S4783 Brabham BT42 Belgium GP 1974 – Gérard Larrousse
An English manufacturer, an Italian team, a French driver and Swiss sponsors: the Brabham BT42 which qualified for the one and only time at the Belgian Grand Prix in Nivelles in 1974 could not have been more European. But the only GP participation of two-time Le Mans winner Gérard Larrousse preceded a sad story. Actually Scuderia Finotto who bought two such Brabhams at the end of 1973 should have take care of the entries. But teamfounder Martino Finotto, a well-respected touringcar-driver in Italy, lost the pleasure of the project early on. And offered the two cars to pay-drivers. One of them was Silvio Moser. The Swiss had a sponsor with the awning-company Bretscher, which could have financed the entry in 1974. Moser was supposed to drive the Brabham BT42 for the first time at the European seasonopener in Jarama. But one week before the Grand Prix of Spain Moser was so badly injured at the 1000 km race in Monza that he would never wake up again from his coma. Instead of Moser, who died a month after his terrible accident, Gérard Larrousse was sitting in the Brabham cockpit. In addition to Bretscher, whose logos were still stuck on the car, more Swiss sponsors appeared on the private BT42. Larrousse had at that time an agreement with the Swiss cheese union. So they put big stickers on the car to promote cheese from the Emmental and Gruyère. More Swissness was almost impossible. Larrousse also played an important role in the race. In lap 38 leader Clay Regazzoni wanted to overtake the white and blue Brabham of the Frenchman at the end of the start and finishline. But the sportscar-specialist also moved to the outside and pushed Regazzoni into the gravel. So Emerson Fittipaldi and Niki Lauda could easily overtake the Swiss driver. Larrousses race was finished after 58 of 85 laps with a damaged tire. At the Grand Prix of France Larrousse took a second attempt. But he failed to qualify his Brabham BT42. The same happened to his successors Helmut Koinigg, who tried to qualify himself in Austria as well as Carlo Facetti who missed the qualification due to 0,7 seconds in Monza.