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1968: The victorious Dino 166 F2

15 novembre 2019

The South American Temporada was an end-of-season addendum to the Formula 1 World Championship: its four trials took place in December, summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Earnings and prize money were good and it offered the chance to sell cars, engines, or spare parts; quite fitting, as at the end of the season funds were needed to build the new cars for the following year.

In 1968, the Temporada consisted of four trials reserved for Formula 2 cars. Scuderia Ferrari entered two Dino 166s, piloted by Ernesto "Tino" Brambilla and Andrea De Adamich. The roster included twenty-five first-class drivers, some of whom had already raced in Formula 1, such as Jochen Rindt, Clay Regazzoni, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Jo Siffert, Silvio Moser, and Pedro Rodriguez, at the wheel for Tecno, Matra, Brabham, and Lotus.

The Dino 166 F2 was born in 1967 and had competed in only one race, with Jonathan Williams at Rouen. The V6 engine had a displacement of 1,596 cubic centimetres and produced 200 horsepower. In 1968, Ferrari competed in various races, including the European Grand Prix, and earned a second place and two victories with Brambilla at the end-of-season finale. It was "Tino" himself who led this car to triumph, first at Hockenheim and then at Vallelunga.

The car was beloved by Enzo, due to his son Dino having worked on its engine. In these two races Brambilla also set the fastest lap, while in Rome he also earned pole position. De Adamich was second at Vallelunga while a third driver, Derek Bell, claimed third place at Hockenheim but sprung to the front at Zandvoort, where he obtained the fastest lap in a tie with Brambilla. During the season, in races outside the European Grand Prix, the car was also piloted by Jacky Ickx, Chris Amon, Brian Redman, Giancarlo Baghetti and Mario Casoni.

Galvanised by these strong global performances, Ferrari decided to send two Italian racers to the Temporada. Brambilla immediately dominated at Buenos Aires, setting the fastest lap, ahead of his teammate. In the following trials, momentum changed in favour of De Adamich, who won two races, at Cordoba and San Juan, gaining pole position in the former. The final victory was fought out between him and Rindt, as Brambilla's standing was slowed down by two withdrawals.

In the last trial, the driver from Monza achieved pole position and fastest lap, although the victory went to Piers Courage for Brabham. Nevertheless, De Adamich only needed 5th place to win the Temporada, while Brambilla came fourth in the final ranking. Thanks to their results, Ferrari became a winner among the Constructors. The Dino 166 F2 was then converted into the Dino 246 Tasmania for the Tasman Cup, won by Amon in 1969.