Tag Archives: Martini

’73 Chassis ’74 Body ’75 Paint – Brabham Cosworth BT42 #BT42/3

Today’s featured Brabham BT42 chassis #BT42/3 was completed in time for Carlos Reutemann to compete in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix where he retired with drive shaft failure.

During the remainder of the 1973 season Carlos drove #BT42/3 to two season high 3rd place finishes in France and the United States which with four other points paying finishes helped him secure 7th in the final Championship standings.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

After finishing 4th in the 1973 constructors championship Gordon Murray set out to improve on his Brabham BT42 design with a new car, the BT44, that kept the same overall dimensions but was built with a strengthened chassis, more sophisticated rising rate front suspension and tidier bodywork.

Carlos Reutemann nearly won the 1974 season opening Argentinian Grand Prix retiring out of fuel from the lead on the the BT44’s debut, he also briefly led the Brazilian Grand Prix before winning the South African Grand Prix and latter adding victories in Austria and the United States, where team mate Carlos Pace finished second, to secure 6th in the drivers championship while Brabham rose to 5th in the constructors championship.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

Meanwhile #BT42/3 was retained as a spare by Brabham for the opening two races of 1974 before appearing at non championship Race of Champions and International Trophy covered in the newer BT44 body work for the teams second driver rookie Richard Robarts to drive.

Richard who had already failed to impress team owner Bernie Ecclestone with his speed in Argentina and Brazil finished the two non championship events in 12th and 15th places respectively before being fired in favour of Liechtenstein’s Rikky von Opel of the car manufacturing dynasty.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

At the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix Brabham ran #BT42/3 for Teddy Pilette who finished his one off race with the team 18th from 27th on the grid.

Ricky like Richard also failed to impress Brabham’s management with his speed in five races leading up to the 1974 French Grand Prix the second event in which he had failed to qualify his Brabham BT44.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Silverstone Classic,

John Goldie Racing decided run #BT42/3 for Surtees refugee Carlos Pace in France, Carlos also failed to qualify, but made enough of an impression to be promoted to the Brabham works second seat for the remainder of the season while Ricky called time on his brief Formula One career.

Two weeks later Lella Lombardi unsuccessfully attempted to qualify #BT42/3 for the British Grand Prix while at the end of the season Canadian Eppie Weitzes completed 33 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix from 26th on the grid before retiring with an engine problem on the cars final in period appearance.

Brabham Cosworth BT42, Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, Silverstone Classic,

For 1975 Martini sponsored the Brabham team which ran B spec BT44’s and despite the Carlos’s each only winning one race, Pace in Brazil and Reutemann in Germany, improved reliability meant Reutemann finished 3rd in the drivers Championship, while Brabham rose to 2nd in the Constructors Championship.

The self effacing Manfredo Rossi di Montelera, of the Martini & Rossi dynasty, is seen driving #BT42/3 at a couple of recent Silverstone Classic events in these photographs, the most recent of which can be seen from an on board camera on this linked video clip.

Thanks for joining me on this ’73 Chassis ’74 Body ’75 Paint 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 !


Rainy Day Grooves – Oulton Park Gold Cup

On Bank Holiday Monday two friends and I braved some atrocious weather as we headed 150 odd miles North to Oulton Park for the last day of the Gold Cup meeting.

Lola T292, Sinclair, Martini Trophy, Oulton Park

By the time the racing got started the track had dried out a bit though the track conditions were still treacherous as Tony Sinclair drove his #12 Lola T292 to a comfortable 13 second victory over Sam Carrington Yates driving a Chevron B16 in the second of the weekend’s Martini Trophy contests.

Chevron B17, Derossi, Classic Racing Cars, Oulton Park

Local pride in the Chevron marque from nearby Bolton was restored by Francois Derassi driving his #66 Chevron B17 who won the Rodney Bloor Trophy for Classic Racing Cars by 32 seconds over Palliser WDB2 driver Andy Jarvis.

Derek Bell Trophy, Oulton Park

The first of the days Derek Bell Trophy races looked set to go to Micheal Lyons in his blue grooved wet shod Formula 5000/A #74 Eagle FA74 but Richard Evans driving a slick shod Formula 2 #77 March 742 with only 2/5ths the cubic inches and half the number of cylinders of the Chevy Stock block V8 powered Eagle managed to claw back Micheal’s opening lap six second lead to take the win as the track dried out.

Super Touring Trophy, Oulton Park

The first time I came to Oulton Park in 1985 John Cleland was driving an Opel Monza in the Uniroyal Production Car race. On Bank Holiday Monday he was driving his 1998 #98 Vauxhall Vectra and after all sorts of problems for the Championship contending Honda Accord’s of Stewart Whyte and James Dodd, John won the Super Touring Championship race from the #44 Audi A4 quattro of Paul Smith. James claimed the championship with an impressive 4th place finish from the back of the grid.

Historic Touring Cars, Oulton Park

The rain became a little heavier during the first Historic Touring car race and the #67 Austin Mini of Peter Morgan consequently got the best start while the #1 Ford Lotus Cortina of Tim Davies got bogged down. 3 wheeling Tim recovered to take a close victory over Peter by just 0.3 seconds.

HSCC Classic Clubmans, Oulton Park

By the time the Classic Clubmans came out my friends and I opted to take cover and watch the race from the car. Mark Charteris won the race in the #1 Mallock Mk 20/21 by just over a second from Spencer McCarthy’s Mallock Mk 20b.

Historic Formula Ford 2000, Oulton Park

The inclement weather continued during the Historic Formula Ford 2000 race which was won after a good battle by Benjamin Tusting in the yellow #64 Reynard SF79 by just under 4 seconds from Benn Simms in the #2 Royale RP30.

Historic Formula Ford 1600, Oulton Park

The biggest field of the day started the Historic Formula Ford 1600 race. Micheal Mallock who had spent much of the race in fourth place driving his family #9 Mallock Mk9 came through the myriad back markers on the last lap to claim a victory, possibly the first for this car since the late 1960’s, over John Murphy in the green #3 Merlyn Mk20A.

Derek Bell Trophy, Oulton Park

Tim Barry driving his recently restored Ford GAA V6 powered March 76A suffered broken legs and a broken wrist in a nasty accident which stopped the second Derek Bell Trophy race.

The latest news from the hospital is that Tim has already asked doctors when he can drive again ! I am sure you will join me in wishing Tim and his March a speedy recovery.

After the restart Micheal Lyons did not put a foot wrong in his Eagle to claim victory over his nemesis from race one Richard Evans. 1974 Gold Cup winner Ian Ashley marked his return to the F5000 category after an absence of 35 years by driving his Lola T300 to a fine third, having finished 4th in the earlier race.

Historic Touring Cars, Oulton Park

The rain only got heavier during the 2nd Historic Touring car race and the tarmac from Knickerbrook up Clay Hill got a lovely pearlescent finish courtesy of Ian Brown’s Volkswagen Beetle which dumped all of it’s oil on the racing line on lap 2.

The consequent scrabble for steerage and traction proved highly entertaining and it was the red and blue Mini’s of Peter Morgan and Tim Harber who made the best of it with the #37 Ford Lotus Cortina of Mike Gardiner coming home third to round out an entertaining day at the races.

Thanks for joining me on this Rainy Day Grooves edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be going for a little test drive in a 35th Anniversary Ford Mustang. Don’t forget to come back now !


Classic Jaguar Pride – Silverstone Classic

THere was a large pride of Jagaurs at this years Silverstone classic which included,

Jaguar XK120, Christopher Scholey, Stirling Moss Trophy , Silverstone Classic

Christopher Scholey’s 1954 XK120 which he shared with Rob Newall to record a 23rd place in the Stirling Moss Trophy.

Jaguar XK140 FHC, Silverstone Classic

Enjoying a lap of the track in the Jaguar Parade was this 1956 XK140.

Jaguar E-Type, Ian Simmonds, Chopard International Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Mark Hales and Ian Simmonds drove the #36 E-Type to a 28th place finish in the Chopard International Trophy.

Jaguar XJC, Chris Scragg, Jet Super Touring Car  Trophy, Silverstone Classic

Known in some circles as the fastest vinyl roof in the world the Jaguar XJC 12 made an unlikely competition car next to the manufacturers other V12 Coupé the XJS, but first time round British Leyland wanted to put the XJC 12 on the track and found it had severely underestimated the capabilities of BMW’s CSL batmobiles against which it was to be judged. Above Chris Scragg pedals his mighty 1976 example round to an 18th place finish in the Jet Super Touring Car Trophy.

Jaguar XJR14, Gareth Evans, Silverstone Classic

Built to the 1991 Formula One powered Group C regulations the Ford HB V8 powered Jaguar XJR14 was an instant success winning the 1991 World Sports Cars Manufacturers Championship with three outright wins and Teo Fabi the World Sports Cars Drivers Championship. Gareth Evans is seen lighting up the front brakes above on his way to 7th place in the Group C Endurance Race.

Jaguar XJ220, Justin Law, Silverstone Classic

Finally a lucky passenger is seen below accompanying Justin Law in his Martini striped 1993 Jaguar XJ220 during the ’90s GT Legends demonstration.

Thanks for joining me on this “Classic Jaguar Pride” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres. I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another pride of Jaguars at the Jaguar Club of North Americas 50th Anniversary Meeting in San Diego. Don’t forget to come back now !


Français Essence – Silverstone Classic

Today’s post has a Gallic flavour focusing on the French cars at last weekends Silverstone Classic meeting.

Citroën 2CV6's, Silverstone Classic

Taking drivers twixt national and international paddocks was a fleet of Citroën 2CV6’s belonging to 2CV Adventures, an exciting new start up offering bespoke organised tours in a fleet of 15 Red and White 2CV6’s.

Martini Mk37, Jacobs, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

The Brian Henton Trophy for Formula 3 cars brought me my first opportunity to see Martini Formula 3 cars in action, thanks to the control tyres used in British Formula 3, Martini Formula 3 cars rarely appeared in Britain except for the European Championship races. Above is a 1982 Alfa Romeo powered Martini Mk37, driven by Ian Jacobs, with body work indicating it may have been raced in period by Gerhard Berger for Josef Kaufmann to a third place finish in the 1982 German F3 championship on his meteoric rise to becoming a ten time Grand Prix winner.

Martini Mk39, Stretton, Brian Henton Trophy Silverstone Classic

For 1983 Martini tidied up the Mk37 in particular from the exterior the safety roll bar lost it’s long rear stay, the bodywork lost it’s perspex ‘window’ and the nose became more rounded to become the Mk39. Martin Stretton is seen above driving a Mk39 to second place in the Brian Henton Trophy, with bodywork indicating it may have been originally driven by 1983 French Formula Three champion Michel Ferté.

Renault, Vauxhall, Nissan, Jet Super Touring Car Trophy, Silverstone Classic

1999 was the final year in which Williams Grand Prix Engineering operated a Touring Car Team in the British Turing Car Championship for Renault. The 1999 #37 Williams Renault Laguna driven by Simon Garrad leads; the 1998 #98 Vauxhall Vectra driven by John Cleland and 1999 #23 Nissan Primera driven by Derek Palmer in a scrap for third place in the Jet Super Touring Car Trophy that was won by Cleland in the Vauxhall.

Talbot Lago T26SS, Pilkington, Maserati Centenary Trophy

Having competed in the 1938 Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24 Hours and French Grand Prix against no less an opposition than the Silver Arrows Richard Pilkington’s #5 Talbot Lago T26, which I looked at in June, can probably lay claim to being one of the most versatile international racing cars of all time.

Courage C26S, Kjallgren, Silverstone Classic

Finally representing French honour in the early evening Group C race was the 1991 Porsche powered Courage C26S driven by Georg Kjallgren, carrying body work suggesting it might be chassis #07 driven to an 11th place finish in the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours by Lionel Robert, François Migault and Jean-Daniel Raulet.

Thanks for joining me on this “Français Essence” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the Silverstone Classic in further detail. Don’t forget to come back now !


Razzle Dazzle – Mazda MX5

Hard to believe that the Mazda MX5 celebrates it’s 25 anniversary this year, but it’s enduring qualities are no accident the idea behind the MX5 was first discussed in 1976 by Motor Trend journalist Bob Hall and Mazda’s Research and development heads Kenichi Yamamoto and Gai Arai.

Mazda MX5, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Sq, Bristol

13 years later the lightweight sports car which took it’s styling queues from the 1960’s icon the Lotus Elan was launched and many accolades and three generations of MX5 later over 900,000 units have been sold to make the model the most successful sports car of all time.

Mazda MX5, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Sq, Bristol

Today’s featured first generation NA model, distinguished by the pop lights, was built in 1993. This car is powered by a 1.6 litre / 98 cui motor twin cam motor which produces 115 hp.

Mazda MX5, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Sq, Bristol

The owner of this car used to own a Mazda MX5 Le Mans Special which was painted in the Renown colours which were carried by the rotary powered Mazda 787B that won the 1991 Le Mans 24 hours.

Mazda MX5, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Sq, Bristol

Having bought a white car the new owner thought it would be cool to find a paint shop to put some Martini® stripes on it and when he eventually found someone to take on the job he was not disappointed, of course he now has extra kudos because Martini® have returned to Formula One™ with Williams Grand Prix Engineering after a 35 year absence.

Mazda MX5, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Sq, Bristol

The original NA MX5 could reach 60mph in 8.1 seconds and has a top speed of 126 mph, Japanese market NA MX5’s, known as Eunos Roadster’s were restricted to 112 mph by the Manufacturer.


The Striped One – Porsche 911 SC Safari

In 1978 the Martini sponsored works Porsche team produced two variants of the 911 to take outright victories in events which the model had not won, the first was the 750hp Porsche 935 78 known as Moby Dick which was designed to win the Le Mans 24 hours, it finished fourth, and the second was the 300hp Porsche 911 SC Safari, featured today, which was designed to win the Safari Rally in Kenya. The 911 SC Safari that stands nearly one foot off the ground is without question one of my favourite rally cars, it’s the one car in which James Bond’s Martini is guaranteed to arrive well shaken but not stirred.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

As we saw on Saturday by 1970 the 911 had proved itself in the snowy conditions of Sweden and the tarmac conditions of a dry Monte Carlo rally with Bjorn Waldegård at the wheel, it’s smaller 912 sibling had won the European Rally Championship with Sobiesław Zasada at the wheel, the only thing missing from the 911’s curriculum vitae was a win a respected ‘loose surface’ rally like the Safari Rally. This absence was not for lack of trying a 911 covered in ‘kanga’roo bars was driven by Sobiesław Zasada in the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon and sensationally worked it’s way up from 13th to 4th position on the final Australian leg of the 7000 mile rally.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1971 Waldegård driving a works 911 looked set for a win on the East African Safari Rally until he was blinded by dust from his team mate Zasada while trying to over take him on the road and ended up crashing out while Zsada survived to finish 5th. In 1974 Bjorn came home second in the East African Safari driving a 911 RS and it was not until 1978 that Porsche returned to East Africa with a two car team that included today’s featured #14 car driven by Vic Preston Jnr. Team mate Waldegård, who won the 1977 edition of the Safari driving a Ford, returned to Zuffenhasen to drive the similar #5 911 SC.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The roads used on the Safari in 1978 were mostly graded tracks, tarmac is rarely used because the population is sparsely distributed and the intense daily short bursts of rain in the rainy season would likely as not wash tarmac away in abrasive currents of subsequent surface water drainage. The ’78 Safari was run in wet conditions but the competition between the Porsche, Datsun now Nissan, and Peugeot teams remained close. Waldegård and H Thorszelius led the first leg but then a rock damaged the suspension and they could only recover a 4th place finish.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Vic Preston Jnr and J Lyall finished second in today’s featured car behind the Peugeot 504 V6 of Jean Pierre Nicolas and Jean Todt J-C Lefebvre. The winners finished the timed sections with the fastest times overall only to crash in to an unexpectedly U turning vehicle on the untimed road section back to the ceremonial finish line in Niarobi. The Peugeot was badly damaged but the occupants unharmed. After repairs Nicolas managed to drive to the finish with a holed radiator.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Ironically Jean Pierre Nicholas with Vincent Laverne win in the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally driving a superceded Porsche 911 Carrera RSR meant that Porsche maintained their lead in the World Rally Championship. By the seasons end a privately entered Porsche in San Remo had scored one additional podium finish for the Zuffenhausen marque in the World Rally Championship as the works team involvement was aimed solely at winning the prestigious Safari. The 4th place final championship placing was edged by 1978 champions FIAT, Ford, for whom Bjorn also drove in 1978 and Opel, each of these teams had elected pass on the extreme endurance test of the Safari in Kenya.

Porsche 911 SC Safari, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The 1978 Safari was the last World Championship Rally the works team entered although some years later the Porsche name would return with Prodrive prepared cars. With no prospect of rallying regulations turning to favor a Porsche entry it would appear the marque which has dominated so many other area’s of the sport is destined to never win the Safari Rally. In 2011 Waldegård driving a 1972 Porsche 911 2.4 prepared by Francis Tuthill did win the classic version of the Safari Rally, a small consolation for the man and the marque.

The following season Martini shifted the main focus of it’s motorsports sponsorship to the Lotus formula one team.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Striped One” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some Formula One Automobillia. Don’t forget to come back now !


Not Quite ‘The Right One’ – Lancia LC2/85

Today I am starting a series of three consecutive blogs on cars that competed in the Group C World Endurance Championship, during the 1980’s I had the good fortune to follow the Group C World Endurance Championship for sports cars from it’s inception through some high’s to it’s eventual death.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The series was for closed 2 seater racing vehicles weighing a minimum 800 kgs / 1760 lbs with the only restriction on the engine being fuel consumption. The cars were expected to race for 1000 kms / 621 miles on 600 litres / 131.87 of fuel. It was soon realised by participants that they needed to run vehicles with around 600 hp to go the distance with the available fuel.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

This endurance fuel mileage racing series did not always produce the most riveting races though it was certainly had a few outstanding ones, but something about the endurance and fuel consumption formula appealed to me and the cars looked absolutely fabulous.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

History will recall the early years 1982 – 1987 were dominated by Porsche with only token resistance from today’s car the Martini Lancia LC2 which was first raced in 1983. Lancia had tried to steal the 1982 World Endurance Championship for Drivers by building the LC1 to older group 6 regulations that only had one year of eligibility.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

Not only did Lancia driver Riccardo Patrese come up short by 8 points to Porsches Jacky Ickx, but Lancia also in the process lost a whole years development on their Group C challenger to the all conquering Porsche 956 that Jacky Ickx had been driving.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The first problem the Lancia LC2 faced in 1983 was inferior Pirelli radial tyres which could not take the strain of the ground effect downforce generated by the aerodynamic venturi at the back of the car. The cars proved quick in qualifying but to add to the problems at Lancia the twin turbo Ferrari V8 motors could not back the speed up with reliability.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

To cure the tyre issues the LC2’s ran with Dunlop cross ply tyres in 1984, this necessitated a change in suspension geometry. The cars were fast in qualifying as they had been in 1983 but the Speedline wheels were now not up to the job. Again the cars were fast in qualifying but rarely reliable over a race distance.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

For 1985 Lancia switched back to radial construction tyres now supplied by Michelin, the Dallara built aluminium chassis were widened with a pronounced step in the side bodywork.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

Again the cars were quick in qualifying but the Ferrari engines were unreliable. Though the team did score it’s one and only victory over the works Porsche team at Spa in a race that was called early out of respect foe Stefan Bellof who had been killed in the event. At the following race at Brands Hatch it looked like the Lancia team might score another victory over the works Porsche team when the two leading Lancia’s inexplicably hit it each other causing sufficient delays for the works Porsche to win again.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The Martini Lancia LC2’s only appeared in a couple of races in 1986 before they withdrew from road racing completely. With just one win against the main opposition and a couple of win’s when the works Porsche team were not present the works Martini Lancia effort was justly reflected in three 2nd place finishes from 1983 – 1985 in the World Endurance Championship behind the mighty Porsche team.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

This 1985 car features a slippery nose that was only ever seen at Le Mans.

Next weekend there will be a race for Group C cars at the Silverstone Classic in which this Lancia is scheduled to take part, I hope to be there it should be a magnificent event.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Martini edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at a Group C challenger from Germany. Don’t forget to come back now !