Turbo revolution

15. Jun 2022 
by Ziv Knoll

The introduction of the 126CK in 1981 hailed the start of the Ferrari turbo era. At the time, the Scuderia dragged it’s feet about moving from the normally aspired 12-cylinder engine to a turbocharged one.

The new 120° V6 engine much shorter and narrower, required that a whole new car was to be designed and so the twin turbo powered 126CK was born (picture below).

With (1979 World Champion) Scheckter gone, Gilles Villeneuve was joined by a young and promising French driver, Didier Pironi. The car was heavy and difficult to master, but the Canadian heroically won at both Monaco and Jarama, confirming his huge talent on the track, but Pironi (picture above taken at Long Beach) struggled.

Reliability was a problem for the Scuderia in 1981 and this prevented Ferrari and its drivers from getting in the fierce battle opposing Nelson Piquet (Brabham) and the Williams’ of Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann for the World Drivers’ title, which was won in the very last race, by Brazilian Nelson Piquet…in a normally aspired Brabham-Cosworth.



Source: DR

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