Connew Racing Team, commonly known as Connew (//), was a short lived British Formula One constructor. Founded in 1971 by Peter Connew, the team constructed a single car, the PC1. The first monococque had to be aborted due to a change in regulations and the second tub was known as PC2. However, record books show the car driven by Migault and others as PC1. The intent was to compete in the Formula One World Championship in 1972, but a lack of financial and technical resources meant that the car only managed to start in one championship race, the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix, with French driver François Migault at the wheel. Following the Austrian race, the car competed in a handful of non-championship races before being converted to meet Formula 5000 specifications for the 1973 season. The chassis was damaged beyond repair during the season finale at Brands Hatch and the team closed.
|Full name||Connew Racing Team|
|Base||Chadwell Heath, UK|
|Noted staff||Roger Doran|
|Noted drivers|| François Migault|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||1972 British Grand Prix|
|Races entered||2 (1 start)|
|Final entry||1972 Austrian Grand Prix|
At the age of 24, Peter Connew was asked by a friend if he wanted to attend the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Connew's employer refused to give him time off to attend the race, so he resigned and travelled to the race anyway. Upon returning Connew needed employment and was hired by Surtees, a Formula One team run by former champion John Surtees, as a draughtsman.
1972: Formula OneEdit
After a falling out with team principal John Surtees, Connew left the team to pursue designing his own car. A garage was rented in Chadwell Heath and the initial construction of the chassis jig began in December 1970. Connew was assisted by Roger Doran, who worked as a shopfitter, and Connew's cousin Barry Boor.
Connew's design philosophy was that whilst the car should be efficient, it should also be easy to work on and maintain. The Connew design was tested and refined by utilising a wind tunnel of a local technical college. During the build, drivers Tony Trimmer, Howden Ganley and Gerry Birrell all came to view the car, with Trimmer stating it to be one of the most comfortable cars he had ever sat in.
The team planned to make their racing debut at the Monaco Grand Prix, but a sudden rule change required the construction of another chassis in a different type of aluminium. In the mean time, Connew made a deal with McLaren to purchase a second hand Cosworth DFV engine. Frenchman François Migault signed a deal to drive for the team and also provided a Ford truck, which carried the car to France. The truck broke down before it could get to the Clermont-Ferrand circuit, the location of the French Grand Prix and instead the team tested at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans.
The car finally took part in practice for the 1972 British Grand Prix but was withdrawn before the race. The car had an unusual rear suspension which proved not to be up to the job. It was taken back to the workshop and repaired overnight, but upon loading the next day, a rear upright was found to be cracked and it was withdrawn.
The small team also managed to show up at the 1972 German Grand Prix, but without having made a proper prior entry, participation was denied by the race officials.
The car was modified and entered in the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix. Migault qualified at the end of the field despite some engine troubles. After 22 laps, Migault had passed four competitors, but a rear wishbone mounting point failed and Migault had a nasty moment. The car swerved towards the barriers on the start/finish straight, but the driver brought the car safely to a halt without damage.
The Connew reappeared at the end of season World Championship Victory Race at Brands Hatch with David Purley driving but did not start because of electrical problems. Purley had asked for an electrical "kill" switch to be fitted to the steering wheel, but on the warm-up lap this malfunctioned, the engine stopped and the car was retired.
1973: Formula 5000Edit
The car was modified to meet Formula 5000 regulations and appeared in the European Formula 5000 Championship in 1973, fitted with a Chevrolet V8 engine. The car made its first outing in the series at Mallory Park for round 10 of 18. Swiss driver Pierre Soukry qualified the car in twenty-first place, but was unable to start due to a split oil pipe. Three races later, the Connew failed to qualify at Brands Hatch, with Soukry at the wheel. The car's final appearance was at the season finale, again at Brands Hatch. Tony Trimmer drove but a collision with a barrier put the chassis beyond repair.
Formula One World ChampionshipEdit
|1972||Connew PC1||Ford V8||ARG||RSA||ESP||MON||BEL||FRA||GBR||GER||AUT||ITA||CAN||USA||0||NC|
|1972||Rothmans 50,000||Brands Hatch||François Migault||DNQ||Formula Libre||Report|
|1972||John Player Challenge Trophy||Brands Hatch||David Purley||DNS||Formula One||Report|
European Formula 5000 ChampionshipEdit
|1973||Connew PC1||Chevrolet V8||BRA||MAL||SIL||SNE||BRA||OUL||MAL||MIS||ZAN||MAL||MON||SIL||BRA||OUL||JYL||ZAN||SNE||BRA|
- Lawrence, Mike (August 1986). "The story of the Connew GP car". Motor Sport magazine archive. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
- Small, Steve. The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. p. 255. ISBN 0851127029.
- Nye, Doug (17 February 1972). "Connew: the story so far". Autosport. Vol. 46 no. 7. pp. 26–8.
- Diepraam, Mattijs; Muelas, Felix. "DIY heroes". forix.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Brown, Allen. "Connew PC1-002". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Brown, Allen. "Rothmans F5000 Championship round: Mallory Park, 8 Jul 1973". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Brown, Allen. "Rothmans F5000 Championship round: Brands Hatch, 27 Aug 1973". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Formula One results are taken from the Official Formula 1 Website. 1972 Season review. www.formula1.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- Formula 5000 results are taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. Formula 5000 races. www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- Rothmans 50,000 result is taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. Rothmans 50,000. www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- John Player Challenge Trophy result is taken from the OldRacingCars.com website. John Player Challenge Trophy www.oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2010.