TO some of us Nimrod conjures up scenes of Elgar and the Malvern Hills, while to others it conveys an RAF search-aircraft, but what it means in the motor racing world is a new Group C car for Endurance racing. Nimrod Racing Automobiles Ltd. is a new firm formed by Robin Hamilton, the Aston Martin dealer in Staffordshire, Victor Gauntlett the Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. and Pace Petroleum, and Peter Livanos of Aston Martin’s American retail sales subsidiary. This new firm is based at Hamilton’s Aston Martin agency at Fauld, near Burton-on-Trent and have built this new car, with a second one nearing completion. With the assistance of Eric Broadley, on the monocoque design, it is powered by a V8 Aston Martin Lagonda engine driving through a Hewland VG gearbox. Wheels are German BBS alloy ones and Dunlop racing tyres are used. The Le Mans 24 Hour race is the primary objective of this interesting newcomer, but it will also be raced in the other Endurance races for the Manufacturers Championship. The new Group C regulations call for a flat underside behind the front wheels to the rear of the cockpit section, to negate orthodox ground-effects.
The Newport Pagnell factory of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. will be providing the engines for this racing project and will be doing development work on the 5.3-litre 4 o.h.c. V8 to utilise fuel injection and possibly turbo-charging as the present 580 b.h.p. is unlikely to be enough to deal with factory Porsches, Fords and Ferraris. At the time of the introduction of this new car at the Goodwood circuit, no drivers had been nominated but Derek Bell, Chris Craft, Tiff Needell and Nigel Mansell were present at the track. For some strange reason James Hunt was paid handsomely to drive it round for a few laps and gave his views to the media, though quite what he knows about Endurance racing cars is hard to see. Had Derek Bell driven it we might have learnt something about the possibilities of this new long-distance racing car and he would have been interesting to listen to with his great knowledge of Le Mans type cars.
If all goes well this now Nimrod Aston will compete in the Daytona 24 Hour race in January and the Sebring 12 Hours in March prior to its British debut at Silverstone in May.
Restyled and refined Volkswagen’s Scirocco for ’82
A MAXIMUM of 5,000 British buyers will be able to avail themselves of the opportunity of purchasing one of the stylish new Volkswagen Scirocco coupes in 1982. That was the news at the press launch of this new, revamped coupe from the German manufacturer which will be available on the UK market in three differing model specifications within the next few weeks.
Volkswagen have been aareful to retain all the well-established appeal of the original Scirucco, yet the new model is slightly longer, offers more internal room and should return significantly improved fuel consumption figures thanks to considerable aerodynamic improvements. Every model in the range combines commendable levels of economy with 100 m.p.h.-plus performance. The “basic” CL, fitted with a five speed economy gearbox, uses two star fuel and will return a remarkable claimed 53 m.p.g. at a constant 56 m.p.h. It has a top speed of 107 m.p.h. and a price tag of £5,424.35 (tax paid). This CL model is fitted with a 70 b.h.p. version of the trusty 1,475 c.c. engine. In the middle of the range is the GL, priced at £6,497.02 (tax paid) which is fitted with a carburated version of the smooth, sweet-revving 1,588 c.c. four cylinder engine. Enthusiasts, of course, will be captivated by the top of the range GTi, (£7,124.92), without doubt the quickest Volkswagen ever produced, which offers 117 m.p.h. from its splendid fuel-injected version of the 1,588 c.c. engine.
The distinctively restyled body is the work of Italy’s Giorgetto Giugiaro and the shells are assembled by Karmann, one of Germany’s leading coachbuilders. A total of 527,000 Sciroccos have been built since the original model was introduced back in 1974, accounting for four per cent of VW’s total Worldwide sales. The very healthy Lonrho owned VAG (United Kingdom) operation is confident that demand for the new coupe will substantially outstrip the relatively modest allocation scheduled for the UK in 1982. Although the new Scirocco will represent only five-per cent of the British market’s total 1982 allocation of 100,000 cars. VAG is supremely confident that 1983 will see a considerably greater number of these coupes imported into this country. Even then, with figures perhaps doubled, they have no doubt that they will be able to sell them. Ford’s Capri and Renault’s Fuego are regarded as prime competition and the new Scirocco shapes up well against this opposition, both in terms of specification and price. MOTOR SPORT hopes to bring you a detailed test of the new Scirocco GTi early in 1982.
Trans-Continental Road Test
WHEN we read in English magazines about joumalists driving to the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, and back, in the latest Maximobile from the British motor industry and waxing lyrical about the car “on trans-European journeys” or ‘”on trans-continental driving” we smile wryly. The Swiss weekly newspaper Automobil Revue recently reported on a serious trans-continental road-test by three 38-ton Fiat lorries. Iveco (Industrial Vehicles Corporation) is a conglomerate of Fiat, OM, Unic and Magirus and they organised the test run for the three trucks which covered more than 7,000 kilometres in 15 days, running in convoy.
Starting in Milan they went into Austria, over the Brenner pass to Munich, across Germany to Kassel, north to Hannover and Hamburg. Then up into Denmark to the northern-most point where they took a ferry across to Goteborg in Sweden, across Sweden through Orebro (where Ronnie Peterson was born) to Stockholm. Another ferry took them across the Baltic sea to Turku in Finland where they headed east to Helsinki, then north to Oulo and up into the Arctic circle at Rowaniemi. Here they turned round and came south through Sweden, passing through Sundsvall and down to Stockholm again where they turned due west and went across Sweden into Norway to Oslo, then south back into Sweden and down the west coast and over to Copenhagen. The road across the Danish islands and the ferries got them back to Germany in Hamburg and then it was Autobahn south through Frankfurt to Basle and across Switzerland, through the Alps to finish up in Turin.
That little trans-continental road-test covered eight countries, 7,045 kilometres and took 15 days, the running average varying between 66 k.p.h. and 78 k.p.h. and diesel fuel consumption was logged assiduously.