Tag Archives: Kelleners

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 !


93″ Wide – March Chevrolet 707 #707/2 and #707/3

For 1970 the ambitious March Cars embarked on a programme to build customer racing cars for every major open wheel category from Formula One to Formula Ford and included a 93″ wide two seat closed wheel Group 7 Can Am car for good measure.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Two March 707’s were completed one was run in the 1970 Can Am Challenge by the factory with sponsorship from STP for New Zealander Chris Amon, while the first of the two completed chassis was sold to German Helmut Kelleners who was sponsored by the Deutsche Auto Zeitung periodical in the inaugural Interserie Championship.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Of the two drivers Kelleners had the most success winning Intersiere races at Croft and Hockenheimring, any championship challenge was however halted by a couple of clutch failures and a disqualification from the first Hockenheim race after missing a chicane. Helmut won three non further non championship races in 1970 before he had March #707/1 upgraded to 717 spec for 1971, with new bodywork and the chassis number #717/1 being the most obvious difference.

Williams, March 707, Brands Hatch

The revised car was not so competitive and still having transmission problems winning no races in 1971.Austrian Stefan Skelnar bought the car in 1972 and raced #717/1 without any success until at least 1974 eventually refitting the original 707 type bodywork.

Williams, March 707, Brands Hatch

The works #707/2 built for Chris Amon was not ready for the opening races of the 1970 Can Am Challenge but qualified a respectable third on it’s debut at Donnybrooke, where Chris finished 5th. At Laguna Seca and Riverside Chris qualified 5th and finished 4th. There after there is no evidence of the car taking part in contemporary events.

March 707, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

March built a spare chassis tub #707/3 and it would appear to have been purchased by Canadian Gordon Dewar and raced in 5 events in the 1971 Can Am challenge after 4 retirements due to transmission and fuel pump issues Gordon is listed as retiring from the fifth due to illness.

In the early 1980’s Ted Williams acquired #707/3 and he is seen driving the car at Brands Hatch where he experienced handling problems due to a low ride height in qualifying and then low fuel pressure during the race. Later in the 80’s Ted survived a chassis shortening accident in #707/3/.

The #77 is so far as I have been able to ascertain Chris Amon’s chassis #707/2 which was being run at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed for Matteo Maria Tullio.

My thanks to Alan Raine, Simon Lewis and Tim Murray at The Nostalgia Forum for help identifying the #71 chassis number, driver and providing race reports.

Thanks for joining me on this “93” Wide” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Can Am McLaren. Don’t forget to come back now !