Peter Windsor re­vis­its 1967


F1 Racing (UK) - - CONTENTS - PETER WINDSOR @F1rac­ing _mag face­ f1rac­ing­mag

What did I do in the Au­gust break? I did what I’d al­ways wanted to do as a kid, but never could be­cause Au­tosport wasn’t sold in Aus­tralian newsagents back then. So I packed my bags, took a cou­ple of Au­tosports from Au­gust 1967, as yet un­read, and or­dered my­self a gin sling. Here are some high­lights:

Au­tosport, 25 Au­gust 1967

The front cover fa­mously fea­tures the Roger Mc­cluskey/frank Gard­ner Ford GT40 at Le Mans. I had no idea that the car was painted gold – and I’d for­got­ten com­pletely that Mc­cluskey, a quick USAC driver (who, on 20 Au­gust 1967, fin­ished third at Mil­wau­kee be­hind Mario An­dretti and Al Unser), also raced at Le Mans in June. So why don’t we see He­lio Cas­tron­eves or Will Power rac­ing in Europe

from time to time? The men­tion of Gard­ner also re­minds me of a con­ver­sa­tion I had with Sir John Whit­more just be­fore he passed away ear­lier in 2017. He was talk­ing about his friend­ship with Steve Mcqueen, and how it had de­te­ri­o­rated once Steve had sent him the script for Le Mans.

Sir John had told Steve that it was com­pletely lack­ing in di­rec­tion and could have in­cluded some of the real things that hap­pened, cit­ing, for ex­am­ple, Frank Gard­ner sleep­ing in his Alan Mann GT40 overnight, pre-race, to en­sure none of the Shelby guys nicked his chas­sis set-up. Any­way, Steve never spoke to Sir John again un­til he rang him 13 years later, shortly be­fore he died.

Also in this is­sue: an ad­ver­tise­ment for the up­com­ing 28 Au­gust bank hol­i­day meet­ing at Brands Hatch – an F2 ex­trav­a­ganza fea­tur­ing Jack Brab­ham, John Sur­tees, Gra­ham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Jackie Ste­wart, Pe­dro Ro­dríguez, Jean-pierre Bel­toise and Jacky Ickx. No Jim Clark, of course (he was a UK tax ex­ile in 1967) – and all the F1 driv­ers would fly to Brands Hatch di­rect from Mosport, where they had been at the Cana­dian GP the day be­fore. No one thought twice about it.

Louis T Stan­ley ar­ranged for an air am­bu­lance to fly Ian Raby back from Zand­voort (sadly Raby would suc­cumb to his in­juries in Novem­ber); Bob An­der­son’s fa­tal test­ing ac­ci­dent at Sil­ver­stone the pre­vi­ous week was traced to a front-sus­pen­sion fail­ure; Jean-pierre Bel­toise set a new record with his works F2 Ma­tra-fva up the Mont-dore hill­climb in south­ern France and Juan Manuel Fan­gio and Stir­ling Moss were sched­uled to make guest ap­pear­ances at the week­end’s Ol­lon-vil­lars hill­climb in Switzer­land; there are de­scrip­tions of two new Mclarens – the BRM V12-pow­ered M5A F1 car and the glo­ri­ous, orange, M6A Canam car. Jackie Oliver, who raced a Lo­tus Com­po­nents 41B in F2 that year, as well as deputis­ing for Jim Clark, also writes the F2 race re­port from Enna while com­pet­ing in the same event!

Oliver refers to him­self in the third per­son: “Oliver came out late and only man­aged to get in five laps be­fore stop­ping with fuel pres­sure trou­ble” – and says this of Pe­dro Ro­dríguez’s ac­ci­dent: “Bel­toise and Ro­dríguez, fight­ing for sec­ond, con­tested the same bit of road at 145mph and Ro­dríguez lost con­trol in a big way, break­ing the car in half but man­ag­ing to main­tain sec­ond place for some dis­tance on the seat of his pants….ickx had to slow to avoid the two-part Pro­tos.”

Ma­tras dom­i­nated the first five po­si­tions: Ste­wart, Bel­toise, Ickx, Jo Sch­lesser and Johnny Ser­voz-gavin. Alan Rees fin­ished sixth in his Winkel­mann Brab­ham and Roy Pike (Brab­ham) won the F3 race from Harry Stiller (af­ter whom Sir Frank Wil­liams’ last black labrador would be named in 2001).

Paul Hawkins con­tin­ued his golden run, win­ning at Zeltweg in his GT40 with Richard Attwood fin­ish­ing sec­ond in one of my favourite rac­ing cars: a Porsche Car­rera 6. Fi­nally, Tony Good­win, wrote the re­port from Sch­leiz in East Ger­many, where the F3 race was won by an­other of my heroes – Chris Wil­liams, from Shere, Sur­rey. As was the style, Good­win also refers to him­self in the third per­son, and fin­ishes his re­port by writ­ing: “There is talk of an East Ger­man GP for F2 or even F1…” Sadly not.

Au­tosport, 1 Septem­ber 1967

This cover fea­tures a shot of Jacky Ickx (Tyrrell Ma­tra) lead­ing an un­der­steer­ing Bruce Mclaren (Mclaren M4A) at the Whit Mon­day Crys­tal Palace F2 meet­ing. We learn that Colin Crabbe (who would in 1968-69 sup­port Vic El­ford’s F1 ca­reer) was “lucky to es­cape with a burned an­kle and cut hand when his GT40 lost a back wheel going into Hawthorns dur­ing prac­tice for the Group 4 race at Brands. The car hit the bank head-on at high speed and burst into flames. Crabbe scram­bled out as the car came to rest with the en­tire bot­tom half of his over­alls alight.”

There is also a re­port on the Brab­ham onetwo at the Cana­dian GP by Bob Mac­gre­gor. Rain de­fined the race: Jim Clark should have won but stopped late with dead electrics. He got out of the Lo­tus 49, dried the ignition, then re-joined with a push-start. Dan Gur­ney drove slowly down the pit­lane, hop­ing for new gog­gles, but a me­chanic missed the throw and they landed on the V12 en­gine…

Henri Pescarolo led a Ma­tra one-two in the F3 race at Zand­voort, with Mike Beck­with fifth for Brab­ham. Si­mon Tay­lor cov­ered the F2 Brands Hatch meet­ing, start­ing with news of the flight from Canada to England: “Just about the most dra­matic thing about the 30-strong en­try for the Guards In­ter­na­tional was that Brab­ham, Ste­wart, Hill, Rindt and Chris Ir­win made a mad dash across the Atlantic to get to Brands by Mon­day morn­ing in time for the prac­tice ses­sion that had been laid on for them; Hulme and Mclaren stayed in Amer­ica to pre­pare for the first Canam round.”

With that, it was time to put down the mags, fold the um­brella and re­tire to my ho­tel room. They raced dur­ing the Au­gust break in 1967, I now ap­pre­ci­ated – at circuits all over the world, to and from air­ports and on to other tracks. And some­times they never re­turned.

We en­force the Au­gust break to­day, I think, be­cause most of Europe shuts down, ev­ery­one needs some R&R and teams like Fer­rari, in any event, find it very dif­fi­cult to muster-up a work­force. Back then, that was Fer­rari’s prob­lem.

To­day? It’s our chance to put our world into per­spec­tive. And to re­mem­ber that we still love this crazi­ness we call For­mula 1.


Th­ese days all the driv­ers take a proper sum­mer break – but that cer­tainly wasn’t the case in 1967

He’d re­tired from the 1967 Cana­dian GP, but Jochen Rindt came back with vic­tory in the F2 race at Brands Hatch

Brab­ham won the 1967 Cana­dian GP, then headed straight to Brands Hatch for F2

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