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"Insufficiently fast"


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:44

This strange term was applied, by DSJ no less, to the B.R.M entry at the 1959 Oulton Park Gold Cup race and given as the reason why Bonnier did not participate.

However, I find that on one website, this entry was not there because the car was 'not ready'.

The DSJ comment comes, naturally, from Motor Sport but the report of that race is very sketchy, running to barely two-thirds of one column. I wonder what Autosport has to say about it?

One other thing from that race. Chris Bristow drove a British Racing Partnership Cooper T.51 which was, according to a Cooper book by someone we all know and love, was chassis F2-1-59. This seems to have been the chassis that had been run in F.2 that season equipped with a Borgward engine but it is shown as being Climax-powered at Oulton Park and judging by its lap times was clearly a full 2.5 litre car. Indeed, DCN lists it as such. Having consulted my Ken Gregory book I find that this race was the first that the B.R.P car was entered under the Yeoman Credit name but Gregory does not mention anything about the change of engine.

I also notice that at Snetterton two weks later, Bristow was back in the F.2 car F2-2-59 while of F2-1-59 there was no sign. I wonder why they did not put Bristow in the F.1-engined car again given that he had finished a good third in Cheshire albeit over a minute and a half behind a certain S. Moss.

I suppose I'm not actually seeking anything in particular surrounding these facts - I'm just admitting to the fact that I never realised B.R.P ran a Climax-engined F.1 car in 1959.

One final thing; I did an Images search for that race and turned up the Autosport cover from the week after. It shows a picture of the start and right in the right-hand corner there appears to be a car that is not dark green. It looks silver and I am wondering what it is. Could it be the mysterious John Brown - A.F.M-B.R.M ?

But then, it's just another example of something that I never knew I didn't know!

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:52

The Autosport preview lists Bonnier (BRM) among the entries but the race report says simply "the BRM entry failed to materialise"

A (the?) Yeoman Credit 2.5 Cooper was also raced at Watkins Glen in late 1959 and in the January 1960 NZ Grand Prix, both times with S Moss as driver

John Brown's car was of course an AFM-BMW but didn't start

#3 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:18

Are you sure it didn't actually start, David.

#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:24

I think the car you're referring to is Ian Raby's Cooper.

#5 David Lawson

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:48

According to the Race Record section in The Saga of BRM Vol 1, BRM didn't participate in the Gold Cup.

David

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:55

Thank you, David, so I wonder where Jenks got his facts from?

#7 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:55

The Motor Sport report on the Gold Cup isn't signed but I don't think it's by DSJ. The style isn't his and other articles suggest that he hadn't returned from his Wanderings by then. He wrote a report on an obscure Austrian hill climb which he attended just because he fancied it after the Italian Grand Prix and was in Paris in the first week of October.

I think we've discussed John Brown's entry before but there's a picture in Motor Sport showing Moss passing a stationary front-engined car which is said to be Brown's. It could be practice I suppose.

#8 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:58

Ah, I see. Another false assumption on my part - (one of many).

The question still remains. SOMEBODY thought the B.R.M was insufficiently fast; Raymond Mays? Jo Bonnier? ????

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:21

To add to what David L posted above, in the text of BRM Vol 1 there’s no hint that BRM even contemplated an entry at Oulton. After the section on the Italian GP, Doug explains that BRM would not be going to Sebring, and then says: ‘One race remained in ORO’s 1959 season – at Snetterton during the Autosport Three Hours meeting in October.’

There are two earlier threads on the John Brown AFM at Oulton:

Oulton Park 1959 AFM

AFM-BRM

but we don’t seem to have reached a definite conclusion as to whether it actually started the race.


#10 Allen Brown

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:42

Bonnier was on the entry list as #10 so an entry must have been contemplated by somebody, even if it was only the organiser.

As for John Brown, I thought we'd concluded he retired after one lap. That's what I have anyway...

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 15:27

Apologies - the grid I looked at in Autosport (because that was the source Barry asked about) didn't have Brown, but F1R has, and indeed lists him as a retirement after one lap

#12 Sharman

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 16:35

Are you sure it didn't actually start, David.

David might not be sure but I am as I was with John that day. In the usual panic the engine, which could be run as a 2 litre or a 11/2, hadf apparently had the two sets of components mixed up to John's great embarassment. John was an RAF fast jet pilot living in married quarters at RAF Wilmslow whilst attached to Airwork at Ringway.

#13 Sharman

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 16:39

Apologies - the grid I looked at in Autosport (because that was the source Barry asked about) didn't have Brown, but F1R has, and indeed lists him as a retirement after one lap


If my memory serves me correctly David he didn't even get a proper timed practice lap in.
That bit I am sure of.
Having thought about this whilst I had supper, I remember talking to John in the paddock when he explained his difficulties in getting the engine to run cleanly. It was more than a week later that he found the cause of the problems. In the paddock he said something to the effect that it was pointless going on.
I think that I then went off to Island Bend with Peter Beswick who was the Observer there, I must assume that because he didn't make it round that I assumed that he did not start. Apologies for any misleading comment

Edited by Sharman, 08 June 2012 - 17:59.


#14 David McKinney

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 17:44

F1R gives him a practice time of 2'33.2, half a minute off the next slowest, and 50sec off Moss's pole time

#15 f1steveuk

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 18:25

I recall the FIA results database has "Insufficiently fast" against the name of one B C Ecclestone for his "attempts", though most books show it as "Not a serious Entry/attempt".