Historic Motorsport: Rare BRM returns to action

The ex-Dan Gurney BRM P48, after spending half a century in storage, hit the track at the Silverstone Classic in Ben Mitchell's hands

In association with

After nearly half a century in storage, the ex-Dan Gurney BRM P48 returned to the track at the Silverstone Classic.

BRM’s first rear-engined Grand Prix car was a hasty development from the front-engined P25 for the 1960 season and Gurney raced chassis 6. It was later used on the hills until the mid-1960s before being acquired by veteran racer Robs Lamplough.

Lamplough bought it in 1971 and used some of the mechanical parts to build up a P25 and put the P48 chassis into storage. Finally, about five years ago, the chassis went to marque experts Hall and Hall in Bourne, Lincolnshire, for a complete restoration. Like the P25, the P48 uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder BRM engine.

The freshly finished car was entrusted to Ben Mitchell, who qualified an excellent seventh at Silverstone in a 50-car field. However, gearbox issues left it a non-starter for the pair of HGPCA races. It is expected to run again soon.

'It’s a fantastic honour to be asked to drive it and it is everything you’d want it to be,' said Mitchell. 'It’s great to have it back out,' added Rob Hall from Hall and Hall. 'It’s got the original engine and new magnesium bodywork.'

The BRM turned a wheel for the first time in nearly 50 years when Hall shook it down at Blyton in the week before the Classic. In 1960, three P48s debuted at the Monaco Grand Prix for Gurney, Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier.

See also...

Davison adds a Chevron

Successful Lotus Elan racer John Davison has added a Chevron B6 to his stable after acquiring the ex-Digby Martland car from his Historic Road Sports rival Kevin Kivlochan. He raced it for the first time in the Masters Sports Car race at the Silverstone Classic.

'I’ve loved the look of the B6 and B8 for a long time,' said Davison, who plans to contest the dedicated B6/B8 50th anniversary race at the Oulton Park Gold Cup.

If he can clinch the Guards Trophy title with his Elan 26R over the next two races at Croft and Oulton Park, he will also do the Guards Final at Silverstone in October in the Chevron.

Goodwood date for Jackson

Formula Junior race winner Cameron Jackson will make his Goodwood Revival debut in September in his ex-Tulip Stable Brabham BT2.

Jackson will contest the Chichester Cup for Formula Juniors. 'It’s the reason I bought the car,' said Jackson. 'Events like the Silverstone Classic and Goodwood, that’s what it’s all about for me.'

However, the impending arrival of a first baby could impact upon plans as Cameron’s wife is due to give birth ten days after the Revival. However, he has a contingency plan. 'I’ve got my brother Dominik lined up in the background to take over if I have to leave rapidly because Emily’s gone into labour.' Dominik is a former Formula BMW front-runner.

Making Friends in Belgium

BHRC contender Ben Friend will tackle his first event in Belgium on this weekend’s Boucles De Chevrotines in his Pinto-powered Ford Escort Mk2.

'We’ve fancied going over the water for some time but never got round to it, so we are really looking forward to trying it out. In fact it is shorter and quicker for us to go there than Wales,' said the Suffolk-based driver.

Following a recce on the Saturday, the rally follows the usual Belgian format of three loops of four stages.

'I want to say a big thanks to Christophe Jacob for helping sort everything out for us Belgium virgins,' said Friend.

Classic cars for sale now

HRDC to return at Mallory

The Historic Racing Drivers’ Club will resume its season at Mallory Park on Sunday September 2 after a summer break. Series promoter Julius Thurgood is aiming for two 30-car grids, one for the HRDC Academy and A-Series Challenge and one for the HRDC All Stars for pre ’66 sports, GT and touring cars.

Haynes father and son united at Classic

George Haynes joined his father Mark on the Formula Junior grid at the Silverstone Classic when he had his debut race in an Elva 200. While Mark raced his regular front-engined Nota, George ran the Elva a week after racing a modern BMW at Algarve. Mark’s other son Russell spent the same weekend hillclimbing his Formula Ford Zeus at Gurston Down.

Mark Woodhouse takes over son's Brabham

Formula Junior regular Mark Woodhouse took over the Brabham BT6, sometimes driven by his son Jack, for the Silverstone Classic races, doubling up with his front-engined Elva 100. Jack used the John Truslove-owned Brabham at the Chateau Impney hillclimb but had to miss the Silverstone races while working as a race engineer at the Red Bull Ring.

Classic highlights on TV

The TV highlights of the Silverstone Classic will be shown on ITV4 on Sunday August 12, straight after the BTCC live coverage. Meanwhile, the provisional date for the 2019 edition has been set for July 26-28. Event boss Nick Wigley said: 'The dust hasn’t yet settled at Silverstone but we are already planning an even more spectacular Classic next summer.'

F5000s mark half century

A massive field of Formula 5000s will mark 50 years of the category during the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in California (August 23-26). Cars from Australia and New Zealand will join US-based cars in a 45-strong field. From the UK is Greg Thornton in his Chevron B24.

Formula Junior World Tour winners announced

The major winners from the Formula Junior Diamond Jubilee World Tour have been confirmed and are topped by Chris Drake, the overall winner of the Howden Ganley Trophy. Jac Nellemann (Alfa Dana) won the front-engined division, Drake (Elva 300) headed the drum-braked group and Australian Marty Bullock (Lotus 27) won the disc-braked category.

Large field in VSCC hillclimb

A field of 250 Pre-War racing and sports cars will contest this weekend’s annual VSCC Prescott hillclimb. The event has its origins in the first year of the Gloucestershire venue in 1938 and will, as usual, run on the shorter 880-yard version of the hill. The VSCC also has a one-day event on the long course on September 29.

Legend Boucles Bastogne 2019 date

The 2019 edition of the Legend Boucles Bastogne in Belgium will run over the weekend of February 1-3. The biggest historic rally in Europe will again be based in the town of Bastogne. 'By retaining the first weekend of February, we avoid clashing with the World Rally Championship, which is of major importance when it comes to drawing up our entry list,' said organiser Pierre Delettre.

Pictures courtesy of Paul Lawrence

Classic Cars for Sale