Round One: PUKEKOHE 14th New Zealand Grand Prix
Promoted to No 1 BRM driver only a few weeks previously, Jackie Stewart consolidated himself in his new position at Pukekohe on 7 January when he won the New Zealand Grand Prix on the revised circuit at more than 100 mph to record a BRM GP 'double' and beat fellow-Scot Jim Clark by the meagre margin of 4.5 sec. Hot pre-race favourite Jack Brabham, who crashed in the preliminary and made a last-minute appearance on the starting grid with a hastily repaired 2.5 Brabham-Climax, dropped out after about five laps when a drive-shaft broke. His team-mate Denny Hulme, in an elderly, borrowed car of the same make, was up in third spot when a stub axle broke in his 50th lap. Jim Clark, in the new Tasman Formula Lotus equipped with the 2-litre Coventry Climax V8, fought Stewart all the way, recording a breath-taking 104.1 mph in his 53rd lap. But in the next lap a slower car cut across his bow at the end of the back straight and clipped the nose of the Lotus. As Clark accelerated out of the Hairpin the body shell broke away to fly back over the head of the driver and leave him exposed to the elements. With overalls billowing and one hand holding his helmet down he made a vain attempt to overhaul the BRM. It was the most dramatic race finish seen at Pukekohe and the patrons left the circuit wondering if misadventure had not robbed Clark of a GP victory for the third successive year.
Third place went to
No 2 BRM man Richard Attwood, a lap behind the two Scotsmen. Fourth, two laps farther
back, came Jim Palmer, while young Graeme Lawrence completed 52 laps to finish two laps
ahead of Dene Holler's 1.5 Lotus-Ford.
Clark finished 2nd with the
The official training session saw Stewart record 1 min 2.6 sec (100.7 mph) for a lap of the revised circuit on his 43rd round of the day. This was accomplished on Goodyear tyres, signaling that the tyre war was on, because he also tried Dunlops which proved fractionally slower. Clark was having rear suspension bothers and was running on old Firestones, the new Super Sports GP R125 tyres having not yet arrived. He finally got down to 1 min 4.4 sec. which was 1.8 sec slower than Stewart.
Gardner and Attwood managed rather better with 1 min 3.5 sec each, while Palmer posted 1 min 6 sec, just 0.8 sec slower than Bartlett. Lawrence was next with an amazing 1 min 7.2 sec. Hulme, without a car, spectated, and Brabham, who was busy fitting the V8 engine into Hulme's Formula I car, did not show up.
There was near tragedy in practice when Kerry Grant clipped the wheel of another car at the end of the straight. The Brabham spun to a halt without hitting anything but was already on fire and before Grant could get clear he was badly burned. He never drove a single-seater again.
Feo Stanton offered Hulme the use of his Brabham BT7A, the car Hulme had used in the 1964 series. Stanton had acquired the car off Andy Buchanan and Hulme gladly accepted it.
The following day Brabham, Hulme and Clark with the rear suspension of the Lotus fixed and the new Firestones, had unofficial runs. Clark quickly returned 1 min 2.7 sec and called it a day. Brabham, experimented with tyres and gear ratios and persisted until he returned 1 min 2.2 sec, thereby leaving most of those on hand with the feeling that he would be the man to beat in the GP. Hulme managed 1 min 4.3 sec in the old car.
Even an off-course excursion
couldn't stop Richard Attwood (BRM) from finishing third.
Bright sunshine and
the prospect of close racing brought the fans streaming to Pukekohe in their thousands to
see Stewart, Attwood and Gardner take up their places on the front row of the grid for the
21 lap Air New Zealand Grand Prix Preliminary in the morning. In the second row were
Bartlett and Clark, while Palmer, Lawrence and Dennis Marwood shared the next. Right at
the back, behind the slower 2.5 and 1.5 cars, were Brabham and Hulme. This was the race to
determine the grid positions for the Grand Prix.
Stewart hit the front from the start and remained there with Clark in close attendance, after Clark had displaced Attwood in the course of the sixth of the 12 laps, until the end.
Defections came early. Gardner soon departed the scene when a piston and valve contacted. Brabham was carving a path through the field in spectacular fashion and, with Gardner off the stage, took fourth spot ahead of Bartlett and Palmer in his third lap. The pace was a cracker and the leaders were already doubling the tail-enders. In the fourth lap Attwood took to the grass in front of the stands to pass two slower cars. Up front, Stewart had 100 yards on Clark, and then down came the rain.
Brabham, apparently unconcerned about the changed conditions, pressed on at undiminished speed in his eighth lap when he struck an oil patch in the new Esses, put a wheel on the soft shoulder and spun off into a ditch, well and truly out of the race. Within seconds Roly Levis joined him. Now Hulme had taken Bartlett for fourth and next in line was Palmer. They finished in that order, with Lawrence a lap behind in seventh spot. Stewart cut out the race in 12 min 46 sec to average more than 100 mph. Other casualties were Thomasen, who blew a motor, as did Dawson, and Smith also did not finish. Only Brabham, Smith and Levis managed to get their cars into shape for the main race.
Jim Palmer (Brabham-Climax)
took 4th and first resident finisher for the fourth successive year.
The grid, now in a
2-2-2 format looked as follows:- Stewart, Clark; Attwood, Hulme; Bartlett, Palmer;
Marwood, Lawrence; Hollier, Brownlie; Weston, Boyd; Stone, Sager; McDonald, McLoughlin;
Brabham, Harvey; Levis, Smith.
The sun was shining and the track dry when the field, with latecomer Brabham tagging along behind, completed the GP warm-up lap. Clark made the best of the start, but within yards Stewart had nosed to the front. Then came Attwood, Bartlett and Hulme. The field swarmed through the Esses after the right-hand swerve beyond the pits and as they cleared away from Castrol Curve down Firestone Straight the BRM and Lotus could be seen pulling clear of the bunch. First time round Stewart and Clark were 100 yards clear of Attwood, Hulme, Bartlett and Palmer. Then there was another gap to Marwood, Lawrence, Brownlie, Hollier and Boyd. With six laps gone, Stewart and Clark, glued together, were lapping the tail-enders and turning in 'ton' laps. Brabham was among the spectators, after breaking a half-shaft on lap 5, and the field was strung out with Attwood and Hulme having their own race fairly well clear of Bartlett and Palmer who were similarly engaged. With about 14 laps completed, the Scots had pushed their average up to 101 mph and still the pace was on. The next two laps were at 102 mph and Stewart was doing all he knew to shake off Clark, but to no avail.
By lap 24 Bartlett and Palmer, fifth and sixth, had been doubled, and Marwood and Lawrence, who were not far apart, had been doubled twice. The two in front were half a lap clear of Attwood and Hulme. Three laps later Bartlett made a quick stop. After two more laps he retired with magneto problems. Marwood had already abandoned on lap 24 with a broken crown wheel. In the 29th lap Hulme took Attwood who was getting apprehensive when his engine temperature soared, but it was to no avail, as he broke a stub axle with just seven laps to go.
Most interest was still up front. Time and again Clark would ease out of Stewart's slipstream in front of the pits in vain attempts to take the BRM. Then in the last few laps Clark pulled out all the stops, finally recording his stupendous 104.1 mph before his hopes of victory were dashed in the following lap. As he attempted to pass Stewart at the hairpin, he came into contact with McLoughlin's slow Cooper and lost the front panels and windscreen. Stewart, and Clark now in the bodiless Lotus, took the flag well clear of the field headed by Attwood, Palmer and Lawrence. Next were Hollier, Boyd, Bill Stone, who had completed 50 laps each, Levis and Ken Sager with 49 and Brownlie with 45.
Race winner Jackie Stewart in the BRM.
Date: 7th January 1967
57 laps of 2.816kms (160.52kms)
|1||Jackie Stewart||Scot||BRM P261 / BRM 2136cc V8||57||59m 16.4s|
|2||Jim Clark||Scot||Lotus 33 / Climax 1987cc V8||57||59m 20.9s|
|3||Richard Attwood||UK||BRM P261 / BRM 2136cc V8||56|
|4||Jim Palmer||NZ||Brabham BT22 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||54|
|5||Graeme Lawrence||NZ||Brabham BT18 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||52|
|6||Dene Hollier||NZ||Lotus 27 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||50|
|7||Jim Boyd||NZ||Brabham BT4 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||50|
|8||Bill Stone||NZ||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||50|
|Ret||Denny Hulme||NZ||Brabham BT7A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||50||Stub Axle|
|9||Roly Levis||NZ||Brabham BT18 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||49|
|10||Ken Sager||NZ||Brabham BT16 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||49|
|11||Laurence Brownlie||NZ||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl||45|
|12||John Weston||NZ||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl|
|13||Don Macdonald||NZ||Brabham BT10 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl|
|Grahame Harvey||NZ||Brabham BT6 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl|
|Ken Smith||NZ||Lotus 22 / Ford 1498cc 4cyl|
|Pat McLoughlin||NZ||Cooper T53 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl|
|Ret||Kevin Bartlett||Aust||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||28||Magneto|
|Ret||Dennis Marwood||NZ||Cooper T66 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||24||Crown Wheel|
|Ret||Jack Brabham||Aust||Brabham BT19 / Repco 2493cc V8||5||Driveshaft|
|DNS||Frank Gardner||Aust||Brabham BT16 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||Engine|
|DNS||Bill Thomasen||NZ||Brabham BT4 / Climax 2495cc 4cyl||Engine|
|DNS||Red Dawson||NZ||Brabham BT7A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||Engine|
|DNS||Kerry Grant||NZ||Brabham BT11A / Climax 2499cc 4cyl||Accident|
Fastest lap: Jim Clark, 1 min 0.5 sec. (104.1 mph)
Back to 1967 Series Round 2 Levin 15th NZGP 1968