Colombian F2 series
The South American country of Colombia, unlike some of its neighbours, does not have a history of circuit racing. However, a local millionaire has changed all this and just built the country’s first circuit in a quarry near the capital, Bogota. To inaugurate this new track a couple of Formula Two races were run in the middle of February, the entry being recruited wholly from Europe by Italian agents. The main interest was provided by a pair of the new March 712Ms entered by Frank Williams, backed by Motul oil and driven by Bell and Pescarolo. Siffert had a brand new Chevron, Graham Hill was in his regular Lotus, while Stommelen and several others fielded last year’s Brabham BT30s.
Quite a few drivers failed to realise about the high altitude and were in trouble with fuel metering units because of this, while the new Marches, racing for the first time, seemed fragile and were even flown back to Britain for repairs between races. The two drivers who impressed most were Siffert and Alan Rollinson, the Midlands driver who has been in and out of Formula Two for three or four years now.
The races were both held in two 30-lap heats of the quarry circuit and the border of this was marked with loose car tyres, which proved to be a hazard when knocked into the air by the competitors. Siffert won both heats of the first event and hence was the victor of that one, and then went on to win Heat one of the event the week after. However, the clean sweep was not his, for the distributor drive on the Chevron’s FVA engine gave trouble and he finally pushed the car home to be credited with sixth place overall.
Meanwhile Rollinson, who had been on pole position for the first race but had been put out of the running by one of those flying marker tyres, raced to overall victory with the Irish Racing Car’s Brabham BT30. Rollinson had finished third in the first heat and won the second after the wealthy young amateur Alistair Walker, also in a Brabham BT30, retired from the lead with engine trouble. This was undoubtedly the best performance of Walker’s career and he had finished fourth in the race a week earlier. Graham Hill was second overall in the first race but retired in the second without being in the leading bunch. Former F3 men Jurg Dubler and Cyd Williams driving their F2 Brabhams for the first team proved to be competitive but retired in both races.