The 30th Eifelrennen (April 23rd)

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With the exception of Stewart and HuIme all the regular Formula Two runners took part in the race on the South Circuit of the Nurburgring, which is similar in character to the main circuit, using the same pits and starting area, but only 7.747 kilometres to the lap. The B.M.W. factory made a big effort for this event on their home ground and there were three Lola cars fitted with the 16 radial-valve B.M.W. engine, the version with the combustion chamber rotated a few degrees off the engine centre line being the one in use. The two official works entries, painted white, were driven by Siffert and Hahne and the Lola works car, painted red with a white arrow on the nose being driven by Surtees. It was hoped that the new Formula Two Ferrari V6 would make its first appearance at this race, but more important projects at the factory intervened.

Counting in the European F.2 Championship, the race was run over 30 laps in appalling weather conditions, with snow bordering the edge of the track and everywhere wet and soggy. The first day’s practice had been upset by snowstorms and rain, but the second day saw a brief “bright spell” in which the grid positions were decided. On the first day Widdows had crashed his Brabham, and on the second day Hill and Offenstadt collided, the wooden Protos being badly damaged. Although Surtees had his B.M.W.-engined car on the front row it was a false situation as he had done the time in the Cosworth-engined Lola. In spite of the bad weather a vast crowd estimated at 180,000 packed the South Circuit for a day of motorcycle racing, culminating in the Formula Two race, and from flag fall Rindt shot off into the lead and no-one looked like catching him. From the beginning Clark was in trouble with a misfiring engine and a ZF gearbox lacking top gear, so could do nothing about the flying Austrian in his well-prepared Brahham-Cosworth. The Lola-B.M.W. cars were showing great improvement and though Surtees could not challenge the leader, he kept in front of the rest of the runners, though most of them seemed to have good excuses for why they were doing so badly. Wrong tyres, wrong handling, wrong gear ratios. wrong engines and so on, and so on all things that never seem to bother Rindt and the Winkelmann Brabham-Cosworth. Some of the “new boys” to Formula Two were going well, such as Courage, in Coombs’ McLaren, Mitter in his own new Brabham-Cosworth FVA and Hahne in the works Lola-B.M.W.

Clark finally retired at 11 laps when the injection metering unit seized, a common occurrence on the Cosworth engines, and Ickx was up in third place with the lone Tyrell Matra, ahead of Courage and Hahne, and finally the German driver got by into fourth place. Siffert slid off the road in the second works B.M.W. and damaged a wheel, and of the 21 starters only the first ten were listed officially as finishers, but there were six more still running when the race finished.