INTRODUCTION South African motor racing champion Ian Scheckter has been trying out the new March Formula One car which has four wheels at the back.
INTRODUCTION South African motor racing champion Ian Scheckter has been trying out the new March Formula One car which has four wheels at the back. After the trial, at England's Silverstone race track, Ian Scheckter admitted the car had given him a few anxious moments but he said he was pleasantly surprised with the feel of the rear end of the car.
SYNOPSIS: The March is not the first Formula One car to have six wheels, the Tyrrell team have also experimented with the concept but their car had four small wheels at the front. The March car's four back wheels have created one major stumbling block - a complex transmission which has involved the car in a 100 pound weight penalty.
Ian Scheckter, elder brother of Jody of the Wolf racing team, will almost certainly be racing the car in the British Grand Prix in July, by which time the March engineers hope to have alleviated most of the disadvantages. A programme of chassis lightening is expected to reduce the weight penalty by at least a half, and a stiffer drive shaft should overcome the transmission weakness.
The advantage of the car is its speed down the straight.
Grand Prix racing tyres have been getting bigger and bigger to improve road holding but they have now become so large that they create an enormous drag. By mounting two sets of small tyres one behind the other, the March team have halved the size of the rear tyre and dramatically reduced drag. This increases speed down the straight but at corners the March team have the problem of getting six wheels to work together instead of four.
Despite its problems this car could still be a Grand Prix winner as March design director Robin Herd Says the advantage of faster straight-line speed is too great to be left unexploited.