If the accepted abstruse Formula 1 rules are acutely restrictive, it was a absolutely altered adventure some 50 years ago.
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Here’s one absorbing archetype as the acclaimed Team Lotus congenital and raced an F1 car powered by a gas turbine.
The abstraction had its roots at the Indianapolis Brickyard, home of the Indianapolis 500. Since the chase cars run at about connected acceleration on that long, 2.5-mile oval, the plan of powering a car with a gas agent addled Colin Chapman of Lotus.
Thanks to his affiliation with STP, Chapman commissioned his artist Maurice Philippe to fit a gas agent in an open-wheel racer that would become the Lotus 56
A agitation agent compresses the ambient air, mixes it with the ammunition and detonates it, causing a compressor to circle and actuate a primary shaft that turns the wheels.
The Lotus 56 was adapted with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 gas agent and a four-wheel drive transmission. Driven by Joe Leonard, the 56 about won the 1968 Indy 500 as the ammunition pump absitively to let go with aloof nine laps actual in the race.
Chapman and Philippe afresh got into this not-so-crazy abstraction to adapt the 56 into a 56B to accept it chase in Formula 1. Not-so-crazy, because of several reasons.
Firstly, the adapted PT6 gas agent was able to aftermath 600 horsepower, massively added than the Ford Cosworth V8 DFV agent that was bound to aloof 425. The agent was additionally bisected the weight of the DFV and comprised abundant beneath apparatus that were affected to break. Finally, the use of a agent alone the charge of a gearbox, a clamp and radiators. On paper, it was bigger than broken cheese.
However, there were drawbacks. The 56B bare to be adapted with an all caster drive system, which was complicated to fit central the car and heavy. Since the agent produced no agent braking, the cars bare to await on added big and able disc brakes. One added thing: the agent was a gas-guzzler.
The 56B had several tanks that could backpack 270 litres of kerosene (close to 62 gallons). One final affair about the 56B was that it was not a acknowledging car. It responded boring to the driver’s inputs and that appropriate them to booty actual altered curve through the corners.
Emerson Fittipaldi affiliated the 56B at the non-championship Chase of Champions at Brands Hatch in the UK, March 21st, 1971. The 56B was the fastest car during the convenance sessions captivated in cloudburst rain. The clue was dry for the 50-lap race. Fittipaldi started seventh and was affected to retire on Lap 34 back the rear abeyance broke.
The “whooooosh” car [because of the complete of the agent spinning at aerial revs] alternate into activity weeks after at the International Trophy at Silverstone. The chase was captivated over two heats of 36 laps each. The rear abeyance of the 56B burst afresh on Lap 3 of the aboriginal heat, but Fittipaldi accomplished a advantageous third in the additional one.
Australian racer Dave Walker gave the Lotus 56B its aboriginal official airing in Grand Prix antagonism in Zandvoort, Netherlands. The clue was clammy back the banderole dropped, and Walker accursed abroad from 22nd on the grid. He managed to canyon 12 cars during the aperture bristles laps of the race. The 56B was flying. Chapman knew that his latest conception was actual abundant at affluence on the glace tarmac. However, Walker absent ascendancy of the Lotus on Lap 6 and comatose it.
At the British Grand Prix, Sweden’s Reine Wisell able the 56B in 19th place, but alone covered 56 of the 68 laps of the race, and was not classified.
Fittipaldi took the caster of the agent car at the Italian Grand Prix captivated on the actual fast Autodromo di Monza. The car was corrective atramentous and gold and entered beneath the World Wide Antagonism banderole as Chapman didn’t appetite the Italian amends appropriate the car or bandy him in bastille as the analysis on the afterlife of Jochen Rindt was not finished. Rindt got dead back his Lotus 72 larboard the alley and burst into the guardrails at Monza the year before.
Fittipaldi signing addresses Haas sim weakness – Grosjean
Fittipaldi able the Lotus 18th and collection alluringly to cantankerous the band in eighth place, one lap abaft the winner, Peter Gethin.
Chapman and the blow of his aggregation realised that a agent car would never be at affluence on a alley course, and absitively to esplanade it for good. It never reappeared in Grand Prix racing.
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