Embassy Hill

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Embassy Racing With Graham Hill
Full name Embassy Racing With Graham Hill
Base United Kingdom
Founder(s) United Kingdom Graham Hill
Noted drivers United Kingdom Graham Hill
United Kingdom Tony Brise
Australia Alan Jones
Germany Rolf Stommelen
Formula One World Championship career
First entry 1973 Spanish Grand Prix
Races entered 41
Constructors Shadow-Ford
Lola-Ford
Hill-Ford
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
Final entry 1975 United States Grand Prix
Hill as a Formula One constructor
Formula One World Championship career
Entrants Embassy Hill
First entry 1975 Spanish Grand Prix
Last entry 1975 United States Grand Prix
Races entered 11
Race victories 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers'
Championships
0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0

Embassy Hill was a short-lived Formula One team started by the two-time Formula One world-champion Graham Hill, racing as a constructor with its own chassis in 1975. The team debuted in 1973 and had limited success in three seasons of racing, but everything was cut short by the death of Hill, Tony Brise and some of the team's top personnel in the crash of a light aircraft in the autumn before the 1976 season. The team was sponsored by Imperial Tobacco's Embassy cigarette brand and ran under various names during its time.

History[edit]

1972–73[edit]

Main article: Shadow DN1

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill first came into being when Graham Hill decided to leave his previous team, Brabham, unhappy with the atmosphere there. He announced in late 1972[1] he was starting his own team, acting as owner and driver. Securing sponsorship from Embassy, Hill started operating a team with cars purchased from Shadow. Things did not go well that year: the team's best finish was ninth at Zolder, being the last finisher among 9 cars (the former World Champion also started 23rd of 23 cars that race).

1974[edit]

Main article: Lola T370

The chassis for 1974 were bought from Lola, and designated as the Lola T370. Graham Hill drove throughout the season and scored a point at the 1974 Swedish Grand Prix, but this was to be the team's only point that season. The second car was driven by Guy Edwards, and later Peter Gethin and Rolf Stommelen.

1975[edit]

Main articles: Lola T370 and Hill GH1

The T370 was still being used at the beginning of the 1975 season, until the team's new car was ready. The new car for 1975 was initially designated as the Lola T371,[2] but when designer Andy Smallman left Lola to work full-time for Embassy Hill it was renamed the Hill GH1.[3] Smallman's design drew heavily from the design of previous year's Lola cars.[1]

Unfortunately, the second race of the GH1 at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix[4] was marred by the collapse of Rolf Stommelen's rear wing mounting, which pitched his car into the crowd and killed four people. Stommelen was injured in the accident and did not return until the second half of the season.

After failing to qualify at the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix, a race he had won five times, Hill no longer drove the cars himself, and his driving role was taken over by Tony Brise. Brise, considered a rising star,[5] finished sixth in the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix and qualified sixth for the 1975 Italian Grand Prix.

Alan Jones took over the second car for most of the races that Stommelen missed; Jones finished fifth place in the 1975 German Grand Prix.

François Migault and Vern Schuppan were also behind the wheel of the second Hill that year.

Hill GH2[edit]

The GH2 was the first Formula One car that Andy Smallman designed from scratch specifically for Graham Hill's team, and it was intended for use in the 1976 World Championship season.[6] It was intended to replace the previous model, the Hill GH1, which had started life as the Lola T371. The GH2 employed the usual Cosworth DFV engine and Hewland FG400 gearbox, and had extremely flat boxes,[clarification needed] which gave the car a sleek silhouette. Tony Brise began testing in the late summer of 1975 at Silverstone, and the times indicated the team could hope for a successful season.[citation needed]

After the deaths of Graham Hill, Tony Brise, Andy Smallman and Ray Brimble in November 1975, the GH2 project came to a halt. However, a GH2 was still built and is now in a British automobile museum.

End of the team[edit]

On the evening of 29 November 1975 Graham Hill was piloting an Embassy Hill Piper Aztec light aircraft from France to London. His passengers were team manager Ray Brimble, team driver Tony Brise, designer Andy Smallman and mechanics Terry Richards and Tony Alcock. They were returning from Circuit Paul Ricard where they had been testing the Hill GH2 car being prepared for 1976. They were due to land at Elstree Airfield before onward travel to London to attend a party. Shortly before 10pm the plane hit trees beside a golf course at Arkley in thick fog. In the ensuing crash and explosion everyone on board was killed.[7][8] As the team now only consisted of the deputy team manager and two mechanics it was impossible to continue.[9][10]

Hill's 1973 Shadow DN1 being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Lola T370 of the 1974 season displayed at Haynes International Motor Museum
Hill driving the Lola T370 at the 1974 British Grand Prix

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Chassis Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points WCC
1973 Shadow
DN1
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA - -
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret 9 Ret Ret 10 Ret NC 13 Ret 14 16 13
1974 Lola
T370
Ford V8 F ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA - -
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret 11 12 Ret 8 7 6 Ret 13 13 9 12 8 14 8
United Kingdom Guy Edwards 11 Ret DNQ 12 8 7 Ret 15 DNS DNQ
United Kingdom Peter Gethin Ret
Germany Rolf Stommelen Ret Ret 11 12
1975 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 3 11th
Lola T370 United Kingdom Graham Hill 10 12 DNQ DNQ
Germany Rolf Stommelen 13 14
Lola T371 7
GH1 Ret 16 Ret
Australia Vern Schuppan Ret
Australia Alan Jones 13 16 10 5
France François Migault NC Ret
United Kingdom Graham Hill DNQ
United Kingdom Tony Brise Ret 6 7 7 15 Ret 15 Ret Ret

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b GrandPrix.com, GP Encyclopedia - Embassy Hill Racing
  2. ^ "Hill GH1 Cosworth". Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Ewald, Klaus (2006). "Hill Ford GH2". research-racing.de. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "THE CHAMPIONS / More than Mister Monaco: Graham Hill – all-rounder extraordinary". Autosport. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  5. ^ Tremayne, David (August 2006). The Lost Generation. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 1-84425-205-1. 
  6. ^ Tremayne, David (December 2000). "So little time". Motor Sport magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  7. ^ BBC, This day in history-- 1975: Graham Hill killed in air crash.
  8. ^ Graham Hill, 46, Retired Racer, In Fatal Crash Piloting His Plane. UPI News Service. 1 December 1975 (Monday) New York Times archive
  9. ^ "Motor racing legend Graham Hill killed in a plane crash". The Guardian (London: Guardian Newspapers). 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Bardon, P. "Report on the accident at Arkley Golf Course". AAIB Formal Reports. Air Accidents Investigations Branch. Retrieved 24 October 2011.