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    / #1928-Bentley-4½-litre-Blower / #1928 / #Bentley-4½-litre-Blower / #Bentley / #Blower

    BENTLEY AT 100 / DRIVING THE FIRST ‘BLOWER’ Exclusive blast on California roads in the magnificent, pioneering YU 3250

    Celebrating a century of success, from ‘Blower’ to bargains, luxury to #LeMans

    ‘The car today is much as it was when it went to #Le-Mans in 1930, the great protruding supercharger reminding everyone that this is no ordinary vintage Bentley’
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    Russ Smith
    BMW CSL PRINT BY #FREDERIC-DAMS / #BMW-Art-Car / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / #BMW-3.0CSL-Art-Car / #BMW / #BMW-E9-Art-Car /

    Ah, the irony – a BMW ‘Art Car’ from the mid 1970s turned into contemporary art. The CSL racer kickstarted the whole Art Car movement and was painted in 1975 by #BMW-3.0CSL-Alexander-Calder before racing at #Le-Mans . This dynamic modern print is by Frederic Dams. From £35.
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    / #Ford-GT40 / Book of the month / #Ford-GT / #Ford / #Jacky-Ickx / #Ford-GT40-Mk1-Roadcar / #Ford-GT40-Mk1

    The Autobiography of 1075 #Ray-Hutton , Porter Press International, £60, ISBN 978 1 907085 68 0

    For someone like this reviewer, born in the 1950s, race-car-obsessed in the 1960s and having a Ford-driving father, the Ford GT40 is the coolest and most wonderful racing car ever. It achieved this status by what it was, why it existed, what it did and who drove it. And the greatest of all GT40s was 1075, the GT40 that won Le Mans not once but twice.

    This is the GT40 whose Gulf Oil colour scheme is aped by many a replica. It is the car in which Jacky Ickx played mind games with Hans Herrmann at Le Mans in 1969, obliging the Porsche 908 to pass him on the last lap by slowing right down, then outbraking the Porsche at Mulsanne corner, keeping the lead to the flag and scoring 1075’s second Le Mans win by a whisker. It was mesmerising, even on black-and-white TV. Now, here is 1075 in the latest of the Porter Press Great Cars series, number 11. It has followed hefty volumes in similarly luscious, archive-illustrated, deeply researched ‘biography’ format covering famous examples of cars such as a Ferrari 250 GTO, a Lotus 18, an ERA, a D-type Jaguar and two Lightweight E-types.

    For 1075 the author is Ray Hutton, former sports editor (and later overall editor) of Autocar, prolific author and, until fairly recently, president of the European Car of the Year organisation. The first motor sport event he ever covered, as a new staffer at Motor Racing magazine, was the 1968 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, won by Ickx and Brian Redman driving, yes, GT40 number 1075.

    In the book’s 320 crisp pages are the story behind the whole GT40 project, race-by-race analysis of 1075’s exploits during its active years of 1968 and 1969 (it won a lot more than #Le-Mans ), and profiles of its eight drivers: Ickx, Redman, 1969’s Le Mans co-winner Jackie Oliver, #1968-Le-Mans winners #Pedro-Rodríguez and #Lucien-Bianchi , #Paul-Hawkins , #David-Hobbs and #Mike-Hailwood . All are great stories in their own right.

    There’s an analysis of the JW Gulf team that built and ran 1075 and its sisters, team boss John Wyer’s wisdom (taken from Autocar) of what it takes to win Le Mans, and a #1968 track test of 1075 by Innes Ireland (from Autocar again). The GT40’s post-racing life is documented, including the time it spent gathering dust at #Gulf-HQ after the glory had faded, and there’s a wonderful delve into 1075’s patinated anatomy today.

    That last section apart, the book is illustrated with period photographs reproduced with a clarity that will take the breath away of those who pored over such pictures in 1960s magazines. I think this is the best Great Cars story yet: GT40 lovers, this is your book.
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    UNLIKELY CAVALLINO RACER #Ferrari-308-GT4 / #Ferrari-308 / #Ferrari-308 / #Ferrari-308-GT4-Le-Mans / #Le-Mans / #1974-Ferrari-308-GT4 / #Ferrari

    This one-off #308GT4 (Buyer’s guide) was built at the factory and run by the #North-American-Racing Team at Le Mans in ’ #1974 . It qualified in 38th place, driven by #Giancarlo-Gagliardi and #Jean-Louis-Lafosse , but the clutch sadly gave out after four hours LAT.
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    V12 LMR / #Jenny-Holzer / #BMW-Art-Cars / #1999 / #BMW-V12-LMR / #BMW-S70/3 / #BMW-S70 / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-V12-LMR-Jenny-Holzer / #BMW-Art-Car / #Art-Cars / #Art-Car / #BMW / #BMW-V12-LMR-Art-Car /

    After a break of four years since David Hockey’s 850CSi BMW returned to its roots with the 15th Art Car – it was going racing again! Art Cars The 15th machine in the series: Jenny Holzer’s V12 LMR.

    As BMW’s Art Car project started with racing cars one could argue that over the ensuing years it’s used far too many road cars, and even when it did choose to adorn its racing cars they were never used in anger on track – witness the two E30 M3s and the E36 Touring Car that never went near a circuit. The first four cars all took part in the #Le-Mans 24-Hour and 1999 saw a return with Jenny Holzer’s V12 LMR.

    The work of Jenny Holzer, who was born in Ohio, USA, in 1950, cannot be put into conventional categories. Since the late seventies, she has rejected traditional forms of expression such as representational painting, working with words instead of pictures. Messages in the form of LED lettering are arranged together with carved plaques, benches or sarcophaguses made of stone to make up complete installations. It is this interplay of language, objects and context as equal elements that render her work so unique and makes her one of the most consistently exhibited artists worldwide. The Art Car designed by the American concept artist was adorned with messages which she said, “Will probably never become void”. Bold statements in capitals such as ‘Protect me from what I want’ and ‘What urge will save us now that sex wont?’ were emblazoned on the car.

    Her concept is based on traditional colours and materials used in motor racing. To allow the characteristic blue and white BMW colours to remain visible during the 24-hour race at Le Mans, she used reflecting chrome letters and phosphorescent colours. During the day the sky is reflected in the letters, during the night the foil is desorbing the saved daylight in blue. Except that the car never raced at Le Mans, although it was one of three V12 LMRs that was used for the preliminary qualification in May, for the actual race BMW elected to use the more traditionally liveried cars. It would have been disappointing had BMW left it at that, but fortunately the car did compete in its Holzer livery in a round of the American Le Mans Series in 2000 at Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans. Sadly by this time the LMRs were no longer competitive and had to play second fiddle to the Audis with the Holzer car coming in a distant fourth place.
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    Classics at La Sarthe The biennial gathering for the #2016-Le-Mans-Classic always attracts some stunning BMWs. If you’re keen on classic racing you really should take a trip down memory lane at the biennial Le Mans Classic Words: Jeroen de Laat. Photography: De Laat Foto / #Le-Mans-Classic

    Once a year the streets of #Le-Mans and surrounding villages combine together to create one of the longest and most demanding race circuits in the world. Although the shape and length of the track has been modified several times over the past century, the Circuit de la Sarthe has been hosting a 24-hour motor race here since 1923. The track’s basis is formed by the pit straight and some other parts of the short permanent Bugatti circuit, including the legendary Esses chicane and the iconic Dunlop Bridge. But the larger part consists of roads that are open to the public for the rest of the year, making a total length of 13.6km in its current shape. The fact that 85 percent of the lap is spent at full throttle makes it a fast track that is extremely demanding for man and machine. This is part of the appeal for teams, drivers and spectators alike, and one of the reasons why this amazing circuit is almost celebrating its 100th anniversary.

    With the ever-increasing number of spectators, as well as the extensive safety measures required to turn roads into a race track, the event requires a lot of preparation. And that is what caused French classic event organiser Patrick Peter to have a brainwave approximately a decade ago. Why not benefit from all these efforts and have a classic race on this temporary track as well? The operator of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), liked the idea and Le Mans Classic was born.

    The event has a 24-hour format, although realistically we cannot expect the legendary and often priceless racers of yesteryear to compete for 24 hours, so the past century of motoring is divided into six eras making six classes, so cars can compete with their contemporary rivals. Each grid performs several one-hour stints over a period of 24 hours, so in total there is 24 hours of continuous and varied action.

    The 2016 Le Mans Classic was the eighth running of this classic event. Taking place every other year it is blessed with a booming public interest that resembles the original 24-hour race. And just like that event, there were a series of support events to get the public warmed up. These included: close to 40 Group C cars racing, including 20 of Porsche’s legendary 962; the Jaguar Classic Series, which saw 19 times 24-Heures participant Andy Wallace win at the wheel of the D-Type which won the race in 1955 (driven by Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb); and Little Big Mans, where the kids do their own race in miniature versions of the actual Le Mans cars, complete with a running Le Mans start and driven by real petrol engines. There’s also a great car auction, while the exceptionally sunny and warm weather completed this year’s package.

    It was no wonder then that a record 123,000 spectators flocked to the circuit to see 550 cars, 1000 drivers (among them ten former Le Mans winners) and 8500 club cars on display. The event saw a celebration of BMW’s centenary in the form of popular club sessions, which allowed club members the rare opportunity of doing a few laps on the official circuit, and BMW demos, which featured BMW M cars ranging from the earliest cars up to the most recent models. We were very happy to get a few passenger laps to experience the track in its full glory!

    In BMW’s exhibition we found several special cars including: the legendary #BMW-328-Touring-Le-Mans ; a 507 Roadster; the 1977 Roy Lichtenstein E21 320i Art Car (that participated in the 1977 Le Mans race); and the V12 LMR that took the overall victory in 1999.

    Need more? How about the prestigious Concours Le Mans Heritage Club for cars that actually raced at Le Mans awarding the McLaren F1 GTR with a best in class award for the 1983-2016 period? And all this was on offer even before the racing began in earnest!

    On the Saturday afternoon Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, main sponsor Richard Mille (main partner of Le Mans Classic with EFG), and Pharrell Williams opened the event under the supervision of FIA president Jean Todt. The event started off with the oldest cars in ‘Plateau One’. A Swiss gentleman we have seen racing BMWs many times before, Christian Traber (who is well-known behind the steering wheel of a 2002 and an #BMW-M1-E26 / #BMW-E26 ), was now racing against BMW.

    Together with the American former SCCA driver, Spencer Trenery, they steered their 1939 Talbot Lago to first position overall, with another Talbot right behind them, relegating the BMW 328s to third and fourth places; the French équipe Bally/Leseur took third with the German 328 team Otten and Horbach not far behind. In total nine 328s took part. It was amazing to see so many of these cars on track at one time, and it gave us a real feeling for what club racing must have been like in the late 1930s.

    Apart from the BMW engines in several prototype cars from the 1960s and 1970s, especially the #M10 and #M12 four-cylinder, we saw a #BMW-2002 in action. The Group 2 2002Ti of Renavand and Bonny completed the event without issue and even though there was no fighting the mighty Lola T70s and the M12-powered Chevrons, they duo stood their ground in their own class.

    More BMW action was to be had when the ‘Plateau Six’ cars entered the arena. Two wonderful #BMW-E9 3.0 CSL Coupés caught our eye. Adrian Brady had a disappointing event when he ran into issues with his CSL during qualifying. Even though the mechanics thought it was only a head gasket failure they didn’t want to take any risks with the rare #BMW-M49 engine and parked the car up for the rest of the event. The second #BMW-3.0-CSL-E9 driven by Werginz/Janits/Andree/Huber failed after just two laps into race two. We spoke to Andree afterwards and learned that a broken con rod bolt unfortunately ruined their event. It was a pity after seeing so many CSLs being successful run at other events.

    In grid number six we saw some flame-spitting Lola prototypes, although when it came to BMWs spitting flames, the M1 immediately comes to mind. Christian Traber was fastest of his class with his M1 but two other M1s also completed the event without any issues.

    Every edition of Le Mans Classic is bigger and better than the previous one, and this eighth running of the event was no exception. It was a wonderful experience. The only down side is that we now need to wait two years for the next one. We recommend that you make a note in your diary to keep some days free in July 2018!

    Lovely #BMW-507 and V12 LMR were exhibited in the BMW pavilion; this year’s event was opened by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, Richard Mille, Pharrell Williams and Jean Todt.

    Mixed grids add to the glamour of the Le Mans Classic.

    Right: BMW-engined Lola caught in wonderful flame-spitting action.

    Above: Superb #BMW-2002-Ti-Group-2 car of Renavand and Bonny went very well in ‘Plateau 5’ but couldn’t hope to keep up with the Lolas, Porsches and Ferraris in its class. Below and Left: #BMW owners had the rare chance to drive the full Le Mans circuit in their road-going cars during the event.

    Even though they never won the event the #BMW-M1 is always linked with Le Mans – they competed here for eight consecutive years from 1979 to 1986 – and Christian Traber’s example (above, seen leading a Ferrari 512 BB LM) was as quick as ever being the fastest M1 in its class. Below: The Latham and Baud M1 looking great with driving lights fitted.

    Above: Little Big Mans sees children competing in scaled down replicas complete with the traditional Le Mans running start! Left: Stunning (full-size) #BMW-328 pulling away from the start.

    The Roy Lichtenstein #BMW-E21 / #BMW-320i-Art-Car that took part in the 1977 Le Mans race looked as fantastic as ever – what a machine!

    Sadly both the CSLs entered this year suffered engine troubles but we know they’ll be back to fight another day.
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    Bulletin: Aston’s new race car. Latest pics and the full story on Aston’s new endurance racer. Aston’s new track weapon. Stunning new #V8 Vantage GTE shapes up to take on Ferrari , Porsche and Ford in the 2016 world endurance championship. Words Richard Meaden. Images AMR/Drew Gibson. #Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage-GTE / #Aston-Martin / #2016

    We might be a little biased, but in our humble opinion the V8 Vantage has long been the most handsome car in the World endurance Championship’s GTE category. One of the quickest, too, with class podiums at #Le-Mans since the GTE class was introduced in 2012.

    However, the front-engined Vantage found itself increasingly under pressure from the mid- and rear-engined Ferrari 458s and Porsche 911s last season. For 2016, that battle is set to intensify with the arrival of the spectacular Ford GT.

    Another mid-engined machine, it is the most extreme interpretation of the production-based GTE regs yet, and – interestingly – the work of a team headed by former #Prodrive and #Aston-Martin-Racing man george Howard-Chappell.

    Thanks to a series of changes in the regulations for 2016, GTE is to be further distanced from the lesser gt3 category, and, in an bid to equalise the differences between front-, mid- and rear-engined GTE cars, AMR has implemented a comprehensive reworking of the V8 Vantage GTE’s aerodynamics to achieve an increase in downforce and a reduction in drag – the racer’s holy grail.

    Previous generations of GTE car had to retain much of the road car’s body panel surfaces, which dictated the extent to which teams could develop the allimportant front and rear ends. The 2016 regs allow more design freedom around critical areas such as the front splitter and rear wing/diffuser, though teams have to contain those aerodynamic devices within prescribed volumes.

    The result is a more extreme-looking Vantage with an all-new front end featuring a more aggressive splitter, more modest air intakes and more smoothly contoured front wheelarches to reduce drag. The side-exit exhausts have been moved rearwards to improve airflow around the rear wheelarch. The new regs mean the size of the rear wing has reduced, but this is compensated for by a much larger rear diffuser protruding from beneath the reprofiled bumper. It’s still very recognisably a Vantage, but with a beefed-up look that’s entirely appropriate for a GT car that shares track-space with pure prototypes in LMP2 and LMP1.

    In the past, AMR has relied on external companies to do much of its aerodynamic work but, for the 2016 Vantage GTE, it has done the bulk of the work in-house using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, which simulates airflow and spares the team expensive and timeconsuming sessions in a wind tunnel.

    Though undoubtedly a huge challenge for the team to undertake, the lessons learned in the process of developing this 2016 aero package will stand AMR in excellent stead when the time comes to turn the all-new Vantage replacement road car into a race car fit for the WEC.

    Though the skin of the V8 GTE is very different, the mechanical components are largely unchanged. The 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 benefits from larger airrestrictors, though, as all GTE cars start the season with larger restrictors, it’s hard to say what effect this will have once the FIA imposes individual performance balancing. With Ferrari and Ford both running turbocharged engines, this job will be harder than last season, when all GTE cars were non-turbo. Hopefully the FIA will keep the playing field as level as possible, but you don’t have to be an engineer to understand how difficult it will be to ensure the teams running turbo engines don’t find ways to mitigate the strangling effects of the air restrictors. In this respect AMR must be looking forward to an all-new turbocharged car for the 2018 season, when the new AMG-powered Vantage replacement is due to appear.

    Apart from a new Xtrac limited-slip diff that replaces the less sophisticated ramp-plate diff, other changes to the V8 GTE are safety-related. Removable door glazing, impact foam in the driver’s door, the new FIA 8862 seat and installation of the mandatory roof hatch to aid the extraction of a driver in an emergency complete the suite of improvements. Visibility has also been improved, with re-siting of mirrors from the door glass to the doors themselves improving the sight lines at the base of the A-pillars.

    The result is a car that’s every bit as handsome as its predecessor, and one blessed with even more formidable performance. Whether it’s enough to put AMR in contention for WEC honours and a Le Mans class win remains to be seen, but, if there’s truth to the adage ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’, AMR can look forward to erasing the frustrations of 2015 and enjoying an epic four-way battle for honours throughout 2016.

    Left and below New GTE regs for 2016 have allowed Aston Martin Racing’s aerodynamicists to develop a more extreme-looking Vantage. All-new front end features a more aggressive splitter.
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    Roy Lichtenstein: #Group-5 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-320i-E21 / #BMW-E21 / #1977 / #BMW-320i-Group-5-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW / #Roy-Lichtenstein / #BMW-320i-Turbo-E21 /

    BMW continued the racing theme with its third #BMW-Art-Car , the stunning Group 5 320i that acquitted itself very well at #Le-Mans .

    The third car in BMW’s Art Car Collection was created in 1977, when the company asked Roy Lichtenstein to paint the exterior of a Group 5 320i. Lichtenstein’s design is a colourful and vibrant landscape in a pop art style. “The painted lines symbolise the road the car has to follow and the artwork also portrays the surroundings through which the car is being driven,” the artist explained. Lichtenstein, who was born in New York in 1923, was one of the founders of American pop art. Until 1938 he painted portraits of jazz musicians, attended the Art Students League, finally studying art in Ohio. His earlier works ranged from cubism to expressionism. He did not become interested in comic book and advertising art until the late Fifties. His pop art paintings were created in 1961. These were followed by caricatures of the American way of life and experiments based on well-known works of art, sculptures and films.

    “I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction of the road showing the car where to go,” said Lichtenstein, commenting on his design for the 320i. “The design also shows the countryside through which the car has travelled. One could call it an enumeration of everything a car experiences – only that this car reflects all of these things before actually having been on a road.” The oversized ‘Ben- Day dots’ are characteristic of Lichtenstein’s worldfamous paintings of comic strips.

    The car itself was one of BMW’s most outrageous creations with its functional wide-body aerodynamic package with bulging arches to house the huge alloys and a four-cylinder, twin-overhead cam, 16-valve, 2.0-litre engine that was good for 300hp, giving the 320i a top speed of 160mph.

    After its completion, Roy Lichtenstein’s #Art-Cars was able to celebrate its premiere twice: first, as a work of art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; and, second, at its racing debut in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June 1977. The car was driven by Hervé Poulain (who had originally commissioned the first 3.0 CSL Art Car) and Marcel Mignot from France.

    The car, number 50, competed in the IMSA class at the endurance classic and qualified in 49th overall (seventh in its IMSA class). It achieved a pretty stunning result in the race, outlasting a host of much faster machinery, coming home ninth overall and second in class behind the Luigi CSL, which came eighth overall.
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    Matt Zollo
    BMW ART CARS / #Frank-Stella : #BMW-3.0CSL / #BMW-E9 / #Kugelfischer-Injection-System / #Kugelfischer / #BMW-E9-Frank-Stella / #BMW-3.0CSL-E9 / / #Art-Cars / #BMW

    Never mind the fine artwork on the bodywork, underneath Stella’s geometric lines this #CSL packed a mighty turbocharged punch.

    The second of BMW’s Art Cars was another CSL and technically this machine was the brainchild of the then-head of #BMW-Motorsport , Jochen Neerpasch. It came about as a result of rule changes for the #1976 season which would have seen the factory works CSLs effectively detuned for the more stringent Group 2 regulations which demanded a return to smaller aerodynamic addenda, wet sump lubrication, and most crucially, a banning of four-valve cylinder heads unless they were used in series production. Neerpasch didn’t take this lying down and decided to strap a pair of turbochargers to the CSL’s engine and take on the dominant Porsche 935s in Group 5.

    In hindsight it might not have been the best idea as the car wasn’t desperately reliable and in the end only raced three times at #Silverstone , #Le-Mans and #Dijon . The Stella CSL used a 3.2-litre version of the twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder #M49 / #BMW-M49 unit to which Josef Schnitzer attached a brace of #KKK turbochargers and a Kugelfischer injection system. On the dyno it could crack 1000hp, but it was wound down to develop 750-800hp in race trim in a vain attempt to allow the rest of the car to cope with these monumental forces that it had never been designed to withstand. There was no doubting that it was quick… but on its first outing at Silverstone it lasted just 14 laps before needing a new set of boots that had been vapourised by the engine’s torque and by lap 43 it had retired with a melted transmission.

    At Silverstone the car didn’t yet sport Frank Stella’s geometric patterns but BMW had seen how much interest the Calder CSL had generated at Le Mans the previous year so it commissioned Stella to paint the car for the 1976 running of the endurance classic. With longer gearing for Le Mans the CSL was a monster, allegedly pulling 212mph on the Mulsanne straight – drivers Gregg and Redmond must have been absolute legends – and they managed to put it eighth on the grid. Sadly in the race the inevitable happened and it retired after 23 laps.

    Its last outing was at the last round of the World Makes Championship which was held at the small Dijon circuit in September 1976. By now the turbo CSL sported a reinforced differential, gearbox and halfshafts and was back in the hands of Peterson (who had driven it at Silverstone). In qualifying at least, things at last seemed to be going according to plan as he managed to hold back the phalanx of Porsche 935s to take the top spot on the grid.

    Peterson led from the start and once he’d pulled away from Jacky Ickx’s Martini 935 the boost was wound down until Ickx could maintain the same pace as the CSL but not catch it. However, even this approach didn’t work and on lap 33 the diff turned into a casing full of swarf! A glorious failure then… but just look at, obscenely bulging arches, huge wings and that fantastic livery – what’s not to like?
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