Tag Archives: Formula

Half A Car – Lotus Ford T 87 #87/R2 & #87/R4

For the 1981 World Championship Lotus had developed the twin chassis Lotus 86 which I looked at last week, no sooner had testing of that car been finished than the ruling body of the sport outlawed the skirts on which the car depended to seal the airflow beneath the body of the car and mandated a minimum ride height.

Lotus Ford 87, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

This led to the development of the Lotus 88 which had twin chassis as did the 86 but no skirts and a 6cm minimum ride height as mandated by the new rules. Unfortunately while the governing the body of the sport accepted the Lotus 88 as legal most of the other teams did not declaring that the second outer aerodynamic chassis was a banned movable aerodynamic aid and not a fully suspended chassis.

Lotus Ford 87, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Set against a back ground to these semantic arguments between the grandee teams of Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo going up against the garagistes of Brabham, Lotus, McLaren, Williams et al made of high drama and in this instance almost every body building cars turned against Lotus in denouncing the Lotus 88 which meant that it only ever took part in a couple of practice sessions.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

For the first half of the 1981 season Lotus were therefore forced into running the Lotus 81 from the 1980 season. By the time the Formula one circus arrived in Great Britain Lotus made one final attempt to run the Lotus 88 in practice but were again refused by their fellow competitors and so Lotus ran the 88 sans second aeroydynamic chassis and with more conventional aerodynamic side pods and wings as #87/R2 is seen being driven by Nigel Mansell during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1981 and #87/R4 is seen with the later front wings at Hall & Hall and in the Paddock at Silverstone during the classic meeting earlier this year.

Lotus 87, Silverstone Classic

The single chassis version of the Lotus 88 is known as the Lotus Type 87. The highlight of the Lotus 87’s half a seasons competition career was a couple of 4th place finishes, for Elio de Angeles in Italy and Nigel Mansell at Ceasers Palace.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Chassis R2 was used by Elio de Angeles in Monaco, Spain and France scoring a best 5th place finish in Spain, Mansell took the car over for the British Grand Prix and failed to qualify. There after this car was used as a spare for the remainder of the 1981 season and the first race of the 1982 season in South Africa.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

So far as I have been able to determine chassis #87/R4 seen in the more recent photo’s was driven by Nigel Mansell in at least four Grand Prix during the second half of the 1981 season. Note that the use of space age Carbon Fiber and Kevlar was becoming widespread by 1981 the following season the majority of Formula One monocoques were made from the material with the exception of Ferrari.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The absence of any bodywork around the rear suspension and exhaust shows what a rush job it was to get the Lotus 87’s to the grid most of the contemporary cars of the period had the rear axle covered in body panels by 1981 including the 1981 British Grand Prix winning McLaren MP4/1 of John Watson.

My thanks to Rick Hall if Hall & Hall for generously allowing me to take the photos of #87/R4, which is for sale, on his premises.

Thanks for joining me on this “Half A Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be relating a Scandinavian Tale about an unusual fire engine. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fury’s Experiment – Ferrari 312 B3 #009 Spazzaneve

In the autumn of 1972 I was sitting in my dorm at school thumbing through a copy of Autocar when I came across a 4″ x 2″ photograph of today’s featured car the, there was only ever one, Ferrari 312 B3 nick named the Spazzaneve or snow plough. I reached for a pair of scissors and cut the photo out and stuck it to my bedside table where I could see it from my bed and would day dream of driving this compact vehicle to to dozens of Grand Prix victories.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Being only 13 at the time and some months away from becoming fully mentally engaged with Formula One, I had no idea that it would be 40 years before I got to see this car in the flesh, partly because it was an experimental model and never raced in anger, partly because it’s designer Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri was to be moved to another job soon after #009 was built and tested and partly because Enzo Ferrari was ill which allowed FIAT management at helm of the good ship Ferrari and they wanted Franco Rocchi and Giacomo Caliri under the direction of FIAT’s Stefano Colombo to design Ferrari’s 1973 Grand Prix challenger.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The 312 B3 Spazzaneve was a significant departure from Foghieri’s previous model the not entirely unsuccessful Ferrari 312 B2.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Like many designers of the time, including Tyrrells designer Derek Gardner, Mauro was concerned with improving the handling of his cars by packaging all the heavy items, radiators, fuel, oil and water tanks and so forth as close to the centre of the cars gravity as possible.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Interestingly this experimental vehicle did not feature inboard front brakes, as did both contemporary Lotus and Tyrrell designs which would have reduced the unsprung weight of the car to the benefit of the handling and brought these items closer to the cars centre of gravity further reducing the chassis ‘polar moment of inertia’ which has the benefit of reducing chassis stresses and improving handling.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

To improve front end grip radiators were mounted behind the front wheels and are fed fresh air by the large NACA ducts in the nose.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The hot radiator air was then expelled through the ducts behind the mirror.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to Regazzoni at The Nostalgia Forum I have been told that Mauro Fogheri’s dedication on the side of the car translates as “With this one [the car] I could understand many more things. With sympathy and a bit of envy Mauro Forghieri”

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to GD66 and domenico also at The Nostalgia Forum these signatures have been identified as those of Jacky Ickx, top, and Chief Mechanic Giulio Borsari bottom.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

I have not seen any photos of Ickx’s team mate Art Mezario driving the car in period, but there is no reason to suppose he didn’t, Art has demonstrated #009 since.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The cockpit for anyone taller than an average horse jockey is incredibly cramped.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Note the front support has three different anchor points, linked here is a photo of Jacky Ickx driving #009 with the wing mounted all the way forward on square shouldered Firestone tyres, and another of #009 with the rear wing mounted further back on round shouldered Goodyear tyres linked here. Jacky and Art can be seen chatting in the back ground in the latter.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Like Derek Gardner’s Tyrrell 006 design the Spazzanave was found to be very nervous to drive, unlike Tyrrell Ferrari ditched the low polar momentum concept and built 3 freshly designed cars which resulted in Ferrari’s worst season to date, while Jackie Stewart drove the Tyrrell OO6 to his third World Drivers Championship in 1973.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Soon after returning to work in 1973 Enzo Ferrari withdrew his team from the 1973 World Championship for a short sabbatical and recalled Mauro Fogierhi to his former position to rework the 1973 cars with his low polar momentum idea’s. The following season the 1974 version of the Ferrari 312 B3 was developed into a championship contender.

Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Thanks to a touch of galvanic corrosion twixt wheel nut and wheel my school boy day dreams were partly realised while visiting Hall & Hall in Bourne when I was asked to apply the brake pedal in an effort to help free the wheel nuts of the car. Christmas certainly came a couple of weeks early this year.

I understand #009 is for sale, unfortunately I do not have the readies to relieve Hall & Hall of the responsibility of looking after Spazzaneve, if you do contact details can be found on this link.

My thanks to Ted Walker of Ferret Fotographics for taking me to visit Hall & Hall and to Rick Hall for permission to take these photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fury’s Experiment” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


HSCC International Trophy – Silverstone

Now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary the Historic Sports Car Club organised a two day International Trophy meeting at Silverstone last weekend of which I popped along to the second.

Jaguar E-type_7278sc

The first race of the day was led by the #91 Jaguar E-Type shared by Julian Thomas an Calum Lockie for opening 13 laps of the Turnkey GT and Sports Car Cup, but they lost ground on the driver change which happened as the course was under a full course caution that became a red flag after three further laps leaving the #75 AC Cobra 289 shared by Leo Voyazides and Andy Wolfe that had been running in the top six to inherit the win.

Formula Junior_7318sc

Sam Wilson in his #53 Lotus 20/22 led the 2nd Formula Junior race of the weekend from start to finish five cars held second place over the 9 lap race with Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22, seen in fourth above securing the spot with two laps to go, a late charge from James Murray secured third in his Lola.

Michael Lyons, McLaren M26, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

James Hunt won the International Championship twice when the British Racing Drivers Club organised the event with Hesketh in 1974 and McLaren in his 1976 championship winning year, last weekend Michael Lyons, seen above, drove a 1977 spec McLaren M26 to an easy victory in International Trophy ahead of Andrew Smith’s Gunston liveried March 79B.

Lola T282, Voyazides-Wolfe, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides and James Wolfe had to work a little harder, than Micheal, in their 1973 Jean-Louis Lafosse / Reine Wisell Gitanes liveried Lola T282 to get the better of the #19 Simon Watson and Andrew Kirkaldy Chevron B19 and the third place #60 Chevron B26 driven by John Burton in the 50 minute Pre 80 Endurance race.

Historic Formula 3, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

After several successful seasons running a Cooper in Formula Junior Jon Milicevic has switched to driving the #14 Brabham BT21B in Formula 3 and looks to continue his winning ways, having passed the Micheal Hibberd’s #25 Brabham on the opening lap he retained the lead to the end to finish ahead of Simon Archer’s #22 March 703 which worked it’s way up from 5th at the end of the opening lap.

Guards Trophy, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

George Tizzard’s persistence chasing down, the out of shot, #4 pole sitting Chevron B8 shared by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell was rewarded when he took the lead in the HSCC Guards Trophy 2 laps from home driving the #2 Gulf liveried Lenham Spyder.

Ford Falcon, Leo Voyazides, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides took a fairly easy victory third victory of the day with a solo drive in his Ford Falcon in the HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship beating the Ford Mustang driven by Warren Biggs by 14 seconds from pole position.

HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

In the final race of the day Ian Pearson won the HSCC Formula 2000 race from pole in his #9 Van Diemen RF83 while Andrew Park had to battle back to second in his white #27 Reynard SF81 after giving the place up to the #87 Reynard SF79 driven by Nelson Rowe and #33 Van Diemen RF82 of Marc Mercer on the opening lap.

Thanks for joining me on this International Trophy edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for the next Packard edition soon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Moorland’s Successor – Gemini Mk 2

As we saw a couple of weeks ago after the withdrawal of their backers the Moorland Formula Junior project, designed by Len Terry and built by Leslie Redmond, was taken on by Graham Warner of The Checkered Flag.

Len Terry moved on to designing the Terrier Formula Junior car, which would lead him into conflict with one of his other employers Colin Chapman at Lotus.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Leslie Redmond remained as Chief Engineer for Graham Warner who financed the building of a production version of the Moorland, naming it Gemini Mk2 after Gemini House on Edgware Road, where one of his businesses was based.

Thirty Gemini Mk 2’s are believed to have been built all but four being BMC powered with remainder fitted with Ford engines.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Graham Warner is shown as having been entered in a Ford powered Gemini Mk2 at Brands Hatch in October 1959, but he did not attend.

At the John Davy Trophy on the 26th of December, also at Brands Hatch, Graham was entered in a BMC powered Gemini Mk2 but again did not appear.

Gemini Mk II, Graham Barron, Castle Combe,

Jim Clark did however drive a works Ford powered entry in the John Davy Trophy to an 8th place on the models debut with the private Ford powered entry driven by Geoff Williamson failing to finish the same race after a spin.

Graham finally got to the grid in a BMC powered Gemini Mk II in March 1960 at Snetterton where he finished 3rd behind to DKW 2 stroke powered Elva 100’s and the following month Graham recorded his marques first win at Brands Hatch in a Ford powered Gemini Mk 2 this time leading two DKW powered Elva’s home.

Graham Barron is seen at the wheel of today’s featured Gemini Mk II at Castle Combe.

My thanks to Richard Bishop – Miller for filling in some of the gaps in my Moorland / Gemini knowledge with some comments he left on facebook.

Thanks for joining me on this “Moorland’s Successor” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the last in the present series of Healey’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Front Wheel Drive Monocoque – Bond Formula Junior #2

After working for the Blackburn Aircraft Company during the Second World War Lawrence “Lawrie” Bond turned his attention to designing and building a number of light weight vehicles for competition and road use.

Lawrie’s designs including two 500 Formula 3 cars, both of which predated the Killeen K1, the three wheel Bond Minicar manufactured by Sharp’s Commercials Ltd and both three and four wheel and three wheel Berkley sports cars all featured monocoque construction in aluminium and or fibreglass with front wheel drive.

Bond Formula Junior, Mike Walker, Castle Combe

Lawrie’s competition activities always appear to have taken place alongside his commercial activities and in 1959, just as his collaboration with Berkley was running into trouble, he designed and built the Bond Formula Junior with a fibre glass monocoque supported by strategically placed aluminium and steel inserts.

As with his previous competition designs Lawrie spared no effort designing special hubs, brake drums and unique alloy wheels for the unconventional front wheel drive machine, all of which made for a protracted build time.

Bond Formula Junior, Mike Walker, Castle Combe

Jon Goddard-Watts eventually raced the first Ford powered Bond with it’s unique differential transfer box driving the front wheels twice for the works team without any success in 1961.

Subsequently the car was bought and raced by Chris Featherstone, in 1964 Chris crashed the car at Mallory Park and used the back half of the monocoque from the uncompleted second car to repair the damage and continued racing the Bond until at least 1968.

Bond Formula Junior, Mike Walker, Castle Combe

The original Bond was restored by Andrew Tart for Jon Goddard-Watts and raced to it’s first win by Andrew at Mallory Park in 2010.

Today’s featured Bond is the second chassis which was completed, again by Andrew Tart and stood on it’s own wheels for the first time in 2011, only 51 years after work on it was first started.

Bond Formula Junior, Mike Walker, Oulton Park

Mike Walker is seen at the wheel of the second Bond at Castle Combe in the top three photographs and in the middle of an indiscretion on oil at Oulton Park in the bottom photograph.

Thanks for joining me on this “Front Wheel Drive Monocoque” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Healey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Clever Canadian – Sadler BMC Formula Junior

When Clever Canadian Bill Sadlers Dad was ready to junk the family business Sadler Auto Electric 1939 Austin panel van Bill asked to take on the vehicle he had been delivering parts with and turned it into a convertible.

Later he converted his Hillman Minx to take a 150hp flathead Ford V8, the cars original brakes proved too small on his competitive debut at Watkins Glen.

Sadler BMC Formula Junior, Stephen Bulling, Autimn Classic, Castle Combe,

This led Bill to building a number of sports cars to race, he was an early adopter of both the small block Chevy V8 and the engine behind the driver layout which would become part of the formula for any half way decent Can Am car many years later.

By 1959 MENSA International member Bill was producing sports cars in small numbers when he decided to build a batch of 12 open wheel cars to the international Formula Junior specifications that were announced in 1958.

Sadler BMC Formula Junior, Stephen Bulling, Autimn Classic, Castle Combe,

The Sadler Formula Junior’s were built to a tuned version of the 1098 cc / 67 cui 46hp BMC A series engine more commonly found in Austin A35 van’s, Austin A40 Pininfarina Countryman’s, Morris Minors, Austin Healey Sprite’s, BMC’s various badge engineered 1100’s, later Mini Clubmans, Australian built Mini Mokes and Austin Allegro’s.

The engine and similarly sourced 4 speed gearbox sits in a tubular frame and is covered by an aluminium body.

Sadler BMC Formula Junior, Stephen Bulling, Autimn Classic, Castle Combe,

Details of 1959 Formula Junior races in which Sadlers took part are extremely hard to find, but by 1960 G Hag, Vic Yachuk, Ernest Donnan, James Walter and George Roberts, had all recorded starts in Sadler Formula Juniors in North America.

According to Dutchy and Steven W at The Nostalgia Forum, today’s Sadler seen in these photographs with Stephen Bulling driving at Castle Combe, was at one time driven by Canadian Dave Rodgman.

Thanks for joining me on this “Clever Canadian” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first in a new Sunday Healey series. Don’t forget to come back now !


Grand Finals – Castle Combe

On Saturday I popped along to Castle Combe for the Grand Finals meeting where the sun was trying in vain to dissipate the clouds, but the fine quality of the racing made up for it’s inadequacies.

Reynard/Fisher Spectrum/Moyers, FF1600, Castle Combe

The afternoons racing got off to a scintillating start with the Drive Soutwest and Empire EV Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600, Kent engines, Championship, in which Josh Fisher starting from third on the grid in his 1989 #81 Reynard engaged in a thrilling battle with pole sitter Michael Moyers driving the #125 Spectrum 11c that was twenty years younger than the Reynard.

Josh took the lead on lap six, relinquished it for the next two laps before grabbing it for good on lap 9, Josh is seen above exceeding track limits as he takes the flag after 15 thrilling laps by just 0.212 of a second from Michael, Roger Orgee clinched the championship, 41 years after his farther Roger Snr, won the same championship at he same track, with a third place finish.

BMW 320i, Swaffer, Wileman, Palmer, Davison, Castle Combe

The penultimate round of the Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship saw Gary Feakin and Harry Goodman storm away from the rest and leaving the #145 of Matthew Swaffer, #131 of Matthew Wileman, #8 of Mark Palmer and #17 driven by William Davison to squabble over the final place on the podium in another entertaining race.

When the dust settled William finished third behind Harry but ahead of Matthew Wileman, Rob Cooper and Mark while Matthew Saffer retired the #145, Gary’s win sealed the championship in his favour with one round, run later in the afternoon, to go.

Spire GT3, Tim Gray, Castle Combe

Nottingham’s Tim Gray drove his #96 Spire GT3 to set a pole time for the Castle Combe Sports Racing Series race over three and a half seconds ahead of fellow front row starter Robert Gillman in his #66 Radical Prosport.

It was hardly surprising there for that the closest anyone got to Tim was on the warm up lap when the race ended Robert was 53 seconds ahead of the #12 Radical SR4 driven by Darcey Smith who remained the only unlapped runner, hopefully next year Simon Tilling might bring his Radical out to play in what could be a competitive series.

Audi Hutchings, Volkswagen Scaramanga, Castle Combe

Dave Scaramanga, driving the #6 Volkswagen Scirocco from 9th on the grid, accepted some responsibility for killing Tony Hutchings opportunity to clinch the Class A title of the On Pole Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship after a coming together with the #33 Audi TT a couple of hundred yards after the photo above was taken, leaving Gary Prebble to win the class championship unchallenged in his SEAT Leon 20V T.

Earlier in the race Dave missed the same Bobbies chicane where he came together with Tony on the penultimate lap, after 19 years of trying Mark Wyatt secured his first championship with his class B Vauxhall Astra.

Brabham Thompson, March Armer, Castle Combe

Like Dave Scaramanga, Simon Armer also misjudged Bobbies chicane on the opening lap of the first of two HSCC Historic Formula 3 Races, Simon driving the #22 March 703 is seen making up time as he looks to deprive the #65 Brabham BT21 driven by Peter Thompson of the second place on lap 3 on his way to victory.

Legendary club motorsports journalist and racer Marcus Pye in the commentary box informed us that the Simon’s March belonged to Tom Walkinshaw, who went on to found Tom Walkinshaw Racing with which he won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship at the wheel of a TWR Jaguar before taking Jaguar back to Le Mans in 1986 which resulted in wins for the marque in 1988 and 1990.

Spectrum/Moyers, Reynard/Fisher, FF1600, Castle Combe

The Formula Ford boys made a second appearance at the meeting for the non championship Formula Ford Carnival which again saw a close battle between Michael Moyers and Josh Fisher, this time Michael did not give an inch and won the 15 lap adrenaline rush by less than a second, for his two entertaining drives in such an ancient machine Josh quite rightly won the man of the meeting award.

Ginetta Krayem, Mazda Putt, Castle Combe

Bristol’s Oliver Bull driving a Ford powered Vauxhall Tigra Silhouette in class B of the Avatar Sports Cars Castle Combe Sports and GT Championship managed to secure the overall title with an incident free drive to second overall from pole. Claimants for the win included Barry Squibb who took the lead on the opening lap only to retire his fire belching Mitsubishi Evo on lap 3 which handed the lead to the fearsome 7 litre / 427 cui V8 powered Zilla Killa Mazda RX7 driven by Steve Putt who started second on the grid.

4th place starter David Krayem, driving a 3.5 litre / 213 cui V8 powered Ginetta G50 is seen above at Quarry having just taken the lead, which he held until the end of the race, from Steve with three laps to go.

BMW 320i, Feakins, Goodman, Wileman, Davison, Castle Combe

Gary Feakin #2, Harry Goodman #4 and William Davison #17 again deprived Matthew Wileman of a podium as they finished the second Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship in the same order as the first, Matthew held third place in the #131 until lap 5 before giving way to the William in another event full of close racing through out the field.

March 703, Simon Armer, Castle Combe, Castle Combe

Simon Armer made no mistakes in the second HSCC Formula 3 race in which he smoked the field and led from start to finish to win by just over 3 seconds, although the finishing order with Peter Thompson and Michael Scott finishing second and third the battle was never certain until the checkered flag was shown.

Ginetta Kraymen, Audi Hall, Castle Combe

Finally the Castle Combe Sports and GT’s came out to play with the Castle Combe Saloons for a bit of end of term fun, Steve Hall in the #19 Audi TT starting from 5th on the grid made the move on David Kraymen seen above as they approach the The Esses stick and led the opening lap before relinquishing the lead back to David who won the race by 2.5 seconds from the Audi with Adam Prebbles steel bodied Rover Tomcat a highly entertaining 3rd ahead of the Audi TT driven by Tony Hutchings.

With another full day of motorsport planned in Wales for the following day I declined the kind invitation to all to attend a party at the Strawford Centre where no doubt a good time was had by all.

Thanks for joining me on this “Grand Finals” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !