In 1970 Ferrari launched the first in a long line of Grand Prix cars powered by flat 12 motors that would eventually power Niki Lauda to World Championships in 1975 and ’77 and Jody Scheckter to a Championship in 1979.
The initial incarnation of the flat 12 powered Ferrari Grand Prix challenger was known as the Ferrari 312 B, B for boxer although the motor is actually a 180 degree V12 design ie the crank pins operate pairs of pistons rather than individual pistons as on a true boxer motor. The 312 B in the hands of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni scored 4 championship Grand Prix wins at the end of 1970 in the absence of Jochen Rindt who would be declared the World Champion posthumously.
For 1971 Mario Andretti joined Ickx and Regazzoni and won the South African GP in a 312B and a non championship race at Ontario before the team introduced the 312 B2 of the type seen here at the Donnington Park Museum. The new car showed some initial promise with Ickx winning the Dutch Grand Prix second time out in part thanks to the superiority of the Firestone wet weather tyres but there after the B2’s suffered appalling reliability with Ickx and Regazzoni and Andretti scoring points on just 4 occasions from 15 further starts between them in the remaining 1971 season.
Things did not improve much in 1972 when Lotus and Tyrrell’s now joined by McLaren’s superior reliability left only scraps on the table for forth placed Ferrari who’s highlight of the year was a one two finish at the Nurburgring for Ickx and Regazzoni after Regazzoni was involved in contact with Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell that all but ended the Scotsman’s 1972 World Championship challenge.
For 1973 Ferrari would have it’s first ever monocoque chassis, built in England, prepared in the guise of the 312 B3 for what would be an even more disastrous season than 1972, but for the first three races of the season the old B2 wheeled out and driven by Ickx and Arturo Mezario the B2 scored 11 of the teams 12 points that saw Ferrari plummet to 6th in the constructors championship.
This particular chassis appears to be #007, the four B2 chassis numbers carried on where the B finished off and so were numbered 005 to 008. Andretti drove this car to 4th place finishes in Germany ’71 and South Africa ’72 and Clay Regazzoni drove the car at the ’72 German Grand Prix to the 2nd place finish that all but ended Stewart’s championship run in the process.
My thanks to galbet and Sire Bruno de Losckley at Ferrari Chat for helping to sort out which car this is.
Thanks for joining me on ‘Stewart’s Nemesis’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !