On this day in Motor Racing's past

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Everso Biggyballies
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Re: On this day in Motor Racing's past

Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

Latest post of the previous page:

On this day, May 5th 2016 Max Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso to the main RBR team, replacing, or swapping positions with Daniil Kvyat who had endured a less than average start to the 2016 season, culminating in taking out Sebastian Vettel at Daniil's home GP in Russia. Verstappen famously repayed Red Bull for the promotion by winning his debut RBR race in Spain the following week, and has since gone with minor blemishes to become one of the most feared and fastest drivers on the grid.

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Post by erwin greven » 2 years ago

Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

40 years ago this week that Sir Frank and Patrick Head formed Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The 1977 Spanish GP was their first race in that guise, albeit using a March 761 chassis. The in house FW06 came at the start of the 1978 season, when they ran a sole entry for Alan Jones, before becoming a fully fledged 2 car team in 1979 when Regga joined in.

They have since then won 9 constructors titles, interestingly more than McLaren, despite their winning their first WCC before Williams GP Engineering even existed. Of course fortunes have ebbed for both of late with neither having won a WCC this millenium.

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Post by kals » 2 years ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
2 years ago
40 years ago this week that Sir Frank and Patrick Head formed Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The 1977 Spanish GP was their first race in that guise, albeit using a March 761 chassis. The in house FW06 came at the start of the 1978 season, when they ran a sole entry for Alan Jones, before becoming a fully fledged 2 car team in 1979 when Regga joined in.

They have since then won 9 constructors titles, interestingly more than McLaren, despite their winning their first WCC before Williams GP Engineering even existed. Of course fortunes have ebbed for both of late with neither having won a WCC this millenium.
A great legacy built by someone disenfranchised with the progress of Walter Wolf's operation. An interesting (although pointless, unrelated) item when comparing Williams and McLaren is that it is 20 years since Williams last won the Constructors Championship. While it has been 19 years since McLaren last won the same title.

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Post by erwin greven » 2 years ago

Yep. In 1997 and 1998 respectively.
Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

It was on this day, 24th August 1967 Dan Gurney won the Belgian GP at Spa in the glorious All American(ish) Eagle.

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From Motor Sport:
Has there been a more aesthetic Grand Prix victory than handsome Dan Gurney’s at Spa 50 years ago? His victorious Eagle had yet to sprout ugly wings, and forest rather than Armco still fringed this fearsome road circuit.

His 146mph winning average at the pre-dawn of downforce – Team Lotus had removed bib spoilers from its 49s after practice because of their underestimated unsettling effect at the rear – was a new all-time Formula 1 record, superseding Tony Brooks’ 1959 mark for Ferrari in the oddball, two-heat German GP at Berlin’s AVUS.

“Dan was a great driver,” says Jo Ramírez, then a mechanic for Gurney’s Anglo American Racers in Rye. “In our first year [1966] we had used a [2.7-litre] Coventry Climax four-cylinder, and it was only because of his driving that we didn’t do as badly as we had feared.

“And when we got our V12 from Weslake, we were competitive; it was born with 400 horsepower.”

So, too, was Cosworth’s DFV. This was the compact V8’s second outing – Lotus’s Jim Clark had won the Dutch GP on its debut – and it set the pace in practice, Clark lapping at 151mph.

Gurney was second fastest, albeit 3sec slower.

His latest Eagle, chassis ‘104’, featured extensive use of magnesium (in place of aluminium in its monocoque) and titanium (in place of stainless steel in its suspension components, exhausts, etc) to compensate for the lanky Gurney’s weight, the fact that the basic design also had to withstand 500 miles of Indy, and the extra fuel, oil and water required compared to a DFV.

“It was such a beautifully made monocoque,” says Ramírez. “Every rivet was the same distance apart. And the exhaust pipes were incredible; the colours they went after they got hot… aww. The guy who made them, Pete Wilkins, an Australian, was the best fabricator I have ever seen. An artist.

“Most of the components arrived from Santa Ana, California [All American Racers’ HQ] and we put the car together in England. We had a little workshop and there were only four of us: Tim Wall, another Australian, was chief mechanic; plus me – a Mexican – and two Brits: Mike Lowman and Rouem Haffenden; and a nice, local lad we called Jesse, who would help in any way he could.

“Dan was brilliant, one of us, very conscious of the amount of work that needed to be done. But he was also a great fiddler. He always tried to do new things and sometimes changed stuff on the car that amazed us. Because he was such a good driver he would go quicker with whatever change he had made. But often he would then say, ‘Maybe you should put it back as it was.’”

“That being said, some of his inventions still work nowadays. The Gurney Flap really made a difference.”

Gurney made a slow start and was passed by Jochen Rindt (Cooper), Jackie Stewart (BRM), Mike Parkes and Chris Amon (in Ferraris), John Surtees (Honda) and Pedro Rodríguez (Cooper).

Ramírez has an admission to make: “The start was downhill and Dan did not want to overheat the clutch by keeping the car in first and controlling the brake and throttle with his right foot. So he asked us to put a stone under the rear wheel.

“But it was difficult to find the right size – big enough but not too big – on an F1 grid. Whatever we put there did not work. Oops!”

Clark rushed into the lead. Team-mate Graham Hill, however, had stalled on the dummy grid; Surtees’ crankshaft would break at Stavelot; and Parkes would end his short F1 career when he crashed terrifyingly at Blanchimont on oil from Stewart’s BRM.

The race then settled to an order of Clark, pulling away at 2sec per lap, Stewart and Gurney: V8, H16 and V12. Although the latter felt sure that the smoking BRM wouldn’t make it, he had worries of his own.

“I remember it well,” says Ramírez. “Dan rushed into the pits, pulled down the handkerchief that he used to wear over his mouth, and shouted: ‘No fuel pressure!’

“That Lucas pump was not the best. Though we were always very careful to filter the fuel maybe a little bit of dust had got in; it was prone to that.”

The race had reached its crux after 12 of 28 laps, for Clark had pitted moments before Gurney because a spark plug had spat its ceramic body. (After another stop for the same reason, the Scot would finish a lapped sixth, with no clutch and only first, third and fifth gears.)

Stewart now led from Gurney and for a time their gap was static. But as the former became increasingly hampered by having to hold the gearlever in mesh – that oil! – and steering one-handed, so the latter’s fuel pressure began to recover and stabilise.

Ramírez: “The problem, whatever it was, had cleared. Thank God for that!”

Pulling almost 200mph in places – and setting the race’s fastest lap – Gurney drastically reduced Stewart’s advantage until he took the lead from him on lap 21.

His eventual margin would be 1min 03sec.

“It was very significant for Dan, of course: the first American to win a GP in an American car,” says Ramírez. “I was born at the right time and have been lucky to be associated with some of the best teams and drivers – but that race remains very significant for me, too: it was my first GP win. Fantastic.

“I don’t remember the name of the hotel that we were staying in, but I do remember playing billiards there, in between glasses of champagne, and there being lots of phone calls for Dan.

“Unfortunately, we wouldn’t win again: Dan was leading the German GP with three laps to go when a driveshaft broke. He and [team manager] Bill Dunne were running out of sponsorship and patience [with Weslake]. Before we knew what had actually happened, Bill started shouting, ‘That bloody engine again!’ Later I think he wanted to make a hole in the ground and disappear.

“It’s true that it wasn’t how it should have been. The test-bed at Weslake was rudimentary. The whole place would shake every time we ran the engine and, on one occasion, nails from the roof fell straight down an inlet trumpet.

“The project needed more money – always tight – more development and a little more perseverance. It was a shame.

“But at least we had won one. And if you were going to win one, you wanted it to be at Monaco, Nürburgring or Spa. And we got Spa, beautiful Spa.”

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

On this Day - September 10, 1961

Wolfgang von Trips & 15 Spectators Die In the Monza GP Tragedy

We all know of the tragic story and the consequences to that years World Championship outcome.... Approaching the Parabolica in excess of 160mph, jostling for position behind three other cars, Jim Clarks Lotus and Von Trip's Ferrari touched and veered off the road. While the green car spun harmlessly to a halt, the red machine somersaulted up the sloping bank on the outside of the track, striking the wire fencing before falling back in a heap of disintegration. Its driver, Wolfgang von Trips, had been thrown out and would die before reaching hospital. Fifteen spectators who had been pressing against the fence were also dead or dying. Cars swerved around the wreckage as marshals rushed to clear the debris. There was no red flag as other drivers raced on unknowingly.

A little trivia about Von Trips I was unaware of is that just prior to his death in 1961 Wolfgang had opened a go karting centre in Kerpen... this became over time the karting centre run by Rolf (father of Michael and Ralf) Schumacher, and needless to say was the venue of their first competitive motor racing laps.

Michael of course became the next German (national) F1 GP winner after Von Trips, albeit some 31 years later

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Post by erwin greven » 2 years ago

On the same day, September 10th, 17 years later another tragedy happened at the same track.



Both events had the result that it was a world championship deciding event. Phill Hill became the first American WDC in F1. In 1978 Mario Andretti became the second and last American WDC.
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Post by Andy » 2 years ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
2 years ago
On this Day - September 10, 1961
......

A little trivia about Von Trips I was unaware of is that just prior to his death in 1961 Wolfgang had opened a go karting centre in Kerpen... this became over time the karting centre run by Rolf (father of Michael and Ralf) Schumacher, and needless to say was the venue of their first competitive motor racing laps.

Michael of course became the next German (national) F1 GP winner after Von Trips, albeit some 31 years later
I knew about that bit of trivia but I never thought it would be important in any way :haha:
But thanks for mention it, Erwin !
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

erwin greven wrote:
2 years ago
Both events had the result that it was a world championship deciding event. Phill Hill became the first American WDC in F1. In 1978 Mario Andretti became the second and last American WDC.
Phil Hill still remains the only US BORN WDC. :wink:
(Mario was born in Italy arrived in the US as a 15 year old, becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1964, aged 24, indeed after Hill had won his title and well in time to be a US citizen when he became WDC. )

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Post by Andy » 2 years ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
2 years ago
erwin greven wrote:
2 years ago
Both events had the result that it was a world championship deciding event. Phill Hill became the first American WDC in F1. In 1978 Mario Andretti became the second and last American WDC.
Phil Hill still remains the only US BORN WDC. :wink:
(Mario was born in Italy arrived in the US as a 15 year old, becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1964, aged 24, indeed after Hill had won his title and well in time to be a US citizen when he became WDC. )
I thought Mario was born in Croatia but that part became Italy somehow?
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Post by Michkov » 2 years ago

Andy wrote:
2 years ago
Everso Biggyballies wrote:
2 years ago
erwin greven wrote:
2 years ago
Both events had the result that it was a world championship deciding event. Phill Hill became the first American WDC in F1. In 1978 Mario Andretti became the second and last American WDC.
Phil Hill still remains the only US BORN WDC. :wink:
(Mario was born in Italy arrived in the US as a 15 year old, becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1964, aged 24, indeed after Hill had won his title and well in time to be a US citizen when he became WDC. )
I thought Mario was born in Croatia but that part became Italy somehow?
Other way round born in Italy but the territory was ceded to Yugoslavia after WW2 if I remember right.

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

Michkov wrote:
2 years ago
Andy wrote:
2 years ago
Everso Biggyballies wrote:
2 years ago
erwin greven wrote:
2 years ago
Both events had the result that it was a world championship deciding event. Phill Hill became the first American WDC in F1. In 1978 Mario Andretti became the second and last American WDC.
Phil Hill still remains the only US BORN WDC. :wink:
(Mario was born in Italy arrived in the US as a 15 year old, becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1964, aged 24, indeed after Hill had won his title and well in time to be a US citizen when he became WDC. )
I thought Mario was born in Croatia but that part became Italy somehow?
Other way round born in Italy but the territory was ceded to Yugoslavia after WW2 if I remember right.
Yes it was as Michkov says.... He was born in Montona, Italy (now Motovun, Croatia). His family left Montona in the late 1940's and lived in a refugee camp for several years before getting visas to move to the US in 1955. Mario became a US citizen in 1964.
From Biography.com:
For Andretti, who has a twin brother, Aldo, childhood had its challenges. Family life was turned upside down not long after the boys were born and Mussolini sided with Hitler in World War II. The end to the conflict only brought more turmoil for the family, whose home became a part of Yugoslavia and fell under Communist rule.

The Andrettis quickly left, finding safety in a refugee camp, where they lived for seven years beginning in 1948. In 1955 the Andrettis secured a visa to the United States and in June of that year settled into their new home as best they could in Nazareth, Pennsylvannia.
https://www.biography.com/people/mario-andretti-9184819

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Post by Andy » 2 years ago

Ok, Ok, at least I got the countries involved right :haha:
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 years ago

Andy wrote:
2 years ago
Ok, Ok, at least I got the countries involved right :haha:
And you were aware of the Von Trips karting centre trivia! ( I certainly had never heard of the Von Trips link before, although I knew the Schumacher family owned one in Kerpen)

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Post by erwin greven » 2 years ago

Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."
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