Tag Archives: 312T

Fury, Gravity And Inertia – Ferrari 312T #024

When the new 3 litre / 183 cui Formula One regulations for 1966 were announced most teams were caught on the hop not least because when Colin Chapman went to meetings to negotiate new post 1.5 litre regulations with the sports authorities he expected that if he asked for 3 litre engines he and the authorities might reasonably settle on a maximum 2 litre / 122 cui size, instead the authorities simply rubber stamped the 3 litre suggestion.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

At this time Ferrari were in the process of securing their second Formula One World Constructors Championship with John Surtees and caught in a ferocious spending war with Ford in the World Sports Car series, short of funds having turned down an offer from Ford, Ferrari were left with little choice to adapt a sports car V12 engine to meet the new regulations and fit it to the 1966 Ferrari 312.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

An internal squabble stymied what should have been a successful couple of years with the 312, as until the arrival of the Ford financed Cosworth DFV in 1967, there were few 3 litre engines of equal power, but without John Surtees the Ferrari team lost out to the reliable Repco powered Brabhams in both 1966 and ’67.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

After Ferrari were thoroughly beaten by Ford at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967 the sporting authorities rashly announced that future sports cars would also be restricted to a maximum 3 litre capacity and Ferrari’s technical Director Mauro “Fury” Forghieri at last time and funding to turn his attentions to building an uncompromised 3 litre / 183 cui racing engine.

Ferrari 312T, Rob Hall, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

His intentions with the new motor were to keep the centre of gravity low and so he chose a 180°, also known as flat, V12 architecture, not a true boxer despite the 312 B, 312 B2 and 312 B3 designations of the first 3 Formula One designs to which they were to be fitted from 1970 to 1974.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

By 1972 “Fury” had turned his attention to reducing the polar moment of inertia to improve the handling of his designs by moving the front radiators behind the front axle line on the unraced curiosity known as the Spazzaneve, snow plough, however Enzo Ferrari’s failing health led to FIAT executives demoting Mauro when taking over the running of the Formula One team and a most disastrous season followed in 1973 until Il Commendatore returned to work midway through the season.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Enzo immediately reinstated Mauro who set about turning the poorly conceived and executed 1973 Ferrari B3 into a winner for the 1974 season.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

For 1975 “Fury” started with a clean sheet and designed today’s featured reliable 510 hp flat 12 powered 312 T that not only had the front radiators mounted behind the front axle, but also had the gearbox mounted transversely ahead of the rear axle so that only the front and rear wings, used to aerodynamically balance the car, protruded from the axles of the car, which when developed with Niki Lauda at the wheel resulted in a superior handling.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

After starting the 1975 season with the older B3 design, the 312T was introduced at the South African Grand Prix, after all of the bugs of the new car had been ironed out Niki Lauda went on a winning streak in Monaco, Belgium and Sweden, finished second to James Hunt in Holland and won again in France and at the season ending US Grand Prix, having rapped up the Drivers World Championship with a third place finish at Monza where team mate Clay Regazzoni took a popular win in today’s featured car chassis #024, which helped Ferrari win their first Formula One Constructors Championship since 1964.

Ferrari 312T, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Chassis #024 was the last of of five 312T’s to be built prior to his win at Monza Clay drove this car in France, where he retired, Britain where he finished 13th and Austria where he came home 7th. Subsequent to the race at Monza Clay drove the car to a seventh place finish at the 1976 season opening Brazilian Grand Prix before winning the inaugural US Grand Prix West at Long Beach.

New rules were mandated after this final appearance and the 312T’s were superseded by the 312T2, this particular chassis ended up with British computer leasing magnate John Foulston before his death in 1987 and is seen with Rob Hall of Hall and Hall at the wheel at Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fury, Gravity And Inertia” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be returning to Oulton Park to wrap up this years Gold Cup coverage. Don’t forget to come back now !


3 Ferraris By Fury – GALPOT Automobilia

This weeks Ferrari Friday will be the last GALPOT blog this year to feature Automobilia items currently on offer from my lightpress e-bay listings. All three of today’s items feature Ferrari Formula One cars designed by Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri.

MotorSport August 1974, Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312 B3, Dutch Grand Prix

From August 1974 this MotorSport Magazine front cover depicts Niki Lauda streaking away driving his Ferrari 312 B3 to his second Grand Prix victory of the 1974 in the Dutch Grand Prix in which he again finished ahead of his team mate Clay Regazzoni as he had in Spain a couple of months earlier. Just as his former March team mate Ronnie Peterson driving a Lotus had done in 1973, Niki claimed 9 pole positions in the 1974 season, but alas only two victories enough to finish fourth in the final championship table one spot ahead of Peterson who with 3 victories and only one pole.

MotorSport, September 1975, German Grand Prix

1975 was Niki Lauda’s first championship year in which he drove his Ferrari 312 T with a novel transverse gearbox to five victories. This front cover dated September 1975 features an image depicting Niki Lauda leading the field on opening lap of the 1975 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Niki eventually finished 3rd in the race that was won by Carlos Reutemann in 5th place in the photo driving the Martini Brabham Cosworth BT44B

Michelin Ad, Carlos Reutemann, Ferrari 312 T3, South African Grand Prix

Finally, for this year at least, this Michelin Radial advertisement from 1978, features an image of Carlos Reutemann driving a Ferrari 312 T3 at what appears to be the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, a race in which Carlos ironically spun off on oil dropped by his team mate Gilles Villeneuve on lap 55. The race was won by Ronnie Peterson driving a Goodyear shod Lotus 78 after an exciting last lap dice with Patrick Depailler driving a Goodyear shod Tyrrell 008.

At the time the advert was published Carlos had won the Brazilian and United States West Grand Prix in Michelin’s first full season in the top flight of motorsport. Reutemann would secure two more victories for the tyre manufacturer, that introduced radial tyres to Formula One in a partial season of competition with Renault in 1977. Gilles Villeneuve won his maiden Grand Prix at the final race of the season in Canada driving his Michelin shod Ferrari to give Michelin 5 wins from 16 championship races.

Thanks for joining me on this “3 Ferraris By Fury” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the last in this months series of road vehicles painted with racing liveries, this one will be an MG as I have never seen an MG before, or since. Don’t forget to come back now !