Every new racing season brings fresh challenges to man and machine. But as the teams gathered for the first Grand Prix of the year, they knew they’d be batting on a particularly sticky wicket. In their great wisdom, the authorities had decided that lead only belonged in the pencils of paper pushing bureaucrats, so this year’s event would the first Grand Prix of the unleaded era. The eyes of racing enthusiasts from across the globe were turned to the inaugural Grand Prix Sans Plomb. How would the teams cope with the new regulations?
It proved an eventful race from the off. As the flag dropped the field hurtled towards the first corner. But once the dust cleared the startled crowd saw the Team Leaded entrant stranded on the grid. Try as he might, the driver simply couldn’t get his car to start. Unable to find to find any old-fashioned leaded petrol the team had gambled on running its car on unleaded. They’d neither modified their engine nor added a lead substitute to their tank. Disaster!
Throughout the early laps the remaining cars and drivers battled wheel to wheel, with the Team Red Line car holding a narrow lead. But as the race continued at a furious pace, the Team Red Lineis rivals began to drop back.
Each team had taken a different approach to coping with the new lead-free regulations. All sorts of potions and brews had found their way into fuel tanks in a bid to fight off valve seat recession and hot metal corrosion. But only Red Line’s Lead Substitute had been protecting all types of engine for over 15 years on the roads and circuits of the United States. And how many other teams could boast that their lead substitute had not only passed the stage 1 FBHVC test at MIRA, but actually outperformed leaded petrol in stage 2?
With just one lap to go, only the Modified Team car could still follow in Team Red Line’s wheel tracks. The Modified Team had been working feverishly on the engine of their car over the winter, converting it to run on unleaded fuel without the need for additives or substitutes. Was this the best way to cope with the new regulations?
As they rounded the final turn and accelerated down the home straight, the two cars were neck and neck. But just as it seemed the honours would be shared, the Modified Team car began to lose ground, its engine coughing and spluttering. The car finally slowed to a halt within sight of the finish. It seems the Modified Team had paid so much to alter its engine that there simply wasn’t enough money left in the coffers to pay for a full tank of petrol!
The Red Line car had no such problems. Red Line Lead Substitute was hardly going to break the bank costing just 3p per litre of fuel. To the cheers of the crowd, Team Red Line took the chequered flag.
Red Line a clear winner!