After the successes of the Rover V8 powered Mantula Rover based Marcos LM400, LM500 and LM600 GT cars which won the 1995, 1996 and 2000 British GT Championships Marcos announced the Dunlop sponsored spec Mantis Challenge in 1998 with spec normally aspirated quad cam Ford V8 motors.
In 2002 racers Warren and Charlotte Gilbert (nee Osborn) established Topcats Racing in Westcott, Buckinghamshire which has become a leading contender on the British Endurance GT seen and a leading independent service center for Caterham, Corvette, Lotus, Marcos and Mosler cars offering everything from a full service to an LS7 engine transplant.
Today’s featured Britcar Class 2 Marcos Mantis is built around a space frame with a fiberglass body and is powered by a standard LS7, 7 litre / 427 cui V8 engine mapped to produce 505hp on 98 octane unleaded fuel which is transmitted to the rear wheels through a 6 speed Holinger sequential gearbox.
Additional features include electric power steering, quick fill fuel tanks, quick lift air jacks and spec 18″ Dunlop slick or wet tyres on center lock wheels, four of which can be changed in 22 seconds.
With a weight of 1050 kgs / 2315 lbs the car will reach 60mph in an ear splitting 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph.
Sam Head and Kyle Tilley drove the #26 car entry for most of 2011 and they are seen above at Castle Combe on the 27th of August where they finished a low 20th overall from a more representative 8th on the grid, this a month after Henry Fletcher and Raphael Fiorentino had finished 2nd overall and 1st in Class 2 at Spa.
At the seasons end the Topcats Class 3, 50 hp less, #36 Mantis finished 2nd in the Britcar Championship with Owen O Neill, Henry Fletcher, Jon Harrison and Raphael Fiorentino all taking turns at the wheel during the season and the #36 was classified 3rd with Jeff Wyatt replacing Kyle for one round at Snetterton and Neil Huggins and Jon Harrison being the cars drivers in the championship final at Brands Hatch.
Topcats appear to have retired their LS7 powered Mantis cars from competition at the end of 2012 after their 2 cars both now running in Class 2 finished 3rd and 11th in the Britcar Championship.
Wishing Cheryl a Happy Birthday.
Thanks for joining me on this “Happy Birthday Cheryl” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Desse. Don’t forget to come back now !