Team Lotus was the motorsport sister company of English sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars. The team ran cars in many motorsport series, including Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Ford, Formula Junior, IndyCar, sports car racing. More than ten years after its last race, Team Lotus remained one of the most successful racing teams of all time, winning seven Formula One Constructors' titles, six Drivers' Championships, the Indianapolis 500 in the United States between 1962 and 1978. Under the direction of founder and chief designer Colin Chapman, Lotus was responsible for many innovative and experimental developments in critical motorsport, in both technical and commercial arenas; the Lotus name returned to Formula One in 2010 as Tony Fernandes's Lotus Racing team. In 2011, Team Lotus's iconic black-and-gold livery returned to F1 as the livery of the Lotus Renault GP team, sponsored by Lotus Cars, in 2012 the team was re-branded as Lotus F1 Team. Colin Chapman established Lotus Engineering Ltd in 1952 at Hornsey, UK.
Lotus achieved rapid success with the the 1954 Mk 8 sports cars. Team Lotus was split off from Lotus Engineering in 1954. A new Formula Two regulation was announced for 1957, in Britain, several organizers ran races for the new regulations during the course of 1956. Most of the cars entered that year were sports cars, they included a large number of Lotus 11s, the definitive Coventry Climax-powered sports racer, led by the Team Lotus entries for Chapman, driven by Cliff Allison and Reg Bicknell; the following year, the Lotus 12 appeared. Driving one in 1958, Allison won the F2 class in the International Trophy at Silverstone, beating Stuart Lewis-Evans's Cooper; the remarkable Coventry Climax-powered Type 14, the Lotus Cars production version of, the original Lotus Elite, won six class victories, plus the "Index of Performance" several times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. As the Coventry Climax engines were enlarged in 1952 to 2.2-litres, Chapman decided to enter Grand Prix racing, running a pair of Lotus 12s at Monaco in 1958 for Graham Hill and Cliff Allison.
These were replaced that year by Lotus 16s. In 1959 – by which time the Coventry Climax engines had been stretched to 2.5-litres – Chapman continued with front-engined F1 cars, but achieved little, so in 1960 Chapman switched to the milestone mid-engined Lotus 18. By the company's success had caused it to expand to such an extent that it had to move to new premises at Cheshunt; the first Formula One victory for Team Lotus came when Innes Ireland won the 1961 United States Grand Prix. A year earlier, Stirling Moss had recorded the first victory for a Lotus car at Monaco in his Lotus 18 entered by the independent Rob Walker Racing Team. There were successes in Formula Junior; the road car business was doing well with the Lotus Seven and the Lotus Elite and this was followed by the Lotus Elan in 1962. More racing success followed with the 26R, the racing version of the Elan, in 1963 with the Lotus Cortina, which Jack Sears drove to the British Saloon Car Championship title, a feat repeated by Jim Clark in 1964 and Alan Mann in the 1965 European Touring car Championship.
In 1963, Clark drove the Lotus 25 to a remarkable seven wins in a season and won the World Championship. The 1964 title was still for the taking by the time of the last race in Mexico but problems with Clark's Lotus and Hill's BRM gave it to Surtees in his Ferrari. However, in 1965, Clark dominated again, six wins in his Lotus 33 gave him the championship. While innovative, Chapman came under criticism for the structural fragility of his designs; the number of top drivers injured or killed in Lotus machinery was considerable – notably Stirling Moss, Alan Stacey, Mike Taylor, Jim Clark, Mike Spence, Bobby Marshman, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Ronnie Peterson. In Dave Friedman's book "Indianapolis Memories 1961–1969", Dan Gurney is quoted as saying, "Did I think the Lotus way of doing things was good? No. We had several structural failures in those cars, but at the time, I felt it was the price you paid for getting something better." When the Formula One engine size increased to three litres in 1966, Lotus was caught unprepared because of the surprising failure of the Coventry Climax 1.5-Litre FWMW Flat-16 project, which prevented Climax from developing a 3-Litre successor.
They started the season fielding the hastily prepared and uncompetitive two-litre Coventry-Climax FWMV V8 engine, only switching to the BRM H16 in time for the Italian Grand Prix, with the new engine proving to be overweight and unreliable. A switch to the new Ford Cosworth DFV, designed by former Lotus employee Keith Duckworth, in 1967 returned the team to winning form. Although they failed to win the title in 1967, by the end of the season, the Lotus 49 and the DFV engine were mature enough to make the Lotus team dominant again. However, for 1968 Lotus had lost its exclusive right to use the DFV; the season-opening 1968 South African Grand Prix confirmed Lotus's superiority, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill finishing 1–2. It would be Clark's last win. On 7 April 1968, one of the most successful and popular drivers of all time, was killed driving a Lotus 48 at Hockenheim in a non-championship Formula Two event; the season saw the introduction of wings as seen on various cars, including the Chaparral sports car.
Colin Chapman introduced a spoiler on Hill's Lotus 49B at Monaco. Graham Hill won the F1 World Championship in 1968 driving the Lotus 49. Around the same time, Chapman moved Lotus to new premises at Hethel in Norfolk. A new factory was built on the site, the former RAF Hethel bomber base, the old runways were converted into a testing facility; the offices and design studios wer
1970 Formula One season
The 1970 Formula One season was the 24th season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 21st World Championship of Drivers and the 13th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers. Thirteen races were held between 7 March 1970 and 25 October 1970, with the Drivers' Championship won by Jochen Rindt and the Constructors' title by Lotus. Rindt died four races before the end of the season, but had earned just enough World Championship points that no other driver managed to surpass his total by the end of the season, it is the only season to date in which the World Drivers' Championship title had been awarded posthumously. Jacky Ickx driving for Ferrari finished the season but his low 4th-place finish in the penultimate round ensured that Rindt's title lead would stand. In the end, all of Rindt's 45 points came from his five wins in the season; the following teams and drivers competed in the 1970 World Championship. For the 1970 Formula One season, following an agreement with Simca, Tyrrell were asked by Matra to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth.
Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV. As a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf, Ken Tyrrell had little alternative but to buy the March 701 chassis as an interim solution while developing his own car in secret with the first Tyrrell bearing a substantial resemblance to the MS80; the new wedge-shaped Lotus 72 had innovative car design, featuring torsion bar suspension, hip-mounted radiators, inboard front brakes and an overhanging rear wing. The 72 had suspension problems, but when dive and squat were designed out of the suspension the car showed its superiority. Lotus's new leader, the Austrian Jochen Rindt, dominated the championship until he was killed at Monza when he crashed into some poorly installed crash barriers right before the Parabolica corner, he took the 1970 title posthumously for Lotus. Jacky Ickx won the Austrian and Mexican Grands Prix to come second in the Drivers' Championship, having re-joined Ferrari from Brabham.
Had he won the United States Grand Prix instead of Brazilian newcomer Emerson Fittipaldi, Ickx would have been crowned champion. The 1970 season was one of the most tragic in Formula One history. Before Rindt's death at Monza, New Zealander Bruce McLaren was killed testing a McLaren Can-Am car at the Goodwood Circuit in England, Briton Piers Courage was killed at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, driving a Frank Williams-entered De Tomaso. 1970 saw the introduction of slick tyres by Goodyear. After a Formula One career which began at the 1955 British Grand Prix, triple World Champion Jack Brabham retired at the end of the year; the first round was the South Africa Grand Prix held at the Kyalami circuit between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Jack Brabham won the race in a Brabham BT33; the Spanish Grand Prix took place on the Jarama circuit. The defending champion Jackie Stewart won in a March 701; the Monaco Grand Prix ended in a close finish. At the last corner of the last lap, Jack Brabham skidded off the track, allowing Austrian Jochen Rindt in a Lotus 49 to pass and win the race.
Formula One had lost one of its top drivers: Bruce McLaren had been killed testing a Can-Am car at the Goodwood circuit in southern England. But the F1 circus had returned to a wild and dangerous place: the notorious 14.1 kilometres ultra-fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit had returned to the calendar for the 1970 season after some safety upgrades, including steel Armco barriers now lined around the circuit. A chicane had been inserted at the fast Malmedy corner to reduce speeds onto the Masta straight; the field only consisted of 18 entrants. Stewart took pole, followed by Rindt. Rindt took the lead going into Eau Rouge, once the cars came back around towards La Source, Amon was leading. Stewart took the lead, but retired his March-Ford/Cosworth with engine problems. Amon took the lead, but Mexican Pedro Rodríguez in a BRM was making the most of his BRM engine's V12 power, he and Amon battled until the 28th and last lap – and Rodriguez beat the perennially unlucky Amon to the checkered flag by a mere 1.1 seconds.
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise took the final podium spot, followed by home favorite Jacky Ickx in a Ferrari. But this was the last time the old triangle-shaped Spa was to be used for Formula One – the circuit proved to be just too fast and dangerous with safety modifications; the Belgian Grand Prix was scheduled to be on the following year's calendar, but was taken off the calendar after the circuit was not up to FIA-newly mandated safety specs. The race would move to Zolder; the Dutch Grand Prix of 1970 saw the revolutionary Lotus 72 stamp its authority on the Formula One scene. Although the car made its debut at Spa with John Miles, the car was still not properly finished, but for the Dutch event, it was – and Jochen Rindt dominated this weekend by taking pole and leading from start to finish on the fast, beachside Zandvoort circuit. But the race itself was marred by the fatal accident of Briton Piers Courage in a Frank Williams-entered DeTomaso-Ford/Cosworth. Courage crashed at the fast Tunnel Oost corner, one of the wheels hit him in the head and killed him instantly.
After the car had crashed, it caught fire, as was so common in those days. Courage's lifeless body covered with fuel burned. Formula One went to the 5.1 mile
March Engineering was a Formula One constructor and manufacturer of customer racing cars from the United Kingdom. Although only moderately successful in Grand Prix competition, March racing cars enjoyed much better achievement in other categories of competition, including Formula Two, Formula Three, IndyCar and IMSA GTP sportscar racing. March Engineering began operations in 1969, its four founders were Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. They each had a specific area of expertise: Max Mosley looked after the commercial side, Robin Herd was the designer, Alan Rees managed the racing team and Graham Coaker oversaw production at the factory in Bicester, Oxfordshire; the history of March is dominated by the conflict between the need for constant development and testing to remain at the peak of competitiveness in F1 and the need to build simple, reliable cars for customers in order to make a profit. Herd's original F1 plan was to build a single-car team around Jochen Rindt, but Rindt became dismayed at the size of the March programme and elected to continue at Team Lotus.
March's launch was unprecedented in its impact. After building a single Formula Three car in 1969, March announced that they would be introducing customer cars for F1, F2, F3, Formula Ford and Can-Am in 1970, as well as running works F1, F2 and F3 teams; the Formula One effort looked promising, with March supplying its 701 chassis to Tyrrell for Jackie Stewart. These cars were a stopgap for Tyrrell, who no longer had the use of Matra chassis and were in the process of constructing their own car. In addition, the factory ran two team cars for Jo Siffert and Chris Amon sponsored by STP. A third STP car, entered by Andy Granatelli for Mario Andretti, appeared on several occasions. Ronnie Peterson appeared in a semi-works car for Colin Crabbe when his works Formula Two commitments allowed; the team constructed ten Formula One chassis that year, in addition to Formula Two, Formula Three, Formula Ford and Can-Am chassis. Stewart gave the March its first Formula One victory, at the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix, both Amon and Stewart took a non-championship race victory, but the works team did not win a Grand Prix.
The 701 had distinctive aerofoil-profile fuel tanks at the sides of the car designed by Peter Wright of Specialised Mouldings. The 701's tanks skirts to help generate any meaningful ground effect. Herd described the 701 as a good 1969 car and not what he would have done had he been able to run a small team for a star like Rindt - the 701 was designed and built quickly and he claims he would have built something more like the 711. For the 1971 Formula One season March Engineering came up with the remarkable 711 chassis, which had aerodynamics by Frank Costin and an ovoid front wing described as the Spitfire or "tea-tray" wing; the car took no wins, but Peterson finished second on four occasions, ending as runner-up in the World Championship. Alfa Romeo V8 powered cars were entered, to little avail; the 1972 Formula One season failed to capitalise on the promise March showed in 1970-71. Three distinct models of the car were used, beginning with the 721, a development of the 711. Peterson and Niki Lauda drove the disappointing experimental 721X factory cars.
Frank Williams ran regular 721 customer cars for Henri Pescarolo and Carlos Pace. The 721X was deemed to be a disaster and abandoned; the 721G was light and quick, the works team soon built their own chassis. The 721G set the trend for future March F1 cars, which for the rest of the 1970s were scaled-up F2 chassis. Meanwhile, March was going from strength to strength in Formula Three; the German team Eifelland entered under its own name a 721 much-modified with distinctive and eccentric bodywork by designer Luigi Colani for its driver Rolf Stommelen. This car was unsuccessful, reverted to conventional 721 form and was used by John Watson to make his F1 debut for John Goldie's Goldie Hexagon Racing team. March's only notable result was Peterson's third place in Germany. 1973 was the low-point for March in Formula One. The four extant 721Gs were re-bodied and fitted with nose-mounted radiators and the crash-absorbing deformable structures that became mandatory that season. Without significant STP money, the March factory team was struggling, running an unsponsored car for Jean-Pierre Jarier, while Hesketh bought a car for James Hunt to race.
Jarier was replaced by Tom Wheatcroft's driver Roger Williamson, who suffered a fatal accident in Zandvoort (at which race March privateer David Purley attempted to resc
Henri Jacques William Pescarolo is a former racing driver from France. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record 33 times, winning on four occasions, won a number of other major sports car events including the 24 Hours of Daytona, he participated in 64 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one podium and 12 championship points. Pescarolo drove in the Dakar Rally in the 1990s, before retiring from racing at the age of 57. In 2000 he set up his eponymous racing team, Pescarolo Sport, which competed in Le Mans until 2013, he wore a distinctive green helmet, wears a full-face beard that covers burns suffered in a crash. Pescarolo began his career in 1965 with a Lotus Seven, he was successful enough to be offered a third car in the Matra Formula 3 team for 1966, but the car was not ready until mid-season. However, in 1967 he won the European Championship with Matra and was promoted to Formula 2 for 1968; that season he was team-mate to Jean-Pierre Beltoise and achieved several second places and a win at Albi, which led to him being given a drive in Matra's Formula One team for the last three races of 1968.
His career suffered a setback, in 1969, when he crashed on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans whilst testing the Matra sports car. Pescarolo did not compete again until mid-season, he returned at the German GP where he drove a Formula 2 Matra into fifth place winning the small capacity class, in his only Grand Prix race that season. For 1970 Pescarolo was signed full-time by Matra for their Formula One team and once again as team-mate to Beltoise, put in a solid season with a third place at the Monaco Grand Prix being the high point, he won the Paris 1000 km and Buenos Aires 1000 km sports car races partnered with Beltoise. Pescarolo was not retained by Matra, in 1971, 1972, 1973 with Motul sponsorship, he drove for the fledgling Formula One team run by the young Frank Williams, but with little success. In 1974, Pescarolo drove for BRM, again with Motul backing, but the team's best days were gone and a ninth place in Argentina was his best result in a season with many retirements. Pescarolo did not compete in Formula One in 1975 but returned to the championship in 1976 with a Surtees entered by BS Fabrications.
Although neither car nor driver was considered to be competitive, failing to qualify for 2 of 9 Grands Prix entered, Pescarolo did begin to show speed in the final 5 races scoring a season's best finish of 9th at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. After Pescarolo's retirement from Formula One, he went on to start his own team, which competed until 2012 in the Le Mans Endurance Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which he won as a driver four times, his team, Pescarolo Sport, was notably sponsored by Sony's PlayStation 2 and by Gran Turismo 4. During the five years that Pescarolo has campaigned Courage C60 prototypes, so many modifications have been made to the model that Courage allowed the team to name the car after themselves, such was the differences between their model and the standard C60. In 2005, it was developed further still to meet the "hybrid" regulations, before the change to LMP1/2 format. In 1977, 1978 and 1979 Pescarolo drove in Australia's most famous motor race, the Bathurst 1000 for touring cars held at the Mount Panorama Circuit, driving on all three occasions with 1974 race winner John Goss.
All races resulted in a DNF for the Goss built Ford XC Falcon GS500 Hardtops, completing only 113 laps in 1977, 68 in 1978 and 118 in 1979. The 1977 race saw Pescarolo's Le Mans rival Jacky Ickx win the race in a semi-works Falcon driving with Allan Moffat. Pescarolo holds the record for Le Mans starts with 33 and has won the race on four occasions as a driver, he has yet to win the race as a team owner, coming close in 2005 with the Pescarolo C60H. His team did manage to win the LMES championship in the same year, his team was second at Le Mans in 2006, followed by a third in 2007 behind a pair of diesel-powered prototypes. Pescarolo drove the Dakar Rally in the 1990s, is a keen helicopter pilot. ‡ Graded drivers not eligible for European Formula Two Championship points Pescarolo Sport
Equipe Matra Sports
Matra Company's sports division under the name of Matra Sports, Equipe Matra Elf and Equipe Matra Sports was formed in 1965 and based at Champagne-sur-Seine, Romorantin-Lanthenay and Vélizy-Villacoublay. In 1979 the sports division was renamed as Automobiles Talbot. In the mid-1960s, Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and F2 racing with the MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships. In 1967, Jacky Ickx surprised the F1 establishment by posting the third-fastest qualifying time of 8:14" at the German Nürburgring in his 1600cc Matra MS7 F2, allowed to enter alongside the 3000cc F1 cars. In the race, he failed to finish due to a broken suspension. Matra entered Formula One in 1968 when Jackie Stewart was a serious contender, winning several Grands Prix in the Tyrrell-run Matra MS10 which competed alongside the works team; the F1 team was established at Vélizy-Villacoublay in the southwestern suburbs of France. The car's most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks.
These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg lighter, while still being stronger than its competitors. The FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970. Matra CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère made a strategic decision for the 1969 championship: the Matra works team would not compete in Formula One. Matra would instead focus its efforts on Ken Tyrrell's team and build a new DFV powered car with structural fuel tanks though it would only be eligible for a single season; the decision was more radical given that Matra was seeking a partnership with Simca, which would preclude using Ford-branded engines for the following year. Stewart won the 1969 title with the new Cosworth-powered Matra MS80, designed by Gérard Ducarouge and Bernard Boyer, corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10, it was a spectacular achievement from a constructor that had only entered Formula One the previous year. France became only the third country to have produced a winning constructor, Matra became the only constructor to have won the Constructors' Championship without running its own works team.
Like Cosworth, Lotus and McLaren, Matra experimented with four wheel drive during the 1969 season. Johnny Servoz-Gavin became the one and only driver to score a point with a 4WD car, finishing sixth with the Matra MS84 at the Canadian Grand Prix; the MS84, along with Brabham's BT26A, was one of the last spaceframe cars to compete in Formula One. For 1970 following the agreement with Simca, Matra asked Tyrrell to use their V12 engine rather than the Cosworth. Stewart got to test the Matra V12, but since a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, another significant sponsor was French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, the partnership between Matra and Tyrrell ended. Matra V12 engines powered the Shadow DN7 car in two races of 1975 and the Ligier Formula 1 team from 1976–1978, again from 1981-1982; the firm was successful in endurance racing with cars powered by the V12 engine. The sportscar team was based at first at Vélizy-Villacoublay and moved to Le Castellet, near Marseille, France.
The Matra MS670 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, 1973, 1974. It delivered the World Championship for Makes to Matra in both 1973 and 1974. Matra MS1 Matra MS2 Matra MS5 Matra MS6 Matra MS7 Matra MS9 Matra MS10 Matra MS11 Matra MS80 Matra MS84 Matra MS120 Matra MS120B Matra MS120C Matra MS120D Matra MS610 Matra MS620 Matra MS630 Matra-Simca MS630 Matra-Simca MS630/650 Matra MS640 Matra-Simca MS650 Matra-Simca MS660 Matra-Simca MS660C Matra-Simca MS670 Matra-Simca MS670B Matra-Simca MS670C Matra-Simca MS680 334 races, all categories, spanning 10 years 124 victories, 104 lap records 1 Formula One World Drivers' Championship 1 Formula One World Constructors' Championship 5 French Formula Two Championships 3 European Formula Two Championships 3 French Formula Three Championships 2 World Championship for Makes 3 victories at 24 Hours of Le Mans 2 victories at Tour de France Automobile 1 In the 1968 Constructors' Championship, Matra-Ford finished 3rd, Matra finished 9th http://www.matrasport.dk/ http://www.epaf.fr Restoration & rebuild of Matra competition cars
Brabham is the common name for Motor Racing Developments Ltd. a British racing car manufacturer and Formula One racing team. Founded in 1960 by two Australians, driver Jack Brabham and designer Ron Tauranac, the team won four Drivers' and two Constructors' World Championships in its 30-year Formula One history. Jack Brabham's 1966 FIA Drivers' Championship remains the only such achievement using a car bearing the driver's own name. In the 1960s, Brabham was the world's largest manufacturer of open-wheel racing cars for sale to customer teams. During this period, teams using Brabham cars won championships in Formula Three. Brabham cars competed in the Indianapolis 500 and in Formula 5000 racing. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brabham introduced such innovations as in-race refuelling, carbon brakes, hydropneumatic suspension, its unique Gordon Murray-designed "fan car" won its only race before being withdrawn. The team won two more Formula One Drivers' Championships in the 1980s with Brazilian Nelson Piquet.
He won his first championship in 1981 in the ground effect BT49-Ford, became the first to win a Drivers' Championship with a turbocharged car, in 1983. In 1983 the Brabham BT52, driven by Piquet and Italian Riccardo Patrese, was powered by the BMW M12 straight-4 engine, powered Brabham to four of the team's 35 Grand Prix victories. British businessman Bernie Ecclestone owned Brabham during most of the 1970s and 1980s, became responsible for administering the commercial aspects of Formula One. Ecclestone sold the team in 1988, its last owner was the a Japanese engineering firm. Midway through the 1992 season, the team collapsed financially as Middlebridge was unable to make repayments against loans provided by Landhurst Leasing; the case was investigated by the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office. In 2009, an unsuccessful attempt was made by a German organisation to enter the 2010 Formula One season using the Brabham name; the Brabham team was founded by Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac, who met in 1951 while both were building and racing cars in their native Australia.
Brabham was the more successful driver and went to the United Kingdom in 1955 to further his racing career. There he started driving for the Cooper Car Company works team and by 1958 had progressed with them to Formula One, the highest category of open-wheel racing defined by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, motor sport's world governing body. In 1959 and 1960, Brabham won the Formula One World Drivers' Championship in Cooper's revolutionary mid-engined cars. Despite their innovation of putting the engine behind the driver, the Coopers and their chief designer, Owen Maddock, were resistant to developing their cars. Brabham pushed for further advances, played a significant role in developing Cooper's successful 1960 T53 "lowline" car, with input from his friend Tauranac. Brabham was confident he could do better than Cooper, in late 1959 he asked Tauranac to come to the UK and work with him producing upgrade kits for Sunbeam Rapier and Triumph Herald road cars at his car dealership, Jack Brabham Motors, but with the long-term aim of designing racing cars.
Brabham describes Tauranac as "absolutely the only bloke I'd have gone into partnership with". Brabham offered a Coventry-Climax FWE-engined version of the Herald, with 83 hp and uprated suspension to match the extra power. To meet that aim and Tauranac set up Motor Racing Developments Ltd. deliberately avoiding the use of either man's name. The new company would compete with Cooper in the market for customer racing cars; as Brabham was still employed by Cooper, Tauranac produced the first MRD car, for the entry level Formula Junior class, in secrecy. Unveiled in the summer of 1961, the "MRD" was soon renamed. Motoring journalist Jabby Crombac pointed out that " way a Frenchman pronounces those initials—written phonetically,'em air day'—sounded perilously like the French word... merde." Gavin Youl achieved a second-place finish at another at Mallory Park in the MRD-Ford. The cars were subsequently known as Brabhams, with type numbers starting with BT for "Brabham Tauranac". By the 1961 Formula One season, the Lotus and Ferrari teams had developed the mid-engined approach further than Cooper.
Brabham had a poor season, scoring only four points, and—having run his own private Coopers in non-championship events during 1961—left the company in 1962 to drive for his own team: the Brabham Racing Organisation, using cars built by Motor Racing Developments. The team was based at Chessington and held the British licence. Motor Racing Developments concentrated on making money by building cars for sale to customers in lower formulae, so the new car for the Formula One team was not ready until partway through the 1962 Formula One season; the Brabham Racing Organisation started the year fielding a customer Lotus chassis, delivered at 3:00 am in order to keep it a secret. Brabham took two points finishes in Lotuses, before the turquoise-liveried Brabham BT3 car made its debut at the 1962 German Grand Prix, it retired with a throttle problem after 9 of the 15 laps, but went on to take a pair of fourth places at the end of the season. From the 1963 season, Brabham was partnered by American driver Dan Gurney, the pair now running in Australia's racing colours of green and gold.
Brabham took the team's first win at the non-championship Solitude Grand Prix in 1963. Gurney took the marque's first two wins in the world championship, at the 1964 French and Mexican Grands Prix. Brabham works and customer cars took another three non-championship wins during the 1964 season; the 1965 season was less successful, with no championship wins. Brabham finis
John Surtees, was an English Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He was a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the Formula One World Champion in 1964, remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels, he founded the Surtees Racing Organisation team that competed as a constructor in Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 from 1970 to 1978. He was the ambassador of the Racing Steps Foundation. Surtees was the son of a south London motorcycle dealer, his father Jack Surtees was an accomplished grasstrack competitor and in 1948 was the South Eastern Centre Sidecar Champion. He had his first professional outing, which they won, in the sidecar of his father's Vincent at the age of 14. However, when race officials discovered Surtees's age, they were disqualified, he entered his first race at 15 in a grasstrack competition. In 1950, at the age of 16, he went to work for the Vincent factory as an apprentice.
He first gained prominence in 1951 when he gave Norton star Geoff Duke a strong challenge in an ACU race at the Thruxton Circuit. In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons, he finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstone and at Brands Hatch. However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race for the MV Agusta factory racing team, where he soon earned the nickname figlio del vento. In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship, MV Agusta's first in the senior class. In this Surtees was assisted by the FIM's decision to ban the defending champion, Geoff Duke, for six months because of his support for a riders' strike for more starting money. In the 1957 season, the MV Agustas were no match for the Gileras and Surtees battled to a third-place finish aboard a 1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro; when Gilera and Moto Guzzi withdrew from Grand Prix racing at the end of 1957, Surtees and MV Agusta went on to dominate the competition in the two larger displacement classes.
In 1958, 1959 and 1960, he won 32 out of 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT three years in succession. While still racing motorcycles full-time, Surtees performed a test drive in Aston Martin's DBR1 sports car in front of team manager Reg Parnell, he however did not enter car racing until the following year. In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing in the 1960 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone for Team Lotus, he made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, a pole position at his third, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. After spending the 1961 season with the Yeoman Credit Racing Team driving a Cooper T53 "Lowline" managed by Reg Parnell and the 1962 season with the Bowmaker Racing Team, still managed by Reg Parnell but now in the V8 Lola Mk4, he moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964.
On 25 September 1965, Surtees had a life-threatening accident at the Mosport Circuit while practising in a Lola T70 sports racing car. A front upright casting had broken. A. J. Baime in his book Go Like Hell says Surtees came out of the crash with one side of his body four inches shorter than the other. Doctors set most of the breaks nonsurgically, in part by physically stretching his shattered body until the right-left discrepancy was under an inch – and there it stayed; the 1966 season saw the introduction of new, larger 3-litre engines to Formula One. Surtees's debut with Ferrari's new F1 car was at the 1966 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone, where he qualified and finished a close second behind Jack Brabham's 3-litre Brabham BT19. A few weeks Surtees led the Monaco Grand Prix, pulling away from Jackie Stewart's 2-litre BRM on the straights, before the engine failed. A fortnight Surtees survived the first lap rainstorm which eliminated half the field and won the Belgian Grand Prix. Due to perennial strikes in Italy, Ferrari could afford to enter only two cars for the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans instead of its usual entry of three prototypes.
Uncertainty and confusion surrounds subsequent events and their consequences, a number of different explanations have been offered in the decades since. The narrative explained by Ferrari at the time states that under Le Mans rules in 1966 each car was allowed only two drivers. Surtees was omitted from the driver line-up with one works Ferrari to be driven by Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti, the other by Jean Guichet and Lorenzo Bandini; when Surtees questioned Ferrari team manager Eugenio Dragoni as to why, as the Ferrari team leader, he would not be allowed to compete, Dragoni told Surtees that he did not feel that he was fit to drive in a 24-hour endurance race because of the injuries he had sustained in late 1965. However, Surtees himself described things somewhat differently. In his recollection, when the pairings were announced he was to drive alongside Scarfiotti; as the faster driver of the two, Surtees argued that he should take the first stint and "try to break" the Ford opposition by driving "flat out from the start".
Dragoni denied Surtees's request and insisted that Scarfiotti take the start to please Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, Scarfiotti's uncle, in attendance as a spectator. Either way, the decision and subsequent lack of support from Enzo Ferrari himself were upsetting to Surtees and he quit the team; this decision cost both Ferrari and Surtees the Formula 1 Champions