B.A.R.C. Easter Meeting at Goodwood

Goodwood, Sussex, (April 11th).

About 30,000 spectators attended the International Easter Monday meeting at Goodwood, the last to be held at the Sussex circuit, and it was limited to Formula Two cars as being the fastest cars. The dry and sunny day began with a Formula Three race, in which there were a lot of non-starters, but the main stars took part and Chris Williams (Brabham-Ford) set a very good pace, leading for eight of the ten laps and refusing to be intimidated by the efforts of the more experienced Irwin (Brabham-Ford) who tried to force his way through on the inside at Madgewick. On the ninth lap Irwin got by and led to the finish, but Williams spun on the last lap, letting the scrap for third place between Fenning (Brabham-Ford), Gethin (Brabham-Ford), Brian Hart (Lotus-Ford) and Pike (Lotus-Ford) be resolved for second place, finishing in that order. Pike had done very little practice and started in the seventh row of the grid, and his progress through the field to challenge for second or third place was outstanding, for F3 racing is close up at the front.

Saloon cars took to the circuit next and with Jim Clark (Lotus-Cortina) on the front row alongside Brabham (Ford Mustang) and Salmon (Ford Mustang) there was all the makings of a good race. It certainly was a good race but not the expected one, for Brabham’s Mustang had suffered a tyre failure just before the start and had had to have a new and unscrubbed one fitted on the rear. On the opening lap Salmon went into the lead followed by Clark really throwing the Lotus-Cortina round the bends, while Brabham found the handling of Alan Brown’s orange Mustang a bit odd and Baillie (Ford Falcon) and Australian Brian Muir (Ford Galaxie) got in front of him. Clark, with only 1,600 c.c. could not hold Salmon’s 4.7-litre Mustang and the scene looked set, but after a few laps Muir got the harig of the Sussex circuit, this being his first visit, and thundered the 7-litre Willment Galaxie past Clark and began hounding Salmon, while after five of the ten laps had been run Brabham scrubbed his new tyre and really began to go as the handling improved. He got past Clark and then raced wheel to wheel with Salmon’s Mustang, finally getting by him on the ninth lap. During the tenth and last he had a real old “Brabham-go” to get by the big Galaxie, but Muir knew what he was doing and just kept in front as they crossed the line. All this activity for the overall lead rather overshadowed the class races, but Arundell drove a nice race, just like he used to do before his accident, not quite fast enough to keep up with the leaders but way ahead of all the other runners. The much vaunted Imps and Minis were beaten in both 1,000 C.C. and 1,300 c.c. classes by Ford Anglias.

Now came the big race of the day, but the term big was relative, for the Sunday Mirror International Trophy race over 42 laps was for 1,000 c.c. Formula Two racing cars. The B.A.R.C. certainly attracted a good field and there was only one non-starter so 24 cars lined up on the grid, but not to the B.A.R:C.’s “starting money” form, this idea having been dropped. The front line rather suggested that Britain is losing its grip on Formula Two, for in first and second places were the Brabham-Hondas of Hulme and Brabham and in third place was Stewart in Ken Tyrell’s French-built Matra-Cosworth making its racing debut. The new Honda 4-cylinder two o.h.c. engines certainly sounded healthy and made a lot of noise for so small a capacity. Like Mercedes-Benz engines of 12 years ago the Honda is now an all-roller-bearing engine, calling for minimal oil pressure, and it used Honda fuel-injection. Like the production 450 c.c. motorcycle engine the F2 unit has torsion bar valve springs and the mechanism necessitates rather large camshaft boxes; the Brabham part was orthodox Repco-Brabham. The Matra-Cosworth was the reverse layout, having an English Cosworth engine and Hewland gearbox installed in the French designed and built monocoque chassis, with duralumin outer panels and aluminium inner panels, using riveted construction. Ken Tyrell’s second Matra had a B.R.M. Formula Two engine and was driven by Belgian Jacky Ickx, while Schlesser had a third Matra entered by the parent factory and using a B.R.M. engine. The Tyrell cars were painted green, though some Frenchmen think they should be blue, but Stewart thought his ought to be painted tartan, which would stop any arguments.

At the last moment there was a panic on the starting grid in the Ron Harris team and Clark and Arundell changed cars, the Lucas-Cosworth fuel-injection on Clark’s car playing up. It only needed the opening lap for the destination of the first three places to be settled, barring accidents, for the two Brabham-Hondas just ran away from everyone except Stewart, and though the Matra driver kept the leaders in sight he could do nothing about them and Brabham led his team-mate in a 42-lap tour of domination. The two Japanese engines sounded most impressive and never looked like faltering, while Hulme sat quietly behind his “guvnor” and neither looked as if they were trying very hard. Stewart kept them in sight until the 23rd lap when his throttle pedal broke off and he had to take to the grass at St. Mary’s but limped round to the pits. From his position on the back of the grid, due to no practice in the Matra-B.R.M., young lckx had forged his way through the variegated field and reached a very creditable eighth place. He was then called in and Stewart took over his car, rejoining the race in 10th place, just as the two Brabham-Hondas went by. He had little hope of gaining many places, but it was an opportunity to evaluate the two types of Matra under racing conditions.

Of the others in the race Clark held on to fifth place until lap 10, when his car went sick rounding Madgewick and his arm went up to signal Graham Hill and Rindt past. These six had been out on their own, with Rees leading the rest of the runners some way back, but gaining ground slowly. Hill’s B.R.M. engine began to lose its edge and though he struggled on he was caught by Rindt, Rees and Attwood as the race wore on. Attwood went out on lap 35 when an injector broke and this let Hill move up one. Schlesser, Siffert and Gardner seemed equally matched, in Matra-B.R.M., Cooper-B.R.M. and Lola-Cosworth respectively, even though they were lapped by the leading pair before the end of the race. By no stretch of imagination could it be described as an exciting race but it was a splendid demonstration of power, in the Formula Two sense of the word, by Honda, using Brabham and Hulme as a worthy pair of demonstrators. The Roy Winkelmann team of green Brabham-Cosworth cars finished in line form, nose to tail, in third and fourth places, and an unhappy Graham Hill worked hard to keep his fifth place. Schlesser retired on the 39th lap and Stewart just snatched sixth place from Gardner. Whether the organisation had become bored by the Japanese demonstration, or excited by the muddle when Stewart and the two Hondas caught Schlesser, Siffert and Gardner, the Hondas to lap them and the Matra to overtake them on the same lap, was not clear but when everyone else had ticked off 42 laps, the flagman let them go for one more before waving the chequered flag for Jack Brabham. Maybe it was thought that as it was the end of the last “big” race at Goodwood they would let them have “one for luck”.

As something of an anti-climax there came a 15-lap F.I.A. race for Grand Touring cars, but what most people think of as sports cars. Run in three classes it was completely dominated by Lotus Elans, with John Hine streaking away from everyone in Chris Barbour’s green and black Elan. He was driving hard and fast until the engine died and he almost came to rest on Lavant Straight. It suddenly picked up and he roared on, only to die again next lap and this time it did not pick up. This left John Miles well out on his own, though Lepp in the Sports Motors (Manchester) blue Elan had held him off until he ran into trouble. Apart from the nine Elans the field comprised a miscellaneous collection of cars from Peter Clarke’s tired Ferrari GTO to Mike Costin in Bradley’s Le Mans Triumph Spitfire coupe.

The last race of the day was for Sports/Racing cars up to 2-litres and the front row consisted of three interesting one-off specials. Fastest practice lap went to Beckwith in the Willment-B.R.M. V8, a space-frame car with Colotti gearbox; next was Daghom in the 4-w-d Felday-B.R.M. V8 with sheet steel and alloy monocoque chassis and Ferguson 4-w-d, and third was Mike Spence in the brand new and as yet unpainted Parnell-B.R.M. V8, another space-frame car with a Hewland gearbox. All three were using 2-litre B.R.M. V8 engines mounted behind the cockpit and they had all-enveloping bodywork, the Parnell car being the lowest of the lot. Those three were challenged by Weber in a Lotus 23 with 2-litre B.R.M. V8 and Dean in an immaculate Brabham BT8 Climax 4-cylinder. It was a strange race, not without excitement, for nearly everyone had a turn at leading and also a turn at spinning and it looked as though the one who could stay on the road the longest would win. Spence made a slow start, due to bottom gear failing and then charged through the field, only to have to go off the road at St. Mary’s to avoid the spinning Beckwith. The Felday had shown that 4-w-d pays away from the start, but Daghorn spun off later and lost the lead. For a long while it looked as though Dean’s neat driving would pay off but two laps before the end Spence caught him and brought the new Parnell-B.R.M. V8 home to win in its very first race.-D.S.J.

Traction Avant

Enlarging on last month’s leading article under this heading, and additional to the correction concerning it (see page 408), the suggestion that if the inner universal joint of B.M.C. front-wheel-drive cars fails it is probably because engine oil seeps onto the o/s. joint, rotting its rubber cover and allowing lubricant to escape was a too hasty conclusion; this joint is unenclosed and any deterioration of the rubber would be of that in the bushes themselves. The bolts on the joint can come loose and should be checked at 6,000-mile intervals. However, we know of only two cars on which this failure occurred, one an M.G., the other a Morris 1100 with only 1,080 miles after its 6,000-mile service. Normally, proper maintenance and inspection obviously dispose of such alarming experiences.

So far as one opinion of the f.w.d. Oldsmobile Toronado being more the work of General Motors’ stylists than engineers is concerned, this seems to be disproved by the G.M. Engineering Journal for the first quarter of 1966, which contains articles on “The overall conception of the Toronado,” by John B. Beltz of the Oldsmobile Division, “The Development of a Unitized Power Package for a front-wheel-drive Vehicle,” by John D. Mallory of G.M. Engineering Staff, “Structure and Development for the f.w.d. Vehicle Concept,” by L.J. Kehoe, Jnr. and F.A. Sherwood of G.M. Engineering Staff, “The Toronado Takes Shape,” by William L. Mitchell, Vice President in Charge,. G.M. Styling Staff, and “The Design, Development and Production of the Toronado Body,” by F.E. Smith, Fisher Body Division.

Mr. Beltz refers to the Toronado as “an engineering challenge,” and Mr. Mallory explains how it stemmed from an intermediate size f.w.d. car called the F-85. The account of the test programmes and engineering development of this car and the Toronado are significant, and it is interesting that its steering ratio is quoted as “17.8 to 1, compared to 21.7 to 1” for the regular full-size Oldsmobile and that tyre life, with rotation of the four road wheels at 6,000-mile intervals, is claimed by G.M. to be “slightly better than with conventional rear-drive cars.” The tyre used is an. 8.25 x 15 Toronado-Front Drive or T-FD. The inner universal joints are Saginaw 6-ball constant-velocity in combination with a ball spline for axial travel allowance and the outer universals are similar.

The first experimental Toronado was ready for testing in mid-June 1960. This UPP car did not handle noticeably differently from a conventional car but displayed quite notable improvements in stability at speed and in crosswinds. Tread depth, monitored on both the UPP car and a comparison car, indicated that tyre wear would not be a problem.

Later two cars were converted to accept 429 cu. in. V8 engines. and a new transmission design and then another generation of development UPP cars was built, concentrating on a 2-door Fisher coupe body. The re-worked bodies built to production standards, were delivered in mid-1963. Much work was done on the rubber mounting between body and frame to give the best noise/ride/shake compromise. Demonstrations of these cars were a factor in the decision to go ahead with a f.w.d. Oldsmobile. The single-leaf rear springs had previously been the subject of many years of development, to overcome the problem of practically no algebraic formulas being available that would permit the design of its free shape, before such springs were introduced on the Chevvy II in 1962.-W.B.

Lucas Competition Equipment

Last month we listed some or Lucas equipment which would be of interest to competition drivers. In fact the items were those available, and fitted to various team cars, in 1965. This year, Lucas Petrol Injection systems are fitted to the F1 and F2 B.R.M.s, F1. Ferrari V12, F1 Copper-Maserati, F2 Cosworth, F1 Repco-Brabham and the Honda-engind F2 car. With the exception of the latter and the Ferrari V12, they are also using Lucas Electronic Ignition systems. The all-American Racing, Team of Harry Weslake is also using both systems.

Lucas also now have available a petrol injection system for 4-cylinder production cars.

Fiat made 1,013,588 vehicles last year, their profit being £13,682,650, compared to 946,433 vehicles made in 1964 at a profit of £8,422,068.