Tag Archives: Magnussen

GT1 Class Winner – Chevrolet Corvette C6.R #004

Gary Pratt and Jim Miller founded the New Hudson, Michigan based Pratt & Miller Engineering and Fabrication in 1989.

In 1999 their relationship with General Motors, which continues to this day, got off the ground with the development of the Corvette C5.R.

The success of the C5.R program led to the commencement of C6.R GT1 program which took to the endurance circuits in 2005 with 8 GT1 Corvette chassis being built between up until 2008.

Corvette C6R, Clairay, Jousse, Goueslard, Siverstone 1000km,

Today’s featured chassis #C6R-004 was built new for the 2006 ALMS season and was driven to three straight class victories at Sebring, Huston and Mid Ohio by Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta who were joined by Jan Magnussen for the longer 12 hour victory at Sebring.

The Sebring class winning trio then drove the car to a fourth class victory at Le Mans the same year after finishing 4th overall from 22nd on the grid.

Luc Alphand Aventures acquired the car for the 2007 European Le Mans Series season and Luc joined by Jérôme Policand and Patrice Goueslard guided the car to another class win first time out in the Monza 1000kms.

Corvette C6R, Clairay, Jousse, Goueslard, Siverstone 1000km,

Later in 2008 Bruno Hernandez and Soheil Ayari drove chassis #C6R-004 and recorded a pair of heat wins in French FFSA GT Championship events run at Albi and Magny Cours.

In 2009 Luc, Jérôme and Patrice drove the car to a class victory at Spa a month before Luc sustained injuries in an all terrain motorcycle event that forced him to retire from competition driving and riding.

Luc was replaced by Julien Jousse at Algarve where #C6R-004 recorded it’s final class victory in 2009.

Jérôme, Patrice and Julien shared the car at the 2009 Silverstone 1000kms, where today’s pictures were taken, to record a 22nd place finish from 23rd on the grid.

After taking part in a couple more FFSA and FIA GT events the car was retired from competition at the end of the season.


There Will Be Changes – McLaren Mercedes MP4-28

Going into their 48th consecutive season of the Formula One World Championship McLaren had a record of winning 8 Constructors Championships and 30 top 3 finishes in the World Constructors Championship, so coming off a 2012 season which included 7 race victories and a 3rd place finish in final championship standings behind the old foe Ferrari and young upstarts Red Bull it would have been a brave man who would bet that McLaren would not at least finish in the top 3 for the 31st time and at least score a race win or two.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-28, Button, British GP P2, Silverstone

Jenson Button, above, who had won the opening and closing races of the 2012 season was joined by young Mexican charger Sergio Perez, below, after Lewis Hamilton left the team, which had nutured him from a talented teenager to the 2008 World Drivers championship, for bigger bucks and the fresh waters at Mercedes Benz.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-28, Perez, British GP P2, Silverstone

The all new Mercedes powered MP4-28 was the work of a team led by Paddy Lowe incorporating new suspension with rear wishbones designed to manage rear tyre wear by adding camber to the rear wheels as the vehicles speed increased. The car flattered in pre season testing due to an incorrectly fitted suspension part that saw the cars ride height lowered to a level that proved unsustainable by the time the championship season started.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-28, Paffett, British GP P2, Silverstone

As a consequence for the first half of the season McLaren were struggling to maintain 5th place in the championship ahead of the similarly powered Force Indias, a team to which McLaren were supplying gearboxes. The low point of the season came when both cars failed to score any points at either the Canadian or British Grand Prix, breaking a run of 64 races in which McLaren had at least one car in the points going back to the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Test driver Gary Paffett is seen in the MP4-28 above during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-28, Perez, British GP P2, Silverstone

By the season’s end the team’s best result was a single 4th place scored by Jenson Button in the final race of the season in Brazil, Sergio Perez manged a season high 5th place in India and for the first time since 1980 no McLaren driver had finished a season with at least one podium finish.

McLaren Mercedes MP4-28, Button, British GP P2, Silverstone

Unsurprisingly before the season had ended changes in the team were being announced, towards the end of the season it was announced the McLaren will use Honda motors form 2015 reforming an alliance that brought McLaren four World Constructors Championships and one drivers championship for Alain Prost and three for Ayrton Senna.

Technical director Paddy Lowe had already moved to Mercedes Benz where he has replaced Ross Brawn and was himself replaced at McLaren by Tim Goss, Sergio Perez was more or less fired and announced he would be joining Force India with McLaren’s test driver Kevin Magnussen replacing Sergio at McLaren.

Further changes are anticipated in the wake of the announcement that Ron Dennis has returned to the role of CEO at McLaren, having left that post in 2012 to focus on the role of Chairman. On his reappointment Ron was quoted as saying “There will be changes” and these are expected to include a newly defined role for incumbent CEO and Team Principle Martin Whitmarsh. Since Ron’s reappointment former Lotus F1 Team Principle Eric Boullier has been recruited to the role of Race Director.

To stay abreast of developments at McLaren visit their website linked here, official facebook page linked here and twitter feed linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “There will be changes” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for a look at an Edwardian vehicle designed as a law enforcement vehicle that turned out to be a race winner. Don’t forget to come back now !


Young Driver Test – Silverstone

Last Friday I popped over to Silverstone for the final day of the three day Formula One “Young Driver Test”.

Ferrari Trucks, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

On the way over to the paddock there was an imposing array of Ferrari tractor units.

Red Bull Transporters, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Even though paddock access was restricted there were a few fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Sebastian Vettel on his way from the Red Bull hospitality suite to the pits.

Massa, Ferrari F138, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

The on track action started at 9 am sharp most of the cars were running with an array of extra airspeed sensors, such as that seen on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari F138, not usually seen on the race cars.

Parffett, McLaren MP4-28, Vergne, Torro Rosso STR8, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Torro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on day one and day two respectively, on Friday Gary Parffet and Jean Eric Vergne took over the respective cars seen at Becketts above.

Wolff, Williams FW35, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Making her second appearance in testing for the Williams team was Susie Wolff who recorded 89 laps, nearly two Grand Prix distances recording ninth best time of the day, just under a second slower than Williams team leader Pastor Maldonado recorded the day before.

Prost, Lotus E21, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Nicolas Prost, son of four time World Champion Alain, driving the Lotus E21 set third fastest time on Friday.

Sutil, Force India VJM06, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Second best time of the day was recorded by Force India regular Adrian Sutil trying out the new tyres that will be used at the Hungarian Grand Prix next week.

Vettel, Red Bull RB9, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Fastest time of all three days was recorded by Sebastian Vettel, who like Sutil was testing the Hungarian Spec Pirelli’s.

McLaren MP4-28, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

After the test there was a ‘sold out’ pit lane walk about during which most of the teams put a car out for display. The well worn wheel nut above is seen on the McLaren.

Caterham CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Caterham put on a demonstration of pit stop drill, blink and you’ll miss it at this close range.

My thanks to Tony “Giraffe” Gallagher for additional track access.

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


Celebrity Car – Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS

The 200 mph front engine rear gearbox 550 Maranello road model was introduced in 1996 with a 485 hp 5474 cc / 334 cui 4 valve quad cam V12 motor that could take the GT car from zero to 62 mph in 4.5 secs.

Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Prodrive prepared a batch of 20 550 Maranello GTS’s for racing in Europe and the States where they were regular winners in the GT/GTS class in 2001.

Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In 2003 another Prodrive 550 Maranello GTS beat the Corvettes by 10 laps at the Le Mans 24 hour race coming home 10th overall.

Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS, Goodwood Festival of Speed

This chassis has taken part in at least 42 Races in the GT/GTS class for at least four different teams from 2002 to 2006 it has never recorded an out right win but has scored several class wins.

In 2004 this chassis (Prodrive 03) driven by Darren Turner, Rickard Rydell and Colin McRae came in 9th overall at Le Mans but was beaten by two Corvettes which finished 16 and 5 laps ahead respectively.

Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today’s featured Celebrity Car has been driven by a number of well known drivers including Colin McRae former World Rally Champion, Rickard Rydell former British Touring Car Champion, Alain Menu former British Touring Car Champion, Luc Alphand former World Cup Skiing Champion and Dakar winner, David Brabham, former Japanese GT Champion and Le Mans winner 2009, Jan Magnussen, former Danish Touring Car Champion, Danica Patrick queen of IRL and NASCAR, Darren Manning IRL driver, Christophe Bouchut 1993 Le Mans Winner, and one of my former racing instructors Tim Sugden former British and Asia Pacific GT Champion.

Thanks for joining me on today’s “Celebrity Car” 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 One Lotus. Don’t forget to come back now !