Posts Tagged ‘Clay Regazzoni’

long beach

(Klemantaski)

Clay Regazzoni oblivious to the ‘Queen Mary’s existence as he races to victory from pole in his Ferrari 312T, US Grand Prix West in March 1976…

I’ve never been to the place but Chris Pook’s idea was a great piece of entrepreneurship.

His first 1975 event, a marvellous demonstration of what is great about F5000 was followed by a championship GeePee in ’76. The other thing that captured my imagination about the place was the Depailler in-car Tyrrell footage. If you weren’t a PD fan, I always was, you had to be so after seeing him flick the 500bhp beastie through the Long Beach boulevards as though it were a 100bhp Lola T342 Formula Ford. The ability that separates the greats from the rest of us. Check it out if you’ve not seen it, look again if you have!;

longbeach clay

Nice portrait of Regga in 1978, Shadow Ford. Looks like a a Bell photo shoot ! (Getty)

Regga, a GP driver with a personality, they seem to breed it out of ‘em these days, anodyne boring liddl’ fuggers they all seem to be. The Swiss Italian had a great weekend in California winning from teammate Niki Lauda’s 312T and Depailler’s Tyrrell 007 DFV, the sound of which (Tyrrell 008 anyway) screaming in protest you can see, hear and feel in the footage above.

Tailpiece: Niki Lauda prepares for the off in the other Fazz 312T, 2nd place for the plucky Austrian reigning champion…

longbeach lauda

Niki Lauda contemplates changes to his Ferrari 312T during Long Beach practice. Mauro Forghieri’s 312T-T4, jewels of cars, circa 525bhp @ 11000 rpm at this stage of the 3 litre flat-12;s long front-running life (Schlegelmilch)

Credits…

Klemantaski Collection, Rainer Schlegelmilch

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Niki Lauda aviating his 312T in the Eifel Mountains, 1975…

He won the race and the world championship for the first time that year.

Ferrari turned the corner of uncompetitiveness with the 312B in 1970, the combination of chassis and new ‘flat 12’ engine was very competitive in the second half of the season.

Into 1971-3 they largely lost the plot with their chassis…Mauro Forghieri returned from the wilderness in late 1973.

The 1974 combination of Lauda, then in his third year of F1, Ferrari ‘returnee’ Clay Regazzoni, Forghieri and very young Luca Di Montezemolo as Team Manager commenced an era of Ferrari success if not dominance.

The cars were powerful, relatively light despite the additional fuel load needed by the Flat12 relative to the Ford Cosworth V8, handled superbly and were as aerodynamically advanced as the competition, until the ‘game-changing’ Lotus 78 arrived at least .

Lauda, Regga, Reutemann, Villeneuve, and Scheckter extracted all the performance as well.

The 1975 312T, so called because of the transverse location of the gears within the ‘box was the start of a series of cars which won drivers world titles in 1975, ’77, and ’79 for Lauda twice and Jody Scheckter once.

The car was not the prettiest of the mid-70’s to my eye but was an incredibly cohesive, beautifully integrated design. Without doubt one of Ferraris finest.

Lauda was up for the developmental and testing task, it was why Ferrari hired him but he also proved he was a winner. Montezemolo welded the group into an effective fighting unit, rather than the ‘Palace Intrigues’ of Maranellos’ past holding the Scuderia back …

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Clay Regazzoni, Ferrari 312T, Nurburgring 1975. DNF engine. (Pinterest)

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niki

Enzo Ferrari, Luca Di Montezemolo & Niki Lauda, test session at Fiorano 1974 (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest unattributed, Werner Buhrer drawings