Without leaving a trace

17. Jul 2019 
by Pierre Van Vliet

April 1970, Magny Cours circuit in France : A young Niki Lauda starts the Formula 3 race on board of his McNamara, leading the Martini of Etienne Vigoureux and the Lotus of Reine Wisell.

Having started his career in the Formula Vé championship one year earlier, Lauda participated to a few races in Formula 3 but soon left the series, feeling the young guns’ driving ethics made the racing too dangerous to his liking.

The same year, he drove in Sports Cars in a Porsche and in a Chevron before switching directly to the Formula 2 with March, thanks to a bank loan. The rest is history.

Interestingly, the McNamara MKIII was conceived in 1969 by Dan Hawkes for Francis McNamara, an American soldier based in Germany. He had already designed a Formula Vé before.

Mario Andretti, drove a McNamara designed car for the 1970 Indianapolis 500, and the two men also helped with the development of the STP March 701 in Formula 1.

But suddenly, in December 1970, the wife of McNamara was assassinated and Francis disappeared.

He was wanted by Interpol, but was never found …

Source: DR

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