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Hill’s last laugh

3 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


3 December 2021

This week marks the 46th anniversary of the passing of Graham Hill. Beyond the very personal tragedies that unfolded that awful day as Hill tried to descend his Piper Aztec through the thick fog above Arkley Golf Course was another sad truth. The car he and his team had been trying to perfect for the 1976 season – their first ground-up new design – had just started to come good.

The GH2 had proven tricky in early shakedowns, but at the Paul Ricard test from which they were returning, they had unlocked its potential. It had lapped 1.5sec faster than its Lola-based predecessor had gone and with the mercurial talent of Tony Brise as their driver, hopes were high for a successful season with a strong haul of points.

And then in one awful moment they were gone: team owner, designer, driver as well as two mechanics. The GH2 never even got to a grid. I know there is always the temptation to overstate the possibilities in such circumstances, but I really do believe the potential to be somewhere among the pack chasing the McLarens and Ferraris was there.

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