Ayrton Senna’s Van Diemen RF81 – chassis 528 – has just been restored by Van Diemen founder Ralph Firman, and Motor Sport has the full story in the latest issue.
Firman gave Ayrton Da Silva his big break in the UK and this car was painstakingly restored in Norfolk, where it was originally built.
Senna finished fifth on his FF1600 debut at Brands Hatch on March 1, 1981, and took his maiden victory there a couple of weeks later. He finished the season with 12 wins, six other podiums, and the championship.
The Van Diemen also features the Minister 1600 engine, identical to the 1981 original.