At last, the achievements of Mo Nunn have been acknowledged. And how very appropriate it should be through the pen of Nigel Roebuck, whose seasonal surveys always used to have a kind word for Team Ensign.
I was possibly, perhaps that should be probably, Ensign’s only fan from 1976 through to its merger with Theodore in ’83.
The story of Ensign was, indeed, fascinating: in the early years the almost fairy-tale atmosphere of its link-up with Rikki von Opel, followed by the inspired decision to lure Chris Amon back into F1. Little wonder Roebuck described Ensign as “the shaker of the season” at the end of 1976.
The arrival of Clay Regazzoni, free from Ferrari politics, and Patrick Tambay, denied a podium in the Dutch Grand Prix by just a few drops of fuel, made 1977 Ensign’s golden year.
Afterwards fortune started to desert Ensign, but Nunn’s decisions were often courageous. No big team would have taken the risk of a coal-scuttle radiator design, as did Ensign in 1979.
Just when Ensign was on the brink of a return to form, there would be a stroke of terrible misfortune — Clay’s accident in 1980 was horrific.,/p>
The last straw must have been Marc Surer’s 1981 season, which produced a fastest lap and a fourth at Brazil before, once again, a talented driver ran out of money. It is, indeed, little wonder that Roebuck also described Ensign as the sort of team that must never be allowed to die out
I am, yours etc, Michael Schwartz, St Albans, Herts