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Testing at Modena: Jonathan Williams and Ferrari

Here we are again at Modena for another Ferrari test session on the Aerautodromo, this time on May 24, 1967. The car is a 166F2 Dino which is under development but will not see its race debut until the next year. Standing in the cockpit is the talented English driver Jonathan Williams who is engaging in discussion with Ferrari's brilliant young technical chief Mauro Forghieri while Ferrari's head mechanic Giulio Borsari, squatting at the left, oversees some adjustments by two of his colleagues.

Williams did well in smaller open wheel categories and was invited to join Ferrari for 1967, primarily as a test and F2 driver. But he also did some sports car and CanAm races, as well as one F1 outing in Mexico at the end of that year. His potential F1 career came to a halt after he managed to remove all four wheels from a Ferrari 312F1 while testing here at Modena.

The little Dino F2 was a lovely looking creation but never seemed to be able to give an effective account of itself versus its British competitors from Brabham, Lola and Lotus, or Matra, with their modern, lighter and more powerful engines. This was another instance of Ferrari spreading itself too thinly between the demands of F1, F2 and sports cars, not to mention producing a range of road and GT cars, all with a relatively small number of designers and engineers.

The Dino 166 motor was basically a decade old design which eventually was updated with three and four valve heads and Lucas fuel injection in its most fully developed forms. The same F2 chassis was also fitted with a 2.4 liter variant of the latest V6 motor for the Tasman series of races.

Nevertheless, there were occasional good results among Chris Amon, Andrea de Adamich, Derek Bell, Ernesto "Tino" Brambilla, Jacky Ickx, and Brian Redman, all of whom drove the 166F2 from time to time. Surprisingly, at the end of the 1968 season the Dino F2 entries blew all comers into the weeds at the Argentinean "Temporada" series of races. Then an unhappy Ken Tyrrell sent word that the Ferrari motors might well be measured at the first race of the coming year in England, but the cars from Maranello were again rather slower…

Photograph by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection

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