Posts Tagged ‘Jackie Stewart’

Stewart and Clark Dutch 1965

Jim Clarks’ Lotus 33 Climax chasing Jackie Stewarts’ BRM P261 through the Dutch sand-dunes…

Jackie had his first F1 drive with Lotus in the non-championship, late 1964 Rand Grand Prix in South Africa, but made the intelligent decision to join BRM for 1965 where he felt he would have the support and time to develop as a driver. Lotus would have been tougher, Clark was the established ace, and Chapmans track record with ‘number 2’s wasn’t good.

Stewart had great relationships with both his countryman Clark and his teammate Graham Hill who mentored and guided him well, that and Stewarts’ natural ability saw him take his first win in Italy later in 1965.

One of racings great ‘mighta beens’ are the potential duels between he and Clark as JYS matured as a driver and finally got a competitive F1 car with the Matras he drove from 1968…

The Lotus 33 rear view…is an interesting study in suspension design and aerodynamics of the mid ’60s GP car. Fully faired cigar shaped body of the BRM in contrast with the naked Lotus. The clutter of the outboard rear suspension and its impact on the airsteam is marked relative to the rocker arm, inboard approach at the front…

Stewart and Clark icecream

Lotus 33 rear

Lotus 33 Climax, Dutch Grand Prix 1965. Close up…ZF gearbox, later series 32 valve Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5 V8, rubber donuts on driveshaft, suspension single top link, inverted lower wishbone, twin radius rods for location fore and aft, cast magnesium uprights, coil spring/damper units and adjustable sway bar, oh so period and gorgeous!  (unattributed)

Photos unattributed…

 

 

turner hill indy

Graham Hill in his ‘American Red Ball Special’ Lola T90 Ford leads the latter stages of the 1966 Indianapolis 500 from Joe Leonard’s Eagle and Jim Clark’s Lotus 38. Fabulous Michael Turner painting…

Hill won the race from Clark and Jim McElreath’s Brabham. Graham lead the most critical part of the race, it’s last 10 laps after teammate Jackie Stewart slowed and retired his Lola T90, the BRM teammates also ‘roomies’ and Indy debutants in John Mecom’s Indy Team.

stewart hill broadley indy 1966

JYS, Hill and Eric Broadley giving GH a few tips about instrument location before the off…Note seatbelts, still 2 years away in F1, a bit earlier for Jackie after his big Spa shunt a fortnight later. (Autoextremist)

The race was not without controversy with more than one lap timer giving victory to Clark, who spun twice during the race without hitting anything on each occasion but causing some lap scoring confusion.

Hill was doubly lucky; he was not entered to race until the unfortunate Walt Hansgen was killed in the LeMans test weekend in a Ford MkII, the Brit taking the unfortunate Hansgen’s place in Mecom’s factory Lola entry, Mecom the American Lola importer at the time.

hill on qually day

One of my earliest motor racing memories is of Hill’s car, the Lola featured big time in one of those ‘Boys Own’ type books we were all given as stocking fillers at Christmas. I have always had a soft spot for these big Lolas’ as a consequence. I still have the book but its in storage, i can’t remember what happened yesterday but the book’s articles on Hill’s Lola, the equally new curvaceous Lola T70 and Tony Lanfranchi’s psychedelic helmet livery i adopted as my own in 1979 stick in my mind. Come to think of it my Lola fetish started then!

lola t80

Lola T80 being assembled at Slough in 1965. T80 unsuccessful, the T90 was an update of this car with the suspension geometry which held it back in 1965 addressed. (Lola Heritage)

The mid-engined invasion of Indianapolis was started by Cooper, Brabham raced at Indy in 1961, Lotus had their first start with the pushrod-V8 Ford powered 29’s driven by Clark and Dan Gurney in 1963. Ferguson and Lola joined the stampede with mid-engined victory finally achieved by Team Lotus in 1965. Clark victorious in the Ford four-cam 4.2 litre V8 engined Lotus 38.

The US was a big market for Lola’s Eric Broadley, he achieved much success with the Group 7/CanAm T70 from 1965, USAC was another great opportunity. Broadley built the T80 for Indy 1965, but the car was late, wasn’t tested and was let down by suspension geometry shortcomings which gave the cars poor and unpredictable handling.

t 90 cutaway

Lola T90 Ford cutaway drawing. Car also designed for Offy 4 cylinder engine. Aluminium ‘full monocoque’ chassis, offset suspension; front top rocker operating inboard mounted spring/damper and lower wishbone. Rear, inverted lower wishbone with additional locating link, single upper link, single radius rod and coil spring/damper units. Adjustable sway bars front and rear, rack and pinion steering, 2 speed Hewland transaxle, Ford DOHC 4 valve, Hilborn fuel injected 4.2 litre V8. Circa 425 bhp @ 8000 rpm in 1965

stewart fettling

Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill helping Mecom’s mechanics with the fettling of the rear bodywork of Jackie’s T90 #43, the Scot and the other Scot, Clark, both unlucky not to win the race…Graham’s #24 Lola behind. (LAT)

The Lola T90 which followed for 1966 addressed the T80 shortcomings…

The T90 chassis was an aluminium monocoque constructed from Indy mandated 16-guage aluminium. Sheet steel diaphragms front and rear provided additional internal stiffness, externally a sloping scuttle in front of the instrument panel gave additional rigidity.

Lola Heritage ‘Tubular steel subframes were attached to both the front and rear of the chassis, the front subframe carrying the oil tank, radiator and the forward mountings for the lower wishbone. At the rear there were two subframes above and below the two-speed Hewland gearbox, the upper one carrying the attachment point for the single top link and the top spring/damper mounting. The lower subframe had the mounting points for the lower wishbones’.

‘The T90 was designed to accept either the 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder Offenhauser engine or the 4.2-litre 4-cam Ford V8. The Offy, built by Meyer-Drake in California was fitted with Hilborn fuel injection and a Paxton Roots-type supercharger and gave some 520 bhp, the Ford, whilst slightly less powerful, was a more known quantity having won the 1965 race in Jim Clark’s Lotus 38’

t90 build

Lola T90 build,  Slough 1966. Looking very sexy in its Specialised Mouldings body. Distinctive Lola ‘knock-offs’. Fuel cells still to be inserted into monocoque. (Lola Heritage)

The cars front suspension was inboard with fabricated rocker arms at the top operating coil spring/damper units and wide-based lower wishbones.

‘Rear suspension was fairly conventional with one departure from the norm. At the top of the upright was a single adjustable top link attached to the top chassis subframe whilst at the bottom a wide-based wishbone (reinforced on the left), mounting to the rear of the upright, was mounted to the lower chassis subframe. There was a single adjustable lateral link running from the lower front of the upright to the subframe that allowed for toe-in alterations. The unusual feature to the design was the single top radius rod, a lower rod was not used to to the difficulty of a suitable chassis attachment point due to the fuel tank design. As was the norm at this time front and rear suspension was offset to the left by three inches, the theory being that this helped the car through the left-hand turns at Indianapolis.’

t90 drawing

These drawings as well as showing the T90’s lines also nicely show the suspension, offset to the left, as was the convention of the time on speedways. (unattributed)

ford indy engine

Ford DOHC Four-Cam Indy V8 Engine…

Ford’s 1963 Indy engine fitted to the Clark and Gurney Lotus 29’s was an aluminium variant of its 260cid Falcon/Fairlane small block V8, it developed 350-376 bhp at 7200 rpm on 103 octane fuel fed by 4 Weber 58mm carbs.

Ford, after Lotus’ great showing (they was robbed) in 1963 decided to build an engine capable of developing 50bhp more but with a weight gain of no more than 50 lbs over the aluminium pushrod engines 345lbs.

Ford evolved, using many parts from the earlier engine, a DOHC motor with four valve heads, the combustion chamber ‘pent roofed’. The engine had ‘between the Vee’ exhaust as tests showed power was optimised with this setup. Hilborn fuel injection was used, in 1965 the engines developed 425bhp @ 8000rpm.

The block was cast of aluminum alloy using patterns modified from the production 289cid production ‘small block’. Cast iron cylinder sleeves were a shrink fit in the block and were sealed at the heads with copper laminated steel O-rings. In order to clear the two banks of camshafts in the heads, the 10 attaching studs were moved closer to the cylinder centerline. An additional 8 studs protruded from the heads maintained clamping force needed to seal the combustion chambers. The space occupied by the camshaft in the normal production engine was replaced with an oil tube. This acted as a gutter and collected oil as it drained from above to keep it off the reciprocating assembly.

The bottom end was beefed up considerably. The special forged steel crankshaft was held by 4-bolt bearing caps on numbers 1 through 4. Main and rod bearing journals are the same size as the 289, as is the engine’s stroke – 2.87″. The rod journals are crossdrilled for better oiling at high engine speeds. The rods are from the 289 HiPo, modified for floating pistons pins. The pins are 289 HiPo pieces. The oil pan is cast magnesium and is a structural part of the engine. ‘Ears’ cast integrally with the pan provide the engine/chassis mounts.

As summarised above, the cam-ground forged aluminum pistons have a pent-roof dome to closely fit the combustion chambers. Compression is 12.5:1. The cylinder heads housed 4 valves per cylinder with a central spark plug. The plugs are canted toward the 1.64″ diameter intake valves. Exhaust valves are 1.36″ diameter. The camshafts run in bearing bores in the cylinder heads directly over their valve banks. Valve clearance is adjusted by the selective fitting of the followers. Intake ports are between the cams with exhaust out the top of the heads between the vee. This was done to do away with the nightmare of exhaust tubing normally required. Hilborn injection is used having been selected for its light weight and simple low-pressure design.

The 255 CID engine weighed 406 lbs and produced in excess of 425 BHP at 8000 RPM. Useful power/torque was developed from 6000 with a rev limit of 9000 RPM

Once developed by Ford the engine was sold and serviced via Louis Meyer. In 1966 Ford built 20 engines which retailed at US$23000. The wonderful engines evolved over the decades, in both normally aspirated and turbo-charged form as Indy rules changed.

Checkout this website which gives an in-depth account of both the DOHC engine and the pushrod V8’s which preceded it, click on this link for an interesting read; http://www.quadcamford.com/development.html

66 indy start

Indy 1966 first lap shunt. Hill #24 Lola, McCluskey #8 Eagle Ford, Joe Leonard #6 Eagle Ford , Al Unser Lotus 38 to the left of his side-on car, Gary Congdon #53 Huffaker Offy, Don Branson in the sideon #4 Gerhardt Ford and the rest…(unattributed)

1966 Indianapolis 500…

Lola Heritage ‘Learning the lesson from 1965 Lola made sure the T90 was ready in plenty of time for the 1966 Indy 500, the John Mecom Racing Team-entered car made it’s debut at the March season opener at Phoenix International Raceway. Success was immediate with Roger Ward finishing second in his Offenhauser-powered T90 and a month later Ward took the winner’s laurels at Trenton’s 1-mile paved oval when he won a rain-shortened race ahead of Gordon Johncock.

Come the month of May and there were three T90s, all entered by John Mecom’s Houston-based team, ready to run at Indy qualifying, Roger Ward in his successful Offenhauser-engined car and Rookies Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill who were both Ford-powered. There was nothing much between the cars at the end of qualifying, Stewart was 11th fastest at a speed of 159.972 mph, Ward 13th at 159.46 mph and Hill 15th at 159.243 mph.’

The Indianapolis Star called the 1966 Indy 500 ‘the most fantastic, confused and incredible 500.’ And it may have been. This was the ‘500’ marked by a 16-car crash at the start when Billy Foster’s car hit the rear of Gordon Johncock’s Gerhardt setting off a violent chain reaction that eliminated 11 cars, including those of A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Don Branson and Cale Yarborough.

Foyt suffered minor injuries, a cut finger and a bruised knee when he climbed out of his car and scaled a fence to get away from the scene.

clark pits

Jim Clark’s ‘STP Oil Treatment’ Lotus 38 Ford in the Indy pits 1966. Andrew Ferguson at left. I put a can of the stuff in Mums Morrie 1100 but it didn’t seem to go any quicker…the sticker on the rear window looked good tho. I thought so, she didn’t! #12 the car behind Clark is the Chuck Hulse driven Watson Ford. Lotus 38’s well raced, Lotus Indy tool ’65-’67. (unattributed)

The race was red-flagged for the second time in three years and was re-started after a one hour and 23 minute delay.

Mario Andretti took the lead at the restart but retired shortly thereafter with engine failure. Clark lead but spun twice with handling maladies without hitting anything, pitting on each occasion to have the car checked.  Stewart and Lloyd Ruby in an Eagle diced for the lead before fuel stops put Clark back in the lead.

broadley and hill

Great shot of Hill and Lola Supremo Eric Broadley discussing the cars setup during Indy qualifying 1966. See the quick change safety fuel cells/filler cap. Ignition cutout wired to steering wheel beside drivers thumb. (unattributed)

Ruby took the lead but his car was then black-flagged for the loss of oil, leaving Stewart in the lead from Clark and Hill. Hill had progressed through the field without making mistakes and benefiting from others errors or misfortunes, by lap 175 he was past Clark for 2nd. Stewart lead, until with 25 miles to go his oil pressure diminished, his engine scavenge pump failure gave Hill the lead he was not to relinquish.

Despite protests by Lotus’ Colin Chapman and sponsor Andy (STP) Granatelli that Hill had been incorrectly scored with an extra lap, the unofficial results stood. Hill won $156,297 for his victory, Jim Clark finished second battling an ill-handling car the entire race, Jim McElreath’s Brabham Ford was third and Stewart was classified 6th.

hill in the race t90

Hill drove a quick, clean race. He stayed out of trouble and was in front for the final laps which mattered, putting lap scoring disputes to one side…What a gorgeous looking, in a brutal kinda way, car! (unattributed)

YouTube Race Footage…

Etcetera…

1965 LolaT80.

t80 tingelstat

Bud Tingelstad in Lindsey Hopkins Lola T80 Ford, Indy 1965. (oldracingcars.com)

1966 Indy Race.

indy start 66

Another start shot; Cale Yarborough #66 Vollstedt Ford and Dan Gurney’s #31 Eagle Ford. Indy 1966. (unattributed)

Jackie Stewart.

steawrt bowes seal fast

Jackie Stewart in the ‘Bowes Seal fast’ John Mecom owned Lola T90 Ford Indy 1966. Eric Broadley front lower left, chief mechanic George Bignotti in the Texan hat, Mecom in the tan short sleeved shirt in front of Bignotti (unattributed)

stewart indy 1966

JYS with the face of a man focused on the qualifying task at hand. He qualified 11th, he was classified 6th after an oil scavenge pump failure caused his retirement. Lola T90 Ford, Indy 1966. (Dave Friedman)

Graphics and Imagery Hill/T90.

hill pic

Lovely artwork of Hill and his Lola T90 (I Pereira)

red ball colors

1967 Lola T92 Ford.

The successor to the Lola T90 was the mildly updated in bodywork T92 for 1967, here raced by John Surtees in his one and only USAC race, the ‘Rex Mays 300’ held at Riverside in November 1967, a road course John knew well from his CanAm campaigns. His John Mecom entry DNF’d with magneto trouble in the race won by Dan Gurney’s Eagle Ford. The car did not use offset suspension on road circuits…

surtees t 92

John Surtees, Lola T92 Ford. Riverside 1967. (unattributed)

American Red Ball Company.

Even though the name has been in my brain since 1967, i had no idea what they do, clearly not the case in the US as they are an old established well known global removalist and transit organisation. So now i know!  http://www.redball.com/long-distance-moving-company/our-rich-history/

Tailpieces…

hill in car

Hill looking the focused driver he was. Interesting shot shows the conventional rear suspension albeit with 1 rather than the usual 2 radius rods to locate the suspension fore and aft. Seat belts, roll over bar too low in the event of a rollover and cross-over exhausts all clear as is all enveloping bodywork of the T90 to smooth air flow and top speed, F1 cars at the time largely devoid of rear bodywork. (unattributed)

indy 66 color

Nice bit of modern art; Top>Bottom; Stewart, Clark, Hill. Friends and Champions all. (olivesart.com)

Credits…

Michael Turner; http://www.studio88.co.uk/acatalog/Michael_Turner.html, quadcamford.com, GT40 Archives, Dave Friedman, LAT, olivesart.com, Ibsen Pereira

Lola Heritage;  http://www.lolaheritage.co.uk/ , oldracingcars.com, Autoextremist

Finito…

agp 67 hill and clark

(Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’)

Jim Clark and Graham Hill swap notes prior to the start of the 1967 Australian Grand Prix, Warwick Farm, Sydney. It would be a good season for them both…

Their new F1 Lotus 49’s await their return to Europe, the Ford Cosworth powered cars established a package of integrated design which became the F1 standard for the duration of the 3 litre formula. Their is plenty of press interest in the two stars, teammates for the first time in 1967 and Hill’s #5 Lotus 48.

Behind them in the ‘Farm pitlane is Kevin Bartlett’s Brabham BT11A Climax, KB just in shot with his foot on his front Goodyear. Sixth in the race for him, an excellent result in the old car.

agp 67 start

Start of the 1967 AGP. #5 Hill Lotus 48 FVA 1.6, #6 Clark Lotus 33 Climax 2.0 V8, #3 Jackie Stewart on pole, BRM P261 2070cc V8. (autopics.com.au)

The 48 was Lotus’ new car for the inaugural 1.6-litre F2 1967 season. Designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe, it was in essence a ‘mini’ Lotus 49 which made its successful debut in the ’67 Dutch Grand Prix on June 4.

Keen to get in some early season testing of the new car, Colin Chapman sent the first chassis to Australia for the Warwick Farm round of the Tasman Series, the Australian GP that year, held on 19 February for Graham Hill to drive. Hill was popular at the Sydney circuit, the promoters paying plenty of money to get the Brit and his new Lotus to New South Wales for just one race. Of added local interest was that Hill had just returned to Lotus having been a BRM driver since 1960. Mind you, in Australia he raced in our internationals the Ferguson P99, Brabham Climaxes owned by ‘Scuderia Veloce’ as well as various BRM’s.

Jim Clark did all of the Tasman rounds in New Zealand and Australia that summer. He won the title in a Lotus 33 Climax, his 1966 F1 mount ‘R14’ fitted with the 2 litre Coventry Climax FWMV V8 engine with which he started the 1966 F1 season, the first year of the 3 litre F1. He used the car until the BRM engined Lotus 43 was ‘ready’ to race.

The new 48 F2 car had a full monocoque chassis made from aluminium sheet with steel bulkheads front and rear. Bolted to the rear bulkhead was a tubular steel subframe which carried the unstressed FVA engine and ZF gearbox. Front suspension used top rockers operating inboard mounted springs and dampers. The rear suspension was also conventional; single upper link, reversed lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring/ damper units.

The 48 used the Ford Cosworth FVA, one of two engines contracted from Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin by Ford. Significantly the engine proved Duckworth’s design direction for his F1 V8, the Cosworth DFV which made its race debut at Zandvoort in the back of the equally new Lotus 49. The FVA’s design commenced in July 1965, its first bench test was in March 1966 and its first race in July 1966. The engine was well tested prior to its trip to Australia in the summer of ’67.

The remarkably successful unit combined a four-cylinder cast iron Ford Cortina block with an aluminium Cosworth head. FVA was an acronym of the ‘four valve assembly’ or ‘four valve type A’ of the engine’s new head. Twin overhead camshafts were used of course, driven from the crankshaft by gears. Equipped with Lucas fuel injection, the dry sumped engine developed circa 220 hp @ 9000rpm.

Ford-Cosworth-FVA

Ford Cosworth FVA Engine Cutaway drawing by Theo Page.

Graham Hill qualified Lotus 48 chassis ‘R1’ well amongst the Tasman Formula 2.5 litre engined cars, 3rd on the grid with only the V8 engined cars of teammate Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart’s BRM in front of him. He may only have had 1.6 litres but the chassis was clearly good and Hill was always been quick around Warwick Farm, the Sydney circuit a very technical one.

Stewart was very fast throughout the Tasman, he won it in ’66, but the BRM’s gearbox was at its limits with the greater stresses of the P60 BRM V8, now at 2070cc and developing much more power and torque than the same engine in its original 1.5 litre F1 guise ever produced. But the car held together at the ‘Farm, Jackie won from Clark and Frank Gardner in a Brabham BT16 Climax FPF, the old 2.5 litre F1 Climax four cylinder engine well and truly outclassed by ’67.

Hill’s new Lotus 48 expired with gearbox maladies on lap 25 but he gained valuable miles on the brand new chassis in advance of the European F2 season, which both he and Clark contested.

Intended as a customer car, the 48 was exclusively campaigned by Team Lotus during 1967, privateers used uprated 41’s. The new Lotus was quick but encountered the Brabham BT23, one of Ron Tauranac’s most successful designs. The 48 won four F2 races in 1967, three in Clark’s hands, the fourth by Jackie Oliver in the combined F1/F2 German GP at the the Nürburgring.

Whilst the Brabham BT23 was the car of the season many of its victories were taken by ‘graded drivers’, notably the ‘King of F2′ Jochen Rindt, whilst graded drivers did win races they could not score championship points. The 1967 title was won by Jacky Ickx using both Matra MS5 and MS7 chassis’, FVA powered.

Lotus continued with the 48 in 1968, 4 chassis were built in total, but struggled again with the dominant Brabham BT23’s. Jean Pierre Beltoise won the ’68 title in a Matra MS7 FVA. 1969 would be a ‘different kettle of F2 fish’, the Dave Baldwin designed Lotus 59 a much more competitive tool.

gh lotus 48 cockpit

Graham Hill tucked into the comfy cockpit of his beautifully finished Lotus 48. He is on the grid of the ‘Guards 100’, Snetterton in March 1967. Hill was 2nd to Rindt’s Brabham BT23. (Max Le Grand)

III Gran Premio Barcelona, Montjuic, Spain 31 March 1968…

untitled

Jim Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Montjuic, Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

Jim Clark aviating his Lotus 48 during practice for the first European F2 event in 1968.

He started the season strongly with victories in his Lotus 49 in both the South African Grand Prix held at Kyalami on 1 January and the Tasman Series, including the Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park, Melbourne. Jim won 4 of the 8 Tasman rounds, his Lotus used the 2.5 litre Ford Cosworth V8 variant, the ‘DFW’ so he came to this F2 event ‘razor sharp’.

Despite Clark’s speed, Jackie Stewart won the race in his Matra MS7 FVA, Jim was tagged by Jacky Ickx at the first turn, a ‘bonzai’ move down the inside taking out the innocent Scot, deflating a tyre and rearranging the rear suspension. Ickx was involved in another accident on lap 2 and retired. Karma at play!

The shot below is of #1 Clark, with Hills nose in shot, in the middle is an innocent Jochen Rindt, Brabham BT23 FVA. Ickx shot off down the road in his Ferrari 166. The next F2 round was the ‘II Deutsche Trophae’ at Hockenheim the following weekend.

mont clark

Hill’s Lotus 48 nose, Jochen Rindt caught up in the melee in his Brabham BT23 FVA and Clark, Lotus 48 FVA. (Unattributed)

 

mont clark 2

End of Clark’s race, flat tyre and shagged rear suspension. Lotus 48 FVA. Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

YouTube Footage of the Barcelona Race;

Hockenheim 7 April 1968…

Jim Clark before the off and (below) in the early stages of this fateful, awful race and the probable high speed tyre deflation which caused the accident that claimed the champions life.

clark and sims

Jim Clark, relaxed before the off and Dave Sims. Hockenheim 7 April 1968. Lotus 48 FVA. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

 

clark lotus 48 hocken 68

Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Hockenheim 7 April 1968. (MotorSport)

Lotus 48 Technical Specifications…

Chassis; aluminium monocoque with rear subframe. Front suspension; lower wishbones, top rocker actuating inboard coil spring/dampers, roll bar. Rear suspension; reversed lower wishbones, top links, twin radius arms, coil spring/dampers, roll bar
Steering rack and pinion, Brakes, discs all-round, Gearbox ZF 5DS12 5 speed.
Weight 420 kilo / 926 lbs. Length / Width / Height 3,797 mm (149.5 in) / 1,727 mm (68 in) / 762 mm (30 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,330 mm (91.7 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in). Wheels (fr/r) 13 x 8 / 13 x 10

Ford Cosworth FVA

Pretty much the ‘engine de jour’ of the 1.6 litre F2 from 1967 to 1971, the FVA won all of the European titles in that period.
Cast-iron Ford Cortina 1600 ‘116E’ 5 bearing block, aluminium head, 1,598 cc. Bore/Stroke 85.7 mm/69.1 mm, DOHC, 4 gear driven valves per cylinder, Lucas fuel injection and electronic/transistorised ignition. Circa 220 bhp @ 9000rpm.

Those with a strong technical interest in the Cosworth FVA and its role in relation to the subsequent Cosworth DFV V8 Design will find this treatise of interest;

http://www.grandprixengines.co.uk/cosworthstory.pdf

Etcetera…

clark pau 1967

Mini Lotus 49 indeed! Clark in his svelte Lotus 48, Pau GP 1967. 4th behind 3 Brabham BT23’s; Rindt, Hulme and Alan Rees. (Unattributed)

 

clark jarama 67

Clark in his Lotus 48 from Jackie Stewart’s Ken Tyrrell entered Matra MS7, both Ford Cosworth FVA powered, 1st and 2nd, Chris Irwin’s Lola T100 3rd, Jarama, Spain July 1967. (Unattributed)

 

oliver german gp

Jackie Oliver jumping his works Lotus 48 into 5th place, and first F2 finisher, German GP August 1967. He drove a great race, Hulme victorious in his Brabham BT24 Repco. (Unattributed)

 

hill oulton brian watson

Hill on the way to 3rd place in the Oulton Park ‘Gold Cup’ in September 1967 amongst the F1 cars, Jack Brabham won in his BT24 Repco from Jackie Stewart in a Matra MS7 FVA F2 car. (Brian Watson)

 

hill 48 in 68

Graham Hill in the Tulln Langenlbarn, Austria paddock in July 1968. NC with insufficient laps. Rindt won the race in a Brabham BT23C. ‘Chequered Flag’ truck contained the McLaren M4A driven by Robin Widdows also DNF. (Unattributed)

 

lotus 59

For the sake of completeness…this is the Dave Baldwin designed, spaceframe chassis F2 Lotus 59 which succeeded the 48. ‘Twas an FF/F3/F2 car, much more successful than the Lotus 48 but again the Brabham BT 28/30 gave it a good run for its money! Here G Hill at the Pau GP in April 1969 with high wings having only weeks to run before being outlawed by the FIA during the Monaco GP weekend. Hill DNF with fuel metering unit failure, Jochen Rindt victorious in the other Winkelmann Racing 59B. (Unattributed)

Credits…

Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’

Max Le Grand, autopics.com.au, MotorSport, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Theo Page, Brian Watson, Roger Linton

Tailpiece: 1967 AGP Warwick Farm…

(R Linton)

Start of the race from the pit counter.

Hill’s Lotus 48 FVA at right, Clark, Lotus 33 Climax and Jackie Stewart, BRM P261 on the front row. Brabham is behind Stewart and Denny Hulme behind Jack in Repco ‘640’ V8 engined Brabhams

Finito…

image

Jackie Stewart sets up his Brabham BT11A for ‘Castrol Corner’ the right hander leading onto Surfers main straight…Holdens in the background and his Climax engine puffing oil before his retirement due to oil loss (John Stanley)

Jackie Stewart in the ‘Scuderia Veloce’ Brabham BT11A Climax ‘Tasman Formula’ car during the Surfers Paradise ‘Gold Star’ Australian Drivers Championship Round on 14 August 1966…

Jackie squeezed in a visit to Australia to drive in both this event and the ‘Surfers 12 Hour’ a week later in between the German and Italian Grands Prix on 7th August and 4 September respectively.

The visit was a welcome respite from the World Championship that year, Jack Brabham dominating in his Repco engined Brabham BT19, with BRM for whom Stewart drove, struggling with their new uncompetitive, complex and heavy P83 ‘H16’.

Jackie won the Monaco Grand Prix in a ‘Tasman Spec’ BRM P261, his 1.5 litre F1 car squeezed to about 2.1 litres, well short of the 3 Litre capacity limit which applied in Grand Prix racing from that year, the nimble car producing the goods on this tight circuit.

monaco

Stewart wins the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix in the BRM P261 1.5 litre F1 car bored to circa 2.1 litres. This was the first Championship race of the new 3 litre F1, the first 4 cars all ‘big bore’ 1.5’s…no 3 litres finishing the race (Unattributed)

In the Belgian Grand Prix three weeks later he experienced an horrific accident on the first lap Spa race, conditions having changed from wet to torrential on this long track, leaving the circuit at high speed on the Masta Kink.

He was trapped upside down in the car, the monocoque twisted around him covering him with fuel with a broken shoulder, cracked rib and internal bruising whilst Graham Hill and Bob Bondurant, who had also crashed, freed him with tools borrowed from spectators. From that moment Stewart started his crusade for driver, car and circuit safety which are amongst his many racing legacies.

No doubt Jackie was looking forward to some racing and the recuperative powers of the Gold Coast sun and surf.

rooted

The rooted monocoque of Stewarts’ BRM P261 after the Masta Kink shunt. The shot clearly shows how the chassis twisted around his body trapping him…he was extremely lucky not to have been killed outright or ‘barbecued’ in a fire, he was liberally doused with petrol, the cars fuel tanks within the monocoque ruptured…no ‘bag tanks’ in those days. 8 drivers crashed without completing a lap…4 at Burnenville and 4 on the Masta Kink (Unattributed)

Keith Williams…

image

Keith Williams at ‘Surfers Paradise Gardens’ Carrara in the mid-1960’s

Jackie enjoyed his successful championship winning 1966 Tasman Season in our summer, campaigning a BRM P261, his 1.5 litre F1 car V8 engine bored to around 2.1 litres, as outlined above, so he was happy to return to Australia to race Jack Brabham and the locals in the ‘Gold Star’ round and Sports Car enduro which comprised Keith Williams ‘Speed Week’.

Williams was a remarkable entrepreneur, he left school at 13 to help supplement the family income pumping fuel at a local ‘Servo’, formed his first business making leather products three years later and soon employed fifty people manufacturing Disney licensed products.

He was an Australian Water Skiing Champion in the late 1950’s, via that sport both making industry products and forming ‘Surfers Paradise Water Ski Shows’ together with Jack Joel.

He built Surfers Paradise and Adelaide Raceways in 1966 and 1970 respectively. Williams was a leader in the tourism industry building ‘Sea World’ on the Gold Coast in 1971 and started the development of Hamilton Island as a global tourist destination in 1978. His remarkable life ended in 2011 after a series of strokes aged 82.

The Surfers circuit was finished in early 1966, the first meeting held on 22 May. The Grand Opening though was ‘Speed Week’ in August, the great promoter holding a number of events over ten days including two weekends of circuit racing described in this article, drag racing, Concours D’ Elegance, motor cycle and speedboat racing- the latter event held on the nearby Gold Coast Broadwater.

Surfers immediately became a drivers and crowd favourite, its fast flowing nature a challenge for drivers and their machines, the circuit facilities and viewing mounds providing a world class amenity at the time to we ‘punters’.

My only visit was as a spectator on a family holiday, i convinced my dad to deposit me at the circuit for the day of the ‘Glynn Scott Memorial Trophy’ in September 1973, the feature event a round of the ‘Gold Star’, the Australian Drivers Championship, contested by F5000 cars.

The sight and sound of these fabulous cars bellowing through the fast right hander under the Dunlop Bridge, a true test of ‘gonad dimensions’, ‘flat knacker’ at 7500RPM in fifth, unmuffled Chev and Repco V8’s roaring away into the distance, was truly a sight and sound to behold and feel!

Frank Matich was running away with the race in his brand new Matich A52, until the ‘flat plane crank’ experimental Repco V8 ‘shook the shitter’ out of the Varley battery, no spark, no go. John McCormack won the race in his Elfin MR5 and the Gold Star that year, the inherently dangerous nature of the track clear to anyone seeing Warwick Brown hobbling around on crutches that day. Brown joining the ‘Lola Limpers Club’ having comprehensively destroyed his T300 and his legs in the Surfers Tasman meeting earlier in the year.

But wow! What a circuit it was!

Williams sold it in 1984, the circuit closed in 1987 and is now part of the ‘Emerald Lakes’ canal estate, like so many of our circuits given over to advancing urban encroachment, but that was a long way away in 1966.

(A Favenchi)

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Wonderful aerial shot of the raceway and airstrip looking back to Surfers Paradise in 1977 (A Favenchi)

Gold Star Meeting…

Jackie had some idea about the local talent from his very successful Tasman Tour early in the year, he won the series in his P261 BRM taking four wins, but probably got more than he bargained for.

Kevin Bartlett had stepped up since the Tasman Series from the Mildren Teams Brabham Ford 1.5 Brabham BT11A 2.5 Spencer Martin also racing a Brabham BT11A Coventry Climax for Bob Jane.

Jack Brabham was there, in BT19, the chassis which carried him to victory in that years World Championship, fresh from his German GP win a week before, the car still fitted with its 3 litre ‘620 Series’ Repco V8.

Leo Geoghegan and Greg Cusack were entered in ex-Clark Lotus 39 and Lotus 32B respectively- both cars also Coventry Climax FPF 2.5 engined.

Jack Brabham Brabham BT19 Repco, Surfers Paradise 1966

In the middle of his successful 1966 F1 campaign, Jack brought BT19 to Oz for the opening of Surfers Paradise…Repco wanted the car there but all the same i expect Wlliams paid handsomely for Brabhams’ presence! Here surrounded by admirers in the Surfers paddock (Unattributed)

 

brabham surfers 1966

Jack here fettling his Brabham’s Repco ‘620’, rotor button the cause of his DNF (Unattributed)

 

(P Cadell)

Ray Bell, ‘Racing Car News’ magazine reporter at the time recalled the meeting on ‘The Nostalgia Forum’…

‘Jack had pole, from KB, JYS and Spencer Martin. KB led the way, this to be the drive that made everybody sit up and take notice, he’d not been long in 2.5’s and was leading a Grand Prix Winner and pretender to the World Championship throne.’

‘Brabham managed a lap and a half before the rotor button went and he dropped out…Stewart hounded KB for five laps before outbraking him at Lukey…Bartlett finishing two-tenths behind the Scot.’ (in an identical car)

‘With KB on pole for the main event, Stewart had something fail in the clutch mechanism and dragged away badly…Martin got the jump, leading KB for seven laps before Bartlett went past into Lukey, Stewart looming in a comeback drive all the while.’

‘On lap fourteen they set a new lap record of 1:13:0, a few laps later JYS passing KB under the bridge…KB coming back at the clutchless Brabham…there was more passing and re-passing until the magneto in Bartlett’s car failed. Stewart blew his engine giving Martin the win having shaken off Leo Geoghegan to do so.’

If there was any doubt, Kevin Bartlett ‘arrived’ as a Top-Liner that day…serving it up to a Grand Prix winner in absolutely equal cars.

Kevin Bartlett recalled recently…’The dices that weekend live in my mind forever. I knew him well before that meeting, his SV Brabham was the equal of mine. We both knew the cars capabilities, the dice was not out of the ordinary as far as we were concerned, the cars were very close but we gave one another room but if you got the line you would slipstream past. We respected each others abilities, we both DNF’d the feature race but laughed about it later. He had no ego.’

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Kevin Bartlett shown in the Mildren Brabham BT11A in the ‘Lakeside 99’ Tasman round, February 1967. He placed fifth in a race won by Clarks Lotus 33 Climax. (autopics)

Surfers Paradise 12 Hour…

Stewart returned from the beach for the second weekend of Williams ‘double header’ to drive the Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM with Kiwi Andy Buchanan, I wrote about this car a while back….https://primotipo.com/2014/07/03/pete-geoghegan-ferrari-250lm-6321-bathurst-easter-68/

The entry also included a Ford GT40 for Frank Matich and Peter Sutcliffe, another LM for Jackie Epstein and Aussie International Paul Hawkins, David Piper and  future Le Mans winner Richard Attwood raced Pipers’ ex-works Ferrari P2.

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Peter Sutcliffes’ Ford GT40 ahead of the Jackie Epstein/ Paul Hawkins Ferrari 250LM (autopics.com)

Given the paucity of top-line sports cars in Australia of this type, the grid was bolstered by sprint sports cars such as Lotus 23’s, production sports cars and touring cars…including a Mini Moke entered by later Touring Car Ace ‘Bo’ Seton and Charlie Smith. The closing speed of Stewarts LM and the like would have been well over 80MPH!, the Moke having little power and the aerodynamic efficiency of a ‘dunny-door’.

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Jackie Stewarts Ferrari 250 LM blasts past the Charlie Smith/ Bo Seton Mini Moke, the Fazz did 493 laps to win, the Moke 311…lapped just a few times. Speed differentials an issue not just at Le Mans! (autopics.com)

The chequered flag was shown to the Matich GT40, but Scuderia Veloce boss David McKay successfully protested the result giving the win to the Stewart/Buchanan LM.

It was not the first time a major event in Australia was clouded by lap-scoring disputes these things not uncommon in those far off, pre-digital days!

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The winning Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM ‘6321’driven by Jackie Stewart and Andy Buchanan, the car winning the race in 1966/67/68 (autopics.com)

Kevin Bartlett and Doug Chivas finished third in the Alec Mildren racing Alfa Romeo TZ2, Kevin Bartlett again recalls…

‘The 12 Hour was tough going for a little 1600, but Doug was on top of his game, a helluva driver who was kind to the car and did the times. It was a tactical race for us, Alec had worked out a plan and the times we needed to do, which we did consistently.’

’I drove a TZ1 years later at an AGP support event but the TZ2 was areodynamically better, it was quicker in a straight line and had a better track and wheelbase which got it out of corners better. The TZ1 handling was not as good, the tyre and wheel package wasn’t as good.’

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Andy Buchanan, Jackie Stewart, dignitary, Frank Matich, Peter Sutcliffe, Kevin Bartlett, Doug Chivas. Matich and Sutcliffe happy at this stage but tears were not far away! KB and Chivas piloted the third place Mildren Team Alfa TZ2 (Kevin Bartlett)

Etcetera…

The front gate (D Strong)

 

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Bartlett/Chivas Alfa TZ2, ahead of the John Harvey/ Frank Demuth Lotus 23 and the Cooper T49 Monaco Olds of Tony Osborne/Murray Carter/Ray Gibbs (autopics)

 

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David Piper/Richard Attwood Ferrari P2 (autopics.com.au)

 

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Peter Sutcliffes’ Ford GT40 was a customer car owned by Sutcliffe, co-driven by Frank Matich, at the time the outstanding sports car driver in Australia, make that one of the the most outstanding drivers in Australia, his competitiveness in open-wheelers proven in the Tasman Series until he (sadly!) went down the sports car path, finally again seeing the light in the days of F5000…(autopics)

 

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Early pitstop for the Piper/Attwood Ferrari P2, only 45 laps completed (autopics)

 

Touring Car race circa 1966 (J Dwyer)

 

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Photo and Other Credits…

autopics.com.au, John Stanley Collection, Alexis Favenchi, Darren Strong, Peta Cadell

Many thanks to Kevin Bartlett for sharing his recollections of both events

Finito…

helen and jackie stewart 1970

Another evocative Jesse Alexander shot capturing Helen Stewart during a moment of reflection, circa 1972. Jackie at rear with Peter Gethin or George Follmer maybe?…

(Jesse Alexander Archive)

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

Denny Hulme Brabham BT22 Repco and Jackie Stewart BRM P261, the natty tartan attire of the BRM Equipe a contrast with the more casual Australian approach…Hulmes’ engine is Repco ‘640 Series’ 2.5 litre; original ’66 series Olds ‘600 Series’ block with the ’67 F1 Championship winning ’40 Series’, exhaust within the Vee, heads. Definitive Repco 1967 F1 Championship winning variant is the ‘740 Series’, Repco’s own ‘700 Series’ block and aforementioned ’40 Series’ heads. Early and very important 1967 F1 testing days for Repco, engine making its debut the weekend before at Pukekohe (Digby Paape)

Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart awaiting adjustments to their cars setup, Levin, New Zealand, Tasman Series 1967…

Digby Paape took these fantastic, evocative shots of Stewart, Hulme and Jim Clark…’I was 22 at the time, my father had been president of MotorSport NZ, and though I was unknown on the North Island I felt I could go anywhere with my Contax, i was masquerading as a journo for the ‘Hutt Valley Motoring Club’, I took all the shots @ F8 @ 250th of a second. Each car only had a couple of mechanics, it was hard to know what was being said. Later on I was the Radio NZ and TVNZ commentator for these and other events, Levin was always hot and the action was close. Close enough for good shots without a telephoto lens’.

Stewart beat Clark in the first Tasman round at Pukekohe the previous week, winning the NZ Grand Prix, the two drivers the class of the field at Levin as well, despite intense pressure Clark won the 50 mile ‘Levin International’ by less than a second from Stewart’s BRM. Richard Attwood was third in another BRM P261 and Frank Gardner fourth in the first of the four cylinder cars, a Brabham BT16 Climax. Denny Hulme retired with ignition problems.

It’s interesting to reflect upon the year to come for each of the drivers?…

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

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT22 Repco, Levin NZ, 1967 (Digby Paape)

It was a tough Tasman for Denny and his team leader Jack Brabham…

They had great unreliability from the new, exhaust between the Vee Repco 640 Series engines, mainly centred around fuel injection and ignition dramas, but the object of the exercise was really to get the engines race worthy for the 1967 GP season in any event.

Jack did have a good win at Longford, the power circuit in Tasmania and last round of the Series.

Repco sorted the problems, the new Repco (as against the 1966 Oldsmobile blocked 620 Series) blocked 740 Series Repco reliable early in the GP season.

Denny broke through for his first GP win at Monaco, but there was no joy in the victory as Lorenzo Bandini perished in his Ferrari in a gruesome fiery accident, which, finally helped galvanise action to improve safety standards on the worlds’ circuits.

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Hulme en route to his first Grand Prix victory, Monaco 1967 in his Brabham BT20, still fitted with the ’66 series ‘RB620’ engine. Jacks car was fitted with the new ‘740 Series’ the engine blowing early in the race. Hill and Amon second and third in Lotus 33 BRM and Ferrari 312 respectively (unattributed)

In a season when five different drivers won a Grand Prix, his consistency paid off, he won the title from Jack with Jim Clark third in the epochal Lotus 49.

1967 CanAm Road America

Can Am Road America 1967 parade lap: #4 Bruce McLaren, Hulme alongside in the other McLaren M6A Chev, Dan Gurney Lola T70 Ford behind Bruce, Jim Halls’ winged Chaparral 2G Chev easy to pick…and the rest maybe some of you can help me with the caption? Denny won the race from Mark Donohue and John Surtees , both in Lola T70 Mk3B Chevs (unattributed)

In a full season, Hulme was recruited by his compatriot Bruce McLaren as his teammate in the CanAm series. Robin Herds’ McLaren M6A Chev was a stunning car and started the teams domination of the series which finally ended when Porsche joined the series, and ruined it! with its 917/10 in 1972.

Denny narrowly lost the series to McLaren but the relationship started a commitment to the team by Denny which endured to the end of his career and saw him race the teams’ F1, CanAm and Indy Cars through to the end of 1974, when he finally returned to NZ.

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

Jim Clark, Lotus 33 Climax, Levin 1967. ‘R14’ was the last of the trendsetting Lotus 25/33 series built, the first ‘modern-monocoque’ making its debut in Holland 1962…Clarks 2 litre V8 was giving away some power to most of his serious competition, the 2.1 litre BRM’s and 2.5 litre Repco’s but his driving abilities were more than up to closing the deficit (Digby Paape)

Clarks Lotus 33 ‘R14’ was a chassis which had been kind to him…

He first raced it at Brands Hatch in July, and, fitted with the super, trick, only 2 litre version of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 had served him well in 1966, he drove the car when the heavy ‘H16’ engined Lotus 43 was unsuited to the circuit or circumstances. His best result against the new 3 Litre F1’s was a strong third in Holland.

He won the Tasman series in ‘R14’, assisted greatly by the unreliability of the Brabhams and the BRM P261’s which had been so dominant the year before.

He raced a Lotus 43 in South Africa, the first GP of 1967, then ‘R14’ for the last time at Monaco, finally getting his hands on the Lotus 49 at Zandvoort. By that time he was a British Tax exile so the first time the Scot saw the car was when he drove it in Holland, he hadn’t even tested the thing!

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 Ford, Dutch GP June 1967

Jim Clark on his way to a debut win with the Lotus 49 Ford, Dutch GP, Zandvoort June 4 1967…both engine and chassis changed the face of GP racing in an instant (unattributed)

The car was ‘right’ from the start, he won on its debut, and a further four 1967 races, but Dennys’ consistency got him over the line that year.

The Lotus 49 package was dominant in 1968, but sadly Clarks’ ’68 South African GP triumph, off the back of his 1968 Tasman Series win , was his last, he died tragically in a Lotus 48 FVA  as a consequence of probable tyre failure in the Hockenheim F2 race in April.

The king of the 1.5 litre formula proved he was also king of the 3 litre formula in 1967, and anything else he drove!

Graham Hill heroically galvanised the team after Clarks death, winning the title in 1968, and provided leadership Chapman initially did not, grieving for Clark as he understandably was.

Jackie Stewart took two Tasman Series wins…

Mechanical woes, particularly weaknesses in the cars crown wheel and pinion cost him victories, but his speed was apparent and close to Clark’s. Unlike Jim, who had the F1 Lotus 49 to look forward to, BRM persevered with the heavy, complex and slow ‘H16’ engined BRM P83/115 in 1967.

It was to be a long, character building year…a second and third in Belgium and France respectively but retirement in all eight of the other championship rounds.

Jackie Stewart, BRM P83, Nurburgring 1967

Jackie Stewwart wrestling his big BRM P115 ‘H16’ BRM, Nurburgring 1967. He was running fourth when the transmission failed, ‘yumping’ hard on the ‘tranny at the ‘Ring! Hulme won the race in his light, nimble Brabham BT24 Repco (unattributed)

He had won his first Grand Prix in the little P261 BRM in Italy in 1965 but it was then a ‘long time between drinks’ in F1, his undoubted speed finally reflected in wins when he departed to Team Tyrrell which started running Ford DFV engined Matras in 1968, his first title coming in 1969.

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Team Tyrrell ran Matra F2 cars in 1967, Jacky Ickx taking the Euoropean F2 title, and Jackie Stewart, pictured here in an MS7 FVA at ‘Oulton Park’ took one championship win…and critically the team took the view the cars would be successful in F1 (Eddie Whitham)

What duels there may have been as Stewart matured as a driver and took on his friend and countryman Clark?…mind you we saw it in the 1967 Tasman as they were in essentially cars of equal performance, albeit JYS BRM often did not run for long enough for the duels to occur…

As Digby Paape says ‘how lucky we were to see the international drivers in current F1 cars as we did in those wonderful 2.5 Tasman years, the equivalent of seeing Schumacher in that years winning Ferrari’…

Photo Credits…

Digby Paape, Eddie Whitham, Doug Shaw Collection

Tailpiece: Pukekohe 1967…

Love the hats on the gals at the motor racing!

Clearly they have a penchant for ‘Rice Trailers’- it seems said equipment made the trip across the Tasman as well as the two cars, not the happiest of Tasmans for the Repco-Brabham crew despite an ‘all out’ effort to take the Tasman Cup.

Finito…

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford F3 1968

(Automobile Year)

Francois Cevert applies some gentle correction to his Tecno 68 Ford F3 car, Rouen, France 1968…

I was researching another article and tripped over some photos of a very young Francois Cevert in an Alpine in his F3 days…

It reminded me of how many talented young drivers were killed before their prime well into the 1970’s- Francois, Tom Pryce, Gerry Birrell, Roger Williamson, Piers Courage and Tony Brise all spring readily to mind.

The monocoque chassis of the 1970’s were far stronger than the spaceframes of ten years before but as the width and grip of tyres and the aerodynamic downforce the cars produced improved, it meant that accidents, when they occurred at the higher cornering speeds could be particularly horrific. It was a collision with an armco fence, in an accident of this type when his Tyrrell got away from him which killed Francois at Watkins Glen in 1973.

John Barnards’ pioneering use of a carbon fibre chassis in the first McLaren MP4 in 1981 was a driver safety ‘game-changer’.

Francois Cevert 1968

Cevert in his ‘Bell Magnum’ 1968 (unattributed)

As a young teenager just getting interested in racing Cevert ‘had it all’- dazzling film star looks, talent aplenty and racing for a team which was carefully nurturing his talent.

Ken Tyrrell recruited Francois into his Elf sponsored team after the retirement of Johnny Servoz-Gavin due to an eye injury. Jackie Stewart spotted Cevert in 1969 when contesting F2 races and suggested to Tyrrell he keep an eye on him.

Stewart immediately clicked with the young Frenchman, they had a remarkably mature relationship as teammates by the standards of today (Piquet/Mansell, Prost/Senna, Rosberg/Hamilton for example!) with Stewart mentoring the younger man, exactly as Graham Hill had done with the young Scot in 1965. Francois fitted into the ‘family team’ that Tyrrell was. Norah and Ken, Jackie and Helen Stewart, Derek Gardner and the mechanics was a famously friendly place to be- albeit a very competitive one.

Cevert made his Grand Prix debut in the team’s March 701 Ford at the 1970 Dutch GP, by the end of 1971 he won his one and only GP victory at Watkins Glen, ironically the circuit at which he would lose his life.

Stewart freely admitted Ceverts’ equal or superior speed in 1973, the team leading role Cevert was to play in 1974, when JYS retirement was planned was cruelly stolen from him.

Francois Cevert, Alpine A280 Renault, Brands Hatch F3 October 1967

Francois in the Brands Hatch paddock for the ‘ER Hall Trophy’ Meeting October 29 1967. Alpine A280 Renault, DNF in a race flagged off after 10 laps due to the conditions…the top 10 finishers included future F1 drivers Henri Pescarolo, John Miles, Peter Gethin, Reine Wisell, and Derek Bell…the field also included future F1 drivers Ian Ashley, Gijs Van Lennep, Jean -Pierre Jaussaud, Dave Walker, Clay Regazzoni, Piers Courage, Howden Ganley…a field of some depth! (unattributed)

This article and photographs celebrate his time in his formative years in F3 and F2…

Cevert, born in 1944, originally became interested in racing via Jean Pierre Beltoise, his sister was dating the future French champion at the time.

After two years doing National Service he enlisted in a racing school at Magny Cours, winning the ‘Volant Shell’ competition, the prize was an Alpine A280 Renault F3 car.

Francois’ Magny Cours drive was funded by a married woman ‘Nanou’, he had met at 19 and fallen for him, on holiday who also did the race course. The shot below is of his wet, winning drive in a Martini.

cev vol

(unattributed)

Patrick Depailler also contested the final, finishing second, here are the pair of them looking very sodden after the race.

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Francois and Patrick, Volant Shell 1966 (unattributed)

The Winfield Racing entered car was underfunded and relatively uncompetitive in 1967 but Francois did enough to be offered a works Alpine drive for 1968, he turned this down and talked his way into the Tecno team, who had a much more competitive car.

Francois Cevert , Pau F3 1967, Alpine A280 Renault

Early in the 1967 season, April 2 with the Alpine A280 Renault, at Pau. DNF in the race won by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud’s Matra MS6 Ford (unattributed)

He missed five rounds of the French Championship but won the first he entered at Monthlery on May 12, immediately competitive in his Tecno. A strong fourth place followed in the  Monaco F3 GP put his name into prominence, Ronnie Petersen placed third, he too would make his F1 debut in a March 701 in 1970.

Francois took further wins at La Chatre, Nogaro and Albi winning the French F3 championship that year.

Francois Cevert, Albi 1968, Tecno 68 Ford F3

1st place in the 1968 French F3 Championships’ final 1968 round at Albi. Tecno 68 Ford (unattributed)

Francois progressed to a factory F2 Tecno in 1969…

The Ford FVA powered Tecno 69 a very competitive car also driven by fellow 1970 F1 ‘newbee’ Clay Regazzoni. The class was hotly contested by drivers including Jochen Rindt, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Piers Courage, the class containing both pretenders to the thrones of current champions and the champions themselves.

Johnny Servoz-Gavin won the European F2 Championship in 1969 in a Matra MS7 Ford from Hubert Hahne in a Lola T102 BMW/ BMW 269 from Francois in third, it had been a strong debutant F2 season in a field of great depth.

Francois Cevert, Tecno 68 Ford FVA, Pau 1969

Francois Ceverts Pau 1969 was more successful then his 1967 visit…4th in the F2 race in the Tecno 68 Ford FVA  won by ‘F2 king’ Jochen Rindt Lotus 59B Ford FVA. High wings banned shortly thereafter by the FIA during the 1969 Monaco GP weekend (unattributed)

 

Francois Cevert, Tecno 69 FVA, German GP 1969

Francois in the Tecno 69 Ford FVA F2 car during the 1969 German GP. He qualified 16th, and second quickest of the F2 cars in a field of 26 cars. DNF after 9 laps with gearbox failure (unattributed)

Into 1970 Francois continued in F2 and was also picked up by Matra for their endurance program, the 3 litre V12 sportscars a taste of real power.

Cevert drove for the team for the rest of his life, Servoz retired and the rest, as they say, is history and one of Grand Prix Racings’ great ‘mighta-beens’…

Other Cevert Reading…

Francois and Jack Brabham at Matra in 1970; https://primotipo.com/2016/09/09/jack-and-francois-matra-ms660/

Tyrrell Aerodynamic Evolution; https://primotipo.com/2016/05/31/tyrrell-002-monza-1972/

Etcetera…

Francois Cevert , Matra MS660, Monthlery 1970

Jack Brabham and Francois Cevert teammates at Matra in 1970…Jack in his last year of F1 and Francois in his first. Winners of the Paris 1000Km at Monthlery in 1970, Matra MS660 (unattributed)

 

Francois Cevert, March 701 Ford, Dutch GP 1970

First Grand Prix, the Dutch in 1970, Team Tyrrell March 701 Ford. Q 15 of 24 cars, DNF with an engine failure on lap 31 of the race won by Jochen Rindts’ Lotus 72 Ford, and the tragic race in which Piers Courage lost his life in a high speed crash in his DeTomaso 505 Ford (unattributed)

 

Francois Cevert, TecnoTF71Ford FVA , Imola 1971

Cevert continued to do the occasional F2 race after he had broken into GP racing, here in a Tecno TF/71 Ford FVA, in the ‘City of Imola GP’ in July 1971. He was non-classified 10th in the race won by Carlos Pace March 712M Ford FVA…’Tyrrell nose’ quickly adopted by others after appearing at the French Grand Prix earlier in July!

 

Brigitte and Francois 1971

Francois and Brigitte Bardot, Paris Racing Car Show 1971. By this time Cevert is a GP star if not an ‘ace’. The car is Graham Hills F1 mount of 1970, the Rob Walker owned Lotus 72 Ford…make an attractive couple!

 

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Cevert F3 victory celebration with parents, Tecno 68 Ford , 1968

Francois celebrates a 1968 F3 victory with his parents, circuit not disclosed. Tecno 68 Ford F3 (unattributed)

 

Monaco F3 pit scene 1968

Ceverts # 44 Tecno in the Monaco F3 paddock 1968. #39 Francois Mazet also Tecno 68 Ford mounted and #40 Etienne Vigoureux Martini MW3 Ford

 

Francois Cevert, Tyrrell 002 Ford, USGP 1971

Francois, Monza 1971, Tyrrell 002 Ford. Third in that blink of an eye finish between Peter Gethin, Ronnie Peterson, Francois and Mike Hailwood- Gethin’s BRM P160 the victor (unattributed)

 

Tecno logo

Credits…

Automobile Year 16, DPPI, The Nostalgia Forum, F2 Index

Finito…