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F5000 Cars in Grands Prix


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#1 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 20:50

This Mike Kettlewell item was published in Motoring News International in May 1973.


As well as Steve Thompson trying to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix with the Servis-sponsored Chevron B24-Chevrolet, it is understood that David Hobbs hopes to run one of Carl Hogan's Lola T330-Chevrolets in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Hobbs was, of course, impressive in practice for the recent GKN Daily Express Trophy meeting when in practice he lapped faster than the entire BRM and Shadow teams!


I don't recall anything about F5000 cars being permitted to run in Grands Prix. There were combined races run but they were not championship events.

Can anyone throw any light on this?

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#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 21:27

From autosport, 3rd May 1973:

John Player GP opened up to all formulae

The John Player Grand Prix at Silverstone on Saturday July 14 will be open to any single seater car complying with the CSI safety requirernents.

Regulations for the event were published this week, and the Silverstone promoters have decided to take this step in view of the continuing disagreement between the constructors and organisers over financial arrangements for Grands Prix this year. If, by the closing date of entries, June 8, the Formula 1 Association' and Grand Prix International (representing the organisers) have come to an agreement, then that agreement will apply, but if not, then the John Player Grand Prix will he a formula libre race rather than the customary Formula 1 affair.

In addition to certain Formula 1 cars,- the RAC are expecting Formula 2, Formula 5000 and USAC cars to compete for the £55,000 fund, which is an Increased fund compared with last year. For the 25 starters which will be permitted, prize money down to 20th place amounts to £23,248 which is increased by a fifth compared with last year's total,. which. means that the balance from the £55,000 will be used for expenses and a certain amount of enticement money.

Last week, the Spanish Grand Prix was held with the promoters going outside the Grand Prix International agreement to come to their own terms; with the Formula 1 Association. However Peter Warr, team manager of the winning team, still commented that the figure reached was a compromise and that he wasn't .entirely happy with the deal that had been done. " It's not as much as we were asking -for in terms of sheer, finance, and we're still faced with the problems of severely rising costs," commented Warr. He continued, " while the increase in finance which we've achieved represents in pounds a fairly substantial percentage increase, to the Spanish whose currency hasn't been devalued to the same extent that ours has-it only represents a much smaller increase from a percentage point of view."

The John Player Grand Prix at Silverstone will be over 67 laps and a spokesman from the RAC commented that enquiries over entries for the race had already come from McRae and Chevron, McRae with a Formula 1 car if the race is run to normal Grand Prix gtandards. If there is a large influx of Formula 2 and 5000 cars in the race, qualifying will take place in the official practice periods, which take place on the previous Thursday and Friday.

Starting the John Player Grand Prix day will 'be a round in the JP Formula 3 Championship following two heats on the Friday, Saturday's final being 20 laps, and this will be followed by the 20 lap British Touring (Group 2) Car Championship round. Then comes the Grand Prix, followed by a 12 lap qualifier in the Yellow Pages Formula Atlantic Championship and the day is completed with a 12 lap race for historic racing and sports cars in the JCB Championship.

Silverstone will have many excellent amenities for the family throughout the Grand Prix weekend, and work 'Is already under way in the construction of a new Motor pedestrian bridge after the start. the new bridge will be much wider and the supports will be set farther back so that the sleepers on the Pit Straight will now run straight all the way through to Copse.

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 22:45

Did Steve Thompson actually try to qualify, as in drive the car on the circuit in official practice?

Or did he try, as in lodge an entry?

#4 Don Capps

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 02:00

As several of you know the F5000 cars ran in the 1971 Argentine GP. As for 1972, there was a serious effort to ensure sufficient cars on the grid should the FOCA make good on its threats, so as the article Roger quotes, the grid was opened up....

#5 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 02:18

Originally posted by Don Capps
As several of you know the F5000 cars ran in the 1971 Argentine GP. As for 1972, there was a serious effort to ensure sufficient cars on the grid should the FOCA make good on its threats, so as the article Roger quotes, the grid was opened up....


The 1971 Argentine GP was, of course, a non-championship event.

As Ray asks, did Thompson actually get on the track and try to qualify for the 1973 Monaco GP?

#6 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 03:06

I've found the answer to my question.

The report of Thompson trying to qualify at Monaco was published in May - the Monaco GP was held in June. So it is safe to assume the writer meant that Thompson tried to lodge an entry.

An item in Motoring News in February 1973 states that USAC cars could be seen in European Grands Prix that year.

Grand Prix International, the "association of organisers" were given dispensation by the CSI in December 1972 to include other categories, though the USAC cars would probably not be eligible for championship points.

#7 Roger Clark

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 08:29

Autosport also reported that USAC cars could be seen in Grands Prix. "GPI executive director Henri Treu has discussed the project at length with Dan gurney, who expressed a desire last November to pitch one of his USAC cars against an F1 car at the Nurburgring." It was thought that Parenlli jones and roger Penske would be invited to send cars.

#8 Allen Brown

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 12:18

This was all just speculation. No F5000 car came close to even lodging an entry for a GP.

Even in 1973, when the gap between F1 and F5000 was at its smallest, the F5000s would not have been competitive. Their only value would be to fill out the back of the grid.

Ditto USAC cars. On a road course, a good USAC car was no faster than a good F5000.

Allen

#9 ian senior

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 13:56

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Allen Brown
[B]This was all just speculation. No F5000 car came close to even lodging an entry for a GP.

Even in 1973, when the gap between F1 and F5000 was at its smallest, the F5000s would not have been competitive. Their only value would be to fill out the back of the grid.

In most cases yes, but I seem to remember the F5000s doing rather well in the 1973 (or was it 1974?) Race of the Champions at Brands.......Some bloke called Gethin, I think.

#10 Chris Townsend

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 14:31

1973 Race of Champions

Yes, Gethin won, but the best he could qualify was 8th, and he won only when Hulme's clutch gave out near the end,
and everyone else had retired. This was the only time an F5000 beat F1s [other than in the Shellsport G8 series].
At the 1973 International Trophy - on a circuit that might be considered more suitable to F5000s than the twists of Brands
Hatch, the best qualifier was Hobbs, 7th fastest.

Even when a driver of Mark Donohue's class was pitted against F1 machinery, on a circuit he would have known far better
than any of the European opposition he could qualify no better than 8th in an F5000 [1971 Questor GP]

#11 ian senior

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 14:37

Originally posted by Chris Townsend
1973 Race of Champions

Yes, Gethin won, but the best he could qualify was 8th, and he won only when Hulme's clutch gave out near the end,
and everyone else had retired. This was the only time an F5000 beat F1s [other than in the Shellsport G8 series].
At the 1973 International Trophy - on a circuit that might be considered more suitable to F5000s than the twists of Brands
Hatch, the best qualifier was Hobbs, 7th fastest.

Even when a driver of Mark Donohue's class was pitted against F1 machinery, on a circuit he would have known far better
than any of the European opposition he could qualify no better than 8th in an F5000 [1971 Questor GP]


Qualifying 7th or 8th doesn't sound bad to me. I still maintain that, in that time, a good F5000 car with a good driver would have given a respectable account of itself. And it would certainly have been better than some midfield or tail end runners in F1 cars.

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 14:52

That one keeps getting quoted, so I've dug out Andy Marriott's report in Motor Sport! Gethin took the lead for the first time half-way through the final lap, when Denny Hulme's clutch let go. As far as the F1 cars were concerned, it was a race of unreliability and disasters:

Lap 1 Both Lotuses boil on the grid, both McLarens almost cook their clutches and Scheckter is very slow off the grid. Hill's Brabham nerfed off by persons unknown. Beltoise's & Lauda's BRMs lead.

Lap 2 Fittipaldi's Lotus misfiring. Gethin running 6th, ahead of Hailwood, Hulme, Ganley.

Lap 3 Fittipaldi retires with seized metering unit

Lap 10 Peterson leads from the BRMs. Hailwood 4th, Hulme 6th, Gethin 7th. Watson had crashed out in the second Brabham. Ganley next to retire, with a wheel breaking up on his Williams/Politoys. Lauda lost nearly a lap after a puncture on lap 17 - he had been running third.

Lap 19 Peterson's gearbox explodes. Beltoise leads, harried by Hailwood. Then Schuppan and Hulme. Scheckter up to 6th, Gethin 7th.

Lap 22 Beltoise punctures too. Hailwood leads. Scheckter off in the Armco at Druids. Hulme passes Schuppan. Gethin 4th, but the only F1 cars behind him are the two BRMs which had had punctures, Hunt's old Surtees and Trimmer in the second Politoys (his first race in it).

Lap 27 Schuppan in the Armco at Clearways. Gethin 3rd. Hailwood cruising to his first F1 win ......

Lap 35 Hailwood's suspension breaks - he goes into the Armco at Hawthorns. Hulme leads, Gethin 2nd, a long way behind.

Lap 39 Hulme's clutch gives up. Denny tries to nurse it home, but Gethin passes him with half a lap left. Hulme almost rammed by Tony Dean's Chevron, then limps across the line just ahead of Hunt (both given the same time). Trimmer 12 seconds behind. Beltoise had had another puncture, but still finished 6th. Not sure what happened to Lauda, but he was a DNF anyway!

The F5000s were no more reliable either: frontrunners McRae, Lunger and Edwards were all out with engine trouble and Holland's rear wing fell off ....

As Motor Sport said:

It was all good light-hearted entertainment that kept the crowd thrilled.

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 14:59

Oh, and Gethin's fastest lap was nearly two seconds slower than the F1 fastest jointly set by Beltoise, Lauda and Peterson .....

#14 Allen Brown

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 16:33

Originally posted by Allen Brown
... Even in 1973, when the gap between F1 and F5000 was at its smallest, the F5000s would not have been competitive. Their only value would be to fill out the back of the grid.

Ditto USAC cars. On a road course, a good USAC car was no faster than a good F5000.

Allen

And this from a man who is actually a big fan of F5000!

#15 Chris Townsend

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 19:14

It's also worth pointing out that in the 73 Race of Champions and International Trophy the
fastest F5000s were qualifying just behind most of the competitive F1 runners, and barely
in front of people who were at best make-weights in F1. Also bear in mind that most of the
races that combined F1/F5000 were at the start of the season, when new F1 cars were
not necessarily well sorted, and that the practice sessions for these races were much shorter
than those of Grand Prix, meaning that if you had a problem there was less chance to overcome
it, and that the combined races were on circuits that the F5000 drivers raced on 3 or 4 times a
year and knew incredibly well, whereas the average F1 driver saw these places once a year.

And this is from a huge fan of F5000 too! The two formulae just didn't match up. F5000 didn't get
quite the same calibre of driver as F2 [with all respect to Gethin or Frank Gardner or Graham McRae]
with the exception of Andretti in the USA. [And the closeness of Andretti and Brian Redman in the
mid-70s SCCA series suggests that Redman probably was a lost talent who never got the
machinery he deserved in F1]. More fundamentally, the engines weren't in the same league as the
DFV or BRM V12. [Especially a matter of torque I'd guess.]

#16 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 19:52

Originally posted by Allen Brown
This was all just speculation. No F5000 car came close to even lodging an entry for a GP.


Allen



Motoring News reported that three days before entries closed for the 1973 British Grand Prix the RAC had received just ten entries. Five F1 cars and five F5000 cars had lodged an entry.

Only four of the F5000 cars entered were named: Steve Thompson (Chevron), Guy Edwards (Lola), Ian Ashley (Lola) and Ray Allen (March).

The F1 entries came from teams that were not members of the Formula One Association.

Three weeks later a "satisfactory financial arrangement " had been reached between the RAC, Silverstone Circuits and the Formula One Association and the F5000 cars were no longer neded.