Sports Cars - BRM

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

A Fresh Start

The history of British Racing Motors is essentially a story of hopes and heartbreaks in the world of Grand Prix racing, but the BRM marque was represented twice at Le Mans, in 1963 and again in 1965, using the Rover gas turbine engine, and will be again next year. The revival of the BRM name was announced at the Racing Car Show in January as a result of an agreement between Rubery Owen and John Mangoletsi, head of the Mangoletsi Design Group.

It hardly seemed possible that BRM would return to World Championship racing in the 1990s – and there are two projects, one for a 3½-litre Group C car, the P351, and another for a twin supercharged 4-litre road car, the P401, both powered by 48-valve V12 engines – but John Owen, son of the late Sir Alfred Owen, was on hand at the announcement to give final authenticity to the project.

”We have received many approaches over the years,” he confirmed, “But this is the first one that we have felt really worthy of the BRM name. It took the board a long time to reach its decision, and we are delighted with the way the two projects are taking shape.”

John Mangoletsi, head off the well-known engineering group, set up the design company two years ago with Paul Brown installed as the design director. Brown has a long history in racing car design encompassing Chevron, Maurer, March, CCM Motorcycles and Zakspeed, and had the outline of the P351 completed early in 1990.

The Mangoletsi Group C car design was disclosed to a number of teams last summer, and Richard Lloyd showed interest. Eventually though, the approach to Rubery Owen was the one that succeeded, and it didn’t go against Mangoletsi that he was a friend of John Owen at the Oundle School. Clearly the two men like and trust each other, and had the basis of a good working relationship.

Ian Dawson, Richard Lloyd’s team manager for the past two seasons, has been appointed manager of the BRM Team and will effectively control the Group C project on a day-to-day basis. He expects the first racing car to be ready in August, and if the testing goes well it could be entered for the last two races of the season, at Mexico and Autopolis in October. No approaches have been made to drivers, as yet, but Dawson is known to be extremely impressed by Manuel Reuter, the young German who drove Lloyd’s Porsche to fourth place at Montreal last September.

?

A main element of the package is the V12 engine, and although its antecedents go back 22 years it’s based on the Weslake V12, not the BRM of the same era. Based is the right word, though, because the 60-degree block is about all that remains of the original design. In the last two years the V12 has been totally redesigned by Graham Dale-Jones, formerly of Cosworth and now with Terry Hoye’s preparation company.

The adoption of the power unit by BRM is now in its final stages, and if all goes well the V12 should bear the distinctive sign-writing on the cam-covers when next seen. In 3.5-litr racing trim it is expected to develop “over 600 horsepower”, but for road use it will be taken out to 4-litre capacity and will develop an easy 400 bhp, according to Mangoletsi, with twin superchargers commanded by the engine management system. Both cars will drive through a BRM six-speed gearbox, the racing car with Hewland internals and the road model with ZF synchromesh gears.

Some of BRM’s old associations will be revived, with Shell for fuel and lubricants, with Dunlop for the tyres, with Motor Panes for the bodywork (they supplied the bodywork for the Le Mans turbine cars), and with AP for the carbon brake and clutch systems. The association with Courtaulds is a new one, for the British firm to manufacture composite materials monocoques for the two BRM models.

The road version, to be developed in the wake of the racing car, is expected to cost around £200,000 at today’s values, and the first should go on sale in 1993.

BRM Limited, the new company in which Rubery Owen has a 51% stake, is based at Mangoletsi’s headquarters in Congleton, Cheshire, where Paul Brown has installed a rolling road wind tunnel, but the racing team will have a new base at the Donington Park Circuit. There, Ian Dawson will have at his disposal the new Precision Technology system for logging each scrap of test information, a system that other teams are likely to adopt in the near future.

The system can position the car within 1 centimetre all the way round the track in ‘real time’ telemetry, and take measurements of all of the dynamic functions every ten milliseconds. The printout will also show the slip angle of the tyres pinpointing under- and over-steer tendencies, and yaw angles. This is, of course, one of the Mangoletsi Group’s developments along with ever more sophisticated on-board instrument panels.

Time will tell whether the new BRM projects will recapture the golden moments of the sixties, but the presence of the 1962 P57 Formula 1 car, and the 1965 Rover-BRM coupé, on the stand were evocative enough.

There was no sign of a large, florid gentleman once dubbed ‘Lord Louis’, to remind us of the declining years. As John Mangoletsi said, “This is an entirely fresh start, and we are committed to making it succeed.”

MOTOR SPORT wishes every success to the 1990s-style BRM team. MLC

You may also like

Related products