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  Article Image gallery (26) TS20-01 Specifications User Comments (1)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:3
Designed by:John Surtees / Ken Sears
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 26, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFrom its 1978 introduction, the Surtees TS20 was virtually obsolete. With it's traditional flat underbody design, it was no match for a new breed of F1 racers, the ground effect cars. First introduced by Lotus in 1977, ground effects used the underside of the car's body to suck the car to road. In order to create the effect, the underside was shaped like the upper surface of an airplane. The big advantage of this setup was that downforce was generated without the drag created by regular wings.

Fortunately for Surtees, they were not only team still running a flat bottom racer in the 1978 season. Among it's congeners the TS20 was one of the faster cars. Luck was not on the team's side and halfway through the season both of the team's drivers were injured and team manager John Surtees in hospital. In the second half of the season, Rene Arnoux proved the competitiveness of the car, but noteworthy finisishes were never recorded.

For the next season a new car was on the drawing boards, but it remained there. Various modifications were carried through on existing TS20 chassis, creating the TS20B or TS20+. Both featured ground effects parts designed for the TS21 car that never materialised. After a decade of Formula 1 racing the curtain fell for the team run by the only racer who managed to win both a Formula 1 and a Motorcycle World Championship.

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  Article Image gallery (26) TS20-01 Specifications User Comments (1)