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Ask Goodwin

3 months ago

Writer:

Colin Goodwin | Journalist

Date:

9 July 2022

Dear Colin, I’m just starting to learn about Formula 5000 and don’t understand why these cars with 5-litre engines were slower than F1 cars of the era with 3-litre engines. Did an F5000 car ever beat an F1 car? Giles Newton

Dear Giles,

Congratulations Giles, you’re embarking upon a subject that’s just as important as Egyptology and the study of fine art. The problem was power-to-weight ratio. The Cosworth DFV (and most pure 3-litre race engines at the time) were lighter than the commonly used small-block Chevrolet V8, yet both produced around the same horsepower. There are quite a few occasions when F5000 cars gave their F1 counterparts a good run, but the only victory I know of was at the 1973 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch when Peter Gethin won in his Chevron B24 against a top class international field.

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