Unraced projects of the 1979 season

Projects 1970 - 1999

As there are over 650 Unraced F1 projects from the period 1885 – 2020 I decided before to publish articles of Unraced projects per year. This is easier for you to see which attempts happened a specific year. Of course, it is easier for me as well as researching and writing an article takes a lot of time, which I don’t always have.  If you are interested in one of the summarized attempts perhaps, I can give you more info about it.This is the summarized overview of the Unraced projects in 1979.

BRM P230
During my research of the BRM P230 I found out that many websites and forums use to say that the BRM P207 was the last car for the British Racing Motors team. However, in late ’78 team owner Stanley, who used to say he was an aristocrat (that’s another story), gave the go to build the BRM P230. The Bettridge family funded the car, as BRM had no money left to construct the car. Neil Bettridge, who helped me a lot with the article, did some shakedown laps at Donington. Intending to apply the Aurora Championship in 1979. It never came this far, the BRM team collapsed. Eventually the BRM P230 car would end up as the Hepworth GB1. Read the story here.

BS Fabrications – Cosworth
BS Fabrications, the company from former Lotus engineer Bob Sparshott, were active in the Formula One since 1976. In 1976, they appeared on the track with the Surtees TS19. While in 1977, they appeared with the March 761 and the McLaren M23. In 1978, they once more raced with the McLaren M23 prepared for Brett Lunger and eventually also the McLaren M26 for Nelson Piquet. For 1979, it was rumoured that BS Fabrications would appear on the grid with their own F1 car. It seems that the car has been designed as David Polland has been named by several sources. It seems that the car was never build due to the new rules introduced in 1979 to reduce the amount of entrance.

Dywa – Cosworth 08
The Dywa-Cosworth 08 was Dydo Monguzzi’s second Formula One design. The car was meant to be a true wing car and was therefore presented at the Motor Sud Salerno in 1979. It was fitted with a Cosworth engine and received some sponsorship from Petteruti. Alberto Colombo was to debut te car during the Belgium Grand Prix. This never happened. Dydo would continue working on the design for his Dywa – Cosworth 010 car.  

Ferrari 312T4A
The forgotten Ferrari ground effect car. Back in the 70s many people believed that the flat V12 engine Ferrari used did not permit them to have the best downforce. Therefore, with teams starting to experiment massively with aerodynamics, Ferrari decided to experiment as well. The car has similarities with the Lotus 79 if you look up closely. As well the Scuderia spent a lot of time on the track mostly with Jody Scheckter to test the newly created aerodynamics. While the team was busy as well in the wind tunnel. Gianfranco Poncini did most of the research on the car.

Ferrari telecambio
On a snowy day in January 1979 Giorgio Enrico was spotted at Fiorano testing with a strange looking Ferrari F1 car, which would become known as the Ferrari “telecambio”. The car was modified to test the newly developed electronic transmission by the team. One of the Ferrari 312T3’s was adapted with this system. Later on in February, also Jody Scheckter tested with this Ferrari. The response from both drivers was positive.

Kauhsen-Cosworth WK005
A bad attempt to copy the Lotus 79 is perhaps the best description of the Kauhsen F1 car. In fact the Kauhsen WK was nothing more than a modified F2 car with big wings on it, if you can call it like that.  The designer was Klaus Kapitza. Gianfranco Brancatelli was the unlucky driver that did his best to qualify the car for the Belgium and Spanish Grand Prix. After the Belgium Grand Prix Willy Kauhsen sold his F1 project to Arturo Merzario, who would base his Merzario A4 on it.

Kojima Cosworth KE009B
The Japanese Kojima appeared in 1976 for the first time on the grid. During 1978 Kojima prepared their KE009B to debut in the Formula One in 1979. An agreement was made with Willy Kauhsen to use the car and debut it. However, the agreement fell through and the German Team decided to create their own F1 car. The KE009B was tested by Keke Rosberg at Fuji.

Lotus B-Team
A forgotten story, many didn’t know that Team Lotus was working on a B Team in the Formula One for 1979. I uncovered this story by reading some F1 articles, which only stated Michael Bleekemolen to Lotus? It made me to ring with Bleekemolen and talk about the Lotus B-Team. When you hear it for the first time, it seems a dream coming true for drivers. Involved was BS Fabrications, yes indeed the same team that was to design their own car. Read the full story here.

Merzario- Cosworth A2
The Merzario – Cosworth A2 was the successor of the Merzario A1 and A1B. The car was based on the A1 however; it had been heavily modified into a ground effect wing car. While little Art was able to qualify the car, the car would never race as the front suspension collapsed. Gianfranco Brancatelli raced as well a handful of races for the team with the A2. He never managed to qualify the car.

Merzario – Cosworth A3/A4
Merzario appeared with two more cars during the season. One of the was the Merzario – Cosworth A3. Eventually Merzario purchased the assets of the folded Kauhsen team and used the design of the WK005 to create the Merzario A4 car. A few months ago, I did a lot of investigation into the Merzario cars. The article about it, with all the background info can be read here.

Surtees – Cosworth TS21 / TS20+
The stillborn Surtees wing car that actually did race. Surtees collapsed in 1979 while the team was working on their wing car. The wind-tunnel model of the car was already tested. Rumours stated that Surtees did have built the TS21 before the team folded. The concept prints the car that were published look promising. It is not sure what the true story is about this. Though the car was some sort raced. Gordon Smiley had a Surtees TS20. During round 15 of the Aurora series in Silverstone he appeared with some of the TS21 features attacked to his TS20. Promptly he won the race! Read the story here.