My only grand prix -- Chris Craft

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

1971 US at Watkins Glen

What prompted Alain de Cadenet to take you grand prix racing?

We’d just won at the Norisring with an Interserie car. Unfortunately Pedro Rodríguez got killed and I think Alain read in the paper that it was ‘a minor motor race’. That was surprising as there were 110,000 people there. He took umbrage and said, ‘Let’s buy an F1 car’. He did a deal with Ron Tauranac for a BT33.

You started with the Gold Cup. How did that go?

The Brabham came with the wrong wheels on it. It was terribly light and I couldn’t get any feel in the steering. Later we found out it should have had 20in wheels — we had 22in and the geometry was wrong. It was Jean-Pierre Jarier’s first F1 race as well and we lapped him. Then in Alain’s wonderfully chaotic way we went off to North America via Page & Moy. In Canada I was a reserve, but after others had problems we got onto the grid. Then, when we came round to make the start, the engine went all funny. It had broken a cam so we didn’t start. I can remember having a good few drinks afterwards and then riding a scrambles ‘bike back to the hotel!

But you made it in the US GP…

At Watkins Glen I finally got used to how bad it was. I just adapted. I think it cut out and I spun on the first lap. It stalled but we got it going. I came in for a new battery and went out again. I’d lost a lap and was stuck in the middle pack. I was behind Denny Hulme with Ronnie Peterson behind me. I stayed there for about 20 laps and thought I’d cracked it. And I did literally crack it, because the chassis then cracked in half. It started tyre chunking and that broke the horseshoe on the back of the chassis. I came in and Tauranac gave me a huge telling off. I said to him, ‘I’m from sportscars — you don’t get out of them until they hit the ground!’

Any regrets on not doing more F1?

There were the usual offers to go and have tea with Louis Stanley, but to be honest I didn’t want to waste my time. It wasn’t any great loss when we decided that we didn’t actually like the people in F1 and that we’d go back to sportscars. And that’s what made Gordon Murray to a certain extent — us giving him the opportunity to turn that BT33 into a sportscar, the Duckhams Special. And that was a very good car indeed.

But are you proud of the fact that you made it to F1?

It seems to have had a greater effect on other people. To be perfectly honest I can’t say I really wanted to be a GP driver, being a bit more cynical by then. I’d raced against most of those people in sportscars anyway. It was good for Alain to have a go. I take my hat off to him for getting in as an independent. — AC

You may also like

Related products