Tamiya Lotus 49B, Jo Siffert, Mexico 1968, Team Rob Walker, Chassis R/7.
by John Horst
The history of Chassis Lotus 49B/R7
This chassis was ordered by Rob Walker to replace 49/4, which had been destroyed by fire in March 1968. Originally, it had been hoped that the car would have been ready for the Dutch or French Grand Prix, but in the end it was only finished on the eve of the British Grand Prix in July. The car differed from the works machines in that it had smaller nose fins and a 'customer specification' rear wing which was noticeably lower than on the cars of Hill and Oliver. It was a fairytale debut, for Siffert won after virtually a race-long battle with the Ferrari of Chris Amon, and he was consistently on the pace - often quicker than the works cars - for the rest of the season, culminating in a scintillating practice lap in Mexico which gained him pole position. In the race, Siffert probably would have won had the throttle cable not pulled out of his socket, forcing him to pit. Even so, he stormed back through the field, setting a new lap record and finishing sixth.
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