Tag Archives: Brands Hatch

600hp 4 Rotor Wankel – Mazda 767 #001

For their tenth visit to Le Mans in 1988 Mazdaspeed developed a new longer four rotor Wankel engine that produced 600hp and fitted it into a new Nigel Stroud designed 767 chassis that replaced the 3 rotor Wankel powered 757.

Mazda 767, Kennedy, Terada, Katayama, 1000 kms Silverstone

Yoshimi Katayama, Youjirou Terada, Takashi Yorino drove a 767 to a 7th place finish in the 500km race at Suzuka in April 1988, the following month today’s featured chassis #001 made it’s first appearance at the 1000km race run at Silverstone where the car is seen above, it was driven to a 9th place overall finish and GTP class victory by Youjirou, Yoshimi and David Kennedy.

Mazda 767, Le Mans,

At Le Mans in 1988 chassis #001 was driven to a 17th place finish by Yoshimi, David Leslie and Marc Duez from 29th on the grid finishing two spots ahead of the sister 767 driven by Takashi, Hervé Regout and Will Hoy, but two spots the GTP class wining Mazda 757 driven by Yourjirou, David and Pierre Dieudonné.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Back in Japan Youjirou and David scored the 767’s season high best result in the 500 mile race at Fuji where they finished 4th overall.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

For 1989 chassis #001 was upgraded to B spec which is most obviously differentiated from the original 767 spec by the side exhaust exiting the right hand side of the car looking from the rear.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Chassis #001 was sent to the Daytona 24 hours where Yoshimi, Takashi and Elliot Forbes-Robinson finished 5th from 10th on the grid 62 laps behind the winning Porshe 962 crewed by Derek Bell, Bob Wollek and John Andretti.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Back in Japan chassis #001 was retired from races at Fuji and Suzuka with fuel line and gearbox issues before starting it’s 1989 European tour with a 10th place finish overall and GTP class victory at Dijon with David and Pierre at the wheel.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

They were joined at Le Mans by Chris Hodgetts where chassis #001 crossed the line 7th overall with yet another class victory from 28th on the grid.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

These last three photographs show Pierre and David sharing #001 on the way to 13th place finsh and forth consecutive class victory from 18th on the grid at Brands Hatch.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

David and Pierre drove #001 to two further 1989 GTP class victories at Spa and Mexico before it was retired.

Thanks for joining me on this “600hp 4 Rotor Wankel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Le Mans challenger from Ligier. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #4 – Connew Chevrolet PC1 02

For my final blog on cars that participated in the 1973 Formula 5000 grid I am thrilled to be returning to Chadwell Heath and Peter Connew’s team who against all odds managed to build a car with beer money, run it on a wad of French Francs and made one world Championship start in the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix. After the Austrian Grand Prix where the team won £40 for completing more than 1/3rd distance before the suspension collapsed the Connew team entered a couple of non championship races at Brands Hatch. At the first the engine blew up after which they parted ways with driver Francois Migault. For the second Lec Refrigeration paid for the engine to be rebuilt in exchange for running David Purley who inadvertently knocked the steering wheel mounted kill switch off, that he had insisted on having fitted, on the warm up lap.

Connew Chevrolet PC1, Whalebone Library, Chadwell Heath

The freshly rebuilt Ford DFV motor was sold at the end of 1972 to pay off outstanding bills and Peter Connew struck a deal to run Swiss driver Pierre Soukry who had Formula 5000 Morand Chevrolet motor he had been using in his McLaren M10B for French Hillclimb events, European Formula 5000 races and had tried to qualify for the two non championship events which the Connew team had attempted at Brands Hatch in 1972. Mechanics Pinky and Perky are seen above sitting on the front wheels of the Connew with Pierre left and Peter right behind in this photograph taken outside the Whalebone Library Chadwell Heath just down the road from the Connew teams lock up.

Connew Chevrolet PC1, Mallory Park

The Connew PC1 02 is seen above in this photo by Don Shuttleworth taken at Mallory Park where the PC1 in F5000 guise was to have made it’s debut. Unfortunately before it had completed much more than a flying lap of practice Pierre had to return to the paddock to have an oil leak fixed. The problem proved insurmountable, the team tried to qualify for a F5000 race at Brands Hatch in August 1973 but again Pierre did not set a competitive time nor one representative of the speed he had shown in his Trojan built McLaren M10B #400-20.

03 Copyright Barry Boor Collection 1973 soukry

After the Brands Hatch Meeting Pierre was never seen or heard of again which is odd because he appears to have competed with a German licence since at least July 1967, when he won his class racing a FIAT Abarth at the Hockenheimring and was quite well known in hill climbing circles with an Abarth. Equally nothing has been heard of his 1971 ex team VDS Tasman McLaren M10B chassis 400/20. If you should happen to know what became of Pierre please do not hesitate to chime in below, Peter Connew would welcome any news of him.

Tony Trimmer, Connew Chevrolet PC1, Brands Hatch

For the final race of the 1973 Formula 5000 championship Peter did a deal with Portobello Inn Racing to run Tony Trimmer in the car. Tony qualified 23rd one spot behind his Portobello Inn Racing team mate Arie Lyendijk who on this occasion was driving a McLaren M18. After several laps of the race Tony suffered a suspension failure which put the Connew into the crash barrier with neither driver or car suffering further damage.

The Connew was taken home for the final time with many parts sold off, that might ordinarily be the end of the story but 40 years later there are plans afoot to put the old girl back on her wheels. Stay tuned.

My thanks to Peter Connew, Barry Boor and Don Shuttleworth for sharing their photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This #4” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last model to be built by ISO Rivolta . Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Giant Killer – Chevron Chevrolet B24 #B24-73-02

Having developed a passion for engineering through his interest in model aeroplanes Lancastrian Derek Bennett took an apprenticeship in mechanical and electrical engineering to become a mechanic, during this time he was exposed to (British) Stock Car racing.

It was not long before Derek graduated into building, maintaining and racing vehicles in the British Clubmans series for small Ford powered vehicles and into Formula Junior.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

In 1965 demand for copies of his Clubmans racer led Derek to establish Chevron cars assisted by mechanic Paul Owen based in a former mill in Bolton, well away from the regular stomping ground for racing car manufactured that with few excetions could be found in the arc from Southwest London, round Brooklands and Heathrow Airport to the East and Silverstone to the North.

In 1966 Chevron branched out into building a successful series of up to 2 litre / 122 cui sports cars and in 1967 the company expanded to build it’s first 2nd and 3rd tier open wheelers for Formula 2 and Formula 3.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

In 1972 Chevron built it’s first over 2 litre 122 cui open wheeler the 5 litre / 302 cui stock block Chevrolet V8 powered Formula 5000 Chevron B24 which Lancastrian Brian Redman drove in four races, claiming one victory at Oulton Park driving the B24 having won the previous race at Mondello Park a month earlier in a McLaren M10.

Today’s featured car #B24-73-02 was the second built in 1973, third overall from 8 built according to factory records, though as usual this does not tell the whole story, but I’ll be spare you that particular diversion here.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

#B24-73-02 appears to have been entered on three occasions carrying the #32 in British races as a factory entered car for Peter Gethin. The first two races held on consecutive days were at Brands Hatch where Peter won the Rothmans Formula 5000 championship round on the cars debut.

The next day the weekends feature event, The Race Of Champions, was a race for contemporary Formula 5000 cars and Formula One cars including entries from Lotus, BRM and McLaren all of whom had won championship Formula One events in the previous 12 months.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

Starting 8th on the grid Peter managed to steer his Formula 5000 stock block Chevron to an unlikely victory as his faster Formula One rivals fell by the way side to hold off Denny Hulme in the latest McLaren Cosworth M23 and formula one debutant James Hunt in an ancient Surtees TS9.

There is a myth that this was the only occasion in which a Formula 5000 car beat a Formula One car in such a non championship challenge race, this is not quite true there was a long forgotten event called the 1969 the Madrid Grand Prix at Jarama in which Tony Dean driving BRM #P2615 powered by a V12 BRM was beaten by Keith Holland driving an F5000 Lola T142 and Peter Gethin driving an F5000 MacLaren M10A, but the field at Brands in 1973 was certainly more contemporary and competitive.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

Chevron then entered Peter for one more British F5000 race at Mallory Park where Peter finished forth before the car was sold to Douglas Shierson Racing who entered the car carrying the same Marathon sponsorship for Peter in the US L&M series now running the #8 race number.

The B24 did not prove quite so competitive in the 1973 US series where only championship protagonists Brian Redman driving a Lola T330 and Jody Scheckter a Trojan T101 found victory lane. Peters best result came at Lagunna Seca where finished second.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

After 1973 #B24-73-02 remained in the USA where, Roger Bighouse 1974 /1975, Pat McGonegle 1976 continued to enter the car in open wheel F5000 events. For 1977 Pat McGonegle converted the car to closed wheel CAN Am 2 spec, scoring a best 6th place finish at Road America in ’77 driving #B24-73-02 which Pat raced until the end of 1978.

Danny Johnson was the next owner and he raced #B24-73-02 sporadically between 1978 and 1982 scoring a best 5th place at Edmonton in 1981.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

Similarly intermittently Mike Engstrand drove #B24-73-02 from 1985 to 1987 scoring a best 4th place finish in the cars last in period appearance in the 1987 Canadian American Thundercars Pueblo event.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

#B24-73-02 now belongs to Greg Thornton. In 2012 the car caught fire and was badly damaged and it is seen here at Oulton Park after it’s rebuild from the fire damaged remains.

Chevron Chevrolet B24, Oulton Park

Thanks for joining me on this “Giant Killer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l more psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a another Italian vehicle once owned by John Lennon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cobra Caravan Itinerant – Ford GT40 Mk 1 #GT40 P/1084

So far as I have been able to discern the chassis numbers for the production Ford GT40 Mk1 ran from P/1000 to P/1086, suggesting at least 87 production GT40 Mk1’s were built at Ford Advanced Vehicle facility in Slough, though as we shall see things are not always quite so simple.

Colvill, Ford GT40, Brands Hatch

Today’s featured car is a case in point, known as #P/1084 it has the highest chassis number of those known to have raced in period, though chassis P/1071 did not make it’s race debut until 14 month’s after #P/1084 appeared at Spa in May 1968 with Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs at the wheel.

However it turns out that #P/1084 started life as #P/1004 in 1965, a car that was entered into the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours by RRC Walker Racing and Shelby American for Bob Bondurant and Umberto Maglioli, this car running the #7 qualified third but retired with a leaking head gasket on lap 29, coincidentally the same lap as it’s sister #P/1005 driven by Ronnie Buckum and Herbert Müller retired with the same problem. #GT40 P/1004 then appears to have gone on Carrol Shelby’s promotional tour of America known as the Cobra Caravan.

When the JW Automotive Gulf team, operating from the same factory as Ford Advanced Vehicles had in Slough, needed a car for the 1968 Spa 1000kms they found they were a car short and so they rebuilt #P/1004 to 1968 specification and gave it a ‘new’ GT40 P/1084 identification although the factory records refer to the chassis entered at Spa where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 4th by it’s old number.

Some sources believe that #P/1084 was then shipped, by JW Automotive, to Watkins Glen two month’s later where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 2nd however I believe this is a typo, GT40 über authority Ronnie Spain identifies the car that Hawkins and Hobbs drove at Watkins Glen as GT40 P/1074.

During the 1970’s P/1084 was raced by Paul Wheldon for owner Connaught Engineering founder Rodney Clarke. Martin Colville seen in the #P/1084 here at Brands Hatch in July 1982 where Martin was taking part in a support race on the British Grand Prix weekend bought the car in 1981 and had a bubble fitted to the upper part of the drivers door to accommodated his frame.

Subject to revisions in Ronnie Spain’s much anticipated second edition bible on the subject “GT40: An Individual History and Race Record” this is my best understanding of the car known as #GT40 P/1084. If you know different please do not hesitate to chip in below.

My thanks to David McKinney, Pete Taylor and Ron54 at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in yet another carceology adventure.

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


Lower Cleaner – Lola Chevrolet T330 #HU4

The 1973 Formula 5000 season which played out in three championships across three continents saw winning cars produced by four different manufacturers namely Chevron, McRae, Trojan and Lola. It was the last named that won most of the races in all three series with their T330 model, a lower and cleaner version of the 1972 T300, like chassis #HU4 featured today which took part in all three series.

Lola T330, Michigan International Speedway

(Photo Copyright Mark Windecker 1973)

According to Old Racing Cars.com chassis #HU4 was first raced at Surfers Paradise in the fourth round of the Tasman Series by Gary Campbell where he retired with an overheating motor. Gary crashed during practice for the next race at Warwick Farm and the car was then bought by Australian Bobby Muir who repaired it and took it to Riverside, where Chuck Jones and Jerry Eisert became co entrants with Bobby for the first round of the US L&M Formula 5000 championship.

Bobby’s best result was a 10th at Riverside after which followed a string of five retirements until Road Atlanta where Bobby crashed in practice and failed to take the start. The photo’s by Mark Windecker show #HU4 and Bobby sitting in it at Michigan International Speedway.

Bob Muir, Lola T330, Michigan International Speedway

(Photo Copyright Mark Windecker 1973)

After missing Pocono #HU4 was entered into the final US race of the season at Seattle by Chuck and Jerry for Clay Regazzoni who was about to transition from BRM to back to the Ferrari formula one Team. As this linked picture show’s the #74 had a new nose with a single full width wing mounted above it, an idea Ferrari had first used at the 1973 Italian Grand Prix three weeks earlier. #HU4 was also fitted with larger radiators requiring deeper ducts at the request of engine builder Ron Armstrong.

Clay Regazzoni, Lola T330, Brands Hatch

(Photo Chuck Jones Collection)

Clay retired in Seattle, but that did not prevent the Jones Eisert team from sending the #HU4 to Brands Hatch for the final race of the Rothmans European Formula 5000 championship where these two photograph’s from Chuck Jones Collection show Clay, who finished 12th, at the wheel.

Clay Regazzoni, Lola T330, Brands Hatch

(Photo Chuck Jones Collection)

In December 1973 AW Brown acquired #HU4 and ran if four Damien Magee in the 1974 European Formula 5000 Championship until the engine blew at Zandvoort and the team was disbanded. Damien scored #HU4’s all time best result a 4th place finish in the series second visit to Brands Hatch. Damien finished the season driving a 1973 Trojan #T101 chassis #T101-105.

#HU4 does not appear to have raced again until it started appearing in Historic Events in 2001. When I finally get around to looking for cars for the GALPOT Museum high on my list of cars to purchase will be #HU4 in it’s funky #74 orange Jones, Eisert and Regazzoni livery which hit the spot when this 14 year old first laid eyes on it in a magazine.

Chuck Jones and Clay Regazzoni would team up again in 1977 when Chuck was involved with the Ensign Formula One team and Clay was chosen as the driver.

My thanks to Jerry Entin for kindly securing permission for me to use Mark Windecker’s photos from Michigan International Speedway and the photo’s from Chuck Jones Collection taken at Brands Hatch.

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


Wheelbase Balance – McLaren Chevrolet M8F #10-72

There were three race winners in the 1971 Can Am Challenge Jackie Stewart won two races in his L&M Lola T260 while the rest all fell to Denny Hulme who won three races and eventual champion Peter Revson who won the remaining five in the fifth and final year of domination by the Traffic Yellow McLaren M8F cars.

The McLaren M8F was similar to the M8D raced in 1970 but had been upgraded by Gordon Coppuck with a 3″ longer wheel base, wider track, inboard rear brakes, sturdier gearbox to improve the handling and balance of the cars which had a choice of either 740hp 8.1 litre / 494 cui or just under 800 hp 8.4 litre / 512 cui Gary Knutson tuned alloy Chevrolet V8’s.

Agg, McLaren Chevrolet M8F, Brands Hatch

For 1972 the works McLaren team moved onto the M20 and sold on it’s M8F’s to the Young American Racing Team, one of which was driven to victory at Donnybrooke by rising French star François Cevert, while Trojan built up a number of M8F spec cars known as M8FP’s for customers to run.

The most successful M8FP customer in the 1972 Can Am Challenge was German Hans Weidmer who finished 8th from 21st on the grid at Edmonton driving chassis #07-72.

Agg, McLaren Chevrolet M8F, Brands Hatch

Helmut Kelleners sold his March 707/717 and raced a Trojan built M8FP #02-72 in various events through 1972 winning the Martini International at Mainz Finthen. In December ’72 Georg Loos won the Copa Brasil at Interlagos driving chassis #03-72.

By 1975 Peter Hoffmann had acquired #07-72 for racing in Europe and in 1976 returned the car to victory lane at Kassel Calden, Mainz Finthen and Ulm. Peter drove the car to three more victories at the Nurburgring in 1979 and 1981 and Hockenheim in 1980.

Today’s featured car #10-72 is seen with Charlie Agg at the wheel during practice for a classic race at Brands Hatch, #10-72 was never raced in period. Charlie Agg is the son of Peter Agg who revived the fortunes of Trojan and then Elva in the 1960’s.

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


The Chuck Parsons Myth – Lola Chevrolet T222 #T222 HU7

Today’s featured car is a 1971 Chevrolet powered Lola T222, it is seen being driven with by of Britain’s most accomplished club drivers never to sit in a contemporary Formula Car by the name of Gerry Marshall at Brands Hatch in 1982. In both the contemporary programme notes and post race press reports the car is described as being “ex Chuck Parsons” and owned by Noel Gibbs an apparent novice to the motor racing scene.

In 1970 Lola Cars moved from it Slough premises west of London to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire north east of London. All Lola cars built in Slough were given an SL prefix in their chassis numbers all Lola cars built in Huntingdon received an HU prefix in their chassis numbers.

The Lola T222 was a development, built for customers, of the 1970 Lola T220 with which Peter Revson had competed for Carl Hass (later to become Newman/Hass Indy Car fame) Racing. The T222 differed from the earlier model primarily by having a 10″ lange wheel base than the 1970 model.

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It is thought that nine vehicles were issued with a T222 chassis number which ran HU2 through HU9. The exact history of all 8 cars is not known, T222 HU1 may never have been issued because that number was thought of as the prototype T222 namely T220 SL/1. Now it get’s complicated.

T220 SL/1, the car driven by Peter Revson in 1970, crashed at Road America after it suffered a puncture. Two weeks later a new car appeared for Peter Revson with the chassis number T220 SL/2, but T220 SL/1 differed in one crucial respect, the front axle of SL/2 was ten inches further forward of the rear bulkhead than on SL/1.

It is believed that one of the early T222 chassis originally built in Huntingdon was hastily built up to replace the damaged SL/1 and shipped to Donnybrooke for Revson to race with the Slough chassis number T220 SL/02. It is also believed SL/2 might have become either T222 HU02 or perversely T222 HU/09 had it not been unexpectedly pressed into service in 1970.

The 1971 T222 models all shared the same wheel base as T220 SL/2 but there are some minor variations in the bodywork.

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T222 HU7, today’s featured car, was delivered to Bob Nagel who drove the car with blue bodywork in the 1971 Can Am Challenge his season best qualifying and race performances came at Donnybrooke where he finished 10th from 16th on the grid. The rest of his races apart from an 11th at Mount Tremblant were dogged by mechanical unreliability.

In 1972 Bob campaigned the HU7 again swapping the 7 litre / 427 cui Chevrolet V8 for first a 7620cc / 465 cui and later an 8095 cc / 494 cui unit. The larger motors contributed to three 8th places finishes which along with 2 10th’s an 14th place in the final 1971 Challenge standings 4 spots behind Charlie Kemp in the Bobby Rinzler T222 HU8.

Bob topped his 1972 season with a third place finish from 2nd on the grid in an ASR race run at Road Atlanta at the seasons end.

Gene Fisher bought HU7 for the 1973 season and appears to have started just one event at Road Atlanta with a Chaparral built 427 motor. Gene retired in the 1st heat from 21st on the grid and did not start Heat 2.

Despite apparently having lost a wheel during the course of the opening meeting for the 1974 Can Am Challenge at Mosport Gene started 11th and finished a season high 6th driving HU7 now in it’s forth year of competition. Engine and gearbox failures accounted for the cars three remaining races.

In 1981 Chuck Haines sold HU7 to Noel Gibb and the following year Noel did a deal with Gerry Marshall to lend him the car free of charge while Gerry tried to sell the car on Noel’s behalf, the car was not to be sold before the British Grand Prix meeting where Gerry is seen at the wheel here.

The throttle on Gerry’s car broke before he set a qualifying time so he started the Atlantic Trophy Race from the back of the grid. He worked his way up to 4th before easing off when his door came undone. After passing through the hands of three further owners T222 HU7 was purchased by I believe the current owner David Edwards.

While reading up on the Lola T222 I learned that Chuck Parsons never drove a Lola T222 in period and that the widespread myth that HU7 was ever driven by him possibly originated in the Brands Hatch publicity office with some incorrect programme notes.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the Lola T222 thread at the Ten Tenths Forum particularly Gregor Marshall who’s post confirmed the identity of today’s featured car, Jeremy Jackson and David Edwards who posted details of the believed chain of ownership of T222 HU7, along with Tim Murray who kindly furnished me with the contemporary race reports from Autosport.

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