Posts Tagged ‘De Tomaso 505 Ford’

tim

‘Don’t worry about the T-Shirt Tim, it was the only one in the cupboard this morning! Go quicker than him and I’ll  make some with your name on them!?’…

FW exhorting Tim Schenken to get more speed from his steed.

Frank Williams raced the De Tomaso 505 Ford in 1970, a car designed for him by Gianpaolo Dallara. But it was shitbox, nowhere near as fast as the second-hand Brabham BT26 Frank ran in 1969 for his great friend Piers Courage. He drove with skill and conviction, second place the seasons highpoint at Watkins Glen in the US GP.

The De Tomaso was slow, too heavy amongst other shortcomings from the start, Piers Courage died in it at Zandvoort. I’m not suggesting a component failure was the accident’s cause but perhaps trying too hard to compensate for its lack of pace was.

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Piers Courage, De Tomaso 505 Ford, Zandvoort, 21 June 1970. He qualified the car 9th, was in 7th place on lap 22 when he ran wide into a sand bank, hit a post, overturned the car which then caught fire. Rindt won, the Lotus 72’s first win, no joy for Jochen, his close friend died (unattributed)

 

Brian Redman raced the car for FW at Clermont Ferrand and Hockenheim, Tim took over the drive at  the Osterreichring, Monza, Mosport and Watkins Glen. He retired in every event except Mosport where he was not classified but qualified 17th, his best ‘result’.

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Schenken, 16 August, Zeltweg, Austria 1970, DNF on lap 25 with engine failure, Q19. Ickx won in a Ferrari 312B (unattributed)

Schenken made the most of the opportunity FW gave him, he was recruited by Ron Tauranac for 1971, Jack Brabham retired that winter, Tim was teamed with Graham Hill who drove the problematic BT34. Tim raced the year old but still very quick BT33, his best placings 6th and 3rd at the Nurburgring and Osterreichring respectively.

Bernie Ecclestone bought Brabham during 1972, Tim was uncertain about Bernard Charles ability to run the team and left for Surtees, he was later to rue ’twas not the best career decision i ever made’…

tim

Schenken in the Williams De Tomaso 505 Ford in the rain, Zeltweg 1970 (unattributed)

Credit…REX Shutterstock

stewart spain

(unattributed)

Jackie Stewart passes the burning molten alloy remains of Jackie Oliver’s BRM P153 and Jacky Ickx’ Ferrari 312B, fortunately both drivers escaped with only minor injuries, burns in Ickx’ case, lucky, it could have been much worse…

On lap 1 of the 90 lap 19 April 1970 event Oliver had a suspension failure at the Ciudalcampo, Jarama, Madrid circuit, ploughing into Ickx and puncturing his fuel tank.

The other P153 BRM of Pedro Rodriguez was withdrawn as a precautionary measure, Ollie reported stub axle failure as the accident’s cause.

ickx ablaze

#2 Ickx Ferrari 312B and Oliver’s white BRM P153, inside an inferno. ‘Bag type’ safety bladder fuel tanks mandated from the start of the 1970 season. The FIA at this time, pretty much year by year changed the regulations to improve safety around fuel tanks; safety foam around tanks in ’72, crushable structures around tanks in ’73, selfseal breakaway tank/hose coupling in ’74. (unattributed)

conflagration

The full horror of the situation confronting the two drivers; Oliver has punched the release on his Willans 6 point harness and is jumping out of the BRM, Ickx is in the process of popping his Britax Ferrari belts…Johnny Servoz-Gavin’s Tyrrell March 701 Ford 5th passes. (unattributed)

ickx

Ickx disoriented and on fire in search of a marshall (Automobile Year 18)

ickx running

A soldier beckons in Jacky’s direction. (Automobile Year 18)

ickx on the ground

The soldier, not a marshall puts Ickx’ overalls fire out. At this stage foam is being sprayed on the car fire but the foam extinguishers were soon emptied leaving water only, the impact on the molten magnesium componentry was to make the fire worse. (Automobile Year 18)

Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT33 Ford was on pole, reinforcing the speed of Ron Tauranac’s first monocoque GP contender, but Jackie Stewart won the race in one of his least favourite cars, the March 701 Ford.

The accident happened at the 2nd corner, the ‘Esses Bugatti’, a stub axle failed and Oliver’s BRM rammed Ickx’ Ferrari puncturing its fuel tanks and releasing 45 gallons of avgas, a similar amount aboard the BRM. Oliver got out quickly, Ickx finally emerged with his overalls on fire, the flames put out by a soldier, Ickx suffering as a result of keeping on his fuel soaked overalls.

‘The accident created race havoc, not only the visibility being dangerously reduced for drivers…but the flaming petrol constituted another hazard. The fire-fighting was abysmal, vast quantities of water being hosed on the flames for a long time-a procedure which caused the magnesium elements to ‘gas’ and flare up time and time again. The BRM was still burning at the end of the race, but miraculously no-one was hurt’ the Automobile Year report of the race said.

Stewart didn’t have the race to himself; he initially pulled away from Brabham and Hulme, electronic dramas causing the Kiwi’s demise. Despite spinning twice Jack chased Stewart and Pescarolo, taking second when the Frenchmans Matra V12 seized, he was 5 seconds behind JYS. Only a few metres separated them when Brabham’s Ford Cosworth failed, allowing Jackie to ease off to take victory.

Bruce McLaren was 2nd, McLaren M14A and Mario Andretti in another privately entered March 701, 3rd.

jack spin spain

The 1970 speed of BT33 was reinforced by Jack’s pole. He won the season opening South African GP. Here spinning on the ‘extinguisher foam rink’. He spun twice but despite that was right on Stewart’s tail when his engine blew. Jarama 1970. (unattributed)

Jarama 1970 was also notable for the race debut of Chapman’s latest design the Lotus 72. Jochen Rindt qualified his 8th, John Miles in the sister car did not make the cut. Rindt was out of the race on lap 8 with ignition failure.

It would take intensive development by Colin Chapman and his team to make the car competitive, the cars monocoques had to be ‘unpicked’ to make the suspension changes to eliminate a lot of the anti-dive/squat geometry and many other modifications but by June they had a winning car; victorious for Rindt in the sad Dutch Grand Prix, unfortunately the fire on that day had far more serious, fatal consequences for Piers Courage and his De Tomaso 505 Ford.

The sad reality of days like Jarama and Zandvoort in 1970, look how ill equipped in terms of fire protective clothing the marshalls are in the photos above, was the acceptance that safety standards in every respect; circuits, car construction and race support services had to improve to societal levels of acceptability. Thankfully we are on a different level in every respect today…

rindt spain

Rindt, Lotus 72 Ford, Jarama 1970. Look at the suspension travel on that early 72! (unattributed)

jochen

Jochen and Colin making a long joblist during Spanish GP practice. The car which won at the Dutch GP in June was a 72C which shows how much change there was in 2 short months. ‘Sol’ pitboard is Alex Soler-Roig who failed to qualify a Lotus 49C. (unattributed)

surtees

John Surtees ran as high as 3rd in his ex-works McLaren M7C Ford but faded and then retired with gearbox problems. Back at base his team were building John’s first F1 car the ‘TS7’ which made its debut at the British GP in July. (The Cahier Archive)

piers courage

Piers Courage during Jarama practice 1970. His Frank Williams De Tomaso 505 Ford non-started after a practice accident. (The Cahier Archive)

Tailpiece: Stewart’s winning March 701 passes the conflagration…

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(The Cahier Archive)

Credits…

Automobile Year 18, The Cahier Archive