Hill GH2-Cosworth: Marked by Tragedy

It was the only vehicle created from scratch by the Granham Hill team, which disappeared after the two-time champion died in a plane crash.


During its first decades of life the F1 He was very flexible with his regulations. In fact allowed something that is now absolutely prohibited: for a team to put a car from another manufacturer on the track. This was a good resource for small structures that, in this way, avoided spending large sums of money to carry out their own development that was not always successful. Yet they all dreamed of becoming a builder. Also in those years it was not surprising that pilots in the twilight of their sporting campaign became team owners. Such was the case of English Graham hill, champion of the Maxima in 1962 and 1968.

Graham hill
The Embassy Hill made its F.1 debut in 1973 with Graham Hill himself as the driver.

At age 44 and after having run for Lotus (1958 and 1959 and from 1967 to 1969), BRM (from 1960 to 1966), Rob walker racing team (1970) y Brabham (1971 and 1972), Graham decided it was time to have his own team. Thanks to the support of the tobacco company Embassy created the Embassy hill who debuted with himself as a pilot in 1973.

The two-time champion ran with a Shadow DN1-Cosworth, but it was far from standing out. In his first year fulfilling the dual role of driver and team-manager, he achieved a ninth place as the best result during the Belgian GP.

Graham hill
For its first three years, the Hill team used chassis from other manufacturers.

For 1974 he changed the Shadow for a Lola T370 and added another two cars for the brit Guy edwards and the German Rolf Stommelen. The point scored by Hill by finishing sixth in the Swedish GP was the small demonstration that he had been right with the choice of chassis created by the company founded by Eric Broadley.

In 1975 he went for more. Hired the engineer Andrew Smallman so that she could get her hands on Lola in order to improve her performance. Thus was born a modified version of the T370 that was baptized as Lola T371.

With the old car Hill ran in four races and ran in two without achieving great results. While the T371 took the name of GH1 when the two-time champion announced his decision to build his own vehicle for the 1976 season.

Graham GH2
The GH2 was created by Andrew Smallman. Photo: @ UnracedF1

With the "brand new" GH1 six pilots raced throughout 1975 as Stommelen himself, the Frenchman François Migault, English Tony brise, and the Australians Vernon schuppan y Alan Jones, who achieved the best result of that tournament with fifth place in the German GP.

With the experience harvested, Smallman was encouraged to create his own F.1. Thus was born GH2, a car that was a set of the best of different vehicles from that era.

The flat nose and rear wing resembled those used in the Lotus 72 from 1969 designed by Maurice phillippe, the chassis had a trapezoidal shape to reduce air resistance like the Brabham BT42 from 1973 created by Gordon Murray, the location of the radiators paid tribute to the Ferrari 312B from 1970 signed by Mauro forghieriwhile the tall, slim cabin was reminiscent of the Hesketh 308C presented in mid-1975 and conceived by the Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite.

Graham GH2
The Hill GH2 had been very competitive during testing. Graham Hill was excited about his performance heading into 1976. Photo: @ UnracedF1.

The GH2, powered by Cosworth, had run some successful tests with Brise at the wheel and the Hill team was optimistic about that second and a half of extra speed Smallman's creation had over the modified Lola.

The two-time champion was so confident that with his creation he would be competitive in the 1976 tournament that he cared little about Embassy's decision to cut the budget, which would force him to enlist just one unit.

However, fate got in the way of the former pilot's ambitions. The November 29th of that year, after testing the new vehicle on the French circuit of Paul Ricard, Hill, Brise, Smallman, the team manager Ray brimble and the mechanics Tony Alcock y Terry Richards They died when the plane in which they were traveling crashed.

The tragedy ended with the Embassy Hill and the Hill GH2 became part of the list of Formula 1 that never raced.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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