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Brabham BT24 Repco Chassis BT24-1 2006 Silverstone Classic

Brabham BT24 Repco. Chassis BT24-1 at the 2006 Silverstone Classic, by Wouter Melissen -

The Repco Brabham BT24 was a Formula One racing car design. It was one of three cars used by the Brabham racing team during their championship-winning 1967 Formula One season. Only three BT24 chassis were ever raced.

With reigning champion Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme at the wheel, the BT24 took 3 wins to the Jim Clark's 4 in the Lotus, but with six 2nd places, two 3rds, a 4th and a 5th the Brabham team comfortably took the Constructors' Championship, while Hulme pipped team-owner Brabham to the Drivers' Championship by 5 points.

Designed by Ron Tauranac, the BT24 was somewhat behind the times in having a spaceframe chassis and the underpowered Oldsmobile-derived Repco V8 engine. Compared with the Lotus 49, which had debuted a race earlier in Holland, the Brabham seemed almost obsolete, but its better reliability made it the tortoise to Lotus's hare.

In addition to its three championship race wins the BT24 also won the prestigious 1967 International Gold Cup at Oulton Park in the hands of Jack Brabham.

Later years[]

The original two chassis were raced by Brabham and Rindt in the season opening 1968 South African Grand Prix, but with the BT26 ready in time for the next race, these two chassis were sold to local teams and left in South Africa, with Sam Tingle and Basil van Rooyen finishing third and fourth in that year's South African Formula One Championship. Sam Tingle later took part in the 1969 South African Grand Prix, the last World Championship Formula One event for a standard BT24, and continued to race his chassis with some success in local events as late as January 1970, while van Rooyen's car was also raced at various times by Gordon Henderson and Ivor Roberts.

Self-entrant Silvio Moser then acquired the car, having arranged for Williams to switch the engine for a 1968-spec 3.0 litre DFV, as well adding extra fuel tanks on account of the thirstier engine. Silvio raced this unique car in 7 of the 11 rounds of the 1969 Formula One season, his best result coming at Watkins Glen where he finished 6th, and he also used the car in the International Gold Cup and two rounds of the European Hillclimb Championship.

A third BT24 chassis had been built at the end of 1967 but was only used in three races by the Brabham team, twice for Rindt and once for a one-off appearance by Dan Gurney. Kurt Ahrens, Jr. hired the car from Brabham and entered the 1968 German Grand Prix.

The car was then acquired by Frank Williams and modified to take BT26-style wings and a 2.5 litre Cosworth DVW V8 for the 1969 Tasman Series. Piers Courage drove in all seven races, winning at Teretonga Park in New Zealand and finishing second, third and fourth with three retirements in the other races to finish third in the final points standings.

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