Having started racing in a Midget on short dirt ovals in Australia, Jack Brabham was no stranger to cornering with the tail hung out under power. Here he is at the 180º Tarzanbocht at the end of the straight at Zandvoort during the Dutch Grand Prix on July 24, 1966. His car is his own Brabham BT19-Repco which used an Australian V8 engine of three liters capacity. Brabham won easily, a full lap ahead of Graham Hill’s BRM P261 and two laps up on Jim Clark’s Lotus 33.
When the three liter engine rules were introduced in late 1965, Brabham and others were without a suitable engine. Brabham got the Australian company Repco to make a new engine for him using the American Oldsmobile alloy V8 block with Repco-designed cylinder heads. The resulting power unit was both reliable and considerably lighter and more fuel efficient than the more powerful Ferrari and Maserati V12 motors. When Brabham won the French Grand Prix earlier in July, he became the first driver in history to win a World Championship F1 race in a car of his own design. Brabham won four straight F1 races in 1966 which counted for the Championship, plus two non-championship F1 races, and took his third World Championship.
The Repco power unit was a wonderful stopgap solution. Although redesigned and improved for 1967, it failed to be as successful and proved no match for the new Cosworth DFV which would go on to dominate F1 racing for years to come.
This marvelous photograph is perhaps Nigel Snowdon’s most famous shot.
Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.kklemcoll.com
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