Posts Tagged ‘Denny Hulme’

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(Alvis Upitis)

 

Denny Hulme unleashing all 670 ‘neddies’ of his McLaren M8D Chev at Mid Ohio in August 1970…

The alloy block Chev V8’s were 7.6 litres in 1970, the ‘Batmobile’ arguably the sexiest of the Can Am McLarens and certainly one of the most successful.

Denny won 6 of the 10 rounds and Dan Gurney another 2 before sponsorship conflicts brought to an end his drive which arose as a result of Bruce McLaren’s fatal testing accident aboard an M8D at Goodwood on 2 June 1970. Peter Gethin, Dan’s replacement won another round adding to the ‘papaya rout’.

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Denny and Teddy Mayer are easy to pick, perhaps some of you can help with the names of the rest of the team, modest ute and trailer indicative of a ‘no frills’ approach to all but the ‘weapons of battle’ (Alvis Upitis)

I wrote an article about the McLaren M8D a while back, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2014/08/01/peter-gethin-mclaren-m8d-chev-can-am-1970/

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Hulme won the Mid Ohio round, the ‘Buckeye Cup’ from Peter Revson’s Lola T220 Chev and Lothar Motschenbacher’s ex-works McLaren M8B Chev, in the shot above Denny is ahead of Lothar early in the race.

Credits…Alvis Upitis

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Teddy Mayer, Denny and the team resolve the next set-up changes to Hulme’s steed (Alvis Upitis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Denny Hulme stands with ‘his’ two Chev ZL1 aluminium-blocked cars at the Riverside Times Grand Prix in 1968…

Both mighty fine cars, an M8A McLaren would be far rarer than an ‘ally-block Corvette but i bet the factory didn’t sell too many of them. You could option the engine in a Camaro for a while as well, here in Australia Bob Jane won an Australian Touring Car Championship with one so equipped in 1971.

The M8A’s were dominant in Bruce and Denny’s hands in 1968…

Credit…

The Enthusiast Network

Tailpiece…

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Blondie surrounded by World Champs; Messrs Hulme, Hill and Clark, Melbourne, 1968…

Ford Australia’s 1967 ‘XR’ Falcon was a big step forward in its market competition with General Motors ‘Holden’ who had a dominant position.  The XR GT packed a 289cid V8 and started the trend of local pony cars which provided wonderful road cars and iconic Bathurst racers for years.

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Barry Cassidy, Ford Falcon ‘XR’ GT, Newry Corner, Longford March 1968 (oldracephotos.com)

This photo is no doubt part of Ford’s ongoing repositioning of their product, ‘Going Ford is the Going Thing’ was FoMoCo’s ‘tag line’ of the day.

‘Blondies’ car is the 1968 ‘XT’ Falcon 500 ‘poverty pack’. A 302cid V8 was cranked under the bonnet to create the GT, a 4 speed box, slippery diff and front disc brakes with firmer springs and shocks completed the performance makeover. This was the only one of the ‘Big Henrys’ which didn’t win the Bathurst enduro classic. An ‘HK’ Holden Monaro 327 coupe driven by Bruce McPhee took the ’68 win.

‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ is the adage…

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The Spencer Martin/Jim McKeown XT Ford Falcon GT auto!,Bathurst 500 1968. The pair were 42nd, the highest placed Ford was the XR GT driven by McIntyre/Stacey which was 7th (unattributed)

The local ranges of Ford and Holden were full of mundane stodge in 1966, perhaps the Cortina GT the ‘highlight’. Times ‘were a changin tho’, by 1970; Ford offered the Falcon 351V8 GT/GTHO, Lotus engined Escort Twin-cam, Capri GT V6 and 1600GT and Holden the Monaro HG 350V8 and Torana XU1 which sported a 186cid ohv triple-carbed straight six, all wonderful cars for 13 year olds to dream about…

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Ford Oz ad for the 1972/3 ‘XA’ Coupe GT; 351cid 300bhp V8, 4 speed ‘top loader’ box, slippery diff, disc/drum brakes, great cars!

Ford provided some support to Team Lotus who campaigned Lotus 49 DFW’s for both Jim Clark and Graham Hill during the ’68 Tasman Series which Clark won.

The Falcon shot at the articles start has Victorian plates so the shot was probably taken in the week of 25 February to 4 March 1968. Clark took the Sandown, Victorian round. The world champs were then in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Longford, Tasmania for the series ending race won by Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A FVA F2 car in a stunning wet weather drive.

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Clark ahead of Graham Hill, slices into The Esses during the ‘Warwick Farm 100’, another win for the Scot’s Lotus 49, he took the ’68 Tasman (oldracephotos.com)

Credits…

Ford Australia, oldracephotos.com

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Introduction…

As Brabham, Tauranac and Denny Hulme scanned the competitive landscape as 1966 unfolded they formed the view that a similar formula to ’66 stood a good chance of success in 1967. A small, light, responsive chassis, this time designed around the engine. Remember that Jack’s successful ’66 mount, BT19 was an adapted, unraced 1965 GP car Tauranac designed around the stillborn Coventry Climax Flat-16. Ron’s ’67 BT24 was and is a superb car, its race record we shall review in an article about Brabham Racing Organisation’s (BRO) successful ’67 season.

In terms of the engine, keeping it simple and light had paid big dividends for Repco Brabham Engines Pty. Ltd. (RBE) in the first year of the 3 litre formula.

The fortunes of Ferrari, BRM, its H-16 engine the antithesis of the Brabham Repco’s in terms of weight and complexity and the Maserati V12 were well covered in my article on the ’66 season. Dan Gurney’s Weslake V12 engine showed promise but reliability continued to be an issue. The Ford Cosworth DFV didn’t race until the Dutch GP in June 1967. Brabham’s needed more power of course, too much power is rarely an issue, but they figured they needed less power than most others on the grid. If Jack and Denny started the season with a reliable, just quick enough package BRO could retain their title as others sought to make what were ultimately potentially quicker, more sophisticated multi-cylinder, multi-cam cars reliable. Click here for my article on Jack’s successful 1966 season; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/13/winning-the-1966-world-f1-championships-rodways-repco-recollections-episode-3/

denny le mans

The beautifully fast, light, forgiving championship winning Brabham BT24 Repco 740 ahead of Chris Amon’s Ferrari 312 at Le Mans during the ’67 French GP. Denny 2nd to Jacks winning sister car, Amon DNF with throttle linkage failure (Automobile Year)

They were an intensely pragmatic group of racers in this Brabham/Repco senior mix…

Repco’s Charlie Dean, Phil Irving, Norman Wilson (designer of the ’67 RBE740 Series V8) Brabham and Tauranac all built winning cars (and bikes in Phil’s case) themselves, as in built with their own hands. Dean created the extraordinary series of Maybach Grand Prix cars, look at my Stan Jones article for much detail about this series of racers built by Charlie and initially raced by him, and then later by Stanley with much success. Norman Wilson built a Holden engined special in his youth covered in brief at the end of this article. Tauranac and his brother Austin built and raced the ‘original’ Ralts before Ron joined Jack in the UK in 1961.

Dean, Wilson, Tauranac and Brabham had been/were drivers. They knew what it took to win races. They understood winning was as much about torque as power. Handling was essential, the circuits then were all far from just requiring top end power, what was needed at Monza was different to the blend of corners and contours at Brands. All had driven cars and lost races due to unreliability. They understood a balanced package was critical, that whatever power they had needed to be put to the road. The point I make is that these guys were practitioners not theorists on ‘an engineering jolly’.

The RB group were about the application of sound pragmatic engineering practice, they didn’t have to think deeply about this stuff it was part of their DNA given the ‘build and develop it yourself’ school from whence they came. These guys weren’t ‘university engineers’ (which is not to say they lacked formal qualifications) but very practical chaps. Let the others chase ‘engineering perfection’ as they saw it, ‘an evolution of what we have is probably enough to do the trick’ was the correct thinking.

It was a whole different ballgame they confronted at the same time in ’68, but this was mid-’66, the game-changing DFV was still a distance away…

rb 740

Repco studio shot of the front of the amazingly compact ’67 championship winning ‘RBE740’, SOHC, 2 valve ‘between the Vee exhaust’, circa 330bhp V8. The ‘mix and match’ of engine parts described in the text is proven by use of 620 water pump, 630 chain timing cover, oil filter American ‘Purolator’, note oil pump below the dry sump pan, and up top the ends of aluminium water cooling rails, Bosch distributor and Lucas fuel injection trumpets (Tait/Repco)

1967 Engine Design Deliberations…

Ex RBE Engineer Nigel Tait; ‘By July 1966 the World Titles had already been ‘wrapped up’ for the year so the team were already thinking about the engine for 1967. Phil, Jack and Ron were all keen on the idea of getting the exhausts out of the airstream to clean up the car in terms of better aerodynamics and also for ease of plumbing the exhausts which otherwise had to negotiate the tubular chassis frame’. The 1966 BT19 championship winning chassis did not present a very effective frontal profile, its exhausts well out in the breeze.

Colin Chapman was far from the first chassis man to be prescriptive about design elements of an engine, as he was to Keith Duckworth in relation to the Ford Cosworth DFV, particularly in relation its integration with ‘his’ chassis.

Between the Vee exhausts had been raced successfully by BRM with its P56 1.5-2 litre family of V8’s in recent years. Ferrari also chose the same approach with its ’67 3 valve V12, its fair to say it was an F1 design trend of the time. In some ways Ferrari’s approach was better than Brabham’s as Ron maintained outboard springs and shocks on both the front and back of his ’67 BT24 chassis. Ferrari, as they did in 1966, used a top rocker and inboard front spring/shock presenting less resistance to the air at the front of the car at least. Ferrari went outboard at the back like Brabham. (and the rest of the grid)

rb 620 and 740

Old and new; ’66 RB620 305 bhp V8 left and ’67 RB740 330 bhp V8 right, F1 champions both. 740 was 3 inches shorter, 4 inches wider across the heads and 15 lbs lighter than 620. Dimensions otherwise the same; 25.5 inches long, 17.25 inches wide across the bellhousing (Repco)

Conceptual Design of the Heads…

RBE Chief Engineer Norman Wilson; ‘ It would have been Jack’s idea to put the exhausts in the centre (of the Vee). Jack asked if it could be done. I remember when i started designing them i spent a lot of time, probably 3 or 4 days, just drawing one cylinder up to try and prove that you could fit everything in. See you have got a whole row of head studs, you have got to have water passages between the port. The whole idea was to prove that you could get the inlet port in, exhaust port and all the head studs. That was a giant task to figure out in a way’.

‘It meant putting the outer row of studs underneath the exhaust ports. I don’t think i have the layout now but i remember spending a huge amount of time and finally i went to Frank Hallam (RBE General Manager) and said i think we can do it. And thats how the 40 Series heads started’. ‘To manage to get everything on one side and the thing is unlike most engines we built as we wanted big ports. So to fit all these big ports in plus the port wall, plus the bolt bosses was a major task. I think it took about three days work for me to fit everything in a rough layout’.

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Jack’s BT24 Repco 740 being fettled during ’67, circuit unknown. ‘Box is 5 speed Hewland DG300 transaxle, note rubber ‘donuts’, Lucas injection ‘bomb’ or fuel pump to the right of the box, also rear spaceframe chassis diaphragm. Getting the exhausts outta the airstream shown to good effect in this shot (unattributed)

The ’40 Series’ Between the Vee 1967 Cylinder Heads Design Detail…

‘…the new cylinder heads retained parallel valves but they were now in line with the cylinder axis (instead of at 10 degrees to the axis as on the ’66 20 Series heads and were flush to the head face’ said Wilson. ‘The 40 Series heads used the Heron head design. In this design the cylinder head is flat and the piston has the combustion chamber in the top of the piston (a bowl in piston arrangement). The other feature of the 40 Series head is that it had a tall inlet port. It had a fairly long, relatively straight section there on Jack Brabham’s suggestion. He had received some highly secret information from Honda that this was the way to go. In hindsight i don’t think so. All these things are better in hindsight, but that’s how we did it’

‘The Heron head, i think everyone agreed, had to be the way to go because the Cosworth SCA (F2 engine) was 1000cc and was putting out 120bhp. At the time in F2 it was winning everything. I think it put out 123bhp. Now if you are looking at a 3 litre engine, thats 369bhp. And at that time that would have been been looking for us a fairly exciting sort of figure. The other point about the Heron head is it allowed us to have a single camshaft which we wanted to have the low weight, simplicity and ease of manufacture’.

‘The 40 Series head was purely made for the car. No other reason. It put the exhausts down the centre of the Vee…thats what Ron wanted, he made the car so why not get what he wanted’.

‘The highest output of the 740 Series 3 litre was only a bit over 330bhp. This horsepower rivalry between the different engine manufacturers at the time, the horsepower numbers were really irrelevant. At the time Maserati claimed about 500bhp, but they were adding on about 100bhp to make up for the exhaust gas pollution in the test cell. But really its about the area of horsepower curve’. ‘If they had 500bhp they would be leaving us behind a lot quicker than they are leaving us behind!’ was a quip Rod Wolfe recalls Jack making to the boys in the RBE engine assembly area on one of his trips to Australia in 1967.

‘One of the philosophies was for the engine to always have a wide power range and good power at the bottom end of it which suited the light car. So if ours was 330bhp there was no way other cars had 400-500bhp claimed. Our power was distributed much more evenly across a wider range of revs. Thus Denny Hulme would say it was great to drive a Repco Brabham because he could overtake competitors in the corners as if they were ‘tied to a fence’.

There were some problems with 40 Series head porosity during ’67 as ex-RBE machinist/storeman Rodway Wolfe recalls; ‘Norm did a fantastic job to even succeed with the casting and it proved to be a great engine in larger capacity too, bigger valves etc…we were able to fit very large valves without too many seat problems. The 40 series did have a lot of porosity problems with the ports, some we scrapped as the ports actually broke through when we were porting them and there was not the welding equipment available that we have nowadays to repair them. Porosity, a big drama, as i say, one of my jobs was to send the castings to ‘Nilsens Sintered Products’ in Richmond where they placed the heads in a vacuum and impregnated them with hot resin. Vacuum impregnation solved some of these problems’.

jack wf

Brabham on the Warwick Farm grid, WF Tasman round in 1967. In relation to the cooling duct feeding the engine Rodway Wolfe comments ‘There were a few heat problems in the valley of the engine with the 40 series as the fuel metering unit was also located in the valley but small heat shields seemed to correct this problem and it was not an issue once the car was on the track of course’. It seems these ducts were used in the ’67 Tasman rounds on the 640 engines used by Jack and Denny and subsequently sporadically on the 740 engines, Le Mans for example (Bruce Wells)

A typically pragmatic decision to the heads was made in relation to the 1967 Repco block…

Remember that the ’66 engine used a heavily adapted version of the Oldsmobile F85 aluminium block. Repco still had a swag of unused blocks sitting in Rod Wolfe’s Repco store at Maidstone. The blocks had been successful, a world title proof enough of their effectiveness, but the machining and adaption required to make them an effective race tool meant they were expensive but still sub-optimal. But it wasn’t all plain sailing with the block however much it may have seemed so from the outside, Tait; ‘For much of 1966 we had serious blowby issues due to distortion of the dry sleeves and it was not until almost the end of that year that we went to wet sleeves. The F85 Olds blocks came with dry sleeves in situ’.

Repco’s race engine commercial ends were to be served by building and selling engines for Tasman use and for Group Seven sportscars, burgeoning at the time globally; 2.5 litres was the Tasman Formula capacity limit, the F85 ‘maxxed out’ at 4.4 litres which was the capacity used for the sportscar engines. Repco’s first sale of a customer engine was the 4.4 litre 620 Series unit sold to Bob Jane for his Elfin 400.

So Repco decided to ‘have their cake and eat it too’. The new bespoke ‘700 Series’ block would allow all of the F85 ‘600 Series’ bits and bobs to attach to it; heads, timing case, sump the lot. So Repco could gradually use its stock of F85 blocks for Tasman and sportscar use whilst ‘700 Series’ blocks were used in F1 for 1967 and more broadly in capacities up to 5 litres subsequently. As engines were rebuilt the 600 blocks were replaced progressively by 700 series units, 600 blocks ceased to be used when there were none left. Typically practical, sensible and parsimonious Repco!

Whilst the ‘700 Series’ block design decision, to allow 600 hardware to be attached was a ‘functional’ pragmatic decision the aluminium block itself was also improved being redesigned to increase rigidity. The new block design was commenced by Irving, he and others say, prior to his departure from RBE, but the completed block is his replacement as Chief Design Engineer, Norman Wilson’s design.

rb team

The post Phil Irving RBE design team; L>R GM Frank Hallam and Engineers Norman Wilson, Lindsay Hooper, John Judd and Brian Heard (Repco)

Phil Irving’s departure by resignation or sacking by RBE GM Frank Hallam is an important part of the RBE story and will be dealt with in a separate article. I explore not just the difficult relationship between these two characters but also the broader issues of the leadership of Repco, CEO Charles McGrath’s key enduring support of the RBE program and the appointment of Bob Brown as the Director responsible for RBE instead of alternatives including Charlie Dean at the projects outset. The antipathy between Hallam and Irving was partially about personality but also about politics and legacy in terms of who is responsible for what of the RB620 design and build. More on this topic very soon.

For now lets just focus on the RB740 engine which in no way shape nor form was negatively impacted by Irving’s departure…whilst noting that their probably would have been no 740 had it not been for the success of Jack and Phil’s RB620, JB as the engines conceptual designer and PI as its detail designer and draftsman…

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Machining the RB700 block, note the stiffening ribs referred to in the text (Wolfe/Repco)

Norman Wilson; ‘When i went there (to RBE from Repco Research) John Judd (who had been seconded to Repco by BRO in the UK) had done a new crankcase. So i asked to look at it and John showed it to me and i said we can’t make it. It was impossible because it was the basis of a whole new engine. It became a mutual decision (by the design team) that we make a crankcase that went underneath, on top of and behind exactly what we had’. ‘We couldn’t have made a crankcase, head and timing case all at once. So we made a crankcase and then we did the 40 series heads. We had to have a timing case with the heads but it meant we didn’t have too much to do at once and we just kept progressing’.

Wilson;’The new crankcase was designed from scratch but was also designed so it could accommodate the 20 series cylinder head if we wanted to. It was critical being a fairly small outfit that we had the maximum amount of interchangeable flexibility between all the components that we made. So the 700 series crankcase was designed to overcome the problems that we had seen or experienced with the Oldsmobile F85 600 series crankcase. It had wet liners, that in part was due to the fact that it was easier to cast the cylinder block with a wet liner design in that it simplified dramatically the coring required for the casting of the block’.

‘The Oldsmobile engine showed it had main bearing problems so we altered the main bearing arrangement to be much more rigid. We extended the studs up through into the centre of the Vee with nuts on top to take some of the load up through to the top of the block. The unfortunate part of that was the design was right but people would always do the nuts in the top up tight. And of course what would happen was the cylinder block being aluminium would expand more than the stud and would eventually break it. What they should have done, and no one would listen, was do them up at a much lower torque so when the engine got hot it would put the right load on the stud’.

repco boys

RBE Boys, Maidstone, undated but circa 1966/7. Back L>R Kevin Davies, Eric Gaynor, Tony Chamberlain, Fred Rudd, John Mepstead, Peter Holinger. Middle; Vic Mosby, Howard Ring, Norman Bence. Front; David Nash, Rodway Wolfe, Don Butler (Tait/Repco)

‘The front bearing panel of the block was made stronger because this had proved to be a weakness with the Oldsmobile block. The back of the block was made with the same stud pattern as the Olds block so that all the existing gearbox adaptors could be used. The block was made with the idea of making it as light as possible and that was one of the critical things in design. In the end Frank suggested we put some diagonal ribbing on the 700 series crankcase walls to strengthen them’. ‘The sidewalls of the crankcase were actually bolted to the main bearing caps…cross bolting (and strengthened the crankcase considerably). So i felt the diagonal ribbing was really quite irrelevant. …Frank wanted it and, you know, he was a pretty good boss to work for, so thats what we did’.

‘The other thing about the block was that later when we made the 4.2 litre Indianapolis engines (760 Series DOHC, 4 valve V8 in 1968/9) we could alter the sealing arrangements, in fact the later F1 engines (’68 860 Series) were the same, so we used Cooper rings instead of head gaskets. Cooper rings sealed the combustion chamber and O rings sealed the water passages. But we also then had a groove around the outside of the Cooper ring joined with a shallow slot to the edge of the head so if one Cooper ring leaked slightly there was no way it would pressurise the cooling system’.

rb block

RBE700 Series block, note the cross bolted 5 main bearings (Repco)

‘With the Indianapolis engine (760 Series 4.2) those grooves came out of the inside of the Vee. So you could run your engine in the pits and you could put your finger over the end of each groove and you’d know if any of the Cooper rings were leaking slightly. The 700 block was the same height as the Olds F85 block. And the 800 block (860 F1 and 830 Tasman 2.5) was a (1.5 inches) lower one to make the engine smaller.’

The 700 Series block apart from being stronger was also 15 Kg lighter than the F85 ‘600 Series, Norman Wilson again; ‘The F85 block was designed to be diecast on a diecasting machine, it was perhaps a bit thicker in spots just to make it easier to cast. We got rid of a considerable amount of aluminium around each cylinder…The Repco block didn’t have all the bosses down the centre along the block for the cam-followers. It didn’t have the cam-bearings for the centre camshaft (of the F85) We didn’t have the stiffener plate on the bottom. The bearing caps were bigger but they were done a bit better and they were probably no heavier than what was there. And in all the places where strength was not required we just skinned them down as much as we could’.

brochure

(Wolfe/Repco)

Most of the components for the engine were made by Repco subsidiary, Russell Engineering, few were contracted out.

Wolfe; ‘Most of the RBE engine components were made at the Maidstone factory. The pistons and rings however were other Repco companies and the crankshafts Laystall in the UK but no other F1 engine constructor made their own pistons and rings in 1966, even Ferrari used Hepolite pistons so Repco were unique’.

Harold Clisby’s engineering business in South Australia cast many of the heads. Kevin Drage, the senior engineer at Castalloy, the Clisby subsidiary who made the heads recalled that around 120 cylinder heads of four types’ 30,40, 50 and 60 Series were cast by the company over the period of the RBE program.

The 30 Series head was detailed by John Judd and was two valve with inlet and exhaust ports on either side of the head, ‘crossflow’ inlets between the Vee and exhausts out the side. 40 Series (the ’67 championship winner) heads were detailed by Norman Wilson which had inlet and exhaust ports on the same side of the head, between the Vee exhausts.

Drage recalls that; The two valve 30 and 40 Series heads were soon followed by the four valve 50 and 60 series designs. John Judd drew these up with the 50 Series design having diagonally tangentially ported inlet and exhaust valves resulting in 16 inlet trumpets and 16 exhaust pipes, the 60 Series design having siamesed inlet and exhaust ports’. The 50 Series heads which were built and dyno tested and the 60 Series 1968 F1 4 valve, DOHC design are a subject of a future article. The fact that RBE persevered so long, at GM Frank Hallam’s insistence with the 50 Series heads delayed development of the 60 Series design, to RBE and BRO’s cost during the ’68 F1 season.

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermens Bend, not too far from RBE’s Maidstone factory made the alloy crankcases and timing covers, note that Wilson went to double-row timing chains with RB740 compared with the single chain of RB620.

Ex-Repco engineer George Wade is often given credit for the camshafts but Rod Wolfe says; ‘we made the camshafts for all of the engines, George Wade profiled them to various specs but we turned the billets with a mimic tracer on our Tovalieri lathe. The very first 620 cams were cast iron but were changed to steel in 1966’.

Lucas fuel injection was of course again used, as well as a Bosch distributor.

Summary of RBE740 F1 3 litre engine specifications/suppliers…

Bore/Stroke; 3.5X2.55 inches, capacity 2996cc. Power 330bhp@ circa 8400rpm, weight 350 pounds

Compression ratio 12:1, valve sizes 1 13/16inches inlet /1 1/2 inches exhaust, valve angle vertical, valve lift .40. Valve timing 50, 70, 50, 70

Pistons, rings and main bearings by Repco, big end bearings supplied by Vandervell

Lucas fuel injection, Bosch coil and distributor, Champion plugs, Esso fuel and oil and Borg and Beck clutch

Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart, Levin NZ Tasman 1967 (Digby Paape)

Denny Hulme DNF ignition and Jackie Stewart 2nd in their ‘between the Vee’ exhaust Brabham BT22 ‘640 Series’ Repco and BRM P261 respectively Levin, NZ 14 January 1967 (Digby Paape)

Racing the 640: 1967 Tasman Series…

The first race of the 1967 GP season was the South African GP at Kyalami on January 2, Jack and Denny raced 620 Series V8’s, the 740 was running late due to delays in patterns being made for the 700 crankcase. Its an interesting observation given that Hallam told Brabham by letter dated 23 September that the 700 patterns were half finished. In any event, the engine was late so made its debut in the Tasman Series, or more specifically 640 Series engines did; the new heads atop the 600 Series/F85 Olds blocks.

jack south africa

Brabham giving his 620 engined BT20 some welly at Kyalami during the South African GP at Kyalami on 2 January 1967, he was 6th from pole with Denny 4th from grid 2. Pedro Rodriguez won in a Cooper T81 Maserati (unattributed)

RBE staff numbers during the Christmas/New Year 1966/7 period swelled to 37, 23 engines being assembled during this period. Frank Hallam records that due to the great amount of dismantling, assembly and experimentation that took place only four 2.5 litre motors raced in the Tasman Series. The 640 series 2.5 litre Tasman engines gave circa 265bhp@8500rpm.

Brabham’s full ’67 F1 season i will cover in a separate article, here we look at the Tasman races for the 640 and early season F1 races of the 620 and 740.

gasking and bton, pre sandwon

RBE’s Michael Gasking and BRO’s Roy Billington and another mechanic prepare Brabham’s ‘RB640’ 2.5 V8 engined BT23A before the Sandown Tasman round on 26 February 1967, DNF ignition. Repco Maidstone factory (Wolfe)

If you take the view that the ’67 Tasman was a warm up for the ’67 World Championship then it was a success for Brabham and RBE. The 40 Series heads were thoroughly race tested during the annual Australasian summer contest.

Equally important was Jacks mount, his car designated BT23A was an adaptation of Ron Tauranac’s very successful new 1967/8 BT23 F2 design, which won dozens of races in Ford Cosworth FVA 1.6 litre F2 spec. The Tasman BT23A was effectively the prototype of the BT24 which went on to win the ’67 titles, so the Tasman ‘blooded’ both the chassis and engine well before the F1 season. The reliability which flowed from this development process won RBE and BRO the ’67 championships, the Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV was well quicker but had not had the development miles the Brabham Repco’s had…

Jim Clark took the 1967 Tasman title in an F1 Lotus 33 fitted with a stretched to 2 litre Coventry Climax FWMV V8 engine, a quick, reliable, well proven combination. Clark took 3 wins, Jackie Stewart 2 in a similar F1 BRM P261. But the stretched to about 2.1 litres P56 V8 stressed the BRM transmission to its limits, the ‘tranny its weakness that summer. Jack was equal 3rd on the points table to JYS with 1 win.

Jim Clark, Lotus 33 Climax, NZ Tasman, Levin 1967

Jim Clark Lotus 33 Climax, Levin International winner, 14 January 1967 (Digby Paape)

Jack and Denny contested all rounds of the championship with the exception of Teretonga, the last Kiwi event. Jack took a win at Longford and Denny 3rd at Wigram his best. Brabham had a lot of unreliability but the problems weren’t in the main engines; for Denny a radiator hose at WF, gear selector at Sandown and electrical problems at Longford and for Jack a driveshaft breakage at Teretonga and ignition dramas at Sandown.

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT22 Repco, 1967 NZ Tasman, Levin

Denny Hulme’s pretty, effective, Brabham BT22 ‘640’ Repco, Levin 1967. DNF ignition (Digby Paape)

At that stage Repco hadn’t sold customer Tasman 2.5 engines of any type, the engines were made available later in the year in time for commencement of the domestic Gold Star series (640 & 740 Series 2.5 V8’s) in the meantime the more important business of getting the 3 litre ‘740 Series’ V8’s into Tauranac’s exquisite little BT24 was the priority.

jack and denny

Jack from Denny in BT20’s; Jack’s 740 engined and Denny’s 620, Denny won both heats and Jack the final giving the 740 the first of its many wins in 1967. Oulton Park ‘Spring Cup’, 15 April 1967 (Brian Watson)

The first F1 event of the European ’67 season was the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch on 12 March. Dan Gurney won both heats and the final in his Eagle T1G Weslake, Jack was 9th a ’66 spec 620 engined BT20 with Denny DNF, similarly equipped.

The ‘Daily Express Spring Cup’ at Oulton Park followed on 15 April, Brabham ‘cleaned up’ in BT20’s; Denny won both heats and Jack the final taking a great race win for the new 740 3 litre V8 with Denny 2nd in a 620 engined ’66 chassis.

jack monaco

Jack proved the speed of the new RB740 V8 at Monaco, its championship race debut, plonking it on pole but it went bang with a broken conrod in the races 1st lap, car is Jack’s beloved ‘old nail’ Brabham BT19, his ’66 championship winning chassis. Denny won in ‘last years’ quick and reliable BT20 Repco ‘620’ (unattributed)

BRO fitted its first 740 Series engine just in time for the Monaco GP on May 7. Apart from the delays caused by late patterns for the blocks, Repco Die and Tool Co forged conrods developed faults. After being unable to establish why the Repco rods were failing the team went the Carillo route, the team using these tried and true products…despite not being made in Oz! Rod Wolfe; ‘We did discover that the champfer at the bolt heads did not match the bolt radius under the head of the bolt and even when tensioned correctly they were not seating properly resulting in a couple of failures’.

The definitive RB ‘740 Series’ engined Brabham BT24 didn’t appear until Jack gave the chassis/engine combination its championship debut at the Belgian GP, Spa on June 18. This was 2 weeks after the Ford Cosworth DFV V8 took the first of 155 GP wins, the 1967 successful Brabham GP season a Repco story for next time…

denny spa

‘Black Jack’ at La Source during the ’67 Belgian GP. Both he and Denny retired with engine problems in BT24 and BT19 respectively. Dan Gurney took a famous and well deserved win in his Eagle T1G Weslake V12, 18 June. Compact nature of the F2 derived BT24 clear (unattributed)

Repco 1966/7 promotional film…

Check out this great footage, the first half covers Brabham’s victorious 1966 F1 season, the other bit the ’67 Tasman season, the debut of the 640 Series V8’s including some factory footage of the engines build.

Etcetera…

test house

Rodway Wolfe ‘The dyno test house at the rear of the Repco Maidstone factory. The silver drum on the side was the fuel tank which was changed when needed. The walls of the building were very thick…when the engines were running at full noise you could hold your hand against the wall and get a massage! Fascinating!’ (Wolfe)

jack wf

Repco 640 2.5 V8 power; Jack all cocked up in Warwick Farm’s Esses during the AGP, Warwick Farm 19 February 1967. Brabham was 4th in his BT23A, Stewart won from Clark and Frank Gardner in BRM P261, Lotus 33 Climax and Brabham BT16 Climax respectively (unattributed)

repco holden

Repco works Brabham Repcos’ on the move, Tasman Series, Longford, Tasmania 1967. ‘Rice Trailers’ the ducks guts at the time, tow cars are Holden ‘HR’ Panel Vans, 3 litre straight OHV 6 cylinder engines and ‘3 on the tree’ column shift manual ‘boxes (Ellis French)

jack sandown

Sandown Tasman, 26 February 1967, Brabham, Brabham BT23A Repco, Stewart BRM P261 and Hulme on the outside, Brabham BT22 Repco, all DNF! Jack with ignition, Stewart crown wheel and Hulme gear selection problems. Clark won in a Lotus 33 Climax. You can see the ducts directing cooling air between the Vee shown in an earlier shot (unattributed)

rcn

Jack hooks into the Viaduct ahead of Jim and Denny in David Chintock’s impression of the ’67 Longford Tasman round which Brabham’s BT23A won (Wolfe/Racing Car News)

Etcetera: Norman Wilson RBE740 Chief Designer…

rb norman

Norman Wilson in the study of his St Kilda, Melbourne bayside home in early 2016 (Greg Smith)

Its interesting context to Wilson’s work at Repco Brabham Engines to look at the car he built as a ‘youngster’ before his ‘glory years’ as part of the Maidstone team. The car is both innovative and practical in its adaptation of proprietary parts, a combination applied in his later work.

As the cars current owner Greg Smith observes ‘the Norman Wilson Special is a beautiful study of a late fifties racing car with its Mercedes’ styling and layover engine, side vents and knock-off wire wheels’

rb nw spl

‘Norman Wilson Spl’ in the foreground at Templestowe Hillclimb in then outer eastern Melbourne. Pat Hawthorne’s Lycoming Spl behind. The carbs are Webers, sidedraft right angle alloy castings (Greg Smith)

Norman started his 6 cylinder Holden engined ‘Norman Wilson Spl’ around 1956 aged 29/30. The chassis is a spaceframe, front suspension Wilson’s using inverted Holden uprights and wishbones, his own cross member and geometry. Steering is rack and pinion. The rear end is a ‘cut and shut’ Holden with an offset diff to lower the driver, springs are quarter elliptics with some neat locating links.

The clever bit was laying the Holden engine over at 30 degrees to the horizontal to both lower both the centre of gravity and bonnet line. By the time the car was finished Norman had moved to Repco, where it was completed and furnished with 3 large, single throat Webers Charlie Dean bought for Maybach but never fitted to it when that car was fuel injected. The ‘box was Jaguar, the beautiful aluminium body built by Barry Hudson who also did the Ian Mountain (Peugeot) Spl.

Norman raced the car, mainly in Victoria from 1960-63, it passed through several hands before being ‘chopped up’ in the late ‘60’s. With the interest in historic racing growing, and knowing the historic significance of the car and driver, reconstruction was commenced by Graemme Brown in Adelaide in the mid 1980’s, its first run in 1997. The car is currently being rebuilt by Victorian racer, engineer and raconteur Greg Smith to its precise period spec from whom this history and photos were provided. There is a whole lot more to this incredibly clever car built by Wilson in his youth, we will do a feature on it when Greg is close to its completion, I’ve seen it, the thing is sensational, Smithy will race it during 2017. I also plan to write more about Norman Wilson’s career, too little is known about this fella, now 91. so important in the Repco story.

Bibliography…

Recollections of Rodway Wolfe and Nigel Tait

Norman Wilson quotes from Simon Pinder’s ‘Mr Repco Brabham’, Doug Nye ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’, ‘Phil Irving: An Autobiography’

Kevin Drages comments from ‘The Nostalgia Forum’

Greg Smith’s photos and details of Norman Wilson and the ‘Norman Wilson Spl’

Photo Credits…

Rodway Wolfe and Nigel Tait Collections, Repco Ltd archive

Autocourse, Digby Paape, David Keep, Bruce Wells/The Roaring Season, David Keep/oldracephotos.com, Automobile Year, Ellis French, David Nash

Tailpiece: Jack Brabham guides his Brabham BT23A Repco into the Viaduct on his way to victory in the ‘South Pacific Trophy’, Longford 5 March 1967. He takes the first of many ’40 Series’ Repco 1967 wins…

jack longford

 

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Teddy Mayer and Bruce McLaren, McLaren M7C Ford 5th, at Monaco on 18 May 1969, the hi-wings disappeared overnight. Hill G won in a Lotus 49B Ford (Schlegelmilch)

 

McLaren ‘owned’ the color papaya and having created brand recognition many marketers can only dream about walked away from the distinctive orange hue…

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Bruce and his M14A Ford before the ‘Race of Champions’ at Brands Hatch, 22 March 1970, DNF after an accident, Jackie Stewart won in a March 701 Ford (Fox)

Bruce McLaren Motor Racing ‘broke through’ in the 1967 CanAm Series, Bruce and Denny crushed the opposition with the fabulous M6A Chev, a joint Bruce and Robin Herd design collaboration.

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Bruce McLaren at Las Vegas 1967, McLaren M6A Chev, it may be a blur but you knew what it was because of the colour, right!  John Surtees won in a Lola T70 Mk3B Chev, both McLaren’s DNF with engine failure (Getty)

 

Modern marketing started in the US. In trying to create ‘cut thru’ or ‘pop’ on then new colour telly the McLaren hierarchy, Teddy Mayer is credited for choosing the distinctive shade which defined the marque until the Yardley McLaren era of 1972.

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Denny Hulme, Kyalami 1972, on the way to a South African GP win in the ‘Yardley’ McLaren M19A Ford (unattributed)

The M6A gave its sponsors a ‘fair crack of the whip’, the ’67 colour stuck, being adopted on the factory CanAm, F1,2,5000 and Indycars until the early seventies.

The photo below is of more significance than i realised when i first saw it on the internet, my friend Derek Kneller recalls; ‘I joined McLaren’s a fabricator having worked at the experimental department of Hawker Siddeley working on the P1127 (Hawker Harrier vertical take off fighter) on 26 March 1968. One of my first tasks was to prepare this car for its first tests with the ‘ally big block 7 litre Chev. I worked through the weekend with Wally Willmott and and Gary Knutson to get the car ready. We essentially ‘hacked’ the back off the M6 and grafted the rear of the proposed ’68 M8 onto the car.’

‘The photo is L>R Denny, Gary Knutson partially obscured, Teddy Mayer, Phil Kerr and Bruce. Wally is in the blue shirt and Jo Marquhart to the right in the suit with overcoat. They are supervising the ‘mule’ M6A/2 at Goodwood on 24 April 1968′. Gary Knutson and Colin Beanland built the engine at Al Bartz’ shop in Los Angeles, its losing oil which is the reason for the concerned faces. George Begg, McLaren confidante and Kiwi racer/car builder took the photo. The papaya M6 rather contrasts with the dull, rolling Sussex hills in the background and the flash pit-counter in the foreground!

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(George Begg)

David Hodges records in his ‘Profile Publications’ article on the McLaren M8 that after this chassis was used in this series of tests, and later aerodynamic work it was returned to M6 specification and then sold.

jody

Jody Scheckter’s works McLaren M21 Ford BDF F2 car during the ‘BARC 200’ Euro F2 Championship round at Thruxton, 3 April 1972. Jody DNF with overheating, race won by Ronnie Peterson’s March 722 Ford BDF (M Hewitt)

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Andrea De Adamich’s McLaren M14D Alfa Romeo, Mont Tremblant, Canada 1970. DNF engine, race won by Ickx’ Ferrari 312B (Schlegelmilch)

Until Yardley’s arrival on the side of the M19 a swag of sponsors logos sat comfortably on McLarens against the gorgeous, distinctive from afar, shade.

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#5 Denny Hulme and Peter Revson’s McLaren M20 Chevs at Donnybrooke, Minnesota , 17 September 1972 (Upitis)

Lotus, the leader in so many aspects of racing showed the power of wholistic F1 branding of a racing car with the ‘fag packet’ Gold Leaf Team Lotus, Lotus 49’s which first appeared in the Wigram, New Zealand round of the Tasman Series 0n 20 January 1968. Jim Clark raced, just, in the early months of the year in the ‘modern advertising era’.

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Jim Clark in the Teretonga paddock, Lotus 49 DFW, his GLTL Lotus freshly painted car finished 2nd to Bruce’ works BRM P126, painted traditional green! 27  January 1968 (Ian Peak)

Of course the Americans had refined the art (advertising on racing cars) for 50 years before the rest of the world caught up, or regressed depending upon your view of it. You cannot imagine Cadbury abandoning purple yet McLaren walked away from a signature colour which defined their cars in a most distinctive way. I’m not suggesting Bruce and the boys had as much brand equity in papaya as Cadbury in purple but you get my drift.

Ferrari of course are the prime example of a marque who ‘own red’. Their sponsors have always obtained the coverage sought against a red background rather than Ferrari adopting the ‘packaging’ of their corporate partner of the season or decade!

pap denny

Denny Hulme on his way to winning the 1968 Canadian GP at Mont Tremblant, Bruce was 2nd in a great day for the team. McLaren M7A Ford (unattributed)

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Peter Revson, Indy qualifying 17 May 1972, McLaren M16B Offy. Peter started from grid 2 but DNF with ‘box failure after 5 laps. Mark Donohue won in Roger Penske’s customer M16B (Bob D’Olivo)

pap nose

Hulme’s McLaren M20 Chev at Donnybrooke in 1972, Francois Cevert won in an ex-works M8F, both McLarens DNF with popped Chevys (Upitis)

In more recent times papaya has staged a comeback appearing on the McLaren F1 GTR LeMans car, occasionally as an F1 testing colour and as a favoured choice on its exotic road cars…

mika

Pedro de la Rosa and Mika Hakkinen in early 1997 testing of their McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes at Jerez, they raced in boring silver of course (reddit.com)

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McLaren M20 Chev in 1972, almost a CanAm signature, the staggered injection trumpets used from 1970 (Getty)

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Alvis Upitis, Getty Images, Fox Photos, Bob D’Olivo, Michael Cooper, reddit.com, George Begg, Ian Peak Collection/The Roaring Season, Duncan Fox, Derek Kneller, David Hodges ‘The McLaren M8 Series’

Tailpieces: McLaren F1 GTR set against the Dunlop Bridge 16 June  1996, Le Mans 24 Hour…

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(Michael Cooper)

Victorious Papaya Blur…

bruce spa

Bruce on his way to a win at Spa in 1968, M7A Ford (Schlegelmilch)

 

 

 

 

mc l m8

McLaren M8A at rest 1968. (unattributed)

I re-read Mark Donohue’s excellent biography not so long ago, in it he refers to his Lola F5000 as a ‘little car’ which made me laugh! I’ve never seen F5000’s as anything other than ‘big cars’ but i ‘spose its all relative. When your frames of reference include McLaren M16 Indycars and Porsche 917/30 CanAm racers they are…

spankers

The ‘brand spankers’ M8A out front of McLaren’s ‘salubrious’ David Road, Colnbrook facilities in early 1968. A contrast with the opulence of Woking today (unattributed)

There is nothing small and subtle about CanAm cars, everything is BIIIGG!

They were built for 200 mile races, GP distance. The engines 7 litres and up, the chassis had to be big and strong to carry the engine and its fuel, they used a lotta fuel! The dimensions were unrestricted, the bodies large to provide downforce. Big engines; lots of power and torque needs a big gearbox and driveshafts, the shot above of a 1968 McLaren M8A in all its naked glory illustrates the point.

Denny Hulme took the ’68 title from teammate McLaren with 3 wins to Bruce’s 1 in 6 races.

mc and team

The team; Tyler Alexander left and Gary Knutsen right, sorting an M8A engine drama at Bridghampton 1968. The car ran a bearing in the race so problem not sorted! Denny’s broke a rod, Donohue won in an M6B Chev. Bruce patiently awaits. Few racing drivers as intelligent, analytical and thoughtful. Or quick (Pete Lyons)

M8A’ s vital statistics; 7 litre/427 cid McLaren modified aluminium blocked Chev ZL-1 engine. Bore and stroke 108mm x 95mm, pushrod OHV, Vertex magneto, Lucas fuel injection the package giving circa 620bhp@7000rpm. Hewland LG500 4 speed transaxle.

Monocoque chassis of rivetted and bonded aluminium with fabricated steel bulkheads, the Chev engine was a stressed member of the chassis at the rear. Wheelbase 94 inches, front and rear tracks 57.5 and 54.5 inches, length 153 inches and height to the top of the roll bar 36 inches. Weight circa 1350 pounds.

denny

Hulme in the workshop prior to the M8A’s departure to the ‘States. Engine extractors, Lucas injection trumpets, (horizontal) fuel metering unit and (vertical) Vertex magneto, Hewland gearbox casing and brake ventilation ducts all clear. The rear wheels are fabricated magnesium, McLaren had 2 attempts at making these work and both failed. Its a top shot, Denny spent a lot of time in the workshop when not racing (Jabby Crombac via ‘kayemod’ TNF)

Rear suspension; single top link, reversed lower wishbones, twin radius rods, coil spring/damper units and adjustable roll-bars. Front by unequal length wishbones, coil spring/damper units, adjustable roll-bars.

Brakes, Lockheed outboard front and rear, McLaren cast magnesium wheels of 15 inches diameter and up to 11 inches wide and 15 inches and up to 16 inches wide at the rear…Big, like everything else!…

m8 cutaway

McLaren M8A Chev cutaway drawing. Specs as per text above. An incredible successful series of cars, the M8 family; M8A, M8B, M8D and M8F won the CanAm title in 1968-’71 respectively. (unattributed)

cars loading

All hands on deck to load the cars for shipment to the US. Teddy Mayer on the trailer with Bruce’ car, note the standard 4 spoke cast wheels on the front of Hulme’s car and experimental fabricated ones on the rear. (Nigel Beresford Collection via ‘kayemod’ TNF)

denny m8a

Denny Hulme, M8A Laguna Seca practice 1968. John Cannon won this race, famously held in very wet conditions when so many ‘fell off the Island’. Cannon’s old McLaren M1B Chev won from Hulme and George Eaton’s McLaren M1C Ford (tamsoldracecarsite.net)

Credits…

‘Cars in Profile No8 McLaren M8 Series’ by David Hodges, Pete Lyons, Jabby Crombac and Nigel Beresford Collection via ‘kayemod’ TNF, tamsoldracecarsite.net

 

 

 

stew laguna

Jackie Stewart and his ‘Cowcatcher Winged’ Lola T260 Chev, Laguna Seca 1971. (Pete Biro)

It was always going to be tough to beat the dominant McLaren team but the combination of World Champion Jackie Stewart and Lola, who had a strong Can Am track record looked a good combination to give them a run for their money in 1971…

team meeting

JYS convening a team engineering and set-up meeting in the Road America paddock, August 1971. Bob Marston in red shirt, JYS and in the green hat George Woodward. (Jim Buell)

Part 1: Lola and the CanAm Championship…

john and bruce

John Surtees, Lola T70 Mk2 Chev leads Bruce McLaren’s McLaren M1B Chev at St Jovite, Mont Tremblant, 11 September 1966, they finished in this order. (unattributed)

The CanAm Championship morphed out of a series of professional level sports car races which had taken place for over a decade. In 1965 this comprised 4 events, 3 won by the Chaparral 2 and 1 by a Lola T70.

surteees monterey

John Surtees, Lola T70 Mk2 Chev at The Corkscrew, Laguna Seca, 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

The first CanAm series held in 1966 was won by John Surtees in a quasi-works Lola T70; ‘Big John’ won 3 races, Dan Gurney and Mark Donohue 1 apiece in Lola T70’s as well with Phil Hill taking a race in a Chaparral 2E.

Whilst Colin Chapman designed the first ‘modern monocoque’ single-seater, the Lotus 25, which made its debut at Zandvoort in 1962, it was Eric Broadley who first applied the new construction technique to a sports-racer with his 1963 Lola Mk6 Ford.

lola mk 6

Augie Pabst’s Mecom owned Lola Mk6 Ford, Road America 500 1964 DNF. (unattributed)

Chapman was convinced the backbone chassis which worked so well in his Elan road would migrate to sports-racing success but the Lotus 30/40 chassis were as floppy as a centenarians todger with results reflecting same. Even Jim Clark could not make those cars sing.

So impressed were Ford with Eric’s Mk6 he was famously contracted to lead the design team of its GT40, a car with a steel tub.

monterey vista

‘Monterey Grand Prix’, Laguna Seca, 16 October 1966. Phil Hill won in a Chaparral 2E Chev. Bottom left is Dan Gurney with his Ford powered Lola T70.(Dave Friedman Collection)

surtees

#7 John Surtees Lola T70 Mk2 Chev 12th and #30 Dan Gurney Lola T70 Ford DNF, Laguna Seca, October 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

The aluminium tubbed T70 was one of his first designs after his ‘Ford sabbatical’, that design process useful in terms of evolving the car Eric thought Ford should have built in the first place!

In all it’s variants the T70 remained a ‘competitive tool’ in both Group 7 (CanAm) and Group 5 World Sports Car Championship events into the dawn of the 1970’s, Teddy Pilette qualified his Team VDS Mk3B 19th at Le Mans in 1971, not bad for an old car with a pushrod OHV V8 against the might of the 5 litre, 12 cylinder Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512!

In endurance racing the T70 was really only held back by a suitable engine, the 12/24 hour longevity or lack thereof of the Chev engines usually chosen to power it. The small block Chev not having the benefit of factory investment in its development in the same way Ford’s Le Mans winning small block ‘Windsor’ V8 did.

sebring

Roger Penske’s Donohue/Parsons Daytona winning Lola T70 Mk#B Chev at Sebring in 1969. Here DNF driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Mark Donohue. (unattributed)

interview

‘Top Guns’ interviewed for the TV, Las Vegas 1966: McLaren, Parnelli Jones and John Surtees. (Dave Friedman Collection)

start

‘Stardust Grand Prix’ 13 November 1966, Las Vegas 1966 start. #7 Surtees Lola T70 Mk2 Chev 1st, #65/66 Phil Hill 7th, Jim Hall DNF both Chaparral 2E Chev, #5 Chris Amon McLaren M1B Chev DNF. (Dave Friedman Collection)

surtess 2

Surtees from Jim Hall’s Chap 2E Chev early in the race. Vegas 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

gals

Las Vegas 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

surtees and hall

Surtees from Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2E Chev, 1st and DNF. Las Vegas 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

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Surtees, Lola T70 Mk2 Chev, Las Vegas 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

surtees happy

Happy Chappy. Surtees after his race and CanAm series win, Las Vegas, November 1966. (Dave Friedman Collection)

Things would get tougher for Lola, Chaparral and the rest of the grid for the 1967 CanAm.

surtees bridge

Surtees Lola T70 Mk3B Chev in the Bridghampton pitlane, September 1967. 4th. (Dave Friedman Collection)

Jim Hall made it tough for himself  in ’66/7 by chasing championships in both Europe and the US, Chaparral sought titles in both the World Sporscar Championship and the CanAm. They were always a threat with their unique blend of factory Chev engines and stunning chassis and aerodynamic innovation and quasi General Motors support.

Click here for an article on his 2F and it’s 1967 endurance campaign;

https://primotipo.com/2014/06/26/67-spa-1000km-chaparral-2f/

But Bruce McLaren was the ‘dark horse’ challenger.

McLaren had been racing in US sportscar events since his Cooper days, he became more serious with the acquisition of Roger Penske’s Cooper/Zerex Special, click here for an article on that car;

https://primotipo.com/2015/03/19/roger-penske-zerex-special/

The Zerex became a test-bed for his own cars, the M1 which he raced in both the UK and US through until 1966. These spaceframe cars handled well and were very light but the aluminium Oldsmobile V8’s which provided the cars weight advantage and balance were also limited by their power; the blocks ‘maxxed out’ at about 4.5 litres so the cars gave away plenty of mumbo to those running 6 litre engines.

McLaren and Chris Amon ran Chevs in their factory M1B’s in 1966 so Bruce had clarity about the big engine and its packaging needs, the Kiwi had a clear fix on what was needed to win in the CanAm. He couldn’t match Jim Hall in terms of innovation but he could with sound design, engineering and construction of a monocoque car with a 6 litre Chev engine and simple aerodynamics, all key elements the T70 possessed and which also needed to be improved.

In essence this was the design brief McLaren gave to Robin Herd, the M6 McLaren the ’67 factory car the result. M6 started the ‘Bruce and Denny Show’ with 5 wins and Bruce deservedly taking the championship.

las vegas

Class of ’67 at Las Vegas, 12 November ; Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2G Chev from #4 McLaren’s McLaren M6A Chev, #21 Parnelli Jones’ Lola T70 Ford…all DNF, the race won by Surtees Lola T70 Mk3B. (unattributed)

The dominance of the McLaren was a function of several elements. The design and execution of simple well engineered cars which arrived for the CanAm having been shaken down in the UK by Bruce and were race-ready when the short season began was key. The team comprised 2 cars and world class drivers every year. The team had a US base in Livonia, Detroit and it’s own engine program,  it’s 6 litre Chevs built by George Bartz and tuned and assembled in-house under Gary Knutsen’s supervision. Finally the team had adequate sponsorship to do things properly.

The 1968 McLaren M8 was a ‘clean sheet’ design built from the learnings of the M6; the M8B, M8D and M8F works cars of 1969/70/71 evolutions of the M8A with sufficient change to ‘stay ahead of the pack’.

The dominance of McLaren was enhanced by ex-works cars passing into the hands of the best drivers at the end of each season and customer cars available to whoever wanted one; last years works-car became this years customer car, such bolides built by Trojan Industries so the works team didn’t have to worry about pesky customers! By the end of 1968 at least, Lola’s dominance in terms of grid numbers was over.

Such was the challenge Lola, Chaparral, John Surtees, Dan Gurney and the other best team owners faced.

Eric Broadley updated the T70 into the Mk3B for 1967, Surtees and Donohue were 3rd and 4th in the Championship with John taking a win at Las Vegas at the seasons end.

bridge start

Bridghampton September 1967 start; the McLaren M6A’s of McLaren and Hulme are in front of this group headed by #7 Surtees and #52 Revson both in Lola T70 Mk3B Chevs, #11 Motchenbacher’s T70 Chev, Jim Halls winged Chaparral 2G Chev clear. Hulme won. (Dave Friedman Collection)

lola ts

John Surtees much developed Lola T160/TS Chev at Bridghampton, September 1968. DNF having qualified 10th. (unattributed)

The T160, Lola’s new car for 1968 was in essence a development of the T70. Surtees only raced in several rounds of the championship. Sam Posey was the best placed Lola T160 driver, finishing 9th in the drivers championship.

la times 1

Surtees in his modified Lola T160/TS Chev. ‘LA Times GP’, Riverside, 27 October 1968. DNF water pump in the race won by McLaren’s M8A Chev. (Dave Friedman Collection)

For Surtees it was time to do his own thing, his first customer car was the Surtees  TS5 F5000 car for 1969, in terms of the Can Am he jumped ‘out of the fat and into the flames’ Jim Hall’s 1969 Chaparral 2H not his best car. Surtees did get a taste of the M8 McLaren when Hall realised he had built a ‘clunker’ and bought an M12 customer car for John to drive whilst the team sorted the 2H, Surtees revelling in the car on the few occasions he raced it!

la times 2

Surtees T160 at Riverside from the rear. Top left Surtees in the pits, right Mark Donohue talking with his crew. (Dave Friedman Collection)

Commercially for Broadley the appointment of Carl Haas as the Lola importer in 1967 was an astute move and provided the base for both firms success for decades with Haas having some of the attributes above to take on the papaya McLarens in the short term.

chuck

Chuck Parsons in Carl Haas ‘factory’ Lola T163 Chev at Bridghampton on 14 September 1969. 7th in the race won by Hulme’s McLaren M8B Chev. (unattributed)

In 1969 Chuck Parsons proved the Lola T163 was not too bad a car, he finished 3rd in the points chase that year whilst the Chaparral was not a threat Porsche first appeared with the 917PA, the CanAm variant of its dominant in 1970 and 1971 endurance racer.

chap 2 j

Painting depicting Vic Elford’s Chaparral 2J Chev leading Peter Revson’s Lola T220/2 during 1970. (unattributed)

1970 was one of the great years of the CanAm, the sound conservative engineering of the McLaren M8D juxtaposed by Jim Halls outrageous Chaparral 2J Chev, one of the most stunning, original, innovative, epic racing cars ever built. The 2 stroke engines which created the vacuum for its ground effects were its weak link and the cause of too many retirements but the car was stunningly fast whilst it lasted in Jackie Stewart’s and Vic Elfords hands.

‘The Establishment’ had it banned at the end of the season of course; ‘movable aerodynamic devices illegal’ but the CanAm lost its soul and it’s ‘unlimited nature’ in making that decision, Hall telling the organisers to ‘go jam it’ and with it the CanAm lost its biggest draw if not its most successful team.

revson

Peter Revson destroyed his Lola T220 Chev after a 180mph tyre blowout at Road Atlanta in 1970. He raced a new 10 inch longer wheelbase car, 98 inches, the T222 for the rest of the season. Here at Watkins Glen he was 3rd. (Automobile Year)

Haas convinced Eric Broadley to design a new Lola for the 1970 season and signed Peter Revson, just peaking as a world class driver, to get the best from it.

The gorgeous, swoopy T220 was the result. The car had a very short 88 inch wheelbase which made it difficult to drive, a tyre failure at 180mph at Road Atlanta destroyed the car, but fortunately not Revson. It was a blessing in disguise as the replacement T222 had an additional 10 inches added to its wheelbase and made it a much more competitive car.

t220

Revson’s T220 at Road Atlanta and destroyed that weekend. ‘Fence’ an addition from original body spec. (Jim Hayes)

Having said that the T220 was fast if unreliable; Revvie qualified it 2nd at Road America, 3rd at Mid Ohio and 4th at Watkins Glen and Mosport, his best finish 2nd to Hulme at Mid Ohio.

With the longer wheelbase T222 he immediately banged the car on pole at Donnybrooke, finishing 3rd behind the 2 McLarens and qualified 3rd at both Laguna Seca and the final Riverside round for a 3rd and DNF respectively.

So, by the end of the year the Lola car/driver combination was close to the McLarens, Hulme took the 1970 title, Revson finished 6th.

Revson was off to McLaren for 1971, all Lola/Haas had to build was a better car, building on the base of the T222 and hire a driver of the required calibre.

Part 2: The Lola T260…

t260 cutaway

Lola T260 Chev cutaway. (Tom Strongman)

Having had a taste of the Can Am in 1970 and earlier years Jackie Stewart was keen to return, the professionalism of the Carl Haas team and Lola, a marque familiar to him having raced a T90 successfully at Indy together with Graham Hill in 1966 had appeal. He could fit the series into his 1971 F1 program with Tyrrell, or so he thought. Click here for an article on the Lola T90 and the 1966 Indy 500;

https://primotipo.com/2015/06/12/graham-hills-american-red-ball-spl-lola-t90-ford-indy-winner-1966-2/

Lola’s mount for Stewart was designated the the T260, the car was designed by Bob Marston with Eric Broadley’s guidance.

Lola Heritage; ‘The chassis was a…Lola full monocoque in L72 and NS4 light alloys bonded and riveted together with the fuel bags in either side of the tub with a total capacity of 60 gallons. The oil tank was contained in the rear of the left-hand fuel section. The rear of the monocoque extended to the back of the engine which was sandwiched between two bulkheads, a bell-housing supported the gearbox and absorbed suspension loads.

Cooling was via two brass-finned Serck radiators mounted behind the driver’s shoulder level and fed by two large NACA ducts on the top of the bodywork, the radiators vented through large louvres in the rear bodywork. Two oil coolers were mounted behind the water radiators and used the same ducts, an additional transmission cooler lay flat over the gearbox.

The bodywork was evolved following extensive tests in the Specialised Mouldings wind tunnel and featured a short, bluff nosecone with gauze-covered holes on the top to equalise pressure. At the base of the nose were two air ducts to feed air to the front discs, at the rear two ram pipes on the top of the rear body section collected the cooling air for the rear discs’.

Pete Lyons described the cars aerodynamic approach ‘The T260…was built to an aerodynamic theory already embodied in a few small-bore sports cars of the day. The intent was a shape that would bullet through the air on the straights and also remain stable as the car’s pitch attitude, ride height and positioning behind other cars changed everywhere else. In particular…a more conventional downforce-producing wedge nose, such as McLaren’s…could abruptly change from downforce to lift under certain conditions…’

t 260 aero

CAD sketch showing the T260 aero treatment. (unattributed)

The front suspension on the T260 comprised unequal length wishbones, the upper ones were triangulated to form bell-cranks that operated Bilstein dampers and coil springs which lay almost horizontally across the front of the tub. The unusual spring-medium location freed space for the front brakes to be mounted inboard. Eric Broadley’s intention was to reduce the unsprung weight of the front wheels by moving the brakes inboard from their conventional hub location. This would have permitted the lighter wheel assemblies to ride better over the often bumpy CanAm circuits. Jackie Stewart was adamantly opposed to inboard brakes after the death of his close friend Jochen Rindt due to the failure of an inboard-brake driveshaft on his GP Lotus 72 at Monza in September 1970. Conventional outboard brake mountings were used on the finalized T260 instead.

A tangent is the fact that later JYS was comfortable enough with Engineer Derek Gardner’s approach to inboard front brakes, his 1973 Championship winning Tyrrell 006 being so equipped.

front

T260, Stewart up, Road America. Shot included to show the unusual location, for the time, of the spring/shocks referred to in the text. Graviner fire extinguished ‘bomb clear in shot. Chassis aluminium full monocoque. (Jim Buell)

Rack and pinion steering was ahead of the front suspension.

Lola Heritage; ‘At the rear there was a short top link and a long radius arm attaching to the front engine bulkhead, a lower member extended rearwards to a cross-member bolted to the rear face of the gearbox. The springs and dampers fixed to the lower member and transmitted their load to tubular outriggers on the gearbox bell-housing.

Lola-made centre-lock, peg-drive magnesium wheels were fitted, their diameter 15 inches with 10.5 inch front and 17 inch wide rear Goodyears’. The battery was mounted in the nose and a Graviner onboard fire extinguisher was fitted behind the dashboard’.

Two cars were built for Haas, chassis ‘HU1’ was Stewart’s race chassis, ‘HU2’ was an unused spare  in 1971.

The engine was a 496 cu in (8.1 litres) V8 Chevrolet tuned by George Foltz, it produced circa 700 bhp and 618 lb-ft of torque, Lucas fuel injection was fitted with a Scintilla Vertex magneto and a Hewland LG600 4-speed gearbox transmitted the power.

engine

Aluminium block 8 litre engine of the T260 at Mosport. June 1971. (Jerry Bendl Collection/The Roaring Season)

lola t260

(Werner Buhrer)

gardenr back

Frank Gardner testing the Lola T260 at Silverstone, note how far forward the rear wing is in relation to shots later in 1971. (LAT)

When completed the car was tested by Lola racer/tester/development engineer Frank Gardner who was also turning his mind and skills into getting more speed from Lola’s F5000 T190/2, no doubt the F5000 was a ‘kiddy car’ compared to its 8 litre big brother!

Stewart drove the car in a rain soaked run at Silverstone prior to the cars shipping to canada for the season opening CanAm round at Mosport, Canada.

gardner side

Gardner in ‘HU1’ at Silverstone, the shortness of the car and different to anything else in the CanAm aero-treatment clear in this shot. (unattributed)

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Ropey shot of Stewart sheltering from the Silverstone weather during his brief drive of the T260 prior to shipment to North America, June 1971. (Sutton Images)

Other 1971 CanAm Contenders…

hulme and stewart

Denny Hume and Jackie Stewart at Mid Ohio 1971. Stewart in his T260 office. (Ron Laymon)

road mclaren

Denny Hulme, McLaren M8F Chev, Road America, August 1971. DNF engine. Engine 494cid Reynolds aluminium block Chev, circa 740bhp@6400rpm. (Jim Buell)

In reality the likely outright contenders in 1971 were the factory McLaren M8F’s, Stewart’s Lola T260, Jackie Oliver’s Shadow Mk2 Chev was a contender, designer Peter Bryant had plenty of experience by 1971.

road shadow

Jackie Olivers Shadow Mk2 Chev, Road America 1971. 12th in the race. (Jim Buell)

Jo Siffert’s Porsche 917/10 was gathering valuable data for a serious tilt in 1972, in exceptional circumstances (the wet) it was a contender as were a number of the best privateers in either ex-works or carefully developed M8’s; Lothar Motschenbacher, Vic Elford and Tony Adamowicz the most likely.

road pors

Siffert’s Porsche 917/10, Road America 1971. Spaceframe chassis, 5 litre Flat 12. (Jim Buell)

road revvie

Peter Revson, Jackie Oliver in the helmet and front suspension detail of a McLaren M8F in the Road America paddock, August 1971. (Jim Buell)

The detailed specification of the McLaren M8F i wrote about a while back; click on this link to read the short article; https://primotipo.com/2015/03/08/peter-revson-mclaren-m8f-chev-1971/

watkins grid

1971 Mid Ohio rolling grid. #5 Hulme, #7 Revson, #1 Stewart, #2 Jo Siffert,Porsche 917/10, #51 Dave Causey Lola T222 Chev, #54 Tony Adamowicz, McLaren M8B Chev, #88 Hiroshi Kazato ,Lola T222. (Ron Laymon)

Part 3: Racing: The 1971 CanAm Round by Round…

mosport 1

Mosport 1971 vibe, looks fantastic! (Jerry Bendl Collection/The Roaring Season)

Round 1: Mosport, Ontario Canada 13 June 1971
Stewart grabbed pole position from the works McLaren M8F’s of Denny Hulme and Peter Revson and then led the race from Hulme, an oil leak from the LG600 Hewland ‘box resulted in its seizure on lap 18.

Hulme won from Revson and Lothar Motschenbacher in one the 1970 ex-works McLaren M8D’s.

mosport 2

Pan of Stewart at Mosport shows the cars original aero treatment before ongoing modifications and experiments. Rear wing far forward and nose devoid of appendages. (Jerry Bendl Collection/The Roaring Season)

Rounds 2 and 3: St Jovite, Quebec Canada 27 June and Road Atlanta, Georgia, 11 July
The second round was at St Jovite. Stewart put the T260 on the front row next to pole sitter Hulme’s McLaren M8F. Denny led from the start but Stewart sat in second until lap 52 when Hulme, tiring from a stomach bug had to slow due to exhaustion. Stewart won the race from Denny and Revson.

st jovite

Stewart a race winner at St Jovite, here beside Hulme with Revson just behind. (Lola Heritage)

Stewart recalled in an interview with Gordon Kirby ‘St Jovite was a good win because with that car, that track was hard work! The other race where we did quite well was at Road Atlanta. We led the race then had a puncture and a whole series of other problems but still turned the fastest lap of the race, quicker than Hulme’s pole time’.  Revson won the race from Hulme and Motschenbacher.

road atlanta

Stewart had great pace at Road Atlanta, wonderful high speed shot of the short, squat, original T260. (unattributed)

watkins glen

Stewart ahead of Revson, Mario Cabral Porsche 917K and Hulme in the distance, Watkins Glen, 1971. (unattributed)

Round 4: Watkins Glen, New York, 25 July
The T260’s speed was not in doubt, it was back on pole again with Hulme and Revson right behind. Stewart got the drop putting the T260 into the lead from Revson, the Lola and McLaren diced until Stewart pitted with another puncture losing a lap while the wheel was changed.

Stewart returned to the race and began to fly setting the fastest lap but on the 56th he retired the car after detecting vibrations which proved to be a failing transmission. Revson won from Hulme and Jo Siffert in the factory Porsche 917/10.

stew watkins

JYS at Watkins Glen, site of the US GP in upstate New York, it was a circuit he knew well. (LAT)

jackie

Stewart loaded up and all ready to go in the Mid Ohio pitlane. (Terry Capps)

Round 5: Mid Ohio, 22 August
Stewart, famously a successful campaigner for better circuit safety was unhappy with the track; its surface excessively bumpy and the presence of trees and telegraph poles surrounding the course meant mistakes would be punished severely.

Much overnight work was carried out to remove some of the trees and poles and add straw bales where possible but after looking at the result Stewart declared he would ‘run but he wouldn’t race’. Stewart’s position could be appreciated after the bumpy track caused 3 rear suspension failures to the T260 during qualifying.

front f

Bucolic Mid Ohio paddock. Team busy this meeting, several suspension failures over the bumpy circuit. ‘Standard aero’ at this point. (Terry Capps)

Stewart qualified 3rd and was 2nd behind Revson at the end of lap 1 but the McLaren drew away as Stewart drove well within himself. On lap 72 Revson’s driveshaft universal joint failed (the same problem had sidelined Denny Hulme) and Stewart took the lead and race win from Siffert’s Porsche and Tony Adamowicz’ ’69 ex-works McLaren M8B Chev.

back

Mid Ohio paddock this time a butt shot. Neat brackets to support beefy exhausts and lights, black ducts are cooling for inboard discs located beside the Hewland ‘box. Note also ducts/louvres on the rear of the bodywork to exhaust hot air. (Terry Capps)

From this point on the continual development of the McLarens told whilst the Lola effort didn’t improve enough. McLaren were a well drilled team and both drivers were  experienced campaigners with whatever changes needing to be made could be done quickly in their Livonia, Detroit workshop or back at Colnbrook if necessary.

Whilst the T260 was effectively a works effort run by the marques US importer, Lola were at their core a manufacturer of customer racing cars with many customers, not a race team with only one focus.

stew m10b

Included in JYS program for 1971 was the Questor Grand Prix at Ontario Speedway in March. He was 2nd in his Tyrrell to Mario Andretti’s Ferrari 312B…but here Jackie is putting in a few laps in AJ Foyts McLaren M10B Chev. His only F5000 drive?? (Getty Images)

Jackie Stewart on driving the T26o and stresses of two major campaigns, F1 with Tyrrell and the CanAm Lola in 1971…

Stewart related to Gordon Kirby and Adam Cooper in separate MotorSport magazine interview’s; ‘There were no wind tunnels in those days and Eric (Broadley) would suddenly arrive and under his arm was a new front wing. There was one we called ‘the cowcatcher’. It was hung out front of the car and what it was doing i just don’t know’

‘The car was very short wheelbase and very difficult to drive. In comparison to the McLarens, (Stewart was approached to drive for them in 1972 and actually signed to do so but withdrew when the extent of his health problems were clear) the car was just a monster to drive and we were just trying to keep up’.

‘I tested the McLaren and it was just like a passenger car compared to the incredibly nervous, pointy, short wheelbase Lola where you were a millisecond from an accident all the time.’

Stewart said the Lola T260 was the most physically demanding car he raced in his career ‘On the very fast circuits like Riverside it was awfully tricky because you never knew where you were going’. In order to make up for its shortcomings ‘I sweated more. It was just a difficult car to drive. There are some cars which are easy to drive and others not and that was one of the ones that was not’.

In a contest for the worst car he ever drove; ‘The Lola T260 CanAm car would probably make that one…the H16 BRM runs it a close second’.

The main problem was dire understeer in addition to ultimate twitchiness at speed. The Lola’s blunt nose was dotted with mesh covered holes through which the underbody air could pass. In theory this helped provide some downforce. In its initial guise the shape of the front didn’t seem to have any obvious way of providing grip. Broadley deliberately opted not to have a fashionable chisel nose. But the lack of downforce at the front was borne out by the position of the giant rear , which was usually far forward, just behind the injection trumpets  in an attempt to achieve some sort of balance.

A combination of racing around the world in 2 series and lots of promotional work gave Stewart mononucleosis. ‘I was flying back and forth from Europe to do F1, i won the world championship that year and 2 CanAm races, but i also got mononucleosis (glandular fever), a really debilitating disease that took your energy away. You couldn’t sleep and yet you were overly tired. So it was a tough year, a really exhausting year’.

stew montjuic

Stewart racing his Tyrrell 001 Ford to victory in the Spanish GP, Montjuic Park, Barcelona on 18 April. He took 6 wins in 1971 and his second drivers title. (unattributed)

Its interesting to reflect on Jackie’s comments on the differences between the two cars; in fact both the T260, which retained the same wheelbase as the T222 and the ’71 McLaren M8F had 98 inch wheelbases.

The front/rear track of the Lola was 58 inches, of the M8F 60/57.75 inches. The overall length of the Lola was 139 inches compared with the much longer M8F’s 167 inches.

The aero treatment was radically different of course, a lack of downforce something the team chased progressively throughout the season.

road america

Stewart in the T260 at Road America and trying a different aero configuration comprising; a new profile ‘clip’ on the lower nose at the cars front and ‘McLarenesque’ wing and integrated mounts, wing now much further back than the original. (Jim Buell)

Round 6: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, 29 August
Stewart was third fastest in qualifying but his engine, also used at Mid-Ohio was tired.

A new engine was fitted for the race but high temperatures during warm-up were hoped to be vapour lock in the cooling system.

road am 1

Stewart ‘ready to rock’ at Road America and a close-up of the configuration pictured above. (Jim Buell)

Stewart ran second early on but after 10 laps the engine was smoking, Stewart parked it. Later examination showed a dropped cylinder liner was responsible for the high engine temperatures.

Revson won from Siffert and Vic Elford’s McLaren M8E Chev.

stew road am

Stewart T260 Road America, note that in this shot he is running the ‘original’ nose and rear wing setup. (Carl Knopp)

Round 7: Donnybrooke, Minnesota
T260 had revised rear suspension but the McLarens were continually being developed as well, Stewart’s 3rd fastest time 2 seconds adrift of the factory M8F’s.

Stewart got away well and led for 2 laps until Revson found a way past, Hulme was unable to pass Jackie as the McLaren was losing grip in the Lola’s slipstream. The positions remained until lap 22 when Stewart felt something amiss and pitted, nothing could be found, he resumed in 10th a lap and a half down.

The Scot raced the T260 back to 4th but another puncture saw Stewart back in the pits, the T260 finished 6th, two laps down. Revson again won from Hulme and Gregg Young’s McLaren M8D/E Chev 3rd.

edmonton

Stewart about to load up on the wet Edmonton grid, September 1971. #11 is Motchenbacher’s McLaren M8D . See another variation of the T260 nose, the front ‘clip on’ less bluff than the original and more ‘scooped’. Rear wing mounted back. (Jerry Bendl Collection/The Roaring Season)

Round 8: Edmonton, Alberta Canada, 26 September
The T260 featured a revised nose shape designed to give more downforce, the rear wing was moved back to balance the new nose.

Stewart qualified 3rd again. Jackie had a great start on the wet track and led. The T260 was handling well in the rain, the Scot extended his lead over Jackie Oliver’s Shadow and Hulme’s McLaren. Stewart was still leading at half distance but a trip onto the grass when lapping Motschenbacher’s M8D lost the Lola’s handling balance.

Gradually Hulme closed the gap and he suddenly found himself in the lead with 13 laps remaining, the deteriorating handling caught Stewart out and he spun. The T260 resumed in second but with it’s competitiveness lost Stewart settled for a safe 2nd. Jackie Oliver finally got the Shadow Mk2 into the points in 3rd.

cow catcher

Stewart runs the ‘cow catcher’ set up at Laguna Seca. In search of downforce or what! Far forward wing and much larger rear wing to balance things up. (Tony Ferrari)

Round 9: Laguna Seca, California, 17 October
At Laguna Seca the T260 had lost its high downforce nose from Edmonton and now featured a huge, front ‘cow-catcher’ wing projecting out in front of the nosecone.

Stewart managed 4th on the grid behind the McLarens and David Hobbs in the Ti22 Chev.

Stewart soon passed Hobbs, David raced the Carl Haas ‘factory’ Lola T310 in 1972, and after 10 laps passed Hulme who had some broken valve springs.

Revson seemed secure 25 seconds ahead of Stewart but a collision with a backmarker required a pit stop to secure a loose door. Stewart was now 9 seconds behind. Revson started to pull away again but with 20 laps to go Revvies engine lost power, he nursed it over the remaining laps but with 2 to go the M8F was puffing blue smoke.

He drove the last two laps cautiously to win and but Stewart who took the chequered flag as Revson had been shown a black flag, Revson claimed he hadn’t seen it.

The Carl Haas team protested Revson and the results were pending for some hours but eventually Revson got the win but received a $250 fine. Hulme was 3rd.

corkscrew

Stewart ahead of David Hobbs Ti22 Chev, Jackie Oliver Shadow Mk2 Chev, another unidentified car with Jo Siffert Porsche 917/10 at rear. Corkscrew, Laguna. (Hal Amarantes)

riverside

riverside 2

Stewart at Riverside, again with the ‘cow-catcher’ aero setup. Side on profile shot gives an idea of just how far forward the front wing was and how big the rear one was! Lola T260 Chev. (MP Hewitt)

Round 10: Riverside, California, 31 October
The series final round was at Riverside on October 30, only 3 1/2 short months since the series commenced in mid-June.

Stewart again qualified 3rd, the T260 now having bigger sideplates on its rear wing.

Hulme took the lead at the start but Stewart got up to 2nd as Revson, looking for points to clinch the Championship didn’t make it difficult. Unable to challenge Hulme Stewart was running happily in second until a piston failed in the big aluminium Chevy on lap 27.

Hulme won from Revson and Howden Ganley in the BRM P167 Chev.

The end of the 1971 Can-Am Championship resulted in Peter Revson as champion with 5 wins to Revsons 3, Stewart finished an honourable third to the two McLarens…

As Lola Heritage puts it ‘He had been their only consistent competitor over the ten rounds and there was a certain ‘what may have been’ feeling over the whole series, if only reliability had been better and punctures had been less’.

In addition to that its a shame the car hadn’t been finished earlier and tested extensively at Goodwood and Silverstone prior to crossing the Atlantic, but it wasn’t and the dominant McLaren’s reaped the rewards.

t310 front

David Hobbs in the Watkins Glen pits 1972. Lola T310 Chev. (unattributed)

For 1972 Lola again contested the championship with a new car, the T310, McLaren built a new car, the M20 Chev to take on the pride of Stuttgart, but the mighty Porsche 917/10 was battle ready in the hands of the Penske Team and Mark Donohue in a way the 1971 Lola/Carl Haas/Stewart combination were not…

t 310 watkins

David Hobbs lola T310 Chev 4th ahead of Jackie Olivers Shadow Mk3 Chev DNF and the dominant Porsche 917/10 turbo of George Follmer 4th. Hulme won this round in an M20 McLaren. Watkins Glen 1972. (unattributed)

1971 CanAm Season Footage…

Etcetera…

dimensions

Bibliography…

Lola Heritage, ‘MotorSport’ October 2000 article by Adam Cooper and December 2013 article by Gordon Kirby, Automobile Year 19, ‘CanAm’ Pete Lyons

Photo Credits…

Lola Heritage, Ron Laymon, Getty Images, LAT, Jerry Bendl Collection/The Roaring Season, Automobile Year, Jim Hayes, Tom Strongman cutaway drawing, Carl Knopp, Jim Buell, Terry Capps, Hal Amarantes, Tony Ferrari, MP Hewitt

Tailpiece…

Turn in Biiitch!

bitch

Stewart Lola T260, Road America 1971. (Jim Buell)

Finito…