Tag Archives: Caliri

IR, FW or Apollon Fly – Williams Cosworth IR/03 / FW/03

Ever asked a question of fact and got a different answer dependent upon whom is answering ? Ask any number of people what today’s car is and they will agree it is a 1973/4 Williams but after that it gets complicated.

The Williams IR series cars first appeared at the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix replacing the FX3B Williams design, known in 1972 as Politoys, that did not have deformable structures protecting the fuel tanks. The IR initials were a nod to one of the teams sponsors namely ISO Rivolta.

01 Williams Cosworth IR/04_0130sc

A new car, IR/03 featured today, to the same design as the 1973 cars, appeared at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix for Arturo Mezario. Denis Jenkinson (DSJ) correctly reported after the Spanish Grand Prix that Frank Williams had renamed the cars with FW initials, but either idiosyncratically or incorrectly that the latest chassis IR/04 was hence forth to be known as FW/04.

DSJ continued referring to IR/04 until the 1975 non championship Race of Champions. However DSJ was possibly confused by the fact that the original IR/02 was damaged and the chassis tub replaced during repairs. While the new car seen at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix was built around the 4th IR tub it was given the IR/03 chassis number and post the Spanish Grand Prix this fourth chassis seems to have been referred to by everybody apart from DSJ as FW/03.

02 Williams Cosworth IR/04_0129sc

DSJ correctly referred to this car as FW/03 at the non championship 1975 International Trophy and correctly mentions that the new car driven by Art Mezario at the following 1975 Spanish GP as FW/04 !

As if to confirm the respected DSJ’s error no mention is made of chassis IR/04 / FW04 in a MotorSport article about cars entered by Frank Williams from 1969 upto April 1975.

03 Williams Cosworth IR/04_0128sc

Today’s featured car’s best result came in the 1974 Italian Grand Prix where Art Mezario managed to coax IR/03 / FW03 to a fourth place finish at Monza.

This result plus Art’s sixth place finish in South Africa were enough to secure Williams a second consecutive 10th place in the 1974 World Constructors Championship.

04 Williams Cosworth IR/04_0127sc

During 1975 Tony Brise, Damien Magee, Ian Scheckter, Francois Migault, Ian Ashley, the seriously obscure Jo Vonlanthen and Renzo Zorzi all drove IR/03 / FW/03 without much success, Brise recording a best 7th place finish in the 1975 Spanish GP on his Formula One debut.

In 1977 IR/03 / FW/03 now belonging to Swiss Loris Kessel turned up at the Italian GP with a raft of safety upgrades and some cool new body work by ex Ferrari designer Giacomo Caliri from his FLY-studio. Renamed the Apollon Fly Loris failed to qualify for the race, IR/03 / FW03 was restored to the 1974 spec seen here in 2010.

My thanks to Michael Ferner at The Nostalgia Forum for confirming DSJ’s idiosyncratic refferences to IR/03 / FW/03 as IR/04 / FW/04.

Thanks for joining me on this “IR, FW or Apollon Fly” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Maserati 250F. Don’t forget to come back now


‘Fury’ Returns – Ferrari 312 B3 #010

The first time I saw and heard a Ferrari racing in anger was on March 17th, 1974, in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. The day started out extremely wet and grey by the time a school friend, his parents and I had made it from the car park to the spectator enclosure we were all soaked through to the skin, with in minuets the cars filtered out of the pit lane opposite and there they were, two bright red Ferrari’s almost luminescent in the rain drenched gloom with a delightful throaty musical noise emanating from their 3 litre / 183 cui 312 flat 12 motors.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

A couple of weeks ago when I found myself in front of one of those very same Ferrari 312 B3’s, at Goodwood, the contrast in the weather could not have been greater, but my absolute joy at the sight of it was not in the least diminished, even though this time the car made no sound as it was pushed into it’s allotted spot in the Goodwood paddock.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

The Ferrari 312 B3 was never going to win any awards for beauty if it looks like it was designed by committee, that is because it was.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

In 1972 designer Mauro ‘Fury’ Forghieri built an experimental Grand Prix car in which he had tried to arrange all the cars ancillary components, oil tanks and coolers, as close to the centre of gravity of his new design as possible. The vehicle known as the ‘Snow Plough‘ was extensively tested but the handling proved to be too nervous to ever be entered in a race.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

Mid way through 1972 Mr Ferrari was not well and took some time off from the day to day running of his company and Mauro Forghieri, under pressure from FIAT executives in Turin found himself dropped from the team designing the 1973 Ferrari Grand Prix challenger which was eventually designed by Franco Rocchi Giacomo Caliri under the direction of FIAT’s Stefano Colombo.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

The 1973 Ferrari 312 B3 featured Ferrari’s first ever aluminium monocoque chassis which, in another Ferrari first, was manufactured by Thompson in England. The engine was used as a stressed member of the chassis following a lead set by Colin Chapman in 1967 with the Lotus 49 which used the Ford Cosworth DFV as a stressed member of the chassis, thus saving the considerable weight otherwise necessitated by an engine subframe.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

The long wide and low 1973 312 B3 including chassis #010 seen here were not a great success and upon his return to work in the summer of 1973 Mr Ferrari withdrew his cars from Grand Prix racing for several races and recalled Mauro Forghieri from his duties at the Fiorano test track and tasked him with making the 1973 car more competitive.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

‘Fury’ as Forghieri was allegedly nick named applied all of the lessons learned from the ‘snow plough’ project to the large 1973 B3 chassis mounting long thin inclined radiators behind the front wheels and oil tank ahead of the rear wheel to reduce the polar moment of inertia in an effort to improve the cars handling.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

Upon their return to the track the reconfigured cars were not any more competitive but over the winter of 1973/74 with the arrival of Niki Lauda the cars were extensively tested and refined into a much more competitive proposition for the 1974 season.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

For 1974 the 312 B3’s appeared with completely reworked interim bodies that featured tall air boxes as pioneered by future Ferrari designer Dr Harvey Postlethwaite on James Hunt’s #27 Hesketh March 731.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

With future Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo now heading the racing team management the revamped cars showed an immediate and consistent improvement in qualifying and in the races.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

Chassis #010 shown here was qualified 3rd in the hands of Niki Lauda at Brands Hatch for the non championship Race of Champions. Niki led during the early stages of the race but in a twist of irony he was over taken in a breath taking move on the outside of Paddock Bend by this chassis former incumbent Jacky Ickx who drove a Lotus 72 during the 1974 season.

Ferrari 312 B3, Goodwood, FoS

A couple of races later in Spain Niki Lauda won his first Grand Prix in a newer 312 B3 chassis with the definitive bodywork of the type worn by chassis #010 at Goodwood.

Lauda finished 4th in the 1974 season World Drivers Championship while more experienced team mate Clay Regazzoni was in contention for the championship right until the last race of the season when he was piped to the post by Emerson Fittipaldi in a McLaren.

My thanks to Aardy at Ferrari Chat for confirming the chassis number.

Thanks for joining me on this Fury edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Super Hugger. Don’t forget to come back now !