The men behind Bugatti’s bold but ill-fated attempt to conquer endurance racing with its EB110 give the inside story in a new free to watch documentary

The inside story of Bugatti’s bold endurance racing quest with two factory-built EB110 machines in the mid-1990s has been told for the first time in a new free documentary.

Former president of Bugatti Romano Artioli, test driver and developer Loris Bicocchi, designer Giampaolo Benedini and many more provide first hand insight into Bugatti Automobili’s ultimately ill-fated racing programme.

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The extravagant EB110 supercar was a brainchild of wealthy businessman Artioli, but just two cars were built for endurance racing – the EB110 LM and the EB110 SC GTS-1 for Le Mans and the American IMSA GT championship respectively.

Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest

The cars took part in various endurance races across 1994 to 1996 with the best result a 16th place at the 1995 IMSA round at Sears Point. The EB110 also competed in the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours and the 1996 Daytona 24 Hours but did not finish either race. The curtain was brought down on the programme after the car failed to pre-qualify for Le Mans in 1996.

The 36-minute documentary is available for free on YouTube and can also be watched for free above.

Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest

‘The owner of the two racing cars contacted me a year ago, inviting me to visit him to make this film,’ said Davide Cironi, the film’s director, ‘and we were picked up at the airport by what I assumed was a lowly assistant. But no, it was the owner himself driving the van, one of the world’s most passionate collectors.

‘Within a few hours, an astonishing series of guests began to arrive on various flights from across Italy: there was Loris Bicocchi, Romano Artioli and Giampaolo Benedini, plus Giampaolo Simonini, Fabio Baroni and Vittorio Filippini – the latter a technician so in love with his work that it was almost poetic.

Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest

‘What a gift for a film-maker. We learnt so much, and laughed so much, especially the mechanic Fabio Baroni who, when recalling the challenge of working with Bicocchi to test the cars, doubled over with laughter at the colourful and compelling memories. Even after 20 years, there is a team spirit among these men that gives a powerful flavour of the atmosphere as it must have been in Bugatti Automobili at Campogalliano.

‘We had two short days with these wonderful men, telling their unprecedented story of that magical, never-to-be-repeated time, and now the documentary is ready and we want to share it with as many enthusiasts as possible.’

Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest

Images courtesy of Juergen Skarwan and PM Images

1:10 scale model of the EB110 Le Mans

Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest

Seeing as you'd be very lucky to own the real thing, how about Amalgam's 1:10 scale version? At £7940 ($10,160) it's still a sizeable investment but it's a lot less than the full-size version.

More information on the Amalgam website.

Gallery: Video: Bugatti's ill-fated EB110 endurance quest