Behind the scenes

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Profiles on three more racing teams which appear regularly at race meetings

The Frank Manning team is not often seen in England, as the two black Formula Three Brabham-Fords are engaged in a full Continental programme this year. Driven by John Kendall and Mike Walker, they are having a fair amount of success but so far there have been no big wins abroad.

In our last “Teams.” feature we talked to entrants who have retired from driving, or who simply enjoy the success of a protégé, but Frank Manning comes into another category, as one Wil0 helps young drivers who lack the means to go racing by helping with the purchase of the cars. Manning, who was a schoolday Contemporary of Stirling Moss at Haileybury, is the training manager for a city finance company, living at Richmond and travelling abroad w.th his team as much as he can.

He arranges all the commitments personally, discusses starting money, makes travel arrangements and so on. He has contracts with Esso, Dunlop and Marchal, and one gets the impression that the team is successful and will flourish in the future.

Manning’s interest in racing was founded at the first post-wat B.A.R.C. meeting at Goodwood in 1948, but it was not until 1959 that he got round to racing when he bought himself a very fast Healey Sprite. This career was short-lived for family reasons, and again there was a lapse until he formed Team Spirit in 1965 with Chris Moore, John Kendall and Richard Butterfield as drivers. The cars were all Formula Three, a Cooper, .Merlyn and Lola. Butterfield went to America and when the 1966 season came along Kendall and Moore were equipped with a Cooper T83 and a Lotus at. Then the Frank Manning Ltd. team was formed and a European programme was commenced, including Cascais, Enna, and races in France, Holland and Sweden. Moore was forced into retirement at the end of the season for health reasons and Mike Walker was taken on for 1967, both he and Kendall haying new Brabhams.

“Ken” Kendall gave up farming to become a full-time racing driver, but was rather handicapped by his cars, transferring from a Cooper-B.M.C. T72 to the Cooper-Ford T83 last year. His best result was fourth in the Monza Lotteria in July, but the best race was a mixed Formula Two/Three event at Albi in which he was lying fifth before retiring. Early this year he acquired Jack Brabham’s BT21 which had been fitted with the Honda engine and, with the Cosworth unit installed, he was running sixth at Monaco when the transistor box failed. This was followed by a fifth place at Chimay, retirement at Le Mans with overheating, and 12th place at Reims.

Walker, the “baby” of the team, started racing in 1965 with a Formule Libre Cooper-Ford 1650, then bought a new Brabham in June last year. Before joining the Frank Manning team he had three wins, at Snetterton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone, and took part in the Les Leston championship. This year, as a team member, he raced the car at Pau and Barcelona, but it was getting troublesome so he got a new one in time for Monaco, where he retired with engine trouble. At Oulton Park in May he won an exciting race, taking the lead from Rollinson on the last corner. Since then he has raced at Silverstone, Clermont Ferrand (fifth place and lap record), Reims (best practice time, second in heat, sixth in final), Le Mans (fourth in heat, retired with damage in the final), and Rouen (third place).

Both drivers keep their cars at home when they are in England. Kendall in London where Chris Dawson looks after his car, and Walker at Hagley where Max Henning tends to the Brabham. When they are on the move the cars are transported in a pair of Volkswagen pick-ups. Future plans for the team include trips to Sicily, Germany, France, Holland, Spain and Denmark, with another full season already taking shape next year, when the team may be strengthened with a GT car, preferably a Ford GT40. – M. L. C.

* * *

A. G. Dean (Racing) is really a one-man show. The owner, driver and team manager is Tony Dean, a garage proprietor from Oulton, near Leeds, who says that until four years ago he had no intention of going into motor racing. Even now, with considerable success behind him, Dean says he only goes motor racing for pleasure. “If it brings any financial reward, all the better, but I have no ambition to become a full-time racing driver,” he said.

Tony Dean first started racing cars in 1964, having previously achieved much fame in the karting world. In that first season Dean had a Lotus-Climax it and a Formula Three Lotus 31 with which he gained quite a few wins. The following year his performances in an F.3 Brabham and a Lotus 23-25 wins in all – earned him a Grovewood award and the B.R.S.C.C. 500 Trophy. His best effort of the season was a third in the Monaco F.3 race on his first visit to the circuit.

Dean had obviously studied form and reckoned the car to have in 1966 was a 2-litre Brabham-Climax BT8. He ordered a new one, with which he scored many wins, although his best placing was second in the Tourist Trophy to Denis Hulme’s Lola-Chevrolet. The same year Tony also raced a Lotus Cortina, and although he scored a few places; he could never get near the works cars. In November last year Dean took delivery of a Porsche Carrera 6 from Swiss driver Dieter Spoerry. To Dean, this has been the car; he said: “The BT8 was a very, very good car but the Carrera 6 is better.” He reckons the Porsche holds the class lap record at every circuit it has been to. Later this year Dean is taking the car to South Africa for the Kyalami Nine-Hours and will retain the car for next year.

* * *

These days the name of Arden is generally associated with Minis, but the firm was thriving long before Alec Issigonis had the germ of his revolutionary idea. The brains behind the team is Jim Whitehouse, a former racer of Bentleys at British meetings just after the war. Whitehouse’s original company was Arden Racing and Sports Cars, which will remembered as the entrants of Chris Summers around 10 years ago. They made their own car, the Arden – the name, incidentally, comes from the team’s geographical location, in the Vale of Arden – which was a 750, an 1172 and a 1,100-c.c. sports/racing car as development progressed. Next came a Lotus Elite, which won its class for three years running in the Autosport Championship. After that came a Formula Junior Keift, but this project was drastically unsuccessful, almost ruining Whitehouse.

The advent of the first S-type Mini-Cooper, the tom saw a change in the Equipe Arden set-up. Steve Neal joined the team, gradually working up from a club racing Mini to a Group 2 car. When saloon car racing in this country went over to Group 5 two years ago Arden followed. It was then that the team began to think that all of their efforts were not worth it. They had many set-backs, and in fact it was not until the British Grand Prix meeting this year that Arden knew their efforts had not been wasted. In the saloon car race Neal held off a strong challenge from John Rhodes’s works car to win the 1,300-c.c. class—the first time the works Minis had been beaten in Group 5 by another Mini.

After that win Neal knew the car was right. The team had spent a lot of money on development work and the biggest problem now is to get back some of that money. The potential is there, for Arden are Confident that they can get the engine to produce 150 b.h.p. (it now develops 135 b.h.p.). Ideally Neal would like to run a two-car team on a grand scale but they are pretty open minded about it. It all depends on the financial side. – R. F.

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