S4255 Connew PC1 Austrian GP 1972, Francois Migault
You can tell he is crazy or just daring: Peter Connew has built his own Formula 1 car in 1972. Although the PC1 retired after 23 laps with the French driver Francois Migault because of a damaged rear suspension and wasn’t seen after that incident for no Formula 1 race anymore, but Connew made his dream come true. The dream had his origin in 1969. Connew quit his job and travelled to the Italian GP. When he returned, he had a contract with Surtees in his hand – as draftsman for the Formula 1 and Formula 5000 cars. But it was just the beginning. Already in 1970 he left the team of the ex-world champion again to implement his own plan. At a motor show in England he proudly presented his first work. And completely surprising he attracted the attention of the French driver Francois Migault. He had the required money and took Shell France with him as a sponsor. Until the first GP the small hobby builder team had to go through a few challenges. The presented race car was only a show car. Connew still had to find a fitting engine. As McLaren was offering a three years old Cosworth DFV, he confirmed the deal. The French GP was missed because of a damaged connecting rod at the transporter. Instead of Clermont-Ferrand the team only made it until Le Mans. But it was not all that bad. Migaults family was owning a castle not too far away. The team was stopping there, before travelling back home.
The debut took even longer to arrive. In England a crack in the suspension strut was preventing the stint. In Germany Connew didn’t get a permission to start. It was in Austria where they had the first stint, but also only just until the technical defect. In general, the rear suspension was the weak spot of the PC1. And money to repair this part was not there anymore after Migault left the team. How daring this project was, can be shown with the numbers of team members. The members were Peter Connew, chief mechanic Roger Doran, his father Ron who made all the welding work and cousin Barry Boor who was molding the bodywork. They are joined by “Pinky & Perky”. It is not about the names of two pigs, but about two teenagers who were responsible for all the remaining work on the car.