Tag Archives: Franchitti

D Modified – Mercedes Benz 300 SLS Replica

After 2 successful seasons winning two SCCA Class D Production (DP) championships the Mercedes Benz supplied team of George D Tilp and driver Paul O’Shea were hoping to make it a threepeat even though they were planning on swapping from the 300 SL Gullwing to the new for ’57 300 SL Roadster model.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

However the SCCA would not mandate running the 300SL Roadster in the DP class in 1957 on the grounds that insufficient numbers of the Roadster had been built.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

To get around this problem the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilung built two special lightweight SLS Roadsters for George Tilp to run in the SCCA class D modified for Paul O’Shea.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Despite sending George Tilp two cars, two Mercedes Benz race mechanics, Erwin Strupp and Karl Bunz with a container load of spares, the plan was to run only one car to give the operation the semblance of a privateer effort, however after Paul crashed one car at Thompson Connecticut and turned up six days later with an apparently completely repaired car at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin the cat was out of the bag that George Tilp had two cars at his disposal for Paul.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Paul went on to threepeat his and Mercedes Benz third SCCA class championship and the two SLS Roadsters were returned to the Mercedes Benz factory where they were scrapped, allegedly over fears the lightweight bodies would deteriorate.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLS, Dario Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

Subsequently numerous SLS variations have appeared most notably Chuck Porter built and raced one very successfully, where the second S stood for scrap, from a burned out Gullwing that closely resembled the 1955 300 SLR’s, several roadsters have also been converted to Tilp / O’Shea SLS replica’s more recently using 300 SL Roadster donor cars, including one by Kienle Automobiltechnik, in Heimerdingen, Germany.

Today’s featured replica seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed with Indy Legend Dario Franchitti at the wheel, was converted to SLS spec by Mercedes Benz who used one of their former test 300 SL Roadsters as a starting point.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for information on his Uncle George Tilp’s racing team.

Thanks for joining me on this “D Modified” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a triumph of presence over elegance. Don’t for get to come back now !


Super Saturday Winners – Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic

Today’s post features all the winners on Super Saturday of the Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic Meeting, after an aqueous qualification day Saturday emerged as a beautiful sunny.

Lotus, Sam Wilson, Lotus Andrew Hibberd, Silverstone Classic

The action kicked of with the Historic Formula Junior race which was won by the blue #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by Sam Wilson, from 2nd on the grid, seen above being challenged by 4th place starter and 8th place finisher Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22 going into Copse on the opening lap.

Stirling Moss Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Gregor Fisker did a great job driving, the GALPOT Banner car, #46 Ferrari 246S from fifth on the grid to the win he is seen above chasing 3 Knobbly Listers and a white stripped Costin Lister while being pursued by the #25 Lotus by A. Wolfe and I. Vercoutere on lap 5 of the 21 lap / 50 minute race.

Warwick Banks Trophy, Silverstone Classic,

Three Mini’s secured the top three spots for the Warwick Banks Trophy race in the wet conditions, however they were soon swamped by more powerful Lotus Cortinas, BMWs and Alfa Romeos after the start. Richard Meaden in the #63 Lotus Cortina leads coming out of Village above on the opening lap while eventual winner triple British Touring car champion Matt Neal driving the #152 Lotus Cortina, he shared with 2012 British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden, has made up 7 places from 14th on the grid going into the third corner of the 50 minute / 18 lap race !

Kidston Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Andrew Hall driving the #69 Frazer Nash Supersports made a super start from 5th in The Kidston Trophy race for pre war sports cars to lead for a couple of corners before Gareth Burnett in the big green #52 Talbot 105 took command for the opening 7 laps of the race. A slick driver change helped Fredric Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards take the lead and win the race in the #11 Frazer Nash Super Sports, seen on the extreme left of the photo above in third place.

Tyrrell 012, Martin Stretton, Silverstone Classic

Despite qualifying his #44 Tyrrell 012 nearly 5 seconds faster than Sam Hancock’s yellow #55 Fittipaldi F5A, Martin Stretton, seen above, had to eat Sam’s dust for three laps before pulling away to win the FIA Masters Historic Formula one race by just under 2 seconds.

Honda Dodd, Audi, Wrathall, Silverstone Classic,

12th place starter Frank Wrathall in the 1989 #39 Audi 80 Quattro is seen above lining up to overtake James Dodd driving the 1999 #1 Honda Accord for the lead which Frank would not relinquish on lap 4 of the Super Touring Car race.

Cooper T51, Harvey, Cooper T53, Nuthall, Silverstone Classic,

Racing an open wheeler for the first time since breaking his legs in a Formula Ford car early in his career was 1992 British Touring Car Champion Tim Harvey, who is seen above passing Will Nuttall in the #10 Cooper T53, for the lead on his way to winning the Maserati Trophy race driving Roger Wills #1 Cooper T51.

Jaguar, Nicholl-Jones, TVR, Whitaker, Silverstone Classic,

Mark Whitaker driving the #46 TVR Griffith starting 4th on the grid for the JET Trophy race had left the two Minis that qualified ahead of him way behind and as seen above already had pole sitter Matt Nicholl Jones #85 Jaguar E-type well in his sites as he exited Woodcote for the first time, Mark won the 9 lap race by nearly 18 seconds.

FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars, Silverstone Classic

Martin O’Connell driving the #4 Chevron B19 seen in second above never dropped out of the top 4 on his way to winning the FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars race from the #60 Lola T70 driven by Marino Franchitti and Richard Meaden seen above in 4th place.

Jaguar E-Type, Martin O'Connell, Silverstone Classic

There was little time for Martin to savour his victory as he had a pressing appointment on the 13th row of the grid to start the International Trophy race in his E-Type Jaguar, on lap 11 of the one hour 25 lap race he took the lead and stayed there to claim a second consecutive victory.

11 Nissan / Jaguar_9462sc

Steve Tandy starting from pole in his IMSA Spice, seen in a distant third above, held the lead on the opening lap of the evening Group C race but relinquished it to the #27 Nissan R91CK of Bob Berridge and #17 Jaguar XJR14 of Christophe D’Ansembourg, Bob held the lead for three laps before Christophe, seen in second place above, took the lead on the 4th lap and held on to it for the remainder of the race.

Thanks for joining me on this “Super Saturday Winners” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Mercury. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ferrari Sports Car Racers – Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Today’s post will be looking at some of the Ferrari Sports Racers at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed some of which will be familiar and others not.

Ferrari 312 P, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Former British Hill Climb champion David Franklin was celebrating his first fifty years in motorsports driving Arnold Meiers svelt 1969 Ferrari 312 P Coupé chassis #0872 with which I first became familiar on my first visit to Goodwood in 2009.

Ferrari 512 M, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

I have seen Nathan Kinch’s Ferrari 512 M #1030 once before at Silverstone Classsic, but have yet to write about it, maybe next year.

Ferrari 712, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Perhaps the ultimate variation of the Ferrari 512 S is Paul Knapfield’s chassis #1010 which was fitted with a 7 litre / 427 cui V12 and open spyder body work for Jean Pierre Jarier to drive in a couple of Can Am races in 1972.

Ferrari 250MM, Holly Mason Franchitti, Goodwood, Festival of Speed,

In 2012 Anette Mason had the privilege of driving the 1.2.3 liveried Ferrari 250 MM chassis #0353 MM (# 0239 EU) her daughter Holly Mason Franchitti had the honour this year…

Ferrari BB 512, Anette Mason, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

… while Mum was kept busy driving the period correct British Racing Green 512 BB previously owned and raced by her husband’s former band management EMKA and raced by former band manager Steve O’Rourke.

Ferrari 458 GT3, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Finally I believe the f.f. Course Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 above is or has been raced in British GT and or Britcar championship events, though I have yet to pin down it’s precise history or who was driving the car at Goodwood, if you can help please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ferrari Sports Car Racers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Formula Jr open wheel racer. Don’t forget to come back now !


120 Years Of Competition – Mercedes Benz

2014 marks the 120 years of competition for Mercedes Benz, going back to the 1894 Paris – Rouen race and examples of the marque on display at Goodwood included Ben Collins 111 year old Mercedes Simplex 60hp.

Mercedes 18/100, Mass, Croft, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Going back just 100 years, like the lucky birthday boy passenger Basil Croft, was the Mercedes 18/100 of the type which Christian Lautenschlager drove to win the 1914 French Grand Prix. 1975 Spanish Grand Prix winner and 1989 Le Mans winner Jochen Mass is seen at the wheel here.

Mercedes Benz W165, Stewart, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Paul Stewart is seen at the wheel of the slightly smokey 1939 Mercedes Benz W165 of the type which irked the Italians by winning the 1939 Tripoli Grand Prix with Hermann Lang at the wheel.

Mercedes Benz High Speed Transporter, 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

For their return to Grand Prix racing in 1954 the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilung built a special high speed transporter, capable of 104 mph, using Mercedes 300SL running gear. Sitting on the back of the replica Rennwagen Schnelltransporter is one of two Mercedes Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés built on the chassis of the 300SLR roadster of the type Stirling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia with a 300SL Gullwing Body.

Mercedes Benz 300SLS, Franchitti, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was great to see 3 time Indy winner Dario Franchitti back behind the wheel of a racing car, he was so pleased he even took a selfie of himself behind the wheel while the car was moving ! The car Dario is seen driving here is a replica 300SLS of the type Paul O’Shea drove to many victories for GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s uncle George Tilp in the USA.

Mercedes Benz 500SL Rallye, Asch, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Moving forward two decades to 1980 and Mercedes Benz were competing in the World Rally Championship with the 500SLC Rallye model, the season highlight was a 1-2 victory in the Ivory Coast Rally shared by Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius in the winning car. Roland Asch is about to find out that the hey bails make a poor substitute for the vehicles brakes.

Mercedes Benz CLK GTR, Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Finally two time Le Mans winner Klaus Ludwig pilots a 1998 V12 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR back to the pits of the type that won the 1997 FIA GT Drivers and Manufacturers Championships with Bernd Schneider at the wheel.

Thanks for joining me on this “120 Years Of Competition” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !