Issue 1

Page 1

THE PIT STOP issue 1

q u a r t e r l y

m o t o r s p o r t

m a g a z i n e


CONTENTS

6 16 32 46 64 IN SHORT

RETURNING TO THE TOP How Emma Kimiläinen has re-invigorated her motorsport career

50 YEARS OF SAUBER Looking back at the history of Sauber on their 50th anniversary

THE ROLLERCOASTER CAREER The chaotic career of Tommy Byrne

RACING FOR MORE THAN A WIN The driver racing for an incredible cause

MCLAREN’S UNSUNG HERO Looking at the McLaren MP4/4B

JUST HOW GOOD WAS PEREZ IN 2020?


THE FORGOTTEN FIRST CAREER OF SAMMY MILLER A look back at Sammy MIller’s motorcycle racing career

THE LEARNING CURVE Samantha Tan is about to face the steepest learning curve of her career

PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES A legendary British marque making a return to the industry

UNFORGOTTEN GLORY: THE BRILLIANCE OF GROUP 1, THEN AND NOW The Gerry Marshall Trophy is providing Group 1 Saloons with a place to thive

MOTORSPORTS IN ACTION The IMSA team running McLarens

THE REVIVAL OF MCLAREN

88 100 112 126 140 WHY THE FORMULA E EXODUS SHOULDN’T BE FEARED THE PIT STOP 3


WELCOME

T

he last year has been one of enormous difficulty for each and every one of us. Nobody envisioned that the majority of the world would spend large parts of 2020 under lockdown, unable to leave home, spend time with family and friends or even go to work. There has been huge loss of life, a severe increase in mental health issues and a huge strain has been put on healthcare services across the world. It should never be forgotten just how hard and devastating the last year has been. For many, it will likely be the hardest year they will ever endure. But, in times of challenge and adversity, humans adapt and find things in their lives that give them a new perspective. Despite the difficulties, we should also remember that positive things have still been happening. It might not have been on a huge scale, but every positive moment should be appreciated for what it is. The last year has also given others an opportunity to bring something new to the table and for us, that is The Pit Stop. For too long motorsport magazines have provided the same type of material to fans. When you collect your magazine from the newsstand you already know what you are going to be getting - race reports, opinion pieces with the odd feature and a heavy focus on a major series such as Formula 1. It bugged us that there was nothing available that was dedicated to the incredible stories motorsport has to offer, and not just in top level racing. It frustrated us so much that we felt compelled to do something about it and as a result, The Pit Stop was born. We don’t proclaim to be like other motorsport magazines. We don’t want to be, and if we were, it means something has gone very wrong! We have no primary focus on any particular series. If it is a brilliant story and is motorsport related, we will write about it, regardless of whether it is to do with Formula 1, Indycar, Formula Ford 1600 or even local club racing. In our first Issue we cover a wide range of subjects, from the lesser known McLaren MP4/4B to the huge learning curve sportscar driver, Samantha Tan, is experiencing with her own team. Daniel H Lackey also talks about the revival of Group 1 sportscar racing and we take a look at the almost forgotten first career of trials bike legend, Sammy Miller. We really hope that you not only get enjoyment and satisfaction from the magazine, but also learn about parts of the sport you may not have come across before. We are committed to providing you with variety, and so as each Issue goes on, our contributor list will also expand, bringing new perspectives and opinions to the magazine. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be successful adventure and I want to thank you for your early support by purchasing the very first Issue. You have no idea how much it means that you are willing to put your faith in us so early on, and we hope our magazine repays that in full. Enjoy! Rob Hansford Editor

EDITORIAL Editor Rob Hansford Photography Editor Brian Smith Contributors Daniel H Lackey, Freddie Coates, Adam Proud, Andrew Wright Photography Contributors Lee Holt, Stacy Guiney, James Cornish, Dave Hansford, Michele Meyers, Jordan Lensson, Charlie Best, Peter Hardholt, Daniel H Lackey, Jeff Bloxham THANKS TO Eric Kerub, Darren Jack, Hassan Moghadam, Georgia Hansford, Luke Lo Bianco, Jack Burgess, Lisa Harrold, Jess Shanahan, Matt Beer, Tim Silvey, Harry Benjamin, Martin Gilchrist, Jim Blackmore, Stuart Dent, Sammy Miller Motor Museum COMMERCIAL ENQUIRIES Enquiries commercialenquiries@thepitstopmagazine.com

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IMAGE BY JAMES CORNISH


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TOP RETURNING TO THE

emma kimiläinen’s career appeared to be over at the end of 2009, but thanks to w series, she has bounced back and her reputation has risen in the process.

WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY W SERIES THE PIT STOP 7


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ollowing strong early success in motorsport, Emma Kimiläinen had accepted that her racing career was done when a lack of funding stopped short her career in 2010. But, five years after turning her back on motorsport, out of the blue, she received a phone call that would turn her life around again and put her back on to the path to become the successful racing driver she craved to be. After putting in a number of strong performances in W Series’ inaugural season in 2019, Kimiläinen’s racing career is now back on an upward trajectory. Her performances were so good that had it not been for a heavy crash early on in the season, which caused her to miss two rounds due to injury, she would have no doubt been in the hunt for the title against eventual winner Jamie Chadwick and runner-up Beitske Visser. The fact that Kimiläinen impressively finished fifth on her return at Norisring before following it up with pole position and a race win at Assen, and second place at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch, shows that she is a force to be reckoned with. However, this isn’t the first time Kimiläinen has proven she is capable of being competitive at the top of the game, for she was on course to make a real name for herself in the motorsport world with Audi until everything came crashing down around her in 2009. 11 years after competing in her first karting event, Kimiläinen stepped up to racing cars, entering not one, but three separate Formula Ford championships

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in 2005. She didn’t manage to win in her debut season of car racing, but she did collect eight podiums across the three championships, ending the year as runner-up in the Finnish Formula Ford championship and fifth in the Northern European category. The following season, with experience under her belt, she became a regular race winner, collecting four wins in the Northern European championship and finished second in the driver’s standings, whilst also claiming the same position in the Finnish championship. With some success under her belt, Kimiläinen progressed to sportscars and it was whilst competing in the Radical Cup Series in 2007 that she had her first real taste of a continental series - a DTM test with Audi at Almeria. The test was Kimiläinen’s one opportunity to impress and take her racing career to the next level and she grabbed it with both hands, impressing enough to earn herself a contract with Audi for 2008, competing in ADAC Formel Masters. Racing against the likes of Daniel Abt, Kevin Magnussen and Freddie Hunt, the son of 1976 Formula 1 world champion, James, it was the first time Kimiläinen had been on such a competitive grid. However, despite the increased competition and additional pressure that comes from being a manufacturer driver, Kimiläinen managed to finish second in the final race at Assen, placing her 10th in the standings at the end of the season. What’s more, she also finished the year with more points than Magnussen and Hunt. Kimiläinen was marking herself out as one to


“I STARTED A FAMILY AND GOT THAT GOLDEN PHONE CALL THAT NO-ONE EVER GETS” - KIMILÄINEN watch, but it was at this point that her promising career would come to a sudden halt. 2010 should have been her shot at getting into DTM, especially after having her most successful season to date in 2009, but Audi withdrew their backing, having been forced to cut costs as a result of the economic crisis, and it left Kimiläinen’s future completely in tatters. “I would have of course liked to do some more [racing] but unfortunately the financial crisis at that time was pretty bad.” Kimiläinen explained at the final round of the inaugural W Series championship. “I didn’t have the possibility to move on and then I stopped.” It was a massive blow for a talented driver who was proving her worth in competitive fields. Kimiläinen’s 2009 season was spent racing in Formula Palmer Audi against future F1 and Indycar drivers Jolyon Palmer, Josef Newgarden and Felix Rosenqvist and she beat them all. Yet the following year, she had no drive, no racing career and no funding to get herself a seat in a different series. With no chance of making an immediate return to racing, she went down a whole different path. She turned her attention to her studies, obtaining a BBA degree, and also started a family. Kimiläinen was convinced that her racing career was over, but a surprising phone call inviting her to race again turned everything on its head. Speaking about that magical call, Kimiläinen said:

“I started a family and I got that golden phone call that no-one ever gets saying that ‘we have been having an eye on you for a really long time, would you like to come and drive for us?’ “I’m like, ‘yeah sure’, even though my daughter was six months old then. Then I really thought that ‘do they know I haven’t been racing anything in four years and I have a baby and everything’ and I was in a completely new life situation and stuff.” Despite her concerns, Kimiläinen snatched the opportunity that had miraculously been presented to her and joined PWR Racing in the Scandanavian Touring Car Championship. But, having spent so much time away from racing, it took a while to get back up to speed, and she never achieved the success in the series that she had been hoping for. “I enjoyed the time in [the Scandanavian Touring Car Championship] because I got back into racing. But of course, I had a lot of work to do because [although] obviously the talent was there and I was really quick, when it came to racing situations and having the pressure and all that, I had to learn everything new again. The mental side was totally gone and I struggled a lot, I was nervous and I struggled a lot.” However, it wasn’t just about getting to grips with going racing again. Kimiläinen also had to make changes to her personal life. When she was racing first time round, it was all about herself. She could have complete and total focus on ensuring that she

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maximised every performance no matter the cost, but this time round it was entirely different. Having a child meant that Kimiläinen had to factor in a new dimension when she went racing. She had to consider her work/life balance and ensure that she had enough time for her family as well as her racing. But, having attempted to master it for five years, Kimiläinen believes that she has now found that perfect balance and it’s that sweet spot which allowed her to be so competitive in the inaugural W Series championship. “How to combine those things, it took a while to figure out and now it’s awesome.” explains Kimiläinen. “Now we have definitely figured it out and everything works perfectly. It has been a journey, but worth taking.” Kimiläinen spent four years in the Scandanavian Touring Car Championship, finishing seventh in 2015 before spending 2017 driving a Ford Mustang in V8 ThunderCars Sweden. Then, in 2018, an opportunity to return to her favoured single-seaters presented itself in the form of W Series. “I’ve always loved the single-seaters. That’s kind of like my thing because it’s fast, there’s a lot of grip. So for me, it’s a dream come true to be back in singleseaters.” commented Kimiläinen. “I am so grateful W Series have given me that opportunity to be back in this one because this is definitely what I enjoy most driving wise and it has been great.”

The crash at Hockenheim was a big blow for Kimiläinen, especially as it caused her to miss out on two of the six championship rounds after suffering a neck injury, but she believes that her performances after she returned has shown everybody what she is capable of. “I am doing what I’m doing, what I would have been doing all the time. I don’t know, I just drive. showing what the season would have been if I was not away.” commented the 31-year-old. That proof was there for all to see in the final rounds at Brands Hatch. The free practice sessions were held under tricky conditions, with a drying track, yet at times, Kimiläinen was more than two seconds faster than the rest of the field, a skill she puts down to her racing education at an early age. “I love rain, I love when it’s wet. I don’t know how old I was, but there was many years in a row that every time when it started to rain my Dad was like ‘OK, we go and drive now’. We just ‘cacked’ ourselves and we went to drive and he would then put me and my brother on the track in slicks and was like ‘good luck, have fun’. So, I am used to driving in the wet and I love when the car is on the limit. I can feel everything and I can just push the limit all the time a little bit further and yeah, I really enjoy it.” Her performances in the final few races were simply superb. Her form was one of the best on the grid, only matched by Chadwick and Visser, clearly demonstrating the potential she has; and

“I’VE ALWAYS LOVED THE SINGLE-SEATERS. THAT’S KIND OF LIKE MY THING BECAUSE IT’S FAST, THERE’S A LOT OF GRIP.”

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although racing has been restricted in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Kimilainen has already committed to a W Series return, with the aim to win the championship at her second attempt. Kimiläinen is yet to win a major championship, but if she were to do so, it would be the perfect fairytale ending. It would have been so easy for her to turn down that opportunity to return to racing in 2015. It takes so much hard work and effort to get yourself back to peak condition and competitiveness once you have stepped away from the sport for as long as she had and yet, despite having new priorities in life, she was ready and raring to give it her all. But, it took more than that for her to get back on to

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the right path. Had it not been for W Series’ inception it’s highly unlikely Kimiläinen would have ever made it back to single-seaters and if it hadn’t have happened, it would have been a waste of an incredible talent. W Series may have its critics, but Kimiläinen is the ultimate proof that it can give drivers the platform they need to completely revitalise and resurrect their careers and that alone is a good enough reason for it to exist. And if Kimiläinen can take title glory next year, she will have proven that she can take that next step to compete on the international stage against the ultimate competition.


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WWW

IMAGE BY BRIAN SMITH

GOODWOOD MADNESS THE MERCEDES AMG W10 AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED IN JULY 2019. VALTTERI BOTTAS WAS THE DRIVER AT THE WHEEL AND HE PUT ON A GREAT SHOW FOR THE FANS ON THE FAMOUS SUSSEX HILL.

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50 YEARS OF SAUBER

WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES COURTESY OF SAUBER / DAIMLER

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G

rowing up, Peter Sauber had no intention of immersing himself in the motorsport world, but 50 years later he has become a pillar of the industry and his team still lives on, while many of his peers around him have fallen

away. With the Swiss team now celebrating just over half a century in existence, The Pit Stop looks back at Peter Sauber’s career and how his team has grown to become one of the oldest teams still operating on the Formula 1 grid today albeit now under the guise of Alfa Romeo.

THE EARLY YEARS Having trained as an electrician, Sauber took a less obvious career path and began working as a car salesman in Hinwil Switzerland, and it would be this career choice that gave him his initial introduction to motorsport.

Motorsport was banned in Switzerland from 1955, but hillclimbs were still permitted and Sauber took part in a number of events using a Volkswagen Beetle. He got drawn in and enjoyed it so much that he made the ambitious decision to build his own competition car. Although he didn’t know it at the time, it was his first step on the path to the highest level of motorsport competition. After spending time designing his first car, Sauber made his race team debut in 1970. He named it C1; “C” being the first initial of his wife, Christiane and he entered the Swiss Sportscar championship under the name PP Sauber AG. Despite the odds against him, Sauber won the title at the first time of asking. The stage was set. The immediate success motivated him to build additional cars and enter more championships, but he soon realised that to be successful it wasn’t practical for him to run the team, design the car and drive it. He made the decision to step back from racing and instead sought customers to race

Jimmy Froidevaux

PETER SAUBER TAKING ON A HILLCLIMB IN A VW BEETLE

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THE SAUBER C9 IN ACTION IN THE WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIPP

C9 DOMINANCE

The C9 was absolutely unstoppable in 1989. The team won all but one of its races in the World Sportscar championship, securing the title by an incredible 71 points. To add to their success, they also secured a 1-2 in the Le Mans 24 Hours. It was an incredible result in many ways, and proved how much progress had been made with engine supplier Mercedes. Not only was the Le Mans victory Sauber’s first and last, it was also the first time in four years that a Mercedes powered car had made it past the halfway stage of the race. The #63 Sauber crossed the 24 hour mark victorious, having completed 389 laps of the Le Sarthe circuit. The #61 car was five laps further back, but still two laps ahead of the Porsche 962 in third. Reading that stat alone would understandably lead you to think the race was plain sailing, but that was far from the case. Sauber were running three cars in the race, but the #62 car suffered electrical issues, prompting concerns that the other two could develop the same problem. Thankfully, no electrical issues surfaced but the #61 car did develop a difficult gearbox problem, leaving the car stuck in fifth gear in the latter stages of the race. Despite the gearbox issue, the car still crossed the line in second position, a great achievement, and demonstrates just how dominant the car was during the race. The C9 was retained for the start of the 1990 championship and won the opening race at Suzuka, again securing yet another 1-2. After that race, the team introduced the C11 which proved to be just as dominant. Like the previous year, the team once again won every race bar one of the 1990 season.

Jimmy Froidevaux

his cars. The model worked well for Sauber, and six years after his team made its debut, they got their first win on the international stage. Herbert Muller was the man to provide Sauber with his first major win, having been victorious in the 1976 European Interseries whilst driving the C5 for the Francy Racing Team, and that championship win became a springboard for further success. With the added optimism that he could mix it with the top teams, Sauber entered the 1977 Le Mans 24 Hours. It was the most extreme test for any car and instantly hit Sauber with a reality check, with the team failing to finish the race, having retired after 161 gruelling tours of the Circuit de la Sarthe. But, Sauber wouldn’t be deterred. The team returned to the legendary French circuit year after year, and although he was yet to receive a classified finish in the race, BMW came knocking to enquire about a potential partnership.

THE FIRST BMW PARTNERSHIP After a number of discussions, the two parties agreed to form an alliance and Sauber prepared two BMW M1’s for the 1980 BMW M1Pro Car series. Title success wasn’t on the cards, but Sauber’s longstanding driver, Marc Surer managed to prove they could be competitive, finishing eighth in the championship out of 28 classified drivers. However, it wouldn’t be long before success started to head in the Swiss team’s direction. A year later Hans-Joachim Stuck and Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet drove a Sauber Group 5 BMW M1 to a commanding victory in the Nurburgring 1000km race. Stuck and Piquet held off an early challenge from Porsche and went on to beat the 908/80 car driven by Reinhold Joest and Jochen Mass by 19.990s. Victories like this were further evidence that Sauber had a special talent for engineering sports cars. It was clear he was able to build and prepare cars capable of winning big races, but until that point, he had been unable to display it on a large global stage, with strong Le Mans results still alluding him. However, that all changed in 1983. It was a year completely dominated by Porsche. The German manufacturer was winning everything with their 956’s, and in keeping with the rest of the season, they won Le Mans in style. But, while Porsche were celebrating yet another race win, Sauber were also having their own party. They had achieved their own victory, being the first non-Porsche car to finish the race, with the

Jimmy Froidevaux

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Daimler

C7 crossing the line in ninth position. Sauber was edging closer and closer to success in the World Sportscar championship and three years later it finally happened. This time running under the name Kouros Racing Team, Sauber entered a C8 for the entire season. Things got off to a shaky start with a few less than inspiring results, but their fortunes turned around in the latter stages of the year when Henri Pescaralo and Mike Thackwell won the 1000km of Nurburgring, despite the fact that the car was not the fastest on the grid. That result was the car’s first major victory and the success brought in additional investment, meaning Sauber could push on with further developments.

MERCEDES DOMINANCE Having had a number of impressive results, Sauber caught the eye of another giant German manufacturer - Mercedes. The pair partnered up for the 1988 World Sportscar championship, with the Sauber C9 featuring the famous plain silver livery. The partnership was simply incredible. The team won straight out of the box at Jerez and although it would be five rounds before Sauber would be victorious again,

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they fought back in emphatic fashion to win four of the last six rounds, ending the season second in the standings behind Jaguar. Sauber had found the C9’s sweet spot and they worked hard to perfect it for the following year, doing so with great success. When the new season got underway the team left their competitors stunned. They secured a 1-2 in the opening round at Suzuka and won seven out of the eight races in that year’s championship. To cap it off, they also secured an utterly dominant 1-2 at Le Mans, finishing two laps ahead of their nearest rivals. That success encouraged Mercedes to add additional investment into Sauber, and for 1990 their junior drivers joined the team’s ranks. But, despite having two young, inexperienced drivers in the form of Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the cockpit, the C9 was still the fastest car on the circuit and the team repeated its feat from the season before, winning all but one of the races they entered that year.

FIRST STEPS INTO FORMULA 1 It would have been easy for Sauber to continue to enter endurance events for years to come, knowing that


he would stand a good chance of winning each race, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to challenge himself further by taking his team to what is perceived to be the pinnacle of motorsport - Formula 1. Switching from sports cars to single-seaters was a huge gamble for Sauber. He’d never designed a singleseater formula car before, but his decision to take on the challenge was eased by the fact that Mercedes had agreed to enter the series with him as partners. However, all of the excitement and optimism came crashing down in November 1991, after Mercedes informed Sauber that they would be reneging on their deal due to the economic climate. It was a huge blow. Having already begun development of a new factory at the team’s base in Hinwil and with preparations of his first F1 car well underway, Sauber was already heavily invested in the project. Many would have understood if he decided to follow Mercedes’ lead and back out of the project, but having already committed so much to making his F1 debut, Sauber decided his only option was to see it through. Sauber made its F1 debut at the opening round of the season in 1993 and the end result couldn’t have been much better. JJ Lehto impressively qualified sixth on the grid for the team, with teammate Karl Wendlinger in 10th, and although Wendlinger retired on lap 34 with an engine failure, Lehto had a great race, running as high as fourth after the opening lap, and crossed the finish line in fifth, securing the team two world championship points. It was an encouraging start, but reliability plagued the

team. The black C12 was evidently a quick car, with Lehto and Wendlinger frequently starting from the top ten, and when the car did make it to the finish line, more often than not, it was in a points paying position. But, both Lehto and Wendlinger only finished seven races each of the 16 that season. Despite the reliability issues, Sauber still accrued 12 points throughout the year which was enough to place them seventh in the constructors’ championship. The result was even more impressive, given the fact that F1 development was unrestricted during the 1990s and Sauber was working with a much smaller budget than the likes of Williams, Ferrari and McLaren. Sauber came close to a maiden podium in F1 on a few occasions (including in 1993 when JJ Lehto was running third until his engine failed on lap 59 out of 61, handing third place to the Ligier of Martin Brundle) but it eluded them until 1995. After impressing Sauber in the World Sportscar championship, Frentzen was re-signed to the team for 1995, and he repaid them by finishing third at the Italian Grand Prix behind the Benetton of Johnny Herbert and McLaren of Mika Hakkinen.

EARLY 2000S REVIVAL Unfortunately, there was little success to shout about during the 1990s, with finances limiting what the small team could achieve. They were stuck in the midfield, often using pay drivers as a way to make ends meet.

Daimler

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However, in 2001 Sauber made yet another gamble that well and truly paid off. The C20 car that was used that season was powered by a Petronas badged Ferrari V10 and also featured an innovative twin keel suspension mounting. The front suspension mountings featured two longitudinal keels running underneath the sides of the nose, allowing additional airflow to help with the aerodynamics. It proved to be a very competitive car, and with rookie Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel, it ended up with some fantastic results. Raikkonen’s arrival at Sauber was an unprecedented move. At the time of being signed by the team, the young Finn only had two years experience of racing cars. However, he instantly made a mark, scoring points on his debut at Melbourne, while teammate Nick Heidfeld took his first podium result with a third at the Brazilian Grand Prix. In the end, the team amassed a total of 21 points over the course of the season, finishing an impressive fourth in the constructors’ standings - their highest finish in the championship at that point. Despite fighting to keep him on for 2002, Sauber failed to retain Raikkonen, who replaced his compatriot, Mika Hakkinen at McLaren, and the team turned to another young driver in the form of Felipe Massa. Having retained Heidfeld, who proved to be a reliable points scorer, Sauber ended the year fifth in the standings, but in the seasons that followed, the team lost their momentum and started to drift further back into the midfield. By 2005 the team had fallen to eighth in the constructors’ championship, and while it would have been easy for Sauber to accept this was the inherent fate for his team, he refused to give in and went about installing a brand new wind tunnel at Hinwil.

THE SECOND BMW PARTNERSHIP

Sauber

With new state-of-the-art facilities, Sauber had something different to offer potential partners and they were successful in coaxing BMW away from Williams for 2006, with BMW believing that Sauber would be the more likely of the two to deliver them a championship title. Having had time to make a number of investments, Sauber arrived at the start of the 2007 F1 season with a stellar car and a new line-up, after Robert Kubica signed a contract to race with the team alongisde Heidfeld, having impressed when driving for the team in the final six races of the season in 2006. Sauber and BMW had made Kubica’s dream come true - to race on motorsport’s biggest stage and to be the first Polish man to do so - and when speaking to The

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24 THE PIT STOP All images courtesy of Sauber


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shown by both drivers meant that they finished second in the constructors’ championship (after McLaren were disqualified) - their best finish in the standings still to this day. But, while Sauber were unable to repeat that feat the following season, it was the year that marked Kubica out as a potential world champion. The Pole was in title contention for much of 2008 and scored his and Sauber’s maiden F1 win at the Canadian Grand Prix midway through the year. It was the moment that both Sauber and Kubica had been waiting for. They had longed for a race win, and finally it happened. “Every race win feels special, but to know I was the first to win for the team means a little bit more.” Kubica explained. “It was great to see the faces of all the people who had been working in the team for so long, who had put so much effort in getting us where we were. I was able to celebrate with Peter and everyone else in the

“EVERY RACE WIN FEELS SPECIAL, BUT TO KNOW I WAS THE FIRST TO WIN FOR THE TEAM MEANS A LITTLE BIT MORE.” - KUBICA 26 THE PIT STOP

All images courtesy of Sauber

Pit Stop, he explained what a privilege it was to make his debut for Sauber. “Peter Sauber is a person that has built a team from scratch into one of Formula 1’s most historical entities.” said Kubica. “Of course, I was fully aware of the history of the team and what it had achieved, both in Formula 1 and in sportscars, so it was an honour to be in a team that embodied all that racing tradition.” Like Raikkonen, Kubica was a complete revelation, showing bags of potential, but it was the solid Heidfeld that brought home the bigger points more often. Heidfeld finished fourth in the opening three races, and was second in Canada. He also claimed third in the Hungarain Grand Prix and by the end of the season he had only failed to score points in three of the 17 races. Although Kubica didn’t make it to the podium that year, he too was a regular points finisher, only missing out on five occasions and the level of consistency


team – all the people who believed in me and gave me this opportunity.” A lack of consistent top five finishes ultimately cost Kubica a real shot at the driver’s title, but nonetheless, he finished fourth in the standings in what was only his second full season, with Sauber finishing the year third in the constructors’ championship.

BACK TO BEING PRIVATEERS The Sauber BMW partnership had excelled. BMW were right to think that Sauber had the potential to offer them a championship win, but before they could achieve it, the German manufacturer pulled out of F1. In order to save the team, Sauber purchased back the shares he had previously sold to BMW, making the team a fully fledged privateer once again. With budget now at a minimum, some tricky years followed, but as always, Sauber cherry-picked some incredible young talent. Although he didn’t have the outright pace of others, Kamui Kobayashi made a real name for himself at the team as a hard racer, happy to go wheel to wheel with anyone, while his teammate, Sergio Perez proved to be the master of tyre management. Perez’s talent for nurturing his tyres paid dividends, helping the team with strategy calls. It also rewarded him with a second place in a chaotic Malaysian Grand Prix in 2012, the first of two podiums that year. Kobayashi scored the second one of the season, finishing third in his home race in Japan, one that was appreciated by the whole paddock. Unfortunately, that grand prix was the last time

Sauber finished on the podium in F1 and as things stand, it is likely to be the last bearing the Sauber name for the foreseeable future.

SELLING UP The cost of running a F1 team has risen to an eye watering amount over the years, and it was plainly obvious that Sauber was struggling to keep up the level of funding required. Uncertain times hit the Swiss squad in 2015 and the following year new owners were brought in, relinquishing Sauber of his duties as team owner. The sale helped provide some financial stability, but the new cash injection wasn’t enough to help the team to take a jump forward in the competitive order. By 2017 the team were once again strapped for cash, however, the team was thrown another lifeline. Ferrari had been looking at a way to get their Alfa Romeo brand back into F1 and Sauber was the perfect fit, with the team having used Ferrari engines for the previous eight years. For 2018, the team was rebranded to Alfa Romeo Sauber, with Sauber eventually being dropped from the team name a year later. Although the Sauber name has disappeared from the F1 grid as a result of Alfa’s sponsorship deal, which entitled them to full naming rights, the team still lives on and enters its 50th year in operation. It’s probably not exactly where Sauber wanted to end up after half a centtury in the sport and it probably didn’t generate the amount of success he had once hoped for, but the outfit optimises determination.


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The current team has a vast amount of experience within its ranks and both Raikkonen and Kubica have returned to the squad for a second stint (although Kubica has rejoined as a reserve driver). The team still retains state of the art facilities, and to Kubica, the move back to Hinwil is like returning back to his family. “It’s a great feeling, it really feels like coming home.” explained Kubica. “The factory, of course, is the same, and there are a lot of faces from my first stint here in Hinwil. It feels very different from my first experience here, of course. Back then I was at the start of my career, I didn’t really know what to expect, whereas now I have a lot of experience behind me. “I think the team was built to be efficient and practical, very Swiss perhaps, and that mentality has remained. The new ownership of the team, of course, has guaranteed stability and a strong financial backing that is going to keep the team racing for many years, but the work ethic and mentality of everyone in the team is still that that has powered Sauber for all these decades. “It’s a smaller operation than when I was there the first time, but it’s just as professional and committed.”

LEGACY That ‘never give up’ attitude is the whole ethos of Sauber and the reason why it has been so successful over the years, and is why the team still exists today. Sauber wasn’t born into motorsport. He started from the bottom, in a country where racing is banned, and worked his way up. He had highs and lows, but in the end, he did make it to the pinnacle of motorsport. A car bearing his name did win a grand prix, and he challenged for world championship titles. Hopefully we will witness Sauber achieving more success throught the next 50 years. They may have struggled in recent years, but with Alfa Romeo’s expertise and the experience of Raikkonen and Kubica, they have the foundations that can put them on the right road to recovery. It’s not often a privateer can stick it out long term, fighting with the best, and regardless of whether Peter is sat in the boss’ chair or not, that same spirit still drives the team on, and will only help them in their quest for success. And without people like him, motorsport would not be what it is today, and for that, we can only say, thank you.

Sauber

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IMAGE BY STACY GUINEY / SUBERASHI AUTO PHOTO

SPLASH AND DASH A DRIVER CHANGE FOR THE NUMBER 91 PORSCHE GT TEAM IN THE 2019 LE MANS 24 HOURS. THE TEAM WENT ON TO FINISH SECOND IN CLASS IN THAT YEAR’S RACE WITH RICHARD LIETZ, GIANMARIA BRUNI AND FRÉDÉRIC MAKOWIECKI SHARING THE PORSCHE 911 RSR.

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IMAGE BY MICHELE MEYERS

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THE ROLLERCOASTER CAREER TOMMY BYRNE’S CAREER WAS ONE HUGE ROLLERCOASTER RIDE, FULL OF HIGHS AND LOWS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.

WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES COURTESY OF STUART DENT / MICHELE MEYERS THE PIT STOP 33


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othing in life has come easy to Tommy Byrne. Growing up, he never had money. He ducked and dived, trying to make ends meet, but after discovering he was pretty handy in a race car during a day at the Mondello Park Racing School, he made it his mission to pursue a career as a racing driver - a career he did achieve but not necessarily in the way he ever expected. Byrne’s reputation precedes him. People have this impression that he’s cocky and arrogant, spending his life with a chip on his shoulder. He openly admits that he could be cocky back in his racing days, but it was nothing to do with having a chip on his shoulder as most people thought. He just had this self-belief that he was one of the best racing drivers in the world, capable of beating anybody in equal machinery and it all began in a Formula Ford 1600 car on that day at Mondello. “The very first time I drove with [Formula Ford team] PRS, I knew how good I was for some reason,” said Byrne. “Don’t ask me how I knew, but I knew for some reason I was the best driver in the world. I know it sounds cocky because it is cocky, but I believed that. Once I drove that 1600 round Mondello after school I believed I was.” That quick snapshot of Byrne demonstrates in purist terms what he thought about himself when he started driving. He wasn’t deliberately trying to be arrogant in a bid to provoke people. It was self-confidence, this belief that he was the fastest driver on track that drove him to

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succeed and he believes that this mindset helped him as a driver and probably gained him two to three tenths of a second on each lap. Byrne battled for competitive machinery throughout his entire career, just like any other driver. His issue was that he didn’t have any financial backing that would help pay for his drives. He had to go about things in a different way, but when he did have a car capable of competing towards the front of the grid, more often than not he would win the race, proving to himself and the rest of the world that he wasn’t just an egotist. He had substance to back up his claims. Winning repeatedly and regularly earns you respect, and through the junior formulas Byrne had it in abundance from the likes of Ralph Firman and Murray Taylor. Firman especially, knew if Byrne was uncompetitive then it was because of an issue with the car. He would listen to Byrne’s feedback and resolve the problem, allowing him to go back out and be competitive next time round. It was a strong partnership and Byrne learnt a lot from his time with the Formula Ford legend. “Ralph just respected my talent and he knew that I was always giving it 100%. I might win two or three races or something and then all of a sudden, I’m struggling. He always knew there was something wrong with the car. “So he would take the car – that’s how I learned how to set cars up with Ralph Firman – he would take the car, put it on the scales - and that’s when I learned corner weights, and that’s when I learned how the car should feel going through the left-handers and right-handers, and toe-ends and cambers. I learned it all from Ralph. “Ralph would just throw shit at that car all the time because he knew, if it was Tommy, if it was Roberto


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“THEY JUST TOTALLY IGNORED EVERYTHING I SAID AND BASICALLY I DIDN’T HAVE ANY SUPPORT.” Moreno, or if it was Ayrton Senna, he knew that if they’re not doing the job there’s obviously something wrong.” Although that method helped Byrne succeed in the lower ranks, it was completely different when he did make it to Formula 1 with Theodore for the final five rounds of the 1982 season. He was seen as the new kid, one who lacked experience racing in the most prestigious category in motorsport and so it had to be his driving that was the issue, rather than an inherent problem with the car. Byrne grew frustrated and angry at this approach from the management at Theodore, in the knowledge that poor results would almost certainly cost him a full-time seat in the series in the future. “Barely qualifying and starting last doesn’t really cut it and it was a huge disappointment because the team did absolutely… they just totally ignored everything I said and basically I didn’t have any support. I just couldn’t understand why they weren’t listening to me when every other team owner I had, they were so happy to be winning races, you know? “It seemed like these guys didn’t really care about winning that much, and of course I knew my career was

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going to be over pretty soon if I didn’t do something special and it’s pretty hard to do something special when the team manager tells you that you’re not a very good driver and Keke Rosberg would be seriously quick if he was in my car. “At the end of Las Vegas, at the end of the year, I was so angry I just told them to fuck off. I didn’t want to drive for them anyhow and I would make my mind up that I was just going to go to America. I had my chance and I would move on.” Byrne’s F1 career was over before it even really got started. He failed to qualify for three of those five events and retired from the other two. On the face of it, an uninspiring career, however, those results don’t do justice to the talent Byrne had. His rise from Formula Ford to F1 happened at an alarmingly fast rate. He first sat in that race car at Mondello Park in 1976, took part in his first competitive race in 1978, and within only four years he was sat on the F1 grid. There are only two ways you can make it to F1 in that timeframe: paying your way into a team or consistently demonstrating that you are the fastest up


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and coming driver. Byrne was firmly in the latter category. Before making his F1 debut, Byrne won six different championships and was also victorious in the 1981 Formula Ford Festival in a car that Ayrton Senna was meant to be driving. Senna was the opposite of Byrne. The Brazilian saw that Byrne was getting his drives in the Van Diemen at no cost, while he was having to pay for his seat. Disenchanted with having to continuously stump up cash himself in order to secure a drive, Senna made a snap decision to retire (a decision he would quickly go back on) leaving Firman with the task of having to find a driver last minute for the Festival. By this point, Byrne was racing in Formula Ford 2000, but he received a call from Firman asking him to take the final Van Diemen slot for the Festival and he couldn’t say no. “I got the call to drop down to drive Ayrton’s car in the Festival and then Ralph said, ‘can you do it for me?’ And I said, ‘sure I can do it, if I have the special engine [which was called Patch]’ “I said, ‘with that engine? Fuck yeah, I can win that race!’ I might have maybe spoken a little too soon, but I did win the race. It was a struggle for me, but I won it. I won all four – the heat, the quarter-final, the semi-final, everything, but when I won that one, even though I had won four championships before that, that’s the one that changed everything because I got the Formula 3 test and a drive the week after at Thruxton.”

The prize for winning the Formula Ford Festival was a Formula 3 drive with Murray Taylor Racing at Thruxton for the season finale and Byrne immediately made an impression. He qualified second for the race and ended up finishing just behind winner Dave Scott who was a regular front-runner in the championship. That performance caught the beady eye of Murray Taylor, who had been keen on signing Senna for 1982, but ironically Senna’s decision to miss the Festival also ultimately ended up in him losing out on an F3 seat, with Byrne being offered the drive for the following year. Being shown that level of faith after only one outing spurred Byrne on. Like before, he thrived off the respect and trust shown in him and secured the British F3 championship title the following year, winning on seven occasions and beating Argentinian driver Enrique Mansilla by two points. Byrne’s performances in F3 catapulted him into F1 and although he didn’t manage to make a lasting impact in the world of top level grand prix racing, he doesn’t have any regrets, although he would have liked the opportunity to go wheel to wheel against Senna. After his brief F1 cameo, Byrne headed over to America and went back to his racing roots, competing in Formula Ford 1600 again for Firman. He had to start all over and although he had some minor success, he never won another championship. Struggling to make a living in the States, he headed to Mexico in 1993, racing

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Michele Meyers

primarily in F3, but after being shot at (the shot missed him) the following year by his friend Orchio, he decided to leave Mexico and headed straight back to the US. His career was instantly over. He became a labourer, fell into depression and it wasn’t until some friends got him involved with a local racing school that he managed to start enjoying life again. Today, Byrne works as a driver coach, mentoring young drivers who are trying to climb the same ladder he once did. He’s also back racing, but this time it is different. He isn’t doing it to earn money or prove a point. It’s now a hobby, and he’s achieving some strong results in historic racing having finished third in class in the 2020 Classic Daytona 24 Hours. Byrne’s career could easily be labelled as ‘a nearly made it driver’, however, that would be entirely disrespectful and unfair. He showed on countless occasions that he was one of the fastest drivers in the world, but

unfortunately various circumstances prevented him from ever reaching his full potential.There’s no two-ways about it: had Byrne got an opportunity in a top team or even midfield team in F1 he would have proven that he was capable of mixing it with the best of them. He had done it time and time again in lower categories, but he needed competitive machinery and money to prove that in F1 and he had neither. In the end, Byrne ended up with only minor championship titles recorded on his CV, yet none of that matters to him anymore. He’s now getting more satisfaction out of racing than he has ever had and it’s all because he’s doing it exclusively for fun. It shows that no matter what walk of life you are in, it can be unpredictable, it can be painful and nothing is for certain. That’s just how it goes. You never know what number you are going to roll on the dice. For Byrne that was a pair of fours rather than sixes, but despite that, life has turned out for the better.

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IMAGE BY BRIAN SMITH

FAST FREDDIE FREDDIE SPENCER, OR ‘FAST FREDDIE’ AS HE WAS ALSO KNOWN, WAS DOMINANT WITH HONDA IN THE MID 1980S. HE WAS THE 1983 500CC WORLD CHAMPION AND IN 1985 HE WON BOTH THE 500CC AND 250CC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, BECOMING THE LAST RIDER TO WIN A 500CC AND 250CC TITLE IN THE SAME YEAR. 44 THE PIT STOP


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RACING FOR MORE THAN A WIN WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY ADY KERRY / JAKOB EBREY

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who he’s been with since he was 15, a good job and a nice home. But, the one thing stopping his life from feeling completely full was a child. A family of his own. Toby and his partner tried for a baby, however a year down the line they still hadn’t fallen pregnant. “We went to the doctors and basically went through a series of tests.” Toby explains. “Nothing too great, they checked me over, they checked my partner over and we were then referred to our local fertility NHS clinic to then further explore what was going on. “We were put on various kinds of medication to try and help and it wasn’t really working. We just felt like we were being pushed through the system because we were NHS funded and then we went on to IVF treatment. “That was a really tough moment because you spend all this time planning for a family and getting a good stable living and having stability to then be told that you need to have a child through an in vitro. You’ve got to have it almost chemically made if you like, in a lab and it was pretty tough to hear. “I was mid 20s, and to have that kind of news broken to you was heartbreaking because it’s not natural. It doesn’t feel right but I just buried myself into it. I was trying to be strong for my partner and just kind of get through the process of IVF treatment.” The IVF treatment was understandably tough for Toby and his partner, Katie and they were unsuccessful in getting pregnant in the two rounds of IVF they did. The constant setbacks hit the couple extremely hard and pushed Toby to a point where he was in a state of denial,

Ady Kerry

he commentator was actually talking about the fertility awareness campaign that I was doing; and apparently Katie and my sister were in the grandstand crying their eyes out in emotion because they all knew where I’d come from and where I was.” Life is like a rollercoaster. An expression we have all heard many times, but it is an accurate description of Toby Trice’s life; he has already had more ups and downs than most of us will have in our lifetime. Toby is an energetic, enthusiastic man - excited and passionate about his motorsport career; yet scratch beneath the surface and you discover that there is a whole lot more going on underneath. The Kent-based driver’s career is different to many of his peers. Racing drivers are a rare breed, implicitly focussed one thing: winning. Nothing else matters, it is all about finding the perfect line and putting together the perfect lap time to ensure they win their races and championship, making it known to the world that they are the best. Toby possesses this inherent competitive nature, but unlike the majority of other drivers, he has additional motivations pushing him to be successful on the track, and that is to raise awareness for male fertility issues. Like many others, Toby grew up dreaming of becoming a race driver, but thought that’s all it would ever be - a dream. It didn’t matter though. He had a great partner,

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“I DIDN’T WANT TO ACCEPT IT, WHICH IS THE WORST THING I COULD HAVE DONE BECAUSE I WASN’T TALKING ABOUT IT TO ANYONE.” - TRICE in a bid to hope that this experience was not happening to him. “We went through our first round and unfortunately we lost the baby, which is really sad. It was very, very early on and then we were literally rolled straight into the next one and then unfortunately, we lost that one. So, it was really difficult. I literally, just put my head in a bucket almost, and was in denial that this was happening.” Toby explains. “I didn’t want to accept it, which is the worst thing I could have done because I wasn’t talking about it to anyone. Maybe I had one or two friends that I had spoken to about it, but it was just bottled up inside me. I was screaming inside, to be honest, and just trying to be there for my partner because she was going through such a physical, emotional, hormonal change. It was very brutal, the medication she was on. It was just so sad to see.” Although being unable to talk about the pain he was going through made life extremely hard for Toby, he did discover a way to release some of his anger, frustration and sadness; and that was through the medium of karting. Around the same time as he and his partner began IVF treatment, Toby started heading to Buckmore Park karting circuit on a regular basis. It started out as a way to find an escape from dealing with the fertility issues and time to have some enjoyment in his life, but it ended up becoming more than a bit of fun. “I didn’t imagine that I’d be competitive. I went purely

for the love of the sport. I’ve always followed motorsport and the fact that it’s an aggressive thing.” commented Toby. However, shortly after heading down to the track, Toby decided to throw himself into a full championship at the circuit. “I entered into the top tier championship at Buckmore Park of their rental series. It was called Buckmore Park Man of Steel at the time. I wanted to compete. I’m really, really competitive and I thought the best way to chuck myself into a go-kart and compete is right at the deep end of the championship, and see if I was any good.” As it turned out, Toby was competitive throughout that season, with races taking place on a monthly basis, although he admitted that in his final race he “got my arse handed to [him]”. What was meant to be some fun started to become serious. After his races, he would head to Burger King at the motorway services on his way home and have a debrief with his mate, analysing what had happened throughout the duration of the race. It helped, and he also discovered that he was a fast learner, as he carved his way through the competitive order, going wheel to wheel with Buckmore Park specialists, Jack Goldsmith and Rob Harding. In his second year racing at Buckmore Park, Toby finished third in the championship and also won the driver’s driver of the year award at the circuit’s end of season awards evening. It was huge for Toby. Despite going through one of the worst experiences anybody could have in their life, he was still finding a way to shine, and to receive an award that was voted for by his peers

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made it even more special for him. “It was a chance for me and my partner to have a night out and enjoy time together because at the time we were going through such intensive fertility treatment. We didn’t have time to go and have nights out. We weren’t able to because of the treatment. So it was actually a lovely night’s evening of a celebration because we could focus on something else other than just fertility treatment, and it got to the driver’s driver of the year [award]. “The presenter was then talking about ‘this driver has got a big future ahead of him, he’s very talented, he’s very driven’ and he was giving all of these compliments and I was thinking ‘crikey, that lad’s got a good future, he must be good.’ “I remember sipping a pint of beer, just as they announced the winner and they said ‘the winner is Toby Trice’ and I sat there, thinking ‘what?’, I just couldn’t believe it. They’d said all of these nice things about this guy and about his future and I’m like, ‘they’ve just said my name, surely that’s wrong’, and I looked at the presenter and just shook my head and laughed, swallowed my mouthful of beer, stood up and thought this isn’t right. “Those trophies meant more than just from being quite good at racing. It was almost like a metaphor to say ‘look, I’ve got some really tough things going on in my life with fertility, but I’ve managed to keep myself going and keep strong’ and the trophies were almost like me putting my middle finger up to fertility really.” Although karting was a way for Toby to escape, it also got him meeting new people, and one person in particular would be instrumental in helping Toby transition to car racing. Throughout his time racing at Buckmore Park, Toby had become acquainted with businessman, Vince Caldicott and having got to know Toby and what he was going through, Vince offered him a chance to drive his Ginetta around Brands Hatch at a trackday. Toby took Vince up on the offer, and despite the damp conditions on the circuit, he loved every moment, so much so, it prompted him to look at making his racing dream become a reality. The next challenge was how he could obtain the budget he needed in order to go racing. He didn’t have the finances himself, and knew it wouldn’t happen without sponsorship. However, after a lot of research and reading a book about obtaining sponsorship in motorsport, he felt it was a realistic ambition. “[The trackday] kind of inspired me to think of, ‘ok, well I’ve seen people go car racing before and have been sponsored’. So I went home and Googled how to become a race driver, how to get sponsorship and all of that kind of stuff and it was at that point I stumbled across Jess Shanahan’s book, The Racing Mentor - Get Paid to Race. “I remember buying the book off Amazon and I read it in about two weeks and was totally inspired by it. “I genuinely believed at that point that I could make

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“IT WAS ALMOST LIKE THE RACING WAS A SECONDARY THING BECAUSE I WAS MORE DETERMINED TO HELP PEOPLE OUT THAN ACTUALLY GO RACING.” this happen, so I thought ‘why don’t I just give this a shot then? Got nothing to lose’.” Behind all of the racing, Toby was still struggling to come to terms with the fertility problems and had reached out to Fertility Network UK for counselling and advice, but looking at sponsorship and beginning a career in racing also gave him an idea about how he could help others in a similar position and get the message out about fertility issues. “Motorsport is my escape to get out of my situation and trying to get myself out. It also broke down barriers for me to chat to other guys. I thought if I could do that in car racing and if I could get out there as a role model, then hopefully I can help more guys feel confident to speak out. I was in such a low place that by speaking out really helped me out. “It was almost like the racing was a secondary thing because I was more determined to help people out than actually go racing.” In order to help him achieve his target of becoming a fully fledged race driver, he took part in Jess’ sponsorship course, and at the end of it he had secured the necessary sponsors he needed to go racing, however, there was one major issue. Although he had a car to use and sponsors at the

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ready to fund his first foray into car racing, he didn’t have his racing licence and there was no guarantee that he would pass the test first time. “I remember sitting at home chatting to Katie and going ‘what have I just done? What if I can’t race? What if I can’t pass my ARDS? What happens? What the hell do I do?’”, explains Toby. As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Toby got his ARDS licence at the first time of asking and entered the Ginetta GRDC championship, hoping that he could be competitive over the course of the season. Like the rest of his life, his first experience of the championship was full of highs and lows, starting with the biggest low imaginable at the opening round of the season at Snetterton. “The first race weekend, the Friday test, unfortunately I was with a team that didn’t put oil in my car and my engine blew up. “They told me to ignore the oil pressure and the oil light because there was a fault with the car, so I trusted that was right and then three sessions in, the engine let go. So I had a very difficult conversation with my sponsor, Vince, to say ‘look the car has just gone bang. What do we do?’ and then that night I joined another team who took the car on and changed the


engine for me. “I was sweating all night. I didn’t get any sleep. I woke up in the morning so tired and I remember seeing this phone call, voicemail from Andy at SVG Motorsport saying ‘hey Tobes, the car’s all fixed. You’re ready to rock up in the morning. Let’s go racing.’” Toby had gone from one extreme to the other. His debut was back on, the adrenaline was running in overdrive and he headed to the circuit to get his first race underway. But, a fairytale start to racing wasn’t to be, with Toby involved in a first lap accident that wrecked his chances of fighting at the front. “Unfortunately there was a driver that locked up on the outside, going into the hairpin at Snetterton. He locked up, came past me and he then turned in, and all I could do was stand on the brakes and hope I don’t T-bone him. I remember going round backwards and I hit him backwards, but that completely finished his race.” Toby was able to rejoin and continue in the race but it was far from a perfect debut and a harsh dose of the reality of motorsport. Dropping himself in the deep end of a competitive championship with no car racing experience was always going to be hard for Toby, but on top of that, his lack of budget meant that he was unable to take part in any testing. He was therefore turning up at circuits, having

to put in fast times, without having driven around them before. It was a tough ask, yet he managed to fight towards the front, taking two fifth places at the second round at Silverstone. However, it was Donington where he made everyone stand up and take notice. “Donington has become such a fond memory of mine now. It was the highlight of my season last year,” said Toby. “Friday testing, the very first session, Andy said to me ‘look, you’ve never been here. Don’t go flat through Craners on the first session, but the car will do it. Just put some time in on the track, get used to the lines and stuff’. So of course, in my head I’m a racing driver now. He’s told me it will work. So I did an outlap and the very first lap of Donington I had ever done, I absolutely buried it through Craner Curves flat and a little bit sideways, and doing over 100mph on road tyres was insane. “I got brought into the pits and I thought there must have been an issue with my car or something, and Andy goes, ‘we’ve just been timing you. Did you go flat through Craners on your first lap?’. I was like ‘yeah, yeah, it was mega, really good fun’ and he went ‘well, you’ve just beaten everyone in the team and they all tested yesterday. You’ve never been here before. How have you done it?’” That buzz and feeling from setting a great time carried over to Saturday and he ended up second fastest




in qualifying, only missing out on pole position due to some wheelspin at the hairpin. He went on to secure his maiden podium of the season in the opening race, before repeating the same feat in the second, hours later. It was a glorious and emotional moment for Toby and an impressive one for everyone watching. Despite going through such a hard time personally and finding himself in such a low place only a year before, he was thriving on the track whilst also making more people aware of male fertility issues at the same time. His target was being realised, all in such a short space of time. “I remember crying my eyes out in pure emotion that I had turned my life around.” Toby said when talking about his race results at Donington. “The Donington Park race was the anniversary of our IVF treatment. I had gone from being in a place where I didn’t want to be here anymore, feeling in a really sad place and considering taking my life, to flipping it around and being successful on the track. I’m so glad I didn’t do what I thought, you know because look where I am now.

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“I’ve now achieved something so amazing and Katie said to me that when she was watching the race, the commentator was actually talking about the fertility awareness campaign that I was doing; and apparently Katie and my sister were in the grandstand crying their eyes out in emotion because they all knew where I’d come from and where I was. So yeah, it was a super awesome moment.” Toby went on to take one more podium at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch and while his results on the track were strong, his profile off it was soaring. During the course of the season Fertility Network UK made him an official ambassador for the charity and he was featured on BBC News in addition to other major tabloids. His idea of using motorsport to raise awareness for fertility issues was working, and proving to be an inspired decision. The increased media attention was a challenge for Toby, as he was never really one for the spotlight, but reflecting on it, he explains that he is really happy with


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what he has managed to achieve and is pleased that he has been able to help others speak out. “It was very overwhelming having all this media attention, but I think really, the thing is that I feel most about it all is pride. The fact I’ve been able to turn my life around from such a bad place to where I am now, for me selfishly, that feels amazing because I am proud of what I have achieved, but at the same time, because I am now helping so many guys out and so many people are reaching out to me for advice and support and knowing that I am changing their lives for the better, it fills my heart with love. I genuinely feel so overwhelmed and so

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warm about it. So, yeah, it’s amazing and I just want to keep that going.” Carrying momentum in motorsport is crucial because you can easily be forgotten once you’re out of that spotlight, and Toby was determined to ensure that Fertility Network UK could have a growing interest in the public eye. For 2020, he was looking to make the move to the Ginetta Supercup, which would guarantee him TV exposure, but COVID-19 put a complete halt to that. And for the good of his sponsors, Toby made the decision to sit out of racing for the year, as he knew he wouldn’t be able to provide them with the value for


money that he had promised. It would have been so easy for Toby to take the money and go racing, but instead, he has made it his mission to invest a lot of time into his sponsors in the background. He puts on events and works with his partners to promote their brand and it’s his open and honest approach that has won him so many sponsorship deals; it’s also why he has retained so many of them, despite the fact he isn’t even racing. Although he has spent a year out of the cockpit, Toby has been focusing on plans to return to racing in 2021 and, in the meantime, has been working hard to raise

his profile even further. He has become involved with various projects for Fertility Network UK, has set up a vlog on YouTube and has started taking part in a regular podcast with Racing Mentor. But, things haven’t been quite so positive in Toby’s fertility journey. After taking a year out of fertility treatment, Toby and Katie restarted it again last year and undertook further tests to establish why they have, so far, been unable to have children. “Unfortunately I have got a very complicated DNA issue which is causing our embryos to die basically. It was really difficult news to get. I only had that three

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or four weeks ago and as you can imagine, that was a really hard pill to swallow because I have been told that technically I am infertile.” said Toby. “Although I create sperm, they are no good unfortunately. So, it was really sad news but we are seeing a specialist in London to hopefully find out why that is and if they can change it, because if there’s something they can change, potentially we can then have children, but it could be the end of my journey. “It could be the end of my dream of being a Dad, so right now it’s a very difficult time but I want to keep educating other people that there are people in this situation and it’s fine to feel sad and it is fine to feel that way but there is more to life and there are ways you can keep joy in your life really.” In a bid to keep educating people, Toby is insistent on pushing on with his motorsport aspirations, hoping that if he can reach a European or international level, it will take his awareness campaign to completely new heights. His motorsport heart lies in GT racing and his ultimate dream would be to race at Le Mans, flying the flag for Fertility Network UK. And while he acknowledges that

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it may be just out of reach, having started racing much later in life compared to many other drivers, he considers the British GT championship a more realistic target for the future. With the way Toby has gone about his racing, personal life and awareness campaign with Fertility Network UK, there is no doubt that he possesses all of the capabilities to make that dream become a reality. He may come across as just another racing driver trying to make the big time to those that don’t know him, but once you do, it is clear that it is so much more than that for him, and you appreciate just how inspiring he really is. Not only that, but you question how he is even capable of remaining so positive and so successful despite going through something that is so incredibly difficult and at times, traumatic. Many drivers are in motorsport purely for the championship wins, some are looking for fame, but while Toby may be taking the same route through various championships as others around him, his motivations are entirely different and in a number of ways, all the more impressive.


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IMAGE BY LEE HOLT

BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS IT... MATT NEAL THRASHING HIS HALFORDS YUASA RACING HONDA CIVIC AROUND THRUXTON CIRCUIT IN HAMPSHIRE. THE 2.356 MILE CIRCUIT IS THE FASTEST IN THE UK AND NEAL HAD A PRODUCTIVE TIME WHEN THE BTCC DESCENDED ON TO THE TRACK IN AUGUST 2019, SECURING TWO THIRD PLACE FINISHES.

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MCLAREN’S UNSUNG HERO

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D

omination has always existed in this world, and in Formula 1 in particular, it can manifest itself in a number of guises. It can be dangerous, violent, scary and unnerving. It can be mundane, predictable and boring, and yet it can also be exhilarating,

exciting and tense. It takes a lot to stay dominant, fighting off challengers at every angle, but McLaren managed to do just that in the late ’80s, and the effort they went to in order to stay ahead of their rivals is something to behold. While Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna stole the headlines, winning race after race, whilst also feuding with each other, a small team behind the scenes kept the pair of them supplied with incredible race cars that still

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to this day, are some the most dominant F1 cars to have ever existed. The Woking-based team’s dominance began in 1988 when chief designer, Steve Nicholls and his team, including Matthew Jeffreys designed the MP4/4. The MP4/4 was effectively an evolution of previous McLaren chief designer, John Barnard’s design philosophy with a few amendments. Barnard’s designs had previously run with a v-shaped monocoque, which proved useful for the ground-effect era, but not so for the turbo era. In order to rectify this, Nicholls flattened out the floor and this allowed the fuel tank to be placed lower and the side of the car straightened up. Regulation changes also meant the front axle had to be brought forward, in front of the driver’s feet, meaning the car naturally had a lower ride height.


It was never Nicholls’ intention to design such a low car, but it paid dividends and the MP4/4 turned out to be simply incredible. However, it was more than just about the car. McLaren had got themselves into the unique position of possessing the best personnel in all aspects of the team. They had the best designers, best engineers, and the fastest drivers on the grid. With Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna at the wheel, the car took pole position and won at 15 of the 16 rounds that year. It was the Ferrari of Gerhard Berger who scuppered McLaren’s chances of a clean sweep of pole positions at the German Grand Prix, while both cars failed to finish the Italian Grand Prix, although Senna was classified in 10th. The team won that year’s title with 199 points to

Ferrari’s 65 in second, and Senna clinched his first world championship, beating Prost by a mere three points. It was total domination. Many people believed it was because the Honda power unit was the best engine on the grid, but as Nicholls pointed out, Lotus also had the same engine and yet they never got close to the McLarens. “Lotus had exactly the same engines as we did and we would routinely lap them and in fact, they couldn’t accept it.”explained Nicholls. “They thought we were a bunch of no names and they were the Lotus team, and they just felt we must be cheating. “And, when I say the same engine, it wasn’t like we had later development or anything compared to Lotus. [Honda] had a pool of engines and they’d go away to be rebuilt or whatever and then we’d be given engines. Some of those engines would go away and be rebuilt

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and we’d be given engine numbers that Lotus had, had previously and vice versa, [but] Lotus were so convinced that we were gaining some kind of advantage with the engine. “There was very little difference in the engines, but for qualifying [Honda] tried to give us the engine that made the most power and then for the race they picked the engines that they deemed would be more reliable. “So, at Monaco, as usual we took the qualifying engines out and put the race engines in and then Honda came to us and said ‘would you mind if we used your qualifying engines for Lotus’ race engine?’ and we said ‘they’re your engines, do what you want’. So they took our qualifying engines which came out of our car. Honda took them away and Lotus put them in their car and you’ve only got to look at the results of that race.” With personnel numbers a fraction of the size compared to today’s F1 teams, it would be easy to think that little was done during the course of a season for the following year’s car. In McLaren’s case, nothing could be further from the truth. Although very little was done to develop the MP4/4, plenty of work was being done to prepare for the following campaign. While Senna and Prost were galavanting around the globe destroying their opposition, McLaren had a small team working together, trying to get ahead on the new regulations, which prevented Honda from

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being able to supply the RA168E V6 turbo power unit. With turbo powerplants outlawed for the 1989 season Honda knew they would need a naturally aspirated engine. They also wanted to ensure that any new engine would be the best on the grid right out of the box, in a bid to keep their reputation intact. Despite the tough target, and being a year behind a number of competitors who had been using naturally aspirated engines in 1988, they built the naturally aspirated V10, RA109E with plenty of time to spare. Ever the perfectionists, Honda enlisted McLaren’s help to ensure their new engine would remain the strongest on the grid. The Woking-based squad agreed to assist and a dedicated power unit testing team was put together. But to go ahead with the development programme, McLaren needed a car capable of putting the new V10 through its paces, and so they came up with a specific test mule - the MP4/4B. The MP4/4B was primarily the same as the MP4/4, but Neil Oatley, the chief designer of the MP4/5, amended the rear of the car to cater for the naturally aspirated engine. The fuel tank was also smaller, meaning the car would never have been able to complete a race distance, but as a test car, the limited range was not an issue. The MP4/4B was ready for work during the 1988 F1 season and testing began at Silverstone, with Senna, Prost and Emanuele Pirro all driving, before another test


was conducted at Imola four weeks later, with Senna and Prost behind the wheel once again. From there, the car went to Japan where it would continue with its testing programme well into the 1989 season. Ron Dennis had hired Pirro as a test driver for 1988 and based him in Japan so that he could regularly test the 4B at Suzuka with a dedicated McLaren test team. Honda also supplied a number of engineers to work on the engine. It was a gruelling year for all involved. Testing would take place three days a week, every fortnight, and Pirro would dovetail his duties with an entry in the Japanese Formula 3000 championship. “[Testing] was hard and when I was [asked] by Ron, I really didn’t know what I was facing.” said Pirro. “By then my hopes to get to Formula 1 were zero virtually. In ’87 I

only drove touring cars because basically I abandoned the idea of trying to make it after two years of Formula 3000. I was done. So ’87 I only did touring cars and it was almost a coincidence when Ron asked, and I love challenges and the more difficult something is, the more appealing it is to me and I said ‘yeah’, but I didn’t really know how much I could benefit.” With a full testing team based in Japan (bar Chief Test engineer, Tim Wright, who would travel to and from the UK), the team could set about understanding and perfecting the RA109E, and although the MP4/4B chassis was identical to the 4/4, the new engine made the car handle in a very different way. “The V10 was a bigger engine and the power delivery was extremely different, especially at the beginning it was quite sharp.” commented Pirro. “The initial throttle response was very aggressive and this really made you

“THE V10 WAS A BIGGER ENGINE AND THE POWER DELIVERY WAS EXTREMELY DIFFERENT, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING IT WAS QUITE SHARP”- PIRRO

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“I remember as we worked through ’88, I had been at the first test at Imola with the 4/4 and it was obvious there that it was something special. but, working through that year, backwards and forwards to Japan and watching the results, you just realised. I mean I had worked with Prost for ’85 and ’86. I was his race engineer and they were good years, but when you get something special like the 4/4 in ’88, it was unbelievable. “I mean, how dominant the car was. it just buoyed everybody up when we were doing the testing because we could see what we were doing was helping with these results.” - TIM WRIGHT

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feel like you were driving a different car. Also, the weight of the engine was having an impact on the car behaviour, so yes it was the same car with a different engine, but was it the same car to drive? No, very different.” Due to the nature of Senna’s driving style, the team had to work on the driveability and throttle response, but back then there was no fly-by-wire system. The only way the response could be adjusted was by amending the maps, or scrolls as they were also known. “A lot of work was done especially to please Senna, who was a little more demanding on throttle response and power delivery.” Pirro explained when talking about the throttle delivery. “A lot of work was done to make the engine, not more brutal, but more drivable, but with a smoother power delivery and throttle response. You could only change the runs, so it was a little bit more difficult, but we were really trying to have the power delivered exactly when you wanted in order to have good traction.” The throttle delivery also affected the balance of the car, and Chief Testing Engineer, Wright explained that Honda created a number of different scrolls to help the team find the sweet spot, and that the Japanese manufacturer’s work ethic on the matter was something to behold. “The good thing with those engines, I mean this is obviously pre fly-by-wire, was that Honda could come up with all sorts of different shapes of scrolls to open the throttle slides and we just played around with those a lot and also obviously tried to get the car balanced.” he said. “It was very interesting times. We were either at Suzuka or Fuji a couple of times, to give us a different circuit to try and balance that. I think it was just the work ethic of Honda during that time that was just so impressive. I mean going to Wako and seeing what they had there, it was just those incredibly interesting times from an engineering point of view.” Wright spent a lot of time that season working closely with Honda, and a lot of focus had to be given to the oil tank, as there were a number of issues in getting it to scavenge properly. “I spent quite a lot of time with Honda at Wako as well because we were having a bit of trouble with the oil system.” Wright explained when discussing the issues with the MP4/4B. “Originally I was a draftsman as well as a race engineer, so I was drawing up bits for it , taking them out to Japan and then we’d stick them on the dyno and just run them on the dyno to make sure it all worked before we put them on the car. It was a fairly intensive time while we developed all of that.” But although there were issues with the oil system, the engine itself was strong straight out of the box. “As I say, we had a lot of problems getting the oil system to work properly. We went through several different designs of oil tank so that it would scavenge properly, but the engine itself, no, they were on top of their game in those days and the engine was strong from the beginning.”

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The team spent the majority of the season testing the car at Suzuka, and it made sense to do so seeing as it is a circuit owned by Honda. It meant there was no cost to rent the track and they could come and go as often as they deemed necessary. The nature of the circuit, with its wide variety of different corners also allowed them to fully expose the strengths and weaknesses of the car in a way that some other tracks simply wouldn’t be capable of. The only shortcoming of Suzuka was the lack of straights, but this was compensated by trips to Fuji, specifically for high speed tests, and Wright believes the circuit choice for testing was the right one to make. “For me, Suzuka is one of the best circuits in the world. It’s all subjective, but for me that was the right place to be. But as I say, we also used to go to Fuji, just because it was slightly different, longer straights and so on. But no, I think doing all of the development over there made it so much easier because Honda were there and it was only a couple of hours for them to get back to the factory if there were any problems.” Although Pirro was the main man in the car, pounding around the infamous Japanese Grand Prix circuit lap after lap, day after day, Prost and Senna also had time in the car. Having spoken with a number of individuals in the team at that time, it is clear from all of them that Senna was more vocal when he had issues with a car in

comparison to Prost, and his feedback was no different with the 4B. Honda respected Senna’s feedback so much that they also asked him to test their NSX (which was still in development) whilst he was at Suzuka, so that they could get his opinion on the car. Recalling Senna’s input around that time, Wright commented: “I remember doing one test with him out there. We had done a couple of days testing and then we both were travelling back at the end of the test, and we sort of had to rush to get the train back to Tokyo. “We were sitting on the bullet train and he’d sit down with me and he’d go through the circuit, and this is a couple of hours later, and he could tell me exactly what was going on with the car and the engine and everything. His recall was amazing and his attention to detail was obviously legendary. “It was good to have one or other of them in the race car. I mean Emmanuele, as good as he is, I mean he wasn’t one of the race car drivers, so they had to be there to correlate what we’d been trying to get balance wise and engine wise, and Honda obviously took a lot of interest in what Ayrton was saying about things. It was about that time that they were getting the NSX roadcar and they got him to drive that as well, because they had

“AYRTON CERTAINLY LIKED HIS CAR SETUP IN A CERTAIN WAY SO HE COULD WITHSTAND A BIT OF UNDERSTEER IN THE CAR AND DRIVE AROUND IT, BUT I THINK HE THOUGHT THE BALANCE OF THE 4B WAS PRETTY GOOD ONCE EMANUELE AND I HAD SORTED IT”- WRIGHT

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two there setup differently and they wanted his opinion on those.” Senna’s primary focus when analysing any car was the way in which power was delivered. It’s why so much work was spent on the throttle delivery and the mapping. But, he was also impressed with the work that had been done on fine tuning the balance. When discussing the feedback Senna and Prost provided about the MP4/4B, Wright commented: “Ayrton certainly liked his car setup in a certain way so he could withstand a bit of understeer in the car and drive round it, but I think he felt the balance of the 4B was pretty good once Emanuele and I had sorted it. I don’t remember anything specifically. He was happy enough with it. He was more interested in helping Honda. “The thing about Ayrton was the throttle control, always. With the turbo, he used to have this special way of dealing [with it] to keep the turbo spinning and then of course you go to naturally aspirated and it is totally different, so he needed to play around a lot with

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the throttle linkage and the scrolls as I was saying, to respond to the way he wanted it to.” “I think Alain was more... he obviously needed a smooth approach. He’s much smoother than Ayrton, but I don’t remember there being differences. It would have made it difficult for Honda if there were different throttles, so I don’t think we ended up with different scrolls. I mean, we tried lots of different profiles but they ended up both liking the same one as far as I remember.” While the MP4/4B provided Honda with a great tool to learn about their new engine in real terms, Pirro also gained a lot from the experience, some of which helped him as his motorsport career progressed. “For me, the power delivery and engine driveability, that has a big impact on car performance and especially traction. With that car I gained a lot of experience because, let’s say the fact of trying to have the power delivered as smooth, but as fast as possible was not an easy task, but it was very rewarding eventually. So, that is something I kept in the pocket for a long time. And,


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also that the size of the engine has an impact on the car behaviour because as I said, from the small V6 to the, it’s not fair to say big V10, but definitely bigger, also in terms of capacity, this had an impact on the car handling.” Everybody took away something from testing the MP4/4B, but one element that really stood out to everyone involved was the work ethic and partnership between McLaren and Honda. It was the strength of their relationship that had worked so well in the year before, and their dedication to creating a bespoke test car to help develop a new engine that enabled them to remain ahead of everyone else the following season. And, Pirro believes it was this work ethic is the reason why they were so successful. “This for me was a big, big part of the success,” explained the five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner. “Everybody was pulling the rope in the same direction and there were no rivalries, there was cooperation, although in terms of culture there’s a massive difference between Japanese and British people and especially in

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those days. “It was really good and this is one good reason why the engine was really in harmony in the car.” Although the MP4/4B never managed to compete in a grand prix, that’s not to say it wasn’t a great car in its own right and Jeffreys believes it was possibly better than the MP4/5 in which Prost won the 1989 F1 championship. “It always had an undersized fuel tank which was fine for testing, which is what it was designed for, but as it transpired, the drivers really liked the 4B in terms of its handling and just whole engine package and everything and it was actually better than the 5,” commented Jeffreys. Pirro also agreed that the 4B is a special car and ranks as one of the best cars he has ever driven. “You probably cannot imagine how many [cars] I actually drove, so a lot, thank God.” said Pirro. “The best three cars are the March 842, so the last Formula 2 season I


raced for Onyx before we switched to Formula 3000, that was a very, very nice car. The Audi R8, obviously the Le Mans car, and the MP4/4. These are for me the three best cars, you know, harmony, good balance, cars that made you feel comfortable to push in whatever you felt and yeah, these three cars. “The 4B is just a very small step below the 4/4. A very, very small step, so it’s really very high on the list of my favourite cars because what you gain from the engine performance and delivery and pleasure to drive, you would lose slightly in the handling and balance.” It’s a shame that the MP4/4B never raced in anger against the likes of Ferrari and Williams because it is entirely possible it would have proved to be a championship winning car, but regardless of that fact, there is no denying that it was one of the best test cars ever created in F1 history. At that time, the partnership between McLaren and Honda was simply perfection. The combination of great

team members, great drivers, an impressive chassis in addition to a sublime engine, enabled them to extract all the data required from the 4B to ensure the Honda RA109E was the perfect naturally aspirated V10, and the results speak for themselves. The MP4/5 may not have been as dominant as the MP4/4, but it won four of the opening five races in the 1989 Formula 1 season and won 10 of the 16 races that year, securing Prost his third world championship and McLaren their fifth constructors’ title, and a lot of that success can be credited to the MP4/4B. The MP4/4B is now part of a private collection, although it is no longer a running car. But despite that, it lives on as quite possibly one of the most successful test cars of all time. And, while the MP4/4B may not be as well known as some of the other successful McLaren F1 chassis, it is definitely just as special and was a key step in McLaren Honda’s history.

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IMAGE BY BRIAN SMITH

A NEW BREED LAST YEAR, A PRAGA R1 SECURED THE BRITCAR CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE HANDS OF DANNY HARRISON AND JEM HEPWORTH. IN 2021, THE MANUFACTURER WILL HAVE ITS OWN CATEGORY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, WITH AT LEAST 10 R1’S PLANNING TO LINE UP ON THE GRID.

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BURIED IN THE PAST: THE FIRST CAREER OF SAMMY MILLER WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY ROB HANSFORD / DAVE HANSFORD / SAMMY MILLER MOTOR MUSEUM

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S

at in Sammy Miller’s office, deep in the New Forest, it is easy to see what a tremendous career he has had. The wall on the right displays a beautiful painting of Miller riding around the Ulster Grand Prix circuit in his racing heyday and to the left are an array of photos of him with various friends and acquaintances, including the likes of Barry Sheene, John Surtees, Geoff Duke and Sebastian Vettel. Miller is predominantly known for his success in bike trials. He won the British trials championship a mind-blowing 11 times, he’s a two-time European champion and won what is arguably the toughest trial in existence, the Scot Trial, on seven occasions. He also developed the world’s most famous trials bike, the Aerial HT5 GOV132. Having had so much success in one particular category, it is easy to see why most people immediately think of him as a trials bike legend, but it should not be forgotten that his prior career on race bikes was also impressive in its own right. He made the perfect racing debut, winning the

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Cookstown 100 and after backing it up with a number of additional victories, he caught the attention of Terry Hill, a businessman and importer of NSU bikes in Northern Ireland. Hill was able to provide Miller with an NSU Sportmax 250cc for 1955 and Miller went on to make an immediate impact, finishing second at the Leinster 200 in Ireland. His world championship debut didn’t quite go to plan, having been forced to retire in Germany at the infamous Nordschleife, but he bounced back with an emphatic win when he returned to Ireland, in the Skerries 100. Consistency was the key for Miller’s opening season as he claimed multiple podium results on the bounce. He was an impressive second at the Ulster Grand Prix, behind only his teammate and good friend, John Surtees and he secured another podium at the Italian Grand Prix, despite having issues with his bike. Speaking about the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Miller said: “In practice I was the quickest, which raised a few hairs, and in the race I was leading it right until about two laps from the end and all of the sudden I got a misfire or two. [Carlo] Ubbialli and [Hans] Balsitberger passed me and I finished third in the Grand Prix which wasn’t too bad, but it was a stupid thing [that caused the issue].


“THE ITALIAN RIDERS GOT ALL THE BEST TACK AND I GOT ALL THE WORST TACK.” - MILLER “What happened was, a mechanic had tied the HT supply to the frame and when the frame got hot, hot, hot, it pulled the connectors on the wiring system apart.” It was a bitter moment for Miller. He had completely controlled the race, had done everything he needed to do to win it, yet was let down by a minor issue. He ended the year sixth in the 250cc standings, ahead of all but one of the other NSU riders, including John Surtees. The one rider that eluded him was Hermann Paul Muller, who won the championship that season with 16 points, six more than Miller. After spending a further season racing with NSU in the 250cc world championship, Miller made the switch to Mondial for 1957. It resulted in his best ever finish in the standings, ending the year in third place. However,

Miller had to graft for the results. They weren’t handed on a plate. That season, he had Tarquinio Provini as a teammate at Mondial and unable to speak Italian, Miller felt he was not given the same treatment as his Italian speaking counterpart. “The Italian riders got all the best tack, and I got all the worst tack.” said Miller. “[Racing at] Francorchamps, the Belgian Grand Prix, you’re bloody flat out down the Masta Straight and Provini comes past you as if you’re stopped and you get round into the pits and he’s complaining that his bike ain’t going quick enough. “So all our mechanics, they’re onto top of him like and I’m just pushed to one side you know. “So that was some of the reasons why I decided

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MILLER RACING IN THE 1957 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX AT MONZA ON THE WORKS MONDIAL. HE WOULD FINISH THIRD IN THAT SEASON’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

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Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

I’d better get the trials working, design my own bikes, perfect my own bikes.” Although Miller’s world championship career never reached the heights he had hoped for, it wasn’t as because of a lack of talent. His lack of budget and a manager is what ultimately held him back from fulfilling his full potential, but his road racing form, especially in Northern Ireland was imperious. He won the North West 200 on three consecutive occasions, from 1956 to 1958, and in 1958 he beat the great Mike Hailwood, a result Miller puts down as one of his greatest achievements throughout his whole career. The North West 200 isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s a brutal, highly dangerous 8.97 mile circuit that has claimed the lives of many riders over the years, but Miller believes his continued success at the track was down to that the fact it was his home race and a place where he knew every tiny little detail inside-out. “Living near the North West 200; it’s the ultimate North West, and you could learn the circuit all the time, if you know what I mean,” explains Miller. “So when the race came you knew exactly what you were doing. And it was a big circuit and a bit frightening because up until ’57 you had the full farings, that’s the bikes with the big farings. “That’s another real issue. Those farings were very dangerous and exposed sections of the road, and side winds literally blew you off. And the run from Coleraine to Portrush was a high ridge road with very little protection.

It was exposed and each lap you started off in the righthand gutter and you’d literally see-saw the thing right across the road as you were getting blown. This was at 130 mph and each lap you just hit the shelter of a tree as you’re in the gutter on the left-hand side. You only had to do that 15 times you know, so you weren’t looking forward to that.” Understanding what it took to be successful on the road, Miller tried to replicate his North West 200 learning process with the Isle of Man TT. He knew that in order to be successful around the 37.73 mile Russian roulettelike circuit, he had to know the track better than anyone else. In a bid to gain an advantage, he would travel over to the circuit in the winter and continuously ride around it, trying to ingrain every tiny little detail into his mind. “I used to go over about a fortnight in the winter with a trials bike with road gears on and just try to do two or three laps in the morning and two or three laps in the afternoon for a fortnight, to know where you were going. “It’s highly dangerous if you’re not totally familiar with that circuit you know, 36 and three quarter miles of corners, blind corners and blind ridges. So again, highly dangerous if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Unfortunately, despite going to extra lengths to learn the circuit, Miller never managed to win a TT race. Reminiscent of the Italian Grand Prix, Miller was leading the lightweight 250cc race all the way until the final corner in 1957 when the gearbox failed. Refusing to give up, he pushed his Mondial to the finish line, crossing the

“THOSE FARINGS WERE VERY DANGEROUS AND EXPOSED SECTIONS OF THE ROAD, AND SIDE WINDS LITERALLY BLEW YOU OFF.” MILLER IN HIS ARMY DAYS

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line in fifth, but once again bad luck cruelly denied him a race victory. Despite being successful on a number of road circuits around the UK and parts of Europe, Miller never managed to win on an international stage, and it was ultimately this reason and the fact that so many other riders were getting killed that prompted Miller to hang up his racing helmet and switch to trials full-time. “I had good success in the TT with Mondials and Ducati and then... Generally speaking, I was losing a lot of friends road racing and it was serious fatalities in those days. Literally one man a weekend and I decided it might be better to be an old trials rider than a dead road racer.” Making the decision to switch to trials was the right one for Miller. He went on to become one of the most successful trials bike riders in history, generated a strong rivalry with the legendary Lampkin family and successfully developed bikes for a number of manufacturers including Aerial, Bultaco and Honda. Now at the age of 87, you would think that Miller would be happily retired, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Based down in New Milton, Hampshire, he has created a beautiful museum, showcasing bikes from across the world, with his GOV132 Aerial, 250cc works Mondial and 250cc NSU Sportmax taking centre stage. You only have to spend 30 seconds with the man

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to realise how passionate and obsessed he is about motorbikes. He still works (he tells me he has slowed down to only working six days a week now!), restoring bikes for customers from the workshop at his museum and he still rides. He has also installed his own practice trials course at the back of his museum and he practices on it at least once a day. “I’ve got some trials sections over in the woods and I try to get out really every night for ten minutes.” explains Miller. “Daily exercise is very important, very important.” “If you just pack it in you lose your fitness and your concentration and your dedication and so I feel it’s more important now to... It’s of ultimate importance to sort of try and ride a bike every day. “Every morning I ride the trials bike up to the front gates to get the paper. Every day I’m on a bike twice, two or three times you know. Not because I want to, because I know it’s necessary.” Miller has had a completely action-packed career. Obviously his exploits in the trials scene will always overshadow his racing career and so they should. Throughout his trials career he won multiple world championships, but the fact he accumulated 15 victories whilst racing for NSU between 1955 and 1957 proves he could beat any of the best on his day and that he was a successful racer in his own right. And, if that were to be forgotten it would be a disservice to one hugely talented rider.


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IMAGE BY STACY GUINEY / SUBERASHI AUTO PHOTO

TIME IN MOTION IT IS EASY TO FORGET HOW MUCH GOES ON DURING A PITSTOP AT THE LE MANS 24 HOURS. HERE, THE NUMBER 94 PORSCHE HAS FINISHED ITS STOP AND IS ABOUT TO HEAD BACK OUT ON TO THE CIRCUIT TO COMPLETE ANOTHER NIGHT STINT.

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THE LEARNING CURVE SAMANTHA TAN ISN’T JUST TRYING TO LEAP INTO AN INTERNATIONAL SERIES AND MAKE A NAME FOR HERSELF. SHE’S DOING IT WHILST RACING FOR A TEAM BEARING HER OWN NAME.

WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY ST RACING / JORDAN LENSSON 100 THE PIT STOP


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ll young drivers are keen to climb the ladder, to clamber out of regional racing as fast as possible and make a name for themselves on an international scale. It’s the measure of success and ultimately defines how good a driver they really are, but Samantha Tan is taking it to the next level. Despite only having recently started a full-time racing career, she is embarking on her first full international campaign in 2021 and to make the pressure even higher, she is doing it with a team bearing her own name.

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It would be unfair to say Tan is completely inexperienced racing at a high level. She has spent the last few years racing in the GT4 America Series, achieving considerable success with her team ST (Samantha Tan) Racing, but 2021 will be the first time the 23-year-old is able to compete as a full-time race driver. Up until March last year, one of Tan’s biggest priorities other than racing was her studies. It was a balancing act, but as the results show, she made it work. However, by no longer having to split her time between two very different, but important aspects of her life, she can now spend additional time training and optimising her performance.


“I’ve been balancing racing and school my entire life, so this season was definitely different for me.” explained Tan. “Being able to put all my time into racing this year and definitely for next year too, I’m putting a lot more time into training and I hope that it helps out. “It’s definitely a lot easier because I don’t have that other voice in my head saying ‘Oh you need to study for exams or you have homework due tonight’, because I was spending my time after practice sessions or in between sessions studying or doing notes. “Going back to a hotel after a full day of sessions and then having to study for an exam is just so mentally taxing on top of having to learn tracks or having to remember everything, so it’s definitely been easier for my mental state you could say.” Despite teh fact Tan has only recently finished her studies, her results over the last few seasons have been impressive. Tan and her co-driver, Jason Wolfe, finished second in the standings of the Pirelli GT America West Pro-Am standings in 2019, with the pair sharing a BMW

M4 and in 2020 she ended up third in the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint X Silver championship with Jon Miller. It’s a strong record, but trying to replicate that on an international scale will be a different challenge entirely. ST Racing will be taking part in the Creventic 24 Hours championship in 2021. It’s a whole new ball-game. Not only will races be taking place on a number of circuits that Tan and her team have little to no experience on, she will also be competing in races that are much longer than she is used to. The GT4 America Sprint X races only last an hour, with each driver at the wheel of their GT4 machinery for 30 minutes, so 24 hours of racing will be a huge change for the whole team. The team were hoping to have endurance racing experience before making a fulltime switch and in preparation for that they entered a number of events, including last year’s running of the 24 Hours of Dubai. However, the race was stopped after only seven hours of racing, when torrential rain caused the circuit to flood, and the event never restarted.

“I’VE BEEN BALANCING RACING AND SCHOOL MY ENTIRE LIFE, SO THIS SEASON WAS DEFINITELY DIFFERENT FOR ME.” - TAN

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After experiencing the challenges of endurance racing at the Indianapolis 8 Hour race, where she finished an impressive second in class with Miller and Nick Wittner, Tan knows that the learning curve will be a steep one. “It’s a lot of strain on the team - on the crew, these 24 hour races. I did my first double stint in the Indianapolis 8 Hours this October and that was definitely mentally taxing. Being in the car for two hours straight. “And I just started left-foot braking this year, so my left leg has been injured this whole season because my muscle is not used to it. So that’s another issue. “Overall I think we’ve definitely been putting a lot more time into these endurance races. It’s going to be a big learning curve for both the team and myself but I think we can do it. I’m confident.” Tan’s comments about learning how to left-foot brake

this year is an interesting one. As mentioned earlier, Tan acknowledges that she is still developing her craft, and that finishing her studies means she can now fully focus on improving her technique and ultimately ending up a faster driver. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she still has learning to do and can still perfect her driving style, and that self-honesty is what will make her a better driver. Braking performance was a large part of Tan’s focus last year, but going into 2021, she accepts that she still needs to work on being at the limit of the tyre performance for the entire duration of a single stint. “I’ve definitely refined my braking technique and skills this year.” says Tan. “Even on the data, apparently I’m the most efficient braker this year, so I’m very proud of myself. But no, in the off-season I’m definitely going to be working on doing some tyre work. Just working on

“EVEN ON THE DATA, APPARENTLY I’M THE MOST EFFICIENT BRAKER THIS YEAR,”

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finding that limit of the tyre, so from mid to exit, so that I’m on the throttle at the right point.” The other major challenge for Tan and her team will be adapting to new circuits and different competition. While the Creventic series will take ST Racing to a few American circuits at the back end of the 2021 season, it will primarily take place at tracks around the European continent, such as Mugello, Spa and Hockenheim. The only driver within the team who has any experience of these is Miller, having competed at Spa in a number of categories, and Tan expects he will be heavily relied upon when it comes to strategies. ST Racing don’t expect to be winning their class at every event. All racing is unpredictable, but even more so in an endurance race that lasts for 12-24 hours. There can be lapses of concentration brought on by tiredness for both the drivers and crew and there’s a high chance of something breaking on the car. As a result, winning isn’t the team’s initial primary target. As Tan explains, their main aim is to reach the finish line on each occasion and then reassess their goals from there. Of course, with numerous titles and awards up for grabs in the Creventic series, they would love to get hold of some silverware were it to go begging, but they are trying to keep their expectations in check. “We’re trying to finish every race. Hopefully no mechanical [issues] or crashes. We’re trying to manage expectations. “Definitely, we’re obviously going for all of the championships. I think there are going to be like three or four of them because they have a ladies cup in the championship this year, so we’re definitely going to be aiming to win those, but the minimum expectation is to finish the race with the car in one piece. Hopefully a podium, but we’re going to be pushing hard for that win if we can.” If ST Racing can prove to be as competitive in the Creventic 24 Hour series as they have been in the GT4 America series, they stand a real chance at making a success of it. The team is taking a sensible approach to the new challenge and Tan’s own expectations are in check, which is considerably impressive for a driver who is just starting out on a full-time racing career. Their approach to racing bodes well and if it were to end up a successful venture, it could pave the way for Tan to make her dream of competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours a reality. Doing that with a team bearing her own name would make her the first driver to do so since Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey raced for DempseyProton Racing in 2015 and the feeling of achieving that is something very few people in the history of motorsport have ever experienced.

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IMAGE BY LEE HOLT

BUSTED OLLIE JACKSON RETIRING FROM THE FIRST RACE AT THE DONINGTON ROUND OF THE 2019 BRITISH TOURING CAR CHMPIONSHIP. JACKSON HAD ATTEMPTED TO AVOID A SEPARATE COLLISION, BUT SPUN AND HIT JAKE HILL, CAUSING BOTH TO RETIRE INSTANTLY. 110 THE PIT STOP


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PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES

Charlie Best

WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY CHARLIE BEST / PETER HARDHOLT / REVS INSTITUE / BRIAN SMITH



Images by Revs Institute

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he Vanwall name has been confined to the history books since 1960, but it is still recognised as a true driving force of the early years of Formula 1. Founded by Tony Vandervell in the early 1950s, the team went on to compete in five full F1 seasons, winning nine races and the 1958 Constructors’ World Championship. On the face of it, accumulating nine race wins over the course of five years doesn’t sound that impressive, but if you dig deeper into the details you discover just how well the team performed and why the name is being resurrected. Having spent their early years running without much success, Vandervell hired a young designer by the name of Colin Chapman to improve the chassis for the 1956 F1 season. Chapman designed a new lightweight spaceframe chassis and arranged for his friend, Frank Costin, to work on the aerodynamics of the car which resulted in the ‘teardrop’ body design. The new car was much improved and the team were more competitive, although reliability issues prevented them from winning until the 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree in the hands of Tony Brooks. By that point, Vanwall clearly had the fastest car on the grid and when reliability held up the team were usually right in the hunt, with Stirling Moss

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securing another two race wins at the Pescara Grand Prix and Italian Grand Prix. The results meant that Moss, who switched to the team full-time from Maserati after the first round of the season, finished second in the drivers’ championship behind Juan Manuel Fangio. That season gave Vanwall a strong platform to work from. The British racing green cars from a small workshop in Acton, London were taking on Italian giants Maserati and Ferrari and were matching up well. It was David vs Goliath and it was all coming to a head for the 1958 season. Maserati withdrew from F1 for 1958, and so it left Ferrari and Vanwall to slug it out head-to-head for the duration of the year, in a bid to be the first team to lift the Constructors’ Cup. Unfortunately, the season didn’t get off to the greatest start for Vanwall. They had three brilliant drivers in Moss, Brooks and Stuart Lewis-Evans, but a combination of the Vanwall VW5 not being ready on time and there being confusion surrounding whether the Argentinian Grand Prix would go ahead or not, meant that the team missed the opening round of the year. They did make it to Monaco for the second race of the season, but reliability issues struck all three cars meaning that after the first two rounds of 10 the Vanwall still had no points on the board, while Ferrari were second in the constructors’ with 12 points, four behind


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DAVID HAD TAKEN ON GOLIATH AND WON, BUT IT WASN’T WITHOUT A HUGE COST. Cooper. Advantage Ferrari. Furious at the fact his team had lost so much ground that early on in the season, Vandervell arranged for all three cars to be transported back to the UK, overhauled and then sent on to Zandvoort despite there only being eight days between the events. It was a risky move but

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it paid dividends, with Vanwall locking out the three-car front row in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix. It was clear the car had pace and Moss backed it up by winning the grand prix and crossing the line 47.9s ahead of the BRM of Harry Schell in second; a result that moved the team to third in the constructors’ championship, albeit 11


Revs Institute

points behind Cooper who were in the lead. That win completely changed the dynamic of the championship. Copper’s competitiveness dropped away and Brooks won next time out at Belgium. This was followed by a second and a fourth in France and Germany, leaving them 11 points behind Ferrari in the championship with four rounds left to go. Those final four races were nothing short of amazing. Vanwall put on a display of total dominance, obliterating the rest of the field. Brooks won in Belgium and Italy, while Moss

was victorious in Portugal and Morocco. Ferrari finished second in the final three races of the season, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Vanwall from passing them in the constructors’ standings to win the championship with 48 points to Ferrari’s 40. David had taken on Goliath and won, but it wasn’t without a huge cost. That season was primarily a year that everybody remembers for Moss losing out on winning the championship as a result of his gentlemanly behaviour. Hawthorn had spun in the Portuguese Grand Prix and was initially disqualified from the race for restarting his car against the direction of the traffic, but Moss argued in defence of Hawthorn, resulting in the Ferrari driver being reinstated to second place. Moss didn’t have to do it, but he felt compelled to. He wanted to win in the right way, not in any way, however, it meant that he lost his greatest chance to win a championship by a mere single point. That was obviously a huge cost for Moss personally, but it’s not really what mattered to the team. Unfortunately, the team’s season didn’t end in the glorious manner they would have imagined before the start of the Morocco Grand Prix. In the closing stages of the race, LewisEvans’ transmission seized causing him to crash heavily. His Vanwall went up in flames and although Lewis-Evans was extricated from the car, he sadly died six days later in hospital. His death hit Vandervell hard and taking into account his own personal health issues, he made a statement on the 12th January 1959, announcing that the team would be withdrawing from motor racing. It pulled the curtain down on the famously British racing green liveried car and a team that had punched well above its weight at the highest level. Vanwall made a one-off appearance in each of the 1959 and 1960 F1 seasons, but was never seen racing again after that. But although Vanwall had disappeared from the grid, they had a huge influence on other teams and it instigated a drive of successful privateers in F1, something that current CEO of Vanwall, Iain Sanderson, believes marks the team out as a true F1 great. “Winning [the constructors’ championship] in my opinion changed Britain’s mindset from being the first of the losers, the Garagistas, from being perennial losers, to a name you had to think about winning, hence the next 60 years since, seven of the top 10 teams, in F1, are based here.” Having disappeared from the industry for 60 years, the Vanwall name is making a comeback once again. The newly formed Vanwall Group has confirmed plans to build six continuation cars based on the 1958 car that won the Constructors’ Cup and Sanderson believes the history of the team and their story is too good to be forgotten about. “The Vanwall history is too positive, too good to be left behind.” explained Sanderson. “Too many Vanwall values need to be... it’s not about resurrecting, it’s more about reminding why Britain does have this amazing

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THE VANWALL VW5 BEING DRIVEN AT THE 2018 GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED.

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Peter Hardholt Charlie Best

“THE VANWALL CARS WERE INNOVATIVE, HIGH QUALITY, VERY BRITISH, AND OF COURSE IT WAS POST-WAR BRITAIN. IT WAS GREEN VS RED, IT WAS BRITAIN VS ITALY, IT WAS VANWALL VS FERRARI. VANWALL WON.” - SANDERSON motorsport industry and Vanwall is a key instigator of that. The Vanwall cars were innovative, high quality, very British, and of course it was post-war Britain, it was green vs red, it was Britain vs Italy, it was Vanwall vs Ferrari. Vanwall won. “Vanwall is the last of the great front engine cars and it had Colin Chapman’s chassis. The chassis was a spaceframe Chapman chassis, so Vanwall helped him in his career as well. Then you’ve got the other names coming in, the BRMs, Cooper of course. It’s all part of that era and at some point they had to have something that laid down the marker and that was in my opinion, Vanwall.” The new Vanwall VW5’s will be identical to the 1958 championship winning cars. The team has secured a significant number of original drawings and blueprints in a bid to make sure that the cars will be as close to the originals as possible. Historic car restoration specialists, Hall and Hall are Vanwall’s build partners and will take on the responsibility of constructing the British racing green beauties, allowing drivers to get the Vanwall name back on to circuits all over the world, recreating historic moments from 1950s F1. The first cars are expected to have their shakedown in the Autumn of 2022 and Vanwall will provide full race support to the owners for two full seasons, ensuring the cars are properly maintained whilst roaring around on various tracks. It’s a project that has really captured the imagination

of Sanderson. It is clear that he is fully in love with Vanwall’s story. Why wouldn’t he be? The car was a star of the late 1950s in an era that was full of danger and excitement and he wants to bring that thrill back, to give people the chance to experience the same feeling that Moss and Brooks had when winning races in places like Belgium and Portugal. The current Vanwall team is well prepared to make a success of the £2 million continuation cars. Sanderson himself was previously involved in the creation of the Lightning GT - a battery powered electric sports car and in Hall and Hall, they have hugely experienced historic race car restorers who have all the skills required to make inch-perfect cars. Vanwall could easily become a forgotten F1 team, like so many others, but Sanderson is right. Their story is special. They were pioneers and although they bowed out of racing whilst they were right on top of the crest of a wave, they inspired many others to create their own teams and attempt to replicate the same success. New owners might not be able to claim that their Vanwall raced and won in Germany, Italy or Morocco, but they don’t need to. Driving in cars that are identical to the originals will instantly give them the experience and feeling of what it was like to drive for this iconic team in the 1950s and that alone is a good enough reason to build six stunning examples of this beautiful car. To learn more about the continuation models, head to www.vanwallgroup.com

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RACE DRIVER TO POPULAR PUNDIT JOHNNY HERBERT HAD AN INCREDIBLE MOTORSPORT CAREER. HE SECURED THE 1987 F3 TITLE IN STYLE, BUT THE FOLLOWING YEAR HAD A HUGE ACCIDENT THAT THREATENED TO PREVENT HIM FROM RACING. HOWEVER, HE BOUNCED BACK TO MAKE HIS F1 DEBUT IN 1989 AND WENT ON TO WIN THREE RACES THROUGHOUT HIS 11 YEARS IN THE SERIES. AFTER RETIRING FROM F1, JOHNNY COMPETED IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SERIES BEFORE ENDING UP AS A PUNDIT FOR SKY SPORTS F1. 124 THE PIT STOP


TO HEAR MORE ABOUT JOHNNY’S CAREER, LISTEN TO THE MOTORMOUTH PODCAST. THE PODCAST CAN BE ACCESSED AT MOTORMOUTH.CLUB/PODCASTS

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UNFORGOTTEN GLORY: THE BRILLIANCE OF GROUP 1, THEN AND NOW WORDS AND IMAGES BY DANIEL H. LACKEY

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ntroduced in 2014 at the GRRC (Goodwood Road Racing Club) 72nd Members Meeting, the Gerry Marshall Trophy for historic Group 1.5 saloon cars has quickly established itself as one of Goodwood’s premier grids. The somewhat ordinary cars are loud and fast and what they lack in sophistication they more than make up for with some opposite lock and a bold livery. Attracting some of the biggest names from motorsport past and present, these 1970s and early 80s tin tops have inspired a new generation of racers and spectators alike. We love them, there is no doubt, but why do we love them so much? To answer this I’ll be looking back at the history of saloon car racing in Britain and at what made these cars so popular when they first appeared back in 1974. The official introduction of a saloon car racing championship in Great Britain came in 1958. The British Saloon Car Championship (BSCC) was a big hit. The immediate and unprecedented popularity, and the need to properly regulate the competition, led to the introduction of a rigid set of rules courtesy of the FIA. The first Group 2 era ran from 1961 to 1965 and brought forth legendary homologated metal such as the Mini Cooper S and the Lotus Cortina. The early 60s was a

golden age for saloon car racing, and how could it not be with the likes of Jim Clark three-wheeling Ford Cortinas that looked just like the one your Dad drove to work. But all great things must come to an end. As time goes by economic and political landscapes change and industries evolve, and to remain relevant to fans and manufacturers, motorsport regulations must also evolve. In its first 17 years the BSCC changed its rule set three times, Group 5 from ’66 to ’69 and back to a new Group 2 from ’70 to ’73. Both sets of regulations allowed for far more modifications than in the original Group 2 era. Allowable modifications included adjustable suspension, wide wheels, wheel arch extensions and fancy fuel injection systems. Saloon car racing was still popular with fans, but for the factory teams the numbers were no longer adding up. Winning on Sunday had become inordinately expensive and the sales on Monday weren’t there to support it. The BSCC rules had allowed the race cars to evolve well beyond what was available in the showrooms, not only that but the most dominant machines on track were the muscular V8s imported from America. British manufacturers weren’t selling thousands of Ford Falcons and Chevrolet Camaros to the British public so why were they allowed to do all the Jeff Bloxham

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Jeff Bloxham

winning? Something had to change. The decision was made to switch to the far more restrictive Group 1 regulations but, in the name of healthy competition, the BSCC would include a few caveats. One of these caveats was that the induction would be free, so long as you retained the same number of chokes as were originally homologated, this rule allowed teams to use split Webers in place of the asthmatic single choke carburettors fitted at the factory. Race teams had to build their cars according to the FIA Appendix J Group 1 regulations plus an additional set of rules in the “Blue Book” published by the RAC prior to each racing season. Other freedoms included blue printed engines built to the maximum factory tolerances and camshafts provided the maximum homologated lift was not exceeded. We’ve come to refer to these BSCC rules as Group 1.5 or Group 1B. Switching the rules was a bold manoeuvre but it paid

off. The ’74 season was largely regarded as the best in years with the widest variety of competing cars since the 1960s. There was greater participation from factory teams with healthy competition in every class. The move to Group 1 succeeded in bringing domestic machines like the Triumph Dolomite Sprint, Ford Capri and Hillman Avenger into the competition, however, the quickest cars on track were those still imported from America. In ’74 and ’75 practically every race was won by a Chevrolet Camaro Z28, but with the points structure in place, the overall champion could emerge from any capacity class. In 1974 the BSCC championship title went to Bernard Unett in a Hillman Avenger and in 1975 to Andy Rouse in a Dolomite Sprint. To eliminate the American V8s once and for all a 3000cc capacity limit was introduced for 1976. Without the Camaros the 3-litre Ford Capri had the on-track advantage with Gordon Spice taking the 3-litre class crown for the next five years. In 1981 the class

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limit was raised to 3500cc opening the door to the V8 powered Rover SD1. The Group 1 era was immensely popular, the rules kept the competition close and the costs down. For the manufacturers, the hard fought battles between real road-going touring cars was once again reflected in new car sales. Incidentally, the popularity of the 3-litre Capri put it at the top of the list of the most stolen cars in Britain at the time. The Group 1 era lasted nine seasons, four years longer than any other rule set so far in BSCC history. In 1982 the European championship switched to the new FIA Group A regulations with the British championship following suit one year later. Much like Group 1, Group A was a strict set of rules based on homologated production vehicles. Aside from a little dip in the mid-80s, Group A also proved to be a successful formula. It was vastly popular with fans and manufacturers across Europe and ultimately led to the famously close competition between the BMW M3s and Ford Sierras.

With the switch to Group A the old Group 1 cars were now redundant. Some cars were converted to Group A specification and continued to race while others were put out to pasture or sold to club racers. Ex-BSCC Rover SD1s were popular with the Thunder Saloon crowd who duly fitted them with fibreglass wings and Chevy V8s. Three decades later Goodwood announced a new race for their 72nd Members Meeting, the Gerry Marshall Trophy, open to cars of the type that raced in the BSCC between 1974 and 1982. For the first time in 31 years Ford Capris, Dolomite Sprints, Rover SD1s and Chevy Camaros were once again set to do battle. Jack Tetley was the man responsible for pitching the idea to Lord March, now the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. Tetley stuck his neck out because he saw the potential. Lord March agreed but nobody really knew what to expect or could have possibly predicted the response. From the announcement of the race and through the winter of 2013, anticipation grew as owners and teams prepared their cars. A surprising number of original cars

THE GROUP 1 ERA WAS IMMENSELY POPULAR, THE RULES KEPT THE COMPETITION CLOSE AND THE COSTS DOWN.

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materialised as other teams set about building detailed recreations of others. The format for the Gerry Marshall Trophy consists of one qualifying session, one 15-minute sprint race and one 45-minute, two-driver race in which the owners share with a professional. In later years, for added excitement, they chose to run the sprint race with a reverse grid. Testing during February and March gave us our first taste of what was to come and on the afternoon of Saturday March 29th a full liveried grid of raucous saloons lined up for the start of the first ever Gerry Marshall Trophy sprint race. Up at the front were two Ford Capris and two Rover SD1s, the Faberge

Camaro was on the second row in fifth with Nick Swift’s recreation of Richard Longman’s Mini Clubman starting from sixth. Those of us standing in the pit lane watched with bated breath as the 28 open piped saloons roared off the line and barrelled into the first corner three-a-breast. Swift, late on the brakes in the Mini Clubman, dove into third as the rest of the pack shuffled to negotiate the turn and avoid the gravel trap. Starting from the pit lane, despite qualifying on pole, was Emanuele Pirro in the Motorcraft Capri. Charging through the field he was up the third by the end of lap five! After ten laps of pure

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adrenaline, the chequered flag dropped with Chris Ward leading in the Patrick Motorsports Rover SD1, Pirro’s Capri in second and Swifts Mini Clubman in third. It was immediately clear to all of us in attendance that the Gerry Marshall Trophy was here to stay. The Gerry Marshall Trophy is open to any car from the BSCCs Group 1.5 era, from any capacity class. As a result we now have the unique spectacle of watching Chevy Camaros and Boss Mustangs racing against Rover SD1s, something that never happened in period due to the maximum capacity cap introduced in 1976. Since its introduction the Gerry Marshall Trophy has been hotly contested and policing the race was never going to be straight forward. The problem came from a lack of any specific homologation for Group 1.5 in Great Britain plus the FIA requirement for all competing cars at Goodwood to hold a current FIA HTP (historic technical passport). Extensive research has gone into each and every vehicle. With historical evidence and the RAC “Blue Book” from the appropriate years, Group 1.5 specifications have been established and FIA HTPs granted. This process has taken several years and has resulted in a slight shuffling of the pack as certain Group 2 modifications have been identified and filtered out. Despite the technical hurdles, the introduction of the Group 1.5 saloons in historic motorsport has been a remarkable success, largely due to the owners and preparers who have worked so diligently to get them homologated and bring them out to race. Since the inaugural race at Goodwood’s 72nd Members Meeting numerous clubs have expanded their post-historic saloon car categories to accept these Group 1.5 racers. Although most clubs combine Group 1 cars with Group 2, Group 5, and Group A, Duncan Wiltshire’s ‘Motor Racing Legends’ is the only club to offer Group 1 cars their very own trophy, named after touring car legend Tony Dron. For myself, and I’m sure many others, the popularity of Goodwood’s Gerry Marshall Trophy is rivalled only by the RAC TT. For all the Cobras, E-types and other exotics, the TT has and always will be king but the Gerry Marshall Trophy offers something the TT never could, and it’s the same thing that made it popular the first time around. For most of us, there is a personal connection to the cars on track, we can relate to them. We’ve either owned one of these cars or had one in the family. These are the cars that lined the streets we grew up on. It’s relatability that made saloon car racing so popular in the 1960s, a connection that was stretched during the Group 5 and Group 2 era but was brought home in 1974 with Group 1.5. Now, thanks to the Gerry Marshall Trophy, we all have a chance to savour the colour and the noise of these almost forgotten heroes.

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IMAGE BY LEE HOLT

hunter and the hunted THE GT MARQUES OF ESMEE HAWKEY HOLDING OFF ADAM KNIGHT COMING OUT OF DRUIDS AT BRANDS HATCH IN THE PORSCHE CARRERA CUP.

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MOTORSPORTS IN ACTION AFTER ONLY THREE YEARS IN THE IMSA PILOT CHALLENGE, MOTORSPORTS IN ACTION ARE CARVING THEMSELVES OUT TO BE REGULAR CHAMPIONSHIP FRONTRUNNERS. WORDS BY ROB HANSFORD IMAGES BY BRIAN SMITH / JAMES CORNISH / WES DUENKEL / MOTORSPORTS IN ACTION 140 THE PIT STOP


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reating and building a race team is one thing, but being front-runners after only a few seasons is another thing entirely. Yet, that is exactly what Motorsports In Action has managed in their first few seasons competing in the IMSA Pilot Challenge. Having operated a private family garage for a number of years, MIA team owner, Eric Kerub, decided to dip his toes into the world of motorsport when an opportunity to become partners at a local racetrack with garage facilities arose. And although he wouldn’t know it at the time, it was the beginning of a 15 year journey that would take MIA to the front of the IMSA Pilot Challenge grid. Don’t be fooled: MIA didn’t go straight to IMSA. They grafted and worked their way up. The team began in the Nissan Micra Cup in Canada, having been awarded a tender to be the exclusive builders for the entire series, and after proving they were more than capable of building and delivering 30 cars for an entire grid, the team attracted the attention of a number of drivers. These drivers wanted MIA to prepare and run their cars in the series. It was a successful business model but it was on a very small scale. However, in 2017 MIA’s Managing

Director, Carl Hermez, developed a plan that would take the team to the next level. “[Carl] had developed significant motorsport experience on the weekends when he was working in IMSA with a different team,” explained Kerub. “He approached me to say, ‘what’s going to happen Eric, is that in 2017 the whole GS class is getting a whole revamp, and they’re going to go to fully homologated cars by 2018.’ “At the same time, McLaren were building a homologated GT4 car, and I have [had] an extensive relationship with the group for over 40 years, and I said ‘you know what, all the pieces are fitting.’” Up until that point, IMSA hadn’t even appeared on Eric’s radar, but the introduction of the new homologation regulations which featured Balance of Performance (BoP) rules made it an exciting proposition. These new regulations meant that with a combination of the right team, equipment and hard work it would be entirely possible to fight for wins and championships. “I was very excited with the fact that homologation meant - with a BoP of course - that if you do well within the guidelines - meaning you have good drivers, you do your pit stops well, you have good strategy - then

“IT WAS EITHER MCLAREN OR WE WEREN’T GOING.” - KERUB

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you have a chance of winning.” said Eric. “With the holomogated GT4 we said ‘yeah, let’s give it a go.’ “Carl pitched a pretty good sales pitch to me, which included McLaren, IMSA, and me putting a headset on and seeing the action from the other side of the wall.” Although an IMSA entry had caught Eric’s attention, he admitted that it was only ever going to happen using a McLaren. He wasn’t interested in using a BMW or Porsche. It had to be a car that he loved and it was the idea of being able to use McLarens that made it such an exciting prospect for him. “It was either McLaren or we weren’t going.” he said. “Well let’s put it this way, I might not have said no to putting a programme together, but I wouldn’t have been as heavily involved.”

Without the Mclaren connection in the business plan, things would not have been as certain. “Meaning, Carl would have put a business plan together, I would have said ‘you know what, find the customers first, then find out the car they want, then we can buy the car with a signed contract, then we’ll go racing.’ We did it the other way around. We fully built the restaurant, bought the food and then said our doors are open. So we had two cars. You know, we bought the tractor trailer, we bought the equipment, we bought everything and then tried to work backwards and find two drivers. So, that was because of the McLaren relationship. That made it exciting for me.” Having sat down and considered the proposal made by Carl, Eric agreed to give it a go and MIA entered the

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IMSA Pilot Challenge for the 2017 season, ending the year in a strong sixth position in the teams’ standings. To cap it off, they took their first series win at the season finale at Road Atlanta. The team found life harder the following year, ending the season down in 18th in the standings, but there was a good explanation for their lack of competitiveness. That season, three new manufacturers were introduced to the field and the McLaren didn’t have the proper BoP to compete for podiums until the latter half of the year. But, when IMSA began to make changes to level the playing field, MIA regained their competitiveness, securing second place at the Virginia International Raceway. The signs were encouraging, but Eric had to invest a lot into the team to make sure they weren’t flailing at the back of the grid. He knew that in order for a new team to make an impact, he needed two incredibly strong Pro drivers, so he hired Chris Green and Jesse Lazare for the first season, with Lazare and Corey Fergus racing with them for the following two years.

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“The Pro-Pro combination came with some funding on my end to be able to be an established team. 2017 was a brand new car [that] nobody had seen or heard of and had not been vetted or tested, with a brand new team that had never done anything competitive on that global type stage. There was no way people were going to give us their money to go racing, so I got two of the right guys to do it, to be Pro-Pro, which was Chris Green and Jesse Lazare. In the last two years it was Jesse Lazare and Cory Fergus.” “I invested in that so we can have results that show that we’re capable of doing things, and last year culminated in the best season imaginable.” After spending their first two years building their reputation and proving their worth, MIA made their move to the front of the field in 2019 and challenged for the title. However, championship glory at the first proper time of asking wasn’t to be. They eventually lost out to Carbahn with Peregrine Racing by just 12 points, despite finishing on the podium four times throughout the


season. It was disappointing, but there were a number of positives to take from the year. Despite missing out on the title, they still won a number of other awards and made a firm statement to the rest of the field about their future intentions. “We won everything, all the contingency awards. We got the Michelin Least time in the Pits award which is 16 sets of tyres, which is the most important award. “One second in the pits is one second on the track, right. So you lose a second in the pits, you lose a second on the track. So, these are hot pit stops with fuel change, tyre change, driver change. And we won the award for most laps led at the contingency, and vice champions.” The team mixed up their driver line-up for 2020, combining a pro driver and amateur for the first time. Reigning Daytona 24 Hours GTB champion Corey Lewis joined the squad alongside Sheena Monk, and while Eric is really happy with his current line-up, he admitted that securing them for the season went right down to the wire. “We tried to put the same [driver] programme together but with more money from the same drivers but it didn’t work.” commented Eric. “We didn’t put ourselves out there like we should have.” Lewis and Monk had already signed up with M1 Racing, a Texas based team, for 2020. However, Eric managed to prise them away early on in the season, and securing the two of them is already paying off.

Having missed the opening race of the season due to a lack of available drivers, MIA turned up at Sebring ready to get their campaign underway. However, it wasn’t a straightforward start to the season. They suffered an electronic issue with the car, meaning they were unable to set an optimal laptime in qualifying and the team were hampered with issues in the race, eventually crossing the line down in 14th. But, in true MIA fashion, the team came out fighting in the third round at Road America and secured their first outright victory since 2017, having held off Kohrtex Motorsport’s Aston Martin to win by just under half a second. This fighting spirit is testament to Eric and Carl’s approach to management and racing. It takes so many teams years and years to become consistent race winners and title fighters, but MIA are proving they have the right pedigree and ingredients to be at the sharp end of the grid. With careful planning and a meticulous eye for detail, Eric and Carl have ensured that the team can be competitive at every round of the IMSA championship and the end result is that MIA are starting to become a force to be reckoned with. Yes, they may have their challenges and issues at times, but the same could be said for any racing team. It’s how you deal with those challenges that shapes your results and reputation, and right now MIA’s is on a definite upward trajectory.

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IMAGE BY LEE HOLT

COLONEL MUSTARD RACING FERRARIS ARE USUALLY DRESSED IN RED, SO IT IS UNUSUAL TO SEE ONE IN YELLOW. BUT THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT. IT IS NOT A RACE CAR, IT’S A RALLY CAR. THIS PARTICULAR FERRARI 308 GTB IS THE ONLY RIGHT-HAND DRIVE GROUP B 308 GTB IN EXISTENCE AND HAS TAKEN PART IN MANY RALLIES AROUND EUROPE. 148 THE PIT STOP


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IN SHORT

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Image credit: Racing Point

JUST HOW GOOD WAS PEREZ IN 2020? BY ANDREW WRIGHT

For all the plaudits that Lewis Hamilton rightly received for breaking a myriad of records in what was a whirlwind 2020 Formula 1 season, it was great to see the spotlight shine on a host of other drivers who can often be taken for granted. And no doubt about it, one of the standout performers was Sergio Perez. Despite sitting out two races after contracting Covid-19 and having two engine failures in the final three races, the Mexican secured two podiums – including his first grand prix win – and finished a career-best fourth in the drivers’ championship. All this with his short-term future hanging in the balance. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers behind the performances. In F1, your team-mate is always your number one rival. Competing in the same machinery, and with the same resources at your disposal, if you beat the driver you share a garage with you can usually hold your head high. And it’s fair to say Perez was a class above his opposite number. There’s no denying Lance Stroll has proved a number of people wrong with some strong performances over the last couple of years, but when it comes to putting it all together week after week, he’s not in the same league as the Mexican. Take qualifying, for example. In a race anything can happen, but on Saturday, the battle is about as fair as it gets. In what was widely regarded as the third best car of 2020, appearing in the top-ten shoot-out should have been a basic requirement. And that requirement was largely met by Perez. Ignoring Abu Dhabi when the Mexican only ran in Q1 in light of his impending grid penalties, 17th at the rain-hit Styrian Grand Prix was the only time Checo failed to progress. In contrast, from 16 outings, Stroll missed Q3 five times. It’s no surprise then that, on average, Perez (6.43) qualified more than two places higher than his team-mate (8.63). And what about when the all-important points are handed out? Well, in race trim, when both Racing Points finished, only once did a driver fail to score – Stroll at Imola when he endured a miserable Emilia Romagna GP. And the Canadian’s points-per-

race tally – excluding DNFs – was far inferior. From 13 finishes, Perez scored a career-best 125 points – 9.62 per race – compared to Stroll’s 75 from 11 (6.82 points per race). Both secured two top-three finishes and shared the podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix when Perez claimed a remarkable victory from the back of the field after lap one. And let’s not forget, the Mexican was also cruelly denied two more certain podiums when a late strategy call backfired at Imola and his engine failed with just three laps to go at the Bahrain GP. That’s just scratching the surface. So, will Perez elevate Red Bull into title challengers? It’s impossible to say with any certainty but, in my opinion, there’s no doubt he’ll improve the team. Just as the 30-year-old outshone his team-mate, he also outclassed the man he would ultimately replace. Alex Albon’s time at Red Bull – especially in 2020 – was blighted by constant speculation about his future as the initial goodwill his early performances merited slowly eroded. Not only did the British-Thai driver fail to pose any threat to Mercedes’ dominance, but he also couldn’t live with his ferocious teammate, Max Verstappen. In a far less consistent car, Perez, on average, qualified higher than Albon – 6.43 to 7.18 – and made the same amount of Q3 appearances (13) despite having three less attempts. When both did make it into the final part of qualifying, Perez’s best time was an average of 0.068s quicker. And Checo also outperformed Albon on Sundays. From 15 finishes, the Red Bull graduate missed out on the top ten on three occasions and averaged a mere seven points per race – more than two less than Perez (9.62). While there’s no shame in losing out to Verstappen, these alone are fairly damning statistics. Ultimately, Albon’s lowly seventh-place finish in the drivers’ championship, coupled with Perez’s brilliance, persuaded the powers that be at Red Bull to deviate from their tried and tested philosophy of promoting from their junior ranks. While it remains to be seen whether they made the right decision, it’s a storyline that is sure to grip the F1 world in 2021.

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Image credit: McLaren

THE REVIVAL OF MCLAREN BY ADAM PROUD

Just a few years ago, McLaren were struggling to get points on the board, now they find themselves fighting at the other end of the grid. In 2020 the team finished third, having scored 202 points and finished on the podium twice. It was almost seven times more than they had achieved during the struggle of both 2015 and 2017 and their best result since 2012, when Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were driving for the team. 2015 and 2017 were dire seasons for the Woking-based team. 2015 was meant to bring fresh hope to McLaren, reigniting their relationship with Honda for the first time since their previous partnership ended in 1992, but the year ended up being McLaren’s worst finish in Formula One since 1980, having only scored 27 points. But, after improving in 2016, there was hope that the team could keep pushing up the grid, and with Stoffel Vandoorne joining the team for his rookie season in 2017, it looked like they were heading in a good direction. However, McLaren struggled in pre-season testing, completing just 425 laps across eight days of testing, 159 laps short of their nearest competitor Toro Rosso. The beginning of the season didn’t fare much better and it brought the end to a bitter McLaren-Honda partnership, with the team announcing that they would be taking on Renault engines from 2018. Since then, things have changed drastically at McLaren. Eric Bouller resigned from his position as Racing Director in 2018, Zak Brown has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer and Andreas Seidl has been brought in as the new Team Principal. These structural changes have completely changed McLaren’s outlook and approach to racing and the results are now starting to show. It could be argued that McLaren’s third place finish last

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season was down to Ferrari’s lack of pace and to an extent, that is true. However, the MCL35 was regularly the strongest midfield car alongside Racing Point and the team constantly added upgrades throughout the year. A key part that helped McLaren to keep a consistent pace and ultimately take third, was the way they carried out a balance between upgrading the car and building spare parts. With a triple header starting off the year, teams were met with a dilemma of putting upgrades on the cars and not having enough spare parts, or sacrificing upgrades in order to make more spares. It was Seidl’s main priority and they got the balance just right. The team brought a new nose concept that was similar to the Mercedes in time for the Russian Grand Prix, and despite the condensed season, they added additional parts throughout the remainder of the year. It is this commitment to finding ways to make the car faster on track that was a big factor in their final position last season and it is a clear sign of their ambition to be title contenders once again. They also had the perfect driver line-up to propel them forwards again, mixing youth and consistency with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. Both drivers scored a podium result and were consistent points scorers throughout the season. That driver line-up will change in 2021. Daniel Ricciardo will replace Sainz, who is heading to Maranello, and it could help them take that next step. Ricciardo is a proven race winner who has an abundance of experience and the switch to Mercedes power units will make McLaren ones to watch in 2021.


WHY THE FORMULA E EXODUS SHOULDN’T BE FEARED BY FREDDIE COATES

Manufacturers leaving Formula E is not as bad as it seems. It’s nowhere near. Audi and BMW, two stalwarts of the world’s only electric single seater championship, announcing their immediate departure from Formula E at the end of the next season, one after another, on the face of it is dangerous. Two of the world’s biggest car brands have looked at Formula E and decided it no longer fits their agenda. As a fan of Formula E, it’s scary. Formula E has been the hallowed ground for manufacturers as the electric car industry has developed, with famous marques flocking to the series after it weathered the storm of Season 1. Mercedes and Porsche lined up for the first-time last season joining Audi and BMW as well as Jaguar, DS Automobiles and Nissan (previously Renault). Mahindra and NIO are two emerging electric car brands as well, fielding competitive teams. The sheer level of support from the motoring industry to electric motorsport looked to hold no bounds. So, when two jump ship, fear for the others naturally takes hold. Will Porsche follow Audi in leaving Formula E like they did with WEC a few years ago? Will Mercedes take a step back in the same way Daimler has with INEOS and the F1 team? Questions like these terrify fans because manufacturers obviously help to make motorsport. But it is not as bad for Formula E as it looks. Manufacturer departure was an inevitability. Manufacturers want motorsport to work for them. It would need to so it can justify the cost. When things go badly, they give up - doing so cancels the negative press immediately. Having so many direct rivals in sales and sport obviously makes any poor result even worse. Being actively compared in an emerging market like electric mobility could set a company up for great success in the long-term future or the complete opposite. Realistically, the best position for the championship then is one with a few manufacturers and a few privateer teams so that each manufacturer has their time to shine and are represented well by racing. Taking Audi and BMW out of the picture for Season 8 onwards lets Formula E organically achieve this happy equilibrium.

Having Nissan, DS, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes compete in the series is phenomenal success for Formula E. Five esteemed and historic companies. F1 has just lost Honda (again) and will return to three power unit suppliers. F1 has proved it is possible to continue after a manufacturer exodus, losing BMW, Toyota and Honda all abruptly around the financial crash. This was tough and from the outside looks like something to panic about. But F1 weathered the storm and even enticed Honda to return as well as enticing companies such as Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo to take an interest. Therefore, it is hope for Formula E that losing a big name is not anything to despair. The remaining manufacturers can now be wined and dined more than they could do before. To many big companies in racing the mantra is simple, throw some money at it and you should win. Mercedes have done this in F1 and in doing so have taken steps ahead in F1 that make them unbeatable. This is simply not possible in Formula E. There are team member restrictions, financial parameters and a car that is mostly a bodykit. A huge global company is starting in the same place as an opportunist privateer. It’s frustrating for them to have to learn the art of the series they want to dominate in and that could be a reason for Audi and BMW losing touch with Formula E. It makes sense that behind the scenes know how and management - which is key to Formula E success - would not entice a PR machine. They would want results and to be shown in the best light. If the amount of work that has to go into it beforehand is not worth it then there really is no point. With the changing landscape of Formula E being so quick, Gen2 started in 2018 and Gen3 is around the corner, another huge shakeup for the grid, relearning how to compete every few years is simply not going to work for a company who wants to bully results. Formula E still has a plethora of industry support, enough to be getting on with definitely. But they should watch their back for fear of continuing to scare away one of their biggest selling points.

Image credit: Formula E

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IMAGE BY BRIAN SMITH

A ROSE BETWEEN THREE THORNS THREE-TIME FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION JACKIE STEWART GETTING READY TO FIRE UP HIS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING MATRA MS80. HE HANDED THE ROSE, SEEN HERE, TO HIS WIFE IN FRONT OF GOODWOOD HOUSE WHILST DRIVING UP THE FESTIVAL OF SPEED HILL IN HIS MATRA. HIS TWO SONS, PAUL AND MARK, WERE ALSO IN ATTENDANCE, DRIVING STEWART’S OTHER TWO CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING CARS. 154 PIT STOP STOP 154 THE THE PIT


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