ENGINES: BRM (BRITISH RACING MOTORS)

Name: BRM (British Racing Motors)

Established in 1947 at Bourne in Lincolnshire, the initial BRM engines were supercharged 1.5-liter V16s which had been designed by Peter Berthon. They were not successful and it was not until a new 2.5-liter engine was built in 1955 that BRM became a more serious operation. The new engine was designed by Stuart Tresilian and in 1956 Jean Behra began winning minor races for the company, notably the International Trophy. Although the team became more competitive it was not until the Dutch GP in 1959 that Jo Bonnier finally gave the BRM team its first World Championship win. By then Berthon and his engineers were working on the design of a new V8 engine for the planned new 1.5-liter formula which was due to start in 1961. The engine were late arriving and the team ran Coventry Climax engines but without much success. At the end of the year Sir Alfred Owen, the owner of BRM, issued an ultimatum. The team had to win the 1962 World Championship or it would be closed down. The new V8 engine, designed by Berthon and developed by Aubrey Woods was quickly successful with Graham Hill winning the non-championship races in Britain before the World Championship began. He went on to win the Dutch, German, Italian and South African GPs and the World Championship, with BRM taking the Constructors' title as well.

The team stayed unchanged in 1963 although BRM began supplying engines to other teams, notably BRP, Scuderia Centro Sud, Scuderia Filipinetti, Scirocco-Powell Racing and Rhein-Ruhr Racing. Graham Hill won at Monaco and at Watkins Glen but the season was dominated by Jim Clark and Team Lotus. Hill was runner-up in the World Championship. It was a similar story in 1964 as Hill won the same two races and was runner-up to John Surtees in the World Championship.

In 1965 Hill was joined by Jackie Stewart in the works team while old cars were made available to Scuderia Centro Sud drivers Masten Gregory and Ludovico Scarfiotti. Stewart won the International Trophy and the Italian GP while Hill won Monaco and at Watkins Glen. BRM finished second to Lotus in the World Championship as Hill was runner-up to Clark again. BRM also won the non-championship Mediterranean GP at Enna thanks to Jo Siffert at the wheel of a Rob Walker Brabham-BRM.

With the introduction of the new 3-liter formula in 1966 BRM planned an H16 engine, designed by Tony Rudd. This was not a success and after two poor seasons, a V12 engine which had been designed for sportscar racing by Geoff Johnson was used instead. This was not an immediate success and Aubrey Woods took over as head of engine development in 1969. A new V12 followed and at Spa in 1970 BRM returned to victory with Pedro Rodriguez driving. This engine continued to be used in 1971 and 1972 when Jo Siffert won in Austria and Peter Gethin won a classic Monza slipstreaming battle. The last BRM victory came in Monaco the following year when Jean-Pierre Beltoise led from flag to flag in pouring rain.

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