|Tecno 70 F2|
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Hydraulic pump manufacturers by trade, the Italian Pederzani borthers, Luciano and Gianfranco, branched out to Go-Kart production in 1962. Their 'Tecnokart Kaimano' was an immediate hit and hugely successful around Europe. Soon after the Pederzanis expanded their business into single seaters, gradually working their way up from F4, through F3 in 1966 and eventually F2 in 1968. In the hugely competitive Formula 2 class the small Italian manufacturer faced the likes of Ferrari, Brabham and Lotus. The Pederzanis nevertheless retained the same basic design used in the earlier F4 and F3 'Tecnos'. In the right hands they also proved to be very competent.
The Formula 2 Tecno was a very straightforward machine built around a relatively short steel spaceframe. It featured conventional independent front and rear suspension. The simple Italian racer was covered in a fibreglass body. It could be distinguished from its F3 sister by the bulges next to the cockpit where the fuel was stored. Power came from a Cosworth 1.6 litre, four-cylinder engine, used by most of Tecno's rivals. For their Works cars, the team fiddled with the 'FVA' engine extensively and eventually got them to rev to an alleged 11,000 rpm. A Hewland five-speed gearbox completed the very light package.
During the 1968 season two teams raced Tecnos in the European Formula 2 Championship for the likes of Clay Regazzoni and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. The new machine was quick but very difficult to drive; Regazzoni got his Tecno on the podium at Crystal Palace but both drivers also suffered big accidents. While the first cars were delivered to customers, a full Works Team competed in the 1969 European Championship. The car had changed little since it was first raced but the small modifications had improved its performance. At Reims, Francois Cevert managed to score the first international Formula 2 victory for Tecno.
Following the day's trend, the F2 Tecno was also fitted with wings but underneath the skin it remained the same basic car. The single biggest development came halfway through the 1970 season when a full-width nose was introduced. It was wider to house twin radiators that were mounted on each side of the pedal-box. Regazzoni managed to win one Championship race in an earlier car before the new car was ready. The subtle changes once again provided a leap in performance as Regazzoni won three races and Cevert also added one victory to his tally. Few could have imagined it at the start of the year but Regazzoni ended the season as European Formula 2 Champion.
The biggest opposition in 1970 had come from the BMW Works team, which could rely on superior engines. Most teams switched to the German 'four' for 1971 but Tecno remained loyal to Cosworth. They managed to get a lot of power out of the new BDA engine but it was rarely reliable. Cevert won two more races early in the year but Tecno had already set their sights on the last step up the ladder; Formula 1. The timing was right as for 1972, the F2 regulations were revised, so a new car had to be developed any way. The Formula 1 Tecno, powered by a bespoke flat-12 engine, was raced from 1972 but it was nowhere near as good as its predecessors.
In less than a decade and with no prior experience, the Pederzani brothers upstaged some of the sport's biggest names. The most remarkable achievement was Regazzoni's 1970 European Championship, beating the mighty BMW team head-on. The Formula 2 Tecno did require exceptionally talents like Cevert and Regazzoni to make them work properly. In the hands of privateers, the tricky Tecnos usually featured at the back of the grids. Not very many F2 Tecnos were ever built and they are sought after today. Several examples are regularly raced in Historic Formula 2 events.
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