The Brabham BT52 with the "laydown" BMW engine was a great engineering concept. However, it's my understanding that it did not perform as promised because the engine had an oil scavenge problem and thus suffered severe crankshaft windage losses. Oil would accumulate within the low ground clearance sump and could not be removed, due to the direction of the crank rotation and the position of the oil scavenge pump pick-ups. A crank/rod assembly trying to pass through a slug of oil gets slowed down significantly. Thus the engine had very poor throttle response.
When the engine was converted to a more upright installation, it performed much better.
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