Tag Archives: Pearson

HSCC International Trophy – Silverstone

Now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary the Historic Sports Car Club organised a two day International Trophy meeting at Silverstone last weekend of which I popped along to the second.

Jaguar E-type_7278sc

The first race of the day was led by the #91 Jaguar E-Type shared by Julian Thomas an Calum Lockie for opening 13 laps of the Turnkey GT and Sports Car Cup, but they lost ground on the driver change which happened as the course was under a full course caution that became a red flag after three further laps leaving the #75 AC Cobra 289 shared by Leo Voyazides and Andy Wolfe that had been running in the top six to inherit the win.

Formula Junior_7318sc

Sam Wilson in his #53 Lotus 20/22 led the 2nd Formula Junior race of the weekend from start to finish five cars held second place over the 9 lap race with Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22, seen in fourth above securing the spot with two laps to go, a late charge from James Murray secured third in his Lola.

Michael Lyons, McLaren M26, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

James Hunt won the International Championship twice when the British Racing Drivers Club organised the event with Hesketh in 1974 and McLaren in his 1976 championship winning year, last weekend Michael Lyons, seen above, drove a 1977 spec McLaren M26 to an easy victory in International Trophy ahead of Andrew Smith’s Gunston liveried March 79B.

Lola T282, Voyazides-Wolfe, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides and James Wolfe had to work a little harder, than Micheal, in their 1973 Jean-Louis Lafosse / Reine Wisell Gitanes liveried Lola T282 to get the better of the #19 Simon Watson and Andrew Kirkaldy Chevron B19 and the third place #60 Chevron B26 driven by John Burton in the 50 minute Pre 80 Endurance race.

Historic Formula 3, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

After several successful seasons running a Cooper in Formula Junior Jon Milicevic has switched to driving the #14 Brabham BT21B in Formula 3 and looks to continue his winning ways, having passed the Micheal Hibberd’s #25 Brabham on the opening lap he retained the lead to the end to finish ahead of Simon Archer’s #22 March 703 which worked it’s way up from 5th at the end of the opening lap.

Guards Trophy, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

George Tizzard’s persistence chasing down, the out of shot, #4 pole sitting Chevron B8 shared by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell was rewarded when he took the lead in the HSCC Guards Trophy 2 laps from home driving the #2 Gulf liveried Lenham Spyder.

Ford Falcon, Leo Voyazides, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides took a fairly easy victory third victory of the day with a solo drive in his Ford Falcon in the HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship beating the Ford Mustang driven by Warren Biggs by 14 seconds from pole position.

HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

In the final race of the day Ian Pearson won the HSCC Formula 2000 race from pole in his #9 Van Diemen RF83 while Andrew Park had to battle back to second in his white #27 Reynard SF81 after giving the place up to the #87 Reynard SF79 driven by Nelson Rowe and #33 Van Diemen RF82 of Marc Mercer on the opening lap.

Thanks for joining me on this International Trophy edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for the next Packard edition soon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Five Group C Classics – Silverstone Classic

Third in a series of five blogs celebrating Silverstone Classic’s Silver Jubilee today’s blog looks at five stunning Group C cars, which round out the meetings Super Saturday’s by racing into the evening, that have competed in the event over the years.

Jaguar XJR-11, Gary Pearson, Silverstone Classic,

Gary Pearson’s 1989 Jaguar XJR-11 above marks a significant ramping up of Jaguar’s efforts to remain at the top of the Group C tree by switching from a stock block derived 7 litre / 432 cui V12 to a MG Metro 6R4 derived twin turbo 3.5 litre / 216 cui V6 that produced around 750hp.

Nissan RC90, Steve Tandy, Silverstone Classic,

For the 1991 season Nissan sold one of there Lola built R90C chassis, #07, to Nova Engineering for use in the 1991 All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, Nova fitted a body developed in the Yatabe (Japan Automobile Research Institute—JARI) wind tunnel and called the car seen above with Steve Tandy at wheel, the R91CK.

Lancia LC2, Roger Wills, Silverstone, Classic,

Going back to 1985 is Roger Wills Ferrari powered Lancia LC2/85 with it’s distinctive wider body than the original LC2’s raced in 1983 and ’84.

Courage C26S, Georg Kjallgren, Silverstone Classic

I believe the Courage C26S, seen above with Georg Kjallgren at the wheel, started life as the second chassis built in Le Mans by Courage Competition in 1984 originally powered by a Cosworth DFL V8, in 1989 it was fitted with a Twin Turbo Porsche flat 6 and brought up to C26S specification for the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours where it failed to qualify on speed and was further disqualified for running under weight.

Mercedes Benz C11, Bob Berridge, Silverstone Classic,

Coolest of the Group C cars in my eyes is the Mercedes Benz C11 built for the 199O World Sports Car Championship which season during which it took seven wins from the eight races started securing the constructors championship for Mercedes Benz and Drivers Championship for Jean-Louis Schlesser and Mauro Baldi, I believe the car seen above with Bob Berridge at the wheel was the prototype which was never raced in period, but has a very successful career as a historic racer.

More, including tickets, on this years Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic can be found on this link.

Thanks for joining me on this “Five Group C Classics” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a trip to the recent Sonoma Historic meeting. Don’t forget to come back now !


’69 NASCAR Triple Crown – Ford Torino

In January 1969 Ford’s Atlanta Assembly plant in Georgia built a run of 500 special fast back Torino’s, featuring a slightly more aerodynamic nose said to have been developed by Holman Moody, known as the Torino Talladega named in honour of a new super speedway circuit that was to open located just down the road in Alabama.

The reason for building these cars all of which were thought to have lost Ford money in the show room was so that Ford would have a more competitive package for the 1969 NASCAR Grand National Season.

Junior Johnson ran a Ford Torino sponsored by Jim Robbins known as the Jim Robbins Special for LeeRoy Yarbrough who also drove for Robbins open wheel USAC team at Indy.

Ford Torino, Sonoma Historics

LeeRoy started the 1969 Daytona 500 from 19th place in his earlier Torino Cobra model but came through to beat Charlie Glotzbach driving a Dodge to win the richest race of the year and the US$38,950 prize money that went with it.

Mid season Junior Johnson’s cars were badged as Mercury Cyclone’s for six races and during that spell LeeRoy won The Rebel 400 at Darlington, and the longest race of the year The World 600 at Charlotte.

For the 1969 Medal of Honor Firecracker 400 at Daytona LeeRoy’s car was back to being badged a Ford Torino but with the more aerodynamic Talladega nose, starting ninth and leading 96 laps including the all important last one, LeeRoy won another US$22,175.

Ford Torino, Sonoma Historics

Starting the Dixie 500 at Atlanta from the outside of the front row LeeRoy led 142 laps to beat David Pearson Holman Moody Ford for his fifth victory of the season.

LeeRoy made it a clean sweep at Darlington by winning the oldest race of the circuit the Southern 500 and became the first driver to win NASCAR’s triple crown of the season’s richest, longest and oldest races on the schedule in a single season.

As at Atlanta and Darlington LeeRoy beat David Pearson again to win The American 500 at Rockingham and to claim his seventh win of the season which saw him finish only 16th in the end of season point’s standings thanks to only starting 30 of the scheduled 54 races, David Pearson won the 1969 Grand National Championship with 11 race victories.

Ford Torino, Sonoma Historics

Ironically the 44th race of the season saw Richard Petty lead fellow members of the Professional Drivers Association including LeeRoy to boycott the inaugural Talladega 500 due to a lack of grip on the steeply banked circuit.

The Talladega 500 went ahead without many of NASCAR’s star drivers and was won by Richard Brickhouse driving the debuting Dodge Charger Daytona model, Charger Daytona’s finished the race in the top four spots.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photo’s of the #98 Ford Torino Talladega, taken at Sonoma Historics last year, which I believe was driven by Ron Myska.

Thanks for joining me on this “’69 NASCAR Triple Crown” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the last Ferrari Friday for the next couple of months. Don’t forget to come back now !


14 from 103 – Ford Galaxie 500

On the 28th March 1964 reigning International Motor Contest Association champion Dick Hutcherson got his NASCAR career underway by winning pole position in his Ford for his debut NASCAR start at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.

Ford Galaxie 500, Sonoma Historics

Dick finished his first NASCAR race in the pits with broken lugs nuts but finished 2nd in his next NASCAR race at Hillsboro, started from pole and retired with wheel bearing failure at Spartanburg and finished 5th at Columbia in his final NASCAR start of the season in which he retained his International Motor Contest Association championship.

Ford Galaxie 500, Sonoma Historics

Holman Moody signed Dick up for 1965 to drive the #29 Ford Galaxie, like the one seen in these photographs, alongside Fred Lorenzen in the #28. After starting from pole 10 times, winning 9 races, finishing in the top 5 on 23 further occasions Dick finished second to Richard Petty on what should have been his rookie season, except NASCAR deemed Dick’s two consecutive IMCA championships and 81 IMCA wins, of sufficient stature to eliminate him from the Rookie Of The Year Award.

Ford Galaxie 500, Sonoma Historics

Thanks to Ford’s broken 1966 season Dick only made 14 starts in 1966 2 from pole and with 3 wins. In 1967 Dick continued driving the #29 Ford which was now entered mostly by Bondy Long and finished 3rd in the championship with two wins from 33 starts, he was easily averaging better points per race than eventual 1967 Champion Richard Petty, but the King who had a 10 race unbroken run of wins made 15 more starts than Dick.

Ford Galaxie 500, Sonoma Historics

After winning 14 races from just 103 starts Dick swapped the driving seat for the Crew Chiefs box in 1968 and guided his friend David “The Siver Fox” Pearson to two consecutive championships in ’68 and ’69.

Dick became general manager at Holman Moody but left in 1971 to set up the successful Hutcherson-Pagan Enterprises race car building and parts business with Eddie Pagan.

In 1976 Dick made a one off appearance at Le Mans where he drove a Ford Torino with Richard Brooks and Marcel Mignot until it retired with gearbox failure after 11 hours.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s photographs of the 1965 #29 Ford Galaxie taken at last years Sonoma Historic’s meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “14 for 103” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fantuzzi Short Nose – Maserati A6GCS #2093

The Maserati A6GCS was in it’s final year of production when today’s chassis #2093 is said to have been delivered to (Silvia?) Candini and (Francisco?) Landi in April 1955.

Maserati A6GCS, Hüni / Pearson, RAC Woodcote Trophy, Silverstone  Classic

I’ve been unable to find any competition history for #2093 which is not the same thing as asserting that it never competed in any event in period.

Maserati A6GCS, Hüni / Stippler, Freddie March Memorial Trophy, Goodwood Revival

In fact the only information I have found on Francisco Landi is that he raced a Maserati 250F open wheel car to a 4th place finish with Gerino Gerini in the 1956 Argentinian Grand Prix.

Maserati A6GCS, Hüni / Stippler, Freddie March Memorial Trophy, Goodwood Revival

Since 2002 Lukas Hüni has been the owner of #2093 and he shared the car in the top and bottom photo’s at Silverstone with Gary Pearson in the RAC Woodcote Trophy at the Silverstone Classic in 2011…

Maserati A6GCS, Hüni / Stippler, Freddie March Memorial Trophy, Goodwood Revival

and with Frank Stippler in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy run in the evening at the 2012 Goodwood Revival.

Maserati A6GCS, Huni Pearson, RAC Woodcote Trophy, Silverstone  Classic

Note that Medardo Fantuzzi produced aluminium bodies for the A6GCS in short form as seen here and a slightly more aerodynamic long form.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fantuzzi Short Nose” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be looking at a Bugatti. Don’t forget to come back now !

08/09/14 PS Tim Murray has kindly informed me that Fransisco Landi was a Brazilian driver best known for winning the 1948 non Championship Bari Grand Prix driving a Ferrari.

Tim also wonders if the name of the other original owner is Sebastiao Casini and not Candini as I have been led to believe. If you can help solve this mystery please do not hesitate to chime in below or e-mail me.


The Seriously Flared One – Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0

Having won the 1970 and 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours and sports car championships with the short lived Porsche 917, Porsche had no suitable motor with which to compete in the top tear of sports car racing which mandated maximum displacement 3 litre / 183 cui motors, of which those designed for and adapted from Formula One dominated the overall honours from 1972 until 1975.

Porsche 911 RSR, Tour Britannia, Castle Combe

To meet the demand from customers running in the GT class Porsche embarked upon a programme of building RSR race cars based on the 911 shell for GT competition in 1973. Initially these cars came with a ‘duck tail’ and motors up to 2.8 litres to 178 cui. Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood scored back to back overall victories at the Daytona 24 hours with this type of car in 1973 and 1975, and were joined by Dave Helmick in 1973 to win the Sebring 12 hours. Perhaps the single most famous victory for any RSR came on the epic Targa Florio where Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep won beating the 3 litre / 183 cui protoypes in the process.

Porsche 911 RSR, Tour Britannia, Castle Combe

By the end of 1973 the first RSR’s with 330hp 3 litre / 183 cui motors, coil springs replacing torsion bars, flared wheel arches housing wheels with centre locking nuts and ‘whale tales’ came onto the scene most notably in the first International Race of Champions (IROC) series. The first IROC series ran in the winter of ’73 and ’74 at Riverside and Daytona for which 12 identical Carrera 911 RSR 3.0’s, like the one seen in today’s photographs, were prepared for the likes of, Formula One champions; Emerson Fittipaldi and Denny Hulme, Indy 500 winners; Bobby Unser, AJ Foyt, Gordon Johncock and Mark Donohue, Can Am Champions; Peter Revson and George Follmer, NASCAR Champions; David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Richard Petty with USAC Champ Roger McKlusky. Mark Donohue won three of the series four races to become the first IROC Champion.

Porsche 911 RSR, Tour Britannia, Castle Combe

The RSR remained competitive in the Daytona and Sebring endurance classics until 1977. Haywood, John Graves and Helmick drove an RSR to victory at Daytona in ’77, with Al Holbert and Mike Keyser winning the ’76 race at Sebring then George Dyer and Brad Frissell repeating the feat in another RSR in ’77. In Europe Clemens Schickentanz is thought to have made over 75 starts with at least seven outright victories in RSR’s primarily for the Kremer Brothers.

Porsche 911 RSR, Tour Britannia, Castle Combe

In all 60 RSR 3.0’s were built by Porsche and many more 911’s have been upgraded to RSR spec since the models inception. RSR’s were still being raced regularly in front line competition into 1993 when an all new Carrera RSR was introduced with a 3.8 litre / 231 cui motor.

Porsche 911 RSR, Silverstone Classic

I do not have a history for the 1974 Martini liveried car featured today which, in the 2011 dated pictures, are seen at Castle Combe with Jeremy Cook and Mike Dowd who were taking part in the Tour Britannia, the 2012 and 2015 photo’s were taken at Silverstone Classic where Jeremy and Mike competed in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car races, if you know anything more about this car please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Porsche 911 RSR, Cooke, Dowd, Silverstone Classic

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


Pressure and Success – BRM Type 25 #258

By 1954 Alfred Owen of the Rubery Owen Group had taken over the running of BRM from the British Motor Racing Research Trust which had been set up nine years earlier to build a British World Beater. The 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui supercharged V16 cars were updated to a short wheel base spec since there were few races for them to compete in that required large capacity fuel tanks necessitated by Championship Grand Prix race distances.

The World Championship started running to 2.5 litre regulations in 1954 and the first two races of the season were won by Juan Manuel Fangio who was entering what turned to be his prime driving a six cylinder Maserati 250F. Fangio then moved as agreed pre season to the Mercedes Benz team who were embarking on their third blitzkrieg on the top echelon of the sport in 60 years. Fangio won the ’54 and ’55 World drivers championships with the German team who successfully applied desmodromic valve and fuel injection technology to their straight eight W196 cars.

Fangio joined Ferrari, who were running V8 powered D50’s gifted from Lancia, in 1956 to win a third straight title and then rejoined Maserati in 1957 to win a forth straight and record fifth title with the Maserati 250F. Fangio retired midway through ’58 and his championship records stood for nearly 50 years until a German called Micheal Schumacher came along and broke them early in the 21st century.

BRM Type 25, BRM Day, Bourne, Lincs

Meanwhile Chez BRM things were progressing at a more leisurely pace a new Type 25 car was being designed with a simple 4 cylinder engine with large valves and an interesting three disc braking system with the rear disc being mounted on the back of the transaxle. Despite being much simpler than the V16 the car did not make it’s first public appearance until September 1955 by which time the Owen Racing Organisation had bought a Maserati 250F and entered it into a couple of World Championship events for Ken Wharton who finished a best 6th in the 1954 Swiss Grand Prix. Peter Collins drove the car in two World Championship events in 1955 but retired from both.

The Type 25’s, chassis type P25 and engine type P27, were supposed make their World Championship debut at the 1956 Monaco Grand Prix but were with drawn after the valves were damaged. Three cars were entered for the 1956 British Grand Prix but none finished however Mike Hawthorn led a BRM 1-2 followed by Tony Brooks for a while before retiring with a suspension problem. Brooks crashed out with a sticking throttle, his car ended up a completely burnt out right off, while Ron Flockhart retired with valve trouble after completing just 2 laps.

BRM Type 25, BRM Day, Bourne, Lincs

The Type 25’s did not appear in the championship again until Monaco in 1957. Nothing substantial was achieved by way of championship results but the Type 25’s did start winning non championship races, Jean Behra scoring the first at Caen.

1958 saw Jean Behra and Harry Schell compete in most of the races with the Type 25. Behra finished a seasons best third in Holland one place behind team mate Schell.

BRM Type 25, BRM Day, Bourne, Lincs

Jo Bonnier replaced Jean Behra who had moved to Ferrari in 1959 and with team owner Alfred Owen having agreed to hand over two cars to the BRP team to run for the remainder of the season prior to the ’59 Dutch Grand Prix the pressure was really on BRM to deliver going into the race. Bonnier arrived at Zandvoort with the disappointment of having almost won the Targa Florio in a Porsche having led most of the way.

The Type 25’s were quick in practice much easier to handle on their 15″ wheels than on the original 16″ with the benefit of much less tyre wear. After a great race with the works rear engined Cooper Climax’s driven by Marsten Gregory, champion elect Jack Brabham and the Rob Walker entered car of Stirling Moss all of whom experienced gearbox issues the smoothly driven BRM Type 25 #258 of Jo Bonnier crossed the line first to win the BRM team’s first Grand Prix 14 years after the team’s announcement in 1945. BRP headed by Stirling Moss’s father offered to reverse the agreement with Alfred Owen and settled for just one car #2510 which they ran in distinctive light green with white wheels livery.

Despite the BRM finishing 3rd in the World Constructors Championship the writing was on the wall that front engined cars were obsolete as the Coopers of Moss and McLaren convincingly won the last three races of the season and Jack Brabham won the first of two consecutive world championships.

Chassis #258 was purchased by Spencer Flack from The Hon. Amschel Rothschild in 2001 for an alleged £1.5 million. The following year while racing the car at Philip Island Spencer sustained fatal head injuries when he was thrown out of it. The car which had split in two and caught fire was rebuilt at the insistence of his widow and now belongs to John Pearson who is seen at the wheel in these photo’s taken at last years BRM Day.

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

09 07 13 Errata I originally posted Roy Salvadori won the 1957 Caen GP in fact, as Tim has kindly pointed, out Jean Behra drove BRM Type 25 #253 to victory beating Roy Salvadori.