Tag Archives: Rossi

’73 Chassis ’74 Body ’75 Paint – Brabham Cosworth BT42 #BT42/3

Today’s featured Brabham BT42 chassis #BT42/3 was completed in time for Carlos Reutemann to compete in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix where he retired with drive shaft failure.

During the remainder of the 1973 season Carlos drove #BT42/3 to two season high 3rd place finishes in France and the United States which with four other points paying finishes helped him secure 7th in the final Championship standings.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

After finishing 4th in the 1973 constructors championship Gordon Murray set out to improve on his Brabham BT42 design with a new car, the BT44, that kept the same overall dimensions but was built with a strengthened chassis, more sophisticated rising rate front suspension and tidier bodywork.

Carlos Reutemann nearly won the 1974 season opening Argentinian Grand Prix retiring out of fuel from the lead on the the BT44’s debut, he also briefly led the Brazilian Grand Prix before winning the South African Grand Prix and latter adding victories in Austria and the United States, where team mate Carlos Pace finished second, to secure 6th in the drivers championship while Brabham rose to 5th in the constructors championship.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

Meanwhile #BT42/3 was retained as a spare by Brabham for the opening two races of 1974 before appearing at non championship Race of Champions and International Trophy covered in the newer BT44 body work for the teams second driver rookie Richard Robarts to drive.

Richard who had already failed to impress team owner Bernie Ecclestone with his speed in Argentina and Brazil finished the two non championship events in 12th and 15th places respectively before being fired in favour of Liechtenstein’s Rikky von Opel of the car manufacturing dynasty.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

At the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix Brabham ran #BT42/3 for Teddy Pilette who finished his one off race with the team 18th from 27th on the grid.

Ricky like Richard also failed to impress Brabham’s management with his speed in five races leading up to the 1974 French Grand Prix the second event in which he had failed to qualify his Brabham BT44.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Silverstone Classic,

John Goldie Racing decided run #BT42/3 for Surtees refugee Carlos Pace in France, Carlos also failed to qualify, but made enough of an impression to be promoted to the Brabham works second seat for the remainder of the season while Ricky called time on his brief Formula One career.

Two weeks later Lella Lombardi unsuccessfully attempted to qualify #BT42/3 for the British Grand Prix while at the end of the season Canadian Eppie Weitzes completed 33 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix from 26th on the grid before retiring with an engine problem on the cars final in period appearance.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

For 1975 Martini sponsored the Brabham team which ran B spec BT44’s and despite the Carlos’s each only winning one race, Pace in Brazil and Reutemann in Germany, improved reliability meant Reutemann finished 3rd in the drivers Championship, while Brabham rose to 2nd in the Constructors Championship.

The self effacing Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, of the Martini & Rossi dynasty, is seen driving #BT42/3 at a couple of recent Silverstone Classic events in these photographs, the most recent of which can be seen from an on board camera on this linked video clip.

Thanks for joining me on this ’73 Chassis ’74 Body ’75 Paint edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Definetly Not The Right One – Lotus Ford 80 #R1

Colin Chapman described the Lotus Ford 80 at it’s launch in the Kentagon at Brands Hatch in 1979 as the best looking Lotus he had ever built. Reigning World Champion Mario Andretti said it would make the Lotus Ford 79 with which he won the 1978 World Championship look like a London Bus.

Lotus Ford 80, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Unfortunately the car with the revolutionary venturi under the nose and a second under the rest of the body and with out the usual wings front and rear proved to be a bit of a handful with unpredictable handling once it started running on the track and it was only a matter of time before Colin Chapman and his engineers were removing the skirts that sealed the airflow beneath the nose and fitting conventional front wings to aid the aerodynamic poise and balance of the car.

Lotus Ford 80, Silverstone Classic

The whole point of the design was to make the Lotus 80 faster down the straights than the Lotus 79 by not having any wings fitted at all. However all was not lost at Brands Hatch, as seen in Sven Platts photo below, the car was only used as a spare, but in the next race the Spanish Grand Prix Mario Andretti qualified a respectable forth behind the two hitherto dominant Ligiers that were the most effective copies of the previous seasons Lotus 79 and the more powerful Ferrari 312 T4 of Gilles Villeneuve.

Lotus Ford 80, Race of Chapions, Brands Hatch

Patrick Depaillier won the Spanish Grand Prix in his Ligier from Carlos Reutemann, in the Lotus Teams older Lotus 79, who finished ahead of Mario in the Lotus 80. The Spanish Grand Prix turned out to be the highlight of the Lotus 80’s short life, at Monaco Mario could only qualify 13th and at the French GP where a heavily revised second Lotus 80 was tested Mario qualified 12th but he retired with suspension and brake issues from each of these races respectively.

Lotus Ford 80, Silverstone Classic

The final appearance of the Lotus 80 was at the British Grand Prix at Silvestone where I took the photograph below. Mario practised in the car but decided he was better off with his year old Lotus 79 which by now was swamped by new designs which emulated it and the more powerful, ultimately 1979 championship winning, Ferrari T4s.

Lotus Ford 80, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

I believe these photographs all show the same chassis namely Lotus Ford 80 R1 which today appears to be owned by Manfredo Rossi a member of the Martini Rossi family that sponsored team Lotus in 1979.

Lotus Ford 80, Silverstone Classic

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