(Jo Schlesser’s) #Honda RA302 – #Honda RA302E, 2991cc V8 naturally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinallymounted

The car was built based on the order by Soichiro #Honda to develop an air-cooled Formula One engine. Thus, the car was forcibly entered in the Formula One race alongside the water-cooled, aluminum-bodied RA301 which had been developed by the existing #Honda team and British Lola Cars. It would only appear in one race, the

1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts, driven by Jo Schlesser. Schlesser was chosen to drive the RA302 because normal #Honda driver John Surtees (who was the 1964 world champion) refused to drive it as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a “potential deathtrap”. This was proven on lap two of the Grand Prix Schlesser crashed at the Virage des Six Fréres section of the circuit and the car came to rest sideways against a bank. The magnesium-bodied #Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, killing Schlesser and destroying the original RA302.

1968 French Grand Prix, Rouen-Les-Essarts Circuit

honda ra302 france 1968 #F1
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