BANNED! 3 Great Racecars Not Allowed on the Track
March 7, 2016
Whoever thought being extra speedy on the track can cause a car to be forbidden from competing? These cars were not banned because of their muffler nor because of their drivers, but simply because of parts meant to be an innovation to make these cars faster; unfortunately, these innovations were found unfair to their competitors, thus their ban. Which cars are they? Check these out!
From the front, there’s nothing special about the Brabham BT46; it certainly looks like your ordinary, run of the mill F1 vehicle. But from the back, it’s a whole different story; you’ll clearly see the reason why the car was banned from the racetrack. Right at the back of the Brabham BT46 is the fan that gave the car its nickname, “Fan Car”.
This was conceptualized by Gordon Murray in 1978, when he wanted to create a vehicle that was fast, safe and could balance out the weight of the engine and fuel. He created the Brabham BT46 as a Formula One racer for the Brabham team, which was owned by Bernie Ecclestone. It was certainly different from its competitors, with its black fan at the back designed to do double duty by cooling the engine and creating downforce and rubber skirts down the side for added low air pressure.
It made its debut in its first and only race, the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. The legendary Niki Lauda was behind its wheel and won the race easily with a 34 second lead. Unfortunately, it was in violation of a rule wherein any extra features creating downforce must be fixed. Today, the Brabham BT46 remains to be the only F1 car to hold a hundred percent win record.
With just one glance, you’ll understand why we’ve included this car in the list. First, it doesn’t look anything at all like an ordinary racecar. In fact, it looks like something straight out of Star Wars! For sure, Luke Skywalker would have approved of this car’s design, but the racing body, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), certainly wasn’t impressed.
The Chaparral 2J featured two engines. The larger V-8 engine was for powering the car itself, while the smaller engine was for the two fans underneath, which drew air out from its placement. The fans allowed the car to pull around corners better and easier. What ended this car’s career was not its crazy design, but, like the Brabham BT46, its fans. Several competitors called for the ban of the aerodynamic technology to the SCCA. After its sole racing season in 1970, it was finally banned by the SCCA.
The Lotus 56 was certainly a car with potential— had it not been banned soon after the 1968 Indy 500. The car had an interesting wedge shape, something which made it stand out from its competitors. Designed by Maurice Philippe as the team’s entry into the 1968 500, its structure was meant to utilize the 500bhp Pratt and Whitney turbine engine in its body. With its innovative design the power from the engine was delivered to all four of its wheels. Soon after the 1968 Indy 500, the US Auto Club formally issued a ban against turbine cars and four-wheel drive vehicles. The car may have been outlawed, but its shape was strange enough to interest Mattel into producing it into one of their die cast Hot Wheels cars with the title “Lotus Turbine”.
With so many tech innovations these days, who knows what these car designers will think of next? Let’s just hope these modifications won’t get them banned from the track.