Jump to content


Photo

Who was the first 'Rain Master'?


  • Please log in to reply
98 replies to this topic

#51 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 05 March 2013 - 20:42

And then there was Colin Bond in the wet practice for the 1971 Australian Grand Prix...

I think double digits came in there too.

Advertisement

#52 Glengavel

Glengavel
  • Member

  • 504 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 05 March 2013 - 20:49

I bow to superior knowledge, I thought he was ahead sooner than that, however by clear track I meant lack of of spray due to other cars. In a way I'm paying devil's advocate here, I thought it was a fantastic drive.


No problem, I had to consult my Guinness Book of Formula 1 Motor Racing for the info! It says Stewart was ahead by Brunnchen. And JYS has acknowledged the benefit of the tyres himself.

#53 racinggeek

racinggeek
  • Member

  • 214 posts
  • Joined: June 11

Posted 05 March 2013 - 21:38

What, all this about rainmasters and no mention of the famed, fearless Monza Gorilla?

#54 Spa65

Spa65
  • Member

  • 30 posts
  • Joined: January 12

Posted 05 March 2013 - 22:20

Surprised that no-one has mentioned Clark. As I remember, both in 63 and 65 he won very wet grand Prix races at Spa by several minutes. Possibly the most dangerous of tracks in that dangeous era.

And he reputedly hated the place.

#55 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 March 2013 - 22:32

What, all this about rainmasters and no mention of the famed, fearless Monza Gorilla?

Forza Brambilla! And not just in Austria either. I think Vittorio stayed on the track in the Silverstone deluge of 1975, and arguably deserved second place rather than sixth, but not even Max could sweet-talk the officials on that one.

#56 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,207 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 05 March 2013 - 22:43

Vitt also drove a great race to finish fourth in the very wet 1977 Belgian GP, his best result of that year.

#57 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 March 2013 - 22:59

I think all my favourites have been mentioned in previous posts, whether or not they were the 'first' rainmaster (Jean-Pierre Beltoise? His 'day of days' at Monaco?). And of course the importance of tyres. The Surtees / Rindt battle sounded good at Spa in 1966, as did the Ickx / Rodriguez struggle at Zandvoort in 1971. I remember sitting in a Silverstone grandstand in June '71, watching an NSCC meeting, when they announced the result from Holland: Ickx/Ferrari - Rodriguez/BRM - Regazzoni/Ferrari. I thought I'd gone to heaven. Apparently the Goodyears were terrible that day. Ferraris and BRMs were both on Firestones, allowing Jacky and Pedro to show their skill, but I believe the power bands of the two respective engines played a significant part in the see-saw battle, allowing one to pull away on a wet track, only to be caught as it dried.
Drifting ever further away from the original question, the Zandvoort battle is one of the few I remember where two acknowledged wet weather experts kept it together and had a good old fight, throughout the race. I was watching the opening laps of the 1970 BOAC 1000km the other day and, although Elford led off the line, Ickx was really flying in the 512 and quickly took the lead. If only the wiper motor hadn't packed up. Six hours of Rodriguez versus Ickx, Porsche versus Ferrari....could have been interesting. Almost worth getting wet for. Completely soaked in fact. That's the trouble with the wet races, great in retrospect, or on television, but a bit grim when you're there!



#58 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 05 March 2013 - 23:08

Originally posted by Spa65
Surprised that no-one has mentioned Clark. As I remember, both in 63 and 65 he won very wet grand Prix races at Spa by several minutes. Possibly the most dangerous of tracks in that dangeous era.....


Yes, I mentioned him at the German GP in '62 and Solitude in '64, though that was by reference to an earlier thread.

#59 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,668 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:34

Larry Perkins was a great wet weather driver. But that didn't stop him from pulling out on the opening lap at Fuji in 76.

Advertisement

#60 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,136 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:35

...as did the Ickx / Rodriguez struggle at Zandvoort in 1971. I remember sitting in a Silverstone grandstand in June '71, watching an NSCC meeting, when they announced the result from Holland: Ickx/Ferrari - Rodriguez/BRM - Regazzoni/Ferrari. I thought I'd gone to heaven. Apparently the Goodyears were terrible that day. Ferraris and BRMs were both on Firestones, allowing Jacky and Pedro to show their skill, but I believe the power bands of the two respective engines played a significant part in the see-saw battle, allowing one to pull away on a wet track, only to be caught as it dried.


Jenks' report said how listening to the smooth throttle control of the two leaders, Ickx in particular, made some of the others look like amateurs. He also commented that the smooth power delivery of the V12s made things much easier for them than the poor buggers sitting in front of a relatively peaky DFV, not at all what you'd want in those conditions.


#61 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:41

Jenks' report said how listening to the smooth throttle control of the two leaders, Ickx in particular, made some of the others look like amateurs. He also commented that the smooth power delivery of the V12s made things much easier for them than the poor buggers sitting in front of a relatively peaky DFV, not at all what you'd want in those conditions.


You're probably right about the DFVs Rob. Small point, the Ferraris were Flat 12s weren't they? I haven't a Zandvoort race report to hand but I do remember Motoring News or Autocourse also referring to the difference in the way the BRMs and Ferraris could use their twelve cylinder power. I expect it related to Ickx and Rodriguez powering out of the slower corners in changing conditions, torque, traction, engine power bands, and choice of gear. But I can't be sure!

There's some good footage here:

Italian

or German

Edited by john winfield, 06 March 2013 - 10:52.


#62 racinggeek

racinggeek
  • Member

  • 214 posts
  • Joined: June 11

Posted 06 March 2013 - 21:16

Vitt also drove a great race to finish fourth in the very wet 1977 Belgian GP, his best result of that year.


Brambles went back-to-front twice in that '76 Fuji monsoon, too, did he not?

#63 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 March 2013 - 23:06

Brambles went back-to-front twice in that '76 Fuji monsoon, too, did he not?


Yes, really motoring, nearly changing the championship outcome on the way with a graceful pirouette in front of Hunt!



#64 ryan86

ryan86
  • Member

  • 1,100 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:49

GILLES VILLENEUVE!

Naturally I'd say that ( :) ), but was anyone else double-digit-seconds faster than #2 in any session, ever?


Third Practice - Japanese GP 2010

Jaime Alguersuari was 11.595 seconds ahead of Timo Glock in 2nd.

#65 racinggeek

racinggeek
  • Member

  • 214 posts
  • Joined: June 11

Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:14

Since the topic of drivers who hated racing in the rain came up earlier, Jackie Stewart said, after winning at Mosport in 1971 in dreadful conditions, that he couldn't imagine how drivers could like racing in the rain, that even though he won that particular race, he still hated it. Don't have the exact quote handy, but I believe I saw it in G. Donaldson's race-by-race book on the Grand Prix of Canada from the early '80s.

#66 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:20

OTOMH Fangio put in a great wet-weather drive to win the 1951 Swiss GP, a race in which Piero Taruffi also drove well. Fangio finished well over a minute ahead of the other Alfas.

Much later in his career, he apparently gave up in the wet 1956 Mille Miglia.

It is remarkable how few wet Grand Prix races there were during the 1950s. I think we can be sure that Fangio would have excelled if it had been necessary.

In the 1960s, the number of wet races increased dramatically, this, no doubt, being a reflection of the Almighty's displeasure at the reduction in personal morality in that decade, the Second Vatican Council and the fact that He wasn't in favour of the 1.5-litre formula.

#67 GMACKIE

GMACKIE
  • Member

  • 1,706 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:20

In the 1960s, the number of wet races increased dramatically, this, no doubt, being a reflection of the Almighty's displeasure at the reduction in personal morality in that decade, the Second Vatican Council and the fact that He wasn't in favour of the 1.5-litre formula.

Makes more sense than "Climate Change".


#68 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 9,452 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:35

Third Practice - Japanese GP 2010

Jaime Alguersuari was 11.595 seconds ahead of Timo Glock in 2nd.

Darn you, just blew the whole gig, Man.  ;)

#69 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,022 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 07 March 2013 - 13:15

~
In the 1960s, the number of wet races increased dramatically, this, no doubt, being a reflection of the Almighty's displeasure at the reduction in personal morality in that decade, the Second Vatican Council and the fact that He wasn't in favour of the 1.5-litre formula.


I like the hypothesis.

Did the number increase in absolute or percentage terms? Given that the number of races per season increased the absolute number would increase.

With the introduction of rain tyres (Dunlop SP in 1961, I think) people would be more aware that it was raining as teams had to make a tyre choice and it got more critical when wider tyres and slicks came along and the difference was even more noticeable. So is it simply that people (reporters and spectators) now noticed when it was raining. To illustrate this, how many people realise that it rained during the 1954 British GP? It was the unpredictable or inconsistent performance of the Continental tyres on the Mercedes that gave Fangio problems rather than not being able to see his wheels.

Edited by D-Type, 07 March 2013 - 13:17.


#70 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:35

I haven't done a rigorous analysis but I can't think of many races in the 50s to compare with Spa 63 and 65, Aintree 61, Nurburgring 62 and 68 to name but a few.

We should, perhaps, recognise a flooded race and one with conditions changing from lap to lap. It is arguably the latter that demands more from the driver.

#71 ryan86

ryan86
  • Member

  • 1,100 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:40

There was a period in the 80's, I think Monaco 1984 to GB 1988 where every race was dry I believe.

#72 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,207 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:02

Portugal 1985 spoils this run.

#73 ryan86

ryan86
  • Member

  • 1,100 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:03

Ah, it must have been from Portugal 85 to GB 1988 then. Still it was quite a run of dry races.

#74 Eric Dunsdon

Eric Dunsdon
  • Member

  • 625 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:06

As the out and out rain master someone from left field who hasn't been mentioned, Duncan Hamilton.

And Reg Parnell!. Both he, and Duncan were leading the Alfa's when that very wet 1951 International Trophy Race was stopped.

#75 Cavalier53

Cavalier53
  • Member

  • 55 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 08 March 2013 - 20:03

Andrea de Adamich, Zandvoort Trophy 1966. He annihilated the pair of Slotemaker and Loos having fun drifting avant la mot. I took advantage later in my modest career from Andrea's wide lines, searching for sheer grip rather then following the calassic lines.

#76 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 08 March 2013 - 20:10

And Reg Parnell!. Both he, and Duncan were leading the Alfa's when that very wet 1951 International Trophy Race was stopped.

More a factor of torquey unblown 4½s against supercharged 1½s than of driver ability, I would have thought :)

#77 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:49

Is it possible that some drivers will hang back in the early stages of a very wet race or practice session, knowing that, if conditions improve, it may not be necessary to take the risks that others take? I'm thinking of Fangio in the '51 International Trophy, Clark at Solitude '64, Surtees at Spa '66 and almost the entire field at Watkins Glen '79. This does not mean that they didn't have the ability to go considerably faster in wet conditions if it was necessary.

#78 Eric Dunsdon

Eric Dunsdon
  • Member

  • 625 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:44

More a factor of torquey unblown 4½s against supercharged 1½s than of driver ability, I would have thought :)

As well as plenty of good old English bloody minded determination!.

#79 RCH

RCH
  • Member

  • 791 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:58

As well as plenty of good old English bloody minded determination!.


Graham Whitehead in an ERA was also ahead of the Alfas.

When I suggested Duncan Hamilton I was also thinking of his fine drive at Le Mans 1958.

Advertisement

#80 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 09 March 2013 - 20:34

Originally posted by Roger Clark
Is it possible that some drivers will hang back in the early stages of a very wet race or practice session, knowing that, if conditions improve, it may not be necessary to take the risks that others take? I'm thinking of..... Clark at Solitude '64.....


It wasn't really Clark's way of doing things, was it?

And Jenks' report seemed to indicate that he was trying his best all the while Surtees was out ahead of him.

#81 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:19

It wasn't really Clark's way of doing things, was it?

And Jenks' report seemed to indicate that he was trying his best all the while Surtees was out ahead of him.

It's certainly true that hanging back wasn't part of Clark's normal tactics. I've reread the Solitude report and I don't think it's conclusive. DSJ says that Clark deliberately dropped back after Surtees passed him to get out of the spray. He also notes that Clark was very quick to spot the changing conditions and able to pick out dry patches when he was catching Surtees. A similar thing happened at Monaco in 67 when the circuit was made slippery after Brabham dumped his oil. Clark was first to speed up when conditions improved.

The ability to excel in changing conditions again.

#82 john aston

john aston
  • Member

  • 806 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:51

If I can add an example I have witnessed rather than just read about , the best wet weather drive I have ever seen was JJ Lehto in a monsoon hit Cadwell. He was astonishing. And the most enteratining was a British GP practice in 90s when all the bloody prima donnas stayed in their pit apart from Alesi- who ragged the arse off his Ferrari. Why ? Because he could - and there was a crowd to entertain.

#83 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:59

If I can add an example I have witnessed rather than just read about , the best wet weather drive I have ever seen was JJ Lehto in a monsoon hit Cadwell. He was astonishing. And the most enteratining was a British GP practice in 90s when all the bloody prima donnas stayed in their pit apart from Alesi- who ragged the arse off his Ferrari. Why ? Because he could - and there was a crowd to entertain.


That's interesting, John; I was thinking about Lehto the other day. I can't remember whether he ever excelled in the wet in Grand Prix racing, but I saw him at Le Mans in 1995. When conditions were bad, he was visibly quicker than everyone, and hauled the black McLaren up into a race winning position. He seemed at ease driving quickly in the wet; others were either more cautious, or out of control.

Edited by john winfield, 10 March 2013 - 08:01.


#84 ryan86

ryan86
  • Member

  • 1,100 posts
  • Joined: July 09

Posted 10 March 2013 - 16:40

Lehto finished 3rd in San Marino 1991, which started off very wet, but finished dry. I can't remember if this was a great drive or not, because all but 3 cars that started ahead of him retired.

#85 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,314 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 12 March 2013 - 00:05

Lehto really did shine in the wet. Jack Brabham is too often overlooked but was also very comfy pushing hard in the wet. His drive in treacherously wet/dry conditions in the 1966 German GP was exemplary. Piers Courage's winning drive in the downpour at Longford, Tasmania, in '68 was just terrific (though, realistically, aided by Firestone's latest tyres and the relatively modest power of his F2 McLaren's FVA engine). But an obscure one which sticks in my mind is a GT race at Silverstone in which Bill Bradley - yes, Bill Bradley - went like the clappers in a Porsche 906 or 910? I think the latter? Pedro Rodriguez's Porsche 917 voyage around Brands Hatch in the BOAC 1,000 was a wet-weather tour de force. And Richard Attwood was always good in the rain as well. Phil Hill was another who could shine in half-wet to full-wet conditions. His stints in the works Ferrari TR at Le Mans '58 - wearing sailing gear borrowed from Briggs Cunningham - were also exemplary and contributed immensely to the car's victory.

DCN

#86 Alan Baker

Alan Baker
  • Member

  • 73 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:49

If I may be so bold as to correct DCN, Courage was, of course, on Dunlops at Longford in '68. The Firestones were useless that day, Clark, Hill and Amon trailing in 5th, 6th and 7th over a minute behind the winner.

#87 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:59

And those Dunlops were still good a year later when Niel Allen bolted the same tyres on to run in the Warwick Farm Tasman Cup event...

I think the width of the wheels might have been in Courage's favour at Longford, too.

#88 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:27

Would it be fair to say that, in the early days of their involvement in European racing, Firestone and Goodyear did not have the experience of wet weather tyres that Dunlop did?

#89 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 5,999 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:29

Innes Ireland did not like the rain and admitted that he was not a good wet weather driver. When he raced a Ferrari in the 1962 International Trophy, he was surpassed to find that he was gaining on the opposition during a rainy spell. He put this down to the Ferrari being a good wet weather car.

#90 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,136 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:14

Innes Ireland did not like the rain and admitted that he was not a good wet weather driver. When he raced a Ferrari in the 1962 International Trophy, he was surpassed to find that he was gaining on the opposition during a rainy spell. He put this down to the Ferrari being a good wet weather car.


I understood that Innes was averse to taking any water with it.

#91 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,314 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 13 March 2013 - 15:14

If I may be so bold as to correct DCN, Courage was, of course, on Dunlops at Longford in '68. The Firestones were useless that day, Clark, Hill and Amon trailing in 5th, 6th and 7th over a minute behind the winner.


Absolutely right, yet another Duggism. Dunlop 970s?

DCN

#92 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 13 March 2013 - 20:34

Originally posted by Roger Clark
Would it be fair to say that, in the early days of their involvement in European racing, Firestone and Goodyear did not have the experience of wet weather tyres that Dunlop did?


There can't have been too much wrong with them...

Rindt wore Firestones at Warwick Farm in '69, did he not? Brabham at the 'ring in '66 would have been on Goodyears.

#93 Alan Baker

Alan Baker
  • Member

  • 73 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:35

Would it be fair to say that, in the early days of their involvement in European racing, Firestone and Goodyear did not have the experience of wet weather tyres that Dunlop did?


In those days there was not really such a thing as a wet weather tyre, in the mid sixties nobody would make a pit stop to change to "wets". Goodyear got their act together far quicker than Firestone and in 1966 the Goodyears were very effective on a greasy track. In that year Lotus were contracted to Firestone and found their lightly treaded "Indy" tyre to be faster than Dunlops on a dry track. At Spa in '66 Surtees qualified his Ferrari on Firestones but switched to Dunlops when rain threatened before the start (in spite of claiming in his autobiography to have won the race on "lightly treaded Firestones"). Firestone's treaded "wet" tyre was pretty useless in '66, at the Nurburgring, Clark, of all people, could not keep his Lotus on the road. In 1967 there was only one wet race, in Canada and the principal Firestone runners, Clark, Hill and Amon were hampered by their tyres, as they were at Longord in '68. In that fateful F2 race at Hockenheim in April '68 the Firestone runners were nowhere, yet two months later at Rouen, Jacky Ickx blew everyone away in the pouring rain on Firestone's latest "wets".

#94 launchpad

launchpad
  • Member

  • 95 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:10

And every one of those names has come up in this thread!

That one would also have been in a winged Lotus 49. It would certainly have been a sight to see!


Hi Ray, Here are some photos (as invited) of some rainmasters of the Tasman Series.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

All photos copyright Rod Mackenzie.


I have posted these pics before on other threads, but this thread seems to need a few photos to demonstrate why Ray and I have some biased views on who was a rainmaster.
I'm not saying which others were first or were not - just that these drivers showed us that they were in 1968 and 1969.

(PS I have some other photos on Facebook - Rod Mackenzie Collection if you are interested.)

Edited by launchpad, 18 March 2013 - 07:32.


#95 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:48

Originally posted by launchpad
Hi Ray, Here are some photos (as invited) of some rainmasters of the Tasman Series.

Posted Image

Posted Image

All photos copyright Rod Mackenzie.


My principal interest here, Rod, was to point out that (in the light of Doug's post about Longford '68) it wasn't only the Dunlop treads aiding Piers Courage, but also that he was on narrower tyres which was also a great benefit in the aquaplaning conditions on that high speed circuit.

Thanks for putting them on. None of Derek at the Farm?


#96 launchpad

launchpad
  • Member

  • 95 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:16

My principal interest here, Rod, was to point out that (in the light of Doug's post about Longford '68) it wasn't only the Dunlop treads aiding Piers Courage, but also that he was on narrower tyres which was also a great benefit in the aquaplaning conditions on that high speed circuit.

Thanks for putting them on. None of Derek at the Farm?


Ray I have this one - but none in the wet.


Posted Image


Derek was talented and drove really well.

Rod

#97 E1pix

E1pix
  • Member

  • 9,452 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 18 March 2013 - 18:29

Lovely images Launchpad! :up:

#98 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,748 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:16

I suspect that the photo of Derek is from before he punched the side of the car in...

I think he did enjoy himself that weekend.

#99 RCH

RCH
  • Member

  • 791 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:04

But an obscure one which sticks in my mind is a GT race at Silverstone in which Bill Bradley - yes, Bill Bradley - went like the clappers in a Porsche 906 or 910? I think the latter?

DCN


I'm reminded of the Ilford Films 500 at Brands in '66. Topsy turvy race in rain which allowed Roger Enever's MGB to finish third in a field which included GT40s, 250LMs and Cobras. More to the point the race was led for a while by Jackie Oliver and Ken Baker in Ken's E Type.