The 1969 Season
|In 1969, at the wheel of the BRE 2000, Frank Monise produced some excellent results in the early season, registering a number of lap records. This form, aided by the team's immaculate race preparation, culminated in the SCCA's Southern Pacific Divisional Title, quite a start for the 2000 in its first full year of competition.|
Mid-way through the season, the team, with technical and financial support from Nissan, entered another 2000 Roadster onto the scene. The drive was handed to a young John Morton (although not before Pete had tried out Jon Woodner who had raced the 2000 for the DATSUN RACING TEAM). Morton had been known to Pete Brock since the Cobra days. John had previously raced a Lotus 7 and a 23. Morton took his place alongside Monise in D Production and, despite joining the team late on, he too qualified for that years American Road Race of Champions, held that year in Daytona.
At the 1969 runoffs both drivers were expected to dominate D Production, and Nissan/Datsun's expectations were high. True to form they qualified 1-2 on the grid, by a considerable margin over the other DP qualifiers. However, the race did not run to form when on just the first lap Monise suffered a freak fuel starvation problem, which resulted in meltdown of the Venolia pistons. To make matters worse, on the Daytona banking, just one lap later, Morton suffered exactly the same fate.
PB:- "We had never raced at Daytona before and didn't realize the local conditions changed during the day. We didn't check our barometer and consequently fried the pistons when both cars ran lean. We were 1-2 at the time. Major screw up!"
This body blow to the team left the way open for privateer and Oregon Datsun dealer JACK SCOVILLE to take the D Production title, at the wheel of his factory lightweight Datsun 2000.
GALLERY FROM THE 1969 SEASON
|Crew Chief Mac Tilton and Pete Brock before the wraps are taken off the 2000.|
|The immaculate engine bay.|
|The carburettor and brake set-up.|
|The Stewart-Warner oil cooler.|
|The 'first generation' Spook - the 'Cool' Spook, featuring an oil cooler duct, came later.|
|A spare Spook - they came in a number of colours - also shown are the 2000's early Centerline wheels.|
|The cockpit, showing purpose built dash.|
|The cockpit, another view.|
|A neat trick - the fuel gauge.|
|American Racing Libres were used before the Pete Brock designed 'Le Mans' wheel became first choice. Libres were later used on the 510 campaigns.|
|Pete Brock and Frank Monise study the practice session from the top of the Hino transporter.|
|Nissan engineer Tom Kanbe looks on.|
|Before the race. Mac Tilton and Tom Kanbe make final checks.|
|Mac and Pete look on - Frank is ready.|
|Frank gets ready to give it what he knows best.|
|Track shot #1.|
|Track shot #2.|
|Frank and Peter assess a successful race.|
|Peter talks Datsuns with fellow 2000 campaigner D W 'Doc' Foerster.|
|Mid 1969 - two cars on the team|
HOW PETE BROCK MET FRANK MONISE
Frank Monise was the first BRE race driver taken on by Peter Brock to campaign the Datsun Roadster. Brock handed Monise the drive of BRE's first 2000 for one reason only:
PB: "When competing against Frank I just couldn't keep up with him, even when I raced his car!"
Pete also said of Frank: "Monise had a reputation for being hard on equipment. If we could make a car that he couldn't break then anyone could drive it! He would chew up the gears and wouldn't look at the tach. You'd ask what he was turning and he wouldn't know."
Both Brock (black #73) and Monise (red #44) raced Lotus 11s together in the early 1960s, Monise later moving up to the Lotus 23. Frank was always competitive and had some excellent duels, notably with John Timanus, who was also to join BRE and who later went on to become the SCCA's Technical Director.
RIVALS ON THE TRACK - BROCK, MONISE & TIMANUS
The Contender - Pete Brock
The Victor - Frank Monise
On one memorable weekend at Riverside, from which the above photographs were taken, Frank beat John Timanus by less than a foot on the Saturday, and John beat Frank by the same margin on the Sunday, both clipping over 6 seconds off their fastest time. Pete Brock was competing in the same race.
My thanks indeed go to Peter Brock for assisting with these pages and for his enthusiasm towards this project. Thanks also go to Jim Kellar for allowing the use of the fantastic colour images you see here. Credit for other information/images on this page goes to Jack Scoville, Tam McPartland & Nissan Motorsports.
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These pages, unless otherwise stated, are copyright ©1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002, Rob Beddington & The Classic Fairlady Roadster Register. Do not redistribute in any form without the prior permission of the owner.