F1’s unlikeliest winner
All bets were off by the time they arrived at The Glen in ’66. Jack Brabham and his fabulous Brabham-Repcos had secured the world championship; John Surtees had switched mid-season from Ferrari to Cooper-Maserati, thus ending Maranello’s realistic title challenge (despite producing a car that could have won it). Dan Gurney had debuted his gorgeous Eagle, albeit still with 2.7 litre Climax engines. BRM had tried unsuccessfully to make their big 3-litre H16-engined cars serious runners. And Lotus, in the wake of that BRM disaster, vacillated between the 2-litre Climax-engined Lotus 33 and the Lotus 43-H16. As the field prepared for F1’s richest race to date, the US GP at Watkins Glen, Lotus’ Colin Chapman was unsure of whether to follow his head (race the 33) or his heart (delight the fans with the temperamental but throaty-sounding Lotus 43-H16). Aware of the recent success of big sports car racing in North America, he chose the latter course. And the rest is history.
This video includes little-seen footage of the 1966 USGP and a start-up, in more recent times, of the winning car.
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