Connew

Connew Racing Team, commonly known as Connew (/ˈkɒn.juː/), was a short lived British Formula One constructor. Founded in 1971 by Peter Connew, the team constructed a single car, the PC1. The first monococque had to be aborted due to a change in regulations and the second tub was known as PC2.[1] However, record books show the car driven by Migault and others as PC1.[2] The intent was to compete in the Formula One World Championship in 1972, but a lack of financial and technical resources meant that the car only managed to start in one championship race, the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix, with French driver François Migault at the wheel. Following the Austrian race, the car competed in a handful of non-championship races before being converted to meet Formula 5000 specifications for the 1973 season. The chassis was damaged beyond repair during the season finale at Brands Hatch and the team closed.

Connew
Connew
Full nameConnew Racing Team
BaseChadwell Heath, UK
Founder(s)Peter Connew
Noted staffRoger Doran
Barry Boor
Noted driversFrance François Migault
United Kingdom David Purley
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1972 British Grand Prix
Races entered2 (1 start)
EnginesCosworth DFV
Race victories0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
Final entry1972 Austrian Grand Prix

History

At the age of 24, Peter Connew was asked by a friend if he wanted to attend the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Connew's employer refused to give him time off to attend the race, so he resigned and travelled to the race anyway.[3] Upon returning Connew needed employment and was hired by Surtees, a Formula One team run by former champion John Surtees, as a draughtsman.

1972: Formula One

After a falling out with team principal John Surtees, Connew left the team to pursue designing his own car. A garage was rented in Chadwell Heath and the initial construction of the chassis jig began in December 1970. Connew was assisted by Roger Doran, who worked as a shopfitter, and Connew's cousin Barry Boor.[3][4]

Connew's design philosophy was that whilst the car should be efficient, it should also be easy to work on and maintain. The Connew design was tested and refined by utilising a wind tunnel of a local technical college. During the build, drivers Tony Trimmer, Howden Ganley and Gerry Birrell all came to view the car, with Trimmer stating it to be one of the most comfortable cars he had ever sat in.[3]

The team planned to make their racing debut at the Monaco Grand Prix, but a sudden rule change required the construction of another chassis in a different type of aluminium. In the mean time, Connew made a deal with McLaren to purchase a second hand Cosworth DFV engine. Frenchman François Migault signed a deal to drive for the team and also provided a Ford truck, which carried the car to France. The truck broke down before it could get to the Clermont-Ferrand circuit, the location of the French Grand Prix and instead the team tested at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans.[4]

The car finally took part in practice for the 1972 British Grand Prix but was withdrawn before the race. The car had an unusual rear suspension which proved not to be up to the job. It was taken back to the workshop and repaired overnight, but upon loading the next day, a rear upright was found to be cracked and it was withdrawn.[1]

The small team also managed to show up at the 1972 German Grand Prix, but without having made a proper prior entry, participation was denied by the race officials.

The car was modified and entered in the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix. Migault qualified at the end of the field despite some engine troubles. After 22 laps, Migault had passed four competitors, but a rear wishbone mounting point failed[2] and Migault had a nasty moment. The car swerved towards the barriers on the start/finish straight, but the driver brought the car safely to a halt without damage.

The Connew reappeared at the end of season World Championship Victory Race at Brands Hatch with David Purley driving but did not start because of electrical problems. Purley had asked for an electrical "kill" switch to be fitted to the steering wheel, but on the warm-up lap this malfunctioned, the engine stopped and the car was retired.[1]

1973: Formula 5000

The car was modified to meet Formula 5000 regulations and appeared in the European Formula 5000 Championship in 1973, fitted with a Chevrolet V8 engine.[5] The car made its first outing in the series at Mallory Park for round 10 of 18. Swiss driver Pierre Soukry qualified the car in twenty-first place, but was unable to start due to a split oil pipe.[6] Three races later, the Connew failed to qualify at Brands Hatch, with Soukry at the wheel.[7] The car's final appearance was at the season finale, again at Brands Hatch. Tony Trimmer drove but a collision with a barrier put the chassis beyond repair.[4]

Racing record

Formula One

Formula One World Championship

(key)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points WCC
1972 Connew PC1 Ford V8 F ARG RSA ESP MON BEL FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 0 NC
France François Migault DNS Ret

Non-championship results

Year Event Venue Driver Result Category Report
1972 Rothmans 50,000 Brands Hatch France François Migault DNQ Formula Libre Report
1972 John Player Challenge Trophy Brands Hatch United Kingdom David Purley DNS Formula One Report

Formula 5000

European Formula 5000 Championship

(key)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1973 Connew PC1 Chevrolet V8 BRA MAL SIL SNE BRA OUL MAL MIS ZAN MAL MON SIL BRA OUL JYL ZAN SNE BRA
Switzerland Pierre Soukry DNS DNQ
United Kingdom Tony Trimmer Ret

References

  1. ^ a b c Lawrence, Mike (August 1986). "The story of the Connew GP car". Motor Sport magazine archive. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Small, Steve. The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. p. 255. ISBN 0851127029.
  3. ^ a b c d Nye, Doug (17 February 1972). "Connew: the story so far". Autosport. Vol. 46 no. 7. pp. 26–8.
  4. ^ a b c Diepraam, Mattijs; Muelas, Felix. "DIY heroes". forix.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  5. ^ Brown, Allen. "Connew PC1-002". oldracingcars.com. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  6. ^ Brown, Allen. "Rothmans F5000 Championship round: Mallory Park, 8 Jul 1973". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  7. ^ Brown, Allen. "Rothmans F5000 Championship round: Brands Hatch, 27 Aug 1973". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  • Formula One results are taken from the Official Formula 1 Website. 1972 Season review. www.formula1.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  • Formula 5000 results are taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. Formula 5000 races. www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  • Rothmans 50,000 result is taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. Rothmans 50,000. www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  • John Player Challenge Trophy result is taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. John Player Challenge Trophy www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.

External links

1972 Austrian Grand Prix

The 1972 Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Österreichring on 13 August 1972. It was race 9 of 12 in both the 1972 World Championship of Drivers and the 1972 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The 54-lap race was won by Lotus driver Emerson Fittipaldi after he started from pole position. Denny Hulme finished second for the McLaren team and his teammate Peter Revson came in third.

1972 Formula One season

The 1972 Formula One season was the 26th season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 23rd World Championship of Drivers, the 15th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers and numerous non-championship Formula One races. The World Championship season commenced on 23 January and ended on 8 October after twelve races.

For 1972 Team Lotus focused again on the type 72 chassis. Imperial Tobacco continued its sponsorship of the team under its new John Player Special brand. The cars, now often referred to as 'JPS', were fielded in a new black and gold livery. Lotus took the championship by surprise in 1972 with 25-year-old Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi who became the youngest world champion at that point. Stewart came second in the championship.

This was the first year where all the races were run on circuits with safety features on them, and considerable progress had been made since 1968, the last year where all races were run on circuits with no safety features.

The British Racing Motors (BRM) team took its last victory when Jean-Pierre Beltoise won the rain-affected 1972 Monaco Grand Prix in a BRM P160.

The Dutch Grand Prix was cancelled this year because of safety arrangements that were not completed for the race. It was supposed to be held between the Belgian and French Grand Prix's at the usual location, Zandvoort. Also, a second American motor race called the United States Grand Prix West, originally supposed to be held in April at the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles, was cancelled. The Mexican Grand Prix was scheduled to be the last race of the season, but it was cancelled after local interest dissipated after the death of Pedro Rodríguez.

1972 World Championship Victory Race

The 2nd World Championship Victory Race, formally the John Player Challenge Trophy, was a motor race, run to Formula One rules, held on 22 October 1972 at Brands Hatch, Kent. The race was run over 40 laps of the circuit. Jean-Pierre Beltoise won in his BRM P180. The entry included several Formula 5000 cars.

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Born in Coventry, Connew attended King Henry VIII Grammar School, an independent school in the city and the LSE. He entered journalism working for the Coventry Evening Telegraph, then moved to the Coventry Express, and then moved to London to work for the Daily Mirror and was the Mirror Group's US Bureau chief until joining the Murdoch organisation in the US before returning to London. He became Deputy Editor of the News of the World before returning to the Mirror as Deputy Editor. He edited the Sunday Mirror for a short period starting in 1994, and subsequently worked as a consultant for Express Newspapers and TalkSport.Connew was formerly married to television presenter Lowri Turner during which period he became a house husband, but the couple, who have two sons, separated after 10 years in 2002, and divorced in 2004. Connew subsequently worked as Director of Communications for the Sparks charity, and as a judge for the British Press Awards.

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Tony Trimmer also won the prestigious Monaco F3 Race in 1970 driving a Brabham BT-28 and finished runner-up to Patrick Depailler in the 1972 edition.

Trimmer entered six Formula One World Championship Grands Prix with uncompetitive teams, firstly Maki for four races in 1975 and 1976, resulting in four failures to qualify. He then entered the 1977 British Grand Prix (failed to pre-qualify) and the 1978 British Grand Prix (failed to qualify), with the Melchester Racing Team, driving a Surtees TS19 and a McLaren M23 respectively. However, also driving the Melchester McLaren, he finished a superb third in the rain-soaked 1978 BRDC International Trophy non-Championship race at Silverstone, coming home ahead of many of the greats of Formula One. That year he won the British Aurora F1 Championship.

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