Le Mans and Silverstone wins may not elude the C11 for much longer
The Mercedes-Benz C11 could finally avenge its two most notable defeats in 2010, albeit in the historic Group C Racing series. The championship for Group C and IMSA GTP cars will visit both Silverstone and Le Mans next year, and C11-89-00 will be on the grid.
Three-time Thoroughbred Grand Prix title winner Bob Berridge bought the unraced car from Peter Sauber after a long chase together with restoration specialist Phil Stott. “It’s a thing of beauty,” says Berridge, who raced a Nissan in ’08. “I fell in love with it.”
Berridge’s participation in the series during a difficult period resulted in him being invited to become race director.
“They knew what I had done with TGP, ASCAR and Grand Prix Masters,” he explains. “That’s why they asked me to put my shoulder to the wheel.”
The first task has been to firm up the 2010 calendar and Berridge has pulled off a coup by securing the support race at Le Mans on the morning of the 24 Hours. That will be the centrepiece of a six-round calendar “likely to start and finish in the sun in southern Europe”, with British races at Silverstone and, most likely, Brands Hatch. Berridge is expecting an increase in grids for 2010 after a recession-hit season in ’09.
“We’re aiming at 20 to 26 cars,” says Berridge, who plans to step down from his management role before the first race. “We’ll have the usual Porsches and Jaguars, but we’ve also got a couple of Lancia LC2s coming. The quality should be up too.”