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Archive for the tag “McLaren”

“There were plenty of things you could do back then…”

1976 Canadian Grand Prix.Alastair Caldwell (right, with headset, talking to James Hunt at Mosport, in 1976) is our guest this week on The Racer’s Edge – which means that at last we can sit him down and talk to him in outrageous detail about those early days at McLaren, about Bruce winning his first race in a car bearing his own name – and about the tricks they used to play back in 1976, when James Hunt fought Niki Lauda all the way to the Drivers’ World Championship.  We also catch up with Charlie Kimball, the son of the former McLaren and Ferrari Design Engineer, Gordon Kimball.  Last Sunday, Charlie won his first IndyCar race (with Chip Ganassi Racing) Images: LAT Photographic; TRE Production: Knockout TV in association with F1 Racing

Hunt vs Lauda

As the Hunt vs Lauda documentary has now been withdrawn from YouTube we are sadly unable to show it on these pages.  It is available, though, on the BBC iPlayer and it  will be screened again on BBC2 in the UK in near future.  We will publish dates of those screenings via Twitter @peterdwindsor.  Richard Wiseman, the archivist responsible for the video sourcing of the documentary, will also be our guest on The Racer’s Edge on August 22.

Briefs and de-briefs

I haven’t had much time for neg-scanning recently but managed to squeeze some in a few moments ago whilst watching a replay of Ashton Agar’s amazing innings at Trent Bridge in the first Ashes Test (cricket, for those of you unfamiliar with this sport of sports).  The idea was to scan a further ten pictures or so but I have to confess that I stopped after only two or three:  the sheer natural talent of this 19-year-old Australian spinner-batsman, combined with his humility, is just captivating.

Cricket?  Motor racing?  Jim Clark was an excellent cricketer;  let’s not forget that.  

Anyway: back to motor racing.  Here’s some more from the glorious days of the Kyalami Ranch, South Africa:  06-21-2013_46That’s Alain Prost, now looking up from his copy of L’Equipe; 06-21-2013_43and this is something you wouldn’t see today – two Italian F1 drivers having a laugh (Riccardo Patrese and Andrea de Cesaris).  Back then, the concept of there being no Italians in F1 was about as laudable as an F1 season without the Kyalami Ranch.

Here are some de-briefs, too:  06-21-2013_56Alain Prost lunches with McLaren’s John Barnard; 06-21-2013_16Tyrrell’s Brian Lyles confers with the brilliant Stefan Bellof on the Detroit pit wall; 06-21-2013_55and we eavesdrop behind Frank Williams as Neil Oatley (right) takes notes and Jacques-Henri Laffite and Keijo Rosberg think Williams-Honda 

Artist at work: Jim Clark wins Dutch GP

19618.tifJim’s whirlwind 1963 season continued unabated – even when he wasn’t driving a racing car.  The Belgian Grand Prix had been a relief;  it had been tough and dangerous;  it had been nothing less than the usual forces of Spa.  At last, though, he had scored another F1 Championship win with the Lotus 25 (his last, prior to that, had been at Watkins Glen, the previous October).  At Spa the car had again been excessively temperamental – difficult to set-up and fragile (with the persistent gearbox problems still no nearer to being remedied).  Still, though, he had won with enough margin to be able to back away in the closing stages and to crawl around in the torrential rain.

Then came a nice, two-week break.  Jim returned first to London, to Balfour Place, where there was plenty to celebrate with Sir John Whitmore and his new wife, Gunilla, and also with the boys over at Cheshunt.S2600019  There were expense accounts to present to the ever-scrupulous Andrew Ferguson and there was Indy prize money to reconcile.   There was also a new, convertible, Lotus Elan S2 to collect and try.   Painstakingly assembled at the factory, this Elan would be Jim’s transport through to October, 1963.

Jim had appointed Bill Campbell to manage Edington Mains but now it was time for Jim to return to the Borders to catch up on the events – farm-related and otherwise – of the past six weeks or so.  More and more, there were additional interviews to be scheduled with local TV, radio, newspaper and magazine journalists.  Ian Scott-Watson, who had already invested £40,000 of his own money in Jim’s career – and was paying his own way to several European events in 1963 – was still very much in charge of Jim’s racing administration.  Graham Gauld, a local motoring journalist whom Jim had respected from the early Border Reiver days, was also in position to start preliminary work on Jim’s autobiography.  And then there were the farm matters.  The lamb sales were looming.  Cast ewes were to be bought.  Silage was in the first cut. Most days, with an interview or Lotus-related meeting scheduled at some point, Jim wore a shirt, tie, sports jacket, flat cap and Wellington boots as he strode around the farm.  Sometimes, if he could relax, he’d leave out the tie.  In short, Jim switched off for a while, although the inevitable Autosport and Motoring News were never far from his desk.  He would have smiled that week at the picture in Autosport of the USAC race official pointing to the oil leaking from Parnelli Jones’ car during his last pit stop and he would have spent a little time, too, reading about the Rover-BRM turbine car that Graham Hill and Richie Ginther would be racing at Le Mans the following weekend.  And, of course, he would have devoured the details of the previous week’s Scottish Rally (won by his fellow-Border farmer, Andrew Cowan).   Andrew and Jim – who were 27 and 26 at that point – had much to celebrate in Duns in the free weekend that followed.08-26-2010_45

All too soon, though, it was over:  ahead lay a Dutch and French Grand Prix double, followed two weeks later by the British Grand Prix.  With Ian driving his own, yellow Elan demonstrator to Zandvoort and then Reims, Jim drove south to travel to Holland with Colin by private aircraft from Panshanger Aerodrome in Essex.8-24-2010 16-55-24_095

A year on from their official race debut, the cars weren’t ready for first practice at Zandvoort – which, from Jim’s perspective, was no bad thing:  as much time as was needed to fix the gearbox problems, Cedric Selzer and the lads could have it.  As it was, Team Lotus brought a mixed bag to Holland:  Trevor Taylor would use a six-speed Colotti gearbox and Jim a modified five-speed ZF. The cars were also fitted with revised versions of the aeroscreen tried at Spa – this time with a larger opening and a steeper flare ahead of the dash.  Jim quickly found that, with the new design, buffeting had all but disappeared;  white helmet peak now confined to his bag (or lent to Dan Gurney!), he could lie even lower in the car.  So Jim raced it.  The 25’s Ultimate Look was almost complete.S2600001

For this race, thinking about the potential for dust and sand, Jim fitted an orange lens to his Panorama goggles, taping the top half, as usual.   He stayed with the team in a small bed-and-breakfast in the little holiday town of Zandvoort and went trampolining with Bruce McLaren on the beach after practice.  The Dutch Grand Prix was being staged later than normal.  The weather was warmer.  The crowds were huge.

Jim tried the Colotti in practice, then switched to the ZF.  He was unsettled to find that it was now jumping out of second gear rather than top.

While waiting for his car to be adjusted during Saturday practice, Jim strolled out the back of the pits to watch the action.  Against a chill North Sea breeze, he wore his now-customary Pure jacket over his Dunlop blues and his regular string-backed driving gloves.  There he found his mate, Bruce McLaren, who was also in gearbox trouble with the Cooper-Climax (in this, a “comeback” race for John Cooper, who had been seriously injured in early April when he had crashed an experimental twin-engined Mini-Cooper on the Kingston by-pass).   The two were having a laugh, and comparing notes, when suddenly Bruce was grabbed by a policeman and dragged backwards towards the paddock.  Jim spun around in horror – only to see another policeman heading towards him with about the same step.  The issue at hand:  Bruce McLaren, without his Driver’s pass, was standing where only photographers could tread.  Jim was about to protest Bruce’s innocence when two big hands grabbed him by the Pure jacket and attempted to drag him too towards the shrubbery.  Jim’s Dunlop overalls were torn;  and a large crowd swarmed around, all shouting at the policemen to stop. S2600002 Jim had the correct pass! It was there, visible inside his jacket!  In time, there was little the police could do.  It took a reminder that Zandvoort was about to receive the GPDA’s “Best Organized” award, however (as voted by the members at Monaco), for Bruce to be released.

Although the story of Jim Clark’s Dutch GP weekend is thereafter a story of complete domination, of total command, there was, of course, another side to it: Jim felt that the revised Dunlop R6s brought to Zandvoort were an improvement but still he couldn’t persuade the 25 to handle well on both fast corners and slow:  although he headed every practice session and took the pole by 0.6 sec, he had to nurse understeer at Tarzan and – more importantly, at Hunze Rug, where the slow, downhill left-hander was followed by a long acceleration run through the sweepers.  Even so, he led the race from start to finish, lapping even Dan Gurney, who finished second for Brabham.  The sun shone, sand swirled – and still Jim drew quickly away from the pack.   His was a race of supreme concentration, for there was no-one around for him to race.  It was two hours, nine minutes of lone, artistic brilliance.S2600004

Justifying that GPDA Award, the Dutch organizers did a nice job with the post-race celebrations, ushering Jim and the 25 up between the crowds onto a trailer, where the new Championship points leader could be acknowledged by the fans opposite in the packed, signature grandstand.   Jim’s policeman friend from Friday reluctantly helped with the crowd control – but then had the last word when by preventing both Jim and Colin Chapman from entering a studio for post-race radio interviews. No-one dared ask why.

In another part of Europe, meanwhile, on this day in June, 1963 – on Hockenheim’s OstCurve, in Germany  – Heinz Schreiber was killed when his BMW slid into the trees.  In the aftermath, no-one even thought about the erection of guard-rails or of any sort of protective fencing.S2600003

Captions (from top): Jim glides the 25 up the ramp for victory celebrations.  Note Cedric Selzer by left-rear Dunlop;  top-floor flat, 8 Balfour Place – Sir John Whitmore’s London pad, as frequented by Jim Clark.  Rob Slotemaker, the Dutch trickster, once completed a perfect 360 within the confines of this narrow road, much to the amusement of  Sirs Whitmore and Clark; Edington Mains as I photographed it in 1967; Zandvoort in 1967, as I saw it from a Boeing 707; Jim’s Dutch GP win, with all its aesthetic perfection, was perfectly-captured on the cover of the 1963 edition of Automobile Year; Jim and that famous scuffle; the 25’s cockpit also set timeless artistic standards; in a world of his own – Clark at Zandvoort, 1963; below – Saturday night, and Jim returns to the track after dining in Zandvoort.  The boys needed some coffee! Images: LAT Photographic, Peter Windsor CollectionS2620007

Watching from La Rascasse (Part 1)

What you see here does not come under the heading of “good photography”.  It is, though, my attempt to try to illustrate some of the principles about which we talk on The Racer’s Edge and occasionally on these pages.  All the pictures were taken at La Rascasse on Thursday afternoon at Monaco (after Romain Grosjean had hit the barrier at Ste Devote!).  I wanted to try to keep the frame of the shot as near-identical as I could for every car so that we could identify some of the differences between the drivers.  I also ensured that each driver was on a quick lap or was not backing-off prior to peeling into the pit lane.  The pose they strike as they reach the pedestrian crossing stripes is pretty much their signature – and those stripes on the road of course provide some sort of useful visual reference. Some drivers, you will see, are already asking quite a lot from the car – as can be seen by the steering angles as they reach the road stripes.  Others are asking less.  Some are “softening” the entry by curving into the apex from about the middle fo the road;  others are well to the right of centre and are “extending the straight” into a relatively low minimum speed rotation-point.  I should stress that La Rascasse is far from being the most important corner on the circuit:  it is followed by a very short, sharp blast before braking into a negative-camber right-hander.  It is, though, what it is – and I can confirm that I have never seen a great Monaco driver (Stewart, Reutemann, Prost, Mansell, Senna, Raikkonen) who was not clean, methodical and super-quick into La Rascasse.   Despite the implications of these quiet, motionless images, each snapshot-in-time is in reality a compendium of the initial brake pedal pressure that was applied about a second or so before (when the cars were in fifth gear on the curving straight between the swimming pool and Rascasse), the rate of release of the brake pedal pressure (taking place as these pictures were captured), the initial steering movements (also taking place) and, yes, the positioning of the car.  In each case, in summary, the “static” cars shown here are actually a mass of dynamic forces being harnessed by the drivers.  All are different;  some are better than others. 

Fernando Alonso (left) photowas (with Pastor Maldonado) the driver who turned-in earliest to Rascasse.  He refrained from applying any soft of substantial steering lock until he was right at the apex (out of the photograph to the bottom left), and this he did with increasing power.  He looked superb, I thought.  The back of the Ferrari would always skip slightly as he rotated the car, which probably meant that his minimum speed was relatively low – but there is no doubt that from the pedestrian crossing to that minimum speed point he was quicker than anyone on the circuit.

Felipe MassaMassa (right) wasn’t a lot different from Fernando… but was different nonetheless.  He braked more to the centre of the road and thus approached the corner with a slightly “softer” line.  This gave him a slightly “longer” corner – ie, he had to cover more road and, thus, he put more initial lateral energy through the tyres for longer.  Felipe was very finessey with his steering inputs and, like Fernando, always honed-in to a lowish minimum speed, the better to rotate the car.

I was surprised by the massive differences between the Red Bull drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.  Although the positioning of the two cars looks fairly similar in these two pictures, look closely at the amount of steering lock SebSeb has applied (relative to Mark).  This was absolutely typical of what we saw all afternoon.  Seb (right) would approach from a relatively wide angle and crank on a massive amount of lock as he was releasing the brakes.  The result was understeer – driver-induced (very graphic) understeer.  Could it be that Seb was working on protecting the rears?  Perhaps.  Mark, Markby contrast, was Alonso-like with the steering applications, even if he was leaving himself a slightly more open approach. I’d say Mark’s Rascasse (right) leaves him slightly more margin for error (or for the unexpected) than does Fernando’s but that their inputs were about equal.  Again, brilliant to watch.

Both McLaren drivers created very “long” corners from wide entries.  Jenson’s inputs (below)Jenson were more svelte that Sergio’s but Sergio began the corner with slightly less initial steering input, in turn enabling him to ask slightly less from the front tyres.  Equally, Sergio (below right)Perez
had a more substantial final rotation.  When you see these two drivers alongside one another like this, you wonder how good it is for a team to be running drivers of such similar style.  It would be interesting, for example, to see how the MP4-28 would perform at the other end of the spectrum – the Alonso/Webber/Raikkonen end – or perhaps at the Vettel/understeer end.

I didn’t get to see Romain, as I say, but I can tell you (from Thursday morning) that he was about half-a-car’s length to the left of Kimi as he crossed the painted lines and was using about a Webber-dose of steering at that point.  Unlike Mark, who would deliberately await the moment of final rotation before accelerating flat and clean, Romain teased the throttle a little, like Alonso and thus ran right out there on the ragged edge, leaving no room for error.  The Ste Devote shunt, I think, was no surprise.  Kimi was of course just beautiful to watch, even if he was locking up the front brakes more than we usually see.  He wasn’t quite as far to the right as Alonso and Maldonado (or Di Resta, as it happens) but his initial steering movements were very slight and very small – a mile away from Vettel’s.  Then, in one clean movement, Kimihe would tuck in the front for the major rotation and accelerate without fuss towards the exit of the corner.  Totally repeatable and extremely efficient (left).

The differences between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were small but significant.  Both drivers turned-in early, like Kimi and Fernando, with delicately-small initial steering inputs, but NicoNico (below) did so from about half a metre further to the right, giving him a slightly shorter corner.  This he managed in Prost-like fashion, never looking unruffled or out of synch. Lewis (below) Lewiswas thus a tad less impressive than Nico through this section of road – which, for me, was a surprise, I have to admit.

Part 2 of our views from Rascasse, featuring the remaining cars on the grid, will follow shortly.

Clark second in Lombank Trophy

1963 Lombank Trophy.Jim Clark’s first race meeting of 1963 did not go particularly well.  After several hectic weeks in the US (at Ford’s proving ground in Arizona and then at Indy, where he lapped at just over 150mph) and, before that, at Snetterton, testing the gorgeous Lotus 29 Indy prototype car, 1963 Team Lotus Factory.Jim drove back along the A11 to the Norfolk circuit  for the Fourth Lombank Trophy F1 race.  Probably at some point, I  suspect, the new Honorary President of the Scottish Racing Drivers’ Club would have been smiling at the thought of the Club Lotus dinner he’d attended a few weeks before at the Taggs Island Casino, near Hampton Court. He, Jabby Crombac and Mike Beckwith had driven one of the new Elans onto the stage and the evening had ended with Colin Chapman being spruced up in a pair of blue nylon knickers… As would become the norm for races at Snett, Jim would be staying with Jack Sears in Jack’s farmhouse near the circuit – and he would refrain, of course, from making any long-distance calls to the US.  (On Saturday, March 30, 1963, it became possible for the first time to make direct calls between the UK and the US.)

This would be the second Snetterton race meeting promoted by the circuit’s new owners – Motor Circuit Developments (the first was a club meeting held on March 17) – and therefore by John Webb, whose airline, Webbair, had become a regular part of motor racing logistics since the late 1950s.  As a journalist, manager and, as I say, race promoter, Webb would in the 1960s and 1970s become one of the most influential figures in British motor sport.  With support from Grovewood Securities, the Grovewood Awards, to name but one of Webb’s creative ideas, would eventually pave the way for today’s Autosport Awards.

The Lombank Trophy was the first F1 race of the year – a non-championship race, to be sure, but a significant one nonetheless.   Lombank was one of several London-based financial “institutions” (as investment banks were known then!) to see the benefits of motor racing sponsorship, although by a certain irony this Snetterton race would be the first since one of Lombank’s major competitors – UDT Laystall – announced their withdrawal from F1.

Today we go into internet-fed panic mode whenever teams or sponsors pull out of the sport, or change hands, but 50 years ago the usual ruptures of the winter were accepted with good grace in the belief that something – or someone – better would come along.  One thing was clear, however:  Stirling Moss’s retirement now seemed permanent (following a test at Goodwood in early May, Stirling would make the decision final) and he was busy now re-inventing himself as a team owner/team manager/Ogle Associate Director; and gone, too, were the factory Porsche and Lola F1 teams.  Although General Motors also announced a unilateral withdrawal from motor sport in early March, 1963, one of the private entrants at Snetterton (Jim Hall) no doubt read this notice with a smile.   (Even as Jim drove his BRP Lotus 24-Climax with not a little natural speed, the idea of a secret GM-supported Chaparral was formulating in his fertile mind.  Jim had raced his be-finned and be-spoilered front-engined Chaparral at Sebring the weekend before;  and many, he knew, were the ideas he could take to GM. Looking back now, and remembering for how long Jim was a fixture at F1 races, it is staggering that no-one in F1 took serious note of the winged Chaparrals of 1966-67.  Even Jim Clark’s attempt to mount a rear spoiler on his Lotus 49 at Levin, in 1968, was immediately quashed by Colin Chapman.)

Porsche’s loss was Jack Brabham’s gain:  Dan Gurney signed over the winter to drive a second factory Brabham in 1963, and John Surtees stepped from Lola to Ferrari.  (I can’t help reflecting here that Jack Brabham “lent” Big John his personal Lotus 24 to race in the end-of-season, 1962, Mexican GP, for Bowmaker Lola were by then concentrating on the upcoming Australasian Series and entered only one Lola in Mexico for Roy Salvadori.  John promptly qualified the 24 on the second row, only fractionally slower than Trevor’s Lotus 25.  Brilliant. Surtees drove most of the New Zealand-Australia series for Bowmaker Lola but his place at Sandown Park, Melbourne, interestingly enough, was taken by Masten Gregory.  Tony Maggs finished third at Sandown in the last appearance of a Bowmaker Lola entry.)  ATS, led by former Ferrari engineer, Carlo Chiti, would also be entering F1 in 1963 with drivers Phil Hill, Giancarlo Baghetti and (for testing) Jack Fairman;  and this would also be the first race for Coventry Climax since being bought by Jaguar Cars Ltd.

The Lombank Trophy race (won in 1962 by Jim Clark) was held on Saturday, March 30, at 3:00pm, with practice taking place on Friday.  Public address commentary was in the care of the excellent Anthony Marsh, the recently-appointed Publicity Officer for Brands Hatch, Mallory Park and Snetterton and the lynchpin, of course, of the Springfield Charity that still exists today.

Jim and Team Lotus had only recently lost the 1962 World Championship to Graham Hill and BRM.  No-one doubted that the monocoque Lotus 25 had been the quicker car in 1962 – but, since August, BRM’s Tony Rudd had been hard at work on his version of the Lotus “bathtub”.  Quickly, though, work at Bourne fell behind schedule.  The demands of the ’62 season in part accounted for the delay but in addition England was plagued by a ‘flu epidemic over the arctic-spec winter:  factory staff were thin on the ground and there was little or no back-up to replace them.  On top of that, BRM also began work on the radical Rover-BRM turbine programme for Le Mans.  As a result, BRM began the year with lighter versions of their reliable and very driveable P578 space-frame cars, albeit with slightly more powerful V8 engines.  They brought two to Snetterton, for Graham and for Richie Ginther, both of whom had been racing in the Sebring 12 Hours the weekend before.  Hill finished third there, sharing a Ferrari 330LM with Pedro Rodriguez, and Ginther sixth (Ferrari GTO, shared with Innes Ireland).   (These were the days of Boeing 707 intercontinental air travel, although turbo-props, such as the Lockheed Electra and Vickers Viscount, were still very much in use.)

Team Lotus entered two Lotus 25-Climaxes for Jim and his regular team-mate, Trevor Taylor but a shortage of engines (ie, one Climax V8 only!) rendered Trevor a non-starter.  Jim’s race engine, indeed, was way down on power.  Climax had planned to bring the new, 200bhp fuel-injected V8s to Snetterton for use by Lotus and Cooper but, like BRM, ran out of time.  Speaking of the Cooper Car Company of Surbiton, Surrey, Bruce McLaren flew from Sydney to the US after winning his fourth Australasian series race at Sandown Park, Melbourne with his Intercontinental Cooper-Climax – (this is a sad story, but I’ll tell it less we forget:  Bruce sold that car to Lex Davison, who raced it successfully in 1963-64 and who in turn then used it to enable the young and talented Rocky Tresise to make his career breakthrough in 1965.  Tresise died in a start-line accident at Longford with the Cooper, as did the talented Australian photographer, Robin d’Abrera;  it was Robin’s pin-sharp images that captured Bruce’s Sandown win in the Cooper for Autosport back in March, 1963) – and at Sebring raced the Briggs Cunningham Jaguar E-Type.  He finishing eighth there, partnered with Walt Hansgen.   Cooper entered only Bruce at Snetterton – again in a 1962 T60 car.   The interesting Cooper entry from Morris Nunn failed to appear;  and Jo Siffert pulled out after hitting a bank on the very wet practice day in his Filipinetti Lotus 24.

Jim, in  battle-scarred, dark blue, peakless Everoak helmet, 1965 Formula One World Championship.
was easily fastest on Saturday, lapping in 1min 44.4 in the torrential rain despite trouble starting the car (due to a lack of warm-up spark plugs).  Eventually the 25 was tow-started  into life. With Graham Hill’s BRM suffering from chronic fuel injection problems, Richie Ginther was next quickest (1min 46.8sec), followed by Bruce (1min 48.8sec), Innes Ireland in the BRP Lotus 24 and Innes’s team-mate, Jim Hall.

On Saturday the weather continued.  Snetterton became a quagmire of mud, rain, wind and spinning wheels.  There were no branded jackets back then, there was no North Face, no Timberland.  Instead, long raincoats, cloth caps and Wellington boots ruled the day. Les Leston’s racing umbrellas – each segment representing a marshal’s flag – were also at a premium.

Richie led from the line, using the superior torque of the BRM engine to full advantage, with Bruce second and Jim an initial third.  Jim quickly took second place at the hairpin – the left-hander at the end of the long back straight that runs parallel to the A11 – and passed Richie at the same place a few laps later.  Significantly, though, Richie was able to out-accelerate the Lotus.  All were running on the new Dunlop R6 but the traction advantage was with the BRMs.  Graham Hill had meanwhile flown through from the back of the grid.  He quickly passed Bruce and, now on a spray-free road, quickly caught Jim and Richie.  Jim took the lead and began to pull away – but then ran wide onto the grass while lapping a back-marker;  Richie again ran at the front.

There was no stopping Graham Hill.  Driving superbly in the rain, he passed both Richie and then Jim to win decisively.   Unhappy with his engine, and finding the 25 surprisingly skittish in the wet, Jim backed away and settled for second place.   Innes Ireland eventually finished third, although not without incident.  During his battle with Bruce, the pair of them had lapped Innes’ team-mate, Jim Hall.  Innes slipped past without problem but then, with hand signals to Hall, made it clear that he wanted his team-mate to hold up Bruce for a corner or three.  You can imagine if Fernando Alonso today suggested to Felipe Massa (running a lap behind) that he hold up Seb Vettel for 20 seconds or so.  As it was, Bruce afterwards dismissed the episode as “a legitimate team tactic”.  Such was Gentlemen Bruce.

The Lombank meeting boasted a superb support-race programme.  The World Champion was also victorious in the 25-lap sports car race with John Coombs’ lightweight Jaguar E-Type (ahead of the Cooper Monaco of Roy Salvadori, now retired from F1); Roy made up for that by winning the Jaguar 3.8 battle in the 25-lap Touring Car race, gaining revenge on Graham Hill (who fought his way back from sixth place).  Mike Salmon, also in a 3.8, finished third.  Both Normand Racing Lotus 23s (driven by Mike Beckwith and Tony Hegbourne) had looked quick in the sports car event but eventually, in the wet, had to cede position to Alan Foster’s amazing MG Midget.  It should be noted that Frank Gardner also raced the new Brabham BT8 sports car at Snetterton, winning the 1151cc-2000cc class.

I mention the Normand Lotus 23s because Jim signed over the winter to race for Normand whenever his schedule allowed.  Just such an opening would appear at the BARC’s Oulton Park Spring Meeting on Saturday, April 6.

Full report next week.

Pictures: LAT Photographic and writer’s archiveS2390001

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