Posts Tagged ‘Tim Schenken’

Tim Schenken, Merlyn Mk11 Formula Ford and his rivals at Brands Hatch, 20 September 1968…

Chris Steele, Tim’s tuner/entrant dispenses advice to the Formula Ford ‘flock’ comprising Ray Allen, Brian Smith, Dave Morgan and Tony Trimmer. No doubt it’s a press shot to promote an upcoming race meeting; two of these fellows made it through to Formula 1- Schenken and Trimmer, the well of talent in Formula Ford has been deep in every season including its first couple.

Schenken cut his racing teeth in Australia, initially with an Austin A30 and later a Lotus 18 Ford FJ. By the time he contested some F3 races in an old Lotus in the UK in 1967 he had plenty of experience- the step ‘back’ into the new Formula Ford class paid off in spades with wins in both the 1968 British Formula Ford and Lombank F3 Championship- as a consequence he carried away the main 1968 Grovewood Award.

Tetsu Ikuzawa Brabham BT21B from Tim Schenken Chevron B9 Ford, Martini International Meeting Silverstone 1968 (M Hayward)

In 1970 he broke into Grand Prix Racing with Frank William’s De Tomaso 505 Ford, that ride arose as a result of Piers Courage’ death during the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix.

His promise was confirmed with drives in the year old Brabham BT33 Ford for Ron Tauranac in 1971, his first career mistake was jumping out of Brabham as BC Ecclestone acquired it at the end of ’71. Surtees was far from the worst place to be at the time but staying put would have been better.

Tim was as quick as Mike Hailwood at Surtees but the slip down the F1 totem pole was quick once he left and the climb back up is even harder.

I don’t think we ever saw his best in Grand Prix racing but point scoring races and an F1 podium, not to forget his F2, European GT Championship  and works Ferrari 312PB sportscar wins form part of a CV any of us would be rather happy to have.

Schenken, Brabham BT33 Ford, Canadian GP 1971 DNF (unattributed)

Tim’s best results in F1 were sixth and third placings for Brabham in 1971 at Hockenheim and the Osterreichring and fifth, seventh and eighth for Surtees in 1972 at Argentina, Mosport and Spain. In non-championship F1 he was third in the BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone and third in the 1972 International Gold Cup at Oulton Park.

Schenken aboard his Merlyn Mk11 FF in 1968

Credits…

Getty Images, Mike Hayward Collection, Victor Blackman, LAT Images

Other Tim Schenken Article…

https://primotipo.com/2016/04/03/frank-williams-and-tim-schenken-austrian-grand-prix-1970/

Schenken testing the Merlyn at Brands during 1968 (LAT)

Tailpiece: Ron Tauranac, Tim and Hill G with Hill’s Brabham BT34 Ford, Silverstone, British GP weekend July 1971- note the rig to attach a camera, the GoPro is still a while away…

Finito…

 

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‘Don’t worry about the T-Shirt Tim, it was the only one in the cupboard this morning! Go quicker than him and I’ll  make some with your name on them!?’…

FW exhorting Tim Schenken to get more speed from his steed.

Frank Williams raced the De Tomaso 505 Ford in 1970, a car designed for him by Gianpaolo Dallara. But it was shitbox, nowhere near as fast as the second-hand Brabham BT26 Frank ran in 1969 for his great friend Piers Courage. He drove with skill and conviction, second place the seasons highpoint at Watkins Glen in the US GP.

The De Tomaso was slow, too heavy amongst other shortcomings from the start, Piers Courage died in it at Zandvoort. I’m not suggesting a component failure was the accident’s cause but perhaps trying too hard to compensate for its lack of pace was.

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Piers Courage, De Tomaso 505 Ford, Zandvoort, 21 June 1970. He qualified the car 9th, was in 7th place on lap 22 when he ran wide into a sand bank, hit a post, overturned the car which then caught fire. Rindt won, the Lotus 72’s first win, no joy for Jochen, his close friend died (unattributed)

 

Brian Redman raced the car for FW at Clermont Ferrand and Hockenheim, Tim took over the drive at  the Osterreichring, Monza, Mosport and Watkins Glen. He retired in every event except Mosport where he was not classified but qualified 17th, his best ‘result’.

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Schenken, 16 August, Zeltweg, Austria 1970, DNF on lap 25 with engine failure, Q19. Ickx won in a Ferrari 312B (unattributed)

Schenken made the most of the opportunity FW gave him, he was recruited by Ron Tauranac for 1971, Jack Brabham retired that winter, Tim was teamed with Graham Hill who drove the problematic BT34. Tim raced the year old but still very quick BT33, his best placings 6th and 3rd at the Nurburgring and Osterreichring respectively.

Bernie Ecclestone bought Brabham during 1972, Tim was uncertain about Bernard Charles ability to run the team and left for Surtees, he was later to rue ’twas not the best career decision i ever made’…

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Schenken in the Williams De Tomaso 505 Ford in the rain, Zeltweg 1970 (unattributed)

Credit…REX Shutterstock