In 1972 March Engineering produced March 721 and 721G, both being F2 scaled up chassis redeveloped according to F1 specifications. The ‘G’ was short for ‘Guinness’ and referred to the remarkably short development period (just 9 days), which was worthy of a mention in the record books. During nine-days work the monocoque was strengthened to ensure the Cosworth DFV engine could be used as a fully stressed member of the chassis, stronger suspension components and bigger brakes were fitted, and two additional fuel tanks to feed the bigger engine were fitted on either side of the cockpit. In addition to F1 cars, March also developed a 721 in F5000 specification. Developing 3 different cars in 1972 left no resources for proper work for 1973 F1 car. In the beginning of the 1973 season, 721 and 721G were used by March Engineering and its client teams, while some existing cars were upgraded to ‘731’ specification, which included a front-mounted radiator and different aerodynamics packages. Among March clients in 1973 was Lord Hesketh, who established his F1 team based on minor formulas project. Thomas Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, 3rd Baron Hesketh, was an interesting personage, having reputation of playboy and fun seeker. He employed James Hunt who was very fast but also have a doubtful reputation. Hesketh frequently arrived at races in Rolls-Royce cars, the entire team was checking in luxury hotels and drinking champagne regardless of their results. Despite shocking external effects, the approach of Hesketh team to racing was very serious. Hesketh signed junior March Engineering designer Harvey Postlethwaite to modify the chassis, working from Hesketh’s Easton Neston estate. The car debuted at Monaco Grand Prix – where else – to finish 9th. But already in the next start, in French GP Hunt scored his first point for the 6th place. More progress followed culminating in two podium finishes (3rd at Zandvoort and 2nd in Watkins Glen) and 8th position in the Drivers’ Championship standing.
|James Hunt||27||Hesketh Racing|