Posts Tagged ‘Jochen Rindt’

lot 72

This photo of the front of the epochal Lotus 72 Ford was taken in the Jarama paddock upon the cars race debut during the Spanish GP weekend on 19 April 1970…

It wasn’t quite the debut the equally trendsetting Lotus 25 Climax and Lotus 49 Ford made in ’62 and ’67 respectively, but Jochen popped it 8th on the grid and then failed to finish, his Cosworth DFV had ignition problems. Jackie Stewart won the race in Ken Tyrrell’s March 701 Ford.

I like the shot as it shows the car as Maurice Phillipe originally detailed it. The jewel of a thing won at Zandvoort on June 21, 2 months later as a Lotus 72C! It evolved from 72, 72B to 72C spec in 2 months.

image

‘Gees Colin it needs some work!’ Rindt to Chapman in the Jarama paddock 1970. The ‘SOL’ pitboard is local boy Alex Soler-Roig who had a steer of Jochen’s old Lotus 49C, failing to qualify, as did John Miles in the other works 72 (unattributed)

Jochen loathed the 72 in its original form. It had severe handling deficiencies, the car rolled excessively and lifted inside rear wheels. The anti-dive geometry made the light steering lack feel as the suspension stiffened under braking. Anti-squat was suspected of inducing a diagonal jacking moment across the car causing that inside rear wheel to lift in corners.

Chapman prescribed a raft of changes including removing the anti-dive and anti-squat aspects of the cars suspension geometry front and rear. It’s easy to say but involved Hethel’s fabricators unpicking the cars lovely aluminium monocoques to change the suspension pick up points at the front, and to make a new subframe at the rear.

Chapman, not only one of the design greats but also a race engineer of extraordinary ability and perception turned a ‘sows ear into a silk purse’, the car famously winning its first titles that year, Rindt’s drivers championship posthumously of course.

Other changes to the car before the French GP, held that year on the rolling glorious roads of Clermont Ferrand included stiffening the rear of the chassis by cross bracing it, fitting stronger suspension pick-up points and re-siting the rear Koni shocks which were being ‘fried’ by hot air exiting the hip radiators.

image

Lotus 72C Ford cutaway; aluminium monocoque, wishbone upper and lower front suspension, torsion bars providing the spring medium and Koni shocks. Single top link, parallel lower links and again torsion bars and Koni shocks at the rear. Ford Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8 and Hewland FG400 gearbox (unattributed)

Checkout the following in the first photo at the articles outset; the monocoque ending at the front, drivers feet bulkhead, fabricated tubular steel front subframe and all it supports. The infamous inboard front brakes are clear, a design tenet of the car was reduced unsprung weight. I can’t see the front torsion bars, but the lack of co-axial coil springs and use of long solid torsion bars as the springing medium was also revolutionary at the time. The front battery is handily placed to be removed in the event of a front impact, as is, sub-optimally, the onboard fire extinguisher.

The front of the 72 is far less ‘butch’ or strong, than, say, the ‘full monocoques’ of a 1970 BRM P153, or a McLaren M14 but the perils for racing drivers of frontal impacts at any speed in all of the cars of the period are clear in this shot. Note the hip-radiators, Chapman was playing with weight, which he placed increasingly onto the rear of the car over the 72’s long, 1970-75 life as well as aerodynamics. Still, the wedge wasn’t new, his 1968 Lotus 56 Pratt & Whitney Indycar first deployed the approach.

image

Press launch of the Lotus 72 wedge in London, 6 April 1970 (Norman Quicke)

A magic car with a long competitive life, yet again Chapman set a path so many others followed…

Credits…

The GP Library, Norman Quicke, Doug Nye ‘The History of The Grand Prix Car’

Tailpiece: Jochen Rindt riding the Lotus 72 roller-coaster at Jarama in 1970, ‘anti-dive’ inclination of top wishbones clear in shot…

image

 

 

 

lotus boys

Nina Rindt keeping a close eye on Jochen, Jo Siffert and Graham Hill all doing their best to focus on their Loti and need for speed rather than the black booted babe…

A famous Rainer Schlegelmilch shot at Monza in 1969, i don’t think its ever been established exactly who ‘boots’ is? Quite a tidy unit.

Jackie Stewart took the race, the best placed Lotus 49 was Rindt in 2nd. Siffert was classified 8th but withdrew with engine failure, Hill retired his 49 the lap before Jo with driveshaft failure and was classified 9th.

Photo…Rainer Schlegelmilch

image

Jackie Stewart being largely ignored by most of the ‘snappers’ at Zandvoort during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend in 1971…

Rainer Schlegelmilch’s shot seems to be a portrait of his colleagues, Diana Burnett is the lady, the distinctive figure of Bernard Cahier is the chap in the blue cap and Goodyear jacket. It’s dry which makes it practice, the wet race was won by Ickx’ Ferrari with JYS 4th in Tyrrell 003 Ford.

I was first smitten by single-seaters upon spotting Jochen Rindt’s sensational ‘Gold Leaf’ Lotus 72 in the Automobile Year 18 ‘centrefold’ below.

jochen

Rindt on his way to a joyless first GP win for the Lotus 72 Ford during the 1970 Dutch GP at Zandvoort, his close friend Piers Courage perished in a grisly, fiery accident during the race in a De Tomaso 505 Ford (Automobile Year)

The book came from the Camberwell Grammar School library, I was an inmate for 6 years and borrowed these annuals, they bought the latest each year, hundreds of times over the years. If truth be known I surgically removed many of the full page color shots from the books which somehow found their way onto my bedroom wall, I was skilful with a razor blade long before I could shave!

So, I was a devotee of Colin Chapman’s Lotus 56/72 side radiator, chisel nose aero approach rather than Derek Gardner’s chunky ‘sportscar nose’ alternative he pioneered in F1 with Tyrrell in ’71. That the alternative approaches worked equally well was proved by the results of practitioners of the ‘two schools’ of aerodynamic thought throughout the ‘70’s, visually though it was ‘no contest’!

ken del

Derek Gardner and Ken Tyrrell outside the Ockham, Surrey factory in August 1971. Tyrrell Ford could be ‘002 or 3’, ‘bluff nose’ first raced at the 4 July ’71 French GP  (Klemantaski)

Gardner’s Tyrrell period was relatively short but wonderfully sweet, although 7 years is a pretty long stint with one team I guess. His first series of cars was the 1970-72 ‘001-004’, the second series the 1972-3 ‘005-6’. Both design series won Grands’ Prix and World Titles. His ’74-5 ‘007’ and ’76-7 ‘P34’ six-wheeler won Grands Prix only, no titles. I doubt there are too many of the F1 design greats who can claim such a record.

I’ve written a few Tyrrell articles, which are worth a look if you haven’t done so; one is on innovation; https://primotipo.com/2014/09/16/tyrrell-019-ford-1990-and-tyrrell-innovation/ , the other on aerodynamics; https://primotipo.com/tag/tyrrell-007-ford/

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The car pictured above is Jackie Stewart’s ‘004’, the last of Gardner’s first series of designs. It’s being prepared for the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, ‘004’s race debut, the GP classic won by Jean-Pierre Beltoise’ BRM P160B, famously his first and last GP win was also BRM’s last. JPB’s delicacy in the wet was aided by some schmick Firestone wets but it was a great drive by any measure. Jackie was 4th in ‘004’, he was not feeling 100% shortly thereafter was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. Francois Cevert non-classified further back in ‘002’.

stew monaco

JYS practices ‘004’ at Monaco in 1972, the race was somewhat wetter! (unattributed)

The first Tyrrell, ‘001’ made its race debut in Stewart’s hands at Oulton Park in the ‘International Gold Cup’ on 22 August 1970, the car famously designed and to an extent constructed in secret in Gardner’s home garage in Parklands Avenue, Leamington! The ‘bath tub’ monocoque chassis was built to his design by Maurice Gomm’s Gomm Metal Developments, later chassis were built at Tyrrell’s famous woodyard, the base of his timber business in Ockham, Surrey. Other notable sub-contractors were Jack Knight Engineering who did much of the machining, Aeroplane and Motor who provided the centre lock magnesium alloy wheels, Laystall the stub axles, not to forget Cosworth Engineering, Hewland’s and others.

‘001’s championship debut was at Mont Tremblant, the Canadian GP on 20 September where Jackie plonked it on pole and was leading strongly before a stub axle broke on lap 32. The car was ‘match fit’ at the start of its dominant 1971 season having done vast amounts of Goodyear testing, Dunlop, Tyrrell’s hitherto tyre supplier having withdrawn from F1. Over the South African summer at Kyalami over 400 tyres were tested by the team.

oulton 2

Tyrrell and Stewart during the Oulton Park International Cup weekend in August 1970 upon ‘001’s debut. In a meeting of contrasts JYS qualified poorly after the fuel metering unit failed, then had a stuck throttle during the race which was fixed, the Scot broke the lap record twice later in the race, the cars competitiveness clear from the start. John Surtees won the event on aggregate, he won the second heat in his Surtees TS9 Ford and Henri Pescarolo the first heat (his only F1 win?) in a March 711 Ford

oulton 1

More shots of ‘001’ during the Oulton August weekend. The cars distinctive bodywork was Gardners work and was tested at 1/10th scale in the wind tunnel of the University of Surrey in Guildford (Getty)

Powered by the good ‘ole 3 litre Ford Cosworth DFV V8 and using the equally ubiquitous Hewland FG400 5 speed transaxle, the bolides were ‘kit cars’ of the period derided by Enzo Ferrari but  remarkably quick bits of kit!

Look back to the photo of ‘004’ chassis at Monaco above. The monocoque was made of 16 guage NS4 aluminium alloy and like ‘002’ and ‘003’ was 4 inches longer in the length of the tub and 1 1/2 inches longer in the wheelbase than the prototype ‘001’.

You can see the wide based lower one piece wishbone is mounted both to the tub and at its outer end the tubular suspension carrying frame which was first made up on a jig and then slipped over the top of the monocoque to which it was externally riveted. The upper suspension arm is a top link and locating link mounted to a bracket on the tub. Shocks are alloy bodied, double adjustable Koni’s again period typical. The simple steering column is clear, the rack made by Tyrrells.

tyr cutaway

Tyrrell 002-4 cutaway drawing, all chassis the same design, this car is ‘003’. Specs as per text (Tony Hatton)

The vastly strong 360 degree roll bar encircled the the rear bulkhead and was both spigoted and bolted through into the monocoque. The DFV, stressed of course, was then bolted through this hoop. The forward radius rod pickups you can just see attached to the bar structure.

The rear was also a close to perfect expression of period paradigm; single top link, twin parallel lower links to better control toe than the inverted lower wishbone used for the decade before, two radius rods for fore and aft location and again coil spring/Koni dampers.

Brakes are Girling calipers, ventilated rotors front and solid rears of 10 1/2 inch diameter Goodyear tyres were used from the start of 1971.

‘004’ was completed at the end of the ’71 season as a spare car for Stewart, it was relatively lightly raced by the works, click on this link for a full, interesting article on the car which is still alive, well and historic raced; http://www.britishracecar.com/JohnDimmer-Tyrrell-004.htm

Gardner’s ‘005-006’ cars were low polar moment, very quick, nervous devices from which the aces for which they were designed, Stewart and Francois Cevert extracted ‘every ounce’ of performance in later 1972 and in 1973. Here is my short article about these cars; https://primotipo.com/2014/08/25/jackie-stewart-monaco-gp-1973-tyrrell-006-ford/

tyr transport

Ken Tyrrell supervising the packing away of ‘003’ at the end of a Goodwood test session on 16 January 1972 prior to shipping the car to Argentina for the start of the 1972 season. There Jackie drove it to his first win of a season in which Emerson Fittipaldi prevailed in the gorgeous, chisel nosed ‘John Player Special’ Lotus 72 which I think is about where we came in…

emo

The ever thoughtful Derek Gardner in blue shirt watches ‘Emmo’ head out for some more practice prior to the ’72 Italian GP, Monza. The Brazilian won the race and title in his Lotus 72D Ford. Francois Cevert is behind DG, his car Tyrrell 002, DNF with engine failure (unattributed)

image

’71 Dutch GP collage (Schlegelmilch)

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Victor Blackman, Getty Images, Klemantaski Archive, Tony Hatton

Doug Nye ‘The History of The GP Car’, The GP Encyclopaedia

Tailpiece: Opening Dutch GP shot, uncropped, low res…

image

(Schlegelmilch)

 

 

 

image

(Schlegelmilch)

Silvio Moser’s Brabham BT24 Ford racing with Lancia D50 style pannier tanks during the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix…

He retired from the race won by Graham Hill’s Lotus 49B. Moser is one of those privateers who so enriched GeePee racing in the days when such things were allowed, encouraged even.

Silvio was keen on Brabhams, he raced an ex-works BT20, Denny’s chassis ‘F1-2-6’ in 1968 before buying the car above, BT24/3 after Piers Courage raced it in the 1969 Tasman Series.

bt 20

Silvio is his Charles Vogele Racing Team Brabham BT20/2 Repco. DNF, Daily Mail Race of Champions meeting, Brands Hatch, 17 March 1968. Bruce McLaren won in his M7A Ford (Ed Lacey)

It was the last of the BT24’s built, Jochen Rindt raced the 1967 championship winning design during early season ’68 Grands Prix whilst Jack tried to coax some reliability from the quad cam, 32 valve, powerful but problemmatic ‘860 Series’ Repco V8 engined BT26.

brab rindt

Jochen Rindt’s Brabham BT24/3 Repco, his ’67 spec ‘740 Series’ Repco SOHC V8 powered car beside Jack’s new BT26 powered by the ‘860 Series’ DOHC, 32 valve V8, DNF for both, Monaco 1968. Hill won in a Lotus 49 B Ford (Schlegelmilch)

Dan Gurney also had a steer, the lanky Californian crammed himself into the car at Zandvoort (below) then Kurt Ahrens raced it to 12th in the German GP, the cars only GP finish in 1968.

brab dan

Kurt Ahrens (below)  in BT24/3 during the awfully wet German GP at the Niuburgring, Jackie Stewart triumphed in his Matra MS10 Ford aided by some trick Dunlop wets. Kurt was on Goodyears, finishing 12th in a one off drive on home turf. The cars spec was ever evolving, check out the wing package, the same as that used on the factory 1968 BT26’s, Nurburgring was the only race of the year in which both Jack and Jochen finished a race in the fast but unreliable BT26. Kurt’s cars wing has ‘Fosters Flop’, it’s in full droop mode, the simple support bracket having come adrift on the bumpy Eifel Mountains course.

image

(Unattributed)

Frank Williams then bought the car and converted it to Tasman spec by fitting a Ford Cosworth DFW V8, the 2.5 litre variant of the famous DFV. Piers did well in it in the Antipodes, his best result 1st at the Teretonga International on 25 January 1969. Here (below) he is behind Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 49 DFW and the Ferrari 246 T twins of Chris Amon and Derek Bell, the ‘flash’ grandstands nicely juxtaposed against  the cars. Might be on the warm up lap as Jochen’s driveshaft failed on the line, the cars are in grid order.

puk 1

(Ian Peak)

And below Bell’s Ferrari 246T from Hill’s Lotus 49B and Courage’s BT24/3. Courage won from Hill and Amon. Variety of approaches to wings interesting, checkout that crowd and the el-casual vantage points.

puk 2

(Ian Peak)

Courage had a sensational season driving another ex-works Brabham, a BT26 adapted to accept a DFV, he established himself as an F1 front runner in 1969, 2nd at Watkins Glen to Jochen Rindt the seasons highlight.

Frank Williams popped the BT24 into Autosport after the Tasman to sell it, Silvio the eager purchaser. All the hard work had been done, he bought a DFV and slotted it into the spaceframe whence the DFW had been. He needed more tankage though, Tasman races were 100 miles, GP’s 200 miles, hence the pannier tanks, ok for 1969 but no-go in 1970 when ‘bag tank’ rules came into being.

BT24/3 still exists in Switzerland, there is also a replica tagged 24/3.

dutch

Silvio’s Brabham BT24 DNF engine, about to be swallowed by Amon’s Ferrari 312 3rd, Hulmes McLaren M7A Ford 4th and Brabham’sBrabham BT26 Ford 6th, Zandvoort, Dutch GP June 1969 (unattributed)

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Ed Lacey/Popperfoto, Ian Peak Collection/The Roaring Season

oldracingcars.com

Tailpiece: Silvio Moser on his way to a great 6th place in his Brabham BT24/3 Ford at Watkins Glen during the 1969 USGP, he is being passed by Jacky Ickx’ latest, works Brabham BT 26 Ford DNF. Rindt won in a Lotus 49B Ford…

ickx

(unattributed)

 

jochen skis

(Imago)

Jochen Rindt showing good form in his ‘Kneissl’s’ in early 1968…

Love this PR shot, its useless from a skiers perspective tho as the caption includes no information as to the resort, Austria is as precise as it comes!

Jochen joined Brabham for 1968 from Cooper, it wasn’t a great season for the team as the Repco ‘860 Series’ DOHC, 32 valve 3 litre V8 was as unreliable as its forebears in 1966 and 1967 were paragons of dependability, in the main at least, drivers and manufacturers titles won for Brabham and Hulme in 1966/67 respectively.

jochen color

Rindt BT24 Repco, Monaco 1968 (Getty)

Until the ’68 Brabham BT26 was ‘ready’ Jochen raced the 1967 BT24 in South Africa, Spain and Monaco, the cars speed demonstrated by Q4 and 5 at Kyalami and Monaco. These shots are all of the ’68 Monaco GP race won by Graham Hill’s Lotus 49 Ford, Jochen qualified 5th and boofed the car in the race.

Detailed stories about the 1967 and 1968 Brabham Repco seasons i will write soon.

jochen butt

The ’67 BT24 ‘760 Series’ 2 cam/2 valve Repco beside its ’68 BT26 ‘860 Series’ DOHC/4 cam sibling and Jochen happy despite a character-building season. Despite the difficulties Jochen enjoyed his year with Brabham and likewise Brabham and Tauranac working with him. ‘Twas a close run thing that he didn’t rejoin the team for 1970. He had committed to Jack who waived the verbal agreement when Chapman offered Rindt a ‘deal he could not refuse’, so off to Lotus he went… (Getty)

image

Monaco; 68 lap 1 down the hill past Rosies Bar and into Mirabeau; Rindt BT24 from Hulme’s McLaren M8 Ford, the BRM’s of Attwood (not in shot) then Rodriguez P133 and the rest (Schlegelmilch)

jochen profile

Rindt, again at Monaco 1968, the elegant simplicity of the ’67 Championship winning Brabham BT24 Repco clear (Getty)

Credit…

Imago, Getty Images, Rainer Schlegelmilch

jochen tailpiece

Eyes on the apex! Rindt, Monaco 1968 (Getty)

Tailpiece…

image

The 1968 Repco ‘RB 860 Series’ engine may have lacked reliability but not poke! Rindt put it on pole twice in ’68, here at Rouen and at Mosport, Canada. In France Jochen picked up a puncture from the debris of Jo Schlesser’s horrific Honda RA302 accident and had a fuel tank leak later in the race, DNF . Here he is in the cockpit of his BT26 during practice. French GP 1968 (Schlegelmilch)

 

 

stewart spain

(unattributed)

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

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

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

ickx ablaze

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

conflagration

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

ickx

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

ickx running

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

ickx on the ground

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

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

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

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

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

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

jack spin spain

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

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

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

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

rindt spain

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

jochen

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

surtees

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

piers courage

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

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

stewart spain 2

(The Cahier Archive)

Credits…

Automobile Year 18, The Cahier Archive

 

hill 1

(Brian Watson)

Graham Hill having a squirt of  Jack’s Brabham BT26A Ford in British GP practice, Silverstone July 1969…

GH in a Brabham is not such a big deal; he raced F2 Brabhams with success for years as well as Tasman Formula ‘Intercontinental’ Brabhams in the mid-sixties. Later he was the pilot of Ron Tauranac’s intriguing ‘Lobster Claw’ BT34 in 1971 but he was a Lotus F1 driver in 1969, so ’twas a bit unusual  to practice an opponents car.

puke

Hill’s red Brabham BT11 Climax from Clark’s Lotus 32B and Aussie Lex Davison Brabham BT4, all Climax 2.5 FPF powered on the way to an NZGP win for Graham. Pukekohe, 9 January 1965. Hill also raced an earlier BT7A in the ’66 Tasman for David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce, the entrant of the car shown, he was familiar with Brabham ‘GP’ cars long before 1969! (unattributed)

Jack was still recovering from a testing accident at Silverstone in June when a Goodyear popped off a front rim, his car ploughed into an earth bank, his ‘equal worst accident’ with the Portuguese Grand Prix one in 1959. He lay trapped in the car with a badly broken ankle, Cossie V8 screaming at maximum revs until he punched the ignition cutout and extinguishers to minimise the chance of the pool of fuel in which he lay igniting. Eventually a touring car also on the quiet circuit mid week stopped and raised the alarm.

Jacky Ickx driving the other Brabham was late for Silverstone’s first session, all timed for grid positions in those days, so Tauranac had 2 cars idle.

Graham and teammate Jochen Rindt were peeved with Colin Chapman, to say the least, as the Lotus transporter was not in the paddock when the session got underway. Graham was ‘ready to rock’ all suited up but had no car to do so and was more than happy to put in a few laps for Tauranac. Rindt remained in his ‘civvies’ and fumed as the rest of the field practiced.

hill 2

Ron Tauranac giving Hill a few tips on his very quick, twice a GP winner in ’69, BT26. ‘Just don’t over rev the thing for chrissakes Graham, Jack will kill me if you do…’ Is that Ron Dennis at right? (unattributed)

1969 was the year of 4WD experimentation for Matra, McLaren, Lotus and Cosworth. Ultimately, very quickly in fact, 4WD was determined an F1 blind alley; the traction the engineers sought was more cost effectively provided by advances in tyre technology, Goodyear, Firestone and Dunlop were all slugging it out in F1 at the time, none of ‘yer control formula’ bullshit then. The effectiveness of the ‘low wings’ mandated from the ’69 Monaco GP also played its part in getting grip.

Chapman’s issue was pursuading his pilots to treat the Lotus 63 Ford, his 4WD design seriously, to test it with a view to developing it rather than to humor him. 4WD was successful at Indy; Chapmans ’68 Indy Lotus 56 ‘wedge’ was 4WD and came within an ace of winning the race, so was the ’69 Lotus 64, ignoring the misfortune surrounding both of these cars.

It was a challenge to get Rindt into the thing at all but he did finish 2nd in the August 1969 Oulton Park Gold Cup. The result meant nothing though, in front of him was Ickx’ Brabham BT26A but all the cars behind were F5000 and F2 cars not GP machines. Still, it was useful testing for Chapman if not for Rindt, his 4WD view was formed!

Chapman’s solution to his drivers recalcitrance was to sell 2 of his Lotus 49’s, one each to Jo Bonnier and Pete Lovely, leaving only one 49 in Team Lotus’ possession! A car you don’t have is a car you cannot drive. Said drivers were not best pleased.

graham 63

Hill, Lotus 63 Ford 4WD, British GP practice, Silverstone July 1969. ‘Turn in bitch!’, understeer and the inability of these cars to respond to delicate throttle inputs plus excessive weight were the main performance deficiency issues. As well as the absence of the electronic trickery which helped make 4WD work into the 80’s (Brian Watson)

When the showdown with Chapman occurred and the speed, or lack thereof, of the 63 was clear Col borrowed back the car he sold to Bonnier, GH raced that 49 and JoBo the 63. Chapman rescinded the contract with Lovely.

The ever restless Lotus chief didn’t give up on 4WD in Fl, the gas turbine powered Lotus 56 campaigned in some 1971 events had its moments and potentially a great day in the wet at Zandvoort until Dave Walker ‘beached it’.

The 49 raced on into 1970 and in ‘C’ spec famously won the Monaco GP in Rindt’s hands before the Lotus 72, Chapman’s new 2WD sensation, which made its debut at Jarama was competitive.

grham 49

Hill races his Lotus 49B to 7th place. Silverstone 1969 GP (unattributed)

At Silverstone Hill raced the 49B to 7th having qualified 12th and Bonnier retired the slow 63 with a popped engine. John Miles making his F1 debut raced the other Lotus 63 to 9th, the young, talented Lotus engineer stroked the car home from grid 14.

Stewart won a thrilling high speed dice on the former airfield with Rindt, only ruined when Jochen’s wing endplate chafed a rear Firestone, some say it was the greatest British GP ever, on the way to his world title in a Matra MS80 Ford.

It would be interesting to know Graham’s opinion of the Brabham BT26 compared to his 49, the competitiveness of which, especially in Rindt’s hands not at all in doubt despite the 49’s middle age, it was a little over 2 years old in 1969.

I am a huge Graham Hill fan, he was well past his F1 best by the time i became interested in motor racing in 1972 but he was still quick enough to take F2 and Le Mans wins then, he was my kinda bloke, sportsman and champion. A statesman for his sport and country.

joc and jack

Jochen and Jackie scrapping for the ’69 British GP lead, Jochen’s Lotus 49B with bulk, uncharacteristic understeer. Look closely and you can see the closeness of his LR wing endplate to Firestone tyre, the cause of a pitstop to rectify and then back into the fray only to run outta fuel, the 49 notorious for its incapacity to sometimes scavenge the last few gallons from its tanks. Stewart Matra MS80 Ford (unattributed)

1969 was as tough a year for Hill as 1968 was great.

Jim Clark’s April 1968 death impacted Hill deeply on a personal level, they had been friends for years and Lotus teammates since the ’67 Tasman Series. Colin Chapman and Clark were like brothers and whilst Colin struggled with his grief, Hill in a tour de force of character and leadership marshalled Team Lotus by their bootstraps and refocused them on the year ahead. The result, World Titles for Hill and Lotus by the seasons end.

graham and jim

Clark and Hill beside Graham’s Lotus 48 Ford FVA F2 car prior to the start of the Australian Grand Prix, Warwick Farm, 1967. Car behind is Kevin Bartlett’s Brabham BT11 Climax. Clark was 2nd in Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2 litre, GH DNF with a gearbox failure. JYS won in BRM P261 2.1 litre (History of The AGP)

The Tasman Series in early 1969 showed just how tough a year Graham was going to have within Lotus. Rindt joined them from Brabham and whilst enjoying it, he had committed to Jack verbally to return to Brabham in 1970, landed in the team in the year the Repco 860 quad-cam engine failed consistently.

Jochen had been in GP racing since mid 1964, was a consistent winner in F2 and had taken the 1965 Le Mans classic with Masten Gregory in a Ferrari 250LM, was regarded as one of the fastest guys around, if not the fastest but had still not scored his first GP win. Graham was simply blown-off by a guy with it all to prove, Jochen finally got the breakthrough win at Watkins Glen, the last round of the season in which Graham had what could have been a career ending shunt.

He spun mid race, undid his belts to bump start the car and of course was unable to redo them unaided; he spun again on lap 91, this time the car overturned throwing him out and breaking both his legs badly.

What then followed was a winter of Hill’s familiar grit and determination to be on the South African GP grid in March 1970. He was and  finished 6th in Rob Walkers Lotus 49C Ford.

Quite a guy, G Hill.

graham and col

Team Lotus 1969. Hill, Chapman and Rindt. A tough season all round. With some reliability from his Lotus and mechanical sympathy to it from Rindt, there was a serious opportunity at the title that year, not to be (unattributed)

Etcetera: Lotus 63 Ford…

miles 1

John Miles races the Lotus 63 to 10th on his GP debut at Silverstone 1969. Rounding him up is Piers Courage’ Frank Williams owned Brabham BT26 Ford, he finished 5th at Silverstone in a ripper season in this year old chassis. He emerged as a true GP front runner in ’69 (unattributed)

63 1

Cutaway self explanatory for our Spanish friends! Key elements of 4WD system in blue; see front mounted Ferguson system diff, Ford Cosworth DFV and Hewland DG300 ‘box mounted ‘arse about’ with driveshafts on LHS of cockpit taking the drive fore and aft to respective diffs. Rear suspension top rocker and lower wishbone, coil spring/damper, brakes inboard (unattributed)

miles 2

John Miles, young Lotus engineer and F3 graduate ponders his mount. Lotus 63 Ford. He was later to say the 63 was not so bad, he did more miles in it than anyone else, until he first parked his butt in a conventional Lotus 49! which provided context. Note forward driving position for the time and sheet steel to stiffen the spaceframe chassis. Nice shot of disc, rocker assy and stub axle also (unattributed)

63 2

Fantastic front end detail shot of the Lotus 63. Spaceframe chassis, Lotus first since 1962, beefy front uprights, upper rocker actuating spring/shock, lower wishbone. Ferguson system front diff axle and driveshafts to wheels. Big ventilated inboard discs. Intricate steering linkage from angled rack to provide clearance required (unattributed)

Photo Credits…

Brian Watson…http://www.brianwatsonphoto.co.uk/FormulaOne/races/brit69.html#1

Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian GP’

Tailpiece: Tauranac, Hill and the ‘Lobster Claw’ BT34 1971…

ronster

RT seeks feedback from GH during Italian GP practice Monza 1971. Hill Q14 and DNF with gearbox failure on lap 47. GH best results in 1971 5th in Austria and Q4 in France. Teammate Tim Schenken, in his first full F1 year generally quicker than GH in the year old, very good BT33, BT34 not RT’s best Brabham. No doubt RT missed Jack Brabham’s chassis development skills, Jack was on his Wagga Wagga farm from the start of 1971 (unattributed)

Finito…