MARTINI RACING TECNO FORMULA ONE TEAM IN 1972 AND 1973 A BRIEF HISTORY BY RESEARCHRACING MEDIA
Inspired by the technology of the US-American military trucks the company Oleodinamica Pederzani e Zini had been founded in Bologna to supply the rising Italian truck industry with modern hydraulic pumps during the fifties. The brothers Luciano and Gianfranco Pederzani are engineers and family enterpreneurs. In 1961 they additionally founded the company Tecno, first for the construction of go kart chassis. This sport had come from the United States; one of it`s most famous supporters was German Ferrari Grand Prix driver Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips. The Pederzani did extremely well in the kart construction business, Tecno drivers won several championships using the very special space frame chassis from the region of Emilia Romana. When Formula 3 was re-introduced in the middle of the sixties, it was a logical step for Tecno to enter this competition using all their experiences in space frame chassis construction. The drivers of Tecno Formula 3 cars, powered by Ford Novamotor engines, were able to win many championships; the Italian make was one of only two European continent based single-seater producers being internationally successful, while most of the rivals were British constructors like Cooper, Lotus, Brabham or a little later March. But while Tecno still relied on their space frame chassis the other constructor from continental Europe, Matra from France, put their efforts on monocoque chassis designs lead by their knowledges being Europe`s top level space-travel equipment group. The step from Formula 3 to Formula 2 was not such a big one, so Tecno decided to enter the highly competitive European Formula 2 Championship by a works team of their own. In 1970 the F2 Tecno works cars, still equipped with Novamotor prepared Ford engines and sponsored by French oil group Motul, were driven by rising Grand Prix aces Clay Regazzoni from Switzerland and France`s Francois Cevert. Tecno`s greatest success in the history of the company was winning the European Formula 2 Championship with Clay Regazzoni in 1970. That was the reason why the Pederzani brothers decided to enter Grand Prix Racing for 1972, where a lot of their Formula 2 rivals such as Lotus, Brabham and March were taking part pretty successfully. But in contrast of these British constructors the Pederzanis did not build a chassis of their own to combine it with a Ford engine and a Hewland gearbox as they had done before in Formula 2 and 3. Tecno designed a 12-cylinder-engine like the great factory teams of Ferrari, B.R.M. and Matra had already done before. Tecno followed the model of Ferrari when designing a flat engine for a better centre of gravity of the car. Nanni Galli from Italy and Briton Derek Bell became the team`s drivers, David Yorke, a former John Wyer Automotive director, was appointed team manager and Martini became Tecno´s title sponsor. Expectations were high, but the debut of the Martini Tecno PA123 at Belgian Nivelles with Galli in the cockpit ended, what a scandal, with a collision with Clay Regazzoni`s Ferrari. The engine was not strong enough and also the chassis caused troubles. The step from Formula 2 to the elite of Formula 1 was a bigger one than estimated before. Tecno asked Ron Tauranac, after his retirement from Brabham working as a designer on a freelance base, for help. For 1973 Tecno made Alan McCall design the PA123 B for Chris Amon, who scored a fine sixth place at both the car`s and it`s driver`s debut at Zolder in Belgium. When McCall had left the team very early the season, David Yorke and Conte Rossi from sponsor Martini signed up with Gordon Fowell constructing the very beautiful looking Tecno E341 being very similar to Ferrari`s 312 B3 type. But all these changes did not make more success come the Tecno team`s way. At the Austrian Grand Prix former Ferrari ace Chris Amon, the best driver in history never to win a worldchampionship Grand Prix, lost his patience and left the team. Martini switched to Brabham for 1974 and Tecno disappeared from international motorsport. The Oleodinamica Pederzani e Zini is still existing. Today they belong to the Interpump Group SpA.
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