Honda RA302

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Honda RA302
Honda RA302 left Honda Collection Hall.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Honda R&D
Designer(s) Yoshio Nakamura,
Shoichi Sano
Technical specifications
Chassis Magnesium-skinned monocoque
Suspension (front) double-wishbone
Suspension (rear) double-wishbone
Engine Honda RA302E, 2991cc V8 naturally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Honda 5-speed manual
Fuel BP/Shell
Tyres Firestone
Competition history
Notable entrants Honda Racing France
Notable drivers France Jo Schlesser
Debut 1968 French Grand Prix,
Rouen.
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
1 0 0 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
n.b. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to
Formula One World Championship Grands Prix only.

The Honda RA302 was a Formula One racing car produced by Honda Racing, and introduced by Honda Racing France during the 1968 Formula One season. The car was built based on the order by Soichiro Honda to develop an air-cooled Formula One engine.[1] Thus, the car was forcibly entered in the Formula One race alongside the water-cooled, aluminum-bodied RA301 which had been developed by the existing Honda team and British Lola Cars.

It would only appear in one race, the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts, driven by Jo Schlesser. Schlesser was chosen to drive the RA302 because normal Honda driver John Surtees (who was the 1964 world champion) refused to drive it as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a "potential deathtrap". This was proven on lap two of the Grand Prix; Schlesser crashed at the Virage des Six Frères section of the circuit and the car came to rest sideways against a bank. The magnesium-bodied Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, killing Schlesser and destroying the original RA302.

A second RA302 was built, with slight modifications, earmarked for Surtees to drive at the next race, but when Surtees again refused to drive it, Honda decided to pull out of Grand Prix racing and did not return as a constructor until the 2006 Formula One season with the Honda RA106. The RA302 intended for Surtees at the Italian Grand Prix is now shown at the Honda Collection Hall.

The magnesium-bodied Honda RA302 of Jo Schlesser crashes and burns during the 1968 French Grand Prix. Schlesser was killed.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Formula One Entry (1964): The Question: Victory or Technology". Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 

External links[edit]