McLaren M10B F5000 – Car Profile Page Two
In 1970, Eppie Wietzes captured his second straight Gulf Canada Series championship with five wins in the #94 Formula Racing McLaren M10B, raced in the L & M Continental series when it did not conflict with the Canadian series, and placed fourth in the 1970 L & M points standings, with a best finish of second at Mosport. The Canadian series ended in 1970, and Eppie continued as a regular L & M F5000 series competitor. In 1971, he drove a new McLaren M18 to another fourth place overall in season points, with four top-five finishes over the nine-race season, and his best finish a second at Brainerd. In 1972, Eppie and the Formula Racing team, owned by Jim and Joan Clayton, switched to a Lola T300, won the Brainerd F5000 round and finished fifth overall in the points. Wietzes stuck with Lolas for the rest of his time in the F5000 series – he finished sixth overall in 1973 with a Lola T330, fourth overall in 1974 with a Lola T332, and fifth overall in his final F5000 series in 1975 driving a Lola T400. Eppie Wietzes had a remarkable F5000 career, as he never placed below sixth in the F5000 final standings in his six years of competition.
Beginning in 1976, Eppie Wietzes became a regular competitor in the SCCA Trans-Am series, and won the 1981 Trans-Am champion driving a Chevrolet Corvette, the only driver ever to win the title in a Corvette until the 2010 season. Eppie continued to regularly compete in SCCA Trans-Am racing until 1986, when he cut back his racing schedule. Eppie competed in the GT classes at the 1987 Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-hour races before he retired from driving. Wietzes was inducted into the Canadian Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Following the successful Eppie Wietzes’ 1970 season, Formula Racing sold the red and white #94 car to John Maryon, who subsequently sold the car to Dennis Ott, to replace his crashed McLaren M10B chassis #400-09. Ott drove it as #56 in three 1971 L & M races and the SCCA national race at Phoenix. As with many old racing cars, the history of the car after 1971 is unclear, but re-surfaced in 1994 with its current owner/driver, David Hankin, an orthopedic surgeon from Redding California.
The car appears exactly as it did when driven by Eppie Wietzes in 1970. The engine in the car has an interesting history also – it was built by Ryan Falconer Racing Engines in 1981 and used in Al Unser Junior’s Galles GR3 Lola Frisbee in the re-born 1981 and 1982 SCCA Can-am series. Displacing 302 cubic inches, it features aluminum heads on a steel block fed with Lucas fuel Injection and is dynamometer rated at 520 horsepower and 437 foot-pounds of torque. In addition to the Wietzes F5000 car, Hankin also owns and drives one of the 15 Trojan-built 1968 McLaren M6B Can-Am cars in vintage events.
[Source: Kevin Triplett; photo credit: Dennis Gray]