Tag Archives: Mansell

Half A Car – Lotus Ford T 87 #87/R2 & #87/R4

For the 1981 World Championship Lotus had developed the twin chassis Lotus 86 which I looked at last week, no sooner had testing of that car been finished than the ruling body of the sport outlawed the skirts on which the car depended to seal the airflow beneath the body of the car and mandated a minimum ride height.

Lotus Ford 87, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

This led to the development of the Lotus 88 which had twin chassis as did the 86 but no skirts and a 6cm minimum ride height as mandated by the new rules. Unfortunately while the governing the body of the sport accepted the Lotus 88 as legal most of the other teams did not declaring that the second outer aerodynamic chassis was a banned movable aerodynamic aid and not a fully suspended chassis.

Lotus Ford 87, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Set against a back ground to these semantic arguments between the grandee teams of Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo going up against the garagistes of Brabham, Lotus, McLaren, Williams et al made of high drama and in this instance almost every body building cars turned against Lotus in denouncing the Lotus 88 which meant that it only ever took part in a couple of practice sessions.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

For the first half of the 1981 season Lotus were therefore forced into running the Lotus 81 from the 1980 season. By the time the Formula one circus arrived in Great Britain Lotus made one final attempt to run the Lotus 88 in practice but were again refused by their fellow competitors and so Lotus ran the 88 sans second aeroydynamic chassis and with more conventional aerodynamic side pods and wings as #87/R2 is seen being driven by Nigel Mansell during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1981 and #87/R4 is seen with the later front wings at Hall & Hall and in the Paddock at Silverstone during the classic meeting earlier this year.

Lotus 87, Silverstone Classic

The single chassis version of the Lotus 88 is known as the Lotus Type 87. The highlight of the Lotus 87’s half a seasons competition career was a couple of 4th place finishes, for Elio de Angeles in Italy and Nigel Mansell at Ceasers Palace.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

Chassis R2 was used by Elio de Angeles in Monaco, Spain and France scoring a best 5th place finish in Spain, Mansell took the car over for the British Grand Prix and failed to qualify. There after this car was used as a spare for the remainder of the 1981 season and the first race of the 1982 season in South Africa.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

So far as I have been able to determine chassis #87/R4 seen in the more recent photo’s was driven by Nigel Mansell in at least four Grand Prix during the second half of the 1981 season. Note that the use of space age Carbon Fiber and Kevlar was becoming widespread by 1981 the following season the majority of Formula One monocoques were made from the material with the exception of Ferrari.

Lotus 87, Hall & Hall, Bourne, Lincs

The absence of any bodywork around the rear suspension and exhaust shows what a rush job it was to get the Lotus 87’s to the grid most of the contemporary cars of the period had the rear axle covered in body panels by 1981 including the 1981 British Grand Prix winning McLaren MP4/1 of John Watson.

My thanks to Rick Hall if Hall & Hall for generously allowing me to take the photos of #87/R4, which is for sale, on his premises.

Thanks for joining me on this “Half A Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be relating a Scandinavian Tale about an unusual fire engine. Don’t forget to come back now !


Emergent Red Five – Williams Honda FW10

1984 saw Williams struggle with the new Honda V6 turbo engine that had plenty of power but a very short power band meaning that it delivered all of it’s power in a sudden burst at the top end of the revolutions per minute (rpm) range rather than a preferable smooth increase in power delivery from the top half of the rpm range, all the same Keke Rosberg managed to win the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.

Allied to this the old fashioned aluminium honeycomb construction method was no longer the stiffest solution to chassis construction, which McLaren had advanced with it’s Hercules built carbon fiber chassis in 1981.

Williams Honda FW10, Donington Park Museum

For 1985 the Didcot based Williams team built the Patrick Head and Enrique Scalabroni designed FW10 with a Carbon Fiber monocoque, Nigel Mansell was signed up to drive the “Red 5” and join 1983 champion Keke Rosberg and seven years of Saudi Airlines and TAG sponsorship came to an end with Mobil and Cannon joining Denim and ICI as the teams primary sponsors.

For the first third of the 1985 season the team had to make do with the same Honda RA163E engines as in 1984 and their best result was a 4th place for Keke Rosberg in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Williams Honda FW10, Donington Park Museum

For the following Detroit Grand Prix Honda supplied Williams with a completely new RA165E V6 that was not only more powerful, 900hp in race trim, but more importantly delivered it’s power in a more tractable way.

After Nigel used the engine to qualify second to Ayrton Senna, Keke celebrated the new power unit’s arrival with a debut win at Detroit from 5th on the grid and finished second in France where Nigel did not start after a 200 mph crash.

Williams Honda FW10, Donington Park Museum

Reliability was not great over the next few races, but then Honda hit the sweet spot with it’s tuning and Nigel finished 2nd from 7th on the grid in Belgium where Keke finished 4th from 10th.

At Brands Hatch for the European Grand Prix Nigel and Keke were 3rd and 4th on the grid before Nigel, driving a “Red 5” FW10 like the one seen above at Donington Park Museum, went on to score a popular maiden win two spots ahead of Keke, at the next race Keke finished second to Nigel in the South African Grand Prix where the cars started line astern from pole and third place respectively. Nigel and Keke started 2nd and 3rd at the season ending Australian Grand Prix, but only Keke crossed the finish line albeit in first place, on his final start for the Williams team.

Thanks for joining me on this “Emergent Red Five” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyrs” I hope you will join me again for Mercedes Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Formula One Ferraris – Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In the final look at Ferarri’s at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed today I’ll be looking at the Formula One cars which covered the 15 year period between 1975 and 1990.

Ferrari 641, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

In reverse order, Ferrari managed to lure Alan Prost away from McLaren to join Nigel Mansell and drove the Enrique Scalabroni and Steve nichols designed 641 to five victories, to Nigels one, and second place in the World Drivers and Manufacturers Championship after an alleged rival settled the outcome of the drivers championship by deliberately punting Alain into a gravel trap in the first corner on the opening lap of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ferrari 126 CK, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

Gilles Villeneuve drove the Ferrari 126 CK chassis #052 seen above to two of the most memorable consecutive Grand Prix victories I have ever seen at the 1981 Monaco and Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari 312 T5, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

A year earlier Gilles and team mate reigning champion Jody Scheckter struggled with the normally aspirated Ferrari 312 T5, Gilles drove chassis #048 seen above to a sixth place finish in the German Grand Prix which was one of just five points scoring finishes for the team in 1980…

Ferrari 312 T5, Rick Hall, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

… while chassis #042, seen with Rick Hall at the wheel above, was raced twice by Jody and once by Gilles during 1980 and failed to finish on each occasion.

Renault RS10, Ferrari T4, Goodwood Festival Of Speed,

One of the highlights of the 1979 season was Gilles epic dice with René Arnoux for 2nd place in the closing stages of the French Grand Prix, Gilles drove the 312 T4 chassis #041 and René the Renault RS10 chassis #RS10/03 both of which are seen above.

Ferrari 312 T, Rob Hall, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Finally in forty years ago Niki Lauda finally delivered the World Drivers and Manufacturers championships, for the first time since 1964, ably backed up by Clay Regazzoni driving the Ferrari 312 T, chassis #024 seen above being driven by Rob Hallwas driven to victory by Clay Regazzoni in the 1975 Italian Grand Prix and on it’s final appearance at the 1976 US Grand Prix West.

Thanks for joining me on this “Formula One Ferraris” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last of a series of Formula Junior open wheelers. Don’t forget to come back now !


Air-time – Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power takes place on the estate of the Marquess Of Cholmondeley, a descendent of Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, against the back drop of his fine 19th century mock Gothic castle in Cheshire.

G Smith, Bentley Speed 8, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

The opportunity to get close to the Le Mans winning Bentley Speed 8, the subject of next Monday’s blog, seen above demonstrated by Guy Smith who drove this car to victory in 2003 is what initially attracted me to make the journey.

Kingston/Cropley, Infiniti FX Vettel, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

There were many attractions at the event on four wheels, two wheels, hovering and flying, but I spent the whole of Saturday morning transfixed by the sight of the participants in the sprint event getting air-time over the bridge close to the finish and it is that feature which I would like to share today. Above the Infiniti FX Vettel named after reigning three time world champion Sebastian Vettel was driven by Autocar journalists Lewis Kingston and Steve Cropley.

Cray/Cropley, Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Vauxhall Motors Director Martyn Cray shared this Corvette C6 powered Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer with Steve Cropley, the Tourer is based on the Holden Special Vehicles GTS.

Strafford, COT, Chevrolet Impala SS, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Last time I saw a Sprint Cup COT Chevrolet Impala SS was at Talladega four years ago this one appears to have once been part of the Stewart Haas Racing fleet run for Ryan Newman but has been repainted in the Hendrick Motorsports Dupont colours used by Jeff Gordon for owner driver Mick Strafford.

Van Nierop, Audi 80, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

In the early 1990’s Xavier Lapeyre ’90, Marc Sourd ’91 and Frank Biela ’92 won the French Supertourisme championships with all wheel drive Audi 80’s like the one driven above driven by Johannes Van Nierop.

Reid, Ford Mustang Mach 1, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Glaswegian Anthony Reid, 1992 Japanese Formula Three open wheel champions and Saloon car ace and a regular Jaguar C-type competitor, is seen getting three wheels off the ground in a Ford Mustang Mach 1.

Boutwood, Nobel M600, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Among the Supercars Peter Boutwood’s Noble M600 won the high jump award …

Marshall-Rowe, Lamborghini, LP570, Superleggera, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

from the Lamborghini LP570 Superleggera driven by Tim Marshall-Rowe.

Mansell, Caterham SP/300.R, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Scott Mansell was in the running for the high and long jump events in the Track Day class with the Caterham SP/300.R but …

Robbie Kerr, Radical SR3 RS,  Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

he could not quite match the best efforts of Robbie Kerr driving a Radical SR3 RS.

Jenkins, MAN TGX, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Easily winner of the Golden Cojones award was 2011 Truck Champion “MAN in black” driver David Jenkins who manhandled his MAN TGX at terrifying speeds through the narrow lanes of Cholomondeley.

All in all the Pageant of Power was neither as corporate or as busy as Goodwood Festival of Speed which made for a great day out in the opulent surroundings of a country home in Cheshire.

My thanks to Alan Cox for identify Anthony Reid.

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


42 Day Wonder – Lotus Renault 94T #94/2

As the 1983 Grand Prix season approached the halfway mark Team Lotus who were running a Renault Turbo powered Lotus 93T for Elio De Angelis and a Ford Cosworth powered Lotus 92 for Nigel Mansell had scored but one point and many retirements.

Lotus Renault 94T, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Without there erstwhile genius Colin Chapman who had died in December 1982 Peter Warr who found himself in charge of Lotus Formula One team took a gamble and hired Gerard Ducarouge who had been fired from the Alfa Romeo team earlier in the season.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Ducarouge who had penned winning designs for Ligier came up with the new Lotus 94T in just 42 days and Team Lotus turned up with two of the Renault powered cars at the British Grand Prix held at Silverstone.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

De Angelis qualified 4th and Mansell 18th but in the race it was Mansell who finished 4th while de Andelis retired on the 2nd lap with turbo failure. At the next race in Germany neither car qualified in the top 10, only de Angelis’s 94T made it to the start and he retired after 10 laps with engine failure.

At the Austrian Grand Prix Mansell qualified 3rd with de Angelis 12th, Mansell finished 5th while de Angelis retired after a collision on the opening lap. In Holland de Angelis qualified 3rd and Mansell 5th but both cars retired de Angelis with electrical problems and Mansell after a spin.

At de Angelis’s home track Monza he qualified 8th with Mansell back in 11th both cars finsihed for the the first time with de Angelis 5th and Mansell in 8th.

04 12 05 17 #12 EUGP 83sc

The 1983 European Grand Prix was held at Brands Hatch and de Angelis scored Lotus first post Chapman pole position with Mansell seen here on his way to 3rd on the grid. In the race de Angelis oil pump failed but Mansell came home third, recording the races fastest lap in the process.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

At the last race of the season in South Africa Mansell qualified 7th with de Angelis in 11, Elio retired with engine failure while Nigel was running but unclassified 9 laps behind at the end of the race.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

The Renault Gordini EF1 V6 Turbo was considered a bit of a joke when first seen at the British Grand Prix in 1977 but steady development had seen a rise in horsepower and reliability that forced first Ferrari and then BMW to take the turbo charged route to competitiveness at motor racing’s top table.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Lotus had first dabbled with a multi plane rear wing in 1974 with the type 76, Gerard Ducarouge was on his own in the Grand Prix paddock with the four plane rear wing seen here, it was not a feature that carried over into the following season.

Lotus Renault 94T, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In 42 days Gerard Ducarouge had turned the fortunes of Lotus around they finished the season with 12 points 11 of which were claimed with the new car. Due to the immediate improvement in results John Player Special renewed their sponsorship of the team for the 1984 season.

The chassis seen in all of the photographs here is #94/2 driven exclusively by Nigel Mansell in the British, Austrian, Dutch, Italian, European and South African Grand Prix.

Thanks for joining me on this “42 Day Wonder” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Active Suspension – Lotus Ford T92 92/5

For 1983 the Formula One regulations changed mandating flat bottoms between the front and rear axles, the intention was to outlaw ground effects which Lotus had successfully pioneered with it’s Lotus 79 and less successfully with it’s Lotus 80, 86 and 88 models, all the other teams on the Grand Prix grid had followed the Lotus teams lead with the result that cars were driving around corners so fast they were making the tracks they were driven on obsolete in terms of safety.

Lotus Ford 92, Goodwood FoS

Lotus managed to secure a supply of Renault Tubocharged V6 engines, for 1983, to replace the Ford Cosworth V8’s that the team had been using since the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. These Renault motors were more powerful but also more fragile than the Cosworth’s, they were also in extremely short supply with Renault being able to supply only enough to keep Elio de Angelis on the grid for the first half of the 1983 season in a Lotus Renault Type 93T. Team mate Nigel Mansell had to make do with an interim the Ford Cosworth powered Lotus 92 featured today for the first half of 1983.

Lotus Ford 92, Silverstone Classic

The Lotus Renault 92 was devised by Colin Chapman and Martin Ogilvie, however Colin Chapman died in December 1982 and so never saw the car completed, 2 Type 92’s were built using the chassis tubs of the previous Lotus Type 91 featured last week. As well as being the last Ford Cosworth DFV powered Lotus design the Lotus 92 was also the first Formula One car to be fitted with computer managed hydraulic ‘active’ suspension. Nigel Mansell tested the system but did not like it so the idea was shelved pending further development. In 1992 Nigel won his only world championship with Williams in an actively suspended car.

Lotus Ford 92, Silverstone Classic

Perhaps unsurprisingly without their energetic leader Lotus floundered in 1983 the Renault powered Lotus 93T recorded a best 9th place with Elio at the wheel and Nigel managed a best 6th place finish at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix in the Cosworth powered Lotus 92. A decision was taken in June 1983 to employ the recently sacked ALFA Romeo designer Gerard Ducarouge to design a third all new car for 1983.

Lotus Ford 92, Silverstone Classic

In six weeks Ducarouge managed to design and deliver two new Lotus Renault T94’s and set in motion a return to winning ways for Team Lotus. The Lotus T92 recorded just 9 starts one for de Angelis in Brazil at the beginning of the season where he was disqualified for starting the race in the Cosworth powered car in which he had not set a qualifying time, after his Renault powered 93T broke down on the warm up lap and 8 starts for Mansell who along side his 6th place finish in Detroit recorded three 12th place finishes and four retirements, which was three more finishes than the Lotus Renault 93 T managed.

Lotus Ford 92, Silverstone Classic

The first photo show’s Mercedes Benz GP reserve driver Brendon Hartley at last years Goodwood Festival of Speed and the third show’s 92/5’s previous owner Kiwi Roger Wills at the wheel during the 2011 Silverstone Classic meeting.

My thanks to Roger for clarifying Brendon Hartley’s identity.

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


Broken Wrist – Lotus Ford T 91 91/7

After the controversy of the 1981 season with the twin chassis Lotus 88 the Lotus team upgraded it’s conventional single chassis Lotus 87 for the 1982 season giving it the Lotus T 91 tag. Still powered by the by now venerable Ford Cosworth V8 the Lotus 91 was one of the more attractive entries on the grid.

Lotus Ford 91, British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch

The 91 was a modest improvement on the Lotus 87 Nigel Mansell scoring a seasons best 3rd place finish on his debut in the model in the Brasilian Grand Prix. At the Canadian Grand Prix Nigel Mansell broke his wrist in an accident and after sitting out the Dutch Grand Prix where he was replaced by Roberto Moreno who failed to qualify. Nigel came back for the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch where he is seen in today’s photographs.

Lotus Ford 91, British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch

Unfortunately Nigel was not fully recovered and he could only qualify 23rd on the grid in chassis #91/7 before retiring from the race due to the discomfort from his wrist. While waiting for his wrist to recover properly Nigel missed the following French Grand Prix where Geoff Lees stood in and finished 12th.

Lotus Ford 91, British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch

Team mate Elio de Angelis scored a famous victory with his Lotus 91 at the 1982 Austrian Grand Prix where he held off, eventual 1982 champion, Keke Rosberg and his Williams to win by just half a cars length. The 1982 Austrian Grand Prix was the first, of two, for de Angelis, the last for a Ford Cosworth powered Lotus and the last for Colin Chapman who succumbed to a heart attack in December 1982.

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