Martin Brundle teamed up with his son Alex for the first time when they raced in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo round at Hockenheim on April 23-25.
The pair (above) had previously raced against each other in Formula Palmer Audi at Spa in 2008 where Martin finished a creditable eighth, seventh and sixth in the three races, compared to Alex’s sixth, ninth and 10th.
The Hockenheim Super Trofeo round also consisted of three races, and, despite Alex being punted off in the first, the Brundles managed to climb from last to fourth in the second race, and then equalled that result in the final despite a spin.
“Alex did a great job, especially since he’d never driven the circuit or a car like this, and he matched my pace by and large,” Martin told Motor Sport.
“I came in during first practice to hand the car over to him and afterwards he said, ‘Your eyes were out on stalks, Dad, what happened out there?’ It wasn’t what had happened, it was what I thought might happen: it’s four-wheel drive, 570bhp, it’s certainly quick and you need to be ready to get it all slowed down from about 170mph as it weighs about 1300kgs. It was an act of blind faith strapping Alex in there to be honest! It was great fun, though.”
Brundle hasn’t ruled out doing more races with his son. “I don’t want to corrupt his Formula 3 programme by making him jump in cars that are somewhat different,” he said. “But if we get a chance we’ll do some more, why not? Something like Le Mans would be great.” So are we looking at a Mansell family part deux? (Nigel and his two sons are racing a Ginetta-Zytek Z09R together at Le Mans this year.)
“That would be nice,” said Martin. “What this race has done is show Alex that he can definitely drive a GT car. He was doing lap times at the end on old tyres that were better than mine earlier in the race, and I wasn’t exactly slow.”
During the same weekend Brundle Sr also raced in the Scirocco Cup, which Motor Sport covered in On The Road in our June issue. The tin-top series has replaced the Polo Cup as the DTM support race and uses methane rather than petrol to power the 25-car grid. Volkswagen is inviting various ‘legends’ to race in each round. Brundle, Jacques Laffite, Carlos Sainz and Frank Biela all contested the Hockenheim race, bringing with them over 340 Grand Prix starts, 11 Le Mans 24 Hour wins, two World Rally Championships, a BTCC title, a DTM title and a Dakar win.
Despite having not raced a front-wheel-drive car since 1981 (when he shared an Audi 80 with Stirling Moss in the BTCC), Martin finished third behind Maciek Steinhof and Kris Heidorn as top ‘legend’. Biela finished seventh, Sainz 12th and Laffite 17th.
“I got on the podium with two 21-year-olds, which I was quite pleased about!” he said. “I started on the front row and had a cracking race. I had a proper little scrap with some guys who were significantly less than half my age.
“You really need to left-foot brake in these cars, which I can’t do because my left foot isn’t too great after knocking it off in a Tyrrell once [during practice for the 1984 Dallas GP]. But I worked round it to a certain extent and finished with a huge smile on my face.”
Martin is also competing in the Scirocco Cup round at Brands Hatch on September 3/4, where he will no doubt be fighting for a second podium.