grid.

On the fast, technically challenging Watkins Glen track in upstate New York, Derek was Q30 of 32, seven seconds adrift of Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell 005 Ford pole. Again, the Tecno’s engine went pop, this time after 8 laps.

At best the year was a character building one, in reality it was a clusterfuck of some scale which got a whole lot worse in 1973.

Bell, Mosport 1972 in PA123/5. Note the Melmag wheels, popular at the time. Oil tank smaller but still not optimally placed (MotorSport)
Get me outta here…Bell in PA123/5 at Watkins Glen 1972 (MotorSport)
Derek Bell trying to forget about the task at hand, Disneyland 1972 (unattributed)

In a perfect world the plan for 1973 should have been obvious. Race one DFV powered Tecno while continuing to develop the flat-12 until it was competitive. That way the team would have gained valuable miles to develop the chassis while getting the engine to required levels of power and endurance.

Of course, sound decisions are only possible if all parties in a business cooperate and communicate; the Pederzanis, Rossis and Yorke. Clearly, they were not, despite that, to their credit, Martini & Rossi saddled up for another year.

Instead of commonsense – the chain of events differs depending upon your source – Yorke convinced the Rossi’s to back a plan involving him constructing a car in the UK.

For reasons Yorke never disclosed, he engaged his friend, Gordon Fowell’s Goral Engineering to design a car which was fabricated by John Thompson’s respected Northhampton firm. Professor Tim Boyce, also working with McLaren at the time, provided advice on aerodynamics.

Fowell’s design credentials then were entirely outside racing. His involvement in motorsport was as an amateur driver and partner to journalist Alan Phillips in a company which produced audio tapes of race engines. Goral was their latest venture.

David Yorke lost in thought at Le Mans in 1969, a good weekend for JW Automotive, the Pedro Rodriguez/ Jackie Oliver Ford GT40 won

David Christopher Yorke was a war-hero. He became an RAF Flying Officer (#37059) in 1937 and was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order for bravery during the Battle of France. The first was for carrying out low-level reconnaissance on German positions in a Gloster despite heavy anti-aircraft fire, the second was a similar act which involved dropping supplies to beleaguered troops in Calais. The award of Flight Lieutenant Yorke’s Distinguished Flying Cross was recorded in The London Gazette on July 23, 1940.

He then flew Hurricanes in The Battle of Britain before being posted to India as a Squadron Leader in 1941. By the end of the David Yorke was serving as a Group Captain in the Far East.

He remained with the RAF post-war but in 1949 accompanied another former RAF officer, Peter Whitehead to the Czech Grand Prix. Whitehead won the race in his Ferrari 125 and offered Yorke the role of team manager, he commenced in 1950. Success with Whitehead, Vanwall, Aston Martin and JW Automotive followed in the succeeding two decades.

This extraordinary man was described in one of his medal recommendations as a “commander and organiser of exceptional merit.” In this case, however, he was most cavalier with Martini & Rossi’s money, his choice of Goral Engineering to design the save-our-bacon Tecno was a remarkably low percentage play.

The Pederzani’s – successful industrialists before they commenced racing, and even more so after they did, had no shortage of lire – thought stuff-this! They engaged Alan McCall’s Tui Engineering to design a new state of the art contemporary chassis, or a PA123-B, depending on your source.

“Luciano was offended because Yorke had suggested Italians couldn’t do monocoques,” McCall told MotorSport. “My car was intended as nothing other than an exercise to show that he could build his own tub.”

McCall was one of a small number of very talented Kiwi engineer/mechanics who had huge influence on elite level motor racing in the sixties, seventies and beyond. His CV included stints at Team Lotus and McLaren before venturing out on his own with the construction of Tui F2 cars.

His team commenced work on New Year’s Eve 1972 and completed the car, retaining only the original design’s rear end, an amazing 10 weeks later.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Two opposing camps, one based in England, the other in Italy, within a team with poor communication and levels of trust, developing a chassis each powered by a limited supply of engines which struggled to string more than 10 race laps together. Oh yes, loss of driver continuity too, both Galli and Bell’s services weren’t required in 1973, or more likely they ran for the Dolomiti…

Chris Amon, Matra MS120B from an obscured Tim Schenken, Brabham BT33 Ford during the 1971 French GP at Paul Ricard (MotorSport)
‘Joisus David, my 250F was quicker than this!’ Amon and Yorke during a difficult 1973

Meanwhile, back home in New Zealand, Chris Amon was enjoying a long, languid summer. His Matra drive ended at the conclusion of 1972 when the French aerospace giant ceased their one-car F1 program.

Amon agreed terms to rejoin March, with whom he had a tempestuous 1970. Somehow, again the reports differ, the deal went awry and collapsed, so Chris signed with Martini & Rossi after an approach from Yorke.

Chris was still one of F1’s quickest drivers. The young veteran (29), schooled by Bruce McLaren, was also a gifted development driver. Amon was great for Tecno, albeit the Bologna boys were way below Chris’ status in life, but beggars couldn’t be choosers in the late summer of ‘73…

Amon told MotorSport “When I agreed to drive, I had no idea what car I’d be driving. “Then Yorke filled me in, explaining that the McCall chassis was nearly ready, and that Fowell’s would be for later.”

Chris tested the McCall/Tui chassis, PA123-6, at Misano in March, Vittorio Brambilla had a steer that day too, he happened to be there testing his F2 March.

“When Pederzani saw the thing, he suddenly got excited about racing it,” remembers McCall, who corroborates press reports of the time that the car could have raced as a Tecno Tui.

In a crazy situation, McCall claims that Yorke “rode roughshod over the Pederzanis” with the result that Luciano “felt insulted”. McCall’s right-hand man, Eddie Wies, recalls “the British turning up one day, covering our car in Martini stickers and claiming it as theirs.”

This scenario is entirely possible given the Goral/Fowell machine was still nowhere near complete, Tecno needed a race-ready car.

At this point the relationship between the parties was trashed, the marriage was over with only the final act to be played out in a truncated 1973 F1 season.

“After that (the takeover of the McCall car) Luciano said he was only going to fulfil his obligations and no more,” recalled McCall, who departed Tecno straight after the Misano test.

“His contract was to supply engines, transport, and the mechanics. He’d built something like 12 engines, but no development was undertaken. He didn’t even put them on the dyno.”

Amon in PA123/6 at Zolder in 1973. Sixth in a rousing if uncompetitive performance (LAT)
Amon with plenty of rear wing at Zolder (unattributed)
(LAT)

When the Tecno transporter rumbled into the Zolder paddock for the Belgian Grand Prix in mid-May the team had already missed the Argentine, Brazilian, South African and Spanish Grands Prix.

Emerson Fittipaldi had won three of them for Lotus, while Jackie Stewart took one for Tyrrell. JYS was about to start a serious run for the title aided and abetted by Fittipaldi, and his new Lotus teammate, Ronnie Peterson taking driver’s championship points off each other.

At Zolder, Amon qualified 15th of 26 cars and finished a rousing, point-scoring sixth, totally exhausted due to high temperatures inside the cramped cockpit. He was three laps adrift of Stewart, but it was a typically gritty drive.

At Monaco things seemed even better. Amon started a fantastic 12th and was running as high as seventh before he stopped with braking problems on lap 15, then retired on lap 19 with the same drama.

“It wasn’t a bad chassis at all. It was a little bit too heavy, but in handling terms was probably a match for anything around. On the tighter tracks it went well, but once we got to somewhere like Silverstone we were in trouble.”

Amon on the hunt at Monaco, seventh was stunning while it lasted. The drive says plenty about Amon’s skill but also the quality of the chassis, and , perhaps, the torque of the Tecno flat-12
Kiwis both. Amon in front of Denny Hulme’s McLaren M23 Ford at Monaco in 1973 (MotorSport)

The team skipped the Swedish GP in mid-June but entered the French GP, held at Paul Ricard on July 1. Amon and Yorke arrived from England, but the truck from Italy was nowhere to be found.

By then the Goral chassis, the Tecno E731 had run for the first time. Bruce McIntosh, an Italian speaker after seven years with Serenissma, was employed by Yorke to put the car together. “We built the monocoque over here at John Thompson’s place, but we never had a dummy engine,” McIntosh recalled. “So, I had to take the tub to Italy and work out all the systems at the rear end.”

Doubtless the sheer stupidity of this duplication of effort with limited resources isn’t lost on you. There wasn’t a lot of love either. In one meeting Luciano Pederzani floored Yorke, in another Amon’s frustration boiled over in Tecno’s offices. He picked up an ashtray and chucked it across the room, a journalist standing outside throughout duly reported the shenanigans in the following morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Goral Tecno first ran down a back alley behind Tecno’s workshops on Via Ducati before being transported back to England and tested at Santa Pod. On both occasions there it spewed out oil.

Amon with two toys to play with at Silverstone in 1973; The McCall/Tui PA123/6 in the lower shot, and Fowell/McCall E731 in the upper shot (MotorSport)

Amon had no recollection of driving this car until the British Grand Prix weekend when Chris practiced both Tecnos.

Ultimately, he qualified 29th, and last for the race in the Tui/McCall car. The result was hardly surprising on this power circuit, Amon felt the car had no more than 400bhp. In the (restarted) race he retired after only six laps with failing fuel pressure.

A fortnight later the Goral/Fowell E731 was taken to Zandvoort, and again, after driving both cars, Amon practiced and raced the PA123-73. He qualified 19th of 24 cars in the tragic race which cost Roger Williamson his life aboard Tom Wheatcroft’s March 731 Ford. Chris was out with a fuel system problem after 22 laps.

Amon heading out to practice the Tecno E731 at Zandvoort (MotorSport)

Tecno missed the German GP but rejoined the circus at the Osterreichring for what proved to be their final race, an act of the complete farce.

Pit pundits were amused to see the Tui Tecno arrive in the Tecno transporter and the Goral Tecno on a trailer behind Fowell’s Road car; one-for-all and all-for-one.

Amon qualified the PA123-73 second last on the grid but didn’t take the start. There simply wasn’t a suitable race-engine to install, he departed in disgust and contempt.

And that, sadly, was that.

Chris, PA123/6 Osterreichring 1973 (MotorSport)
Tecno E731 Osterreichring 1973. Note the neat location of the big oil tank and radiator, Hewland FG400 gearbox and challenging exhaust pipe runs (MotorSport)

The Pederzani’s withdrew from racing but continued with their other enterprises. Amon finished the season with a couple of guest drives for Team Tyrrell, albeit his drive at Watkins Glen evaporated after Francois Cevert’s tragic death during practice in a sister car.

Looking back decades later, Amon claimed that Tui Tecno PA123-73 was the better car, but conceded the Goral Tecno didn’t get a fair crack of the whip. “It was a beautiful looking car, but it lacked development” Indeed, given its late arrival the E731’s potential was never unlocked according to those involved.

“Fowell was a clever guy,” says McIntosh, who remained with the designer to work on Amon’s own F1 car the following year; another catastrophic piece of Amon decision making.

Thompson recalls the final Tecno incorporating a host of “different ideas”. It was the first F1 chassis, he claims, to run a fibreglass rear wing.

McCall and McIntosh, from opposite camps, agreed that Luciano Pederzani was a talented engineer. McCall describes the Italian as “a hands-on mechanic and a real smart man”. McIntosh remembers him as “an intuitive engineer”.

MotorSport wrote that “The end appears to have come at Silverstone, and explains why the team ran out of engines two races later. The story below was told to Wies by a Tecno mechanic years later…”

“He told me that a very long top gear was put in our chassis. The idea was to try to make the British (Goral Tecno) car look better than it was.” That might explain why the Tecno did not qualify that weekend.

This makes no sense to me…The Tecnos wouldn’t have had the torque/power to pull a super tall top gear. A short top would have popped engines due to over revs, a tall one? Not so.

“As soon as Luciano found out he went home and said that he would never be seen at a racetrack again.” Work on a flat-eight F1 engine was immediately stopped.”

Luciano Pederzani kept his word right up to his death in his Bologna workshop in January 1987, he never did return to racing. It was very much motor racing’s loss.

Any assessment of Tecno’s considerable achievements should be viewed over a decade, not the much narrower F1 prism of 1972-73.

Chris Amon, PA123/6, Monaco 1973 (unattributed)

Etcetera: Tecno PA123/6...

(MotorSport)

Beautiful fabrication wherever you look. Tubular rocker operating coil-spring Koni damper and lower wishbone. Bodywork is aluminium.

(MotorSport)

Amon’s car having an engine change at Monaco. Just how low these flat-12s sit in the car – a stressed component as you can see – is shown from this shot. Rear of the 123-73 is the same as 123-72; a design mandatory requested of Alan McCall.

(G Piola)
(unattributed)

The overhead shot from a Monaco apartment shows the shape of PA123/6 and it’s width. Deformable structures were mandated by the FIA that season, some teams did a better job of integrating them than others.

(MotorSport)

Note fuel rail and Lucas fuel injection and forward facing roll bar. There is no need to knock the chassis, Amon said it was good.

(MotorSport)

Flat-12 engine output somewhere north of 420bhp while noting Amon’s view that it felt more like 400, inboard rear discs, Hewland FG400 gearbox,

(MotorSport)
(MotorSport)

The far more resolved location of ancillaries of the 1973 PA123 is clear. Note fuel metering unit, electronic ignition box and brake ducts.

Reference and photo credits…

MotorSport Images, Tecno Register, Italiaonroad.it, oldracingcars.com, ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, MotorSport, Automobile Year 21

Tailpiece…

(MotorSport)

Let’s finish where we started with the F1 cars; PA123/1 at Nivelles on debut in 1972. Rainer Schlegelmilch’s typically wonderful arty-farty shot of Nanni Galli during the Belgian GP weekend.

Finito…

(J Culp)

I love these nudie-rudie shots, so many of a car’s secrets are revealed by photographs like this.

Jim Culp caught one of the Ferrari 312Bs raced by Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni at Hockenheim over the August 2, 1970 German Grand Prix weekend coming off its transporter.

Key elements of Mauro Forghieri’s design on display are the low, wide 3-litre, fuel injected flat-12 (180 degree V12 if you prefer) engine and far-back weight distribution; the two oil tanks and related dry sump pump drives, battery, and twin, beautifully ducted oil coolers/radiators.

Ickx started the race from pole, with Regga third but Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72 Ford prevailed over Ickx by a little less than a second, after a great long dice, with Regazzoni out with engine failure.

In a year of great sadness (deaths of Bruce McLaren at Goodwood and Piers Courage at Zandvoort) it was Jochen Rindt’s last win, and the start of a great run home for Ferrari.

Sheer economy of the design shown in this Hockenheim refuelling shot of Regga’s car (R Schlegelmilch)
Regazzoni from Rindt and Ickx early in the German GP (MotorSport)

Ickx won at the Osterreichring a fortnight later, and Regazzoni at Monza after Rindt’s tragic practice accident. Ickx won again at Mosport and Mexico City but Emerson Fittipaldi’s first GP win for Lotus at Watkins Glen helped ensure Rindt won the drivers title, and Lotus the manufacturers championship. Karma prevailed in an unusual year in which race wins were spread among drivers; Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Pedro Rodriguez, Regazzoni, Ickx, Fittipaldi and Rindt.

Ferrari had a torrid time throughout 1968-69. The Ford Cosworth DFV was dominant and used by many of the front-runners. Team-leader, Chris Amon was in winning positions at least four times over this period only to be continually let down – Ickx’ ’68 French GP win duly noted.

Ickx at Monaco in May. Note the radiator exit duct and inboard rocker front suspension (MotorSport)
The Lotus 72 made everything with a front radiator – the rest of the grid – look old, but the 312B was a very effective cohesive marriage of bespoke engine and chassis. Fast and reliable too (G Piola)
Chris Amon testing at Modena in late 1969. This shot shows the chassis ‘pontoon’ to which the engine mounts behind the top radius rod. Wonderfully neat and structurally rigid is the way the high roll bar braces to the rear of the pontoon, and forms the wing mount, and fire extinguisher mount!

Forghieri placed a new, clean sheet of drafting paper on his drawing board in 1969, the first such F1 occasion since he led the design of gorgeous, but never fully developed 1964-65 1.5-litre 1512 flat-12.

He again chose a flat-12 given its potential power output, low centre of gravity and lesser weight than the V12 it replaced. He made the engine a stressed member of the chassis, as was the engine on the 1512 – following the lead provided by Vittorio Jano’s Lancia D50 design – but this time the engine attached both to the rear bulkhead behind the driver, and underneath a ‘boom or pontoon’ chassis extension rearwards behind the drivers shoulders. The 1512 bolted to the rear bulkhead.

The Tipo 015 flat-12 – designed by Forghieri, Franco Rocchi and Giancarlo Bussi – was a great engine which powered the Scuderia’s Grand Prix cars from 1970 to 1980 (two drivers titles for Niki Lauda, and one for Jody Scheckter), and won them a World Endurance Championship when fitted in suitably detuned form to 312PB chassis in 1972.

There were a few teething problems early on however. To minimise friction losses and release a few more horses, the engine had only four main bearings, two plain shell bearings in the middle, and ball-bearing races at each end of the crank. With minimal support, crankshaft breakages were so much of a problem that Chris Amon cried “Enough!” and left the team, not even completing the 1969 GP season.

Ignazio Giunti at Spa during his first championship GP. He was fourth in the Belgian GP won by Pedro Rodriguez’ BRM P153 after an epic race-long dice with Amon’s March 701 Ford (R Schlegelmilch)
Ickx at Watkins Glen, he started from pole but pitted with a broken fuel line. In a tiger of a drive he went from 12th to fourth, Fittipaldi took his maiden GP win aboard a Lotus 72 Ford. Doesn’t the 312B look long from this angle? You can see the rearward weight bias and relatively clean air in which the rear wing operates thanks to the low engine (MotorSport)

A tilting dyno bed at Maranello enabled cornering oil surge to be monitored, the crank torsional vibration problem was fixed by adding a Pirelli cushion-coupling between the crankshaft and the flywheel.

Before too long the gear driven, twin-cam, four valve, Lucas injected engine produced a reliable 460bhp @ 11,500rpm, which rose over time to about 510bhp @ 12,000rpm.

While Chris made the works March 701 Ford sing in 1970, his solo Silverstone International Trophy win was no compensation for the four wins Ferrari produced with a car he put his heart and soul into at Modena in early testing…

Regazzoni is wedged between one of the BRMs and Stewart’s wingless March 701 Ford early in the Italian GP (R Schlegelmilch)
Tifosi Monza 1970, Things Go Better With…(R Schlegelmilch)

While the Italian Grand Prix that year (above) was a terrible weekend, Ferrari had a home win, the tifosi went berserk and Mr Ferrari attended practice as he traditionally did.

Ickx started from pole, Regga was Q3 and Giunti Q5. Regazzoni was the only one of the three to finish, in the right spot too. Ignazio was out with fuel system woes after completing 14 laps, and Jacky with clutch troubles after 25 laps.

Regga won from Jackie Stewart’s March 701 Ford and Jean-Pierre Beltoise’ Matra MS120. Points of GP trivia are that it was the last time a GP was won by a driver wearing an open face helmet, and the last time the first three finishers used different tyre brands; Firestone, Dunlop and Goodyear in first to third respectively.

“The race is in the bag Commendatore”. “Yeah-yeah you told me that last year Mauro” (R Schlegelmilch)
Ickx heads out to set pole at Monza (R Schlegelmilch)

Credits…

Jim Culp, MotorSport Images, Rainer Schlegelmilch, ‘The History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, Giorgio Piola

Tailpiece…

(MotorSport)

Clay Regazzoni, 312B from Jackie Stewart’s March 701 Ford and Jean-Pierre Beltoise’ Matra MS120 at Druids Hill early in the 1970 British Grand Prix.

Jochen Rindt was well beaten by Jack Brabham that afternoon but a crewman’s fuel mixture switch mistake gifted Jochen the win in an amazing last lap change of fortune. Last lap drama happened at Monaco too, but that day the mistake was Jack’s due to the pressure Jochen applied.

Finito…

(Classic Auto News)

Bruce McLaren blasts past the Royal New Zealand Airforce control tower building during the 1965 Lady Wigram Trophy.

The reigning Tasman Cup champion finished second in his Cooper T79 Climax to Jim Clark’s Lotus 32B Climax with Jim Palmer’s Brabham BT7A Climax third. Clark won the title that summer with wins in four of the seven rounds.

Wigram Aerodrome was located in the Christchurch suburb of Sockburn, now named Wigram/Wigram Skies. It operated as an airfield from 1916, and as an RNZAF training base from 1923 to 1995.

Sir Henry Francis Wigram was a successful Christchurch businessman, politician and promoter of the fledgling aviation industry. He gifted land for the airfield to the Canterbury (NZ) Aviation Company (Sockburn Airport), later the land was re-gifted to the RNZAF.

The Lady Wigram Trophy was named in his wife’s honour.

Charles Kingsford Smith’s Fokker F.VII Trimotor Southern Cross at Wigram having made the first Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch on September 10, 1928 (discoverywall.nz)

 

Wigram August 1937. The first aircraft is a Gloster Grebe, others include De Havilland Tiger Moths, with Vickers Vildebeests at the end. Happy to take your input/corrections (natlib.govt.nz)

The first motor racing event took place at Wigram in 1949 when the Canterbury Car Club organised the NZ Championship Road Race meeting on February 26.

Winners of the Lady Wigram Trophy subsequently included many internationals such as Peter Whitehead, Archie Scott Brown, Ron Flockhart, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt. Other F1 drivers who won around the hangars include Graham McRae, Larry Perkins and Roberto Moreno.

Suss this series of excellent Talk Motorsport articles which tell the Wigram motor racing tale in full; Wigram Motor Racing: The First Decade | Talk Motorsport

The 1949 feature, the NZ Championship Road Race was won by Morrie Proctor’s Riley 9 at the far left of this photograph.

The legendary Ron Roycroft leads in his ex-works/Sir Herbert Austin, Austin 7 Rubber-Duck s/c from Hec Green in a Wolseley Special with Bob Christie aboard an MG TA Spl at the tail of this group.

(teara.govt.nz)

Jack Brabham leads Bruce McLaren, Brabham BT7A Climax and Cooper T70 Climax, at Wigram with the Port Hills forming a lovely backdrop in 1964.

Bruce won the 44 lap race from Jack with Denny Hulme’s works Brabham BT4 Climax third.

McLaren won the inaugural Tasman Series. His three wins in New Zealand matched Brabham’s in Australia, but Bruce’s 39 points haul trumped Jack’s 33. 

Brabham was the dominant marque that summer, Graham Hill and Denny took a race win apiece aboard their BT4s giving Motor Racing Developments a total of five wins in the eight rounds.

Reg Parnell’s 3.5-litre Ferrari 555 Super Squalo alongside teammate Peter Whitehead’s similar car in the Wigram paddock – note the hangars – in 1957.

Whitehead took the win from Parnell with Horace Gould’s Maserati 250F third. See here for more these cars; Squalo Squadron… | primotipo…

1957 starting grid panorama (I Tweedy)

BRM’s Ron Flockhart won the 1959 race from pole in a convincing display, he gets the jump in the P25 here with the obscured Coopers of Brabham and McLaren immediately behind, and Syd Jensen’s at right.

Frank Cantwell’s Tojeiro Jaguar is on the left, then Ross Jensen’s light coloured sharknose Maserati 250F, then Tom Clark’s Ferrari 555 Super Squalo #22.

Jack Brabham crouched in the cockpit of his Cooper T55 in typical style during the 1962 running of the Wigram classic.

Stirling Moss won again in his final New Zealand victory, aboard a Rob Walker Lotus 21 Climax (below) from Brabham, with John Surtees third in a Cooper T53 Climax. Jack and John used 2.7-litre Indy FPFs, while Moss’ was a 2.5.

Moss motors away in Rob Walkers’ Lotus 21 Climax #935, who is aboard the chasing Cooper T53? (MotorSport)

We have lift-off in 1967.

Frank Gardner’s four cylinder Coventry Climax FPF was going to struggle against the 2.1-litre BRM V8s of Dickie Attwood and Jackie Stewart on the right.

Frank finished a good fourth in a series of great speed and reliability, but up front at Wigram were three different V8s; Jim Clark’s 2-litre Lotus 33 Climax, Attwood’s BRM P261 and Denny Hulme’s 2.5-litre Brabham BT22 Repco.

Clark won the series with three wins from six championship rounds. Stewart won two and Jack Brabham, Brabham BT23A Repco one. The BRMs were quick, as they had been in 1966 – Stewart won the Tasman that year – but the transmissions wouldn’t take the additional punch of the V8s, which that year were bored out to 2.1-litres, rather than the 1.9-litre variant of the original 1.5-litre F1 V8 which did the trick the year before.

The cars are on the start-finish straight and lining up for Hangar Bend. Look closely, there are two BRM P261s in the mix so it’s probably 1966 or 1967, not 1968 I don’t think.

Christchurch enthusiast Geoff Walls remembers this era well, “It was the most fabulous fast circuit as those airfield situations can be, particularly rounding Bombay Bend onto the main straight/ runway at 100mph before really opening up for the length of the straight.”

“The Lady Wigram Trophy weekend was always in the Summer school holidays so on the Thursday, practice day, and again on Friday, some mates and I used to bike to the airfield, hide our bikes in the dry grass covered ditch parallel with the main runway, crawl through the wire fence and then sprint across the track at the right time and into the middle of the circuit where all the cars and drivers were for the day, great stuff!”

“In later years the Country Gentlemen’s Historic Racing and Sports Car Club used to hold a race weekend there with 250 entries and I was Clerk of the Course, also great occasions on the circuit. That was a great social occasion too and I do have photographic evidence!!”

(G Danvers)

This photograph was taken in October 1968 from the top of the water tower, looking east towards the control tower. Don’t the hangars in the foreground make the control tower building which looms large over Bruce McLaren in our opening shot seem small!

(T Marshall)

Adelaide Ace John Walker – later 1979 Australia GP and Gold Star winner – with Repco-Holden F5000 V8 fuel injected thunder echoing off the hangar walls.

It’s the ’74 Tasman round, the tremendously talented Terry Marshall has captured the perfect profile of JW’s unique Repco-Holden powered Lola T330 with a perfect-pan. His DG300 Hewland was hors d’combat after 20 laps. John McCormack won in another Repco-Holden powered car, Mac’s Elfin MR5 was timed at 188mph on Wigram’s long straight, the two VDS Chevron B24 Chevs of Teddy Pilette and Peter Gethin were second and third.

Six months earlier, closeby, this BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk88 was pictured in repose. The jet-powered trainer and light attack machine had bones dating back to the 1950 Percival Provost.

(John Page)

 

(T Marshall)

Dave McMillan won two Wigram Trophies on the trot in 1979 and 1980 aboard one of Ron Tauranac’s most successful designs, a Ralt RT1 Ford BDA Formula Atlantic/Pacific.

They were good wins against strong opposition too. He won both races in 1979, in front of Teo Fabi and Larry Perkins in one race, and Fabi and Brett Riley in the other. In 1980 he was in front of Steve Millen, second in both, and Ian Flux and David Oxton in third.

An RNZAF Douglas A-4 Skyhawk single-seat subsonic fighter on display during the Wigram Wings and Wheels Exhibition February 1986 weekend.

(canterburystories.nz)

Credits…

Classic Auto News. The talkmotorsport.co.nz website provided most of the photographs, I’d love to provide credits to the snappers concerned if any of you can oblige. Terry Marshall, John Page, canterburystories.nz, Isabel Tweedy, the Gary Danvers Collection, discoverywall.nz, teara.govt.nz

Tailpieces…

Piers Courage, Brabham BT24 Ford DFW alongside the similarly powered Lotus 49Bs of Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt at Wigram in January 1969.

Chris Amon’s Ferrari Dino 246T is behind Jochen, Frank Gardner, Mildren Alfa V8 behind him.

Perhaps the Tasman Cup high point was 1968 when the field included two works Lotus 49 Ford DFW V8s, Amon’s factory Dino V6, works BRM P261 V8 and P126 V12s, Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT23E Repco, and various other Repco V8 engined cars, Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa V8 and the rest.

Jochen Rindt won the 1969 LWT, it was the great Austrian’s first Team Lotus, ok, Gold Leaf Team Lotus, victory.

He won from Hill and Amon with Chris winning the Tasman that year with four wins in the seven rounds.

(G Danvers Collection)

RNZAF Wigram in 1992 complete with a Tiger Moth and 11 Airtrainers ready to boogie, the wonderful building is still with us, and as a Listed Heritage Place always will be.

The government rationalised their military properties in the 1990’s, in that process RNZAF Wigram was closed in September 1995. Wigram Aerodrome then operated until March 2009 when it was progressively redeveloped for housing. The aviation connection continues though, the Christchurch Air Force Museum is located on the northern side of the old aerodrome.

Finito…

(MotorSport)

Yes, yes, yes, I know I’ve done these Dinos before many times. But I rather like the two photographs of the great Lancastrian, Brian Redman, racing Dino 166 #0008 in the XXXI ADAC Eifelrennen Euro F2 round at the Nurburgring in 1968.

That 21 April day was his Ferrari debut, Motoring News reported the sight of the great-Brit three-wheeling the car around the South Circuit’s turns as quite startling.

Redman finished a fine fourth despite a stop after his goggles were smashed, cutting one eye. Chief Engineer Mauro Forghieri was so impressed he telephoned Enzo Ferrari and recommended Ferrari contract him, an offer he turned down then. Later, Redman was a valued member of the Scuderia’s sportscar squad.

0008 was a new car for 1968. Chris Amon raced it at Montjuïc Parc, Barcelona on its March 31 debut, finishing third behind the Ford FVA engined Matra MS7s of Jackie Stewart and Henri Pescarolo.

Amon amid the trees and high speed swoops of marvellous Montjuïc Parc, behind is the #11 Lola T100 Ford of…Brian Redman, DNF engine (unattributed)

Amon raced it at Hockenheim in mid-June (eighth) before it was damaged in a multiple-car accident in the Monza Lotteria GP in June driven by Tino Brambilla.

Chris raced the repaired car at the Tulln-Langenlebarn airfield circuit in mid-July (classified twelfth) before Brambilla was third in a heat at Zandvoort, and bagged fastest lap. At Sicily in late August he was again third in the Mediterranean GP at Enna, this time behind F2 King Jochen Rindt’s Winkelmann Brabham BT23C Ford and Piers Courage’ similar Frank Williams entry.

Brian Redman three-wheeling on the Nurburgring in 1968 (MotorSport)

The little F2 1.6-litre Ferrari V6, even in four-valve spec, never had the legs of a decent Ford FVA four. Funnily enough, the 2.4-litre Tasman spec V6 gave very little away to the Ford Cosworth DFW, the 2.5-litre variant of Cosworth’s 3-litre DFV V8, GP racing’s most successful engine.

0008 was then prepared for the 1969 Tasman Cup, as part of a successful two car assault on the championship together with Derek Bell in #0010. As I’ve written before, Chris won the championship in fine style with 2.4-litre engines fitted – four wins of the eight rounds including the NZ GP – before selling the car to Graeme Lawrence who repeated the dose in 1970.

Graeme Lawrence on the hop during the 1970 Lady Wigram Trophy, DNF overheating #0008. (G Lawrence Collection)

Credits…

MotorSport, F2 Index, Graeme Lawrence Collection, oldracingcars.com

Tailpiece…

(MotorSport)

Chris Amon and Jochen Rindt, Ferrari 246T and Lotus 49 Ford, on the front row at Pukekohe, start of the New Zealand Grand Prix, first round of the 1969 Tasman Cup on January 4.

Amon won from Rindt and Piers Courage in Frank William’s Cosworth DFW powered Brabham BT24. All three were stars of the series, Chris won four races, Jochen two and Piers one.

Finito…

(oldracephotos.com)

Barry Cassidy’s Ford Falcon XR GT ahead of Bill Brown’s Ferrari 350 Can-Am, Newry Corner, Longford 1968…

Series Production or showroom stock racing was hugely popular in Australia during a golden period to the end of 1972 when the Supercar Scare forced the rule-makers to change tack – a story in itself! Actually there is about it in the middle of this Holden Torana XU-1 V8 epic here; Holden Torana GTR XU1 V8… | primotipo…

Here, local lad and long time racer Cassidy is practicing for his event during the Tasman weekend in his brand new, straight off the showroom floor, 289cid V8 powered Australian pony-car. It was the first in an amazing series of road legal and oh-so-fast Fords built from the late sixties to the late seventies. Most of them won the Bathurst 500/1000 classic including the XR GT which triumphed at Mount Panorama in the hands of Harry Firth and Fred Gibson in 1967.

Cassidy showing delicacy of touch exiting Mountford, Longford 1968 (oldracephotos.com)

Cassidy had a top speed of 120mph or thereabouts, Brown about 170, and is about to swallow him on the uphill run to the right, then to the left onto the Flying Mile. He recalls that Brown was “probably not too impressed about being passed under brakes by the XR GT and signalled his thoughts about it as he blasted past on the Flying Mile!”

Cassidy raced the car for a bit, and was later at the vanguard of ‘Formula’ HQ Racing, a series for lightly modified Holden HQ Kingswood/Belmont of the early seventies, a hugely popular cost effective way to get into, and stay in motor racing. He is still racing too.

Cassidy chasing Graham Parsons’ Cortina GT and Darryl Wilcox’ Humpy Holden through Newry Corner. Barry was off a low grid position after being pinged by scrutineers for having a spare tyre not of identical section width as the four on the car! (HRCCT)

Credits…

oldracephotos.com, Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania

Finito…

(W Reid)

Warren Reid’s photographer father’s Sandown habits as a spectator were similar to my own. Prowl the paddock and watch the action from there – cars rounding Shell Corner and heading into Peters or Torana Corner.

I’ve already had a good go at this meeting so have provided links to the existing pieces, but these paddock shots are too good to miss. https://primotipo.com/2016/12/09/f1-driverengineers-jack-larry-the-68-agp-and-rb830-v8/

The first one is Pedro Rodriguez about to head out in the Len Terry designed BRM P126 V12- we were lucky enough to see Bourne’s new GP car in 2.5-litre form before commencement of the GP season. The high point of their summer was Bruce McLaren’s Teretonga win. BRM P126 here; https://primotipo.com/2018/01/25/richard-attwood-brm-p126-longford-1968/

That’s Kevin Bartlett’s Mildren Racing Brabham BT11A Climax in the background.

(W Reid)

An overdressed Stirling Moss offers big Tim Parnell and one of the BRM mechanics some suggestions about coping with Australian heat.

There was nothing terribly wrong with this car that a Cosworth DFV couldn’t have fixed. BRM were in the wilderness from 1966 to 1969, finally hitting their straps again with Tony Southgate’s P153/P160 chassis and potent enough variants of their four-valve V12 in 1970-71. It was a long time coming for BRM fans.

(W Reid)

Car 12 is Richard Attwood’s P126 ‘02’. #11 is Pedro’s ‘01’.

(W Reid)

In many ways the stars of the show were the fastest GP cars on the planet at the time- the two Lotus 49 Fords of Graham Hill above in ‘R1’, and Jim Clark below in ‘R2’.

Clark and Chris Amon provided a thriller of a GP dice with Jim taking the flag by an official margin of one-hundredth of a second after an hour and three minutes of racing. Yet again Chris proved his talent and the potency of the Ferrari V6 relative to the 2.5-litre variant of the Ford Cosworth DFV 3-litre V8 dubbed DFW.

The 49 used a ZF five-speed transaxle initially, they were progressively replaced by the Hewland DG300 but at least one of the cars raced in the 1969 Tasman Cup was still ZF equipped.

(W Reid)

Skinny rears are to allow the 49 to fit on its narrow, cheap, open trailer! Lotus 49 in the ’68 Tasman see here; https://primotipo.com/2019/11/05/clark-hill-amon-longford-1968/

(W Reid)

 

(W Reid)

Denny Hulme ran his own show in 1968. When the Kiwi won the 1967 World Championship and let Jack know he was off to McLaren, any chance of Brabham running another car for him went out the window. In the end Brabham only did two rounds anyway.

Hulme (in the dark shirt below) ran an F2 Brabham BT23 Ford FVA to keep faith with his Australasian fans. He used two cars actually. He boofed the first at Pukekohe in a bad accident with Lawrence Brownlie and had to bring out another from England. This is the second car, BT23-2. The first was BT23-5 which became the basis of Bob Britton’s Rennmax BN3 chassis jig, a story well ventilated here a number of times. Brabham BT23 and ’67 Euro F2; https://primotipo.com/2019/11/02/the-wills-barc-200-f2-silverstone-march-1967/

(W Reid)

 

(W Reid)

Above is Jack Brabham’s bespoke 1968 Tasman car, BT23E’1’ being pushed through the paddock on raceday.

That SOHC, crossflow RBE830 Repco 2.5 V8 is making its race debut. The team fitted the engine and a jury-rigged oil system- the strange structure sitting atop the Hewland FT200 gearbox overnight. Jack was quick in the two rounds he contested, but the yield was seventh at Warwick Farm and a DNF at Sandown.

While Repco-Brabham V8s were F1 Champions in 1966-7 they didn’t win a Tasman Cup despite the engine being originally designed for the Tasman. In five years of Tasman competition Repco won a single round – Jack at Longford in 1967 in a ‘640’ engined BT23A. Repco were pretty happy with the competition dividend of said engines mind you…

BT23E was purchased by Bob Jane post Tasman and raced successfully for him by John Harvey into early 1970. It is now beautifully restored to the specification shown here. See here; https://primotipo.com/2015/12/22/jack-brabham-brabham-bt23e-oran-park-1968/

(W Reid)

Chris Amon, what a mighty racing driver. Ferrari Dino 246 chassis ‘0004’, his 1969 Tasman winner was chassis ‘0008’, the same jigger Graeme Lawrence raced so well to victory in 1970.

Those in attendance that Sandown Sunday still speak in reverential terms about the fantastic dice up front. It was Jim’s last win in Australasia and the ‘68 Tasman Cup was his last championship before that awful day at Hockenheim in 1968. Dino 246T here; https://primotipo.com/2017/07/21/amons-tasman-dino/

Moss and friends.

(W Reid)

These gorgeous Ferraris were unsuccessful 1.6-litre F2 cars, the Cosworth FVA despatched on ongoing belting to them from 1967 to 1971. As Tasman Formula, 2.4-litre machines they were a brilliant bit of fast packaging- light, nimble and powerful. Perhaps with a full works effort in 1968 Ferrari would have carted away another Tasman Cup.

Credits…

Warren Reid Family Collection

Tailpiece…

(W Reid)

Jim Clark blasts his Lotus 49 ‘R2’ along Pit Straight, third gear in Jim’s ZF gearbox.

Tarax is a long-gone brand of soft-drinks, since then swallowed (sic) by a bigger rival.

Finito…

(CAN)

Chris Amon carefully pushes his Maserati 250F ‘2506’ (or ‘2504’ or ‘2509’) out of the ‘escape driveway’ during the February 3 1962 Dunedin Road Race…

Its practice and wet, the Kiwi great overshot the corner at the junction of King Edward Street, Wilkie Road and Bridgeman Street. The angle suggests the photo was taken from the building opposite, the dark industrial buildings contrasted by the colourful advertising hoardings, red Maserati and dead, gold grass all create a very atmospheric panorama.

Chris retired his car after a collision with Bill Thomasen, Cooper T51 Climax. It was a sad event, champion racer John Mansel died in his Cooper T51 Maserati, the race was won by Pat Hoare’s Ferrari 256 V12 from Jim Palmer, Lotus 20B Ford and Barry Cottle’s Lola Mk1 Climax.

(E Sarginson)

Allan Dick, a ‘famous photograph above of the first lap at Dunedin in 1962. Against all expectations it was Chris Amon who led the first lap, not Pat Hoare who eventually had an easy win’. Chris retired after the collision with Thomasen, see photos below.

Hoare’s Ferrari 256 was a 246 Dino to fit a Testa Rossa 3 litre V12 at the factory. Click here for an article about that awesome car here; https://primotipo.com/2015/11/09/pat-hoares-ferrari-256-v12-at-the-dunedin-road-race-1961/

(CAN)

 

(B Wilson)

 

(B Wilson)

Allan Dick picks up the story, ‘Chris is almost out of the car as his 250F hits the power-pole dead centre. Amon led the first lap but reality struck and the faster, better, newer  cars passed him one by one. He was in fourth place when Bill Thomasen (Cooper T51 Climax) tried to take him on the outside of the left-hander out of Andersons Bay Road into Princes Street South, the two cars tangled and ran off the road.’

Chris’ Maser was repaired by Bruce Wilson in Huntsville (I must buy his book ‘The Master Mechanic) returning with a longer nose.

John Mansel, Cooper T51 Maserati rounds the Glen Hairpin on what was to be his last lap (CAN)

Unfortunately John Mansel also fell foul of one of the lamp-posts. The champion driver started the race after many laps, he had completed about 10 when he lost control of his ex-Centro Sud Cooper T51 ‘F2-13-59’ Maserati 2.9 and slid into the immovable object side on. He was thrown from the car and died of head injuries sustained a week or so after the accident, a very sad day in Kiwi motor sport indeed.

He was eighth at Wigram and Teretonga in the fortnight prior to Dunedin and had been very successful in the ex-Moss 250F, Stirling won the 1956 NZ GP in chassis ‘2508’ and sold the car at the end of his trip, for some years.

John Mansel at Teretonga the week before, here ahead of Ross Greenville, Lotus 18 Ford and John Histed, Lola FJ Ford (CAN)

 

(E Sarginson)

The couple of photographs are of Pat Hoare on his way to victory in the Ferrari.

In the monochrome shot he is traversing ‘Cemetery Corner’, the lower photograph shows just how wet the track was and therefore how treacherous given the normal road hazards, which were, in the traditions of the day, ‘modestly protected’ if things went wrong at higher speeds. A statement of the obvious. The bruised nose of the sleek Italian V12 racer is a consequence of kissing the back of Brian Blackburn’s Maserati 250F whilst lapping him.

(CAN)

They are crackers of shots aren’t they, the docks area of the city was used for this event and then the Oval Circuit from 1962. Click here for an article in part about the development of the Dunedin and other circuits post-war; https://primotipo.com/2019/09/05/the-gp-aston-martin-dp155/

Credits…

Allan Dick- ‘Classic Auto News’, Bruce Wilson, Euan Sarginson, Derek Woods

Etcetera…

(D Woods)

 

(CAN)

This is Chris in practice, clearly it was a very soggy weekend throughout, Amon wore goggles in practice and went with a visor in the race.

Pat Hoare’s Ferrari 256 lines up on the grid, the black car is the Bob Eade ex-Moss/Jensen/Mansel Maserati 250F with Bill Thomasen’s Cooper T51 Climax alongside. There is another red car almost obscured as well beside the M Garr Ltd garage- I wonder if the premises are still there?

(B Woodford)

Beautiful crisp colour shot of Jim Palmer’s Lotus 20 Ford 1.5, he is in his fourth season of motor racing and still a teenager’ noted Allan Dick.

Went all the way to the top of racing too, winning the NZ Gold Star drivers championship on four occasions in the sixties, click here for a brief article on Jim; https://primotipo.com/2018/01/02/renwick-50-and-jim-palmer-new-zealand-1965/

(B Wilson)

Who are they, Chris and his Leica excepted and where was the photograph taken? Ardmore perhaps?

Credits…

Allan Dick- ‘Classic Auto News’, Bruce Wilson, Euan Sarginson, Bob Woodford

Tailpiece: Pukekohe 1963…

(B Wilson)

Derek Woods was there that weekend and recalls, ‘Chris sits on the pit counter in blue T-shirt, goggles and racing boots whilst the Cooper T53 Climax is warmed up after qualifying sixth. He stormed through to third on the opening lap but fell back and pitted with ignition problems when running in fourth or fifth. He then made a late charge to finish seventh. Had things gone to plan he would have finished in the top three, possibly second. Typical Amon luck right from those early days.’

By the end of that summer Chris was off to Europe with Tim Parnell, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thats David McKay, the car owner at far right chopped in half by the crop- a key person in Chris’ rise and in his later 1968/69 Dino 246T Tasman campaigns.

Finito…

(HRCCT)

Chris Amon eases his Ferrari 350 Can-Am into Pub Corner, Longford village during the raceday sportscar support in 1968…

There are plenty of marshals but not too many spectators in evidence on this famously soggy day- the last day of motor racing at Longford. I’ve done this topic to death really but there is no such thing as too much Amon, Ferrari or Longford. See here for the P4/Can-Am 350; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

here for Longford; https://primotipo.com/2018/07/05/longford-lap/

and here for the 1968 Tasman feature race, the ‘South Pacific Trophy’; https://primotipo.com/2015/10/20/longford-tasman-south-pacific-trophy-4-march-1968-and-piers-courage/

Credits…

Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania- D Cooper Collection

Tailpiece: Ferrari P4/Can-Am 350 ‘0858’ at rest, Longford- in the dry 1968…

(D Cooper)

And not a soul in those stands at this particular point of the day.

Finito…

(D Cooper)

Antipodian enthusiasts can argue the toss but I think the 1968 Tasman was about as good as it ever got…

Here Clark, Amon and Hill- Lotus 49 Ford DFW, Ferrari Dino 246T and 49. Two Cosworth V8’s and a Maranello V6. There were a swag of Repco V8’s of different configurations, BRM V8’s and V12’s- Len Terry’s new P126 was blooded in the Tasman in advance of the F1 season, Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo using a 2.5 litre variant of the Tipo 33 sports prototype V8, plus cars using the good ole Coventry Climax four cylinder FPF.

As good as it gets in terms of variety of cars and drivers- in addition to the fellas on the front row of the dry, preliminary, Saturday race we had Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Bruce McLaren (in NZ), Frank Gardner, Pedro Rodriguez, Piers Courage, Richard Attwood…apart from the local hotshots.

Clark and Hill raced 49’s ‘R2’ and ‘R1’ during their 1968 tour down south.

Hill had mainly raced ‘R1’ since the 49’s race debut at Zandvoort on 4 June 1967. He joined Team Lotus in Australia whereas Jim did the full eight weeks and had almost exclusively raced ‘R2’ from his first up win in the chassis amongst the Dutch dunes. Motors fitted for the Tasman were Cosworth’s 2.5 litre variant of the 3 litre Ford DFV dubbed ‘DFW’.

(D Cooper)

Jimmy has a tyre issue he is sorting with the Firestone man.

The fag packet Gold Leaf Players livery is new- the cars were green and gold at Pukekohe and Levin and red, white and gold at Wigram only a month or so before Longford, as shown in the Wigram front row photograph below. That’s Denny’s F2 Brabham BT23 Ford FVA behind Jim in the Longford pitlane.

(B Wilson)

Clark has won his last championship GP by this stage, the South African at Kyalami on New Years Day, 1 January 1968, he won at Sandown the week before Longford on 25 February taking the Australian Grand Prix, his last, from Chris in a ‘thriller-driller’ of a race which could have gone either way right to the finish line.

Racing’s tectonic plates shifted with his Lotus 48 Ford FVA F2 death in Hockenheim only months hence.

(D Cooper)

In a tour de force of leadership Graham Hill picked up Team Lotus lock, stock and barrel and drove the team forward as Colin Chapman regained his composure and focus after the death of his great colleague and friend.

No seatbelt in Graham’s car above, there would be by seasons end.

No wings either, there would be by mid-season, 1968 was a year of change in so many ways.

Wings here; https://primotipo.com/2015/07/12/wings-clipped-lotus-49-monaco-grand-prix-1969/, and in more detail, here; https://primotipo.com/2016/08/19/angle-on-the-dangle/

Chris loads up in the Longford paddock. That’s Denny’s Brabham BT23 Ford FVA F2 atop the Alec Mildren Racing transporter behind (D Cooper)

The Scuderia Ferrari presence, or more precisely Chris Amon’s single Ferrari 246T raced under his own banner raised enormous interest, the great Kiwi did not disappoint either- and of course came back the following year with a two car squad and won.

In Australia we got a double 1968 whammy in that David McKay acquired one of the P4/Can-Am 350 Group 7 cars for Chris to drive in the sports car support races.

Frank Matich served it up to him big-time in one of his Matich SR3 Repco 4.4 litre V8’s, disappointingly Matich did not cross Bass Straight for this meeting so Chris set the fastest ever lap of Longford despite not being pushed by the oh-so-fast Sydneysider.

(D Cooper)

The gleaming Ferrari Can-Am 350 Scuderia Veloce raced all too briefly throughout Australia in 1968 by Chris Amon, and Bill Brown upon the Kiwis departure back to Italy and all points beyond.

(D Cooper)

Auto-erotica.

With the 1967 Manufacturers Championship over Ferrari modified two of the P4’s, this car, chassis ‘0858’ and ‘0860’ to better compete in the Can-Am Championship and naming them ‘350 Can-Am’ to contest the prestigious series in their most important market.

The cars were lightened considerably becoming curvaceous Spiders instead of even more curvaceous Coupes! Weight was reduced from 792Kg wet to 700Kg wet, engine capacity was increased to 4176cc raising the engines power to 480bhp @ 8500rpm.

It wasn’t enough to compete with the McLaren M6A Chevs of Bruce and Denny, that story is told in this article about the Ferrari P4/Can-Am 350 and ‘0858’ specifically; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

Credits…

Dennis Cooper, Historic Racing Car Club of Tasmania, Bruce Wilson

Tailpiece: Look at the crowd…

(D Cooper)

Talk about missing out…

Finito…

image

(Klemantaski)

The geography of racetracks prior to the seventies highlights the need for accuracy to avoid damage to the local scenery let alone car and driver…

It’s Le Mans 1966, the 18/19 June weekend. The Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 365P2 of Pierre Dumay and Jean Blaton starts the long run along the Mulsanne Straight ahead of a factory Ford Mk2 and Pedro Rodriguez in the NART Ferrari 365 P3 ‘0846’ he shared with Richie Ginther.

I’m not sure which Ford it is but the two Ferrari’s failed to finish- the Francorchamp’s car with engine dramas and the NART machine with gearbox failure.

Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon won in a Ford Mk2, click here for a short article about the race; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/27/le-mans-1966-ford-mk2-andrettibianchi/

The Ginther/Rodriguez Ferrari P3 ‘0846’ ahead of a couple of Ford GT40’s at Le Mans in 1966 (LAT)

‘0846’ was the first of the Ferrari P3’s built and was the official press car.

Built as a Spyder, the 4 litre, 420 bhp, 24 valve, Lucas injected V12 machine raced throughout 1966-at Sebring, Targa and Le Mans- all DNF’s. At the end of the year it was converted to P4 specifications for 1967- becoming one of four factory P4’s raced that season in the International Championship for Sports Prototypes and Sportscars.

At the 1967 opening round- the Daytona 24 Hour, Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini shared the drive and won the race in it.

Two Ferrari at Daytona in 1967- the winning Amon/Bandini P4 ahead of the third placed Mike Parkes/Jean Guichet 412P (unattributed)

Entered at Le Mans, Chris Amon and Nino Vaccarella qualified the car in twelfth position amongst a sea of Ford GT40’s and Mk2’s.

On lap 106 Chris Amon encountered a puncture and tried to change a Firestone out on the circuit but the hammer he was wielding broke so he then sought to drive the stricken P4 back to the pits.

During this trip the shredded tyre somehow ignited a fire and as a consequence the car was severely burned- and subsequently thought by most historians to be destroyed.

(unattributed)

Amon lapping early in the ’67 Le Mans 24 Hour- the beached car is the NART entered Ferrari 365 P2 shared by Chuck Parsons and Ricardo Rodriguez which retired after completing 30 laps during the race’s fourth hour- Chuck is wielding the shovel.

(unattributed)

Incapable of economic repair, the P4 ‘0846’ chassis was discarded into the Ferrari scrapyard after inspection back at Maranello.

In recent times it has been confirmed, by Mauro Forghieri, that the repaired remains of the ‘0846’ chassis form the basis of the James Glickenhaus’ owned P4. Somewhat contentious, and the subject of much discussion on various Ferrari internet forums about the place, and ‘The Nostalgia Forum’ for more than a decade, some of you will have seen the car in the US or Europe.

Click here for an article about the Ferrari P4, and P3 in passing, and towards its end a link to the TNF debate about the restoration of ‘0846’; https://primotipo.com/2015/04/02/ferrari-p4canam-350-0858/

‘Veloce Todays’ bullshit-free summary of the car is here; https://www.velocetoday.com/cars/cars_69.php

Glickenhaus Ferrari P4 (unattributed)

Forghieri’s letter to Glickenhaus in relation to the chassis of the car, in full, dated 23 February 2016 is as follows;

‘Dear Mr Glickenhaus,

I am submitting my expertise regarding your Ferrari P4. It is based on the documentation that’s been made available to date and, to avoid any misunderstanding, I am submitting it in both English and Italian, the binding version being the Italian one.

1. The P3/4 denomination was never used in Ferrari and it is therefore deemed as incorrect. (Cars were either called P3 or P4)

2. The P4 chassis was almost identical to the P3’s, which were therefore routinely modified to produce P4 chassis.

3. The chassis I examined bears signs of modifications which are different from what was done in Ferrari as current practice. My opinion is that they were done by some other outfit after the accident of Le Mans 1967. The car involved was a P4 built upon a P3 chassis bearing the SN#0846, SN which was carried over as practice and regulations mandated. The car itself was seriously damaged in the 1967 accident and never repaired. The chassis, also damaged by fire, was returned to the Ferrari “scrapyard”.

4. It is my opinion that original parts of that chassis (as modified by some outfit; see above) are currently mounted on the P4 vehicle owned by you.

5. In spite of point 4 above, however, and as indicated in the factory statement that Ferrari sent you, it must be concluded that, for all legal purposes, SN #0846 has ceased to exist. Your car cannot be designated as “#0846”.

6. I can nonetheless state that your car, albeit containing non-standard modifications, is indeed a Ferrari P4.

Best Regards,

Mauro Forghieri

Modena, February 23 2016’

Chris Amon settles himself into ‘0846’ before the 1967 Le Mans classic in 1967. Injection trumpets clear as is the MoMo steering wheel, it looks pretty comfy in there.

Credit…

Klemantaski Collection, LAT Images

Tailpiece: Nino Vaccarella during the 1966 Targa Florio…

(unattributed)

P3 ‘0846’ was shared by Nino Vaccarella and Lorenzo Bandini in Sicily during the May 1966 Targa Florio.

The hometown team had completed 6 laps before Bandini crashed the car having misunderstood the intentions of the hand signals provided by the driver of a privateer Ferrari he was seeking to pass.

The race was won by the Filipinetti/Works Willy Mairesse/Herbert Muller Porsche 906.

Finito…