BRM P351 WSC Group C 1992

Discussion in 'Cars' started by Kingofweasles, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Kingofweasles

    Kingofweasles

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    Taken from Wikipedia:

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    In 1990, an agreement was reached between entrepreneur John Mangoletsi and the family of British Racing Motors (BRM) founder Alfred Owen, who had retained the naming rights to the company even after it had ceased to exist. The use of the BRM name would help Mangoletsi's project gain sponsorship and funding by appearing as a manufacturer entry against the likes of Toyota, Peugeot, and Mazda in the World Sportscar Championship.

    With the backing of BRM, Mangoletsi turned to former Zakspeed chief engineer Paul Brown to design the car. Brown produced a conventional carbon composite monocoque Group C chassis, which although technically unremarkable yet was well regarded by those who drove it for its excellent handling. The composite chassis of the car was constructed for the team by the engineering firm Courtaulds and finished in a metallic british racing green with BRM's traditional orange nose. The engine was designed by Graham Dale-Jones and built by Terry Hoyle's JHS company using a block derived from the Weslake V12 Grand Prix unit; it was branded as a 'BRM'. Claimed output was 626 hp (467 kW) at 11300 rpm, but it proved to be uncompetitive and unreliable.

    A second chassis was planned to be completed in order to start the 1992 season, but was never built.

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    The BRM P351 debuted at the 1992 500km of Silverstone, the second round of the World Sportscar Championship. The drivers assigned were Wayne Taylor andHarri Toivonen. After problems in qualifying with a battery, the car was forced to take the last qualifying position. Unfortunately, the car suffered more problems on Sunday when during pre-race warm-up, the oil pump failed and the car never took the race start.

    The team moved next to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Richard Jones was added to the driver line-up. On both days of qualifying the car suffered transmission difficulties, with Wayne Taylor being the only driver to set a time. This was however good enough for 23rd place in the field of 29. However yet again problems struck early for the P351. Although the car did make the start, it suffered transmission failure after a mere twenty laps, the first car out of the race.

    In an attempt to find sponsorship elsewhere, the team transferred the P351 to the United States to participate in an IMSA Camel GT round at Watkins Glen International. Although the team believed that the chassis met all of the IMSA regulations, it was discovered at the first scrutineering session that the car was in violation of the series' maximum height restriction due to the tall roof mounted air intake. At the suggestion of designer Paul Brown, the intake was promptly removed with a Sawzall, split down the middle and remounted with the two halves of the intake on their sides, forming a new intake with the same cross-section and lowering the car enough to meet the regulations. Unfortunately the car still suffered from its poor reliability record, succumbing to electrical failure after a mere five laps.

    After these three failed race attempts, money for the project was beginning to run out as sponsorship was not forthcoming. The team returned the P351 to Europe and entered the next World Sportscar Championship round at Donington Park, but never appeared. After this, the team pulled out of the World Sportscar Championship for good, and the team folded.

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    Why suggest this unfulfilled reincarnation that brought back one of Great Britain's most storied manufacturers? Well, despite it's appalling reliability and "Beyond Old-School" engine (That was closer to 500 BHP instead of the quoted figure), interviews with the few that drove it in anger felt that the P351 was quite a sweet-handling car that was only stymied by a lack of funding. Plus, with the cars in Gran Turismo not having to deal with parts failing during races (Yet...), a future GT could just show how competitive this car might have been among it's peers. Not only that, but Group C racers of this era are quite under-represented in videogames outside of mods for PC sims, so it would help fill out the "Class" that cars like the Peugeot 905 & Mazda 787B currently reside in.

    Besides that, ain't purdy? :sly:

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  2. JKgo

    JKgo

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    ....Well, you are quite pursuasive. Got my vote.
     
  3. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    As with your other BRM thread from today, your title is a bit all over the place. The guidelines would suggest that if this is a car made by BRM called the P351 that competed in WSC's Group C category in 1992, it should be titled "BRM P351 WSC Group C 1992".
     
  4. CostasDrifter

    CostasDrifter Premium

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    Nice car to have in GT series!