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Piper Formula Ford


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#1 szyp

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 11:20

I am the secretary of the Piper Club and we have found some documents that provide the following information.

 

 

We have an account that a Piper Formula Ford was raced at Brands Hatch on the 16th July 1967 at a Romford Enthusiasts Car Club event with claims that it established a new circuit record for Formula Fords at 58 seconds driven by Graham Tomlinson, son of John Tomlinson who was chief instructor at the Lydden Hill Racing school and also involved in Motor Racing Developments.

 

​I have found any programme or entry list or results for this event.

 

We do not know any further details apart from that the car was used at the Lydden Hill racing school and could be loaned out for races but have not clue what happened to the car or if it still exists.

 


Edited by szyp, 04 December 2016 - 20:49.


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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 13:22

Well, there was a meeting at Brands on that date, but according to Formula2.net it was run by Maidstone & Mid-Kent CC, not Romford ECC. RECC had run a meeting at Snetterton on April 9th and were at Brands on (at least) May 7th and July 16th.

 

58 seconds seems a bit swift for a Formula Ford to me. The fastest F3s were lapping Brands Club Circuit in the high 52s in early 1967 - could an FF really be within just five seconds or so behind Tony Lanfranchi or Harry Stiller?

 

Most importantly though, according to Wikipedia, the Formula Ford rules (although known in principle since December 1966) weren't published until the BRSCC Bulletin dated May 1967 and the first stand-alone Formula Ford race didn't take place until July 2nd.



#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 14:20

58 seconds seems a bit swift for a Formula Ford to me. The fastest F3s were lapping Brands Club Circuit in the high 52s in early 1967 - could an FF really be within just five seconds or so behind Tony Lanfranchi or Harry Stiller?


It's perhaps unlikely but not impossible. At that 2nd July first FF race at Brands, winner Ray Allen set fastest lap in 59.0 sec, whilst according to the Autosport report George Lewis had taken pole in 58.6 sec and Tony Lanfranchi had lapped one of the MRS Lotus 51s at 57.6 sec earlier in the week.

I've also checked the report of the Maidstone & Mid-Kent CC meeting on 16th April, but there's no mention of Tomlinson in the Piper. I suspect the only event he would have been eligible for would have been the Libre race, won by Tony Lanfranchi.

#4 szyp

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 20:48

 I must apologise to both of you, Vitesse2 and Tim Murray I do not know how I managed to type in April :confused:  when the event mentioned was on July 16th. I only have the date for the meeting so I checked Motorsport from July 1967 in the fixtures list there was a Romford ECC on the 16th July therefore assume that it was this event.

I have edited the original post to change to July.


Edited by szyp, 04 December 2016 - 20:50.


#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 21:41

Right, now we're getting somewhere. Here's what Mike Kettlewell wrote in his event report in Autosport:
 

Ray Allan sat on pole position for the Formula Ford race in his Motor Racing Stables Lotus 51, but a menace to the MRS cars was the second fastest man in practice, ex-MRS pupil Graham Tomlinson in a Piper Mk 2 entered by the Lydden Racing School. Allan could not start, throwing up his hands in despair (the gearbox had stripped) but at the end of the first lap the three MRS Lotus 51s of Ed Patrick, George Lewis and Bob Stirling were in front. By lap 2, however, Swedish driver John Quistberg (MRS Lotus 51) was in the lead, pressed hard by Stirling and Patrick. This is how they ran until lap six, when Patrick dropped back after going sideways at Clearways. Coming up fast was Tomlinson, while Lewis had slowed, dropping to the tail of the field and making a pit stop. Tomlinson got into fourth place on lap six and gradually closed on Patrick, taking him at Druids on the ninth lap. However, despite setting a new FF lap record of 58 secs (76.97 mph), Tomlinson could not catch winner Quistberg or second man Stirling. Bruce Campbell was uninjured after going straight on at Druids on the second lap.

Results:

1, J. Quistberg (Lotus 51) 75.66 mph
2. R. D. Stirling (Lotus 51)
3. G. Tomlinson (Piper Mk 2)
Fastest lap: Tomlinson 58 s 76.97 mph.


There's a nice photo showing Tomlinson trying hard at Clearways, which I could scan and email you if it's of interest.

#6 szyp

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 17:04

Thank you Tim, this matches with the information I had of Graham being last into the first corner. and finishing 3rd. The Piper sales pitch goes on to say "To date the new car has had ancillary equipment faults which have precluded clear outright races, but everybody who had driven the car forecasts a winning future for it, along the lines set by the Piper Sports cars of Bob Bell and Brian Sherwood.

If you could post the Picture that would be fantastic as I cannot get hold of an Autosport with the report at the moment.

 

Again a big thank you. Now to see if anybody knows what happened to the car.



#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 20:21

I've sent you a PM.

#8 David Beard

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 18:19

The name Piper pops up so often.

Piper sports cars and FF cars as discussed here.

I discovered  my Elan Plus 2 had Piper cams back in the late seventies.

My chum has just bought a Piper camshaft for his Triumph Vitesse,.

And I now could fit a Piper stainless exhaust to my Elan M100.

 

Any connection between this lot?



#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 18:36

Here's an earlier thread:

Piper - the driver, the car and the camshaft

See especially post 3 from Peter Morley and the later confirmation from the late great Syd Fox himself.

The conclusions were that Piper Cars and Piper Cams were very closely linked, but that they were nothing to do with David Piper the driver.

#10 E1pix

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 18:59

Were Pipers only introduced in the U.S. after decades of not being imported?

I followed FF probably more than school as a kid, and don't recall them being here until a much-later foray to our SCCA Runoffs in 2006.

#11 szyp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 15:35

David Beard if you look at the club web site under History of the company you will have your answer in that the main protagonists in the early days were also involved in engine tuning and when the split came they started Piper Cams and Piper Cars as separate companies. 



#12 szyp

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 15:38

to E1pix: The FF cars now made in the USA and called Piper has no connection with the original Piper Cars company in the UK. But they do make very advanced and good looking FF cars.