Posts Tagged ‘Matra MS120’

modena chis and plane

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(more…)

venetia

(J Wilds/Getty Images)

Venetia Day adorns the Matra MS120 at London’s Racing Car Show at Olympia on January 6 1971…

She is quite the most beautiful young lady with all of the ‘bibs n bobs’ we fellas tend to like. With the compound curvature of a Maserati 250F she is hard to beat.

I get a lot of metrics as part of this WordPress website, it always amuses me that the seventh most popular article i have written is the MS120 Matra piece i wrote featuring Venetia’s ‘rear suspension’. Here to complete the set is her ‘front suspension’ which is as firmly set and finely proportioned as the rear…

Its certainly not the best piece i have written, so i guess it has something else going for it, page one or two of a Matra MS120 Google search !

All very politically incorrect these days of course, but political correctness is so ‘ferkin boring!

Here’s the original article if you’ve not read it;

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

Tailpiece…

venetia 2

(J Wilds)

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

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Olympia Racing Car Show…

Model Venetia Day tries to get comfy atop the monocoque of Matra’s 1970 F1 challenger, the MS120.This famous shot was taken on the preview day of Londons ‘Racing Car Show’ at Olympia in January 1971.

The compound curvature of the Matra more than matched by Venetia’s lissom lines…the raincoats of the ‘snappers seem apt, all struggling with the correct focal length of their shot.

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Matra MS120…

Jackie Stewart won the Drivers and Constructors World Championships for Matra in 1969 with the Tyrrell Teams Ford Cosworth powered MS80. Matra entered F1 with Ken Tyrrell’s team in 1968, his cars Ford powered. In addition their own V12 engined MS11 cars made their debut.

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Matra make their GP debut at Monaco ’68. Beltoise Matra MS11 with ‘MS9’,  induction between the cams V12. Q8 & DNF after an accident. Short ‘snub’ Monaco nose fitted (The Cahier Archive)

In 1969 Matra focussed on developing their V12, the MS80 was designed for the Ford DFV only, the strategy was successful, few new teams have won a World Championship so soon.

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Jackie Stewart in his ’69 championship winning Matra MS80 Ford. French GP, Clermont Ferrand.(unattributed)

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Monaco GP 1970. Henri Pescarolo ahead of Pedro Rodriguez’ BRM P153, the Matra V12 powered car finished 3rd , Pedro finished 6th in his car, also V12 powered. Rindt’s Lotus 49 achieved a great victory having pressured Jack Brabham into a last lap error (unattributed)

Commercial Considerations…

For 1970 Matra ‘went it alone’ running cars powered  by the French aerospace company’s own V12. Matras boss, Jean Luc Lagarde, did a deal to sell his Matra 530 sports car through the Simca dealer network. Simca were owned by Chrysler, who were not about to have a Ford engine powering ‘their racing car’.

Tyrrell was offered the  MS120 for 1970, Stewart  tested the car at Albi, but felt the DFV the more competitive engine and after most of  1970 running a customer March 701, Tyrrells own Ford DFV powered cars made its debut, Stewart taking two more titles in 1971 and 1973. Tyrrell and Stewart were correct in their assessment, Tyrrell’s first Derek Gardner designed ‘001’ was similar in many ways to the MS80 which was always one of Stewart’s favourite cars.

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Equipe Matra, British Grand Prix ’70 , Brands Hatch . DNF for both Beltoise & Pescarolo . Rindts Lotus 72 won the race after Brabham’s BT33 ran short of fuel . These paddock shots clearly show the different aerodynamic approach adopted by Matras’ Bernard Boyer (unattributed)

MS120 Design…

Chassis Designer Bernard Boyer created a new monocoque with  cockpit sides and upper surfaces shaped to use the airflow over the car to develop downforce. New approaches to aerodynamics in 1970 by the March 701 , the stunning wedge shaped Lotus 72 and MS120 were stark contrasts to  the ‘cigar shapes’ of the ’60’s. The other aero approach was the ‘pregnant coke bottle’ adopted by the BRM P153 (see picture of Rodriguez in Monaco) to get the fuel load as low as possible in the car.

Front suspension geometry was developed directly from the MS80 but the wheelbase was 10cm longer due to the difference in length of Matras V12 relative to the DFV.

Matra’s 48 valve, 3 litre V12 was further developed by Gerard Martin’s team with a new block, which, DFV style, allowed the engine to be attached directly to the rear bulkhead of the monocoque to  carry the loads of the rear suspension and Hewland FG400 5 speed transaxle.

The engine developed around 435bhp @ 11000 rpm , about the same power as the DFV which had the benefit of being lighter and more fuel efficient.

The DFV was ‘the engine’ of the 3 litre formula, Ferrari’s flat 12 its only true competitor over the longer term and even then it was hamstrung by the chassis which sometimes carried it…the DFV had no such problem as so many teams used the ubiquitous engine.

matra engine

Matra ‘MS12’ 3 litre, 60 degree, 48 valve, Lucas fuel injected V12. Developed circa 435 bhp @ 11000 rpm from 2993cc. Engine used as a stressed member, suspension mounts bolting directly to the engine. ‘Aeroquip’ brake lines running along top radius rod, Lucas fuel injection & metering unit in shot.(unattributed)

Drivers & Results…

The MS120’s were driven by Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo in 1970, finishing 9th & 12th respectively in the Drivers Championship . Whilst both were fast, neither was an ‘ace’, Matra finishing 7th in the Manufacturers Championship , Jochen Rindt won the Drivers Title posthumously and Lotus the Constructors Title for points gained by both it’s old 49 and ‘revolutionary’ 72.

1970 was a very competitive season with the Brabham BT33, BRM P153, Ferrari 312B, Lotus 49 and 72 and March 701 all winning  Grands’ Prix. The MS120 was a little heavy, was thirsty and lacked the reliability of much of its competition, JPB had 5 retirements out of 13 rounds and 6 top 6 finishes whilst  Pesca had 3 retirements and 4 top 6 finishes.

The team lacked  an ace behind the wheel and someone with real depth of F1 testing and race experience to be able to fully develop the car. French Car, French Engine, French Sponsors and French Drivers all sounds great and made political sense given the Government funds involved but in reality, in 1970, they needed Ickx, Amon, Rodriguez, Rindt or Stewart. Of course this analysis excluding drivers ‘rusted on’ to their own teams.

french gp start

Clermont Ferrand, start of the ’70 French GP. Stewart March 701, Rindt Lotus 72, Pesca MS120,Rodriguez BRM P153 obscured, Jack Brabham Brabham BT33, Denny Hulme McLaren McLaren M14A, Ronnie Petersen March 701, Ignazio Giunti Ferrari 312B, Francois Cevert March 701…talent aplenty in 1970…(unattributed)

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French Grand Prix 1970, Pescarolo 5th in his MS120 at Clermont Ferrand , Beltiose 13 th in the race won by Rindts Lotus 72 (The Cahier Archive)

Withdrawal from F1…

Matra withdrew from F1 as a chassis constructor at the end of 1972, despite blinding speed shown on occasion by Chris Amon in 1971 and 1972. They eventually won Grands’ Prix as an engine supplier in Ligier chassis in the late 70’s and into the 80’s.

The 3 litre V12 was  fabulous, its screaming note one of racings most evocative, shrill best . It also achieved endurance success, the French company winning Le Mans in 1972/3/4 with its ‘670’ series of cars.

Matra’s were superbly designed, distinctively different and exquisitely built racing cars, the aeronautic background of the company obvious in the execution of the cars construction. The Grand Prix scene was the poorer for their absence but from  a commercial perspective it was ‘mission accomplished’ for Matra with an F1 Constructors Championship and 3 Le Mans victories on the trot.

The other car behind Venetia is a Surtees TS9 by the way, or perhaps you didn’t notice…

jpb from rear

JPB MS 120 1970…the more you look the more you see! Just a beautifully engineered and built car

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Beltiose all ‘cocked up’ at Monaco ’68, this kiss of the kerb causing his retirement. MS11.(unattributed)

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Matra MS120 family : top to bottom 1970 MS120, 1971 MS120B & 1972 MS120C (Pinterest)

matra cutaway

‘MS12’ cutaway…3 litre, 60 degree, 48 valve V12. Lucas fuel injection.Designed to be used as a stressed member, bolted directly to the monocoque rear bulkhead.matra badge

 

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boys

The 1969 Matra Squad: Matra’s Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise, and the Tyrrell duo of Johnny Servoz-Gavin & Jackie Stewart. (unattributed)

 

Short History of Matra Sports…

http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-matra.html

Photo Credits…

The Cahier Archive, Getty Images

Finito…