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No wins for Surtees. Why?


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#1 island

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Posted 03 May 2000 - 20:09

Hi!
John Surtees`car sorting ability was quite
good, the history books say. See Ferrari or
the Lola T70. But his own F1 cars never won
a GP altough Hailwood came close in some
1971/1972 races. What were the reasons?
The cars, the drivers or simply an underfinanced effort?

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#2 Alfisti

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Posted 03 May 2000 - 20:15

From what i've read it seems to be a case of the latter...as usual.

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#3 Dave Ware

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Posted 03 May 2000 - 21:28

I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that even after he retired, Big John had his own ideas of how to set up a car, and those didn't jive with what the driver may have wanted, or what the car needed.

I have often read allusions to a stubborn quality that Surtees apparently posessed, and this may have had something to do with it.

At South Africa in '71 FJ (you can't use the initials for Big John) was challenging eventual winner Mario. I don't know why he never displayed the same competitiveness the rest of the year.

Finances is a good guess, as one element. Racing is many things that all have to work together.

D.

#4 Fast One

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Posted 04 May 2000 - 03:56

First off, he DID win a couple of non-championship races, if I recall, but the big reason was money. Sam Posey told the story of wanting to practice starts when he drove for FJ, but they only had one clutch for the car, so Sam had to forget practising. They had pretty clapped out Cosworths, and they ran Firestones when Goodyear was clearly in the ascendency. The basic chassis was good, as its F 5000/ F A counterparts revealed, but they had not the money to trim the weight to get to the F1 minimum.

What people forget is that there were alot of Cosworth incarnations out there, so the playing field wasn't even. Jackie Stewart got an engine that NOBODY else got, and he got tires that nobody else got, and then everyone went ooh, ah, look how incredibly great he is, when his car was 2+ seconds a lap faster than anything else out there. Surtees could only afford bottom shelf engines, and few spare parts, so they could never quite develop the car to the point they wanted. When they got big sponsorship from Bang and Olufsen, the idea was that somebody's son would get a drive. They gave him a test, and FJ told Daddy that if the kid drove for real, he'd likely kill himself. Daddy took little Johnny home and took his checkbook with him.

FJ only built the damn things because BRM built such a crap car for '69. He decided if they weren't going to try any harder than that, he may as well do it himself. Another regrettable decision, because BRM went on to build a couple of pretty decent cars in the years that followed.

I also think that by the early 70's, FJ had lost some of the fire. His Mosport accident was pretty severe, and had some long term effects, like one side of his body being noticibly longer than the other side, and he had thought the Honda deal was permanent. They had a good new car in the works, and when Honda pulled out after Schlesser's death (FJ told them not to let the car be raced), he lost a bit of motivation, I think.




#5 Dave Ware

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Posted 04 May 2000 - 20:29

Very interesting to know that JYS got the best engines and tires. I had not known that.

D.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 05:53

The engines were common knowledge. As development proceeded, Tyrrell got the new ones first... remember how there were only a few with the magnesium blocks, and they were so much trouble to warm up?
That was his connection with Ford.
He also had a solid connections with Goodyear.
Both connections have been feeding him for the three subsequent decades... logic?

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#7 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 09:56

I have had the good fortune to have two very long (perhaps an hour or more each time) conversations with John Surtees - both in the 1980s, long after he had retired and mellowed.
I found him extremely intelligent and pleasant. But in his racing days he was basically a "loner". As a rider and driver this wasn't a handicap. But as a team owner, I believe, he just didn't have the people skills to pull a top-line team together.
I can relate to that. I had enormous difficulties during 10 years as editor of a national motor magazine. I (mostly) couldn't hire the type of people I believed I needed and did not have the ability to get the best out of the people who were available to me (with the odd couple of exceptions).
Eventually I decided that freelance writing was my thing. The happiest times of my life were my first couple of years of writing, on a freelance basis, despite the fact I almost died of malnutrition.
I am back there now, underpaid and over-worked and loving doing my own thing.
Unfortunately for Surtees there was no way to go back.

#8 Fast One

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 11:17

Extremely well-put, Barry, and spot on, I think. Funny how your greatest strength at one stage of life can be your biggest weakness at another. I only heard one driver ever comment on driving for him. That was Rolf Stommelin, and he was very complimentary. On the other hand I have heard that he was something of a Gray Wolf towards the end, snapping at anyone and everyone who came near his team. If anyone has any stories about the Team Surtees days, I'd be very interested. And Barry, I would be interested in hearing more about the interviews, if you have a mind to tell about it.

#9 Barry Lake

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 20:31

Sadly, I don't remember the conversations with Surtees in detail. One, at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, I do remember he was telling me about his drive in one of the pre-war M-B GP cars and how he had even greater respect for the pre-war drivers than he'd had previously.
It is one of my great regrets in life that so many conversations with motoring and motor racing people, I have either scribbled notes and then put them away in a box or filing cabinet and never seen them since, or I have written down nothing.
"I'll never forget that" are infamous last words.
In the past few years I have had a head set on my telephone. I sit at my keyboard and type everything that is said to me on the phone. Sometimes it seems too trivial to bother. When I pull up the file at a later date, with several conversations with any one person on it, and there is an amazing story that otherwise might have been lost.
When I am not at my desk, I have my little Psion 5mx hand-held computer with me all the time. I can type on it while standing (or riding in a car), although it is quicker if I am sitting at a table or desk.
Again, the info is downloaded when I get home, cut and shut to various files and, once on the computer, is easy to find again.
If only I'd had the technology to do that from 30 years ago, I would have enough information to fill even more books than I have now.
What I do remember about Surtees was that he was very honest about himself and seemed not to have an ego problem. The other conversation with him was at a place called Emu Bottoms in Victoria, and he basically agreed with my theory on his problems with running a team. He said he had happy memories of his early motorcycling days when it was pretty much just him and his father working together.
On that occasion at Emu Bottoms, however, I went for a drive around the surrounding district with Juan Manuel Fangio, my all-time hero, in a Mercedes-Benz road car. After that, I was struggling to remember anything else.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 20:45

Ah, yes, the Argentinian with the classic 25 past 6 hand position on the wheel, feeding the wheel back and forth...
I spoke to FJ at some length when he came out for the AGP (or was it the WF Int?).. he was at Gary Campbell's garage and we had a chat about circuits and stuff.
One person who was not too keen after working for him for a time was Harry Galloway. Larry came away with poor memories, too.
Galloway went on to build his own cars in Sydney, but mostly does beautiful fabrication work for all and sundry.

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#11 buddyt

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Posted 05 May 2000 - 21:51

I have just received my new Classic Motorbooks catalog and I see that there is a new video about Mr. Surtees called Profile of a Legend. 85 minutes long.

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#12 Fast One

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Posted 06 May 2000 - 08:25

I got the first copy in the U.S., and like it alot. Their are actually two seperate films: the first chronicles FJ's career on bikes, and the second covers the four-wheel era. Less racing footage than I would have liked, but excellent interviews.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2000 - 08:39

Personally I would love to see footage of him leading his first F1 race... he's the man!

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#14 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 06 May 2000 - 12:00

Much like Barry Lake's comment (above) I wish I could remember more details of conversations with John Surtees. However, a number of incidents and choice comments and observations from the great man do remain clear in the memory from over the years.

Some of my greatest racing memories and best stories feature John Surtees.

What a remarkable man! Obviously his greatness as a driver needs no review to the readers of this forum. What may be less known is how principled and profoundly fair he was (still is I'm sure). Yes, he could be opinionated and forceful in setting forth his view of the way things should be done. But, by my observation, this was always rooted in very strong, and carefully thought through, convictions. Certainly he wasn't always right, and perhaps he had a tendency to not delegate enough. At the same time he was extremely loyal and I think he went further than most team owners in trying to give his drivers the fairest shake all around. I am certain this was grounded in his own personal experiences and reaction to people he had driven for.

I don't remember ever encountering anyone in the sport who possessed more intensity and focus than John Surtees.

I always felt that he was greatly underrated as a major motor racing figure during the 60's and 70's. I don't mean as a driver. He was certainly given his due in that category. I am referring to his image in a broader sense. There were so many other British racing drivers of that era whose personality the press (and the industry as a whole) could more easily identify with. John Surtees was very complicated and extremely private about his feelings (although not always - he was no shrinking violet and would air his views forcefully when he chose to). The man possessed a first rate intellect and his breadth of interest and expertise was amazing. But you never would have known this based on conventional wisdom of the time. That is why it pleases me so much to see the attention he has been receiving in recent years. It is as if people are finally realizing what a giant in our sport this man really is.

To bring this all around to the original point of this thread, I do not pretend to have insight as to why his Formula One team ultimately did not enjoy more success than it did, although I would make the point that he achieved more as a team owner than many other ex-drivers. Some of the postings above are no doubt on the mark regarding being underfinanced, etc. Whatever the answer is, I know he brought the same intensity and fair dealing to the table as a team owner as he has displayed in all facets of his life.



#15 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 08 May 2000 - 04:33

I think that in 1972 Surtees was a top team. It was just the way the cards fell that prevented the Hailwood/ Surtees combination winning. Surtees himself I think won the Oulton Park Gold Cup in either 71 or 2, and the argument about engine power must lose some merit when you consider that probably the closest they came was the slipsteaming italian Gp of 72. Hailwood led the RSA GP for some time if i remember correctly.
I think it was that barrier of getting the one GP win that stopped them getting the confidence and finance to do it again and again. The 73 TS14 wasn't a very bad car in qualifying and Carlos Pace drove some good races in it.
I do agree that FJ's personality and reputation in this respect prevented him from obtaining or keeping the best drivers, engineers and sponsors. The retired John Surtees is a different person all together, happy and mellow. I met him once or twice in the last few years in the motorcycle arena, and he was a lovely bloke, patient, enthusiastic and ready to humour idiots like me. I giess thats what retirement does for you, or was there something else?

#16 Don Capps

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Posted 08 May 2000 - 11:00

When I first followed John Surtees he was wearing racing leathers and riding GP bikes. When he went to racing cars I wasn't sure what to expect, but I wasn't disappointed!

I have often wonder what would have happend if Colin Chapman ran a team in 1961 composed of Jim Clark, and John Surtees. Imagine Clark and Surtees the following year in the 25... That would probably have meant that BRM would have folded a decade earlier...

Like Barry, I am often frustrated by what the passage of time has done to both my notes and the details of conversations and meetings with those in the sport. I met Surtees several times over a 20-year period and genuinely liked and respected him. I only got one interview with him and it was more of an extended conversation or chat. I mean Fearless John the Biker was a god to me. That conversation was at a Can Am round when I was interviewing Mark Donohue and Surtees wander over and sat down and after Donohue left to attend to business we chatted. I have virtually no idea what we really discussed or even how much made it into print. What stands out in my memory is just what an intense & focused man he truly was. Yet, he was very easy to talk to, which even in the olden days was not a trait some drivers had. So, Barry, don't feel alone about not being able to recall details of interviews!

I was always frustrated with the lack of success that the Surtees had in GP racing. I am convinced that more than anyone realized, the inuries he received at Mosport in the Fall of 1965 were worse than realized and the healing took far longer than is realized. Plus, the team was always out of synch with the "right" equipment. When Surtees ran on Firestones, the tires were developed for use with the Lotus 72 which needed a tire dramatically different than the TS7 or TS9. And, the lack of sponsorship was the final nail in the coffin.

Good point about his time at BRM in 1969. What a mess! And having to endure the worse season ever that Chaparral ever had to boot! The 2H was a dud and that HUGE World of Outlaws wing it finally sprouted was a sign that Jim Hall was desperate!

As time passes, I often find as I dig through the notes I have accumulated over the years just how much of what I once had is gone. My draft notes for many interviews have vanished along with all my clippings and audio tapes, scripts, and transcripts (I once did a twice-weekly radio show on a local station covering racing results and information to include taped interviews - what ever happened to my Dick Smothers interview and pictures? And ditto to that with Curtis Turner, which was one of the wildest interviews imaginable). I still have some folders with cryptic remarks and no end of facts and figures and chassis numbers obtained at races. If only I had kept all of these I would not have to work as hard as I do now!

As a child, I kept a journal of all the races I attended, the drivers I met (yes, my autograph book would be worth at least a couple of dollars -- I had Ascari, Fangio, Moss, Lee & Richard Petty, and Linda Vaughn all in the same book!) and my impressions of the races. Where the journal and autograph book are I haven't the slightest idea. I haven't laid eyes on them for at least 25 years. My Mother, who never tosses anything away of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren's artifacts did a search for me recently and although she remembers them, couldn't find them anywhere. Until Barry's thoughts I had given them any real thought in ages. Obviously they were part of the losses that occurred in a truly disasterous combination of a leaky roof and then a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move where upon I lost tons of books, magazines, photos, and other memories - including most of my photos from my tour with the Rangers in Viet-Nam. Posted Image Posted Image

Sorry, mumbling again...

Why, didn't Team Surtees win a WDC event? Pure bad luck complicated by internal problems that kept them just short of the bar.

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#17 Jonathan

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Posted 08 May 2000 - 12:19

If anyone here recalls reading Alan Jones' autobiography, Driving Ambition, I think would remember that Alan didnt think very much of John Surtees as a team manager.

As a former driver Big John would sometimes make a special point of questioning his drivers evaluations of his cars, and for testing purposes would remove the wings and take the car out himself (driving at maybe 8/10ths of the cars capabilities) and pronounce his car fit for racing. Stunts like that did very little to promote good chemistry between driver and team manager.

While Alan was in contention for the lead at the '76 non-championship event at Brands, I think he lost out to either James Hunt or possibley Tom Pryce.

To do well in F1 your need (in addition to a good Car, a good Driver, some good Luck, and sufficiant funds for running your team) you really need a good teamwork environment, where the driver and the team manager and mechanics all get along well with one another and trust each other. I dont think Big John ever succeeded in getting all of these ingrediants together at the same time...

#18 Huw Jenjin

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Posted 08 May 2000 - 20:57

Alan Jones said the same about Graham Hill.
Then he got lucky. Im looking forward to him starting his own F1 team.

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 09 May 2000 - 01:31

Surtees once wrote of Dan Gurney:

"He also loved tinkering with motor cars. It was this enthusiasm that led him to create his own team , which meant - and this I understand from my own experience - that he sometimes didn't get things quite right"

The thought of Surtees and Clark in Lotus 25s in 62 is fascinating. But one of them would have had to drive the 24 for half the season - and he would probably have been world Champion.

I also think he would have been world Champion if he had stayed with a supportive Ferarri throughout 1966. Consider: a win at Reims if he had lasted, Brands Hatch probably not; the Nurburging near certainty; Monza: absolute certainty. Watkins Glen and Mexico: a good chance. Would that have been enough points?

Dragoni's belief that Surtees ws still suffering from his accident was a large part of the reason for the split. Surtees certainly believed he had fully recovered and I think his driving throughout 1966, both in GPs and the first Can-Am series which he won, support that view.

THe problems came later when, as has been said, he tried to do too much.

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#20 Barry Lake

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Posted 09 May 2000 - 15:24

Don
I assume Linda Vaughn could sign her name blind-folded. There's no way she could have seen an autograph book at arm's length!
Incidentally, every comment I have ever read about her has stated that she was a very nice lady.
But she obviously knew how to maximise the benefits from her greatest assets.
Your "leaky roof" syndrome is why I have invested heavily in stackable plastic boxes with lids for my books. Within these they are safe from dust, insects, and water.
I live in fear of one day finding the boxes contain acid that will affect the books. But some have been thus stored for perhaps 15-odd years now and I can see nothing but benefits. The books look perfect.
They are easier to find, too, with bold-lettered labels, and books of similar subject matter stored together.
There's no way I could keep dust off them all when they were on shelves, and there's nothing more horrifying than finding insect damage.
I wince when I hear stories like yours of irreplaceable material being lost or destroyed.
Have you heard the story about the fellow who had a motoring magazine collection in an old, condemned house and the council (not entirely without warning) bull-dozed the lot?

#21 Maldwyn

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 13:34

Given that Autosport is reporting John Surtees considering running a GP2 team, and that getting an entry to F1 is looking slightly easier in the future, perhaps Surtees have a chance yet :drunk:

#22 Twin Window

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 14:20

Originally posted by Barry Lake
...every comment I have ever read about her [Linda Vaughn] has stated that she was a very nice lady.

She certainly was (and still is, I trust).

Good Salazar story there, which I'll leave for another day. :D

#23 petefenelon

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 15:04

Originally posted by Maldwyn
Given that Autosport is reporting John Surtees considering running a GP2 team, and that getting an entry to F1 is looking slightly easier in the future, perhaps Surtees have a chance yet :drunk:


Il Grande John is fronting the British A1GP effort, too. I know it's fashionable to malign this series, but it's kept Robbie Kerr at the front of people's minds (I've been a big Kerr fan since I saw him hustle the Zytek sports car round Silverstone like a 550bhp Formula Ford). He's certainly putting a lot back into the sport these days.

In many respects I think it's a pity he didn't stay involved in F1 a bit longer - he would not have stood for any of the underhand dealings in the FIASCO wars, I'm sure.

I think Team Surtees was just a couple of years too late, in F1 terms. The day of the driver-engineer was past and the day of the "design team" was dawning; had IGJ been doing what Black Jack was, but a couple of years earlier (let's say the Hondola spun off into a Team Surtees-Honda) then I think further Championships through to the early seventies would certainly have been on the cards.

#24 David M. Kane

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 16:36

Money! Simple as that. They won the F2 Championship with Mike Hailwood. Jochen Mass had a competitive season if I remember correctly. In F1, as was previously, Mike was very competitive.
Then didn't Bang and O fail to pay their sponsorship money? Plus Jody took out the whole team at Silverstone...that had to burn a few Pounds too.

So I would say bad luck, not enough cash and Firestone tires. If I recall Goodyear was really strong during this period.

I visited the Surtees Works in '71-72 and it was a very modest set-up, very basic.

After all it is F1, and it VERY competitive.

Also, I don't think the drivers who followed Hailwood were in the same class. I think he was very underrated in F1.

#25 LOTI

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 17:38

There are four reasons why John is mellow and happy now, her name is Jane and the other three are two daughters and son, Henry. Easy.
Loti

#26 Stephen W

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 18:41

John Surtees won back-to-back Oulton Park Gold Cups in his F1 cars.

He won driving the TS7 in 1970 and te TS9 in 1971.

:wave:

#27 MCS

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 18:50

Originally posted by Stephen W
John Surtees won back-to-back Oulton Park Gold Cups in his F1 cars.

He won driving the TS7 in 1970 and te TS9 in 1971.


And chairman of the Mid Cheshire Motor Racing Club at that time I seem to remember. He was certainly a big favourite at Oulton.

#28 Barry Boor

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 19:20

If you are a top flight driver and want to move into the field of being a constructor, time has proved that you really must get a top flight designer in there with you - e.g. Brabham/Tauranac, Gurney/Terry.

In those days, J.S. was a man who very much wanted to make the design decisions himself, although he did have some clever young men working for him. However, J.S. was not a designer and at that stage neither were the bright young men working for him.

The results, or lack of them, speak for themselves, Oulton Park excepted.

#29 David Beard

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 19:56

Originally posted by Barry Boor

In those days, J.S. was a man who very much wanted to make the design decisions himself, although he did have some clever young men working for him. .


Surtees/Connew :clap: :confused: :eek:

#30 Barry Boor

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 20:49

Yes, David, but it must be remembered that both Peter Connew and Shahab Ahmed were totally new to the business of racing car design. Though both had good engineering drawing qualifications, neither had been involved in anything like this before.

(I am certain of this fact where Mr. Connew is concerned; less so regarding Shahab.)

#31 kayemod

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 23:00

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Yes, David, but it must be remembered that both Peter Connew and Shahab Ahmed were totally new to the business of racing car design. Though both had good engineering drawing qualifications, neither had been involved in anything like this before.

(I am certain of this fact where Mr. Connew is concerned; less so regarding Shahab.)


I only met JS once, and one brief topic of discussion was the very same Peter Connew. "Connew?" said John, "He certainly conned me." I got the distinct impression that Peter C would be well advised to look elsewhere for a job reference, though JS wouldn't enlarge on the subject. How long was PC employed at Surtees?

#32 Barry Boor

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 06:45

Peter worked at Surtees for around a year or so, IIRC.

I suspect your conversation with J.S. was some time ago. Surtees was referring to the fact that Peter left him and produced his own F.1 car very soon after. For some considerable number of years Surtees was of the opinion that Peter had stolen various things from Team Surtees in order to get his project off the ground. This was emphatically NOT the case.

All Peter took with him was the knowledge he had gained about racing car design.

I am pleased to say that you would find J.S. has a completely different opinion of Peter nowadays and indeed they speak on the phone occasionally, their relationship now being most amicable.

#33 ian senior

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:56

Originally posted by LOTI
There are four reasons why John is mellow and happy now, her name is Jane and the other three are two daughters and son, Henry. Easy.
Loti


Says it all really. I was a bit alarmed at the prospect of John returning to motor racing - I feared that the mellow and contented man we see these days would disappear, and I'd rather have him like that than the man we sometimes saw. But with a good marriage and family behind him, surely there's no reason why he couldn't have the best of both worlds - making a success of racing and keeping his sanity. Best of luck to him.

#34 kayemod

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 09:05

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Peter worked at Surtees for around a year or so, IIRC.

I suspect your conversation with J.S. was some time ago. Surtees was referring to the fact that Peter left him and produced his own F.1 car very soon after. For some considerable number of years Surtees was of the opinion that Peter had stolen various things from Team Surtees in order to get his project off the ground. This was emphatically NOT the case.

All Peter took with him was the knowledge he had gained about racing car design.

I am pleased to say that you would find J.S. has a completely different opinion of Peter nowadays and indeed they speak on the phone occasionally, their relationship now being most amicable.


Thanks for that Barry, it fits in with what I've heard. My brief JS conversation was indeed a long time ago. I'd mentioned that I thought the Connew F1 of a few years earlier was a brilliant achievement with the facilities they had, and JS said something along the lines of "It depends on the parts you'd collected to build it from". He wasn't in a particularly good mood at the time, I found out later that he'd discovered that another Surtees employee was having it off with Mrs Surtees, I suppose something like that would ruin anyone's day. I'm sure that you as a Connew fan will have mentioned it here at some time, but what is Peter Connew up to these days?

#35 f1steveuk

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 20:14

I've met JS a couple of times, and found him very open, about both his successes, and his failures. He struck me as being extremely proud of the cars his team constructed. He did mention in an interview for a documentry, that he felt Cosworth were giving his team very second rate DFVs, he used Firestones when they had started to decline, and his cars never worked well on Goodyears. Brambilla and the TS20 looked quite good a few times, and there were clear signs that some money could have made the difeerence, but ........ but it has to be said, once having stopped driving, you should really let your driver decide how he wants his car set up!!

Having been at Buckmore when Surtees junior was testing, you could still hear seniors input into set up, and he confessed to never having driven a kart!!

#36 Twin Window

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 20:22

Originally posted by Barry Boor

I am pleased to say that you would find J.S. has a completely different opinion of Peter nowadays and indeed they speak on the phone occasionally, their relationship now being most amicable.

It's amazing how time does change things. I'll never forget my surprise in Phoenix, 1994, at seeing Don Nicholls huddled in a very matey conversation with... Tony Southgate!

#37 Barry Boor

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 07:30

In answer to kayemod's question...

what is Peter Connew up to these days?


....not much at all really!

The old chap reaches 60 this summer and while he is looking for some suitable employment, last time we spoke there was nothing on the horizon.

He has worked abroad a few times (China) in the last 5 years or so and recently had an offer from India.

He has actively been trying to get bits and pieces together to make a serious attempt at putting the racing car back together, but with no large financial input from elsewhere it is a slow, slow business.

Thanks for asking.

#38 macoran

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:09

Originally posted by Barry Boor
In answer to kayemod's question...

....not much at all really!

to make a serious attempt at putting the racing car back together

Thanks for asking.



THE PC1 I suppose ?

There must be money somewhere...

#39 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:34

If only....

Incidentally, technically it's the PC.2. We have had many discussions over this. It's all a bit academic actually but like Tyrrell :rolleyes: we numbered the chassis individually. PC.1 was the first chassis but it was made for 1971 and the aluminium was too thin for the 1972 regulations so a second chassis was made.

We called the second chassis PC.2, although many historians, if they bother to think about it at all, tend to refer to it as PC.1/2. I prefer PC.2.

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#40 macoran

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:40

I have updated my pp encyclopedia to PC2
thanks Barry

#41 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 20:53

I had the chance to have a chat with Mr. Surtees last weekend. As he told me, the main reason for the lack of succes of his team was the Bang & Olufsen sponsordeal. Apparently, the company never showed up with the money, and the subsequent series of lawsuits brought the team into the downward spiral that eventually caused their demise. Of course, this his his version. But does it ring any bells?

#42 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 12:11

Yes it does. John's legacy as a Formula car constructor is that his surviving F1, F2 and F5000 cars tend to come into their own these days because they were so thoroughly well built as new. He set extremely high standards for himself and his people which some had difficulty maintaining. But then it's difficult to maintain standards if you are being hectored, bollocked and whinged-at incessantly. At his worst John was certainly capable of all that. At his best he was terrific.

DCN

#43 LotusElise

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 12:26

The history of F1 is littered with teams who never managed a win. Most of them were not as high-profile as Surtees' though.
It is a measure of his popularity and the esteem in which he is still held that the comparative lack of success of his team comes as a surprise.

#44 Gary Davies

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 12:46

Alan Jones wrote a book - Driving Ambition - in 1981 that was in many ways like walking through a claypan but it did have this interesting little insight into Surtees: "It took us four months to develop a nose on the car that would generate more downforce. (We're talking the TS19 of 1976.) It was always the same story: John would fiddle with the car, I'd go out and practise and come back and come back to tell John what the car needed, he'd fiddle some more, I'd practise some more, and, if I was lucky, it was at about the end of the second practice that I'd get the car back to the shape it was the last time we went racing.

"We always had to go through the rigmarole of John insisting on his opinions; sometimes it was as though we were re-inventing the wheel. It was a shame, because it was a sound little car, the right shape and very quick in a straight line. If Patrick Head ... had got his hands on that car, it would have been a world championship car. It had the right stuff."