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  Brabham BT11 Climax

  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1964
Numbers built:5
Designed by:Ron Tauranac for Motor Racing Developments
Predecessor:Brabham BT7 Climax
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 10, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDan Gurney's first outing with the Climax engined BT7 came during the season opener at Monaco. He placed the car sixth on the grid, but a final drive failure put him out of the race early. At the high speed track of Spa Francorchamps, Sayer's aerodynamics helped the young American to qualify second and eventually finish third. Brabham's first podium was followed by a second place at Zandvoort. Gurney and Brabham both scored another second place finish, which was enough to finish the season third in the constructor's championship and ahead of Ferrari. Slightly modified, the BT7s were raced again in 1964 and often were the fastest cars on track. Gurney managed to score two wins, but multiple technical failures put him out of contention for the championship.

Encouraged by the on-track performance of the BT7, Brabham set about developing a customer version to be launched in 1964. Dubbed the BT11, it was the only competitive car available for privateers. It was different in detail only from the BT7, with a wider track as the only major change. Three chassis were sold to the likes of Rob Walker and Jo Siffert, while two were retained for the Works team. Two of the customer cars were powered by a BRM V8 engine and managed to score the odd podium finish in 1964. In the Works hands the BT11s were only slightly more successful with Gurney clinching three third and then two second place finishes in a row in 1965. It was enough to end the season in third again. Five larger engined BT11As were also produced for the popular Tasman series held 'Down Under' in the off season.

At the end of the season, the 1.5 litre engined Formula 1 cars were left obsolete due to rule changes. Tauranac continued with the basic design principles used in the BT3, BT7 and BT11 during the development of the 1966 contender. Tauranac's emphasis on reliability paid off and Jack Brabham managed to become the first driver to win a World Championhip in a machine bearing his own name. Denny Hulme added another title for Brabham / Tauranac partnership in 1967. With a third, a fourth and a third again, the first three seasons of Brabham in Formula 1 were quite impressive and most importantly they served as a learning curve for the great successes of the second half of the 1960s.

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  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (2) Specifications