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Racing the 66s : Crowd wisdom please


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#1 Bob21

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:35

1966 was an obvious interesting year for Formula One. With the change in the formula I'd be interested to know how difficult all of you think these cars might have been to drive ? Did grip and power ratios logically progress from the previous year or were they driving on "ice"?

Photos and film of the time, a historic meet or two suggest to me - despite horsepower increases and treaded tires - that these cars were fast stable platforms that could be driven at the limit as well as the 65s. Thanks, Bob

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#2 doc knutsen

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 15:15

Your posting reminded me of a classic Brockbank cartoon from the spring of 1966, featuring a Cooper-Maserati doing a "wheelie" down the straight, while, in the foreground, the engine man said to the chassis man: "My people having provided the power, it is up to you fellers to lick this slight tendency towards understeer..." paraphrased of course, it's been some 40 years since I saw the cartoon.;)

#3 ray b

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 15:22

sounds like a GPL driver question
and NO the low speed grip is a flaw in the model

#4 Sharman

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 15:44

My favorite Brockbank is the car leaping forward ,driving wheels breaking under the strain, the driver being forced into the (rear)engine bay under acceleration and the designer/team manager saying "If anything we're getting more power than we know what to do with"

#5 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 18:08

Originally posted by ray b
sounds like a GPL driver question
and NO the low speed grip is a flaw in the model


It is :p

#6 zoff2005

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 18:13

I think the first 3 liter cars (Repco Brabhams, Ferrari) were fairly easy to drive; after all the same drivers were also driving powerful sports-prototypes (Lola and McLaren) on the same kind of tyres. The difficulty would have come with the Cosworth engine in 1967 on which the power came in with a bang and I believe the Lotus 49 needed all the talent of its drivers to perform. Help came fairly soon in the shape of wings and slicks.

I watched the Canadian GP in 1967 and in the dry practice all the cars (in particular the Brabhams and Rindt’s Cooper-Maserati) were hanging the back out and obviously enjoying themselves. And in the wet race the next day they were not exactly holding back. Amon who was on Firestone tyres had a terrible time - his car was actually understeering at Moss corner where I was watching on full opposite lock (and full throttle!). You would have to ask them but I would think that the bigger the engine, and the more torque available, the easier it is to drive.

There was a Cooper-Maserati at Dijon the other day in the TGP race but he was on slicks, which was rather ghastly. But there are not many of those early cars out there and the speed differential is alarming.

#7 sterling49

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 19:29

Originally posted by Bob21
1966 was an obvious interesting year for Formula One. With the change in the formula I'd be interested to know how difficult all of you think these cars might have been to drive ? Did grip and power ratios logically progress from the previous year or were they driving on "ice"?

Photos and film of the time, a historic meet or two suggest to me - despite horsepower increases and treaded tires - that these cars were fast stable platforms that could be driven at the limit as well as the 65s. Thanks, Bob


I went to the 1966 British GP at Brands Hatch....they advertised it as "The Return of Power".....if I recall Jack Brabham won in the Repco Brabham and it seemed neat and tidy to handle from my viewpoint at Clearways. Sadly most of the British teams were running 2 Litre Climax motors, so naturally Jim Clark's Lotus was (as always) very nimble. By the time the '68 GP returned to Brands, the spindly aerofoils adorned most cars, but oh! what a sight, 1st Jackie Oliver, 2nd Graham Hill 3rd Seppi........sadly the GLTL cars broke but left Joseph to win a superb race in Rob Walkers smart blue and white car ( which I believed was a works spare as the Walker garage burnt out the previous night taking the race car with it....) oh and a real sense of loss over a certain Lotus drivers absence. :cry:

Halcyon days, Firestone YB11's and Ferrari V12's and Mr Duckworths's oh so special V8. :clap:

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 19:58

Originally posted by zoff2005
his car was actually understeering at Moss corner where I was watching on full opposite lock (and full throttle!).

So was it understeering or was it on opposite lock?

#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:24

Originally posted by David McKinney

So was it understeering or was it on opposite lock?

Doesn't it mean the spectator was on full opposite lock?

Originally posted by sterling49
Sadly most of the British teams were running 2 Litre Climax motors,


i think only Clark's Lotus had a 2-litre Climax.

#10 sterling49

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:37

Originally posted by Roger Clark

Doesn't it mean the spectator was on full opposite lock?


i think only Clark's Lotus had a 2-litre Climax.


Were the BRM's of '66 3 litres? My memory gets a bit misty........Ferrari, Brabham and Cooper had 3 litre lumps and Bruce had the Serenissima engine......just cannot recall the BRM's that would have been driven by Hill and Stewart.......wish I could find the programme, it's in my filing system in the garage :rolleyes:

#11 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:49

BRM raced V8s at Brands.

#12 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:50

Not at the British Grand Prix - 2 litre cars (or thereabouts)

I was there too. I cann't recall being overly excited by the performance of the cars.

The Coopers looked clumsy - the Eagle looked beautiful but wasn't there for long, while the Brabhams just looked neat and very efficient. And of course, there were no Ferraris - metalworkers strike? :rolleyes:

1967 was a different matter altogether.

Roger pipped me by 1.5 milli-seconds!

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:59

Was the Eagle still a 2.7 (2.8?) Climax FPF at that stage?

The BRMs were either 2-litre or 2.1-litre V8s, they had run the enlarged engines in the Tasman races at the beginning of the year.

Harking back to the time, I remember well Mike Kable getting very excited during 1965 about the 'big bangers' that would be in F1 in 1966. It must have been something of a disappointment when the reality of the failed BRM H16 and the slow arrival of the Weslake V12 hampered competition as it did.

But the other issue was the tyre development that had begun about 1961 and was now, with three makers in the arena, at full pace. With Can-Am experience to draw on, they were well ready for the bigger cars and helped them cope with that extra power.

#14 Magee

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 23:02

Maclean Magazine Sept 17, 1966 excerpt:

"In a recent issue of the British Auto Racing Club NEWS, Miss Wallace sermonized about the 'Mosport debacle' of tight-pants contests and Rabelaisian drinking parties, and said that auto racing should not have to depend on sex to draw crowds.

Maybe so -- but sex does draw crowds. Sex and drinking during prerace parties led to Mosport earning a bad name, and this year the track banned overnight camping. Even so, Amy Cook told me Mosport parties were dull; the St. Jovite circuit in Quebec, she said, is the place that really swings.

Amy said drivers are usually 'more exciting and masculine than most men you meet' -- and she may be an authority since for three years she's been Miss Player's 200, a cross between a beauty queen, a hostess and an advertising symbol. She has, inevitably, met many drivers; indeed, she had a couple of reunions with drivers as we spoke. The pits at a race track, she said, are no place for a girl...and 'the maleness of it all is like a magnet. ' "



Ca ne change pas

#15 sterling49

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 23:05

Ray, this forum reminds me of sooo much that I have forgotten, spot on with the Eagle and BRM, tyre development was very fast and furious back then, at that GP, Firestone had limited numbers of YB11's, Lotus had them for Miles in the F3 car and the F1 team, but I cannot remember who else (if any) had them, in fact I cannot think of another Firestone team....Ferrari at the time?

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 23:05

'mailness'?

Where is Buford and his girl at the gate story?

#17 zoff2005

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 10:28

Originally posted by David McKinney

So was it understeering or was it on opposite lock?


It was doing both, i.e. going straight on towards the outside of the corner, on opposite lock, with the driver booting it to get the back to turn! He did it every lap!

#18 Bob21

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 10:48

Thanks folks for the replies. I now have a variety of on track and off track impressions. :rotfl: Bob

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 15:46

Originally posted by zoff2005

It was doing both, i.e. going straight on towards the outside of the corner, on opposite lock, with the driver booting it to get the back to turn! He did it every lap!

Let me make sure I understand this. He approached the right-hand corner every lap on full left lock, and he was understeering?

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#20 zoff2005

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 16:40

Originally posted by David McKinney

Let me make sure I understand this. He approached the right-hand corner every lap on full left lock, and he was understeering?



Moss is a double right hand corner, fast entry, slow exit. Amon would get the car through the first part, the flick the car, maybe changing down to first, to get it to take the second tighter part. He had so little grip that the car was then sideways, on opposite lock, but still on the original course from the first part. He would then give it full throttle just to get the back end to turn. He would then be pointing out of the corner on to the straight.
It's really no big deal and by then he was going dead slow.
Rally drivers do it every day, but it was interesting to see it in Formula One.

#21 sterling49

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 17:12

Originally posted by zoff2005



Moss is a double right hand corner, fast entry, slow exit. Amon would get the car through the first part, the flick the car, maybe changing down to first, to get it to take the second tighter part. He had so little grip that the car was then sideways, on opposite lock, but still on the original course from the first part. He would then give it full throttle just to get the back end to turn. He would then be pointing out of the corner on to the straight.
It's really no big deal and by then he was going dead slow.
Rally drivers do it every day, but it was interesting to see it in Formula One.


Zoff, they call it the "scandinavian flick", always seen on the 1,000 lakes rally, as drivers crest a brow, they put the car wrong way 1st and unsettle it, so they can change direction at will......it takes some getting used to!!!! They did it at over 100mph!!!! :clap: :clap:

#22 David McKinney

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 18:35

So the word you were actually looking for zoff was "oversteer"

#23 zoff2005

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 10:21

Originally posted by David McKinney
So the word you were actually looking for zoff was "oversteer"


No it’s not David. Believe me, I know my understeer from my oversteer! When a car wants to go straight on it is understeer, when the back wants to come round it’s oversteer. The direction that the front wheels are pointing is immaterial. In this particular case Amon was using everything under the sun (which was absent) to provoke oversteer and get the car to get round the corner. I think if he had had a handbrake he would have used it.

However you obviously know better so let’s leave it at that.

#24 David McKinney

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 11:00

Originally posted by zoff2005
When a car wants to go straight on it is understeer, when the back wants to come round it’s oversteer. The direction that the front wheels are pointing is immaterial.

Interesting definition. The way I've always understood it is quite obvious when you think about it. If you turn the wheel to the right for a right-hand corner and the car wants to go straight on it is under-steering - steering less than you want it to. If on the same corner the car wants to turn sharper right, it's over-steering - steering more than you want it to. I agree the angle of the front wheels doesn't affect this, but to correct the first you would normally put on more right-hand lock and to correct the second you would wind some off.
If you're spectating on a right-hand corner and the car is going straight on with its wheels pointing left it might be sledging or pushing or any other term you might like to use. But it's patently not "under" steering.

#25 David Beard

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 14:14

Originally posted by zoff2005
- his car was actually understeering at Moss corner where I was watching on full opposite lock (and full throttle!).



:drunk: :drunk:
You don't have a photo, I suppose.......or of something similar?

#26 zoff2005

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 10:24

Originally posted by David Beard



:drunk: :drunk:
You don't have a photo, I suppose.......or of something similar?


No photos on race day, it was far too wet. I took lots during practice (they are around somewhere…). However I have seen a film of that race, I believe it was on the film about the DFV’s first season. You should look at that (this is the cassette that came once with MotorSport). I think it had stopped raining by the end of the race.

When the track is as wet as it was that day, you can throw the rule book out of the window, or better still fold it up and put it in a part of your anatomy where it will be kept warm and dry (well maybe not dry).

I am not sure they actually had “rain” tyres at the time – any ideas on this? Maybe they just had different compounds and the same tread pattern. In the Frostick book he says that they were allowed a warm up lap before the race started, as it had been dry for practice (!) and that Hill had asked to be fitted with “rain” tyres but there was no time. If rain tyres had existed I cannot understand why he did not fit them before the warm up lap. I think the 1967 Canadian GP was the first race of the 3 liter formula run in wet conditions.

#27 Cirrus

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 10:47

I'm pretty sure they had rain tyres in '68. Didn't Dunlop do some tyres with a wide groove in the centre that JYS used in the German GP?

#28 Rob29

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 18:25

Originally posted by Cirrus
I'm pretty sure they had rain tyres in '68. Didn't Dunlop do some tyres with a wide groove in the centre that JYS used in the German GP?

The first rain tyres I think were first used at the Aintree 200 April 1961.

#29 David McKinney

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 18:52

Sounds about right
There was a huge fuss in New Zealand the following January when Moss used them at Wigram. In the dry. And won.

#30 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 20:08

These were the 'high hysterisis' rubbers that Dunlop got into...

They thought they'd never cope with the heat of running in the dry. By the mid-sixties this was what all the technology was about, but separate tread patterns for the wet weren't prevalent.

Dunlop's star pattern (CR 82?) was definitely not intended for wet use, however.

#31 cosworth bdg

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:39

Originally posted by zoff2005
I think the first 3 liter cars (Repco Brabhams, Ferrari) were fairly easy to drive; after all the same drivers were also driving powerful sports-prototypes (Lola and McLaren) on the same kind of tyres. The difficulty would have come with the Cosworth engine in 1967 on which the power came in with a bang and I believe the Lotus 49 needed all the talent of its drivers to perform. Help came fairly soon in the shape of wings and slicks.

I watched the Canadian GP in 1967 and in the dry practice all the cars (in particular the Brabhams and Rindt’s Cooper-Maserati) were hanging the back out and obviously enjoying themselves. And in the wet race the next day they were not exactly holding back. Amon who was on Firestone tyres had a terrible time - his car was actually understeering at Moss corner where I was watching on full opposite lock (and full throttle!). You would have to ask them but I would think that the bigger the engine, and the more torque available, the easier it is to drive.

There was a Cooper-Maserati at Dijon the other day in the TGP race but he was on slicks, which was rather ghastly. But there are not many of those early cars out there and the speed differential is alarming.

I belive what you have said is very correct , the power delivery of the 3 Litre Repco Brabham engine , compared to the 3 Litre Cosy DFV were vastly different, the former was very smooth in power delivery therefore much easier on the chassis and driver......

#32 Keir

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 13:22

Interesting "oversteer"/"understeer" replies !!

What Amon had that day was a failure of his Firestones to grip at all !!! Hence the different bits of geometric logic !!

#33 Gerr

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 19:07

From the 1967 Canadian GP report in AutoWeek:

"The Ferrari of Chris Amon took top honors as the most evil handling car on the slick asphalt despite the heroic efforts of its pilot. Probably the only machine that could aqua-plane while standing stock still, its reported 375hp might just as well have been one-tenth that for all the good it did.
Later in the race Amon developed a technique that saved him several seconds by just letting the big red machine slide right off the corner so the tires could at least get some grip on the gravel shoulder and could accelerate away a little more efficiently."

#34 seryt

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 19:31

Originally posted by ray b
sounds like a GPL driver question
and NO the low speed grip is a flaw in the model

Can you elaborate on this? I take it you're referring to GPL that covers the 1967 F1's? Is there detailed information available about grip available from the tyres used in the late 60's, would be interesting to see that.

#35 zoff2005

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:56

Originally posted by Gerr
From the 1967 Canadian GP report in AutoWeek:

"Probably the only machine that could aqua-plane while standing stock still"


Such a car can definitely understeer on full opposite lock!