Formula Two, Crystal Palace (June 2nd)

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After the early-season rush of Formula 2 races, all the teams had three weeks in which to strip and rebuild their cars before Crystal Palace on Whit Monday, the second and last Formula 2 race to be held in England this season. But by the end of the meeting there was plenty more work for the mechanics, as cars were scattered all over the circuit in various states of disrepair. Ron Harris, a long-time supporter of Formula 2, turned up with two new Tecnos for Pedro Rodriguez to choose from, while the only other major change from the grids of the earlier-season races was the substitution of Frank Gardner in the Chequered Flag/McLaren Racing Team. He replaced New Zealander Graeme Lawrence, who was brought over to Europe by Bruce McLaren and has been finding this hard International school of racing a little too fast for him at the moment.

The entry was split into two heats and fastest time overall was put up by Redman in Bridges’ Lola, who lapped in 52 sec. (0.9 sec. under last year’s record). The German, Ahrens, in his private Brabham, made the second fastest time, while Jacky Ickx was third in the Ferrari, but later in the session he crashed and damaged the rear suspension of the car, but fortunately this was repaired just in time for the first heat. This turned out to be a Brabham benefit, for the Tauranac-designed cars driven by Rindt, Courage and Bell took the first three places in a race which ended in a torrential downpour. The same marque triumphed in heat 2, with Ahrens coming home first from Redman, Regazzoni in the works Tecno and Widdows in the works McLaren.

The final was a Rindt benefit from beginning to end and he was never challenged. The only man who came anywhere near was Courage; who eventually retired with a broken injection trumpet. A start-line shunt eliminated Rodriguez in the Tecno and Ickx, who had been hampered by gear-change problems in his heat. Park Curve seemed to be the corner which caught quite a few people out, for Bell, Ahrens and Widdows all came to grief there. Redman, driving a very good race in the Lola, came home a good second ahead of the Swiss Regazzoni, who put up quite a battle. Fourth place was settled on the very last lap when Oliver, in his Lotus, and Schlesser, in the McLaren, collided, and the Frenchman was put out of the running although he was classified fifth. Mechanical downfalls, including a broken wheel of Hill’s Lotus, ended several other races, and the only other finisher at the end was Jaussaud in the second works Tecno.—A. R. M.

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