BP has withdrawn its sponsorship of motor sport following a reappraisal of its marketing expenditure. For the past ten years the company has been particularly active in the promotion of British drivers, sometimes sponsoring a full season, sometimes making a contribution to a driver’s budget, and it has helped the likes of Jonathan Palmer, Martin Brundle, Brian Henson, Rupert Keegan, Johnny Dumfries, Derek Warwick and Stephen South in F3 and above as well as drivers in various Ford Formulae.
BP, through its motor sport manager, Les Thacker, has done a great deal to advance British talent and the company will be greatly missed.
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Following the withdrawal of BP, the Systime Racing for Britain scheme becomes even more important. Systime, a leading computer firm, has enabled the scheme to continue by allowing Steve Sydenham to administer it full-time. The company does not finance the scheme, however, all monies come from outside contributors.
The sin ‘mum subscription is £10 and we have been able to recoup that easily in the past by taking advantage of the many discount offers available. In fact, on economic grounds, it’s hard to justify not joining.
Subscriptions, together with the names of three drivers you would like to receive support in 1985, should be sent to: Systime Racing for Britain, 41 Richmond Avenue, Bedfast, Middx to arrive by 28th February if you want your votes included.
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In the July 1984 issue of Motor Sport, we followed the progress of the Ecurie Ecosse team making its return to Le Mans, scene of its greatest triumphs.
Unfortunately, during the Thundersports race at the British Grand Prix meeting, the car was written off when oil sprayed onto the rear tyres.
Over the Christmas holidays, we paid a visit to the workshops of Mallock Atlantic Racing where Ray Matlock and his team are at work on an entirely new car. The new Ecosse follows the general layout of the old car (which was modified from a de Cadenet and used some Lola components) but there is an entirely new honeycomb monocoque.
As last year, the drivers will be Mike Wilds, David Leslie and David Duffield.
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We have received more details about the Yamaha X66 Formula Two engine. It will of course be seen only in Japan, but given that Honda entered F1 with an engine based on its F2 unit, the Yamaha may turn out to be more significant than it seems at present.
The most radical departure so far as a car engine is concerned is the use of five valves per cylinder (three inlet, two exhaust) in line with the company’s motorcycle racing engines. The layout is a 77 degree V6 with a very short stroke (85.07 x 58.5 nun). Compression ratio is 12:1, the capacity is 1,995 cc, total weight 105 kg, and power is claimed to be 330 bhp at 11,000 rpm.
The unit is extremely compact and we shall watch its progress with a great deal of interest.
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Ross Cheever, young brother of Alfa Romeo F1 driver, Eddie Cheever, has confirmed the form he showed in F3 in the second half of the 1984 season by winning the Tasman Championship, run to Formula Atlantic rules.
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More racing and rhythm. Jermaine Jackson, the American singer, is considering organising an IMSA and/or Group C team.
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The 1985 British F3 Championship promises to be the most interesting for years. The introduction of “flat bottom” is one reason, for everyone must begin afresh. Another reason is the discontinuation of the European F3 Championship which should mean more competitors in Britain.
New cars are being built by Ralt, Reynard, Cyngus, Magnum and Anson while a number of people are producing “flat bottom” kits to uprate existing cars. It is unlikely that the Toyota engine, which has served the formula so well for so long, will be much in evidence, at least among the front runners, VW and Alfa Romeo based units will be the most popular power plants. Much interest will be centred on the entirely new Saab engines which, though than the VWs, feature a sophisticated new electronic engine management system. Whether the Saab engine will race will depend on the results of pre-season testing conducted with Madgwick Motorsport
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Readers who happen to find themselves in or near Paris between February 8th and 17th might care to look in on the Retromobile Show at the Parc d’Exposition Porte de Versailles, hall 5, 75015 Paris. Opening times change from day to day but if you go between 2 pm and 8 pm you should get in on any day.
There are 130 car exhibits, 40 of which are for sale and 150 exhibitors. Among cars on display will be a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W19fs, a 1954 mid-engined Renault prototype and the “Alfa 2,51 with which Fangio won Mille/Mille in 1950” (sic). The latter exhibit will surprise those who know that Giannino Marxotto won the 1950 Mille Miglia in a 3.3-litre Ferrari. Fangio finished third.