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Formula 1 | sports car racing | motorcycles | road cars | goodwood

The great Ascari: faster than Fangio?

By Nigel Roebuck

E x c l u siv e!

Villeneuve Jr’s tribute to Gilles By Damien Smith

Worl d firs t !

The Radical built for the road By Andrew Frankel

Formula 1’s future: the big questions What we need to know as F1 faces its toughest challenges


How to ride the Isle of Man TT

Mat Oxley’s fast guide to the world’s most dangerous race

On your marks for Goodwood…

The cars you won’t want to miss at the 2012 Festival of Speed

july 2012

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the glory of

Group C The monsters that rocked Le Mans, starring Jaguar, Lancia, Peugeot and more


The greatest of them all

Porsche: why it was the first and last word in a golden era of sports cars 14/05/2012 17:18

since 1924 – The original motor racing magazine

Volume 88 Number 7


In the spirit of WB

Features 50 30 Years of Group c The greatest era of sports car racing and the cars that starred in it

95 The collection The latest from the Donington Museum: JYS’s F3 helmet and bag

64 Porsche 956 and 962 The beginning and end of Porsche’s seven-year Group C dominance

98 Alberto Ascari Why many thought the great Italian racer was faster than Fangio

74 f1’s BIG QUESTIONS The challenges facing Formula 1

12 MV Agusta at the Isle of Man 1 TT winner Mat Oxley takes us for a lap of the famous track on MV’s latest

80 lUNCH WITH... hENRI pESCAROLO Mr Le Mans reflects on his career

20 Road cars 1 Radical SR3 SL road test, and a chat with Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche

Cover image: Mat t Howell

90 Festival of Speed Preview What to see on June 28-July 1

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see p72 for great Motor Sport offers

Call +44 (0) 20 7349 8472 or visit w w w. m oto r s p o r t m ag a z i n e . c o m

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since 1924 – The original motor racing magazine

Volume 88 Number 7


In the spirit of Jenks

Favourites 14 The Month in Motor Sport Jacques Villeneuve drives his father’s Ferrari 312T4 at Maranello

128 Sidetracked Sebastien Buemi on life with Toyota, plus a Cholmondeley track guide

24 Events of the month The Spa 6 Hours, Donington Historic and the Monaco Historique

32 Historic scene 1 Ex-Moss Lotus 18 races again, and a rare Delage goes to Brooklands

28 Roebuck’s reflections Williams wins again after eight years, and a road trip to Modena

135 Auctions Results from RM and Bonhams at Monaco, and Ligier JS2 up for sale

39 Dispatches Audi star Allan McNish on racing against Toyota and Porsche

37 Book reviews 1 Works on Carroll Shelby, Frank Lockhart and racing car transporters

41 on two wheels The last all-rounder: Graeme Crosby

39 You were there 1 Sports car racing from America in the late 1960s and early ’70s

43 The US Scene Mechanic Roger Bailey’s career spent working with the likes of Chris Amon 45 Desirables Watches from the world of racing 46 Letters Regrets about the Moss accident

40 Doug Nye 1 The true story of the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix, plus camera cars in F1 44 parting shot 1 Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss in the 1959 Gold Cup at Oulton Park

August 2012 issue on sale June 29 8


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Nigel Roebuck

Reflections – The happy surprise of Pastor Maldonado – An emotional pilgrimage to Modena


iven Adrian Newey’s unmatched ability to find downforce in places denied to others, you might reasonably have expected that the Circuit de Catalunya, with its long, fast corners, would have been heaven-sent for the Red Bulls. Mark Webber, after all, dominated the Spanish Grand Prix in 2010, and Sebastian Vettel – admittedly under pressure from Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren – won the race last year. This time around, however, Vettel and Webber started seventh and 11th, and finished sixth and 11th. On the podium, meantime, we had drivers from Williams, Ferrari and Lotus. Why, it could have been the late 1970s. I’ll happily admit that I was stunned by Pastor Maldonado’s performance, and it was more than cruel that the day of Williams’s triumphant comeback should have ended with that horrendous pit fire, in which some were injured, and during


which mechanics, mostly wearing shorts, from sundry teams behaved with consummate heroism. In his GP2 days it was clear that Maldonado was inherently quick, albeit something of a wild man, but – whatever Adam Parr may have said at the time – it was also plain that what got him into a Williams in the first place was the provision of a great many Venezuelan petro-dollars. Nothing wrong with that – welcome to the 21st century – but one never quite understood why Parr should have curiously described as ‘repulsive’ the suggestion that money had come into the equation. Last year, in a singularly poor Williams, Maldonado – as his team-mate Rubens Barrichello acknowledged – quite often showed genuine pace, notably at Monaco, where he flattered the car and would have scored his first points had not Lewis


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The drought is over: Maldonado and Williams celebrate first win for Sir Frank in eight years

Bruno Senna didn’t make it out of Q1. Maldonado lined up against Alonso, and it was no more than predictable that Fernando – always a great starter and before his home crowd – should resolutely refuse to lift on the run down to the first corner, and snick into the lead. Any thoughts, though, that the Ferrari was going to disappear were swiftly dispelled: Maldonado kept the gap constant, taking the lead at the first stops by a combination of singularly

assertive strategy by his team, an obstructive delay to Alonso by Marussia’s Charles Pic, and a sensational ‘out’ lap on tyres coming up to temperature. Late in the race Alonso, on slightly newer Pirellis, closed in on Maldonado, perhaps hoping that pressure might induce a repeat of the lapse in Australia, but it never came. In the end, indeed, it was the Ferrari which ran out of grip, falling back almost into the clutches of Kimi Räikkönen’s Lotus. Maldonado drove faultlessly, and came home to score Williams’s first win since Juan Pablo Montoya took the flag at Interlagos in 2004, his final drive for the team. Last season was catastrophic for Williams, yielding just five points from 19 races, and I was one of many saddened L AT

Hamilton bundled him into the fence at Ste Devote. At the end of the year it was no surprise to see him swiftly confirmed for 2012, while Barrichello, with a minimum of good grace, sadly, was shown the door. I must say I thought of Rubens, sitting there in Indianapolis, waiting to drive one of those odd new Indycars, digesting the news from Spain. In Melbourne Maldonado was involved in an intense fight with Fernando Alonso, but when he dropped it on the last lap there wasn’t huge surprise, for he had shown similar fallibility before. At Barcelona, though, he was close to perfect. When Hamilton, through no fault of his own, was removed by the stewards from pole position, Pastor was promoted to the top spot – and this on a day when team-mate

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Three decades ago, Group C set out to prove that a fuel efficiency formula could make for magnificent racing by richard heseltine

The Ultimate


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Mat thew Howell


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future of formula 1

F o r m u l a 1:

The big questions

Key decisions in the next 12 months could permanently change the shape of Grand Prix racing. From the commercial management to the future health of race teams and circuits, we pinpoint the challenges F1 is facing – and offer some potential answers By Christian Sylt & Caroline Reid


ormula 1 seems to thrive on uncertainty and chaos. Rarely is there a time when the regulations are certain, no teams or race promoters are at risk of going under and the ownership of the sport is stable. However, even by its usual standards, F1 has a lot of balls in the air right now. Bernie Ecclestone is the sport’s master juggler but he turns 82 this year, raising the inevitable questions about how long he can go on. At the same time F1’s majority owner, private equity firm CVC, is planning to float some of its shares on the stock market in a move which would allow fans to buy in to the sport. What they would actually buy remains to be seen.



Will the ownership of F1 change and what effect would this have on the sport? Since CVC is a private equity firm it is almost certain that it will eventually sell its 63.4 per cent stake in Formula 1. Private equity firms use funds of money provided by investors to buy companies with a view to selling them for a profit once their value has grown.

When CVC bought F1 in 2006 it used €798m from its investors and the terms of its agreement with them state that the fund which the money comes from will be liquidated by 2018. This means that CVC needs to sell up by then, and there is an even more pressing deadline: F1’s second-biggest shareholder is bankrupt bank Lehman Brothers, which holds a 15.3 per cent stake in the sport. Lehman has committed to selling its stake by 2014 to pay its creditors. CVC’s preferred way out is to float some of its shares on the Singapore stock exchange this year, and Lehman Brothers is expected to cash in the bulk of its stake that way too. Around 20 per cent of F1 will be floated and Singapore has been chosen as the stock exchange since the sport will be a flagship for it. In contrast, if F1 floated in Europe it would be just another in a long line of big names on a stock exchange. The float will allow anyone from all over the world, not just those in Singapore, to buy shares in F1. It will also allow CVC to reduce its shares gradually while benefiting from the growth still left in the sport. This will encourage it to develop even more money-making opportunities such as merchandise, entertainment at the races and an increased focus on pay-per-view television. w w w. m oto r s p o r t m ag a z i n e . c o m

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group c porsches

The Group C formula was so simple there were at least a dozen workable solutions. But one company solved the equation on the drawing board, proving that x = 956. Even seven triumphant seasons later, that answer had only been revised by 6‌ by andrew frankel




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Mat thew Howell

first time

14/05/2012 14:14

Lunch with...

Lunch with…

Henri pescaROLO He’s a record-breaking flyer and rally driver, but after 33 drives there he is ‘Mr Le Mans’ – though his new role as team boss has brought a fresh sort of battle B y S i m o n T a y lor

James Mitchell



’m sitting outside a bistro in the warm Paris sunshine, enjoying a prelunch aperitif with Henri Pescarolo. Not for nothing is this man known as Monsieur Le Mans. He has competed in the 24 Hours 44 times, 33 as a driver and 11 as an entrant. Behind the wheel, he scored four outright victories. More recently he’s watched his own cars, built and run on a tiny fraction of the big manufacturers’ multi-million budgets, finish on the podium three years running. In France he’s known everywhere as a hero and a patriot. Passers-by in this busy street stop to shake his hand and say, “Bonne chance, Henri, pour les vingtquatre heures.” However, his career has encompassed much more than France’s most famous motor race. His endurance racing spanned 30 seasons, but he also started 57 Grands Prix, was a frontrunner in the great days of F2 with Stewart, Rindt and Courage, and was French F3 champion in only his second full season. His rallying tally includes 14 participations in the Paris-Dakar. He has been French helicopter champion. And he holds trans-Atlantic and round-the-world flying records in pistonengined and historic aircraft. Yet he’s quiet, undemonstrative, almost shy: as he says, “I build a wall around myself.” Only when you talk about his continuing will to

conquer the 24 Hours – about his battles not only with the big teams but also with the race’s organisers, and what he sees as the constantly moving goalposts of their regulations – only then is the true steel of his character revealed. Henri and his delightful and resourceful wife Madie, who helps him run Pescarolo Team, both appreciate good food. The atmosphere in Le Comptoir du Relais Saint-Germain is classic Left Bank: unpretentious, cramped and noisy. Its owner, the legendary chef Yves Camdeborde, is an old friend of the Pescarolos, and our meal is overwhelming. The six courses, each small and beautifully presented, comprise haddock mousse with caviar; ravioli stuffed with lobster, in a lobster bisque; a slice of delicate white féra from the Swiss lakes, with watercress; black Basques pork, roasted with asparagus; a glorious rural cheese which the waiter assures us is known only as “the cheese with no name”; and, as dessert, a creamy grapefruit crumble. The Côtes du Rhône that Henri selects to accompany this feast seems, to my untutored palate, to enhance all of it. Henri’s father was an eminent Parisian doctor, and it was assumed that he’d follow the family calling. As a boy he enjoyed driving his father’s Triumph TR3 around the garden when his parents were out, but he had no interest in motor sport. Aircraft were his passion, and he held a pilot’s licence before he was legally


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a l b e r to a s ca r i

The last great

Italian GP star Rivals thought him faster than Fangio, but fate was to snatch away the glory that was surely due to Alberto Ascari. And in the 57 years since, who among his countrymen has matched his genius? by nigel roebuck

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here are, remarkably, no Italian drivers in this year’s World Championship, and that is a sadness not only for the tifosi. When I was first enthralled by motor racing, red cars were winning everything, and these things abide. The Italian Grand Prix has always been my favourite race. They may have removed a lot of trees in the old Parco di Monza over time, and inserted too many chicanes, but still the circuit remains an iconic antidote to the vapid Formula 1 emporia which have lately sprung up across the globe. Monza is strong meat, and the richness of its flavour comes not least from the simple process of ageing. Racing began there in 1922, when Nuvolari was just getting started. Monza has provided delicious moments of drama and triumph down the years, but it has also exacted its dues, and you feel it as soon as you walk through the gates, where the spirits abide of Campari and Borzacchini, of von Trips, Rindt, Peterson‌ The tragedy which resounded most through Italy, though, was the one which killed Alberto Ascari.

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mv on the

mountain MV Agusta once ruled the Isle of Man TT races. Our former winner climbs aboard the company’s latest superbike for a ride round the world’s most dangerous race circuit by mat oxley



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isle of man

Mountain course is absurdly fast and demands utter precision

Brent Williams


hen the Isle of Man was the most important race in the world, MV Agusta built the world’s fastest race bikes. Between 1952 and 1972 the Italian marque won 34 TTs, so it seems right to tackle the notorious Mountain course aboard MV’s latest creation, the 201 horsepower F4RR. MV would surely have won more TTs if its star rider Giacomo Agostini hadn’t left the Island after the 1972 event, swearing never to return. Ago turned his back on the Island following the death of friend and rookie Gilberto Parlotti, who crashed during the 1972 ultra-lightweight TT, probably because of a fuel leak. Parlotti was the 99th rider to die on the Mountain course. The death toll now stands at 237 and yet still the riders come, lured by the TT’s unique challenges and unique thrills. If motor racing is a drug, then the Island is its crack cocaine. Yet despite the dangers, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with the place. Nowhere else gives quite the same feeling as whistling along the island’s country lanes, threading the eye of a needle through the village of Kirk Michael, sniffing the wild garlic after Rhencullen, trimming the hedgerows after Handleys, climbing the Mountain Mile and then plunging down towards the finish line, past uninterested sheep grazing on the moors. As some riders say, every lap is an adventure in itself. The topography of the TT course changes dramatically as it works its way around the Island, each section presenting its own special challenges and demanding certain techniques.

Sometimes the weather changes every few miles, so riders need to understand what effect sunshine or rain might have on various parts of the circuit. And then there are 250 or so corners, which means 250 or so peel-off points and apices, plus a multitude of camber changes, the kerbs, the manhole covers, the stone walls and the sheer speed of the place. The Mountain course is fast, ridiculously fast. There are several sections where you are flat out in top gear for a good mile or three. And much of the lap is spent in fourth, fifth or sixth, cutting through 150mph-plus sweepers where maintaining momentum is everything. The TT’s few slow corners count for virtually nothing. There are many places where you take apparently incorrect lines, making ground through one or two corners to get yourself set up for the next three or four. And there are corners you take more slowly than might be possible because otherwise you’ll be fighting the bike for the next few hundred yards instead of getting hard on the gas. There’s so much to learn, so much to think about and absolutely no question of getting anything even slightly wrong. That’s what makes the TT so thrilling. For obvious reasons you don’t ride the course as you would ride a Grand Prix short circuit, treading the limits of adhesion at every corner with the certain knowledge that every so often you will go too far. Ideally, you should never crash on the Island, because there’s a good chance that your first crash will be your last. Every rider has sections he hates, though few admit it. There are several corners I used to dread reaching each and every lap. Such corners require a huge girding of the loins, a duel w w w. m oto r s p o r t m ag a z i n e . c o m

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Parting Shot International Gold Cup, Oulton Park, September 26, 1959 Jack Brabham in the works T51 outdrags the Walker and BRP/Yeoman Coopers of Stirling Moss (7) and Chris Bristow (2), while Graham Hill, squeezed onto the four-abreast front row, raises an arm to warn he has stalled. Moss will win over Brabham, with Bristow third in his first F1 race To buy this photo or other classic motor racing shots, visit

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July issue of Motor Sport magazine  

We celebrate Group C's 30th birthday and look back at Alberto Ascari, 60 years after he won his first World Championship