Posts Tagged ‘Jean-Pierre Beltoise’

Surtees, Matra MS5 Cosworth SCA, Rouen 1966 (LAT)

Lordy knows how many different bikes and cars the great John Surtees drove in his lengthy career at elite level, on two and four wheels?!…

His brief Matra F2 phase was a new one on me until tripping over some of these photographs whilst researching an article on Matras.

‘Big John’ did two races for Ken Tyrrells ‘Tyrrell Racing Organisation’ in France in July 1966.

Of course he was a man who was contract free after a series of confrontations with his Scuderia Ferrari employers, which, on the balance of probability, cost the pair the 1966 F1 titles and then caused his departure from the team with whom he was champion in 1964. I wrote a feature about Surtees  a while back which covers all of that and a whole lot more.

https://primotipo.com/2014/11/30/john-surtees-world-champion-50-years-ago/

Surtees on his way to winning the notorious 1966 Belgian GP at Spa. The first lap deluge decimated the field, the supremely brave, stupid cine-cameramen are capturing footage for ‘Grand Prix’. Surtees Ferrari 312 won from Rindt and Bandini- Cooper T81 Maser and Ferrari Dino 246 (LAT)

 

Toto Roche moves out of the way at the start of the 1966 French GP- Bandini’s Ferrari 312 is on pole with Surtees Cooper T81 Maserati alongside and out of shot to the right is Parkes in the other works Ferrari. Brabham won from Parkes and Hulme, Brabham BT20 Repco. Surtees and Bandini both DNF. Jack is behind Bandini and Rindt in the white peaked helmet in another T81 Cooper with Graham Hill’s distinctive helmet behind Jochen- BRM P261 (LAT)

Surtees’ last race with Ferrari was the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on 12 June- he won it. His first with Cooper, was the French Grand Prix at Reims on 3 July.

There his Cooper T81 Maserati failed to finish with problems, (a small shaft driving the mechanical fuel pump sheared on the first lap but he ‘shoved it right up’ Ferrari by popping the unfamiliar and undoubtedly less competitive car second on the grid- behind Bandini’s Ferrari 312 on pole.

In fact, as Denis Jenkinson reported in MotorSport, the time ‘was artificial and could not last, for unaided a Cooper Maserati did not seem likely to break 2:10 seconds’- the time was recorded by way of the slipstreaming efforts of Rindt and Surtees, slotting John in behind the Bandini Ferrari and getting a decent tow before the ruse was picked up by Lorenzo.

Jack Brabham won the race of course and became the first dude to win a GP in a car bearing his own name and of his own (Ron Tauranac and Jack’s Motor Racing Developments) construction.

In addition to his Ferrari F1 and Sportscar commitments Surtees successfully attacked the 1966 Can-Am championship taking the title with three wins at St Jovite, Riverside and Las Vegas aboard a Team Surtees, Lola T70 Mk2 Chev.

But apart from that, the first Can-Am round at Mont Tremblant wasn’t until 11 September, he could take on rides as he saw fit- a couple of F2 races a week apart in France suited him very nicely indeed.

Surtees was offered the ride as Jackie Stewart was badly injured in his BRM P261, Belgian GP shunt, this accident well covered here; https://primotipo.com/2015/02/13/jackie-stewart-at-surfers-paradise-speed-week-1966-brabham-bt11a-climax-and-ferrari-250lm/

Ken Tyrrell ran Coopers in F2 in 1965 (Stewart and Frank Gardner/John Surtees/Bob Bondurant/Chris Amon/Ludovico Scarfiotti- how is that for a variety of drivers in the second car! in Cooper T75 BRM P80’s) and switched to the nascent Matra marque in 1966 when he ran Jacky Ickx and Jackie Stewart as the ‘primary drivers’ in Matra MS5 Cosworth SCA 1 litre machines. That year, out of interest, the drivers when either of the above were unavailable included Surtees, Scarfiotti, Mike Spence and Hubert Hahne.

Tyrrell and Stewart surfed the Matra wave to great effect and mutual benefit of course, winning the 1969 driver and manufacturer titles in the MS80 Ford- an F1 car Stewart rated as one of the best he ever raced. That story is told here;

https://primotipo.com/2016/07/01/matra-ms80-ford/

1966 was the year the Brabham Hondas blitzed the Euro F2 title, Jack and Denny won most of blue-riband events with the best of the Cosworth SCA’s nibbling at their Goodyears- usually the Jochen Rindt driven, Roy Winkelmann entered Brabham. The Brabham Honda story is here; https://primotipo.com/2015/07/30/xxxii-grand-prix-de-reims-f2-july-1966-1-litre-brabham-hondas/

Right from the start the Matras were regarded as jewels of cars deploying the latest in aeronautical technology applied to automotive engineering.

Matra MS5 Cosworth SCA cutaway drawing, technical specifications as per text (J Marsden)

 

Surtees settles himself into the Tyrrell Matra MS5 Cosworth SCA at a chilly Silverstone- thats Ken hovering over his new recruit (Getty)

Surtees had at least one test at Silverstone before journeying to France, given the engineer/racers knowledge of chassis dynamics his view of the car at the time would be interesting if any of you have any first hand accounts of his view of the car?

The twenty-second GP de Reims was run over 37 laps, 307 km on the same 3 July weekend as the French F1 GP and was predictably, on this power circuit, won by Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT18 Honda from Alan Rees in a Winkelmann Brabham BT18 Cosworth SCA and then Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a works MS5 SCA.

There were a large number of MS5’s in the race, John Coomb’s BRM engined car raced by Graham Hill to eleventh, Ickx and Schlesser were non-classified in their Tyrrell Racing Organisation BRM P80 and works SCA engined cars. Rodriguez was a DNF in his works car, also BRM engined with the Surtees SCA powered car out after completing 10 laps with piston failure.

At the end of the weekend the circus decamped from Reims in the Grand Est region, the ‘unofficial capital’ of the Champagne wine growing region, to Rouen, to the West, in Upper Normandy a distance of about 285 Km.

Reims 3 July 1966. Brabham and Hulme in Brabham BT18 Hondas, Rindt on the inside, Brabham BT18 Cosworth and Surtees Matra MS5 SCA on the outside, then Alan Rees, Brabham BT18 Cosworth (LAT)

The entry was a little smaller than the week before- 21 cars started rather than 24 cars, the Matra marque represented by five cars- works entries for Schlesser and JPB, Tyrrell cars for Ickx and Surtees and the Coombs entry for Hill.

Surtees started on row two with Graham Hill- the two Matras together, with Brabham, Hulme and Rindt up front.

JPB hit Rindt up the clacker going into the Nouveau Monde hairpin on the first lap and spread-eagled the field. Denny worked his way up to second behind Jack whilst Beltoise, sans nose, Rindt and Rees also sought to make up lost ground but JPB retired with a leaking radiator and Rindt with a wrecked Hewland.

‘With six laps to go Brabham (in the lead) failed to appear, his Honda engine having blown up, though he said his gear-lever had broke! (Crankshaft was more like it)…Hulme was just behind so he was able to take over the lead…Rodriguez had been running steadily in the Ron Harris Lotus and gaining places as the faster drivers ran into trouble and he passed Hill and Surtees to take third as the ex-Ferrari driver’s Matra-Cosworth expired and the BRM ex-World Champion struggled along in a sick Matra BRM’ wrote Denis Jenkinson.

Denny Hulme won the 46 lap 301 km race from Alan Rees’ Brabham, Pedro Rodriguez in the Ron Harris-Team Lotus, SCA engined Lotus 44, Hill who was fifth, Trevor Blokdyk in the other Harris entry Lotus 44 SCA sixth- Surtees was classified seventh falling one lap short of the distance with differential failure.

Surtees raced a Lola for the Midland Racing Partnership once in 1966 and ran a full F2 campaign in a Lola T100 Ford FVA with the change to the 1.6 litre formula from 1 January 1967.

Matra’s relentless march to F1 continued- and they achieved Formula 2 success with many race wins and Euro F2 titles for Jacky Ickx in 1967 aboard MS5 and MS7 Ford FVA, Jean-Pierre Beltoise in 1968, MS7 FVA and Johnny Servoz-Gavin in 1969 MS7 FVA.

Jackie Stewart at Silverstone during the ‘BARC 200′ Wills Trophy Euro F2 round on March 27 1967. He raced his Tyrrell MS5 Ford FVA 1.6 to 5th behind the two Winkelmann Brabham BT23 FVA’s of Rindt and Alan Rees, Surtees’ Lola T100 FVA and Bruce McLaren’s McLaren M4A FVA. The Lotus 48’s were non-classified. There was lots of depth in the 1967 F2 fields. JPB gave the new Matra MS7 its race debut at Rouen on 9 July- Ickx used both MS5 and MS7 chassis to win the Euro F2 Championship that year from Frank Gardner’s Brabham BT23 and BT23C FVA and JPB. ‘Graded driver’, Jochen Rindt did most of the winning but was not eligible for championship points

The Early Matras…

Writing about Surtees in 1966 sort of begs the question of what went before that, context is all!

Treat this as nothing more than a summary- I am just skimming the tops of the waves, this is not anything of depth but rather a bit of a teaser for a more comprehensive piece in the future on the early cars built by Matra.

 

Whilst in French, you can probably get the gist of the car specifications from the drawing above.

Matra enthusiast Gerard Gamand on The Nostalgia Forum provides useful information on the production numbers of these early Matras.

He cites 4 cars built in 1965, two each of MS1 and MS2.

The car was designed by Paul Carillo and was based on the Rene Bonnett F2 design- Matra took over the ailing concern, which became Matra Sports.

Most of you would know the Matra monocoque chassis, drawing upon aerospace techniques was fabricated in such a tight and accurate manner, ‘that fuel bag-tanks were not required as the tub was leak proof. This technique meant that lateral bracing to the tub was possible giving it a very high degree of stiffness’ f3.history.co.uk report.

Matra MS5 chassis (G Gamand)

The chassis above is identified as an MS5- the one below an F3/F2 tub bit i am not sure which. Regardless the in-build shot is interesting.

(autodiva)

The MS2 was a ‘long chassis’ development of the MS1.

MS1 was an immediate success with most of the teams focus naturally enough on French events in 1965.

Jean-Pierre Jaussaud was first entered for the Prix de Paris at Montlhery on 23 May 1965 in an MS1, but did not arrive.

The cars baptism of fire was at the biggest international event of the year- the 29 May Monaco F3 GP won by Peter Revson’s Ron Harris entered Lotus 35 Ford Holbay.

MS1’s were entered for JPJ and Eric Offenstadt- Eric DNF’d his heat so missed the final, whilst Jaussaud was tenth in his heat and fifteenth in the final.

Jean-Pierre Beltoise took the first marque win at Reims on July 4- the ‘Coupe Internationale de Vitesse de Formula 3’ support race for the Reims F2 GP.

Reims 1965, the first Matra win- Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Matra MS1 Ford (unattributed)

 

(Matra)

By the end of the season, JPB had taken another win at Cognac on 25 July and JPJ wins in the Coupe de Paris at Monthlery on 17 September and the Coupe de Vitesse at Albi a week later.

Together with points scored for their placings Beltoise and Jaussaud were first and second in the 1965 French F3 Championship- the nascent marque was away…

Whilst the F3 campaign continued, as Rene Bonnett was absorbed by Matra, their Djet (Jet) evolved into a Matra Djet with Matra boss Jean-Luc Lagarde hiring Bernard Boyer- French FJ Champion in 1961, to develop a prototype rallycar for the Tour de Corse, which now can perhaps be seen as the precursor of the sports prototypes which followed.

The resultant MS3/M610 was a Lotus-Ford twin-cam engined closed sportscar which used the Djet as a base but incorporated a new chassis designed by Boyer. Its frst outing was the 1965 26/27 November Criterium des Cevennes Rally driven by Phillipe Farjon and Johnny Servoz-Gavin.

Matra Djet 6 cop-car in December 1965

These forays into Rallying continued before the 1966 racing program got underway wrote Ed McDonough in ‘Matra Sports Cars’.

The MS4/M620 was a 1966 sports prototype powered by a BRM P60 2 litre V8, the gearbox a ZF, 5-speed transaxle- a later variant was powered by a 4.7 litre Ford pushrod V8.

Designed by Jean Hebert it used a spaceframe chassis rather than the now familiar type of Matra monocoque- the BRM engine required a new clutch and 40 amp alternator. The new car was ready by November 1965 but first made its public appearance at the 1966 Le Mans test weekend in April.

Actress Joanna Shimkus takes time out from filming ‘Les Aventuriers’ to show the lines of the MS5 to good effect in September 1966. Note rocker front and traditional outboard mounted spring/dampers at the rear- period typical. Montlhery? Former actress now wife of Sir Sidney Poitier and mother of actress Sydney Tamiliar Poitier

For the 1966 season 12 MS5 chassis were made- 6 each to F3 and F2 specifications.

The build for 1967 totalled 6 cars. Three each MS6 F3 and  MS7 F2. The MS6 was a modified version of the MS5 with wheel and suspension geometry changes to take advantage of the latest in tyre developments

Pau GP April 1969, JPB in the bi-winged Matra MS7 Ford FVA- second, 1 minute behind Rindt’s Lotus 59B FVA (unattributed)

In 1968 a further four MS7’s were built, all were F2 cars built to accept the ‘class standard’ 1.6 litre 210bhp Ford Cosworth FVA engine.

The MS8/M630 was a 1967 BRM V8 engined Group 6 sports-racer coupe.

Many of the cars mentioned in this listing were raced by Johnny Servoz-Gavin, so check out my article on him for photographs; https://primotipo.com/2016/09/02/johnnys-talbot/

Stewart, Clark, Rindt, Surtees Kyalami 1968. Matra MS9 Ford, Lotus 49 Ford, Brabham BT24 Repco and Honda RA300. Its somehat poignant in its majesty- if that is the right word to describe the busy scene of South African enthusiasts thronging this magnificent, challenging racetrack. Clark took his last championship GP win that weekend, his very last was the Tasman Formula, Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park on 25 February aboard a Lotus 49 Ford DFW 2.5- he won a ripper of a race of 105 miles prevailing over Chris Amon’s Ferrari Dino 246T by one tenth of a second. Clark won in South Africa from teammate Hill and Rindt. Stewart retired after completing 43 laps with conrod failure from grid 3 (LAT)

It may be a tangent too far, but the first F1 Matra, the 1968 Ford Cosworth engined MS9 raced by Tyrrell/Jackie Stewart as a ‘whoosh-bonk’, to use the Bruce McLaren words to describe a quick lash-up, stop-gap early 1968 car used a modified F2 MS7 chassis- with suspension from the MS630 sportscar and a Hewland DG300 gearbox. That car, in brief, is covered in the Matra MS80 article linked above.

For the sake of completeness I also wrote a couple of articles about the MS120 F1 cars here; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/06/venetia-day-and-the-1970-matra-ms120/

and here; https://primotipo.com/2015/12/13/venetia-days-matra-ms120/

Keith Duckworth on his Cosworth SCA 1 litre F2 engine…

Lets get back to where we started, the Matra MS5- in particular the engine which powered the Surtees chassis.

‘It might not have been right, but we had to make it work. It won the F2 Championships of 1964 and 1965…and…until the Honda engine of 1966 with four valves and twin overhead camshafts, tungsten carbide rockers and torsion bar valve springs appeared in Jack Brabham’s cars. We’d run out of breathing at 11,000 rpm so we obviously needed more valve area. That’s what started me thinking about 4-valve heads’.

‘Mike Costin  and I exercised great ingenuity- we had ports that curved around, we had the piston of the week with every kind of shape, dint and odd hole- but the combustion was not good, the mixture never burned properly’.

All the same, the dominant F2 engine of 1964 and 1965 did rather well producing between 115 bhp @ 8700 rpm in its original Weber 40 IDF carburettor form and in ultimate 1966 spec, Lucas injected form, 143 bhp.

Good ole Ford 5 bearing 116E block. Single, (train of seven gears) gear driven overhead camshaft, two valves per cylinder , Cosworth rods and pistons, Laystall steel crank. 997cc- 81mm x 48.35mm bore-stroke.

SCB variant 1498cc 175 bhp – 3 engines only built including the Brabham BT21B raced by ex-Brabham mechanic Bob Ilich in Western Australia

SCC variant 1098cc 135 bhp for North American sportscar racing

Click here for an article about the Lotus 35- and the Cosworth SCA and a little on the P80 BRM unit- the excerpt above is from this piece; https://primotipo.com/2017/11/06/jim-clark-lotus-35-and-the-cosworth-sca-f2-engine/

Matra MS80 Ford cutaway in part. The 1969 World Championship machine (unattributed)

Credits…

LAT, MotorSport, oldracingcars.com, John Marsden, Gerard Gamand Collection, ‘Matra Sports Cars’ Ed McDonough, oldracingcars.com

Tailpiece: Hang on sonny…

(unattributed)

John Surtees giving his Tyrrell Racing Organisation teammate, Jacky Ickx a ride back to the paddock at the Circuit de Reim-Guex on the July 3 weekend- both drivers failed to finish the race.

Finito…

Jochen Rindt doing some Brabham ‘grass cutting’ at the Tulln-Langenlebarn airfield circuit in 1967 with the flair and precision for which he was famous…

There are the ‘thinking drivers’ of course but it’s the ones with mesmerising, other worldly driving skills that ultimately excite.

The high priests amongst these fellows are the likes of Nuvolari, Fangio, Peterson, Villeneuve and of course Jochen Rindt. Only two of these chaps died in bed. In the days when racing cars and the geography in which they raced could and did bite, the law of averages, especially if you played with the extremes of the laws of physics too often could bring you undone.

Rindt from JPB at TL in 1968. He won from JPB and Henri Pescarolo in works  Matra MS7 FVA’s. Brabham BT23C’s filled 5 of the top 10 placings (unattributed)

Rindt made his name in F2- he was the dominant player in the class from the time he entered it in 1964 until the time he left planet earth in 1970. For much of that period he raced Brabhams- the chuckability of which were tailor made for the plucky Austrians balls to the wall, tail out, crowd pleasing style. Check out this article about Jochen and the F1 Lotus 72 Ford; https://primotipo.com/2017/05/19/designers-original-intent/

The BT23 family of cars, Tasman and F2/FB variants were ripper cars. They were up there with the very best of customer Brabhams designed by Ron Tauranac, fettled by Jack as to baseline chassis setup and built by Motor Racing Developments in large numbers.

The photos in this article are of Rindt at Tulln-Langenlebaln, Vienna and Thruxton. At TL Rindt’s Winkelmann BT23 FVA won in 1967 from Jack Brabham’s works machine and Jean-Pierre Beltoise’ Matra MS5 FVA , and ‘winged in 1968 from JPB and Henri Pescarolo both aboard  works Matra MS7 FVA’s.

At Thruxton (below) in 1968 he won from JPB in an MS7 FVA and Derek Bell in a BT23C FVA. Jochen also raced a BT23C in ’68, again Winkelmann entered.

Jochen on the way to winning the ‘BARC 200’ at Thruxton on 15 April 1968, Winkelmann BT23C (unattributed)

Bibliography…

F2 Index

Photo Credits…

Unattributed

Tailpiece: Rindt, on it, as usual, BT23C, Tulln-Langenlebaln, Vienna, 14 July 1968…

(unattributed)

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Jackie Stewart jumps his Ken Tyrrell ‘Equipe Matra International’ MS80 Ford during the German Grand Prix on August 3 1969…

In a marvellous GP season Jackie triumphed over friends and rivals Jochen Rindt, Lotus 49, Jacky Ickx and Piers Courages’s Brabham BT26’s, the Kiwi McLaren twins Hulme and McLaren and Chris Amons fast but unreliable Ferrari.

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Jean-Pierre Jaussaud with his Matra MS2 Ford prior to the start of the Zandvoort Trophy, 29 August 1965 DNF. Kurt Ahrens won the race in a Brabham BT16 Ford (Revs Institute)

Matra had raced in the the ‘junior’ F3 and F2 formulae as well as in endurance racing since 1965. From the very start the single-seaters used sophisticated monocoque chassis with technology borrowed from Matra’s aerospace arm in having its fuel contained directly in box section pontoons which were sealed with a polymer resin.

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MS80 tub being assembled at Velizy in early 1969. Note the lateral bulkheads referred to in the text, immensely strong, it looks heavy but wasn’t (Ludvigsen)

The competition used bag tanks, the advantage of the Matra approach was that that each pontoon had lateral bulkheads greatly improving both the strength and torsional rigidity of the tubs. Results weren’t initially great but soon the French crowd had blue coloured cars to cheer, Jean Pierre Beltoise taking a notable first win at Reims.

Jabby Crombac, the famed French racing journalist introduced Matra boss Jean Luc Lagardere to Ken Tyrrell. After Jackie Stewart test drove a modified F3 Matra fitted with a 1 litre BRM F2 engine and was blown away with its traction, he raced the cars in 1966, the year Jack Brabham swept the board in F2 with his  Honda powered cars.

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Jacky Ickx racing his Tyrrell Matra MS7 Ford F2 car during the 1967 German GP, DNF with suspension failure. Denny Hulme won the race in a Brabham BT24 Repco (unattributed)

For 1967, the new 1.6 litre F2 formula commenced. Matra Ford FVA powered cars won many races driven by Stewart, Jacky Ickx in the other Tyrrell entered car and the works Matras driven by JPB, Henri Pescarolo and ‘Johnny’ Servoz Gavin. Ickx won the title driving both MS5 and the later MS7 chassis.

Matra’s Grand Prix program was the result of a happy confluence of events… Race success meant it was ready and keen to step up and in reality it could afford to do so from its own group resources. The French government had just created a state owned oil company ‘Essence et Lubrificants Francaise’ or ELF. The marketing decision was taken that motor racing sponsorship and success would be the best way to promote the company rather than traditional mass media advertising. Further, the French Government, aware of Matra’s success to date saw GP racing success via Matra as a means of restoring French national prestige.

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The Beltoise/Pescarolo Matra MS630 prior to the 1967 1000Km of Paris at Montlhery DNF, race won by the Ickx/Hawkins Mirage M1 Ford (unattributed)

And so Elf agreed to support Matra (and an amazingly successful driver support program over the decades to come), the government kicked in about £800,000. Doug Nye wryly noted that the nominated engineer, former Simca technician Georges Martin saw a racing car for the first time at that years 1967 London Racing Car Show! He proved to be a fast learner mind you!

Over at Ockham in Surrey Ken Tyrrell was evolving his own Grand Prix Racing plans which in essence evolved around several factors. His own team infrastructure, based at his timber yard were ‘up for it’ having raced successfully in the junior classes for over a decade. Jackie Stewart had tired of BRM with whom he entered F1 in 1965, but ’65 was his best season, the teams H16 was uncompetitive despite every effort to squeeze pace and reliability from the spectacular, ambitious, heavy beast. Stewart himself had absolute confidence in Ken and his team and was looking for a new ’68 drive.

Walter Hayes confirmed to Ken that Cosworth would sell Ford DFV’s engines to him for the ’68 season, Colin Chapmans exclusivity agreement being broken by Hayes with Colin’s reluctant agreement.

Matra agreed to sell Ken a variant of their V12 chassis designed around the DFV’s compact dimensions. This was an incredibly smart decision by Matra and perhaps the government, a lot of expectation had been created around the Matra V12 program in the media, to the extent the V12 took a while to be competitive, and it did, another car with a proven engine/driver would help ease the pressure. Finally Ken secured Dunlop and Matra support to fund his ambitious program, and so was created a combination which won the World Drivers and Manufacturers titles within 2 years.

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JPB in the V12 Matra MS11 at Spa in 1968. He was 8th in the race won by Bruce McLaren’s McLaren M7A Ford, Stewart was 4th in an MS10 Ford (Heritage Images)

Matra’s first F1 cars were the Ford powered MS9 and 10 raced by Stewart in 1968, from Monaco the Velizy outfit entered the MS11 powered by their own 3 litre V12. The evolution of these V12 F1 cars I wrote about a while back, click on this link here to read about them, the focus of this article is the Ford engined cars;

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/06/venetia-day-and-the-1970-matra-ms120/

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Jackie Stewart during the 1968 South African GP in the MS9 Matra prior to its Ford Cosworth conrod failure, Jim Clark won his final GP in a Lotus 49 Ford , 1 January (unattributed)

The prototype of the 1968 MS9 was a modified ’67 F2 MS7 chassis to which a DFV was bolted directly to the monocoques rear bulkhead. The difference between this prototype and the MS9 was that the latter car had a lightweight frame extending from the monocoques rear bulkhead to a fabricated suspension pickup diaphragm fitting around the gearbox.

The structure wasn’t designed to take suspension loads but rather to keep the suspension settings in place when engine changes were effected. Chassis designer Bernard Boyers’s approach was practical, in the case of the Lotus 49 and all of its ‘copyists’ the car had to be wheel aligned and brakes bled after a ‘Cossie engine change.

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JPB in his MS10 during his guest drive at the ’68 Spanish GP. Note the MS 10 monocoque and bulkhead above his knees, DFV and brakelines atop the top radius rods (unattributed)

 

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JPB guesting for the injured Stewart at the 1968 Spanish GP, he qualified and raced 5th, the race won by Hill’s Lotus 49 Ford (unattributed)

The cars monocoque was as described earlier, rocker arm top and lower wishbone suspension with coil spring/damper units were used at the front and single top link, inverted lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring shocks again at the rear. In short all ‘period typical’. Uprights and hubs were donated by the MS630 endurance racer, the gearbox the robust Hewland DG300 5 speed transaxle.

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JYS on the way to winning the ‘International Gold Cup’ at Oulton Park on 17 August 1968, Chris Amon was 2nd in his Ferrari 312 and Jack Oliver 3rd in his works Lotus 49B Ford (unattributed)

This hybrid was tested and raced in South Africa, JYS popped it on the front row and lead Clark before it’s DFV swallowed a valve. The car, short of tankage given it’s F2 derivation, would have needed a quick stop prior to the races conclusion.

The definitive 1969 MS10 had an extra fuel cell between the driver and engine made its debut in the Brands ‘Race of Champions’. Whilst fast the cars issues were around the weight of its endurance derived suspension and wheel hardware which affected the cars sprung/unsprung ratio. There were then some problems of durability in lightened components. Stewart lost the Spa lead when the fuel pumps didn’t pick up the ELF he needed to complete the race.

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Front row of the French GP at Rouen on 7 July 1968. The nose of Jochen Rindt’s Brabham BT26 Repco, the much maligned ‘860 Series’ Repco V8 was fast whilst it held together DNF, with JYS in the middle in his MS10 Matra 3rd and victor Jacky Ickx, Ferrari 312 (Schlegelmilch)

A lighter FG400 Hewland box was fitted at Rouen but the car, despite its aerospace parent was behind in the evolution of wings realtive to some other teams.

But at the Nurburgring in streaming wet conditions it all came together; Stewart’s wrist damaged in an F2 Matra at Jarama was ok, the midships mounted wing worked as did the Dunlop wets and Jackie drove superbly taking Matra’s first GP win.

Stewart won again at Oulton Park and at Watkins Glen and was in with a title shot in Mexico, tank sealing polymer detached and jammed his DFV’s fuel pump with Graham Hill taking the ’68 drivers, and Lotus the manufacturers championship. By any objective assessment 1968 was an amazing season for GP ‘newbees’ Tyrrell and Matra, the experienced Stewart delivering in spades.

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JPB in the 4WD Matra MS84 trailing Jo Sifferts Lotus 49B, both Ford DFV powered thru the fields on Northhamptonshire during the ’69 British GP at Silverstone (Schlegelmilch)

For 1969 some insightful decisions were taken by Matra with a view to winning the title…

They redesigned the V12, the new ‘MS12’ appeared in the MS120 chassis in 1970. Whilst the V12’s were raced in their ’69 endurance program they were withdrawn from F1, the focus of the ’69 program the Ford powered cars.

Tyrrell would therefore race 2 cars in ’69 driven by JYS and JPB, the conventional rear drive MS80, a new car designed by Bernard Boyer. In addition an ‘MS84’ Cosworth powered Matra 4WD using the British Ferguson transmission was designed and built. Stewart wanted the cars available for wet races of which there were several in 1968. It’s a story for another time but the belief at the time was that the tyres of the day even with the growing downforce provided by wings would not provide sufficient grip/traction given the potency of the 3 litre engines and in particular the punch of the DFV. 4WD was being used successfully at Indy at the time, whilst duly noting the particular nature of that circuit. The Ferguson GP car and its system is described in this article;

https://primotipo.com/2015/01/30/ferguson-p99-climax-graham-hill-australian-grand-prix-1963/

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Matra MS80…

Boyers’s starting point for his new car were the deficiencies of the MS10.  These were its mid-ship fuel tank which was inadequately stressed compromising the chassis’ overall stiffness. There was too much front suspension camber change for tyres growing in width, this resulted in lots of understeer and instability under braking. The inboard front suspension mount caused the shocks to overheat and finally at the rear inadequate toe control caused toe steer as the wheel prescribed its arc as the suspension moved up and down.

Boyer applied the same monocoque fuel tank construction system even though it would be outlawed by mandated bag tanks from 1970. His ‘one season’ car had its tanks ‘Coke Bottle’ style in bellied tanks getting the fuel load around the cars centre of gravity. The fuel tanks were baffled by the addition of polyurethane foam. The tub was a ‘full monocoque’ in that the scuttle was fully stressed (not open like the MS10) , the oil tank was moved from its MS9/10 forward mounting to a spot between the drivers shoulders and the DFV.

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Ken Tyrrell’s team fettle one of the MS80’s during the Italian GP weekend in ’69. Hewland FG ‘box, note the twin parallel lower links mentioned in the text, single top link and coil spring/damper complete the rear suspension package (Schlegelmilch)

Front suspension went to conventional if slightly less aerodynamic upper and lower wishbones rather than the top rocker deployed in 1968. The suspension geometry was and always is determined by the needs of the tyres. The Dunlops for 1969 were 13/15 inches in diameter front/rear. Parallel lower links first used by LenTerry/BRM were used at the rear to get better toe control, brakes at the rear were mounted inboard next to the Hewland FG ‘box reducing unsprung weight.

In terms of the cars aero, and their would be much change in 1969, broad front wings either side of the nose would trim the front/rear balance of a tall strut upright mounted rear wing. The DFV at the time developed about 430bhp @ 9500rpm, when first tested at Montlhery the car weighed 535Kg, 15 less than the MS10.

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1969 GP Season depth…Ickx Brabham BT26A 1st with Stewart 2nd and Rindt DNF in Matra MS80 and Lotus 49B and Denny Hulme’s papaya yellow McLaren M7A DNF, all of those cars Ford Cosworth DFV powered (unattributed)

The most competitive packages of 1969 were Stewart’s Matra MS80 Ford and the similarly powered Brabham BT26 of Jacky Ickx and the Rindt/Hill Lotus 49 twins, especially Jochen…

Rindt left Brabham after a year of BT26 speed and Repco ‘860 Series’ quad cam V8 unreliability. Ickx won 2 1969 GP’s (Germany and Canada) with the mildly updated, but Cosworth powered BT26, a car in which Jochen may well have taken the ’69 title had he stayed. Not that his Lotus 49 lacked speed, he finally won his first GP late in the season at Watkins Glen but the prodigiously fast Austrian wasn’t easy on a car and it’s preparation let him down. The surprise of the season was Piers Courage’ speed in the year old, and converted from Repco power ex-works BT26, the BT34 ‘Lobster Claw’ wasn’t a great design but Ron Tauranac never built an F1 dud?! Don’t mention the Trojan I guess!

The McLaren M7A’s were quick all year. Bruce had reliability and consistency, Denny had speed and DNF’s, a bad run of reliability. Bruce took the Can Am drivers title in ’69 in the M8B Chev and Denny won the season ending Mexican GP, which was some sort of reward for the M7, a typically simple, beautifully engineered McLaren.

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Stewart on the way to MS80 victory on the majestic Clermont Ferrand road circuit during the ’69 French GP (unattributed)

The ‘other Kiwi’, Chris Amon was consistently top 5’ish on Saturday despite the Ferrari V12 giving away considerable power and torque to the ubiquitous DFV, but the car was way too unreliable to allow a sustained attack on a race let alone the title. He ‘chucked’ Ferrari around the time of Monza after one engine breakage too many. The new Flat-12 failed, again, behind him at Modena, a decision to leave Maranello (in F1, he still drove the factory 512S sporty in 1970) he forever rued as that engine quickly became a GP great of the seventies.

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Chris Amon and JYS from the ’69 Monaco front row. It was a tough year for Chris and Ferrari, both had pace but the Fazz was hopelessly unreliable. Amon and Stewart both DNF at Monaco, the race won by Hill’s Lotus 49B Ford (Schlegelmilch)

The conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing is that 1969 was a season of great depth, there were plenty of car/driver combinations who were contenders for the ‘69 crowns as the teams set off from Europe for Kyalami at the seasons outset…

The MS80 was tested at Montlhery but didn’t do too many miles so Tyrrell elected to race MS10 to a win in South Africa in Stewart’s hands.

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Jackie Stewart leading the ’69 Spanish GP at fabulous Montjuic Park, Barcelona. MS80 racing a full GP with high wings for the last time, wings banned over the Monaco ’69 weekend (unattributed)

Another victory followed for the MS80 upon its race debut in the ‘Brands Hatch International’ and a championship win at Montjuic Park, Barcelona in the Spanish Grand Prix. This is the famous race in which both Lotus 49 rear wings failed precipitating an instant ‘high wing’ ban by the FIA mid way through the following Monaco GP weekend. Click on this link for an article about those events;

https://primotipo.com/2015/07/12/wings-clipped-lotus-49-monaco-grand-prix-1969/

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JYS and Ken Tyrrell at Monaco 1969, MS80 (Getty)

Hill won at Monaco for the final time, both MS80’s retired on the same lap when cracked gearbox universal joints, discovered pre-race failed during the tough on transmissions event.

Jackie won at Zandvoort, the cars evolved aerodynamically with neat wing-cum-engine covers and JPB reinforced his speed in a front running car by running 2nd to JYS in a glorious win for Matra at Clermont Ferrand, a sensational road course.

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Stewart in his MS80 1st, Rindt DNF in helmet beside his Lotus 49B Ford with champion Graham Hill’s 7th similar car behind in the Zandvoort pitlane in June 1969 (Heritage)

Jackie then won the British GP at Silverstone after a titanic dice with Jochen and after overcoming a practice crash caused by a bit of loose kerbing puncturing a front Dunlop. Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear were involved in a war for F1 supremacy at the time, Ickx’ superior Goodyear G20’s a big part of his Nurburgring success.

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JYS prior to the ’69 German GP 2nd, MS80 (Schlegelmilch)

At Monza Ken Tyrrell counselled JYS to fit an ultra tall 2nd gear to avoid an extra change on the last lap run to the line of a typical Italian slipstreaming battle; in the event that made the difference, JYS narrowly pipping Rindt’s Lotus to take the race and the ’69 titles. The Mosport, Watkins Glen and Mexico City races went to Ickx, Rindt and Hulme.

And so ended the race career of MS80 but not before Ken Tyrrell gave ‘it one last shake’…

Matra’s lack of sales success with its Type 530 road car was largely due to lack of a decent dealer network. Whilst powered by a Ford V4, Lagardere’s attempts to sell the car via Fords network fell on deaf ears. Undeterred, Matra designed a new car powered by a Simca engine, such car would be sold through its dealers but only on the basis that Matra end it’s relationship with Ford in F1 terms. A modified for 1970 MS80 was out despite Tyrrells overtures.

Upon Lagardere’s insistence JYS tested his MS80 DFV against the new for 1970 MS120 V12 at Albi but the canny Scot was convinced the DFV was still the engine to have. And so a series of events unfolded which saw JYS race Tyrrell run March 701 DFV’s until Derek Gardner’s MS80-esque Tyrrell 001 appeared in August 1970, cars which yielded drivers and constructors titles in 1971 and 1973.

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JPB Matra MS120 at the Osterreichring in 1970 6th (unattributed)

Mind you JYS in a Matra MS120 is a tantalising 1970 thought!

JPB and Henri Pescarolo raced the MS120 that year, both worthy drivers, JPB a GP winner but that car was definitely a race winner in the little Scots hands in 1970. As it was Matra didn’t win another GP, albeit the V12 did win a race or two in Ligiers some years later, an updated MS80 in 1970 for sure would have given Rindt, Brabham and Ickx a run for their money.

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JYS at Monaco in 1969, MS80, no wings, this shot during the race (unattributed)

 

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The dominant equipe of 1969, Tyrrell’s Matra International at Silverstone with Beltoise’ MS80 and MS84 4WD (Patrick Jarnoux)

Etcetera…

drivers

(Matra)

 

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JPB heads into Druids Hill at Brands during the ’68 British GP, Matra MS11 V12 (unattributed)

 

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Stewart at Zandvoort 1968. A win in his MS10 Ford from JPB’s MS11 which was over a minute and a half behind (unattributed)

 

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Stewart on his way to a marvellous Nurburgring victory in 1968, Matra MS10 Ford (unattributed)

 

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JPB in the Monaco pits during 1969. Its early in the weekend, his MS80 still has its wings (unattributed)

 

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Stewart at Clermont in 1969, compare and contrast the MS80 neat engine cover come rear wing with the high strut mounted wings of the early season, a quintessential Matra MS80 shot . JYS won from JPB, a second in arrears of his team-leader (unattributed)

References and Photo Credits…

Doug Nye ‘History of The Grand Prix Car’, ‘Matra MS80’ in Profile Publications, oldracingcars.com- always a primary reference source for me, checkout Allen Brown’s pieces on all of the F1 Matras; https://www.oldracingcars.com/f1/matra/

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Getty Images, Patrick Jarnoux, Karl Ludvigsen

Tailpiece: JYS enters the Nurburgring circuit from the paddock, 3 August 1969, MS80 Ford…

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(unattributed)

Finito…

 

 

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Jean Pierre Jarier nips a front brake during qualifying for the 1975 Italian Grand Prix pushing his Shadow DN7 Matra ever so hard…

One of the revelations of the start of the 1975 GP season was the speed of the new Shadow DN5 Ford an evolution of the 1973/4 DN1 and DN3 designs penned by Tony Southgate.

Frenchie Jean Pierre Jarier rocked the socks off the established aces setting a time 8/10 clear of the rest of the season opening Argentinian GP grid.

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Shadow hierachy at an early 1975 season Paul Ricard DN5 Ford test. L>R Chief Mechanic Phil Kerr, Tom Pryce, JP Jarier, Team Manager Alan Rees, Tony Southgate and El Capitano Don Nichols (unattributed)

There were mutterings of Shadow getting development Cosworth engines but the truth was an aerodynamic tweak which is indicative of the importance of aerodynamics over the coming years.

Tony Southgate; ‘ I spent half my life doing aero at Imperial College and DN5 was the first to use the new rolling road wind tunnel, as far as i know, the first in the world’

‘What we discovered was a massive split, front to back, in downforce. People always thought they had about 30-40% on the front. In fact it was no more than 20. And only we knew.’

Tony moved the driver forward 2.5 inches within  a longer wheelbase (with removable spacer between engine and gearbox), developed deeper nose fins and placed springs and dampers inboard.

‘The car was an aero jump. We matched downforce to its static weight distribution-about 35/65 front/rear -and the spacer allowed us to tune the chassis to different circuits; we would find 1.25 seconds at Silverstone just by removing it.’

Immediately it was clear that our car had more downforce than the others and was very well balanced. In its short chassis specification Jarier was taking the fast bend after the pits at Interlagos, Brazil without lifting…’

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JPJ Shadow DN5 Ford, Argentina 1975. Pole and DNS with CWP failure on the warm up lap (unattributed)

Despite being on pole in Argentina, raceday was a disaster with a crown wheel and pinion failing on the warm-up lap; ‘I had been pursuaded to use Hewland’s latest TL200 gearbox instead of the FGA400, i think we and Copersucar did so. It was meant to be more reliable, with helical gears 20% stronger and more bearings in the pinion shaft, improper heat treatment was blamed for the failure’.

In Brazil Jarier was running away with the race from pole when the metering arm of the Lucas injection unit seized. In fact JPJ’s season was a mix of spins and mechanical failures, teammate Tom Pryce getting the better results with a win in the Race of Champions and 3rd in the Austrian GP after qualifying on pole for the British GP before retiring from the lead.

pryce brands

Tom Pryce on his way to winning the ‘Race of Champions’ at Brands Hatch on 16 March 1975 from pole, the Welshmans only F1 win sadly. He won from John Watsons Surtees TS16 Ford and Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus 72E Ford. The field included Ickx, Scheckter, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mass, Donohue and others, it was a great win for both him and DN5 in a classy field (Autosport)

Southgate; ‘Our budget was tight and their was little development left of the car. It wasn’t good on fast circuits where we had to unbolt downforce so we weren’t swamped on the straights. Plus better funded teams cottoned onto what we were doing and were ringing Imperial College to ask if they could use its wind tunnel.’

‘Shadows Grand Prix results for 1975 were very disappointing , especially in view of the competitiveness of the DN5. Our finishing record was simply poor. The cars either broke down or crashed. Jarier only finished two Grands Prix for the year. Pryce’s statistics were better, but he still only finished six GP’s…I often think that, if the DN5 had been prepared and raced by one of the top teams it would have won the Championship’ said Southgate in his autobiography.

The Ford Cosworth DFV and Alternative Engines…

The diligence of team owner Don Nichols designer had given the team the ‘unfair advantage’ of which Mark Donohue spoke so eloquently with a car whose origins dated back to Shadow’s first year in GP racing in 1973.

Whilst Southgate pursued this approach Nichols eventually concluded discussions with Matra to use its glorious V12 in a modified DN5 chassis christened the DN7.

The Ford Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8 was the dominant engine of the 3 litre formula, by the end of 1974 it had taken drivers titles in 1968/9 and 1970-4 but Ferrari’s speed in 1974 gave pause for many team managers, Cosworth users, to find an alternative which allowed them to leap clear of the ‘garagiste’ pack as Enzo Ferrari christened the British Cosworth/Hewland hordes!

The DFV was a tough proposition to beat given its blend of power, packaging, weight, economy, reliability, price and Cosworth’s servicing backup.

matra engine

Shadow DN7 Matra Type 73, 3 litre V12 engine installation at its first Silverstone test in July 1975. Note single plugs and distributor driven off the rear of inlet camshaft, also exhausts and neat brackets to which the top radius rod at the front and shock/spring mount attaches at rear, the ‘main bracket’ runs the length of the cylinder head. You can just see the roll bar behind the spring, radiator header tank also clear. Circa 500bhp at that stage of the engines development (Alejandro Saldutto)

The obvious alternatives were the Matra V12 and Alfa Romeo Flat 12 both 3 litre endurance engines and the venerable BRM V12.

The latter is easily ruled out as being way past its prime, the BRM P207 a sad joke in 1974/5 for all concerned, whilst the Matra and Alfa were successful endurance engines. In the event BC Eccclestone, then Brabham’s owner did a deal to use Alfa engines from 1976 whilst Nichols pursued the Matra option.

Whilst the French V12 last appeared in GP racing in Matra MS120’s driven by Chris Amon in 1972 the engine had been continually developed as an endurance unit and given Matra Le Mans wins from 1972-4 and a whole swag of other endurance events; so it was not too difficult to adapt Matra’s learnings to a ‘sprint’ spec of the engine whence it originated in any event way back in 1968.

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Silverstone Shadow DN7 Matra first test, July 1975 (unattributed)

Evolving the DN5 Ford into the DN7 Matra…

Whilst commercial negotiations dragged on between Nichols and Matra Southgate and his team focussed on keeping the DN5 competitive whilst concepting the DN7 which was a DN5 adapted to fit the longer, heavier, thirstier, albeit more powerful V12.

Major differences were increased fuel tankage and a longer wheelbase otherwise the key elements of both cars; chassis, body, aero and inboard front suspension by rockers, conventional outboard rear suspension and Hewland TL200 gearbox were the same, this gearbox developed by Hewland for endurance use was the ‘box used by Matra in their MS670 sports cars.

Tony Southgate spoke of the challenges of adapting the Matra engine to the DN5 in his autobiography;

‘In view of my V12 experience with Eagle and BRM the powers that be most likely thought I was a bit of a V12 expert and that I might be able to resurrect the old Matra engine and get it to the front of the grid.’

‘Fitting the Matra engine was not that straightforward and of course the V12 engine required a lot more fuel cell capacity. The engine ran at 12000rpm, about 30% more than the DFV, so extra tanks were fitted into the sides of the car alongside the existing seat tank.

Due to the extra engine RPM and horsepower the cooling system needed to be increased in size, so I fitted larger side pods and set the water radiators further forwards to maintain the weight distribution of the Cosworth engined DN5. The V12 was longer than the DFV, of course, so the wheelbase was increased a little’.

‘The end result was a longer, heavier but more powerful DN5 which we called the DN7. I thought that it would do about the same lap times  as the DN5 and that proved to be the case’.

When finally completed the car was tested by ‘Jumper’ at Silverstone in July and made its race debut in practice for the Austrian GP on 17 August, Tom Pryce drove his usual Ford engined DN5 and offered a direct comparison, both drivers being more or less equivalently FAST.

The car was heavier than the DN5, it wasn’t bespoke, but still provided the team and of course Matra a sense of competitiveness of the package.

shadow matra engine installation

Matra MS73 V12 in the Shadow DN7, first test, Silverstone, July 1975. Superbly successful bit of kit in endurance racing and won GP’s in Ligier chassis. Famously one of the most aurally erotic of all racing engines, circa 500bhp@11600 when a good Cosworth developed circa 470bhp. Note Lucas injection trumpets, inboard rear discs and duct along side, engine electronics behind radiator header tank. Tech specs of engine and chassis below (unattributed)

The Austrian GP was a horrible weekend, Mark Donohue crashed his Penske March 751 in practice as a result of a Goodyear tyre failure, dying in a Graz hospital several days later of brain injuries sustained in the high speed crash.

Half points were awarded to finishers of the rain shortened race won by Vittorio Brambilla’s works March 751 Ford, that teams first, long overdue win.

Denis Jenkinson in MotorSport had this to say about the re-appearance of Matra in GP racing; ‘Another welcome return was made by the Matra V12 engine, this time in the back of a UOP Shadow DN7, but somehow it seems to have lost that car-splitting scream that it used to have in the days of Beltoise and Pescarolo in the blue cars from Velizy. Perhaps the Ferrari and Cosworth engines have caught it up on the decibel scale, for they certainly have on bhp output. None-the-less it was nice to see and hear a Matra V12 in Grand Prix racing again’.

‘Particularly pleasing was to see the enthusiasm with which JPJ was tackling the job of driving the DN7. It was not a half-hearted attempt, with one eye cocked over the Cosworth powered DN5 standing in the paddock, or a dickering between the two cars. As far as Jarier was concerned there was only one car for him and that was the DN7. With that approach in the cockpit the Shadow Matra V12 project could get somewhere. It certainly started well by being ahead on the grid of Pryce in the Shadow Cosworth V8, even if it was only 0.2 sec ahead’

Jarier qualified the DN7 13th, one grid slot in front of Pryce, Tom had a great race finishing 3rd whilst the Matras fuel injection system malfunctioned causing JP’s retirement on lap 10.

It was an ok start for a car with limited testing, the Shadow boys prepared the same mix of cars for the Italian GP held on 7 September.

shadow monza

Jarier DN7 Matra, Monza 1975. GP cars looks do not come better than this?! (LAT)

In between the Osterreichring and Monza the Non-Championship Swiss Grand Prix was held at Dijon, France, there being no circuits in Switzerland, with Jarier putting his Shadow on pole. He lead the first 23 laps until retirement with gearbox trouble; but he was back in his Ford engined DN5 whilst the DN7, the team only built one chassis #DN7/1A, was readied for Monza.

Clay Regazzoni won the event in his Ferrari 312T and then doubled up also driving to victory at Monza.

italian grand prix

1975 Italian Grand Prix, just look at the variety of aero approaches in this shot let alone mechanical specification, Oh for the days before F1 was a ‘control formula’?! Regazzoni’s winning Ferrari 312T Flat-12 from Jarier’s Shadow DN7 Matra V12, Carlos Pace’s Brabham BT44B Ford V8 and Ronnie Peterson’s similarly powered Lotus 72E (unattributed)

The Shadows qualified in Italy exactly as they had at the Osterreichring, the results similar as well; Jumpers Matra failed, this time with fuel pump failure and Pryce was 6th after a good mid race battle with James Hunts Hesketh.

Niki Lauda won his first drivers championship, his 3rd place in his Ferrari 312T assuring him of the championship.

shadow us

Shadow DN5 Ford in ‘the nuddy’, Kendall Centre, Watkins Glen US GP 1975. Pryce DN5, 16th in the race, non-classified with Jariers similar car DNF. Car getting a fresh Ford DFV. Rear suspension/’box assy @ rear, with the Cossie about to be unbolted, aluminium monocoque and quality of build and finish clear. Note cast alloy instrument bulkhead (unattributed)

At the season ending Watkins Glen race both Shadows were very fast; Q4 for Jarier and Q7 for Pryce but both were in DN5’s, the Matra experiment was, sadly for the sport, over.

‘Jean-Pierre Jarier was fighting hard with the Shadow V12 during the first session, a revised fuel system and some titanium exhausts from the sports car endowed it with appreciably improved performance at the top end of its rev band. Alas, Jarier’s enthusiasm would be channeled into the Cosworth powered DN5 after it was calculated that the engine would consume fuel at the rate of 4mpg under racing conditions, and the French engined car was sadly pushed away for the remainder of the weeekend’ (therefore the car would not hold sufficient fuel to complete the race without a stop) said Denis Jenkinson in his MotorSport race report.

It may be that that was the case or simply that Don Nichols had learned that Matra engines would be used exclusively by the new Ligier Team for ’76 and simply put the car to one side to focus on the quicker DN5 Cosworths.

Lauda won the race, both Shadows well down the field despite qualifying times which showed just how quick a package the car was on a circuit which was a great test of a cars medium to high speed handling characteristics.

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JPJ in the DN7 during the first practice session at Watkins Glen, the last time #DN7/1A turned a wheel before its restoration by Grant Beath in recent times. Car was for 35 years part of Don Nichols collection fitted with a dummy, blown V12 (unattributed)

Both Nichols and Ligier wanted exclusivity in terms of engine supply, from a ‘France Inc’ perspective the choice of the well connected former rugby international’s team made more sense than the American owned British based concern; French car, team and driver.

From Matra’s viewpoint it makes more sense to me, given the aerospace conglomerates immense resources to supply two teams in 1976 especially given Shadow’s speed, if not reliability in 1975.

Ligier were an unknown 1976 quantity, Shadow were. Both Shadow drivers had shown prodigious speed in 1974/5, one was French and Southgate did a neat job integrating the Matra V12 into an existing chassis designed for a different engine. His bespoke 1976 Matra chassis would have been lighter overall and designed around the engines architecture rather than an adaptation of what he had based on the Ford Cosworth.

Ligier were to be a one car entry in 1976 so Matra very much had ‘all their eggs in one basket’.

Ligiers JS5 1976 car was a horrible looking, bulky thing, mind you it delivered the goods in a a way Shadow did not that year.

Jacques Laffitte was 8th in the drivers championship, Pryce 12th and poor Jarier didn’t score a point in the lightly updated 1976 Shadow DN5B’s and new DN8. Matra finally achieved a GP win when Laffitte won the ’77 Swedish Grand Prix in his Ligier JS7, the whole paddock were delighted for him, Ligier and Matra.

Don Nichols retained ownership of Shadow but his company, United Oil Products was no longer the teams major sponsor and the ‘slippery slope’ of progressive loss in competitiveness began, whilst noting Alan Jones, lucky 1977 DN8 Ford, Austrian GP win.

If only Nichols ‘jagged’ the Matra deal or the Velizy concern supplied both teams he may have stayed more involved and we would have had the chance of seeing Tony Southgate designed, bespoke, Matra engined cars driven by two of the fastest chargers around at the time.

It’s an interesting ‘mighta been’ I reckon?!…

 

outline

Shadow DN7 Matra profile (Car Blueprints)

Shadow DN7 Matra Technical Specifications…

Chassis; aluminium monocoque using the Matra MS73 V12 as a fully stressed member. Front suspension by lower wishbone and top rocker actuating inboard mounted coil spring/damper units. Rear suspension twin parallel lower links, single top link, coil spring/damper units and twin radius rods. Adjustable roll bars front and rear. Front and rear disc brakes, inboard at the rear. Rack and pinion steering. Wheel sizes front/rear 9.2/20 13 inch in diameter, 16.2/26/13 inches.

Wheelbase 2667mm, front and rear tracks 1473/1549mm. Weight 612Kg.

Engine; Matra MS73 3 litre, DOHC, 4 valve, Lucas fuel injected, all aluminium 60 degree V12. 2993cc, bore/stroke 79.7/50mm. Circa 500bhp@11600rpm.

Gearbox; Hewland TL200 5 speed transaxle.

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JPJ sitting on his March 731 Ford during 1973. He did a year of F1 and F2 for the team comprehensively lifting the Euro F2 title in a March 732 BMW (unattributed)

Tony Southgate on ‘Jumper’ Jarier in ‘MotorSport’…

‘He had such fantastic car control and speed but just didn’t have the commitment. I’m sure he could have been World Champion if only he could have been bothered. Jean-Pierre got bored very easily and in practice or testing he would adapt himself to the car and do the same times after you had made adjustments. He was a typical French driver in that he was more interested in going out of an evening, eating a good meal and chasing the ladies. It soon became clear that he wouldn’t go on to the next level’.

ligier on circuit

Jean-Pierre Beltoise testing the brand new Ligier JS5 Matra at Paul Ricard in December 1975 (unattributed)

Etcetera: 1976 Ligier JS5 Matra…

The Ligier JS5 Matra was a sinfully ugly car, it had the looks only a mother could love but its ‘fugliness’ was only skin deep!

Gerard Ducarouge and his team had the aero spot on, the enormous airbox which lead to the cars nickname ‘The Flying Teapot’ chanelled air beautifully over the car and ‘smoothed it’ onto the rear wing. 8th in the drivers title for Laffitte and 6th for Ligier in the Constructors race in a one car team entry was an exceptional first years performance.

The pictures are of the JS5’s first test at Paul Ricard in December 1975 with Jean Pierre Beltoise up.

JPB had been announced as the cars driver, perhaps via sponsor Gitanes but Guy Ligier was not convinced and organised a drivers test over two days, Jacques Lafitte the quicker of the two in a car which had been ‘tweaked’ by JPB who tested on the first day.

There was disquiet in France in some quarters over the choice of Laffitte, JPB at the time France’s only ‘contemporary’ GP winner. But Ligier’s choice was sound. Jacques in Frank Williams Ford engined Williams FW04 and Martini Mk16 Euro F2 crown ahead of the March BMW hordes in 1975 made it fairly clear that he was the better choice, JPB, fine driver that he was, ‘ultimate speed’ had been shown over the years to be not in the ‘Ace’ category whereas Jacques potential, relative novice that he was, was pretty clear. It was an astute choice if not an entirely popular one.

ligier pits

JPB smiles for the cameras and gets himself comfy in JS5, designer Ducarouge, what a talented chappy! looks at JPB’s feet. Paul Ricard December 1975 (unattributed)

Bibliography…

MotorSport January 2015, Denis Jenkinsons MotorSport Austrian and US GP reports 1975, GP Encyclopaedia, Tony Southgate ‘From Drawing Board to Chequered Flag’

Photo Credits…

LAT, Car Blueprints, Alejandro Saldutto

Tailpiece: ‘So waddya think of the engine Jean-Pierre? is perhaps the question Jacques Lafitte is asking JPJ on their way back to the Monza paddock’? He knew full well of course as an Ex-Matra sports-car driver…

jacques

(unattributed)

Finito…

 

matra

(Dave Friedman)

Matra’s first Le Mans was with the 2 litre BRM V8 engined M620 in 1966…

A French Marque today in support of France and the French way of life, the senseless, barbaric attacks in Paris are an assault on us all. Our thoughts are with you. Mark Bisset.

It was the start of the company’s inexorable rise to the top of endurance racing, the French aerospace manufacturer won Le Mans from 1972 to 1974 with superb machines powered by the company’s own 3 litre V12.

The factory entered 2 cars in 1966, car #41 was driven by Jean Pierre Beltoise and Johnny Servoz-Gavin, it retired with gearbox failure after completing 112 laps.

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Beltoise/Servoz-Gavin Matra M620 BRM, Le Mans 1966. (Dave Friedman)

Click here for an interesting article about the firms MS120 Grand Prix car;

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/06/venetia-day-and-the-1970-matra-ms120/

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Beltoise/Servoz-Gavin Matra M620 BRM, Le Mans 1966. (Dave Friedman)

Photo Credit…Dave Friedman

 

 

beltoise brm

All drivers have a day of greatness, surely!? Jean Pierre-Beltoise’ was his great wet weather drive at Monaco in 1972 when he won the race in a drive of controlled speed and aggression in the toughest of conditions in his BRM P160B V12…

Even ‘Rainmaster’ Jacky Ickx finished second to the Frenchman in his Ferrari 312B2 that day with Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 72D Ford in third.

JPB started from row 2, his task made a little easier on lap 5 when Clay Regazzoni went up the escape road at the chicane taking Fittipaldi and Ickx with him, they had been braking when Clay did…

But it was a great drive, JPB’s first and last GP win and BRM’s last, sadly.

Click here for an article on JPB i wrote a while back… https://primotipo.com/2015/01/15/r-i-p-jpb/

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Beltoise with Chris Amon’s Matra MS120C alongside and Brian Redman’s McLaren M19A Ford chasing (Michael Turner)

Monaco GP ’72 footage…

 

jpj monaco ms11

French racing champion and Monaco Grand Prix winner Jean-Pierre Beltoise died last week at 77 as a result of two strokes…this shot is JPB in his F1 Matra MS11 V12 at Spa 1968…

JPB commenced his racing career on bikes, winning 11 French titles and competing internationally from 1962-4 and ‘progressed’ to cars overcoming a bad crash in the 1963 Reims 12 Hour which gave him limited mobility in one arm.

He recovered from the setback and was soon part of Matras’ racing project growing and developing with the team as it progressed from F3 to F1 in addition to the aerospace companies beloved endurance program.

jpb german gp 1966 ms5

JPB and Jacky Ickx were both very fast in their Matra MS5 Ford F2 cars at the ‘Ring, German GP 1966. JPB 8th and first of the F2’s in the race won by Jack Brabhams Brabham BT19 Repco.(Bernard Cahier)

He was the French F3 Champion and Monaco F3 race winner in 1965 and 1966 respectively in a Matra MS5 Ford, also winning the European F2 Championship in 1968 in a Matra MS7 Ford FVA.

jpj mexico 67 ms7

JPB competing in the 1967 Mexican GP in his little F2 210bhp Ford FVA powered Matra MS7, the little car finished 7th in a race won by Jim Clarks’ Lotus 49 Ford. Useful circuit knowledge for JPB with Matra entering GP racing with their 3 litre V12 engined contender in 1968.(Bernard Cahier)

French drivers came to the fore with the support of the national fuel company Elf, Matra and others in the 60’s. When I think of JPB his compatriots of that era and the influence they had on racing also spring to mind; Henri Pescarolo, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, JPB’s brother in law Francois Cevert, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, Gerard Larrousse, Bob Wollek, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Patrick Depailler and a little later the Jabouille, Tambay, Arnoux, Prost generation.

But it was Beltoise and Pescarolo who lead the way for the others.

jpb monaco 68 ms11

Matra made their F1 debut at Monaco 1968, their 3 litre V12 engined Matra MS11 driven by JPB. He qualified the car 11th, DNF after ‘kerbing’ the car and damaging its suspension. Note the ‘snub’ Monaco nose and exotic exhausts, cak looks like a ‘big banger’ from this angle. Race won by Hills’ Lotus 49 Ford. (Unattributed)

jpb monaco kerb

‘Kerbing’ his MS11 at Monaco 1968 referred to above…(Unattributed)

jpj matra ms84 silverstone 1969

Beltoise in the 4WD Matra MS84 Ford at the 1969 British GP at Silverstone. Not a successful experiment for Matra, Lotus, Cosworth and McLaren who all built 4WD cars which raced, or in the Cosworths’ case, tested in 1969. JPB Q17 and 9th in the race won by teammate Stewarts’ conventional Matra MS80. (Unattributed)

Matra MS120…

Matra withdrew their own team from F1 in 1969 to further develop their V12, Matra International, was the name given to Ken Tyrrells’ team who won the world championship in Ford Cosworth powered MS80’s in 1969. The MS120 was covered in an earlier article.

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/06/venetia-day-and-the-1970-matra-ms120/

daytona 1970

Workshop at Daytona 1970. JPB on the right, Henri Pescarolo, Francois Cevert and Jacqueline JPB wife and Cevert’ sister. Cevert soon to be an F1 driver with Tyrrell from the 1970 Dutch GP, Pesca and JPB Matra F1 drivers that year. Cevert shared a Matra MS 650 at Daytona with Jack Brabham to 10th, JPB and Pesca 18th. Race won by the Porsche 917K of Rodriguez/Kinnunen/Siffert. (Unattributed)

jpb dutch gp 1970 ms120

Dutch GP 1970. JPB in the Matra MS120 ahead of ’69 teammate Jackie Stewarts’ March 701 Ford…both cars inferior to their 1969 Matra MS80 Ford. JPB 5th in the first race win for Rindts’ Lotus 72 Ford but all unimportant in the context of Piers Courage’ death during the race. (Cahier Archive)

jpb spanish gp

Unusual low level shot of JPB in his Matra MS120B 6th at Montjuich Park Barcelona 1971 Spanish GP. Stewart won in a Tyrrell 003 Ford. (Unattributed)

Whilst many enthusiasts rightly think of him as a Matra driver, it was at the wheel of a BRM P160 that Beltoise won the 1972 Monaco GP driving the V12 engined car with a deftness of touch in streaming wet conditions and winning the race from ‘rain master’ Jacky Ickx’ Ferrari 312B.

BRM’s best days were behind them but JPB soldiered on with the British team retiring from GP racing at the end of 1974 to a successful career in touring cars, winning the French Touring Car Championship in 1976 and 1977.

jpj monaco brm 1972

Jean-Pierre drove his year old BRM P160B to a well earned victory in the wet 1972 Monaco GP. The smooth power delivery of the V12 complemented Tony Southgates great chassis, but JPJ drove with great skill that day, beating established wet weather ace Jacky Ickx into 2nd place. Stewart, Regazzoni, and many other drivers spun or had accidents. It was quite a drive. (Unattributed)

jpb tdf ms 650

Only in Italy or France, bless em! 1970 Tour de France Auto placegetters; JPB and Jean Todt in his rally co-driver days 1st, Pescarolo and Johnny Rives both in road registered Matra MS650’s from third placed Gerard Larrousse/Gelin Porsche 911ST cruising thru Parisian traffic. Even at circa 800kg and 2.4 litres the 911 was no match for the 3 litre V12, marginally detuned Matra Sports Prototypes. Oh what a sight and sound. (Unattributed)

JPB was a mainstay of Matras’ endurance program winning and placing well in many events but not getting the elusive Le Mans win he cherished.

His most successful endurance season was in 1974 winning four events in the Matra Simca MS670C together with Jean-Pierre Jarier; Nurburgring 750Km, Watkins Glen 6 Hour, Paul Ricard 750Km and Brands Hatch 1000Km playing a key role in Matras’ World Championship of Makes victory in 1973 and 1974.

jpb matra ms660 paris

Aviating in the Matra MS660 he shared with Henri Pescarolo in the 1970 Paris 1000Km, Monthlery. (Unattributed)

Etcetera…

jpj dutch gp 1968 ms11

2nd in the 1968 Dutch GP, the team having made its GP debut at Monaco in May. Matra MS11. JPB qualified 16th but drove a great wet weather race recovering from a couple of spins finishing only a second behind Stewarts’ victorious Ford engined Matra MS10. (Unattributed)

jpj spain 1969 ms80

Spanish GP, Montjuich Park Barcelona 1969. Matra withdrew its own team to develop its V12 in 1969. JPB joined Ken Tyrrells’ team who ran the Matra MS 80 powered by the Ford DFV V8, winning the title for Jackie Stewart in a car which was one of his favourites. JPB finished3rd in the race won by Stewarts’ sister car, the MS80 making its GP debut at this event. High wings banned at the next race, Monaco after the wing failures to the Lotus 49’s in Spain was the ‘straw which broke the camels back’.(Unattributed)

jpj ms 80 1969

‘I want it there!’. Mirror location with the Tyrrell Team mechanics 1969…high wing, so early in the season. Spain in all probability upon car debut. Matra MS80 Ford.(Robin Townsend)

french gp 1969

JPB on the way to a hard won 2nd place at Clermont-Ferrand in the 1969 French GP. Stewart won the race but JPB drove hard pressuring Ickx into a mistake on the last lap. Matra MS80 Ford. What a circuit this was! (FlickrZantafio56)

jpb and amon french gp 1971

JPB ahead of his teammate Chris Amon, French GP 1971. Amon was usually the quicker. Amon 5th and JPB 7th Matra MS120B. Stewart won in a Tyrrrell 003 Ford. (motorsport.com)

brm p160

On the Spanish GP grid in the BRM P160B 1972, like his old Matra V12, a 48 valve 60 degree quad cam V12…and also like the Matra not as competitive as the 32 valve 90 degree quad cam Ford Cosworth DFV V8! DNF after a gear linkage failure, Q7. Fittipaldi won, Lotus 72D Ford.(Unattributed)

71 lemans jpb

Matra MS660 Le Mans 1971 with Chris Amon. Race detail in the below caption…tough for the 3 litre prototypes against the 5 litre Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512S/M! (Unattributed)

jpb le mans 1971

JPB and Chris Amon Matra MS 660 Le Mans 1971. DNF fuel injection dramas in their 3 litre prototype, the race won by the 5 litre Porsche 917K sportscar of Marko/VanLennep. (Unattributed)

Photo Credits…

Cahier Archive, Robin Townsend, motorsport.com, Flickr