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The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing by Adriano Cimarosti
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F. Gordon Crosby - Nazzaro wins the French GP at 42

The Men from Down Under
Jack Brabham and Denny HulmeThe 1966 season would be the first under the new 3-liter formula and as always at the beginning of a new formula the results would go to the most resourceful. The scramble was on for the British teams to secure new power plants for the new season. Cooper bought their engines from Maserati as did Rob Walker. Bruce McLaren left Cooper to establish his own team and adapted Ford V8s originally intended for Indianapolis. Ferrari would have a new V12 while Lotus and BRM, left without an engine supplier following Coventry's withdrawal, were forced to settle for modified Climax and BRM V8 engines bored out to 2-liters respectively. Dan Gurney left Brabham to his own team, All-American Racers. Brabham as usual going his own way commissioned Repco, an Australian parts manufacturer, to produce a new V8. Following the guidelines laid down by Brabham the engine was sturdy, light and compact. To replace Gurney, Brabham promoted Denny Hulme to number two.

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Bruce McLarenMonaco was the scene for the first race of the new formula and saw Clark on the pole. The race was won by Stewart who was followed across the line by Surtees. The next race at Spa was marred by wet conditions that caused eight cars to leave the track including a serious crash by Stewart that found him trapped in his car. Fortunately his injuries were minor and the race was won by Surtees after fighting off a charge by Rindt in his Cooper-Maserati. On the surface Surtees looked like a strong challenger for the title that year only to succumb to internal strife at Ferrari that resulted in his departure from the team. Surtees would later regret his departure from the Italian team. Brabham, after early season problems came in to his own in the middle races, scoring victories at Reims, Brands Hatch, Zandvoort and the Nurburgring. Monza saw a fluke victory by the Ferrari team and Ludovico Scarfiotti. Because of the failure by any of his challengers to garner significant points, Brabham clinched his third title. Clark would return to victory at Watkins Glen with the season closer going to Surtees, now driving a Cooper. The inaugural season of the new formula was won by Brabham more as the result of solid engineering rather than technical brilliance.


The Ford Cosworth DFV
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Lotus struggled in 1966 but for the coming year they were able to persuade Ford to invest in a brand new engine, built by the British firm Cosworth, that would come to dominate Formula 1. A V-8 configuration was selected and initial opinion questioned whether Ford was out of its league. Most observers felt that a 12 cylinder engine would be bare minimum required for the 3 liter Formula and BRM continued with their 16 but the 8 cylinder had many adherents back in Detroit. Colin Chapman was also in favor of a V8 which could be made smaller and lighter. Like the previous year's Type 43 the new car would have a monocoque chassis where the engine served as a stressed member. Designed by Maurice Phillippe to work hand in hand with the new engine the Lotus 49 was kept as simple as possible. The main connection between the engine and the chassis was via two bolts spaced 9 inches apart at the bottom of the monocoque with additional connections at the reinforced cam covers.

In initial trials with the new engine Clark required additional bracing placed behind his seat to support his head under acceleration. If that were not enough Chapman signed former World Champion Graham Hill to partner Clark in a new "super" team. Hill had been with BRM for seven years and in his own words felt that he better move on "in case they painted me over."

Ford-CosworthStewart became number one at BRM joined at different points of the season by Mike Spence, Richard Attwood, Chris Irwin and Piers Courage. Ferrari would have New Zealander Chris Amon joining Bandini full-time while Rindt was joined by Pedro Rodriguez at Cooper. Brabham continued with himself and Denny Hulme doing the driving. Honda was surprisingly to convince Surtees into joining their now British based team. It must be remembered that at this point in in his career Surtees was at the top tier of drivers along with Clark, Hill and Stewart. The season opened at Kyalami, South Africa. The sensation of the race was privateer John Love who had to relinquish the lead after a late stop for fuel to race winner Rodriguez in a Cooper. The next race at Monaco would tragically be remembered as the race that took the life of popular Italian star Lorenzo Bandini just as he was beginning to make his mark. The race was won by Hulme, ahead of Hill and Amon.

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Zandvoort the next race would mark the debut of the Lotus 49 Ford-Cosworth. Graham Hill gained the pole position but the race was one by Clark. Spa saw Hill retire and Clark having to stop for a fouled plug. Dan Gurney drove the beautiful but often unreliable Eagle-Weslake to its one and only victory. The French Grand prix was held at on the Bugatti circuit at LeMans. Both Lotuses were forced to retire after leading the race with broken transmissions leaving the victory to Brabham who was followed in turn by his teammate Hulme. After leading much of the race at Silverstone, Hill suffered a blown engine but the victory this time went to Clark. This was his fifth British Grand Prix victory.

Lotus - Ford 49

Nurburgring saw the both Lotus fail with suspension failures and Brabham led Hulme to a one-two. Canada held its first Grand Prix and again the Lotus suffered mechanical problems and the Brabham team scored another one-two but this time their roles were reversed and Brabham took the checkered flag. Surtees convinced that drastic changes must be made elected not to enter the race but instead to point to Monza. In five weeks he had a new car built with the help of Eric Broadley of Lola. In a race long battle Surtees beat Brabham over the line at Monza with his new lighter Honda which should go down in Grand Prix history as a most remarkable achievement. The Italian fans realizing this great feat showered Surtees with thunderous cheers of "Il Grande Gianni." Lotus while disappointed in their lack of results could look to the future which came at Watkins Glen. Hill and Clark easily dominated practice and were so confident that if either finished, victory would be in the cards. Before the race they flipped a coin and Hill won. If they both finished he would be the winner. During the race Hill led Clark but began to develop mechanical problems. Fearing that one of their rivals might sneak by and claim what was rightfully theirs Clark passed Hill into the lead and on to victory. Hill was able to limp on into second place and after the race Clark rush over to offer his apologies for passing his friend. All was right with Lotus as they scored an important one-two in front of all of the Ford brass. Clark again won in Mexico but Hulme with his third place claimed the World Championship. A vastly underrated driver, he disdained self promotion and allowed his driving to do his talking.