TECNO PA 123B

In 1970 Tecno had won the European Formula 2 Championship with Swiss driver Gianclaudio (Clay) Regazzoni and Ford engines. Before that Tecno, who once had started with the construction of go karts, had been very successful in international Formula 3. So it was the logical consequence, that the little company having their base in Bologna in Northern Italy, decided to enter Grand Prix racing. That was a courageous step for the firm owned by the brothers Luciano and Gianfranco Pederzani, both men being technicians.

But in contrast to their involvement in Formula 2 and 3, where they combined their home made chassis with a foreign engine they had bought, their Grand Prix car should be a complete work of theirown. So they started to construct a flat 12-cylinder-engine very similar to the design Ferrari used in their 312 types from 1970 on. For their inaugurate chassis they preferred a spaceframe (made stiffer by additional aluminum sheets) instead of a monocoque, that meanwhile was the standard in Grand Prix racing. But a the team`s presentation shortly before Christmas 1971 it became clear, that the chassis of the PA123 was too wide. During the first test session it also became obvious, that the engine both was too weak in acceleration and too heavy. It took several months to cure the problems and therefore Tecno had to leave out the first races of the 1972 season. Also their maiden Grand Prix, that of Belgium at Nivelles near the capital Bruxelles, was not encouraging, because Nanni Galli collided with the Ferrari of Clay Regazzoni in lap 57 making both drivers retire. Those days the budget was so small, that the Tecno drivers Galli and Bell only were able to start alternately, only for their home Grand Prix at Monza two Tecnos stood on the entry list, but the Briton Bell failed to qualify.

With no single point scoring in 1972 Tecno tried to make a new attack the following season. But once again it took until the Grand Prix of Belgium to enter the competition. A new, simple car, the PA123B had been constructed over the winter, now for the sole driver of the team, the experienced New Zealander Chris Amon, who had been with Ferrari, March and Matra before. The car represented the average standard of that time with it`s sportscar nose section and still using the home made flat 12-cylinder-unit.

At itīs maiden Grand Prix Amon brought the PA123B home an encouraging fine 6th place giving the team their first ever worldchampionship point. Within a few weeks a completely new car was brought to the tracks from the British Grand Prix on. The E731 also used the known 12-cylinder-Tecno engine, but in itīs red Italian national colour it looked like a carbon copy of the Ferrari 312B3. In spite of it`s promising outfit this car was never raced, Amon used it as a spare car only in practice in Britain, the Netherlands and Austria, while in the race he only drove the PA123B. When Amon did not take part in the Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg in spite of being qualified for the race, it became clear, that there was no more money available for the team. The following Italian Grand Prix took place without the Bologna company. A Latin dream had been over.

J H

 

Model designation: PA123B Year: 1973 Designers: Luciano & Gianfranco Pederzani Team manager: David Yorke Driver: Chris Amon Chassis: Tecno aluminum Engine: Tecno 3.0 litre B12 Gearbox: Hewland FG400 Tyres: Firestone Sponsor: Martini (Aperitifs) Best result: 6th (Amon in Zolder)

 

 

 

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