Honda RA300

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Honda RA300
2006FOS 1967HondaRA300.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Honda R&D
Designer(s) Eric Broadley (Lola Cars)
John Surtees (Honda)
Yoshio Nakamura (Honda)
Shoichi Sano (Honda)
Predecessor RA273
Successor RA301
Technical specifications
Chassis Aluminium monocoque
Engine Honda RA273E, 2991cc V12 naturally aspirated, mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Honda 5-speed manual
Fuel BP/Shell
Tyres Firestone
Competition history
Notable entrants Honda Racing
Notable drivers United Kingdom John Surtees
Debut 1967 Italian Grand Prix
RacesWinsPolesF.Laps
4100
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
n.b. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to
Formula One World Championship Grands Prix only.

The Honda RA300 was a Formula One racing car produced by Honda Racing, and introduced towards the end of the 1967 Formula One season. It retained the same V12 engine as the preceding RA273 car, but the chassis was designed by Lola's Eric Broadley and based on a previous Lola Indianapolis 500 car, the T90. Internally, Lola designated the RA300 the T130. This collaboration resulted in the machine quickly being dubbed the "Hondola" by the motorsports press.

Rear view showing "waterfall" exhaust array.

Broadley's chassis was much lighter and sweeter-handling than the in-house RA273. The car initially performed impressively, winning in its first-ever World Championship race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Driver John Surtees took the lead from Jim Clark's Lotus and Jack Brabham's Brabham on the final lap, after Clark ran out of fuel and Brabham ran wide. However, the RA300 flattered to deceive, and this would turn out to be the only lap that the car would lead. It remains the only F1 car ever to take its single victory in its very first Grand Prix, and on the only lap it would ever lead.

Honda continued with the RA300 for the remainder of the 1967 season, Surtees finishing fourth at the final race in Mexico. The car was then raced one last time at the opening race of the 1968 season in South Africa, Surtees finishing eighth, before being superseded by the RA301, a design closely based on the RA300.

On display at the IAA exhibition in Frankfurt, 2007.

The 48-valve V12 engine first appeared in the RA273 at the 1966 Italian Grand Prix, driven by Richie Ginther. In spite of weighing 740 kg (dry), it was capable of spinning the rear tyres at 100 mph in third gear. With cylinder dimensions of 78.0 x 52.2 mm and a displacement of 2,993.17 cc, a target of 400-440 bhp at 12,000 rpm was quoted. The engine used by Surtees at Monza in 1967 was quoted by Motoring News as developing only 396 bhp, but with improved torque and response. The vehicle weight excess over the 500 kg minimum had been approximately halved.

Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Points WCC
1967 Honda Racing Honda V12 F RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER CAN ITA USA MEX 201 4th
John Surtees 1 Ret 4
1968 Honda Racing Honda V12 F RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 142 6th
John Surtees 8

1 Includes 8 points scored using the Honda RA273.
2 All 14 points scored using the Honda RA301.

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