Around and about, March 1988

Lamborghini’s V12 for Formula One

Lamborghini’s entry into the impending naturally-aspirated Formula One engine war has been confirmed through the signing in February of long-term engine deals with two existing teams.

March Engineering and the Larrousse-Calmels Lola equipe have both concluded contracts with Chrysler to test and evaluate the 3.5-litre power-unit which is being designed by former Ferrari F1 team manager Mauro Forghieri.

Forghieri left Ferrari in May last year after nearly three decades at Maranello, and is currently working with a staff of 26 at Lamborghini’s Bologna workshop.

His 80° V12 with four valves per cylinder is not expected to be completed until late this year, and March and Lola chassis will be powered in all 1988 Grands Prix by Judd and Cosworth V8s respectively. Both, however, have understandably jumped at the chance to link up with a major manufacturer.

The current agreements cover testing alone, with no commitment yet as to racing the engine, but many insiders feel that V12 engines will be the way to go in the long-term quest for success in the new non-turbo Formula One. Chrysler/Lamborghini has also reserved the right to extend the testing programme to include an Italian F1 team should the opportunity arise.

Thirty acres signed over

Another important step towards the opening of Brooklands to the public comes with the signing over to the Brooklands Trust of 30 acres of the site, thanks to financial support pledged by Elmbridge Borough Council. This means that the core of the Track is now, for the first time ever, under public control, through the Trust.

The Society’s membership has risen to nearly 1800, and this year there will be three events at the Track, the first of these being on April 10.

Motor Sport Brooklands Trophy

Many years ago, the Editor of Motor Sport inaugurated a trophy and cash prizes presented annually to commemorate the old Brooklands Track. It was competed for by members of the Vintage Sports Car Club in the club’s race meetings, points being scored throughout the season. There were few rules; while it would have been nice to have had it competed for by genuine Brooklands cars, or cars which actually raced at Brooklands, this was not a practical idea, so the limitations were left loose and it was intended for pre-war cars which “could have raced at Brooklands”. Once or twice it was won by home-made specials, built from pre-war components —cars which could have raced at Brooklands.

In 1987 the cornpetition was won by an Alfa Romeo built in the north of England in 1985. This is Rodney Felton’s facsimile of a 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B “monoposto”, built by himself starting with the engine, axles and brakes from a Brooklands car.

This form of car is condoned by the VSCC, but Motor Sport feels that such cars do little for motor racing history. We hope therefore that the committee of the VSCC will be as selective as possible over the cars allowed to compete for the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy. WJT

Sportscar Tour of Scotland

A tempting-sounding old-car event planned for the early summer is the Scottish Historic Motor Tour over the weekend of May 12-15. The Tour itself makes no pretence at competition, but it does culminate in an afternoon of Historic racing at the narrow and demanding Ingliston circuit just outside Edinburgh.
Sports-racers and sportscars of the Fifties are the main intended runners, but older or younger cars “with racing inclinations” are also invited. Starting from Glasgow, the route will take in some glorious uncongested roads including the Devil’s Elbow and the Cairn o’Mount , one of Scotland’s original hill-climbs, and will pause at some of the country’s great castles and hotels. Organising the run is John Foster, who last year instituted Scotland’s first Historic race series, and who will be taking part in the lightweight E-type which Motor Sport featured in September 1984. Another lightweight E has been entered by Nigel Corner (son of Neil), Roddy Macpherson will take his Frazer Nash Targa Florio, and Kirk Rylands will drive HWM 1.

Applications should be made to Scottish Historic Motor Tour, Estates Office, Craigie Farm, Leuchars, Sr Andrews, Fife KY16 SOT.

Pirelli sponsors Classic Marathon

Pirelli has announced it will be the major sponsor offering backing to the Classic Marathon from London to the Alps and back in June. The start will be on Sunday, June 19 and the finish on Sunday, June 26.

A splendid array of vehicles has been entered for this nostalgic, daytime-only (a rest stop is scheduled for each night) foray into the French and Italian Alps. The oldest competitor will be a 72-year-old gentleman driving an HRG, others include Eric Carlsson in a Saab 96, Keith Schellenberg in his 8-litre Bentley, Porsches, Tigers, Healeys and Mini-Coopers.

The word “marathon” is well-chosen, for the entire route covers some 3000 miles, including the famous 9000ft climb of the Stelvio pass. Period spirit is fostered by a ban on full-face helmets and Nomex overalls, and pre-1960 cars will not require roll-bars.

Regulations are available from Bramble Bay Cottage, Cousley Wood, Wadhurst , East Sussex TN5 6EZ.