As in 1974 1963 Indy Winner Parnelli Jones and his business partner Velko “Vel” Miletich planned to enter teams in Formula One for Mario Andretti who would compete in all rounds of the world championship, US Formula 5000 with Mario joined by Al Unser running in all rounds of the championship and a partial USAC (Champ car) season in which Al Unser would run an Eagle until the VPJ6 Champ car that was powered by the VPJ developed turbocharged Cosworth DFX was ready while Andretti ran the a VPJ Eagle in four races.
Like many others VPJ bought Lola T400’s to replace the T332’s they had run in 1974 exclusively for Mario Andretti who was beaten to the 1974 title by Brian Redman’s slightly more reliable and consistent Carl Haas entered T332.
Like most other T400 customers the team felt their older T332’s were the better bet and today’s featured chassis #HU7 appears never to have been run by the VPJ team in a race.
The VPJ team’s other T400 #HU6 was only raced on one occasion by Al Unser at Mosport in Canada where he spun out and damaged the car in the heat, an incident that precluded him from starting the final.
Mario driving his faithful 1974 T332 #HU29 again finished the 1975 F5000 season with the same number of wins as Championship winner Brian Redman, but a couple of failure’s to finish cost Mario a shot at the title.
John Delane appears to have been the first person to have raced #HU7 after he acquired it in 1990 in 1998 the car was sold on and ended up with current owner Frank Lyons in 2007.
Michael and his mother Judy Lyons have both raced #HU7 which is seen in these photographs in the Paddock at Silverstone Classic in 2013 an at Oulton Park with Michael at the wheel in 2011 and 2013.
Thanks for joining me on this “VPJ Backup” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Benz Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !