Plastic monocoque, automatic transmission, rear wing, the central position of the radiator – the usual design features of Formula 1 sports prototypes or cars in the 1960s also looked unique. But not for the Texan Jim Hall, who returned with his own Chaparral cars to conquer motorsport in Europe.
James Ellis Hall was born in 1935 and was the middle of three siblings in the family of a geological prospector who founded a lucrative oil exploration company in Texas. When Jim, as his friends and relatives called him, was 17, his parents and sister died in a plane crash. The same year, Hall was enrolled at the California Technical University, where he chose his father's specialty, but a year later, he found that he was not interested in studying crystal structures. Another thing is mechanics, materials science, hydrodynamics and thermodynamics, so Jim switched to the faculty of mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, Hall hoped to get a job at General Motors, but ended up in Dallas, where his older brother Dick opened a subsidiary of Carroll Shelby Sports Car. When Hall worked for Shelby, he had the opportunity to test almost all sports cars of the time and, according to himself, "learn a lot more about racing than about selling a car".
Thanks to his older brother, Jim Hall met motorsport at school and switched from amateur racing to Formula 1 after graduating, where he spoke at the US Grand Prix 60 and 61. In 1962, Hall founded Chaparral Cars with another American racing driver, James "Hap" Sharp. "There were about half a dozen great sports car races in the US that had big prizes, but we were always overshadowed by Europeans," recalls Jim Hall. – They came with their new cars and were one step ahead. I believed that the only way to compete with them was to build competitive equipment. "
Jim Hall with BRP teammate Innes Ireland.
Chaparral's story could be short-lived as Jim Hall accepted the invitation to the BRP Formula 1 team for the '63 season. However, Hall had no career in F-1 and focused on building his own cars: “Every driver wants to be world champion, but I wasn't as successful as I expected. That's why I decided to build my own cars rather than continue driving in Formula One. I had a technical background, but before that I always drove cars built by other people. I realized that I could improve what they did and then do better than them. "
The first car called the Chaparral ("Chaparral" – a large Californian plantain cuckoo that moves at high speed on the ground and eats snakes) was renamed Scarab sports car with a front engine. The car was traveling fast, but lost to European mid-engines due to poor driving behavior. For this reason, Hall and Sharpe knew that Chaparral 2 should have an independent design – powerful, light and with good handling. To ensure the latter, Hall used what he thought were the best European components – Lotus suspension and Cooper steering. For power – the classic American V8 – 400-hp Chevrolet Small-Block. To make the car lighter, Jim chose his path based on the experience of the U.S. aerospace industry.
Hall and Sharp turned to General Dynamics at Fort Worth, where the world's first airplane was built with a glued fuselage. The composite department for this project was headed by Andy Green, who owned Plas Trend, where he used his knowledge to build yachts. Despite the lack of experience in car design, Green agreed to make a fiberglass monocoque for the Chaparral. The revolutionary monocoque consisted of boxes glued together, and in the final stages the upper and lower parts were pulled together with rivets. Along the circumference, the monocoque was reinforced with an aluminum corner, and there were steel cross members at the points where the suspension and the motor were mounted. The monocoque turned out to be very light (under 70 kg) and had an unprecedented torsional stiffness.
Jim Hall leads Chaparral 2 to victory at 12 Sebring'65.
Chaparral 2 made its debut in Riverside in late 1963. Jim Hall won the pole in record time and was the leader in the race, but left early due to a fire in the electronics. Over the course of two seasons, the car was continually improved, for which all conditions were created at the Chaparral base in Midland, Texas – workshops, a drawing office, a dino stand for engines up to 1000 hp. and especially your own 3 km test track. Hall also secured the support of General Motors and gained access to the company's unlimited resources and the latest technological innovations. For GM, the Hall and Sharp project was an opportunity to test promising solutions in combat conditions, an excellent platform for internships for young specialists and, above all, a source of fresh ideas.
An example of Hall's progressive thinking is the fact that he focused on aerodynamics: “We found that the car behaved poorly after installing a body. So the problem was in aerodynamics. "We first reduced the lifting power on the front axle and then found that the lap time improved with increasing downforce on the rear axle."
Chaparral 2D Chevrolet.
After the successful season ’65, in which Jim Hall and Hap Sharp achieved 15 wins in 34 American races, 9 second places and a third, Chaparral was ready to conquer Europe. For this purpose, Hall prepared a new car around the old fiberglass mid-engine chassis – the Chaparral 2D interior prototype with headlights and wing doors. The car has undergone many changes during the development from the original car to 2D. The most striking feature was the constantly updated exterior panels to improve aerodynamic performance. However, a lot has changed among them. The structure of the chassis has not changed structurally: double wishbones – front; upper single wishbone, lower triangular lever in reverse form and double push rods – at the rear; Coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. All levers as well as steering and wheels and brake discs were made in-house. Brake calipers for girls made room for Kelsey-Hayes, and as brake fluid in Chaparral, they used expensive airplanes that required special seals.
Despite Sharpe's experiments with a smaller Oldsmobile engine, the 2D, like the original car, had a Chevrolet V-shaped 8-cylinder engine with an aluminum block and cylinder heads (a promising development for the Grand Sport Corvette) with a working volume of 5360 cm³ (102 × 82.6) mm). It had two valves per cylinder, driven by a single camshaft located in the collapse of the block by means of rods and pushers, and four dual-chamber Weber 48 DCDE carburettors. By 1966, its output had risen to 475 hp. at 7000 rpm (425 hp were limited to marathon distances) and the maximum torque at 5000 rpm at about 400 Nm.
If the Chevy V8 could hardly get the attention of the European motorsport community, who saw a high-speed engine and even fuel injection as the best choice for racing, the transmission could make even the most advanced designers think. Already in May 1964 the usual Colotti manual transmission was replaced by the experimental development of GM – an improved transmission by Corvair with a torque converter instead of a clutch. "The idea belonged to Hap," recalls Hall. "He said why we need a gearbox when the wheels spin in every gear."
Transmission with a Chaparral-GM torque converter.
The Chaparral GM transmission could not be called automatic in the usual sense. There was no clutch pedal, but the driver himself selected the gear with the lever, of which there were originally only two, and in 2D there were three. Conventional spur gears in the box were activated by pushing the cam clutches. With the engine running, the gear was always engaged and the machine was only held by the brake. When the engine rotates to approximately 5,000 rpm, the torque converter is blocked to prevent slippage and loss of power.
For the international campaign in Chaparral, ex-world champion F-1 American Phil Hill and the current driver of the Big Prize, the Swede Yo Bonnier, were invited. Both had extensive experience in endurance racing and were the first to get Chaparral 2D to the start of the competition – in the “24 Hours of Daytona” ’66. 2D turned out to be 0.2 seconds. slower than the Ford GT40 Mark II, but in the Hill / Bonnier race they took the lead immediately, but had to pit early due to steering problems and then stood in the pits to fix the problems. As a result, the crew stayed in the race for 14 hours before finally getting out. Two 2Ds were immediately announced in Sebring at 12:00 p.m., but neither car reached the finish line again: Hill and Bonnier failed at the checkpoint and Hall and Sharpe got out because of a broken rear suspension.
"24 hours Daytona" ’66. Chaparral 2D debut.
At the beginning of June 1966, the Chaparral team traveled to Germany to take part in the 1000 km race on the Nürburgring. In the period between the races, Hall and Sharp made circles along the test track, which was reflected in the appearance of the car. The nose has become less futuristic, the middle low headlights have been replaced by a more well-known high position. An air duct was created on the roof, through which more air was supplied to the carburettors and the engine compartment was cooled. The contours of the rear section changed, and the spoiler with an adjustable angle of attack gave way to a fixed one that was almost at right angles to the body.
In free races, Phil Hill only lost against John Certificate on the Ferrari 330 P3. After the start in the "Le Mans style" Sertiz took the lead and after the first lap in front of Hill by 25 seconds, but Ferrari already stopped in the 6th lap with a broken rear shock at the pits. Hill took the lead and handed the car over to Bonnier for a comfortable advantage. It was raining seven laps before the finish line when Hill was driving again. Phil drove to the pits to change the tires, but spent more than four minutes there due to problems. Despite the problem, Chaparral remained at the front of the field 20 seconds ahead of the Ferrari Dino. Another problem was the fancy caretaker, although it became particularly critical when the rain stopped and the glass was covered with dirt from other cars. "He just rolled around and started cleaning the damn hood instead of the windshield," recalls Phil Hill. "I had to do something, but I didn't want to stop to keep the engine from stopping because our small battery might not be enough to start." Instead, Hill slowed down the first gear, opened the door, got out, and wiped the glass off immediately! The efforts were rewarded with a win in the race.
Yo Bonnier overtakes carousel on Chaparral 2D at "1000 km of the Nürburgring" 66.
Victory in the first European race was an excellent result, but many saw the "1000 km of the Nürburgring" as the last training session before the main start of the year – "Le Mans 24 Hours". In the race, which marked a turning point in the war between Ford and Ferrari, Hill and Bonnier remained stable in the top group from position 10, but got out because of a failed generator when night fell on Sarthes Ring. More in 1966, Chaparral 2D didn't start, and in the new season Jim Hall worked hard on new machines, much more technically advanced.
Hall was absent during the triumph at the Nürburgring as he was busy preparing Chaparral 2E for the first Can-Am season. This car was the third in a series of vehicles with an aluminum monocoque (after 2B and 2C), which was developed in parallel with a series of fiber optic chassis and was to become one of the most important in the history of motorsport. In September, two Chaparral 2E roadsters shocked the public in Bridgehampton, New York, with their rear wings attached to struts attached to the wishbones. Hall also moved the cooling system's coolers from a traditional place in the front overhang to the center of the base – on both sides of the unit. This not only made it possible to improve the weight distribution, but also to reduce the length of the pipes and at the same time the amount of coolant. The revolutionary solutions that were used for the first time in the 2E design formed the basis for the coupé of the next long-distance race – Chaparral 2F.
Jim Hall drives the Chaparral 2E on the Can-Am stage in Laguna Sec, where he finishes second behind his team-mate Phil Hill.
When choosing the 2F concept, Hall considered various options: with aluminum or glass fiber monocoque, with small block or with big block, as Ford did with its GT40. A simulation of the ring passage in Dayton, carried out in the General Motors computer laboratory, showed that the best solution was to use a lighter fiber monocoque and a large motor – a V-shaped "eight" Chevrolet "Porcupine" with a working volume of 7000 cm³ (108 × 95.3 mm)), which were offset valves. This unit has already successfully established itself at NASCAR, but Hall received a gift from Chevrolet – just an upcoming version of this engine with an aluminum cylinder block instead of a heavier cast iron. This engine was powered by four Chevrolet dual chamber 58mm carburetors (licensed from Weber) and produced 575 horsepower. at 7500 rpm, only 38.5 kg heavier than the 5.3 liter.
External sandwich panels consisting of two layers of fabric impregnated with epoxy resin and polyvinyl chloride foam were used in the battle for additional pounds. The brake system used hoses reinforced with steel threads that did not expand with increasing system pressure, which made it possible to reduce the master cylinder and the amount of brake fluid. Aviation technologies were used in the electrical system: cabling with Teflon insulation and nickel-cadmium battery. The mass of 2F with all liquids except fuel was 790 kg (for comparison, the Ford Mark IV weighed 1000 kg).
Chaparral 2F Chevrolet.
Hall: “In the middle of the ’65 season we noticed that we had so much downforce that we became very slow on the lines. So far, we could have made better circles than others, but cars like the Lola T70 quietly ran in a straight line around us and then prevented us from overtaking corners. “Then Hall realized that if you made the spoiler adjustable, you could change the wing's angle of attack on the straight to reduce drag and maximize cornering with downforce. Here the main advantage of the automatic transmission plays into the hands – the absence of a clutch pedal. Free of the usual tasks, the driver's left leg could now control the pedal of the system, now known as the DRS. "If we did that, we could give as much downforce as the tires could take." In the case of high struts, a small tailgate (spoiler) was replaced by a large wing. Under the increased downforce for the ’67 season, Firestone manufactured wider tires with reinforced sidewalls.
In the ’66 season, a problem was identified in Can-Am with Chaparral 2E, which worsened driving behavior: when the rear wing was in the position with minimal air resistance, the front plumage continued to generate downforce so that the body tilted towards the front axle. A solution appeared on 2F: there was an air duct in the bow that apparently led to radiators, but in fact there was a flap on the springs inside. When a certain speed is reached (approx. 200 km / h), the pressure of the oncoming air flow compresses the springs and the flap opens the tunnel for free air flow.
Chaparral 2F Crew Phil Hill / Mike Spence (# 15) and Chaparral 2D Crew Bob Johnson / Bruce Jennings during the "24 Hours Daytones" ’67.
The debut race for Chaparral 2F was the daily marathon in Daytona. The car was not finished to the end – the wing was fixed motionless in the position of the maximum downforce and the flap springs in the front panel were fixed. Phil Hill and his new British partner Mike Spence qualified second and lost only one team to the Ford Mark II. Quickly preferred in the race against three Ferrari Hill and Spence, but the American's mistake at the end of the fourth hour was a broken lock and worth resigning.
The 2F was on high alert for another traditional American race at Sebring, but Hill and Spence were second in qualifying again and lost to Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti on the new Ford Mark IV. In the race I had to recover after a start problem. Спенс установил лучший круг, побив свое же квалификационное время на две секунды и догнал лидирующий Ford, но коробка передач не выдержала нагрузки – сход после половины дистанции. Вместе с 2F в Дайтоне и Себринге на старт выставлялся и 2D, оснащенный 7-литровым мотором, но Бобу Джонсону и Брюсу Дженнингсу дважды пришлось сойти из-за проблем с коробкой передач.
Фил Хилл за рулем Chaparral 2F на дистанции "1000 км Спа" ’67.
В сезоне 1967 года Chaparral запланировали более обширную программу в гонках на выносливость, для чего арендовали гараж во Франкфурте, где создали свою временную базу. В «1000 км Монцы» Спенс завоевал поул, но в гонке команду ждал очередной сход из-за сломавшегося кар. Схожим образом прошла гонка через неделю в Спа – поул Хилла и сход на середине дистанции с вышедшер Следующая гонка, легендарная «Тарга Флорио», не очень подходила такому большому автомобилю, как Chaparral Тем не менее, Хилл и Шарп, заменивший Спенса, шли на четвертой позиции незадолго до финиша, когдасос К сожалению, запасное колесо оказалось непригодным к применению, так как от воздействия высокой температуры в моторном отсеке оно попросту расплавилось.
Команда возлагала большие надежды на гонку на Нюрбургринге, где победили в прошлом сезоне. Майк Спенс проехал фантастический круг в квалификации, завоевав очередную поул-позицию, но в гонке Хилл, прорвавшийся с последнего места (на старте в "стиле Ле-Ман" у него возникли проблемы с ремнем безопасности) на первое за восемь кругов, был вынужден остановиться из-за очередного отказа коробки передач. Хилл: «На Нюрбургринге машина вела себя просто великолепно и, вероятно, это было самое большое разое разое разое
Старт «24 часов Ле-Мана» ’67. Chaparral 2F Фила Хилла и Майка Спенса (# 7) в окружении Ford GT40 Mark IV экипажей Брюс МакЛарен / Марк Донохью (# 2, на поул-позиции) Марио Андретти / Люсьен Бьянки (# 3) и Дэнни Халм / Ллойд Руби (# 4).
К Ле-Ману коллектив подошел со смешанными чувствами – 2F был очень быстрым автомобилем, но за шесто На старте машина Хилла и Спенса расположилась на втором месте между двумя Ford Mark IV, а второй 2F ДжонДгжннинаинаи. Гоночный темп Chaparral был хорош – экипаж Хилл / Спенс стал единственным, кто мог соперничать с «Фордами Второй Chaparral сошел в самом начале гонки из-за проблем с электрикой, а отказавший механизм регулировки антикрыла заметно снизил скорость 2F на прямой "Мюльсан», но к середине дистанции Хилл и Спенс оставались на третьей позиции. На рассвете дала о себе знать ахиллесова пята машины – коробка передач. Дело в том, что в GM не стали разрабатывать новый агрегат, а старый оказался не способен справиться сммя Как правило, не выдерживали уплотнения и перегретое масло выливалось из коробки. Механики три часа пытались реанимировать коробку, но сход оказался неизбежен.
Chaparral ждало еще одно выступление в Европе – 500-мильная гонка в Брэндс-Хэтче. Из-за сломавшейся полуоси Хилл и Спенс не смогли побороться за поул и довольствовались третьим. В гонке они довольно быстро захватили лидерство, но на середине дистанции потеряли 1 мин. 46 сек. из-за прокола. Вернувшись на трассу, Хилл стал отыгрывать по две секунды на круге у лидировавших Джеки Стюарта и Криса Эймона на Ferrari 330 P4, а сменивший его Спенс вывел "крылатую машину» на лидирующую позицию. За час до конца Хилл лидировал с преимуществом в 18 сек. над Эймоном, но Ferrari ждал еще один пит-стоп, что в итоге вылилось в почти минутное отставание на финиш. Это был день Chaparral!
BOAC-500 в Брэндс-Хэтче – единственный успех Chaparral 2F, добытый стараниями Фила Хилла и Майка Спенса.
Для Фила Хилла гонка в Брэндс-Хэтче стала последней в профессиональной карьере: "Было интересно гоняться на Chaparral против Ferrari и Ford, за которых я выступал прежде. Печально думать о том, как все должно было сложиться, эти мысли нас просто убивают. Наверное, надо просто вспоминать только хорошее. Победа в Брэндс-Хэтче доставила нам огромное удовлетворение после всех проблем, которые мыл исзы Оглядываясь назад, что ж, разве можно было придумать лучший способ завершить карьеру? »
Брэндс-Хэтч так же стал последним местом, где появился Chaparral 2F. Со следующего года прототипы с двигателем рабочим объемом свыше 3 литров оказались вне закона, поэтому в Chaparral сосредоточились на Can-Am, где Джим Холл еще не раз удивлял публику, например, радикальным 2H или же автомобилем-пылесосом 2J. Когда последний попал под запрет, Холл на время ушел из автогонок, но в середине 70-х вернулся сначала в Формулу-5000, а позже и в IndyCar, где Джонни Разерфорд выиграл "500 миль Индианаполиса" '80 на Chaparral 2K с граунд-эффектом ,
Джим Холл: "Хэп Шарп любил повторять, что гонки выигрываются на устаревших машинах. Он предпочитал более проверенные машины, тогда как я всегда хотел что-то экспериментальное. Мне это нравилось, потому что экспериментальные машины обычно были быстрее, но так же я знаго, что Мы всегда нацеливались на победу, но чаще всего оставались не у дел из-за слабой надежности. Конечно же, я хотел побеждать и мы всегда были в лидерах – стартовали с поулов или с первого ряд Тот факт, что мы не так часто побеждали, не имел для меня значения ». На вопрос журналиста Car and Driver о том, чтобы он сделал, если бы он мог что-либо изменить, Холл ответил: «Я бы снизил темп наших разработок, дал бы себе больше времени на то, чтобы убедиться, что мы имеем надежный продукт" ,
Последние эксперименты Джима Холла в гонках спортпрототипов. Слева – радикальный Chaparral 2H, справа – автомобиль-пылесос Chaparral 2J.
При подготовке статьи использованы иллюстрации со следующих ресурсов сети Интернет: motorsportmagazine.com, pinterest.comrod.com, wheels.com, wheelsu.
В следующей публикации – история успеха Brabham-Repco. Подписывайтесь, чтобы не пропустить!
Что еще почитать в моём блоге? Ford GT40. Месть по-американски. Часть 1. Часть 2. Часть 3 «24 часа Ле-Мана» ’66. Загадка фотофинишаLotus 72. Клин, вбитый в эволюцию формульного дизайнаПобеды удивительных автомобилене Грузовики, вертолеты и… паровоз!