Honda RA-272. Goal: The first victory

Honda manages to win his first race in Formula 1 at the GP of Mexico in the year 1965, just when it took the last race of the world championship with engines of 1500cc.

Honda-RA272-4Ands a matter of public knowledge that in the season 2015 the engine developed by Honda to McLaren is very far from yield the expected results and that for 2016 should be to make a mammoth to achieve the so longed-for victory. As true as it is that the japanese already went through a similar situation in the past and I am not referring to his participation during the last decade (you could say that they managed to win under the name Brawn GP) but to a situation that dates back even further back in time.

Honda manages to win his first race at the GP of Mexico in 1965, just when it took the last race of the world championship with engines of 1500cc.

In the beginning Honda, which in theory had done a engine excellent, in an attempt to reach an agreement with Branham but the English will not yield to modify their chassis to accommodate the propellant japanese must be mounted in a transversal way and that it was not sufficiently proven.

Honda-RA272-2The japanese, nor slow, nor lazy, went to work and conceived their own chassis which was presented in society at the end of February 1964. Many might think that made a delicate process of reverse-engineering by their great resemblance with the car of Porsche but simply to be confined only to a similar aesthetic.

The engine was a 12 cylinder V 60° arranged transversely behind the pilot. It had double overhead camshaft column-cylinder, four valves in each cylinder and 6 carburetors Keihin… but with an injection system in development… This combo technician gave a power of 215CV to 11,000 laps. Today 215CV not astonish anyone, but if they are associated with a chassis that is very light weight, we can assume that we are in the presence of a true pure blood of the competition.

however, it was not all roses for the small single-seater japanese that I needed between 10 and 12CV extra to compensate a front section greater than increased the coefficient of aerodynamic penetration. The spins of the target and of F1 history repeated in a certain extent this drawback for a car powered by Honda: The Lotus 99T.

Honda-RA272-1Suspensions classic with shock absorbers Koni disposed within the body so as to reduce the resistance to advancement, cash of between 6 and 7 relationships, tubular chassis with fuel tanks placed on the sides and backs of the pilot, differential ZF, multiplate clutch and Dunlop tires completed the combo.

Honda came to Zandvoort, 1964, with a chassis that is mixed and an inexperienced pilot, the american Ronnie Bucknum, that little by little would be earning the respect of others next to your car, but without achieving significant results.

by 1965, the expectations were on the rise and he entrusted the machine to Richi Ginter, a pilot with special skill to try and develop the car.

In Monaco is modified the exhaust making an increase in power and RPM coming to 220CV and 12,000 laps. A breakthrough, however, not managed to get the pilots of the last places of the classification. In career would be betrayed by the box and transmission.

Honda-RA272-3The japanese strive for perfection and consequently change the axle shafts to the following quote in Belgium where, Ginther achieved the 6th position and the first point for Honda. We follow a double abandonment in France and outstanding performances in England and Holland.

In Watkins Glen, Ginther part in the first row and gives several turns to the rhythm of the pointers Graham Hill and John Surtees. But then it would leave a problem of power, no one could deny that the japanese were giving clear examples of that we should not underestimate them.

In Zandvoort again in the hands of Ginther the car, mark the same time that the Lotus of Jim Clark and again finished 6th, scoring another point for the people of Honda.

The team is not present in Germany in order to thoroughly review the design of the cars of face-to-Monza, circuit to the which came in with cars that are completely new.

The design changes were visible: the sway bar was fixed below, cushions had been placed on the outside of the chassis to facilitate cooling, and the wheels besides having a new design were magnesium alloy. The ignition is carried out by means of six coils and added commands in the driving position to enrich or impoverish the mixture of air and fuel according to the pilot he saw fit (luckily at that time the decision was in the hands of the pilot instead of the engineer on duty).

Honda-RA272-5In the land of the good food and “prancing horse” the pistons they betrayed their drivers, both in qualifying and in the race, giving a new double abandonment to the japanese team.

things improved for the Grand Prix of the united States making Ginther and Bucknum the 7th and 13th positions in part thanks to the increased power of the engine (it Is said that came to give 230CV to 13,000 RPM and could reach smoothly to the 14,000 RPM).

however, the best was to come on the occasion of the Grand Prix of Mexico where Buckum achieved the 5th place and Ginther manages to win the race leading from the start, getting in addition a new lap record for the track.

feat japanese is magnified if we consider that Ginther was not a “Top Driver” and that at that time the japanese had no experience in the competition. For no reason should you be diminished by saying that “his adversaries already thought of the rules of 1966” as they argue some critics. For the story, the Honda RA-272, is the result of the 14 months of patient work of development and testing with one goal: The victory.