1968 Belgian Grand Prix

Grand Prix de Belgique

Sunday, June 9, 1968
Round:
4
Weather:
Dry and overcast
Laps:
28
Pole position:
Fastest Lap:
Surtees, 3m30.5
Country:
Belgium
1968 season:
Report

Francorchamps, Belgium, June 9th.

The "circus" started arriving in Spa, Stavelot, Francorchamps, and Malmedy on Thursday, but with practice from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, many travelled overnight. The enormous Gold Leaf Team Lotus transporter had only one car in it; that was 49/5, the one with which Hill had won at Monte Carlo. Oliver was ready to practise as the Lotus number two driver, but he had no car. At the beginning of the week there was only one car left at Lotus, but a lot of wrecks. Indianapolis cars, 49/1 from Monaco, Formula Two cars, and the mechanics were on their knees with fatigue. A new car was at this moment on its way on a trailer, probably having been finished off on the boat. This was 49/6, a brand new sister car to the 49B that Hill was driving, complete with nose fins, Hewland transmission and wedge-shaped tail. Walker still had the old 49/2 for Siffert, but if all went well he should have 49/7 to the B-specification by Zandvoort. If Team Lotus crashed a car at this Spa meeting they would have to retain 49/7 for themselves. The two immaculate McLarens were all ready for practice, Hulme in M7A-2 as raced at Monte Carlo, but McLaren had a brand new car, M7A-3. The number one car was too badly bent at Monte Carlo to be worth repairing; so the spare car was built up. It had a narrow rear track, in an effort to cut down frontal area for the huge rear tyres stick out a long way. It also had new, very heavy-duty drive-shafts with sliding spline joints. Hulme's car still had the old type shafts with pot-joints. Both cars had fairings over the engine which run back into a shroud round the oil cooler above the gearbox.

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