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1970 Edmonton Can-Am

Klondike 200

Sunday, July 26, 1970
1970 season:

From the Motor Sport Archive

The Can-Am brigade returned to Canada for the fourth round of the series but for a number of reasons it was a rather decimated field that assembled at Edmonton International Speedway, on the outskirts of Canada's Oil Capital, for the Klondike 200. Jim Hall skipped the race to iron out some of the problems that the Glen event brought to light in his chaparral 2J; the Autocoast and AVS Shadow teams had still not recovered financially from their separate accidents during and after the St. Jovite race; and several other competitors apparently decided that their chances of success did not justify the 4,400-mile trip to Western Canada.

Seeking their 17th consecutive Can-Am victory, the works McLaren team was also noticeably changed. Dan Gurney, who joined the team after Bruce McLaren's death and won the first two races, ended his association after the Glen race as a result of conflicts between his personal contracts with Castrol and the team's contracts with Gulf. Peter Gethin was therefore recruited and was remarkably quick to adapt to this new (to him) form of racing. Modifications to the radiator outlets of the M8Ds appeared to solve the overheating problems that have plagued the team's 7.6-litre engines, but Hulme elected to stay with the smaller 7-litre engine, at least for one more race. He still won the pole position - with a non-record time of 1 min. 23.6 sec. (108.818 m.p.h.) - and Gethin was alongside him at 1 min. 24.0 sec., but this was just 1/10th of a second faster than Lothar Motschenbacher's McLaren M8B, which is becoming more competitive at every race. As it turned out, these were the only three cars in the race because Peter Revson's Lola T190, which is now handling much better, ran into a raft of engine trouble. Two engines were lost in practice and a third one, borrowed from the McLaren team and hastily installed on race morning, could not be sorted out in time.