Tag Archives: Hoy

600hp 4 Rotor Wankel – Mazda 767 #001

For their tenth visit to Le Mans in 1988 Mazdaspeed developed a new longer four rotor Wankel engine that produced 600hp and fitted it into a new Nigel Stroud designed 767 chassis that replaced the 3 rotor Wankel powered 757.

Mazda 767, Kennedy, Terada, Katayama, 1000 kms Silverstone

Yoshimi Katayama, Youjirou Terada, Takashi Yorino drove a 767 to a 7th place finish in the 500km race at Suzuka in April 1988, the following month today’s featured chassis #001 made it’s first appearance at the 1000km race run at Silverstone where the car is seen above, it was driven to a 9th place overall finish and GTP class victory by Youjirou, Yoshimi and David Kennedy.

Mazda 767, Le Mans,

At Le Mans in 1988 chassis #001 was driven to a 17th place finish by Yoshimi, David Leslie and Marc Duez from 29th on the grid finishing two spots ahead of the sister 767 driven by Takashi, Hervé Regout and Will Hoy, but two spots the GTP class wining Mazda 757 driven by Yourjirou, David and Pierre Dieudonné.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Back in Japan Youjirou and David scored the 767’s season high best result in the 500 mile race at Fuji where they finished 4th overall.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

For 1989 chassis #001 was upgraded to B spec which is most obviously differentiated from the original 767 spec by the side exhaust exiting the right hand side of the car looking from the rear.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Chassis #001 was sent to the Daytona 24 hours where Yoshimi, Takashi and Elliot Forbes-Robinson finished 5th from 10th on the grid 62 laps behind the winning Porshe 962 crewed by Derek Bell, Bob Wollek and John Andretti.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Hodgetts, Dieudonné , Le Mans,

Back in Japan chassis #001 was retired from races at Fuji and Suzuka with fuel line and gearbox issues before starting it’s 1989 European tour with a 10th place finish overall and GTP class victory at Dijon with David and Pierre at the wheel.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

They were joined at Le Mans by Chris Hodgetts where chassis #001 crossed the line 7th overall with yet another class victory from 28th on the grid.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

These last three photographs show Pierre and David sharing #001 on the way to 13th place finsh and forth consecutive class victory from 18th on the grid at Brands Hatch.

Mazda 767B, Kennedy, Dieudonné , Brands Hatch,

David and Pierre drove #001 to two further 1989 GTP class victories at Spa and Mexico before it was retired.

Thanks for joining me on this “600hp 4 Rotor Wankel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Le Mans challenger from Ligier. Don’t forget to come back now !


60th Anniversary – Oulton Park Gold Cup

On Bank Holiday Monday a couple of weeks ago I picked up GALPOT contributor Tim Murray and headed 175 miles north to Oulton Park for the second day of the Gold Cup meeting which marked the circuits 60th Anniversay. When we got there we met friends Simon and Phil from The Nostalgia Forum who directed us toward the control Tower where Steve Jones invited us to a cup of coffee and we met Alan Cox who also puts in a regular appearance on these pages.

March 761, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Afterwards Tim and I had a wonder around the paddock where we found Greg Thornton’s Formula One March 761 resplendent in the colours of Sweden as would have been seen in the hands of Ronnie Peterson. Greg was declared the winner of the opening Derek Bell Trophy race of the day after Micheal Lyons experienced a pinion failure in his Lola T400 Formula 5000 car and an accident in which no one was hurt blocked the track.

Dodd, Chevron B31, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Despite a sagging rear wing James Dodd driving his, non period, Martini liveried 1976 Chevron B36 appropriately won the Martini Trophy for 2 litre / 122 cui sports cars.

Watts, Peugeot 406, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

I only ever saw Patrick Watts 1998 British Touring Car Championship Peugeot 406 racing on the television but I spent many hundreds of happy hours driving one just like it in a Play Station game called TOCA 2, Patrick found his old car in Australia. Unfortunately he did not finish the Super Touring Trophy which was won by the versatile James Dodd who didn’t have time to celebrate his Martini Trophy win in the Chevron B36 before jumping into his Honda Accord.

Mitchell, Merlin Mk20, Grant, Merlyn Mk20a, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Formula Fords can always be relied on to provide entertaining racing, Sam Mitchell and Callum Grant in their #40 and #1 Merlyn MK 20’s were never much further apart than this through out the 20 min race. Callum eventually got the better of Sam to take the chequered flag.

Smith, Delta T81, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Nelson Rowe won the Amitstead Barnett Financial Services Formula Ford 2000 race and sowed up the Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship with a fine win in his Reynard SF79, the #10 Delta T81 of Derek Smith above has a chassis design going back to 1978 which was penned by none other than Patrick Head went on to form a formidable partnership with Frank Williams.

Historic Touring Cars, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The Historic Touring Cars also provided a hugely entertaining spectacle above the #14 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super of Bob Schukburgh takes the bumpy route as he tries to pass a couple Hillman Imps, the #4 Mini was driven by British Olympic Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy. Richard Dutton in the red and gold #35 Ford Mustang worked his way up from the back of the grid to 5th place in the race which was won by Mark Jones in a Ford Lotus Cortina.

Oosterbaan, Alton Holden AR2 , Gold Cup, Oulton Park

A welcome Antipodean novelty in the Libre race for Classic Racing Cars was the Alton AR2 powered by a Holden straight six driven by Henry Ooterbaan, the race was won by Andy Jones driving his father Ian’s Lotus 59.

Thornton, March, Glover, Lola, Lyons, Hesketh, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

If the first Derek Bell Trophy race disappointed because of it’s premature end, the second made up for it by the bucket load. With Micheal Lyons Lola rendered hors d’combat by it’s gearbox Micheal’s father Frank stepped aside to let his son race the family Hesketh 308E with which he started from the back of the grid. For the first 5 laps Neil Glover driving the #10 Lola T300/332 kept Greg Thornton in the #32 March 761 at bay by which time Micheal Lyons joined the fun. Greg on the left is seen above about to over take Neil in the Lola while Micheal on the right is about to pass on the outside on lap six. On the following lap Micheal got past Greg to take a comfortable win. Afterwards I was left wondering what Micheal might have achieved in his Mum Judy’s Surtees TS9.

Challis, Petty, de la Roche, Smith Buckler, Monro, Cooper, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Steve Jones won the 500cc / 30.5 cui Formula 3 race in his Cooper, above the #7 Petty of Nigel Challis leads the #65 Smith Buckler of Richard de la Roche and #89 Cooper Mk 4 of Shirley Monro in the squable for 10th place, Challis finished the race ahead of Monro and de la Roche.

Yarwood Ladybird Mk6B,  Gold Cup, Oulton Park

John Harrison led the Classic Clubmans race from lights to flag, above the #77 Ladybird Mk6B driven by Bob Yarwood was built by Oulton Park legend Derek Walker, who is credited with winning more races than anyone else at Oulton Park. Derek received a special award for his achievement during the meeting.

Arculus, Lotus Elite, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

As the sun atarted to set the final race of the day was FISCAR Team Handicap race for sports cars built in the 1950’s was won by Brian Arculus in the #71 Lotus Elite.

After a quick sausage and chips washed down by a strong cup of tea it was time to head the 175 miles into the evening with the heavy bank holiday weekend traffic listening to Radio 2 which was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the release of Dark Side Of The Moon.

Thanks for joining me on this “60th Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1958 racing Corvette. Don’t forget to come back now !


ESSO Celebrity Challenge Car – MG Metro Turbo

In 1980 Austin launched a car that was designed to replace the much loved Mini that had been in production in various guises since 1959. The new Austin miniMetro would remain in production for 18 years also in many guises but somehow the Mini remained in production through out the Metro’s life span and a couple of years on top of that until 2000.

An MG version of the Metro was first seen in 1982 with an improved cylinder head, larger valves and a new cam shaft which gave it a top speed of 105 mph and an acceleration time from rest to 60 mph in just over 10 seconds. Shortly afterwards the 115 mph 93 hp MG Metro Turbo was introduced with a rest to 60 mph time of just 8.7 seconds.

MG Metro Turbo, Oulton Park,

In 1987 the ESSO Metro Challenge was born out of the previous years Metro International Challenge, the only internationally sanctioned one make series at the time. The ESSO Challenge cars ran MG Metro Turbo’s which had been race prepared with kits supplied by Roger Dowson Engineering who also ran the series.

For 1989 and presumably in previous years, but my memory does not recall, ESSO sponsored the #89 celebrities car for a guest to drive in each of the races. Above Jerry Mahoney a driver from the British Saloon Car Championship is seen at Oulton Park being chased by the #28 of Malcolm Bell.

MG Metro Turbo, Oulton Park,

In his pellucid contemporary account of the race published in Motoring News, Phil Rainford recalls “Jerry Mahoney, out in the celebrity car, was right on the pace but retired on lap four after a collision with Martin Bell …”. Events which I confess I do not recall seeing at the time. TNF correspondent JockinSA tells me that the reason the rear wheels lifted is because the standard hydralastic suspension had been removed and replaced with shock absorbers which did not allow the rear wheels to drop very far when the body rolled.

Slightly off topic but the Metro Challenge race at Oulton Park was won by Peter Baldwin whom 23 years later I saw winning a Mini race at Castle Combe last year, Peter can be seen streaking to a win having taken the lead on the last lap, in the orange Mini in the distance in this linked photo.

MG Metro Turbo, Silverstone

The final photo show’s the late Will Hoy in action at Silverstone a couple of weeks later. Robin Bradford, Austin Rover Press Relations manager at the time, has kindly informed me that this race took place on his 38th Birthday, May 1st and that another British Saloon Car Championship driver Hoy qualified 5th but did not finish.

Though Robin does not remember why Will retired, my own memory is that British Rally ace Tony Pond was at the wheel and that his car caught fire causing the #89’s retirement. I also thought I had a photo of the fire but I do not so I will defer to Robin’s superior memory which is after all linked to his birthday.

My thanks to Gatmo, Tim Murray, Phil Rainford, Alan Cox, Simon Arron, Stuart “Twin Window” Dent, BRG, Jockin SA and Blogsworth who contributed to the content of today’s blog on the #89 Celebrity Metro Turbo drivers ?, Oulton and Silverstone 1989 thread at The Nostalgia Forum.

For now this is the end of my Tuesday MG blogs, I’d like to thank all the many friendly MG enthusiasts who have contributed to this feature over the last year or so and made the MG Marque such a pleasure to blog about.

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