Posts Tagged ‘Niki Lauda’

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Henri Pescarolo in BRM P160E-10 18th, ahead of Ian Scheckter Lotus 72E Ford, 13th during the 1974 South African GP, Kyalami (unattributed)

One of my favourite designers is Tony Southgate, ‘tops’ for me of his many great cars are the 1970 P153 and updated and evolved 1971-4 BRM P160 GP winning machines…

‘Every man and his dog’ drove these cars from champions to journeymen, the last of the 10 built, the ex-Lauda/Pescarolo ‘P160/10’ is now owned by Sydneysider John Gale who is writing a fascinating, detailed blog as he and his team of artisans restore the car, here ‘tis, have a look at it;

http://brmp160e10.blogspot.com.au/p/about.html

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Niki’s ‘brand spankers’ BRM P160E-10 upon its race debut at Monza in 1973, DNF (unattributed)

I thought my series of articles on the reconstruction of Peter Brennan’s ex-Lombardi Lola T330 Chev ‘HU18’ were detailed but they were ‘high level summaries’ compared with this engaging blog!

I’ve a piece in process about the BRM CanAm car with P153/160 tangents I’ll upload in the next month or so but in the meantime lose yourselves in this wonderful site for an hour or three!…

Tailpiece: BRM team at Watkins Glen 1973, Lauda’s #21 new P160E-10, Beltoise #20 and Regazzoni’s similar cars…

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Ian Ashley’s Williams FW03 Ford sits forlornly beside the Pflanzgarten Armco while Niki Lauda turns in, Ferrari 312T, Nurburgring, German GP practice 1 August 1975…

Ashley had his car, teammate Jacques Laffitte was quick in the evolved FW04 that year, in 20th grid position, when he had one of several huge career shunts, not of his own making. Ian takes up the story;

‘I had several things go wrong in practice, including a stuck throttle, which turned out to be a broken engine mount. There are four plates which used to hold the Cosworth onto the monocoque, and the top left plate had snapped. They didn’t check any of the others, and on the final qualifying run, and I was up to 9th or 12th by then – I hadn’t actually done a flying lap, only what they call a rolling lap, and my fastest lap was on my warming-up lap – I was ten seconds up on my flying lap when one of the bottom engine mounts snapped, and it just turned sharp left along the straight, and I went straight into the armco at 160mph. Nobody realised straight away what had happened, and I had chipped an ankle, so I missed one race of the F5000 series, but I managed to hang on to my lead’ (of the European F5000 Championship in which he ultimately finished 4th in Lola’s T330 and T400)

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Marshals gather the remains of Ian Ashley’s ‘lightened and modified’ Williams FW03 Ford, Nurburgring 1975. The dangers of frontal impacts in aluminium monocoques of the period 1962 to circa 1982 readily apparent and certainly greatly superior to the chassis of earlier times! He was lucky the result was not a good deal worse, the car, originally designed by John Clarke in 1973 stood up to the big impact pretty well. The dude holding the helmet, to state the obvious, is the pilot of the medical chase car not Ashley…(unattributed)

For an interesting interview/summary of Ian Ashley’s career, and the trials and tribulations of trying to get into F1 with underprepared cars and/or ‘shitboxes’, click on this link;

http://8w.forix.com/ashley.html

In the GP Lauda was 3rd, Carlos Reutemannhttp won in a Brabham BT44B Ford and Laffitte was a career-enhancing 2nd and off to the new Ligier Matra outfit at seasons end.

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Ian Ashley in Frank William’s FW03 before the engine mount failure, German GP practice 1975 (unattributed)

Credit…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, 8w.forix.com, motorsport.com

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Carlos Reutemann on his way to German GP, Nurburgring victory in August 1975. Brabham BT44B Ford (unattributed)

Tailpiece: Ian Ashley in recent times in an historic Elden Mk8 FF…

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Niki Lauda at rest and awaiting qualifying set-up tweaks, staying ahead of ‘Frenchy’ Alain Prost the challenge of the year…

Experience, cunning, speed and consistency won him his third and final title with McLaren in 1984 but Alain prevailed in 1985, Nikis’ last season of racing and Prosts’ first title.

Click on this link for an interesting, short visual comparison of the evolution of McLaren steering wheels down the decades, as good as any an indicator of ‘progess’! http://www.motorsportretro.com/2014/11/mclaren-f1-steering-wheels/

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1984 McLaren MP4/2 Porsche: carbon fibre honeycomb chassis, double wishbones and pushrod suspension front and rear, carbon fibre brakes, 540Kg. TAG/Porsche 1499cc DOHC twin turbo V6, circa 750bhp in ’84 spec. McLaren/Hewland FGB 5 speed transaxle

(Unattributed)

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Niki Lauda aviating his 312T in the Eifel Mountains, 1975…

He won the race and the world championship for the first time that year.

Ferrari turned the corner of uncompetitiveness with the 312B in 1970, the combination of chassis and new ‘flat 12’ engine was very competitive in the second half of the season.

Into 1971-3 they largely lost the plot with their chassis…Mauro Forghieri returned from the wilderness in late 1973.

The 1974 combination of Lauda, then in his third year of F1, Ferrari ‘returnee’ Clay Regazzoni, Forghieri and very young Luca Di Montezemolo as Team Manager commenced an era of Ferrari success if not dominance.

The cars were powerful, relatively light despite the additional fuel load needed by the Flat12 relative to the Ford Cosworth V8, handled superbly and were as aerodynamically advanced as the competition, until the ‘game-changing’ Lotus 78 arrived at least .

Lauda, Regga, Reutemann, Villeneuve, and Scheckter extracted all the performance as well.

The 1975 312T, so called because of the transverse location of the gears within the ‘box was the start of a series of cars which won drivers world titles in 1975, ’77, and ’79 for Lauda twice and Jody Scheckter once.

The car was not the prettiest of the mid-70’s to my eye but was an incredibly cohesive, beautifully integrated design. Without doubt one of Ferraris finest.

Lauda was up for the developmental and testing task, it was why Ferrari hired him but he also proved he was a winner. Montezemolo welded the group into an effective fighting unit, rather than the ‘Palace Intrigues’ of Maranellos’ past holding the Scuderia back …

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Clay Regazzoni, Ferrari 312T, Nurburgring 1975. DNF engine. (Pinterest)

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Enzo Ferrari, Luca Di Montezemolo & Niki Lauda, test session at Fiorano 1974 (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest unattributed, Werner Buhrer drawings