MOTOR SHOW “200”
BRNADS HATCH, October 30th
THE B.A.R.C. ran a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch at the end of October that was memorable for more than one reason. The race replaced the “200” that was snowed-off at Oulton Park back in the spring, so that it now became the Motor Show “200” on the long circuit at Brands Hatch. It was the last race to be run to the existing rules for Formula Two (1,000 c.c. engine limit) as next January the new F.I.A. Formula Two begins, with its 1,600 c.c. limit. Apart from these two features the race will go down in history as the only occasion on which the Formula Two Brabham-Honda works cars were beaten during 1966, the combination that did it being Jochen Rindt with a Brabham-Cosworth from the Winkelmann stable. With Denis Hulme in the U.S.A. on Group 7 racing, Brabham had no support, for his second car was driven by Chris Irwin, who, apart from having trouble, could hardly have been expected to step into Hulme’s shoes just like that, especially as the going was hard.
The event was run in two heats and a final, and the B.A.R.C. deseive full credit for the arrangement which could well be followed by other organisers. Instead of putting everyone into each heat, or dividing the entry haphazardly, so that heats and finals merely become repetitive, the first heat (of 10 laps) was for works teams, thinly-disguised works teams and the more professional private teams. The second heat was for the not-so-professional teams and the private owners, while the final (over 40 laps) was for the combined best of the two short races. In the first heat Brabham had to start from the back of the grid, due to missing practice, but he caught everyone except Rindt. In heat two Alan Rollinson (Brabham-Cosworth) was able to enjoy a justifiable win, and he has shown good form all season but at best could only ever hope to finish first private-owner, which was usually well down the field of works cars. The domination of Formula Two by works and professional teams, with Grand Prix drivers being employed, is one of the things that has detracted from the true worth of Formula Two racing. In the final Brabham was given a bad time by Rindt and Clark, the latter in a Ron Harris Lotus-Cosworth, and the twisty nature of the Brands Hatch circuit, and lack of any serious straight, allowed the two Cosworth-powered runners to scratch really hard ard stay with the more powerful Honda-engined works Brabham. Of the two Rindt got the advantage and was with Brabham at all times, giving a masterly display of the “never-give-up spirit” and it paid off. After 26 of the 40 laps had been run the leaders caught a slower car at an awkward moment and while Brabham hesitated Rindt saw his chance and nipped through. Having been unable to shake Rindt off in the opening phase of the race there was little hope of getting by him in the remaining laps. Rindt made quite sure that he did not “leave the door open” anywhere, nor did he make any mistakes and he never Iet another baulking situation arise. A lot of young drivers have been in this position before, but usually the wily and experienced driver doing the pushing has been able to wear his rival down or outwit him, but Rindt showed that though he is young in years and experience he has been learning very fast. His performances this season in Formula One have shown this, and he was able to put all this knowledge to good use in keeping ahead of Brabham to the finish, getting the chequered flag an official one-fifth of a second in front of the Brabham-Honda.
Everyone was very happy for the amiable Jochen Rindt, but no-one was happier than Rindt himself, for though a professional racing driver he enjoys every minute of it, which makes success all the sweeter