Tag Archives: Rees

Out Of Hours Melissa – Saleen S7-R #610

Launched in 2000 the carbon fibre Saleen S7 was the brainchild of Steve Saleen designed by Phil Frank with a chassis engineered by Ray Mallock Limited and financed by Hidden Creek Industries.

The car was powered by a 427cui / 7 litre all aluminium derivative of Ford’s 351 Windsor block that produced 550hp in normally aspirated form or 750hp post 2005 twin turbocharged form.

Alongside the production cars 21 S7-R race chassis were manufactured between 2000 and 2009 and initially completed by Ray Mallock Limited in the UK and later by ORECA in France, seven of these chassis were given vehicle identification numbers (VIN), but never completed as race cars.

Saleen S7-R, Sébastien Dumez, Roland Bervillé, Laurent Groppi, Silverstone 1000 Kms,

S7-Rs were raced by teams including; Ray Mallock Limited (RML) 2001 European Le Mans Champions (ELMS), Saleen-Allen Speedlab 18th Le Mans 2006, Fordahl Motorsports, Konrad Motorsport, Park Place Racing, Graham Nash Motorsport 2002 British and Spanish GT Champions, Dominique Dupuy’s DDO team, Vitaphone Racing, ACEMCO Motorsports 11th Le Mans in 2006, ORECA 2006 FFSA GT Champions, Zakspeed, Balfe Racing, Racing Box, and Larbre Compétition who won the GT1 class at Le Mans in 2010 with today’s featured chassis #610.

Due to a funding shortage fabrication of chassis #610 was carried out by Saleens engineering team at Irvine, CA as an out of hours project and named Melissa after one of the girl friend of one of the Saleen engineers working on the project in 2006/7.

Chassis #610 was then built up into a complete race car by ORECA at their base in Magny-Cours, France and delivered to Labre Competition for the 2009 season.

Saleen S7-R, Sébastien Dumez, Roland Bervillé, Laurent Groppi, Silverstone 1000 Kms,

Sébastien Dumez, Roland Bervillé and Steve Zacchia debuted the car in the 2009 Catalunya 1000 Kilometres where it finished 22nd from 26th on the grid, for the Algarve 1000 Kilometres Sébastian and Roland were joined by Stéphane Lémeret and they finished 23rd from 22nd on the grid.

For the ADAC 1000KM-Rennen at the Nürburgring Roland and Sébastian were joined by Laurent Groppi where they finished 1st in GT1, 23rd overall from 21st on the grid, at the Silverstone where today’s photographs were taken, the same trio finished 21st from 20th on the grid.

At the 2009 season ending Okayama 1000 Kilometres Roland was rejoined by Stéphane Lémeret and with Dutchman Carlo van Dam they retired from Heat One and finished 10th in heat two.

Saleen S7-R, Sébastien Dumez, Roland Bervillé, Laurent Groppi, Silverstone 1000 Kms,

Gabriele Gardel, Patrice Goueslard and Julien Canal drove #610 at the 2010 season opening Le Mans Series Test at Paul Ricard finishing with 32nd fastest time a month later the same trio finished the 8 Heures du Castellet at the same venue 24th from 26th on the grid.

At the 1000 Km de Spa Francorchamps Gabriele and Patrice were joined by Brazilian Fernando Rees and together they finished 31st from 46th on the grid before the car was sent to Le Mans.

For the French classic Julien Canal was back in the third seat and from 46th on the grid they finished 1st in GT1 and 13th overall, Fernando then replaced Julian for the 2010 Algarve, Hungaroring and Silverstone 1000 km races and the car was driven to 3 more straight GT1 class victories.

Laurent Groppi was then joined in #610 for it’s final known appearance by Pedro Lamy and Patrick Bornhauser for the 1000kms race run at Zuhai in the Peoples Republic of China and Melissa rounded out her career with a 5th straight GT1 class victory from 12th on the grid she finished 18th overall.

Thanks for joining me on this “Out Of Hours Melissa” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


That’s Entertainment – 6 Hours Of Siverstone

Last Sunday saw the runners and riders of the World Endurance Championship gather for the 6 Hours Of Silverstone with a smattering of new rules, new cars, cars and new faces.

Of the new rules the most significant was abandoning the safety car in all but the most extreme cases for full course yellow’s and this led to the race being disturbed for only 8 minuets over six hours and no unnecessary bunching of the field.

6 Hours Of Silverstone

Qualifying in the top LMP1 category was locked out by the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, reckoned to be more powerful than the 900hp Peugeot 908 turbo diesels, driven Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber with Brendon Hartley and Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb which can be seen leading the pack of Audi’s and Toyota’s on the opening lap.

Thanks to an electrics problem that knocked out his telemetry and gave him a misfire Benoit Tréluyer is seen on the extreme left of the photo above as he fell all the way back to tenth place in the opening laps before the problem sorted it’s self out.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Shaytar / Bertolini / Basov, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Despite qualifying only 5th fastest in the GTE/Am category Russians Victor Shaytar, Aleksey Basov with Italian Andrea Bertolini came through to finish third in class and 18th overall, with their #72 SMP Racing Ferrari F458 Italia seen above on the Hangar Straight.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Perrodo / Collard / Aguas, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Seen turning into the fast sweeping Abbey above is the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Frenchman François Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard who with Portugals Rui Aguas qualified 4th in LMGTE/Am and finsihed 2nd in class and 17th overall.

Dalla Lana / Lamy / Lauda, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Only 30 seconds covered the top three LMGTE Am class finishers after six hours of racing, Canada’s Paul Dalla Lama with Portugal’s Pedro Lamy and Austian Mathias Lauda converted their LMGTE/Am pole into a first place in class finish, 16th overall, driving the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 seen at Becketts above.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Rigon / Calado, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Slowest of the 7 LMGTE Pro qualifiers were Italy’s Davide Rigon and Britain’s James Calado but they dug deep and finished the race third in class, 11th overall, less than 30 seconds behind the class winners.

Porsche 911 RSR, Chevrolet Corvette C7, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

German Richard Leitz and Denmarks Michael Christensen qualified their #91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR in 4th place behind three Aston Martin’s, by the end of the race the Aston’s had all fallen one lap down on the three class leading LMGTE Pro cars.

The 2nd in class, 10th place overall, finishing #91 Porsche is seen lapping the returning Labre Competition teams new LMGTE Am #50 Corvette C7 driven by Italians Gianluca Roda, Paolo Ruberti and Denmarks Kristan Poulsen at Vale above.

Ferrari F458 Italia, Bruni / Vilander, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Winners of the LMGTE Pro class and 9th overall were Italy’s Gianmaria Bruni and Finlands Tony Vilander who qualified their #51 AF Course Ferrari 5th in class, the Ferrari is seen being chased by a LMP1 Toyota at the Arena.

HPD ARX 03B - HPD, Sharp / Dalziel / Heinemeier Hanson, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

While awaiting the delivery of a new pair of LMP2 Ligier’s the Extreme Motorsports team made their debut in the WEC with a pair of HPD (Honda Performance Developmant) ARX O3B’s.

The #30 HPD, seen above exiting Maggots, driven by American Scott Sharp, Britain Ryan Dalziel and Denmarks David Heinemeier Hanson qualified 4th in class and crossed the line third in class.

Regrettably the car was excluded because it was found in post race scrutineering to have been running with a thinner ALMS spec plank under the car than the mandated thicker WEC spec plank, this was a tough break for the popular US team.

Dome S103 Nissan, Leventis / Watts / Kane_6 Hours Of Silverstone

With the exclusion of the #30 the Nissan powered #42 Strakka Racing Dome S103 driven by Britain Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jony Kane was awarded third in class.

Watts ended up going into the kitty litter on the first corner of the first lap but with help from the marshalls the team recovered from last place to finish a respectable 8th overall.

Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Yacaman / Derani / Gonzalez, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Columbian Gustavo Yacaman, Brazilian Luis Felipe Derani and Mexican Ricardo Gonzalez qualified their Nissan powered #28 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2, seen at entering Becketts on class pole, but finished the race 2nd in class, 7th overall and 1 lap behind their team mates …

Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Rusinov / Canal / Bird, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

Russian Roman Rusinov Frances Julien Canal and Sam Bird, who’s class winning #26 Ligier is seen above at Club.

Toyota TS040 Hybrid, Davidson / Buemi / Nakajima, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

At the head of the field representatives from all three leading manufacturers took turns at the lead after qualifying fourth reigning World Endurance Champions Brit Anthony Davidson and Swiss Sébastien Buemi, who were joined by the Japanese Kazuki Nakajima came through to a third place finish just 15 seconds behind the the winning car.

6 Hours Of Silverstone

After easily leading the opening 90 mins of the race from pole position Mark Webber had to retire the lead #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid with transmission issues before team mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley had a chance to drive it, leaving the sister #18 front row starter driven by Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani with a small lead over the fast recovering #7 Audi driven by Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fässler and Andre Lotterer.

A fantastic battle between the two leading cars ensued from the half way stage of the race, which included this linked scrap with 50 mins to go, at the end of the day the inferior tyre wear on the faster Porsche swung victory away from them despite trying a two tyres only final stop.

Above Neel Jani slices past the LMGTE Am #96 Aston Martin driven by Francesco Castalocci, Roland Goethe and Stuart Hall while the #1 Toyota awaits to slice past the LMGTE Am Dempsey Proton Racing #77 Porsche driven by Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried and LMGTE Pro #99 Aston Martin driven by Alex Macdowall, Fernando Rees, and Richie Stanamay.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Fässler / Lotterer / Tréluyer, 6 Hours Of Silverstone

With 15 minutes to go the #7 Audi driven by Marcel Fässler had lead of over a minute when it was called in for a splash and dash stop. At the same time the #7 was also awarded a stop go penalty for an overtaking maneuver beyond the track limits at club.

The #7’s lead was just 37 seconds after the splash and dash and less than 10 seconds after the penalty stop, but there were not enough laps left for Neel to chase the #7 down and with a winning margin of less than five seconds it was the Audi Sport Team Joest drivers who’s names were added to the base of the 110 year old Tourist Trophy at Silverstone.

Despite starting with an electical failure the #7, seen passing the 3rd placed #1 Toyota in the Arena above, came through to win by covering a record 201 laps.

Thanks for joining me on this “That’s Entertainment” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Chrysler 300D. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fatal Exhaust – Maserati 8C 3000 #3002

After Alfieri Maserati’s death in March 1932 the remaining Maserati brothers continued to develop his new 3 litre / 183 cui supercharged straight eight motor. Before the end of 1932 Maserati had fitted a 220hp version of the new motor to an 8C chassis #3001 for Luigi Fagioli to drive in the Czechoslovak Grand Prix at Brno where he finished second to Louis Chiron in his Bugatti T51.

Maserati 8C 3000, Goodwood Festival of Speed

With the financial collapse of Bentley in 1931 the Bentley Boys were struggling to find British built vehicles in which to race. A second Maserati 8C chassis #3002, seen here at Goodwood, was bought by former Bentley Boy and 1928 Le Mans winner Bernard Rubin for fellow Bentley Boy and 1929 Le Mans winner Sir Henry Ralph Stanley ‘Tim’ Birkin to drive in the 1933 season.

Maserati 8C 3000, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Unfortunately ‘Tim’ only got to drive #3002 once in the infamous 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix, a race which is best remembered for a story surrounding a legal syndicate which comprised three lottery ticket holders and three drivers who agreed to divide up various prize monies on offer equally in the event that one or more of the syndicate drivers won, came second, third or any conceivable combination thereof.

Maserati 8C 3000, Berend, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Of course being described by W.O. Bentley to be “the greatest Briton of his time” ‘Tim’ would have nothing to do with the syndicate and intended to do his best to ensure they did not get their result and led the opening four laps of the race. On lap 16 ‘Tim’ pitted which, due to his inexperienced pit team, is said to have cost him more time than his rivals and in particular syndicate members Archi Varzi, who did not need to stop and Tazio Nuvolari who did.

Maserati 8C 3000, Berend, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Some sources say it was during this pit stop that ‘Tim’ accidentally burnt his arm on the exhaust of his car, others say it was during practice earlier in the event, but either way ‘Tim’ continued to finish third, 1 and half minuets, behind Archi and Tazio in that order, the same order to which both are alleged to have agreed on the flip of a coin on the morning of the race.

Maserati 8C 3000, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Tragically the burn ‘Tim’ had suffered from the exhaust turned septic and that in combination with his malarial condition put him in hospital six days after the race and five weeks later Britain lost one of it’s most popular and able drivers.

Maserati 8C 3000, Goodwood Festival of Speed

#3002 was driven in 1934 by Hon. Brian Lewis for Noel Rees at Brooklands where it came second in the International trophy to another Maserati driven by Whitney Straight with both cars sharing the lap record.

Maserati 8C 3000, Berend, Goodwood Festival of Speed

By 1937, following a string of ever less competitive performances with a variety of drivers #3002 was retired only for it have a post ’39-’45 war career, starting in 1946 when first Dudley Froy drove the car in the Easter ’46 VSCC Elstree speed trials.

Maserati 8C 3000, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Next future legendary Aston Martin, Ford GT40 and Gulf Racing manager John Wyer prepared #3002 for T.A.S.O. Mathieson drive in some of the earliest post war French races at Bois du Boulogne, St Cloud, where finished a best 5th and GP du Rousillon, where TASO recorded a 6th place finish.

TASO then started converting the 220hp car for road use and registered her for use on the kings highway, but sold her on in 1947 to Mike Oliver before the job was complete.

Once Mike had finished the conversion to road spec he drove #3002 to a seventh place finish in the ’48 Luton Hoo sprint.
Later in 1948 new owner Squadron Leader John Crampton DFC continued competing with the car at the Prescott and Shelsey hillclimbs along with the Brighton Speed trials and at Goodwood up until 1949.

The car was subsequently rebuilt, still in road going trim, by Alan Southon of the Phoenix Green Garage at Hartley Wintney before spending time in the United States.

Cameron Miller then undertook a restoration of #3002 for Peter Kaus of the Bianco Collection which included replacing the body, the remains of the old one subsequently found their way on to another Maserati which I shall be revisiting next Monday.

The Louwman Museum in the Netherlands now owns #3002 which is seen at Goodwood with Hulsoff Berend at the wheel.

My thanks to FailedJourno at The Nostalgia Forum for pointing out that I confused today’s featured #3002 with the car I shall be revisiting next week.

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


The Sure Bet – Lotus 22 #22-J-17

In 1962 Lotus built one of their more significant models, the Lotus 22, for competition in the 2nd tier open wheel Formula Junior in 1962. The 22 was an upgraded version of the Lotus 20 but now featuring disc brakes all round.

Cristoph Burckhardt, Lotus 22, Goodwood, Revival

The Lotus 22 dominated Formula Junior in 1962 with Peter Arundell and Alan Rees at the wheel of the works cars which dominated the European Junior scene.

Arundell won 75 % of his races including the Monza Loteria and was crowned British Junior Champion. Moises Solana won FJ races in Mexico.

The design of the 22 was also used as the basis of the two seat the Lotus 23 sports racer, which I’ll be looking at next week, the 22 design was given a second lease of life with the emergence of the third tier open wheel Formula 3 in 1964 which mandated single seat vehicles with space frame chassis like the 22 which was upgraded to Lotus 31 spec in F3 guise though the chassis numbers for Lotus 31 curiously ran 22-F3-xx. The 22 design had yet another lease of life when Jim Russel converted a couple of 22’s and 31’s into Ford Kent powered racing cars and inadvertently invented Formula Ford leading to yet another run of cars being built to the basic Lotus 22 design now upgraded to Lotus 51 spec.

It is thought 77 Lotus 22’s were built in their original Formula Junior spec between 1962 and 1963.

Formula Junior was open to cars weighing a minimum 400 kgs / 880lbs fitted with 1100 cc / 67 cui motors or 350 kgs vehicles weighing a minimum of 350 kgs / 770 lbs with 1000 cc / 61 cui.

Chritoph Burckhardt’s car, thought to be chassis 22-J-17 seen above at Goodwood Revival, like most FJ cars in 1962 is the heavier 400 kgs type with 90 hp Cosworth tuned Ford 4 cylinder engine with a mandated production based block, this one canted over at 30 degrees to lower the centre of gravity and minimise the frontal area of the car.

Other FJ engine options included a BMC and DKW two stroke motor as used successfully by a German Gerhard Mitter in his Lotus 22.

At this point I’d usually wrap up this post in the usual way but I’d be doing the model a grave injustice since the Lotus 22 is the stuff of legend that ultimately brought down hitherto respected Porsche racing driver Richard von Frakenberg who survived flying literally of the Avus track to become an equally respected journalist for Auto Motor und Sport one of Germany’s most successful motoring publications.

On Sept 30th 1962 there was a German Formula Junior Championship race on the short 5 mile Südschleife track at the Nurburgring. There was much rumor and gossip in the paddock that weekend about a simple way to increase the engine capacity of the stock block Ford Formula Junior motors by changing the Ford Anglia crankshaft for a crankshaft sourced from the larger capacity Ford Consul that used the same block with the same diameter cylinders but increased the combined swept volume of the blog by having a longer stroke.

The race was notable because the championship title was to be decided between two drivers, the aforementioned Mitter in his DKW powered Lotus 22 and reigning champion Kurt Ahrens jr driving a Cooper T59 with a Cosworth prepared Ford motor of the type which could be easily oversized.

To secure the title all Ahrens Jr needed to do was finish ahead of Mitter, if he finished just one place behind Mitter the two would share the title. bizzarely the latter is exactly what happened Ahrens trundled around behind Mitter’s DKW powered Lotus until the DKW lost one of it’s three cylinders when Mitter pitted Ahrens Jr drove as far as the Müllenbach corner at the back of circuit and promptly stopped his perfectly good car and waited for Mitter to affect his repairs and come past and then followed Mitter across the line to ensure a tie in the Championship.

Richard von Frankenberg absorbed some of the rumors, which should probably have been taken with a pinch of salt in the first place, from the meeting and the following week published a story full of scandalous accusations under the Title “The Biggest Disgrace in International Motorsport”.

In his exposé Richard pointed out that during the Formula Junior season none of the motors had been checked to measure their capacity during scrutineering either before or after races and alleged that some teams had taken advantage of the situation.

Specifically Frankenberg accused reigning champion Kurt Ahrens jr & Austrian Kurt Bardi-Barry winner of the race of running with an oversize engines on September 30th.

He also accused Alan Rees who was running in a work Lotus 22 with a Cosworth Ford motor of running in practice with an oversize motor during which he crashed and eliminated himself from the race.

Frankenberg then went on to report Alan had openly declared that his team (Lotus) had been running oversize motors through out the season.

Finally Frankenberg challenged Colin Chapman to send two cars to Monza to rerun the Lotteria race distance at the same average speed that the cars had achieved in June and then have the motors legality checked.

In the aftermath of the publication Kurt Ahrens Jr and Kurt Bardi Barry won civil actions against von Frankenberg and Auto Motor & Sport both presented motors which passed inspection well after the event but it was concluded that hear say in the paddock was not sufficient proof that either driver had cheated.

The ONS, governing body of motorsport took Ahrens Jr, Bardi-Brady and Mitter to task about events on the September 30th 1962 and concluded that the hear say evidence of Mitter was not proof positive that Ahrens or Bardi-Brady had cheated but they did find Mitter and Ahrens Jr guilty of conspiring to fix the race results for which they both had their licenses suspended for six months.

Colin Chapman accepted von Frankenbergs suggestion, offering to run one Lotus 22 Formula Junior car at Monza over the 30 lap distance of the Lotteria held in June and made a bet of £1000 that his car would not only achieve the same or better speed at Monza over the 30 race distance and be proved perfectly legal. In the event von Frakenberg and Auto Motor und Sport lost the bet they would pay Chapman £1,000 and publish a retraction of the accusations against the team.

All parties duly deposited their stakes and convened at Monza on December 1st 1962. Peter Arundell did some slow warm up laps and blew his engine, it was agreed this should be repaired for a second attempt the next day.

On December 2nd a new attempt was made after cement had been strewn across patches of ice found under the trees at the first Lesmo Corner. Despite another slow start Peter Arundell soon started lapping ahead of the target time eventually crossing the line for the 30th time 52 seconds faster than he had in June.

On completion of the race distance he did one final blinding flying lap and lowered his lap record of 1’50.9′ in June to 1’49.8′ in December.

It was noted at the time the cooler conditions gave Peter an advantage, as much as 4% extra horse power by my calculations, but his times by my calculations are only 1.5% quicker for the race and and 1% quicker for fastest lap.

Once Peter returned to the pits the car was meticulously weighed, the engine dimensions were measured, as 1092 cc / 66.6 cui, and so the car was declared fully compliant with the Formula Junior regulations to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Immediately after the technical inspection the “Monaza Lion” as the car became known was sold for £2,000 to a Sig. Motta, thereafter Richard von Frankenberg shook Colin Chapman’s hand and formally apologized in front of all those present and an apology with full retraction of the false statements was printed in the following issue Auto Motor und Sport.

Peter Arundell won a second consecutive British Formula Junior Championship in 1963 and looked to have a promising future until an accident in 1964 saw him thrown out of his car. Colin Chapman kept a seat for Peter until his return in 1966, however Peter showed none of his earlier promise during his comeback season and retired from the sport completely in 1969, after selling his Garage Business from which he and his family were lucky to escape from a serious fire he moved to Florida where he founded the notorious adult software gaming company Mystique.

Colin Chapman went from strength to strength his Lotus team wining the first of six World Drivers and seven World Constructors Championships in 1963.

Kurt Ahrens jr regained his German Formula Jr title in 1963 but never quite broke into the big time he did however win the 1969 Austrian and 1970 Nurburgring 1000kms races driving with Jo Siffert and Vic Elford respectively, the 1968 Austrian event was the first ever to be won by a Porsche 917, he also took two consecutive pole positions at Le Mans for the 24 hour races in 1969 and 1970 both in works Porsche 917’s. He retired in 1970 to look after his family’s car dealership and scrap metal business and still takes an interest in the historic racing scene.

Gerhard Mitter drove in seven Grand Prix but like Ahrens Jr never secured a permanent seat on the Grand Prix circuit, he won the 1969 Targa Florio driving a Porsche 908 with Udo Schutz. Gerhard was kiiled during practice for the 1969 German Grand Prix after either suspension or steering failure caused him to crash.

Soon after he lost the Monza bet von Frakenberg left his staff position at Auto Motor und Sport. He was killed in a road accident in 1973 aged 52.

My thanks to every one on The Nostalgia Forum particularly, Doug Nye, Arese, r.atios, Ralf Pickle and Charlieman, on the L’affaire Lotus/von Frankenburg thread, RWB, Macca & Rob on the How many Lotus 22s? thread, finally but not least Cheapracer and saudoso on the Ambient air temperature and car performance thread.

Thanks for joining me on this bumper edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

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