Clay and the T2
Clay Regazzoni, as he poses for the picture-above early 1976, note the beautiful Ferrari-livered FIAT truck behind him, seems confident his new Ferrari 312T2 will enable him to fight, once more, for the championship.
A change in the rules meant that the Scuderia had to come with a practically new car for the 1976 season. Periscope air intakes were banned, limiting the overall height of the car. This meant that (Naca) ducts had to be designed that ran from the front part of the cockpit, channeling the air to the two rows of carburettors over the cylinder heads of the famous flat-12.
The year began as the last one had ended – remember Niki Lauda’s dominance during the 1975 season in the 312T – with Ferrari taking six victories in nine races. The 312T2 proved right away being a worthy successor to the old car and gave Niki a huge lead in the rankings.
However, a terrifying accident at the Nürburgring on August 1, seemed to have put an end to the Austrian’s hopes for a championship double. In the meantime, while Lauda was slowly recovering, Regazzoni who had won early in the season at Long Beach, was not able to challenge James Hunt and his McLaren.
In the end, Hunt was crowned for one point over Lauda at Fuji in Japan, in a memorable finale, and Regazzoni could not do better than fifth in the standings. Anyhow, the 312T2, one of Mauro Forghieri’s best concepts, took six victories and enabled Ferrari to win one more manufacturers’ title.