Tag Archives: Walker

Implosion Fallout – Derrington Francis ATS

Following the success in 1961 sweeping the Formula One World Drivers, with Phil Hill, and Manufacturers championships along with the World Sports Car Championship which included winning all but one race including the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien Ferrari went into an equally disastrous melt down over the running of the company that saw key employees walk away from Maranello.

Among those who left were Chief Engineer Carlo Chiti and Development Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini who almost immediately founded ATS, Automobili Turismo Sport, to rival Ferrari in the production of racing cars and sports cars all funded by one of Ferrari’s preeminent customers Count Giovanni Volpi who ran the Scuderia Serenissima racing team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

For 1963 ATS had built two ATS 100 Formula One cars powered by their own V8 motor and persuaded Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti to defect from Maranello and drive for them.

The 1963 season yielded an unsustainable 8 retirements equally between the two ATS drivers with the teams only finishes being recorded at the Italian Grand Prix where Phil finished 11th and last placed starter Giancarlo finished 15th.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm for his 1960 Walker Climax project, for 1964 former Stirling Moss and Rob Walker mechanic Alf Francis persuaded performance equipment magnate Vic Derrington to fund a new team.

Alf Francis built a new chassis six inches shorter than the ATS 100s driven by Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti and fitted it with a Carlo Chiti designed ATS V8 motor and steering wheel boss from the now defunct ATS team.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

The Derrington Francis was ready for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix for Portuguese driver Mário de Araújo Cabral.

Mario coincidentally had been “encouraged to withdraw” from the grid at Monza in 1963 by the race organisers to make the last place on the grid available to failed qualifier but home boy ATS driver Giancarlo Baghetti.

Derrington Francis ATS, Goodwood Revival,

After qualifying 19th for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix Mário this time took the start, but retired after 24 laps with ignition problems.

The Derrington Francis Racing Team folded after Dan Gurney damaged the Derrington Francis while testing it.

Derrington Francis ATS, Jason Wright, Goodwood Revival,

Meanwhile Mário retired from the top level of the sport with his best result from four starts being 10th place in the 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix on his debut.

Jason Wright is seen at the wheel of the Derrington Francis ATS at Goodwood Revival events in 2011 and 2012.

Thanks for joining me on this “Implosion Fallout” 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 !


Autosport International – NEC Birmingham

2015 is barely a week old and already more motoring related event’s have occurred with in a two hour drive of me than I could possibly attend ! On Friday I managed to make it to the NEC for the Autosport International, I got in despite forgetting to print my advance ticket and unfortunately I also forgot to charge my camera batteries so these snaps were all taken with my camera phone which did not last long, talk about starting the new year on the back foot !

Nissan Micra, Autosport International

As ever the Motor Sports Association stand was promoting affordable motor sport, above is Muriel a 1994 Nissan Micra which for £4,000 pounds including purchase and safety equipment was driven by Matt with wife Suze Endean navigating competed on last years international Rally Wales GB and finshed 50th overall and 5th in class. You can read more about Muriel on the Endean’s linked Project Micra page here.

Citroën DS3 RX, Autosport International

Rally Cross, racing on a mix surfaced circuit was initiated as a cheap form of television entertainment in 1967, since then it has grown to become a specialised form of motorsport in it’s own right. Notable masters of Rally Cross include Austrians Franz Wurz and John Button fathers of formula one drivers Alex and Jenson. Above is the Citroën DS3 RX of 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg who last year became the inaugural FIA World Rally Cross Champion. The Lydden Hill round of the 2015 Championship is penciled into my diary.

Chevrolet 210, Autosport International

With only 1300hp @ 16psi boost Adam Sayer’s ’57 Chevrolet 210 was by no means the most powerful vehicle at the show, but a welcome reminder that I have still not been to Santa Pod, the 3rd to 6th September looks to be the weekend to be there this year.

Renaultsport R.S. 01, Autosport International

The 500 hp Nismo V6 turbo powered Renaultsport R.S. 01 above is a GT car built for a one make series known as the Renault Sport Trophy rounds of which will be contested alongside the World Series by Renault Championship, dates for which can be found on this linked page.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Autosport International

Porsche made a welcome come back with a top category contender to the Le Mans 24 hours and the World Endurance Championship last year and won the final race of the season in Brazil. I’ll be fascinated to see if Porsche can improve on last season when I attend the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 12th.

Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid, Autosport International

Bernie Ecclestone priced me out of the Formula One market many moons ago so I will follow the Formula One season on TV in between my own marshaling, competition and spectating commitments as usual, it’s always a great way to spend a bit of quality time with Dad, and it should be interesting to see if either the newly Honda powered McLaren’s or the re staffed Ferrari team can step up to the plate and give the Silver Arrow’s a run for their money.

As Murray Walker often said, anything can happen in Formula One and it usually does.

Thanks for joining me on this “Autosport International” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a continuation version of a Daytona 24 Hour winner. Don’t forget to come back now !


Wider Longer Lower – Chevron B28 #B28-74-01

Like Lola’s Eric Broadley a year earlier, Chevron Cars founder Derek Bennett decided that the way to go with the Chevron B28 1974 Formula 5000 challenger was wider, longer and lower.

Chevron B28, Simon Taylor, Silverstone Classic

Unlike Eric, Derek did not have such a good time convincing his customers that the B28 was a step forward they should invest in, with the VDS team being the only takers of two new B28’s, despite the fact that the previous years Chevron B24 had been successful winning the British F5000 title with Teddy Pelitte at the wheel and the Tasman F5000 series with Peter Gethin at the wheel, while Lola cars had not won any F5000 championships since 1971 !

Chevron B28, Simon Taylor, Silverstone Classic

With works support and Swiss Morand tuned fuel injected Chevrolet motors the VDS teams B28’s with reigning champion Teddy Pelitte and newly crowned Tasman Champion Peter Gethin raced exclusively in the 18 round Rothmans sponsored European F5000 championship.

Chevron B28, Simon Taylor, Silverstone Classic

By the season’s end Peter Gethin’s four victories were only good enough to secure 2nd place in the championship to Bob Evans driving an almost ubiquitous Lola T332 model while poor Teddy Pelitte driving what is believed to be today’s featured chassis only completed 7 laps of the opening two races before his season started getting any momentum.

Teddy managed several second place finishes, to Peter at Monza and wound up a distant fourth in the final championship standings. Interestingly the last race of the European Championship season was won by Vern Schuppan driving a Chevron B24 with the B28 suspension modifications.

Today’s featured chassis #B28-74-01 appears to have remained in the UK, with Tony Dean driving the car with Rockerfella’s, discotheque, sponsorship for most of the 1975 season before entering it for Brazilian Ingo Hoffman for the last four races of the season while he sorted out some problems with Her Majesties government regarding the import of cigars from the USA, said to have been smuggled in to the UK inside a spare car called the KEC Special, KEC denoting King Edward Cigar.

In 2012 present owner Simon Taylor, seen driving the car at Silverstone in these photo’s, had #B28-74-01 painted in the blue Thursday’s, discotheque, livery that was seen on the sister chassis #B28-74-02 in 1975 when it was driven by Australian F1 refugee Dave Walker for RAM racing.

Thanks for joining me on this “Wider Longer Lower” 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 !


Almost Superflous – Lola Chevrolet T332/T330 #HU23

Towards the end of 1973 although the Lola T330 had not won any Formula 5000 (F5000) championships outright, though one had been used to assist Jody Scheckter win his US F5000 title alongside his Trojan, the Lola T330 was rapidly becoming the fastest car on the US and British circuits when the company sold it first improved T332 models with fashionable tall airbox and a rudimentary body extension over the motor to the rear axle.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Today’s featured car has a history complicated by the fact that the T330 #HU23 chassis plate was actually fitted to a T330 bought in July 1973 by Australian Johnnie Walker and fitted with a Repco Holden V8.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

After Johnnie severely damaged his T330 at Surfers Paradise in September 1974 he replaced the chassis with a new T332 type, but stuck the T330 HU23 chassis plate on it. Possibly to save himself some import taxes. The de-plated T330 chassis was subsequently repaired and is now referred to by experts as T330 HU23(A) while today’s feature chassis is referred to by experts as T330 HU23(B), for the purpose of this blog I shall continue to refer to today’s featured chassis as T330 HU23 as there will be no further reference to the de-plated chassis crashed at Surfers Paradise.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Still using the salvaged Repco Holden V8, Johnnie was a regular top four finisher in the 1975 Tasman series winning at Surfers Paradise which made him a title contender, in today’s featured car, two races before the series finale at Sandown Park.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

At the finale, with the title all but wrapped up, Johnnie started from pole before crashing when his car inexplicably turned left on the back straight on the opening lap. Johnnie rebuilt the HU23 and continued to race the car until February 1976.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Peter Edwards bought HU23 in 1977 and continued to race it with a Chevrolet motor, similar to the Small Block Chevrolet seen above, until 1982. Peter sold HU23 on to Bernie Van Elsen who had HU23 stripped and the parts, including the motor but excluding the chassis, fitted to the Veskanda Group C sports car being built in Adelaide by Dale Koennecke and Harry Aust of K&A Engineering with help from former ex VDS Can Am engineers John and Bob Murphy.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

After selling his car Jonnie drove a Lola T330 belonging to fellow competitor Max Stewart in 1977 but that only lasted until Max was killed driving his Lola T400 during a practice session at Calder Park in October 1977.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Johnnie entered into an agreement to race the Lola T332, actually plated T330 22 by former owner Kevin Bartlett, in the Magnum Wheels livery of owner Martin Sampson until they won the Australian Gold Star series, after which both agreed they would retire from the sport.

Jonnie won the Australian Grand Prix at Waneroo and the Gold Star series in 1979. At the end of the final race of the series at Sandown Park Jonnie pulled into his pit to pick up Martin so that they could both complete a lap of honour in a final farewell to the sport an event which can be seen in the second photo of this Nostalgia Forum post by Ray Bell

Note the 1979 Sandown Park race was also the same one in which Kevin ‘KB’ Bartlet crashed the Brabham BT43 I featured last week and that Jonnie Walker is seen driving Martin Sampson’s Magnum Wheels Lola T332, T330 HU22, in the background of the photo of Kevin before his crash. That Lola T332, T330 HU22, is obviously not the same one as T330 HU23 featured in today’s post, as I incorrectly believed it to be last week.

Chassis T330 #HU23 appears to have been restored by Hall & Hall in 2001 and has been raced in the white and orange Magnum Wheels livery of Martin Sampson by Neil Glover who is seen at the wheel in these photographs, all taken at Oulton Park, since 2007. Last year, 2013, Neil won the Derek Bell Trophy with the car.

My thanks to Ray Bell, author with Tony Loxley of F5000 Thunder, for his infinite patience with my infinite dumb questions, to both Ray and Lee Nicole at the Nostalgia Forum for giving me a run down of some of the differences between a Repco Holden and Small Block V8 and to facebook acquaintances,Tom Rosenthal, Peter Brennan, Phil Straver, Stephen Morici, Dave Hudson, Sam Henderson, Dave Wolin, John S Buckley, Peter Phillips, Rob McDonald, Graham Wadsworth, Tim Meehan, Derek Kneller, Steve Price, Cliff Bennett, Darren Ciantar, Rory McDonald, Danny Fondren and Bill Sherwood.


Super Saturday Part 2/2 – Silverstone Classic

Today’s blog continues on from yesterday with coverage of the second half of the Silverstone Classic Super Saturday race programme.

Porsche 911, Slater, Silverstone Classic

The 50 min Choppard International Trophy for pre’66 GT Cars was won convincingly by Sean McInerney driving the #64 TVR Griffith seen above about to thread it’s way passed the; #27 Porsche 911 driven by Adrian Slater, the #31 Lotus Elan driven by John Sheldon and the #91 Sunbeam Tiger shared by Neil Merry and Terry van der Zee.

Brabham BT4, Minshaw, Silverstone Classic

Jason Minshaw won the first of the weekends two Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy races driving the 1962 Brabham BT4 seen above. It is sad to have to report that in the second race for pre ’66 Grand Prix cars the following day Denis Welch was killed in an accident while driving his Lotus 18. I am sure you will want to join me in offering sincerest condolences to Denis’s family and many friends.

Ford Falcons, Voyazides, Gardiner, Silverstone Classic

Perversely the Mustang Celebration Trophy proudly presented by Pure Michigan was dominated by the type that the Mustang wiped off the sales floor, namely the Ford Falcons driven by Leo Voyazides #1 and Mike Gardiner #37. Leo is seen above sweeping into a lead that he did not relinquish for the rest of the race.

Maserati Centenary Trophy Start, Silverstone Classic

Light was fading at the start of the Maserati Centenary Trophy for pre ’61 Grand Prix cars and photographers such as your truely were having to resort to every trick in photoshop to get an image. Above Philip Walker driving the #1 Lotus 16 is seen streaking into what proved to be an unassailable lead ahead of; the #30 Offy powered Scarab driven by Bristol’s Julian Bronson, #88 ‘Toothpaste Tube’ Connaught C Type driven by Michael Steele, the, #27 Tec-Mech driven by Tony Wood, #35 Kurtis driven by Fred Harper.

Lola T70, Voyazides, Silverstone Classic

Leo Voyazides thirst for victory was unsatiated after winning the Mustang Celebration trophy and he is seen above driving his Lola T70 in the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race in hot pursuit of the cheeky 2 litre / 122 cui Chevron B19 driven by Martin O’Connell. No one knows exactly what happened to Martin, but he ended up in the rough stuff, uninjured leaving Leo and Simon Hadfield a clear road to victory lane.

Mercedes Benz C11, Berridge, Silverstone Classic

The final race of Super Saturday was my favourite not because it was the most closely contested, it was not despite the best efforts of Katsu Kobota driving a Nissan to take the challenge to the winning #31 Mercedes Benz C11 driven by eventual Group C Endurance winner Bob Berridge, but because the twin turbo V8 C11 driven at full speed is music to my ears and poetry in motion to my eyes. I could watch that car circulating all day and night as I did in 1991 at Le Mans, with out a care in the world.

Approaching 9pm it was all over time to return my photographers bib to the Media Office, jump into a courtesy BMW, driven by an ex Royal Protection Officer, which on the way back to the car park took me past the crowds waiting for Bonnie Tyler to give a rendition of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Part 2/2” edition of Gettin’ a li’l pscyho on tyres. I’ll be staying with Silverstone Classic for the rest of the week I hope you will join me starting with Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cobra Caravan Itinerant – Ford GT40 Mk 1 #GT40 P/1084

So far as I have been able to discern the chassis numbers for the production Ford GT40 Mk1 ran from P/1000 to P/1086, suggesting at least 87 production GT40 Mk1’s were built at Ford Advanced Vehicle facility in Slough, though as we shall see things are not always quite so simple.

Colvill, Ford GT40, Brands Hatch

Today’s featured car is a case in point, known as #P/1084 it has the highest chassis number of those known to have raced in period, though chassis P/1071 did not make it’s race debut until 14 month’s after #P/1084 appeared at Spa in May 1968 with Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs at the wheel.

However it turns out that #P/1084 started life as #P/1004 in 1965, a car that was entered into the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours by RRC Walker Racing and Shelby American for Bob Bondurant and Umberto Maglioli, this car running the #7 qualified third but retired with a leaking head gasket on lap 29, coincidentally the same lap as it’s sister #P/1005 driven by Ronnie Buckum and Herbert Müller retired with the same problem. #GT40 P/1004 then appears to have gone on Carrol Shelby’s promotional tour of America known as the Cobra Caravan.

When the JW Automotive Gulf team, operating from the same factory as Ford Advanced Vehicles had in Slough, needed a car for the 1968 Spa 1000kms they found they were a car short and so they rebuilt #P/1004 to 1968 specification and gave it a ‘new’ GT40 P/1084 identification although the factory records refer to the chassis entered at Spa where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 4th by it’s old number.

Some sources believe that #P/1084 was then shipped, by JW Automotive, to Watkins Glen two month’s later where Hawkins and Hobbs finished 2nd however I believe this is a typo, GT40 über authority Ronnie Spain identifies the car that Hawkins and Hobbs drove at Watkins Glen as GT40 P/1074.

During the 1970’s P/1084 was raced by Paul Wheldon for owner Connaught Engineering founder Rodney Clarke. Martin Colville seen in the #P/1084 here at Brands Hatch in July 1982 where Martin was taking part in a support race on the British Grand Prix weekend bought the car in 1981 and had a bubble fitted to the upper part of the drivers door to accommodated his frame.

Subject to revisions in Ronnie Spain’s much anticipated second edition bible on the subject “GT40: An Individual History and Race Record” this is my best understanding of the car known as #GT40 P/1084. If you know different please do not hesitate to chip in below.

My thanks to David McKinney, Pete Taylor and Ron54 at The Nostalgia Forum for their help in yet another carceology adventure.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cobra Caravan Itinerant” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Peterson’s Poles – Lotus Cosworth 72E #R6

The 1973 Formula One season is remembered for many things some good Jackie Stewart’s third and final world championship some bad the death’s of Jackie’s team mate Francois Cevert and Roger Williamson who had been selected to replace Jackie upon his retirement. However one of my overwhelming memories of the season, the first which I avidly followed in the printed press which was as close to the internet as I could find back in the day, was the raw speed shown by Ronnie Peterson driving his Ford Cosworth DFV powered John Player Special sponsored Lotus 72.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

During the 1973 season Ronnie Peterson set a new record number of 9 pole position starts from the 15 race championship season as he finally found himself with a car capable of winning races rather than out lasting the opposition has the March cars he drove in 1971 to second place in the world championship standings had done. I believe seven of those pole positions and Ronnie’s four 1973 championship race victories were recorded in today’s featured chassis which I believe to be #R6.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

#R6 first appeared towards the end of the 1971 season in ‘D’ spec wearing the Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours with another Swede Reine Wisell at the wheel. Reine’s best result was a 4th place finish in the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix.

For 1972 #R6 still in ‘D’ spec but now painted in the black and gold livery of John Player Special was driven by Australian Dave Walker. Dave who had built an enviable record in the junior ranks on his way up could not perform to the same level at the sports top table and only managed a best 5th place finish at the non championship Brazilian Grand Prix with today’s featured chassis. Reine Wisell was reunited with #R6 at the 1972 United States Grand Prix where he finished 10th.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

Over the winter of 1972/73 Ronnie Peterson joined Lotus from March and #R6 was brought up to 72 E spec which included wide track front suspension revisions which were soon abandoned and structural revisions to include a deformable structure around the side fuel tanks. By the time R6 appeared in ‘E’ spec at the non championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch Ronnie had already scored his first pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix. At Brands Ronnie qualified 6th and fought his way into the lead by lap 5 an was running away from the field when his gearbox broke and forced his retirement on his 18th lap but not before he had set what would be a shared fastest lap time with the BRM drivers Jean Pierre Beltoise and Niki Lauda who had been Ronnie’s team mate at March in 1972.

Ronnie drove to pole position for the following Spanish Grand Prix in chassis #R8 recording fastest lap before the gearbox failed. Back in #R6 Ronnie then won pole for the Belgian Grand Prix from which he retired after an accident. Ronnie was back in #R8 for the Monaco Grand Prix where he qualified 2nd and finished third behind Stewart and team mate Emerson Fittipaldi. Back in #R6 for the remainder of the 1973 season Ronnie was claimed his forth pole of the season in his home Grand Prix but finished second after leading his team mate for most of the race and in the process wearing out his tyres. Emerson retired with gearbox failure four laps from home leaving Denny Hulme to pick up the pieces and sweep by to win the Swedish Grand Prix.

Lotus Cosworth 72E, Silverstone Classic

At the 1973 French Grand Prix Ronnie finally took his maiden Grand Prix victory from 5th on the grid driving today’s featured car and two weeks later he claimed his fifth pole position of the season at the British Grand Prix, where he finished second. At the Dutch Grand Prix Ronnie was on pole in again but retired with gearbox and engine issues. In Germany Ronnie qualified 2nd but failed to finish. Ronnie won 3 of the final 4 championship races in 1973 in Austria Italy and the United States and pole for the final three races of the season in Italy, Canada and the USA. He retired from the Canadian Grand Prix with a puncture.

Ronnie finished third in the 1973 World Drivers Championship behind Stewart and team mate Fittipaldi and there is no doubt that Emerson might have won the championship if he had not been forced to race his team mate as hard as he did. Lotus again won the constructors championship as they had with the same model in 1970 and ’72.

For 1974 Lotus had planned to replace the Lotus 72 with the Lotus 76, but when that failed to show potential the Lotus 72 design was pressed into service for the remainder of the season in slightly modified form with the oil tank moved from behind the gearbox to a position ahead of the rear wheels as mandated by new regulations.

#R6 ended it’s in period competition career in South Africa where Team Gunston entered the car in the local Formula One series for Ian Scheckter, brother of Jody, in in 1974 Ian scored five wins in the South African series to finish second to Dave Carlton who drove a McLaren M23. For 1975 Ian drove his brothers 1974 Tyrrell 007 and Team Gunston entered Eddie Keizan in #R6. Eddie like Ian the year before in the same car finished 13th in the South African Grand Prix but could only manage a season high second in the local South African championship races after which it was retired.

Ronnie Peterson fan Katsu Kubota is the current owner of #R6 seen here earlier this year at the Silverstone Classic meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “Peterson’s Poles” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !