Tag Archives: Ligier

Christmas Window Shopping – Hall & Hall

Last week I got a phone call from Ted “Ferret Fotographics” Walker asking if I’d like to accompany him on a 300 mile round trip to Bourne, Lincs and back to visit Hall & Hall where he had some cars to inspect. I accepted on the basis that this might be an interesting window shopping trip, and as you shall see below it was close to the ultimate Christmas window shopping trip for petrol heads and race fans.

Mercedes 300SL, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Among the cars I was kindly allowed to photograph was the Donington Collection’s 1952 Gullwing Mercedes 300 SL complete with experimental roof mounted wing that was around 15 years ahead of it’s time, this car was tried in practice, but not raced, for the 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Delhaye 235 Chapron Coupé, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Moving chronologically on this 1953 Delahaye 235 Coupé with a standardised Chapron body at a price when new of FF3,800,000 cost twice as much as the much faster contemporary Jaguar XK120.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Pierre Dumay and Jo Schlesser drove this Ferrari 250 GT SWB, chassis #2127, to a second place finish overall in the 1960 Tour de France, it’s last known in period race was in the 1964 6h Dakar race in which “Cicoira” drove it to a 3rd place finish.

Lotus 48, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Unknown to all but a select few at Ford, Cosworth and Lotus the Lotus 48 was powered by a sign of things to come. The 48 was campaigned successfully in Formula Two and Jackie Oliver drove one to a fifth place finish in the 1967 German Grand Prix against cars with engines nearly twice the size and around a third more horsepower. The Cosworth FVA motor, which dominated Formula 2 from 1966 to 1972, has a four valve head, that was developed as part of Ford’s contract with Cosworth that would give birth to the Ford Cosworth DFV. The DFV in turn dominated the top tier of motor sport from 1969 until 1983 during which time the DFV motors powered 11 Drivers championship winners interrupted on three occasions only by Ferrari. This is one of several cars currently for sale on the Hall & Hall website linked here.

Alfa Romeo T33, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The 1967 270 hp V8 powered Alfa Romeo T33 ‘Periscope’ was first used in competition by Belgian Teodro Zeccolini in his home country for a hill climb event at Fleron which he promptly won. By 1975 a flat 12 version of the T33 had been developed that won the Sports Car World Championships in 1975 and 1977.

Porsche 911T, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

German born Kenyan Edgar Hermann bought this Porsche 911T early in 1967 in preparation for an attempt on the 1968 East African Safari rally but when the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon was announced he returned it to the factory to be prepared for the longer event in which he finished 15th. Hermann sold the car to Australian Porsche importer Alan Hamilton who converted it to RHD and drove in Australian Rally events until 1970. In 1987 this 911 had a second wind and was driven to a Class C championship win in the Australian Porsche Cup.

Matra Ford MS80, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

From 1969 was one of Jackie Stewarts World Drivers and World Constructors Championship winning Matra MS 80s, powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV as heralded by the Cosworth FVA. Team owner Ken Tyrrell managed to do deals with Matra to use their chassis, and at Stewarts insistence Ford to use the Ford Cosworth DFV for the 1968 and 1969 seasons. These deals were remarkable because Matra were trying to develop their own V12 for Formula One at the time.

BRM P153, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

While I was window shopping two V12 powered cars from 1970 took my fancy the first was this BRM P153 chassis #3 according to the Hall & Hall website, these cars were the first of three race winning designs by Tony Southgate, Pedro Rodriguez drove a car like this to victory at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa at an average speed of 149.9 mph. Chassis #03 was driven by George Eaton in 1970 who’s best performance was a 9th place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix, Howden Ganley drove the car in 1971, his seasons best result 4th in the non Championship Spring Trophy at Oulton Park . Sweden’s Reine Wisell and Spains Alex Soler-Roig both qualified the car for a race each in 1972 but neither finished which left Austria’s Dr Helmut Marko to drive for the last time in the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix where he finished 8th.

Matra MS650, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

According to the best sources I have the 1970 V12 Matra MS650 chassis #02 above has been used in just 6 events, unsurprisingly most of those who drove the car are French the three exceptions being Dan Gurney, who shared the it with Francois Cevert to record a 12th place finish in the 1970 Sebring 12 hours, Jack Brabham who shared the car with Cevert and retired from the 1970 Le Mans 24 hours and Algerian Bernard Fiorentino who shared the car with Maurice Grélin when it failed to finish the 1971 Tour de France. Chassis #02 was shared by Henri Pescarolo, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Johnny Rives for the cars career best 2nd place finish, behind the sister car driven by Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Patrick Depailler and Jean Todt, on the 1970 Tour de France carrying the registration 197WS75 as seen above.

Ligier JS17, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Finally there were two 1981 cars which grabbed my attention, first this Ligier JS17, powered by a fabulous sounding Matra V12, not sure which of the 5 JS 17’s built this is but Jacques Laffite drove the type to victory in the 1981 Austrian and Canadian Grand Prix which gave Laffite an outside chance of wining the title going into the final race of the season held in the car park at Caesers Palace. A 6th place finish meant Jacques secured his third consecutive career best 4th place in the championship.

Lotus Ford 81, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

I’ll be publishing a full blog about the Cosworth DFV powered Lotus 87 on 29th of December, the car seen here is chassis #87/R4, also currently offered for sale, was driven in 1981 by Nigel Mansell. Like many cars of this era it is probably more reliable now than it was in period .

I’ll save the best car in the building as a surprise, it was a prototype Friday car and it was a dream come true to see it in person. Don’t forget to tune in this Friday to find out what it was.

My thanks to Ted Walker for inviting me to join him on his trip to Hall & Hall and to Rick Hall for letting me take photographs of some of the vehicles in his care.

Wishing Abba Kogan, whom I believe owns some of the vehicles seen in these photographs, a swift recovery from his injuries, sustained in the Baku City Challenge, Azerbaijan recently.

Thanks for joining me on this “Christmas Window Shopping” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


When The Going Gets Cool – 24 Hours Of Le Mans

This years Le Mans 24 Hours race was probably won when someone at Porsche decided that this years 919 Hybrid challenger needed to be upgraded from last years 6MJ class to run in the 8MJ class, evidence of this was first hinted at by the 919’s performance on the Hangar Straight at Silverstone earlier in the year.

Le Mans 2015

Qualifying this year was a simple affair, the three Porsche 919 Hybrids locked out the first three places with the #18 car of Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani on pole after setting a blistering pace with a time of 3m 16.887s in the opening qualifying session, next came the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s with the #8 driven by Loïc Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis starting 4th followed by the two Toyota TS040 Hybrid’s who’s #2 driven by Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway started 7th, the first seven cars are seen above taking the prompt 3pm start of the race.

Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal, Le Mans,

The American entered Scuderia Corsa #62 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 of Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal looked set for a fourth place finish in the GTE Am class at it’s final pit stop seen above. Then with less than an hour to go long time GTE Am leader and class pole starter Paul Dalla Lana inexplicably shot across the kitty litter at the Ford Chicane and hit the wall so hard as to retire his #98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 from the race instantly, fortunately without injury to the driver, all of which promoted all those behind him up one place in class meaning the #62 finished third in GTE Am, and 24th overall from 51st on the grid.

Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long, Marco Seefried, Le Mans,

A popular second in the GTE Am class after fending off the #62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari was the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR driven by Patrick “Grey’s Anatomy” Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried seen approaching the Porsche curves above on it’s way to a 22nd place overall finish from 47th on the grid.

Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, Viktor Shaitar, Aleksey Basov, Andrea Bertolini, Le Mans,

After the retirement of the #98 Aston Martin the #72 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 shared by Viktor Shaitar, Aleksey Basov and Andrea Bertolini only had to avoid beaching itself in the gravel as it had done at Indianapolis earlier in the race to score a first Le Mans class win for a Russian entrant, the SMP Racing #72 Ferrari is seen at the Dunlop Chicane on the Saturday evening as it headed for a 20th place finish overall from 43rd on the grid.

GT Pro, Le Mans

5 hours into the race the three leading GTE Pro runners were still racing nose to tail, above the #64 Corvette CR.7 is seen above being chased by the #97 Aston Martin and #51 Ferrari through the Chapel Descent.

Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Le Mans,

Unfortunately the #97 Aston Martin shared by Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Rob Bell retired after the latter damaged the oil feed on a kerb after completing 110 laps, this left the AF Corse #51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 shared by Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander to recover from a fifth hour puncture and challenge the #64 Corvette with 2 hours to go. An hour later the #51, seen above at Dunlop Chicane, pitted with a gearbox problem and returned to the track after a 30 minute break to hold on to a third in GTE Pro and 25th place overall from 35th on the grid.

Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, Davide Rigon, James Calado, Olivier Beretta, Le Mans,

Davide Rigon, James Calado and Olivier Beretta finished 2nd in the GTE Pro class, 21st overall, from 54th on the grid after a qualifying penalty was applied, having dropped out of contention for the class lead when the alternator on the #71 AF Course Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 was replaced at the cost of four laps.

Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Jordan Taylor, Le Mans,

Despite being the slowest GTE Pro car to qualify and starting from 43rd on the grid the works Corvette Racing-GM C7.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor came through to win the class and finish 17th overall 5 laps ahead of it nearest rival. The car proved to be bullet proof reliable and comfortable enough to drive at a pace that always kept it in contention if not ahead of the GTE Pro pack.

Ligier JS P2, Roman Rusinov, Julien Canal, Sam Bird, Le Mans,

Starting from 12th on the grid, 2nd in the LMP2 class, the last thing Sam Bird needed on his first pit stop was for his G-Drive Racing #26 Nissan powered Ligier JS P2 to catch fire along with the gloves of one of his mechanics as seen above. After the fires were quelled without injury, Sam with team mates Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal ran 2nd in class until they were demoted to 3rd in LMP2 during the 23rd hour of the race, where they remained finishing 11th overall.

Gibson 015S, Simon Dolan, Oliver Turvey, Mitch Evans, Le Mans,

Fastest LMP2 car in the race belonged to the Jota Sport, who’s Gibson 015S, formerly known as a Zytek when it won the LMP2 class last year, driven by Simon Dolan, Oliver Turvey and Mitch Evans, lost three laps to a sensor change before the trio completed the come back drive of the race to finish, just 48 seconds adrift of this years LMP2 winners, in 10th place overall from 14th on the grid.

Oreca 05, Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley, Nicolas Lapierre, Le Mans,

Similarly Nissan powered as the 2nd and 3rd place LMP2 class finishers the Hong Kong based KCMG team’s new #47 Oreca 05 coupé is built to the LMP2 regulations mandated for 2017, drivers Matthew Howson, Richard Bradley and Nicolas Lapierre started from class pole and 11th on the grid. Apart from a drive through penalty for a pit lane infringement, a stop to fix a dicky illuminated number the car should have comfortably won it’s class, but two kitty litter excursions at the Mulsanne and Indianapolis corners on Sunday meant the three top LMP2 cars all completed 358 laps, with the #47 9th overall.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro, André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer, Le Mans,

From fifth on the grid André Lotterer showed his hand early by passing two Porsche 919’s for the lead on the same lap after the first safety car period, however in the third hour team mate Benoît Tréluyer suffered a puncture and then glanced the barriers at Tetre Rouge handing the advantage back to the two leading Porsche’s. Further troubles for the Audi Sport Team Joest #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro manifested themselves when a part of the rear body work flew off, as seen above, when Marcel Fässler was at the wheel 16 hours into the race four hours before the car received a drive through penalty for a slow zone misdemeanor. Then 21 hours from the start André set the fastest race lap, 3m 17.475s, and thereafter unscheduled stops for more bodywork repairs and oil were insufficient to prevent the car from finishing on the third, just two laps down on the winning car.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Le Mans

The #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber starting from second on the grid was the early leader of the race and despite giving up the lead temporarily to André Lotterer’s Audi it maintained the advantage if not always in the lead until midnight when the car was penalised for slow zone misdemeanor by Brendon Hartley with a stop go penalty that handed the advantage to the sister #19 919 Hybrid. The #17 could not keep pace with it’s sister through the night and eventually finished 1 lap down in 2nd place at the finish despite spending the least amount of time, 29m 42.060s, in the pits of any competitor.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy, Nico Hülkenberg, Le Mans,

Starting from third on the grid the #19 driven by Le Mans novices Earl Bamber and Nico Hülkenberg sharing with two time LMP2 Le Mans starter Nick Tandy, performed better than all the others during the cooler night time conditions so that, even with a 10 second delay due to an overcrowded pit and a brief visit to the garage during a safety car period to repair some damage incurred by Nico after he tapped a back marker, the #19 was able to comfortably lead the #17 over the finish line just three laps short of setting a record distance for the event.

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy, Nico Hülkenberg, Le Mans,

The decision to run in the 8 MJ class benefited Porsche not only with consistently better top speeds on the long Mulsanne Straight, but also with a superior fuel consumption that over the 24 hours was estimated to have handed Porsche a 2 and half minute advantage over Audi thanks to four seconds saved per fuel stop.

Le Mans LMP1 Podium, Ickx, Tréluyer, Lötterer, Fässler, Tandy, Bamber, Hülkenberg, Webber, Hartley, Bernhard,

By winning this race Porsche, who last won the race in 1998, can now claim a record 17 Le Mans wins, four more than Audi, but more importantly the victory has proved the technology which sits in it’s 918 Spyder road cars that cost upwards of UK£750,000 / US$850,000.

Special thanks to my school friend Tom for getting me to the race for the first time since 1992.

Thanks for joining me on this “When The Going Gets Cool” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a US Le Mans challenger. Don’t forget to come back now.


Not Quite A GT – Ligier Cosworth JS2 #2379 72 03

In 1970 former international rugby player and construction magnate Guy Ligier set about founding a sports car manufacturing company bearing his own name.

The original production model was to be the JS2 with a chassis designed by Michel Tetu, who would later be part of the Renault Le Mans and Formula One campaigns and a body designed by Pietro Frua.

The JS2 was originally intended to be powered by a 2.6 litre / 158 cui Ford Cologne V6 but that had to be changed to the 3 litre / 183 cui Maserati V6 as used in the Merak and Citroën SM, when Ford thought it might build a rival in the form of the Ford GT70.

Ligier JS2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Production of the JS2 never reached sufficient numbers for the sporting authorities to consider the car for GT racing so instead racing versions were run as prototypes.

The racing JS2’s were built with aluminium chassis and raced with Maserati V6 engines which proved a tad underpowered and unreliable, although the teams perseverance was rewarded with a victory in the 1974 Le Mans 4 hour race for Guy Chasseuil and in the 1974 Tour de France Automobile where Gérard Larrousse, Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Johnny Rives drove the winning JS2.

A second place finish for today’s featured chassis #2379 72 03 driven by Bernard Darniche and Jacques Jaubert emphasised the team’s mastery of the 1974 mixed discipline event.

Ligier JS2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

With new sponsorship from Gitanes for 1975 Ligier exploited the Prototype regulations more fully by producing a silhouette JS2 body and fitting more powerful Ford Cosworth DFV motors to two of his three JS2 racing cars including today’s featured chassis.

The two DFV powered JS2s were sent to Mugello and Dijon netting a 7th for Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Jean-Pierre Jarier at the former and 6th for François Migault and Jean-Pierre Jarier at the latter.

Perhaps mindful of wanting to preserve their machinery for Le Mans only single car entries were sent to Monza and Spa where Beltoise and Jarrier finished 21st from 7th on the grid and François Migault and Jean-Louis Lafosse finished 12th from 5th on the grid respectively.

Ligier JS2, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

At Le Mans the two DFV powered JS2’s were joined by a third Maserati powered JS2 the latter to be driven by Beltoise and Jarier.

Unsurprisingly the Maserati was slowest of the three starting from 9th it was also the first of the three to retire after an accident.

Today’s featured car driven by Henri Pescarolo and François Migault qualified 5th but retired later in the race with a puncture.

The second DFV powered JS2 driven by Jean-Louis Lafosse and Guy Chasseuil qualified an impressive 3rd and survived to finish second only one lap down behind the Gulf GR8 shared by Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx.

After Le Mans 1975 Ligier retired from sports car racing in preparation for it Gitanes sponsored appearance in Formula One the following season.

Thanks for joining me on this “Not Quite A GT” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be paying a visit to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Don’t forget to come back now !


That’s Entertainment – 6 Hours Of Siverstone

Last Sunday saw the runners and riders of the World Endurance Championship gather for the 6 Hours Of Silverstone with a smattering of new rules, new cars, cars and new faces.

Of the new rules the most significant was abandoning the safety car in all but the most extreme cases for full course yellow’s and this led to the race being disturbed for only 8 minuets over six hours and no unnecessary bunching of the field.

6 Hours Of Silverstone

Qualifying in the top LMP1 category was locked out by the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, reckoned to be more powerful than the 900hp Peugeot 908 turbo diesels, driven Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber with Brendon Hartley and Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb which can be seen leading the pack of Audi’s and Toyota’s on the opening lap.

Thanks to an electrics problem that knocked out his telemetry and gave him a misfire Benoit Tréluyer is seen on the extreme left of the photo above as he fell all the way back to tenth place in the opening laps before the problem sorted it’s self out.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Shaytar / Bertolini / Basov, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Despite qualifying only 5th fastest in the GTE/Am category Russians Victor Shaytar, Aleksey Basov with Italian Andrea Bertolini came through to finish third in class and 18th overall, with their #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F458 Italia seen above on the Hangar Straight.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Perrodo / Collard / Aguas, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Seen turning into the fast sweeping Abbey above is the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Frenchman François Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard who with Portugals Rui Aguas qualified 4th in LMGTE/Am and finsihed 2nd in class and 17th overall.

Dalla Lana / Lamy / Lauda, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Only 30 seconds covered the top three LMGTE Am class finishers after six hours of racing, Canada’s Paul Dalla Lama with Portugal’s Pedro Lamy and Austian Mathias Lauda converted their LMGTE/Am pole into a first place in class finish, 16th overall, driving the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 seen at Becketts above.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Rigon / Calado, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Slowest of the 7 LMGTE Pro qualifiers were Italy’s Davide Rigon and Britain’s James Calado but they dug deep and finished the race third in class, 11th overall, less than 30 seconds behind the class winners.

Porsche 911 RSR, Chevrolet Corvette C7, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

German Richard Leitz and Denmarks Michael Christensen qualified their #91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR in 4th place behind three Aston Martin’s, by the end of the race the Aston’s had all fallen one lap down on the three class leading LMGTE Pro cars.

The 2nd in class, 10th place overall, finishing #91 Porsche is seen lapping the returning Labre Competition teams new LMGTE Am #50 Corvette C7 driven by Italians Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti and Denmarks Kristan Poulsen at Vale above.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Bruni / Vilander, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Winners of the LMGTE Pro class and 9th overall were Italy’s Gianmaria Bruni and Finlands Tony Vilander who qualified their #51 AF Course Ferrari 5th in class, the Ferrari is seen being chased by a LMP1 Toyota at the Arena.

HPD ARX 03B - HPD, Sharp / Dalziel / Heinemeier Hanson, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

While awaiting the delivery of a new pair of LMP2 Ligier’s the Extreme Motorsports team made their debut in the WEC with a pair of HPD (Honda Performance Developmant) ARX O3B’s.

The #30 HPD, seen above exiting Maggots, driven by American Scott Sharp, Britain Ryan Dalziel and Denmarks David Heinemeier Hanson qualified 4th in class and crossed the line third in class.

Regrettably the car was excluded because it was found in post race scrutineering to have been running with a thinner ALMS spec plank under the car than the mandated thicker WEC spec plank, this was a tough break for the popular US team.

Dome S103 Nissan, Leventis / Watts / Kane_6 Hours Of Silverstone

With the exclusion of the #30 the Nissan powered #42 Strakka Racing Dome S103 driven by Britain Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jony Kane was awarded third in class.

Watts ended up going into the kitty litter on the first corner of the first lap but with help from the marshalls the team recovered from last place to finish a respectable 8th overall.

Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Yacaman / Derani / Gonzalez, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Columbian Gustavo Yacaman, Brazilian Luis Felipe Derani and Mexican Ricardo Gonzalez qualified their Nissan powered #28 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2, seen at entering Becketts on class pole, but finished the race 2nd in class, 7th overall and 1 lap behind their team mates …

Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Rusinov / Canal / Bird, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Russian Roman Rusinov Frances Julien Canal and Sam Bird, who’s class winning #26 Ligier is seen above at Club.

Toyota TS040 Hybrid, Davidson / Buemi / Nakajima, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

At the head of the field representatives from all three leading manufacturers took turns at the lead after qualifying fourth reigning World Endurance Champions Brit Anthony Davidson and Swiss Sébastien Buemi, who were joined by the Japanese Kazuki Nakajima came through to a third place finish just 15 seconds behind the the winning car.

6 Hours Of Silverstone

After easily leading the opening 90 mins of the race from pole position Mark Webber had to retire the lead #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid with transmission issues before team mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley had a chance to drive it, leaving the sister #18 front row starter driven by Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani with a small lead over the fast recovering #7 Audi driven by Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fässler and Andre Lotterer.

A fantastic battle between the two leading cars ensued from the half way stage of the race, which included this linked scrap with 50 mins to go, at the end of the day the inferior tyre wear on the faster Porsche swung victory away from them despite trying a two tyres only final stop.

Above Neel Jani slices past the LMGTE Am #96 Aston Martin driven by Francesco Castalocci, Roland Goethe and Stuart Hall while the #1 Toyota awaits to slice past the LMGTE Am Dempsey Proton Racing #77 Porsche driven by Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried and LMGTE Pro #99 Aston Martin driven by Alex Macdowall, Fernando Rees, and Richie Stanamay.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Fässler / Lotterer / Tréluyer, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

With 15 minutes to go the #7 Audi driven by Marcel Fässler had lead of over a minute when it was called in for a splash and dash stop. At the same time the #7 was also awarded a stop go penalty for an overtaking maneuver beyond the track limits at club.

The #7’s lead was just 37 seconds after the splash and dash and less than 10 seconds after the penalty stop, but there were not enough laps left for Neel to chase the #7 down and with a winning margin of less than five seconds it was the Audi Sport Team Joest drivers who’s names were added to the base of the 110 year old Tourist Trophy at Silverstone.

Despite starting with an electical failure the #7, seen passing the 3rd placed #1 Toyota in the Arena above, came through to win by covering a record 201 laps.

Thanks for joining me on this “That’s Entertainment” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Chrysler 300D. Don’t forget to come back now !


RIP JP B – Peugeot 309 Gti Turbo Cup

Born on April 26th 1937 Jean Pierre Beltoise was part of a cohort of French drivers that emerged in the 1960’s that included Johnny Servous Gavin, Gerrard Larrousse, Henri Pescarolo and brother in law Francois Cevert.

JP B’s started racing motor cycles winning 11 national titles in three years, he raced Motor Morini, Kreider and Bultaco machines in a handful of world championship events from 1962 to 1964 finishing a best 3rd on a 50 cc Kreider in the 1964 French Grand Prix.

In 1963 Jean Pierre started racing Djet sports cars for René Bonnet. After Bonnet sold out to Matra he raced a succession of Formula 3 and Formula 2 Matra open wheelers with sufficient success that led to his Grand Prix debut in the 1966 German Grand Prix with a Formula 2 Matra in which he finished 8th overall and first in the Formula 2 class.

In 1968 JP B was contracted to drive for the French Matra Sports team but did not race a proper Formula One Spec car until the Spanish Grand Prix when he was drafted in to drive Jackie Stewart’s Cosworth powered Matra MS10 for Ken Tyrrell’s Matra International team.

At Monaco he raced the Matra V12 powered Matra MS 11 for the first time but retired with broken suspension, at the Dutch GP he finished a season high second behind Stewart.

Matra Sport withdrew form F1 at the end of 1968 to focus their efforts on getting Ken Tyrrells Matra International Team Matra MS80 cars for Jackie Stewart, JP-B was drafted in as Jackie’s team mate and again finished a season high second this time in France.

Ken Tyrrell and Matra parted way’s after winning the 1969 World Championships and Matra got it’s V12 programme back on track with JP B and Henri Pescarolo in the drivers seats JP B scored two season high thirds to Henri’s one. The following season JP B remained on the Matra team with Chris Amon but the results were disappointing.

For 1972 JP B signed to drive for BRM for which an over ambitious programme was being funded by Marlboro. At the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix Jean Pierre won his only Grand Prix generally reckoned to have been one of the more difficult races thanks to the atrocious conditions.

Note the scuff mark the BRM’s nose in the linked photo this came about after contact with Ronnie Peterson’s March which was baulking his while being lapped.

This race would be the last formula one championship win for a BRM and at the end of the season Jean Pierre won the non championship John Player victory race at Brands Hatch driving a BRM P180 which would be the last win for the BRM team.

Jean Pierre continued driving for BRM in 1973 during which he finished a season high 4th in Canada with the by now ancient BRM P160 and in 1974 during which he scored a great second place finish on the debut of the P201 in South Africa.

Out of a Formula One drive for 1975 Jean Pierre was in the running for a drive with the new Ligier team for 1976 and tested the Matra V12 powered JS5 before it was decided to hand the car over to 1975 Formula 2 champion Jacques Laffite.

Alongside his open wheel racing Jean Pierre continued racing sports cars winning races in 5 litre, 3 litre and 2 litre classes though most, seven, were wins with the 3 litre / 183 cui Matra’s which included the 1970 Tour de France sharing driving with Patrick Depailler and with FIA President Jean Todt doing the navigating.

After winning the sports car World Championship twice in 1973 and 1974 Matra withdrew from racing a Jean Pierre continued racing Ligier and Rondeau built sports cars at Le Mans, but he never improved on his career best 1969 4th place finish with Piers Courage in the endurance classic.

JP B won two French Saloon car championships driving BMW’s in 1976 and 1977 before proving his versatility, despite restricted arm movement that was the result of a sports car accident in the 1960’s, by winning the 1979 French Rallycross Championship driving an Alpine A310.

Peugeot Gti Turbo, JP Beltoise, Le Mans,

Into the 1980’s JP B continued racing Peugeot 505 Turbo’s, a V6 Talbot Tagora and in 1988 he was racing in the Peugeot 309 Gti Turbo Cup series, above Jean Pierre is seen driving the #88 309 to victory in the support race to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Jean Pierre passed away on the 5th of January aged 77.

Condolences to his family and friends RIP JP B.

Thanks for joining me on this “RIP JP B” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting Autosport International. Don’t forget to come back now !


In Law’s Instrumental Help – Ligier Matra JS17

At the end of 1978 Chrysler Europe was taken over by Peugeot and almost immediately rebranded the French Simca and British Hillman models as Talbot’s resurrecting a name that had last appeared in Formula One in 1951.

In 1972 MATRA, who were taken over by Simca, withdrew from Formula One to concentrate on a successful sports car program which was itself discontinued at the end of 1974 after MATRA had won three consecutive Le Mans 24 Hour races and two World sports Car Championships under the direction of Gerard Ducarouge.

Laffite, Ligier MATRA JS 17, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Ducarouge went to work for Ligier to design a Matra powered Formula One car in 1976, the JS5 was quite successful for a new comer and the following year Jaques Laffite won the 1977 Swedish Grand Prix driving a MATRA V12 powered Ligier JS7. MATRA stopped developing their V12 in 1978 and Ligier suffered a consequent dip in their fortunes.

For 1979 and 1980 Ligier opted for the popular Cosworth DFV V8’s and immediately returned to victory lane with two surprising wins for Laffite in Argentina and Brazil with the JS11 model, but the team lost it’s direction did not present the anticipated championship challenge. In 198O Laffite won just one race but the team scored enough points to finish second in the constructors championship.

Tambay, Ligier MATRA JS 17, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

By 1981 Peugeot returned the Talbot name to Formula One by teaming up with Ligier and an updated version of the MATRA V12 was used to power the JS17’s featured today. Laffite was to be teamed up with brother in law, ex Renault refugee, Jean Pierre Jabouille who was recovering from injuries sustained when he crashed his Renault Turbo in the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix.

Jean Pierre Jarrier stood in for Jabouille for the first two races but when Jabouille returned to the cockpit he failed to qualify for two races in five attempts so he was replaced by Patrick Tambay seen at the wheel of the #25 here for the second half of the season, but crucially Jabouille remained with the team acting as an engineer. Patrick qualified for all of the remaining races but did not finish any of them.

Ligier MATRA JS 17, Test Day, Donington Park

Laffite meantime scored a couple of 2nd place finishes in Spain and Sweden along with 3 third place finishes in Monaco, Britain and Germany. Just before the French Grand Prix Gerard Ducarouge was fired by Guy Ligier.

At the Austrian Grand Prix Jabouille was instrumental in helping Laffite choose the correct tyre to suit both the Ligier and the track which resulted in the car qualifying 4th behind two turbo charged Renaults and Villenueve’s turbocharged Ferrari.

Ligier MATRA JS 17, Test Day, Donington Park

During the race after passing Villeneuve and his quick off the grid Ferrari team mate Didier Pironi, Jaques chased down the leading Renaults. Alain Prost in the lead car retired with collapsed suspension before Jacques passed the second Renault for the lead and eventual victory when René Arnoux hesitated over taking a pair of back markers.

Jacques then retired in Holland and Italy before bouncing back with a win from 10th on the grid in Canada to put him 3rd in the championship table, 6 points off the leader, with a slim chance of winning the 1981 Drivers Championship going into the Caesers Palace Grand Prix held in Las Vegas. In the event Jacques qualified just 12th behind Championship leader Carlos Reutemann who was on pole in his Williams and 2nd in standings Nelson Piquet who was 4th in his Brabham.

Reutemann inexplicably choked under the championship pressure during the race to finish 7th out of the points while Piquet salvaged a fifth place finish, one spot ahead of Jacques, enough to win the Championship. Alan Jones won the race in his Williams thereby depriving Jacques of a third place finish in the Championship, so for the third consecutive time Jacques Laffite recorded what would be his career best 4th place finish in the final championship standings.
With only the #26 scoring any points all season Ligier finished the season 4th in the Constructors Championship.

Thanks for joining me on this “In Law’s Instrumental Help” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cum On Feel The Noize – Donington Park Test Day

When Ted Walker told me about the possibility of a 1939 Mercedes Benz 154 Grand Prix racer appearing for a test day at Donington Park a couple of weeks ago my ears just knew I had to be there to hear it.

Ligier Matra JS17, Donington Park Test Day

At 6 am (ish) I picked up GALPOT contributer Tim and headed up to Donington Park and headed for the Hall & Hall pit where a mouth watering selection of cars was on display including this 1982 Matra V12 powered Ligier JS17 Grand Prix car.

Matra MS 630 C, Donington Park Test Day

Next to and in front of the JS17 were not one but two 1973 World Sports Car Championship winning Matra 670 C’s powered by similarly awesome sounding V12’s !

Lola T70, Donington Park Test Day

As we waited in the pits for the Gentleman from Crosthwaite and Gardiner to prepare the W154 for an engine warm up this Lola T70 Mk 3 Coupe rumbled down pit road to wet our appetites.

Mercedes Benz W154, Donington Park Test Day

After a five minute warm up the plugs on the W154 were changed and one lucky Rob Hall jumped out of his Matra and into the Benz. The car sounded great although it was anything but a smooth test as first a recalcitrant motor had to be cured and then a water leak from the radiator brought and end to proceedings. While it was running cleanly the ear splitting sound of the 476hp 3 litre / 183 cui two stage super charged V12 was music to the ears !

Donington Park Test Day

As the test day progressed Tim and I took a wolk around the track which I had not seen, despite several trips to the Donington Museum, since the early 1990’s. Since my last visit the gravel traps have substantially increased in size and safety fences have increased in height. Above Rob Hall charges down the Craner Curves pursued by a Porsche GT3.

Donington Park Test Day

One of the many advantages of traveling with Tim is that he has breath taking memory for motor racing details, he has won several prestigious motor racing knowledge awards, during the Test day he pointed out that the arch in the Folly above was part of the pre war Grand Prix circuit through which the likes of the Mercedes Benz W154 along with Alfa Romeo’s, Auto Unions and ERA’s once raced in anger !

Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Donington Park Test Day

The works Gulf Prodrive Aston Martin team had three V8 Vantages present the #97 above, seen exiting Coppice, appeared to be the 2012 Le Mans entry driven by Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner which finished 19th overall and 3rd in class behind to Ferrari 458 Italia’s. The distinctive deep thump of these V8’s made it easy to tell where they were on the track even when they were not in view.

Crossle 25A, Donington Park Test Day

When we got back to the pits we found Terry Durdin’s 1972 Formula Ford Crosslé 25F being prepared for an afternoon’s run.

Sunbeam Tiger (Lister), Donington Park Test Day

Another rumbling monster with a Le Mans history was this Sunbeam Tiger Coupé, one of two built by Lister for the Rootes Groups 1964 Le Mans challenge. Keith Ballisat and Claude Dubois qualified 34th for the endurance classic but both cars, powered by Ford 4,2 litre / 260 cui motors failed to finish due to engine failure.

Ferrari F430, Donington Park Test Day

There were two Ferrari’s present a 360 and this F430 driven by Sam Smeeth.

Tatuus FR2000, Donington Park Test Day

Following in the footsteps of Danica Patrick is the ambitious Laura Tillet who has stepped up to Formula Renault this year. Here her Fortec run Tatuus FR2000 is being prepared for a last minute run before the track closed at 5pm.

Ralt RT1 BMW, Donington Park Test Day

We did not time all the cars but thought the 2 litre / 122 cui BMW powered Ralt RT1 Formula 2 car of Philip Harper was amongst the quickest on the track. Ted Walker told us that Philip was running laps in the 1 min 02 second bracket. Tim and I reckoned Philips time would have seen him challenging James Hunt and Mario Andretti for second or third place at the very first meeting held at Donington Park the Gunnar Nilsson Memorial Trophy in 1979. To be fair the 3 litre / 183 cui cars of Hunt and Andretti had a much slower chicane to negotiate than Philip did.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cum On Feel The Noize” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !