126C2 The Spotter’s Guide By Markus Mueller, Marcel Bastien and Jean-Pierre Bastien
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The Ferrari 126C2 is one of the most famous and infamous cars ever built in Maranello. While it was good enough to win the constructors’ championship in
1982, it went through drivers and chassis at an alarming rate. It cost the life of one championship contender and ended the career of the other. Villeneuve and Pironi’s falling out as a result of the San Marino GP of that year followed by the death of Villeneuve at the following Grand Prix at Zolder is one of those chain of events that seem relentlessly unavoidable, like the Kennedy assassination or the sinking of the Titanic. No matter how many times you look at the footage from those two races, it feels like the events and the protagonists are running on rails and have no chance of avoiding their fate. Despite these events, work at Ferrari carried on and the car went through a staggering number of changes throughout the season. For instance, the car started the year with a rocker-arm front suspension, then went to a pull-rod layout. Various versions of the cowling were tried, raced and abandoned, especially around the front suspension (even before the layout change!). Several manufacturers have produced kits of this car, with varying degrees of success. Some have found many flaws in the old Protar kits, both in 1/24 and 1/12 scales. Modelers and Studio 27 released numerous versions of the C2 in 1/20 scale which was then followed by Fujimi ’s attempts, in various race configurations, at the C2, also in 1/20 scale. Promocom, a now defunct Italian manufacturer, even produced a 1/8 scale version. And now, much to the delight of many fans, the 126C2 will be released by Model Factory Hiro as a monstrous 1/12 full-detail offering, hence this new installment of the Spotter’s Guide. As with the previous volume on the Ferrari 312T4, the pictures shown in this document were found on the internet or scanned from our personal book and picture collections. This file was created just for the fun of it. There is no intention of making anyone pay for its use. Hopefully, it will just help you build better or more accurate models. Cheers and we hope you will enjoy the following pages. Markus, Marcel and Jean-Pierre, spring of 2014 Page 2 of 111
Model kits produced (1/20 scale or bigger)
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Promocom 1/8 scale kit:
And now, the Holy Grail, the MFH 1/12 full detail kit:
Announced are the Rio, Long Beach, Imola and Zolder versions! Page 5 of 111
Technical specifications: Engine: 6 cylinders, 120 degrees V configuration with a total displacement of
1496.4 cc, bore and stroke of 81 x 48.4 mm, and a compression ratio of 6.7:1. Turbocharged engine with 2 top mounted KKK Turbos. Lucas-Ferrari indirect electronically controlled injection. To improve reliability a new Emulsystem water injection device was developed and introduced mid-season. Power output was 580 hp at 11,000 RPM and race boost (at the beginning of the season). During qualifying, up to 600 hp could be produced. Cooling System: 2 lateral longitudinal inclined radiators and 2 lateral vertical
intercoolers (later converted to horizontal longitudinal inclined intercoolers). Drive Train: Multi Plate clutch with a 5 speed (plus reverse) transverse gear box
installed within the wheelbase. The gear lever was located on the right hand side of cockpit. A ZF self-locking blade-type differential was used. Chassis: built from Honeycomb aluminum halves bonded together. Carbon fiber
was used on the front and rear bulkheads. Following the Zolder tragedy, the monocoque was reinforced with carbon fiber at strategic locations. The suspension received changes throughout the 1982 season. Rack-and-pinion steering was used, as were self-vented cast iron brake discs located outboard, along with Brembo 4-cylinder cast iron brake calipers. During practice at Imola, Ferrari experimented with Brembo carbon fiber discs and calipers. Dimensions and capacities: total length: 4333 mm; total width: 2110 mm; total
height: 1025 mm. The front track was 1784.4 mm and the rear track 1644 mm. The centrally located fuel tank had a capacity of 240 liters (102 RON and Avgas fuel). Wheel sizes were 13 or 15 inch front and rear, depending on location and circumstances.
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Short design and development history In early 1981, Ferrari recruited the services of British designer Harvey Postlethwaite. He was personally recruited by Enzo Ferrari to find a solution for the deficient chassis design at Ferrari. By the middle of 1981, Harvey started to put his ideas on paper and slowly a new car was designed. To aid in his project, an existing 126CK, chassis 049B was used as a test car. The following image shows 049B in its later version.
This car first appeared at Imola in 1980, then at Long Beach in 1981 for Villeneuve. The next time it was seen was at Monza as 049B. This car was the sole 126CK that survived into the competitive 1982 season as it was the designated spare car for the South African Grand Prix.
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The Image below shows the evolution of the 1981 chassis to the 1982 chassis.
Harvey Postlethwaite was convinced that a carbon fiber chassis was the way to go, but he also knew that Ferrari was not yet ready for that step in 1982. On the basis of this he decided it would be best to manufacture a honeycomb aluminum sheet chassis. Hexcel, an American firm with its European subsidiary located in Brussels (Belgium), was chosen as the supplier of the materials. The basic design of the 1982 Ferrari followed closely that of the 1978 Wolf, for which Postlethwaite had been responsible, with two thin sheets of aluminum sandwiching the internal foil honeycomb. These panels were folded into channel sections around carbon-fiber composite bulkheads and bonded down the centerline. Although the monocoque was generally similar in shape to that of the Page 8 of 111
1981 Ferrari, it was lower and, of course, lighter than its predecessor (taken from Anthony Pritchard’s Ferrari Turbos 1989). Other changes were made to the suspension and the skirts. The new rules demanded that the skirts be fixed and no wider than 6 cm. The skirts were attached to a skirt panel and had a rubbing strip along the road surface. Also banned were the pneumatic suspensions that were a familiar sight in 1981. In the image below one can see the skirt panel with the skirts and rubbing strip attached. The slots in the panel are used to secure the panel to the undertray of the car.
Another major change was, of course, that Good Year replaced Michelin as the tire supplier. Construction on the first 126C2 began in the fall of 1981 and the first tests were carried out in November at Fiorano. The following picture shows the 126C2 (055) on its first appearance at Fiorano in November of 1981. It ran on 15 inch wheels front and rear and in plain color with no livery or number. A front wing was placed on top of nose.
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055 in more tests prior to its presentation, this time at Paul Ricard and with 13 inch front and rear wheels.
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Chassis History (9 cars were built as 126C2 from 055-063) 055 This was the presentation car and G. Villeneuve used it at Kyalami during the
South African GP. It was then crashed and written off by Pironi during testing at Paul Ricard.
056 This car was new for Pironi at Kyalami. Pironi also used it at Rio and Long
Beach. Because of rear suspension failure Pironi suffered a crash during the Friday Practice at Imola. It was then returned to Maranello were it was rebuilt with a new pull rod front suspension. Tests were carried out with it in late April and then it was the spare car at Monaco and Detroit, where Pironi used it in the race. In the next race at Montreal, Didier used it in qualifying and was going to use it in the race but the start line incident which killed Ricardo Paletti also meant that Pironi had to start the race in the spare car (059). 056 then was destroyed by Pironi during a testing session in the latter part of June at Paul Ricard. 057 As a result of Pironi destroying 055, the brand new 057 chassis was brought
to Rio for Villeneuve. Gilles also used this car in practice at Long Beach, but used the T-car (058) in the race. 057 was then the T-car at Imola, that Pironi had to use trough most of qualifying after his shunt on Friday in 056. Ferrari managed to bring a brand new chassis (059) for Pironi to use in the race. It was again the spare Page 11 of 111
car at Zolder and subsequently converted to the pull rod layout. This chassis reappeared at Zandvoort for Villeneuve’s replacement, Patrick Tambay. This was the last time this car was ever seen. When asked what happened to this chassis, Mauro Forghieri said he could not remember any specifics but Alan Henry writes in Grand Prix Car design & Technology in the 1980’s (pages 163 and 164) that after the accidents to Villeneuve and Pironi, Ferrari used one of the early chassis in a crash test to determine if the chassis was sound enough. Since 057 is the only unaccounted for chassis (if we assume that 059 was indeed used for development of the new flat bottom cars), it would only make sense that 057 was the chassis used in that crash test.
058 New at Rio, where it was the spare car. It was the designated spare car in
Long Beach but eventually used in the race by Villeneuve. This chassis was then driven by Villeneuve at Imola and Zolder, where it was destroyed, in Gilles’ fatal accident during the Saturday qualifying. The next two images show the 058 chassis after Gilles ’ tragic accident.
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059 New at Imola (brought there especially for the race since Pironi needed it).
Driven by Pironi at Monaco and Detroit. Spare car at Montreal (raced by Pironi) then converted to the pull rod version and raced at Zandvoort, Brands Hatch, Ricard, Hockenheim and Österreichring. According to Mauro Forghieri this chassis was then used in view of new projects, i.e.: the flat bottom rule for 1983. Forghieri confirmed that the following picture is of 059.This was the first flat bottom C2 but quite different from the C2B that was used in the first part of 1983.
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060 This brand new chassis was brought to Zandvoort for Pironi. He then used it
at Brands Hatch, Paul Ricard and Hockenheim where Pironi destroyed the car in his horrific career-ending accident. With ground effect cars, water that accumulated on the track would be sucked up and blown out the back of the car as a very fine mist, not unlike fog. It made visibility almost nil for drivers following behind. When Pironi tried to pass Derek Daly during practice for the German GP, he collided with the unsighted Renault of Alain Prost, resulting in a shunt very similar to that of Villeneuve at Zolder.
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061 New for Tambay at Brands Hatch. Used by Tambay at Paul Ricard,
Hockenheim and the Österreichring. It was then the spare car at Dijon. Subsequently used by Andretti at Monza and Las Vegas. This car is the only 126C2 still in existence and it is part of a private collection in France, although it is, unfortunately, not very accurately restored. For instance, the rear wing is made of carbon fiber and Villeneuve ’s name is on the side of the car, even though Villeneuve was not even alive anymore when this car was built.
062 (built specifically to use pull-rod front suspension). New for Tambay at Dijion.
Used by Tambay at Monza and Las Vegas. It was then rebuilt as a 126C2B for 1983 and raced by Tambay in France and Arnoux in Belgium of that year. 063 New at Monza. Spare car at Monza and Las Vegas, then rebuilt as 126C2B.
Raced for the last time by Arnoux at the Race of Champions in 1983. 064 Completed at the beginning of October as a 126C2B. It was used by Arnoux in
Brazil, Long Beach, Paul Ricard, Imola, Monaco, Detroit and one last time in Montreal (all in 1983). 065 Purpose built as a 126C2B. It was completed in December of 1982. Used in
1983 by Tambay at Brazil, Long Beach, Imola, Monaco, Belgium, Detroit and then Montreal. The brand-new Ferrari 126C3 was used in Britain and in all of the following races of 1983. Page 15 of 111
The Ferrari 126C2 (055) in Presentation trim (Giorgio Piola)
1) Full width front wing with central support 2) New honeycomb chassis. Much stiffer and cleaner in appearance than the previous 126CK chassis. 3) Rocker arm front suspension (not angled forward as in the 126CK) 4) Reinforced steering column, bolted to the frame 5) Front wishbone with a very wide base. 6) Open slots for access to the pedal and fluid containers for brakes and clutch 7) The two half shells that form the honeycomb chassis are bonded along the center 8) Brake ducts tilted down 9) The cockpit surround is much higher than in the 126CK 10) The bodywork behind the front wheels is rounded and much lower than in 126CK 11) Hot air vents Page 16 of 111
12) On each side there is one water cooler (lower) and one oil cooler 13) Intercoolers 14) Fuel tank 15) Side pod walls in two pieces 16) Longer exhausts 17) Engine support brackets 18) Two KKK turbochargers 19) Wastegate valve 20) New air intakes for the rear brakes 21) Radiator placed at the top to free up more space below 22) Anti-Roll bar adjustable from the cockpit 23) Rear suspension attached to two full width brackets 24) Under tray extends right to the back of the car to increase maximum venturi effect 25) Brembo brakes 26) Oil vent 27) New narrower transverse gearbox 28) New lighter rear wing support
13 inch rear wheels and 15 inch front wheels. The next images show the car in presentation form.
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Presentation, early January 1982 When the car was presented in early January of 1982, it carried the name Gilles and the number 27 on the right-hand side, and the name Didier and the number 28 on the left-hand side. There was no number on the front of the car. It had a white stripe between the black skirt panel and the red bodywork. The front wheels were 15 inches and the rear wheels were 13 inches.
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These pictures show the car being tested, in presentation trim, at Paul Ricard. The team used 13 inch rears and 15 inch fronts.
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Here is Didier’s test car . Note: it is running on 13 inch rears and 15 inch fronts.
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Grand Prix of South Africa Kyalami, 21-23 January 1982 Pole Position: René Arnoux (Renault RE30B) Winner: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B) Fastest Lap: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B)
Quick Ferrari facts: Gilles Villeneuve: retired (engine failure), qualified 3rd. th
Didier Pironi: 18 , qualified 6 -long exhaust
-13 inch wheels (front and rear) -no front wing
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For the South African Grand Prix, chassis 055 was reserved for Villeneuve and 056 for Pironi. There were only slight differences between the two. The front rocker arm on Villeneuve’s car (3) was the same as on the Presentation car (see below left), while Pironi ’s (4) car had a new rocker arm designed to be lighter (below right). The spare car was 049B.
Ferrari 126C2 in the pits at Kyalami
Narrow rear brake air ducts were used. They were noticeably wider at the bottom for most races after South Africa. The narrow ones were also used at Rio and Zanvoort.
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Engine layout in South Africa
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Other South African characteristics: The color of the space between the bodywork and the skirt panel was different on the two cars. Villeneuve’s was white, while Pironi’s was black. Both cars featured a white stripe around the cockpit, red rear wing endplates and tan front brake ducts. Both cars carried the first names of the drivers on the sides of the cockpit. There was no NACA duct on the cars. Those only started being used in Brazil. The car numbers were centered on the surface of the nosecone.
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A T.A.K. dealer sticker ( ) was positioned just below the regular stickers on the skirt panel near the front of the car. There were also some small Agip stickers on the nose, on the rear wing end plates and on the side pods, next to the Magnetti Marelli stickers.
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Didier Pironi finished 18 th, 6 laps behind the winner Prost. He had qualified 6 th.
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Gilles Villeneuve retired on lap 6 with a blown turbocharger. He had qualified 3 rd.
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At the very back of the side pods, both cars had very small Gurney flaps that made their first appearance in South Africa. These were used in both qualifying and the race. They ended up being used irregularly during the entire season.
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Tests at Rio in mid-March 1982 Two weeks before the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari tested the 126C2 at Rio. The white stripe between the bodywork and the skirt panel was gone. No numbers or names were on the car. 13 inch wheels front and rear were used. The cars had red rear wing end plates, no front wings, a white stripe around the cockpit and the same fairing of the front suspension as in Kyalami. Long exhausts were used.
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Grand Prix of Brazil Rio de Janeiro, 19-21 March 1982 Pole Position: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B) Winner: Nelson Piquet (Brabham BT49D) (disqualified) Alain Prost (Renault RE30B) (declared winner) Fastest Lap: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B)
Quick Ferrari facts: Gilles Villeneuve: retired (accident), qualified 2 th
Didier Pironi: 6 , Qualified 8 -new Bodywork
-13 inch wheels front and 15 inch rear wheels during the race, but 13 inch rears were also used in practice. -two thermos flasks in Pironi’s car with electric pumps (drinking fluids) Page 35 of 111
Villeneuve 057, Pironi 056, spare car 058 (two new chassis, 057 and 058, were brought to South America because 055 was destroyed in testing at Paul Ricard by Pironi).
Ferrari used 13 inch wheels front and rear in Rio during some of the practice sessions, but 15 inch rears were fitted for the race. The big difference was the new bodywork around the front suspension. This was different not just on the upper body, but on the underside of the fairings around the front rocker arms as well. Long exhausts were again used here; rear wing end plates were red. Again, only the first names of the drivers appeared on the sides of the cockpit. The narrow rear brake ducts were used. This was the Grand Prix where the NACA ducts appeared on the front of the cowling. The lower edge of the number on the nose was lined up with the nose cone/cowling separation line. The “2” and the “7” were oddly placed on the nose to make room for the duct (the “2” was most obviously out of alignment). And for
some reason, the stripes in the colors of the Italian flag on either side of the car behind the cockpit were reversed on Gilles’ car. Throughout the season, the
stripes were as they can be seen in the picture above: green at the top, red at the bottom. Because of some mistake, the stripes on the right-hand side of car 27 were installed upside-down, with red at the top and green at the bottom.
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The white stripes around the cockpit were retained but both cars now had a black stripe between the bodywork and skirt panels. During the race, the skirt panels on Gilles’ car were tan in color, as were the front brake ducts. Gilles ’ car sometimes used a black skirt panel during practice. Gilles Villeneuve retired on lap 29 (spun off). He had qualified 2 nd. Pironi tried front wings in practice but they were not used during the race by either driver. Didier’s skirt panel was black during the race, however he
sometimes used a tan colored one in practice. Didier Pironi 6th, 1 lap behind the winner. He had qualified 8th. Practice:
Stripe difference, on the right-hand side of the cars only:
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Didier during the race:
Pironi used the Gurney flaps at the back of the side pods during some of the practice sessions (including in the picture above). Villeneuve did not have them in the race and no pictures of him using them in practice or qualifying could be found.
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Gilles retiring from the race:
In practice. Note that the Agip sticker on the side pod is, in fact, quite crooked!
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Grand Prix of the United States (West) Long Beach, 2-4 April 1982 Pole Position: Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo 182) Winner: Niki Lauda (McLaren MP4B) Fastest Lap: Niki Lauda (McLaren MP4B)
Quick Ferrari facts: rd
Gilles Villeneuve: 3 (disqualified for illegal rear wing), qualified 7 . th
Didier Pironi: retired (accident), qualified 9 . -front wings used -double rear wing for Saturday qualifying and race -13 inch wheels front during all the weekend -15 inch rear wheels during qualifying and the race but 13 inch rears were also used in some of the practice sessions -long exhaust Page 43 of 111
056, 057 and 058 were brought to the American west coast. 056 was destined to be Pironi’s car, 057 was brought for Villeneuve while 058 was the T-Car. After practice, it was decided that Villeneuve would use 058 in the race. According to Giorgio Piola in the 1982 Autosprint annual and Mauro Forghieri (who was asked by email), this 058 car had the intercoolers (1) placed at an angle instead of the usual upright position. However no photographs of this could be found for this publication. 058 was also used by Villeneuve at Imola and Zolder. At Zolder those intercoolers were in an upright position again. We have no information on when they were changed back. Was it before or after Imola? Or were they never inclined on 058 but only on 057? Our best guess is that they were changed back before Imola. For the first time that season, front wings were used throughout the weekend at Long Beach.
A different undertray was tested but not used. Throughout the weekend, the Ferrari’s were seen on 13 inch wheels all around and sported long exhausts.
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Also brought along was the same upper bodywork from South Africa. It was used in practice but not in qualifying or the race. Both black and tan skirt panels were seen in combination with this bodywork.
Pironi had the Gurney flaps at the back of the side pods during the race and practice. Villeneuve had no flaps on his car during Friday and Saturday qualifying Page 45 of 111
and the race, but he did have flaps in the Friday morning practice when he was using the car that had bodywork used in South Africa.
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This is the car Gilles used in qualifying on Friday afternoon.
Note the black skirt panels but red covers on the skirt panel grooves instead of the usual black ones. The dealer sticker ( ) was used during the weekend. However it was nor seen on every skirt panel. Gilles ’ race car had this decal just above the blue Schmidthelm decal on the left side pod. There was a ROXILL sticker on the side pods, instead of the usual AREXONS sticker. Pironi’s number 28 on the nose was set much higher and the bottom of the number was lined up with the top of the NACA ducts, which were used during the race, but not during some of the qualifying sessions. The Agip sticker no longer appears on the nose cone. And once again, Gilles’ car had the reversed Italian flag stripes on his car for the race, but not in practice. Ferrari may have used the same unmodified piece of bodywork for both races, including what looks like the scrutineer’s sticker from Brazil(!) .
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Pironi’s car in Qualifying Friday afternoon.
Note the tan skirt panels and the little red tape pieces on the front wing leading out from the nose cone. Page 48 of 111
The long exhausts can be clearly seen in this image.
During Saturday morning practice Ferrari fitted Pironi’s car with a curious double
rear wing. To show that Ferrari was serious about it, Gilles ’ car was also fitted with this peculiar device during the lunch break and both cars took part in the Saturday qualifying using this rear wing configuration. During this qualifying session, both cars were run with black skirt panels. For the race, Ferrari wanted to prove a point on how regulations can be circumvented. The rules stated that the rear wing cannot be wider than 110 cm. But did not state how many rear wings one can have. So Ferrari used two wings of 110 cm slightly staggered side by side for a total width of 190 cm.
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Gilles during Qualifying on Saturday. Note the black skirt panels and the reversed Italian stripes on the side of the cockpit.
Gilles during the race on Sunday. Note the tan skirt panels.
During the race both cars had the long exhausts, double rear wings, front wings and tan skirt panels with tan front brake ducts and 13 inch wheels at the front and 15 inch wheels at the rear. Page 51 of 111
Gilles qualified 7th and finished 3rd, but after a protest from Ken Tyrrell he was later disqualified because of that double rear wing. Didier qualified 9 th but spun off on lap 6. The following two images were taken during the race.
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Gran Premio di San Marino Imola, 23-25 April 1982 Pole Position: René Arnoux (Renault RE30B) Winner: Didier Pironi (Ferrari 126C2) Fastest Lap: Didier Pironi (Ferrari 126C2)
Quick Ferrari facts : nd
Gilles Villeneuve: 2 , qualified 3 st
Didier Pironi: 1 qualified 4
-15 inch rear wheels and 13 inch front wheels -Emulsystem used for the first time ( GPI , Dutch GP edition) -Villeneuve ran without a front wing, Pironi with a front wing -British fire extinguishers (instead of the old Ferrari ones) -Didier’s name was printed on a red sticker for a time during practice
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Pironi started practice in 056, Villeneuve had 058 while 057 was the T-car. Pironi then suffered suspension failure during Friday practice and switched to the backup 057. 059 was brought from Maranello for Pironi to race with on Sunday.
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After the accident on Friday, Pironi took over the spare car that had Gilles ’ name on it, so a red tape with “Didier” on it was quickly put over the name “Gilles” . This can be seen in this photo:
The race numbers were centered on the nose cone. Also, the white line around the cockpit opening was gone and would not return.
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Ferrari started using british fire extinguishers instead of the old Ferrari ones during this race. Below is a photo showing the cockpit with the Lifeline extinguishers.
Also used at Imola was the undertray brought to Long Beach but not used there. It is shown on pages 43 and 44, in images 9 and 10. The undertray was curved much more sharply upwards in the rear section. This is the first race where the last names of the drivers were used on the cockpit sides. Although Didier did have a car in practice that carried the name “Didier” on a piece of red tape. At Imola, the Agip stickers on the rear wing end plates were replaced by Magnetti Marelli stickers, which disappeared from the side pods. Also, the Agip stickers on the side pods were much bigger. These were kept for the rest of the season. During practice a new rear wing was tried with the aim of reducing drag. But it did not bring any real benefit and the idea was shelved.
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The rear wing end plates would be either red or silver, depending on the session and the wing used.
A new front wing was used in practice but did not reapear until the next race in Belgium. It was used for the rest of the season. Smaller brake duct used with an extra brake caliper were used. This extra caliper explains the 3 sections visible on the small brake ducts. Page 58 of 111
The top rectangular section cools down the extra caliper, the main rectangular section feeds air through the upright and the brake disk, and the outer (smaller) section cools down the rear caliper.
During practice, Villeneuve alternated between using and not using a front wing.
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Two pictures in practice:
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Gilles did run in this configuration for a while during free practice, but not during qualifying or the race.
During the race, both drivers used 15 inch rear and 13 inch front wheels. Both of them had tan skirt panels but Villeneuve had black brake ducts while Didier had the tan brake ducts modified with extra cooling hoses taped on top of the regular ducts. As for the Gurney flaps at the back of the side pods, they were used off and on during the practice sessions by both drivers. Pironi did not use the flaps during the race, but Villeneuve did.
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Practice (note the “Didier” sticker on the side and on the skirt panel above the line of stickers, the tan part is thicker and the black part is narrower than during the race – see the race shot on page 64):
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Villeneuve qualified 3 rd and finished second. Pironi qualified 4th and finished first. This race left Villeneuve infuriated with his team mate and the Ferrari team. He felt that Didier stole victory from him and that his team should have set the record straight following the race. Gilles swore he would never to talk to Pironi again…
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This picture shows the two Ferrari’s during the race. Note the skirt panel differences on the two cars.
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Fiorano tests, 28 and 29 April 1982 Just three days later, the Ferrari team carried out some tests at Fiorano with chassis 057 and the completely rebuilt 056 that sported a new pull rod front suspension.
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Test times of April 29th at Fiorano
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Grand Prix of Belgium Zolder, 7-9 May 1982 Pole Position: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B) Winner: John Watson (McLaren MP4B) Fastest lap: John Watson (McLaren MP4B)
Quick Ferrari facts: Gilles Villeneuve: did not start (fatal accident in practice) Didier Pironi: did not start (withdrawn) - new re-enforced front and rear suspension -15 inch wheels for qualifying (front and rear) but 13 inch (rear and front) were also used in some of the practice sessions -front wings used on both cars Page 68 of 111
Villeneuve was using 058, Pironi 059 and the T-car was 057. On Friday 7 May, the morning practice got underway 21 minutes late because Sid Watkins held up practice until enough medical staff was in attendance. The morning session was held under cold and grey skies. Shortly before the end of the untimed morning session, Pironi’s Ferrari died out on the circuit. As soon as the car was recovered, rain started to fall very heavily for a short time. But when the afternoon qualifying session began (21 minutes late to compensate for the morning delay), the Sun was beginning to shine. More rain fell overnight but the track was mostly dry with a few damp patches when the untimed morning session started. The afternoon qualifying session turned in to a very sad affair when Gilles Villeneuve hit Mass’s March at Butte and the Ferrari somersaulted into Terlamenbocht, ejecting the Canadian in to the catch fencing. A few hours later, one of the most popular Grand Prix drivers of all time was pronounced dead after suffering fatal neck injuries. Ferrari withdrew Pironi’s car for the race on Sunday. Many people have asked how to identify during which session pictures of Gilles ’ car were taken. After doing extensive research in magazines, books and talking to photographers and others that were present, we have concluded the following: on Friday, Gilles’ car had tan brake ducts and on Saturday they were black. Friday afternoon’s qualifying session saw the use of rain tires early on. The skirt panels on the car were black except on some of the qualifying runs on Friday, as well as the second and third (his last) stints on Saturday afternoon when they were tan colored. The “Ferrari Garage Francorchamps” ( )dealer stickers was only on the black skirt panel (right side on the front just above the regular skirt panel decals) Many different wheel size combinations were used, but on his last run they were 15 inch all around. The car itself had seen a few minor updates since Imola. The front wing was set back a bit further on the nose. The lower wishbone on the rear suspension was strengthened due to the practice accident Pironi suffered at Imola. A simple brace was welded into the triangle of the wishbone about one quarter of the distance from the upright to the connection point at the drive train. The front suspension was also strengthened by adding a Page 69 of 111
brace leading from the pivot point of the rocker arm to just in front of the radiator on the chassis (image 13).
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The opening for the rocker arm on the fairing of the bodywork had to be trimmed a bit to create space for that brace at the point where it connects to the pivot of the rocker arm. Next image:
Here is a picture of the new front wing at the point where it is attached to the nose cone.
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Some more detail shots . These are views of Pironi’s car, showing that he didn’t use the Gurney flaps at the back of the side pods. Villeneuve used them.
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On this picture, please note the black plate over the fuel tank. This was the first use of this plate.
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Ferrari also used new perforated brake discs with greatly researched vents. Villeneuve used an engine that was 6 kg lighter thanks to the use of some lighter alloys for the valve covers. On page 13, one can see these valve covers and they are of a grey color instead of the regular golden color seen in the supplemental detail section starting on page 99.
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Gilles’ car on Friday afternoon:
The brace on the lower rear wishbone that was added for the Belgian weekend can be seen in this image (shown by the red arrows):
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The rear wing end plates were silver on both cars on Friday and Saturday.
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On Saturday morning (you can see the Gurney flaps on the back of the side pods):
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Saturday afternoon first stint:
Saturday afternoon leaving the pits for the second stint on his second set of slicks (this is how the car appeared on his last lap):
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The image below shows the car from the left. Note how the top front left skirt panel groove is covered with black tape just like the lower ones (green arrows), but none of the other top ones (yellow arrows). On the right skirt panel none of the top grooves were covered with the black tape. However all the lower ones on the right side were also covered.
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Gilles’ car had red spark plug wires and the Ferrari logo on the engine was also red (see the picture on page 13). Both cars were using the short exhausts and aluminum rear wing end plates. The picture below shows some of the remains of Gilles’ car. One can see the reinforced piece (just below the bent wishbone arm) of the lower rear suspension.
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Pironi’s car carried the black skirt panel d uring most of the sessions. He also used
the T-car which still sported the old type front wing seen here during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.
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Grand Prix of Monaco Monte Carlo, 21-23 May 1982 Pole Position: René Arnoux (Renault RE30B) Winner: Ricardo Patrese (Brabham BT49D) Fastest Lap: Ricardo Patrese (Brabham BT49D)
Quick Ferrari facts: nd
Didier Pironi: 2 , qualified 5th - spare car with pull rod suspension - front wing used -15 inch wheels front and rear -inclined intercoolers -Black front wing Page 84 of 111
Ferrari had only one entry in this race for Didier Pironi. They brought along 059 for him with 056 (which had the pull rod suspension) as the spare car. We don’t think it was ever used as we have not seen any pictures of Pironi in the pull rod car at Monaco. Ferrari introduced a few changes to the car, the most notable of which was the strengthening of the chassis (drawing B): 1) a second layer of aluminum was added around the suspension anchor points; 2) a layer of Carbon fiber was added around the cockpit opening and the bulkheads 3) and 4) were also strengthened with a layer of Kevlar.
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This image (14) shows some of these changes.
Another change that can be seen in the photo on the left is the anchor bracket of the brace for the front suspension that was introduced at Zolder. The bracket on the chassis just in front of the radiator was now much longer towards the front of the car. Also added was a seal around the brace that is sandwiched by the upper and lower fairings. Other details are: 15 inch wheels all around, black skirt panel and front brake ducts, aluminum rear wing end plates and short exhausts. The Page 86 of 111
intercoolers were now in an inclined position and CH Pozzi dealer ( stickers could be found just under the number 28 on the left side of the car.
This picture shows somewhat how the front wings were fixed to the nose cone. No Gurney flaps were used this weekend at the back of the side pods.
Pironi was 5th on the grid and finished second in a race that nobody seemed to want to win, in spite of the fact that, on his last lap, he ran out of fuel in the tunnel.
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Again, the rear wing end plates were silver.
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Grand Prix of United States (East) Detroit, 4-6 June 1982 Pole Position: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B) Winner: John Watson (McLaren MP4B) Fastest Lap: Alain Prost (Renault RE30B)
Quick Ferrari facts: rd
Didier Pironi: 3 , qualified 4
-spare car with rocker arm suspension -race car had a new pull rod suspension
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Ferrari brought two chassis to North America for the races in Detroit and Montreal, 056 and 059. In Detroit, Pironi’s car was supposed to be 059 with the 056 being the T car, however Didier ended up using 056 for the race. Although 056 was converted to the pull rod front suspension system after Imola, it would be the first time a Ferrari 126C2 would be raced in this configuration. Image 16 shows that pull rod front suspension as it appeared in Detroit.
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Pironi qualified 4th in 059 and then raced to third place in 056. This is the race car (056). Note the extra brake duct on top of the regular one (rear brakes) (top image, car used during the race). No Gurney flaps were used this weekend at the back of the side pods.
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While this is the car used in practice (059)
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Grand Prix of Canada Montreal, 11-13 June 1982 Pole Position: Didier Pironi (Ferrari 126C2) Winner: Nelson Piquet (Brabham BT50) Fastest Lap: Didier Pironi (Ferrari 126C2)
Quick Ferrari facts: th
Didier Pironi: 9 , qualified on pole -had to swith to the spare car for the race -15 inch wheels -short exhausts
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The horror of 1982 continued at the newly named Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame, in Montreal. Just a mere month after the tragedy in Belgium, yet another Ferrari was involved in a fatal incident on the starting grid for the Canadian Grand Prix. Ferrari had arrived from Detroit with the same two chassis (056 for Pironi and 059 as the spare car). No major changes, since Detroit, were made to the cars. Pironi, running for the second race in a row with the pull-rod car, qualified in Pole Position but stalled his car on the grid during the start. The Ferrari was a sitting duck on the track but everyone was able to avoid the stationary Ferrari, except Ricardo Paletti, in the last car on the grid, who just did not have enough time to move over and slammed in to the rear of Pironi ’s C2. While the race was red flagged, rescuers tried to get Paletti out of the mangled car but were not able to so before a fire had started. Although the Osella driver did not suffer any burns he had severe internal injuries. Poor Riccardo died a few hours later. For the restart, Pironi had to switch to the spare 059, which still had the rocker arm front suspension. After leading the pack on lap one, things went from bad to worse. Following 2 pit stops to change tires, refuel, change the black box and make some adjustments to the fuel metering system, Didier finished the race in ninth place. But Didier drove an incredible race. He was 5 laps behind but was the fastest man on the track. One of his very best drives. After winning pole, Didier had dedicated it to Gilles Villeneuve.
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More silver rear wing end plates on both cars used by Pironi. No Gurney flaps were used this weekend at the back of the side pods.
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Detail image of the extra brake duct (rear brakes)
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Other detail images from various early season races of the 1982 Ferrari 126C2 The following pages contain Images of the early season Ferrari 126C2 but it is not known at which races or tests they were taken:
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This is a photo of the engine after Zolder but before Britain. Note the inclined intercooler (bottom right of photo)
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The following photos clearly show how the fiberglass bodywork affects the paintjob.
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Here is a picture shows the fuel cell (this is Villeneuve’s 058 chassis after the sad accident in Belgium). One can see the cockpit panels, attached to the seat belts, which were ripped out by the violent impact.
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