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Old 31 May 2012, 10:56 (Ref:3082388)   #16
chunterer
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chunterer has a real shot at the championship!chunterer has a real shot at the championship!chunterer has a real shot at the championship!chunterer has a real shot at the championship!chunterer has a real shot at the championship!
Very warm welcome Peter, thanks for sharing this with us.

Look forward to (hopefully) some tales about your racing exploits and rivals at the time?
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Old 1 Jun 2012, 11:31 (Ref:3083186)   #17
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Thank you. By all means. While searching the internet recently I happened to locate a Lotus 69 which reputedly had been owned by Gerhard Irsa and which, immaculately restored, is offered for sale in the USA. I am sorely tempted but good sense says that those days are behind me.... for heavens sake I am a grandfather!

I don't know if this is the same car in which Gerhard was severely injured during practice for the Osterrichring round of the 1973 EFDA European FF Championships.

Apparently he was following a team mate who swerved away from a car which had blown its engine at the back of the circuit at very high speed. Poor Gerhard had nowhere to go and his legs were smashed as the Lotus folded around him. I believe that he never raced again. I only met him briefly at post-race scrutineering after the Zolder round which he won and I claimed second place. Despite the lack of much common language I found him to be a very nice chap. I admired his race-craft after seeing him win the first FF World Championship at Brands in 1972.

Is there a connection between Gerhard Irsa and the "Irsa" curve at the new Osterrichring?

As a result of Gerhard's misfortune I went into the lead of the EFDA championship. This led to Bernie Ecclestone (for whom I worked at the WeyLock works) offering me a seat in the new "works" Brabham F3 car. This eventually came to naught when he decided to stop making customer racing cars.

Hans Binder won the Austrian round and I was second after starting well back on the grid. My motor blew on the first lap of the re-started practice in about the same place where Gerhard's accident had taken place. Lucky for me the American serviceman Steve Farnsworth, who ran the Panasonic Elden Team, was able to lend me his engine in return for half of any prize-money I should win. The engine was far better than my Rowland lump and I should have bought it from Steve. I started from about mid field and avoided the carnage when the loonies on the front rows of the grid collided despite warnings from Dr. Helmut Marko and Jackie Stewart that accidents were common at the start of races here. I shot down the gap between the pit fence and the field. I managed to work my way up to second while catching the eventual winner, Hans Binder, at a prodigious rate.

I friend of mine who had raced Formula Vees against me in Australia was at the event as a spectator. His name was Godfrey Handschu who hailed from Austria and was visiting relatives. He was beside himself cheering for his Australian friend and his countryman, Hans Binder.

My wife, Gaye, and our new-born son, Simon, travelled around Europe in a Bedford bus. Anne and Walt Wurzbach lived on the air base at Schweinfurt and they very kindly hosted us over much of the summer.

A Canadian friend, Tommy Sommerville who we had met while living in Toronto in 1971/72, travelled to most rounds in his VW Kombi. He and I went in the bus to Anderstorp where I used the engine out of Anne's Royale.

At the last event in the championship at Brands on the GP circuit I made the dumb mistake of not buying a new set of tyres... making do with what I thought were the "demon tweak" Firestones from the World Championship event of 1972. Of course they had aged and were not up to the job.

I diced with Tiff Needell for much of the race. Tiff went on the fame and fortune as the lively presenter for "5th Gear".
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Old 3 Jun 2012, 04:27 (Ref:3084121)   #18
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The 1973 schedule was actually:
Zolder
Hockenheim
Maintz Finthen
Djursland Ring
Osterrichring
Anderstorp not Mantorp Park, they are 186 km apart!
Oct 21-Brands Hatch

Djursland Ring
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Old 13 Jun 2012, 12:27 (Ref:3090108)   #19
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By 1979 & maybe earlier the series was run by Dan Partel, an American based in the EFDA offices in Luxembourg. He was enthusiastic to get entries & organise races at good venues. He even attracted Senna to do some races. He later worked for Champcar in the States.
I did the Nurburgring & Zandvoort FF1600 races in '79 & quite a few from '83-'85, being based in Brussels. No great results but just fabulous rocking round some of the European Circuits.
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Old 14 Apr 2013, 08:11 (Ref:3233785)   #20
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European FF Championship 1973

I have revised the point-score (below) for the 1973 Formula Ford Euroseries based on information found in the 1973 Ford Motor Sport Yearbook which promoted the championship.


Indeed, the 1973 Championship was not promoted by EFDA, rather the Ford Motor Company was the sponsor and the major prize was a "works" F3 drive for 1974.


Contrary to my earlier understanding it is now confirmed that the point- scoring system was:

1st 20, 2nd 16, 3rd 14, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 9, 7th 8, 9th 6, 10th 5, 11th 4, 12th 3, 13th 2 and 14th 1 point.

Tied positions in individual had the points for the two positions totalled and then averaged. This happened only once at Osterrichring where Bengt Gilhorn and Lorenzo Sassi were classified in equal fifth place. At the Austrian round, prize-monies were doubled to compensate for the cancelled Vallelunga event due to an outbreak of cholera in Italy. Points were allocated as if this was a single round.

By my reckoning this is how the championship ended up:

1. Hans Binder (A) Merlyn-Scholar Mk24-64 pts
2. Peter Finlay (GB-AUS) Palliser WDF2-19-Rowland-63 pts
3. Bengt Gilhorn(S) Merlyn & Titan Mk6C-61.5 pts
4. Bob Arnott (GB) Merlyn Mk24-Scholar -60 pts
5. J-E.Johannsson (S) Titan Mk6C-49 pts
6. Gerhard Irsa (A) Lotus 69 -42 pts
7. Claude Crespin (B), Merlyn-HolbayMk24-34 pts
8. Lennart Sundahl (S) Merlyn-Scholar Mk11A-30 pts
9. Slim Borgudd S) Royale RP3-29 pts
10. Born Arvelid S) Merlyn Mk10A-26 pts
11. Jean- Francois Vaney (B) Merlyn- 25 pts
12=. Syd Fox (GB) Hawke. 20 pts
12=. Thomas Meray (D) Not Known - 20 pts
15. Walter Wurzbach (D-USA) Royale RP16-19 pts (US citizen based at Schweinfurt USAF B).
16. M.Gramman (A) not known-16 pts
17. Roger Manning (UK) Elden-Piper Mk10-15 pts
18=. Dieter-Karl Anton (A) Lotus 69- 14 pts . (Team mate to Gerhard Irsa).
18=. Donald McLeod (UK) Van Diemen FA73- 14 pts
20=. Steve Farnsworth (D-USA) Elden-Hammerschmidt- 13 pts
US citizen based at Ramstein USAFB. Ran the Panasonic team.
20=. Hans Maier (A) Brabham BT 29? 13 pts
22. Rob Wicken (GB) Merlyn Mk17A -Piper -12 pts
23. Richard Morgan (GB) Ray73F -Vegantune -10 pts
24= Mats Nygren Merlyn Mk24-Scholar - 10 pts
24.Ric Van Kempen (NL) Royale RP16-Vegantune -10 pts
26. Lorenzo Sassi (I) Delta MK 9. 9.5 pts
27. N. Rouff ((B) Not known. 9 pts
28. Erik Karlsson (S) not known. 8 pts
29=.. Tiff Needell (GB) Lotus 69 Scholar. 7 pts
29=. H. Regout (A) Not known. 7 pts
29=.T. Torgnysson (S) Not Known. 7 pts
32=. G. Vairani (I) Not known. 6 pts
32=. L.A. Olsen (S) Not known. 6 pts
32= Mike Young (GB) Merlyn Mk24-Scholar 6 pts
35=. "Rob" not known. 5 pts
35=. J. Ridell (S) Not known. 5 pts
35=. E. Bolfitz ( A) Not known. 5 pts.
38=. M.Bulla (A) not known. 4 pts
38=. Jan-T Pederson (DK) 4 pts
38=. S. Steiner (A) Not known. 4 pts
38=. G. Rydin (S) Not Known. 4 pts
38=. A Carlson (S) Not Known. 4 pts
38=.J. Lipman (GB) Dulon-Davron LD9. 4 pts
44=. R. Prior (GB) Not Known. 3 pts
44=. Patto Nunez-Gutierrez (GB-RA) Not known. 3 pts
44=.Per Sorensen (S) Hawke. 3 pts
44=. W. Fridolin (S) Not Known. 3 pts
48. J. Wansart ((B) Not known. 2 pts
48=. J. rsom (S) Not known. 2 pts
48=. Ric Vermeulen (NL) Not known. 2 pts
51=. A.Zeigler ( B) Not Known. 1 pt
51=. John Kalagian (USA). Not known. 1 pt
51=. H. Verhoven (NL) Not Known. 1 pt
51=.D. Shattuch (GB) Not known. 1pt

The following drivers are not listed on the official results of the championship as supplied by Ford Motor Company but I am aware that they did compete:

55=.Lennart Dahlqvist Merlyn 0 pts
55=.Leif Jorgenson DRC 0 pts
55=.Lars Olsson (DK) Merlyn Mk20 0 pts
55=.Frank Hopper (GB) Royale RP16-0 pts
55=.Anne Wurzbach (D-USA) Lotus 61 0 pts (Wife of W. Wurzbach)
55=.Thorkild Thyrring Ray 0 pts
55=.Lennart Dahlqvist Merlyn 0 pts
55=.Per Sorensen (S) Hawke 0 pts


Being the European Championship, the writer, Peter Finlay, entered on an RAC MSA International Licence. Similarly other drivers who hailed from non-European countries entered under the nationality of the country of their residence in 1973.

Ties in the final point-score were to be determined by awarding the higher place to the driver with the greater number of superior places, in all cases where this shows a tie that was not possible as drivers involved scored equal highest places so I have, for the sake of simplicity and in the absence of any official information to the contrary, listed drivers with equal points the same place in the championship. Naturally, where multiple scores are awarded, the following drivers' scores reflect the appropriate position had there been no ties involved.

The official results sent to me by Ford Motor Company, Boreham Airfield Chelmsford GB dated July 8th, 1974 do not show the actual points awarded to each driver.

Interestingly, the Ford Company letter states that I finished ninth in the final round at Brands Hatch but the accompanying score-sheet shows that I finished 7th. No mention is made of the two Swedes, Gilhorn and Johansson, in results for the Brands Hatch event. The error made by the writer of the letter (whose title was Administration & Budgets) meant that I was credited with 3rd place in the championship and awarded prize-money of 180 instead of 250 for second place. Probably due to the economic climate pervading at the time, the promised Ford Test drives appear never have eventuated.

The deletion of the two Swedish drivers from the final event at Brands Hatch was, apparently, due to some anomalies detected in post-race scrutineering.Clearly no one thought to inform the organisers of the Championship. C'est la vie.

I was delighted to have been able to compete in the Euroseries and manage the pair of second places, both of which were achieved after some dramas in qualifying which resulted in much lower grid positions than otherwise might have been gained. Some rather unsporting driving by a fellow competitor at Djursland forced my retirement from that race and a persistent hesitation in the car's Weber carburettor exiting right hand turns at two other circuits created undesirable handicaps. The low octane "power kerosene" which passed for petrol in Germany certainly didn't help at that country's two events. I noted that some teams brought their own high-octane fuel with them. Experience counts!

With the exception of Brands Hatch, where I had driven in a single race early in 1973, I had never seen or driven on any of the circuits in Europe previously. I entered all events and finished all but one. Indeed, it appears that I may have been the only driver to enter for all seven rounds.
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Old 4 Feb 2018, 15:30 (Ref:3798435)   #21
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Hello, Im looking for 1980 F Ford Racing results Britian and European.

Is there a Website, or book available?

Thanks for your assistance.

Karl-Heinz
German historian
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