SURTEES FORD TS9

At the end of 1969 former motorcycle and Formula One worldchampion John Surtees had decided to establish himself as a constructor as Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren und Dan Gurney had done before. The first races of the 1970 season "Big John" drove a McLaren Ford M7, a former works car, he entered under the name of Team Surtees. Then, at the British Grand Prix that year held at Brands Hatch, the first car created by himself, the Surtees Ford TS7, gave it`s debut. Both the McLaren and the Surtees were coloured red with the typical Surtees-arrow on it`s nose scone. In 1970 John Surtees was driver, team principal and constructor in personal union. With the exception of the higly endowed United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, where a second TS7 with Derek Bell behind the wheel came to the grid, Surtees was the team`s sole driver in 1970.

The situation changed for the 1971 season. Rob Walker wanted to get rid of the fragile Lotus Ford 72 he had entered the year before for Graham Hill, because one of the 72s had killed his friend Jochen Rindt in the Monza qualifying. On the other hand John Surtees wanted to bring a second car to the grid permanently. At that time the Briton was 36 years of age and looking for a new number one driver for his team to make himself free for a possible retirement whenever he wanted to do so. The car he had created for 1971, the TS9, was an evolution of the TS7, looking very similar to it. The Englishman John Surtees and the Scot Rob Walker decided for a merger of their teams and a contract with German driver Rolf Stommelen, who had given a promising Grand Prix debut at Brabham the year before, was signed to enter the newly formed equipe, that now was called Rob Walker Team Surtees. Their main sponsor was Walker`s Brooke Bond Oxo and additional financial backing came from Stommelen`s auto motor und sport, Eifelland and the German branch of the Ford Motor Company. The cars appeared in Walker`s dark blue livery of the Scottish national racing colour with white lateral stripes (for giving space for potential sponsors) and the characteristic Surtees-arrow on the front section.

But great success did not come the team`s way. A permanent quarrell between Surtees and Stommelen with his German sponsors, having had very high expectations, had developed very early in the season. In contrast to it`s predecessor, TS9 had a little problem with it`s weight-balance on winding circuits. In the Monza qualifying Stommelen had a high speed accident caused by a puncture, and because no spare car was available, the quarrels came to their climax leading directly to the logical separation before the season`s end came.

In Monza Mike Hailwood, also a former motorcycle world champion, scored the team`s best 1971 result with a fine 4th place behind Gethin`s B.R.M., Peterson`s March and Cevert`s Tyrrell in the closest battle ever in the history of Grand Prix racing. Also in Monza John Surtees himself drove the B-version of the TS9 looking very different to the original design. It has got lateral radiators and the sportscar nose being invented by Tyrrell designer Derek Gardner earlier that year. The TS9B became the team´s regular model for 1972 being driven by Mike Hailwood, Australian Tim Schenken and Italian Andrea de Adamich.

J H

 

Model designation: TS9 Years: 1971 (1972) Designer: John Surtees Chassis: Surtees aluminum Engine: Ford Cosworth DFV V8 Gearbox: Hewland FG400 5 speed manual Tyres: Firestone Drivers: John Surtees (GB), Rolf Stommelen (D), Mike Hailwood (GB), Derek Bell (GB), Sam Posey (USA), Gjis van Lennep (NL), John Love (RSR) l1972 Team Gunstonl Sponsors: Brooke Bond Oxo (Tea), Eifelland (Caravans), auto motor und sport (Car Magazine), BP (Fuels and Oils), Marlboro (Cigarettes), Ford Germany Best worldchampionship result: 4th (Hailwood in Monza) Best result overall: 1st (Surtees in Gold Cup, Oulton Park)

 

 

 

© 2000 by researchracing

 

l Home l