Open main menu

The Repco Brabham BT26 was a Formula One racing car design. A development of the previous BT24, its Repco engines were unreliable, but following a switch to Cosworth DFV engines it scored two World Championship Grand Prix wins and finished runner up in the 1969 World Constructors' Championship.

Brabham BT26
Brabham BT26 Tasman Donington.jpg
A BT26 in Tasman Series configuration
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorMotor Racing Developments
Designer(s)Ron Tauranac
PredecessorBrabham BT24
SuccessorBrabham BT33
Technical specifications[1]
ChassisFibreglass body on tubular steel spaceframe with stressed skin sections
Suspension (front)Double wishbones, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones, twin radius arms, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Engine
90° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionHewland DG 300, 5-speed manual, ZF differential
FuelEsso
TyresGoodyear, Dunlop
Competition history
Notable entrantsBrabham Racing Organisation
Notable driversAustralia Jack Brabham
Austria Jochen Rindt
Belgium Jacky Ickx
Debut1968 Spanish Grand Prix
RacesWinsPolesF.Laps
47252
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

ConceptEdit

Designed by Ron Tauranac, the BT26 was the final incarnation of his spaceframe F1 car, and one of the last F1 cars to be raced of such construction - forthcoming rule changes regarding fuel storage would outlaw spaceframe chassis. Tauranac had actually combined the spaceframe with stressed aluminium panels to create a semi-monocoque, enabling him to reduce the size of the spaceframe tubing and so lighten the chassis.

The other main difference between the BT24 and the BT26 was a more powerful Repco 860 series engine, but it was also less reliable; the 1968 season was plagued by a string of retirements and Jochen Rindt left to join Lotus. In 1969 the Repco engines were replaced with Cosworth DFV engines; these variants are designated BT26A.

Racing historyEdit

In 1968 Rindt and Brabham between them managed only two finishes. 1969 saw an improvement; new recruit Jacky Ickx scored two wins and finished runner-up in the Driver's World Championship, and Brabham-Ford in the same position in the Constructor's Championship, with assistance from Piers Courage in a third car entered by Frank Williams' racing team.

With the Brabham team switching to the new BT33 in 1970, the BT26As were campaigned sporadically by privateer entries, with Peter de Klerk recording the best result, 11th (and last) at the South African Grand Prix. In 1971 Jackie Pretorius retired it from its final race in the South African Grand Prix.

In non-Championship events, Brabham won the 1969 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone and Ickx won the 1969 Oulton Park International Gold Cup. de Klerk and Pretorius won three of the South African non-Championship races in 1970 and 1971.

In 1970 Derek Bell competed in the Tasman Series using a BT26A fitted with a Cosworth DFW, a 2.5 litre version of the DFV. Bell's best result was 2nd in the New Zealand Grand Prix, but engine troubles forced the cancellation of the Australian leg of the series.

World Championship resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points1 WCC1
1968 Brabham Racing Organisation Repco 860 3.0 V8 G RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 102 8th
Jack Brabham DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Jochen Rindt Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret
1969 Brabham Racing Organisation Cosworth DFV G RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 49 (51) 2nd
Jack Brabham Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 2 4 3
Jacky Ickx Ret 6 Ret 5 3 2 1 10 1 Ret 2
Frank Williams Racing Cars D Piers Courage Ret 2 Ret Ret 5 Ret 5 Ret 2 10
1970 Team Gunston Cosworth DFV G RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA MEX 353 4th
Peter de Klerk 11
Tom Wheatcroft Racing Derek Bell Ret
Gus Hutchison Gus Hutchison Ret
1971 Team Gunston Cosworth DFV G RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 53 9th
Jackie Pretorius 11

1 Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers at each round, but only the best placed car for each make was eligible to score points. The best five results from the first six and five from the last six were retained in 1968, the best five results from the first six rounds and the best four results from the last five rounds in 1969 and 1971 and the best six from the first seven and five from the last six in 1970.
2 In 1968, only 4 points were scored using the BT26. The remaining 6 points were scored using the BT20 and BT24.
3 All points scored in 1970 and 1971 using the BT33.

ReferencesEdit