I’m sure you all remember the case of the mystery car from my blog post last week. It seems there are a lot of you very keen to find out what it actually is and it even had the likes of Martin Haven and the guys at Radio Le Mans scratching their heads. Well, wonder no more. The case has been solved and the Car Identified. I would have revealed all earlier, but unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances which I needed to resolve, I didn’t get round to writing this.
After writing my post last week, I got a huge response. Mostly from people trying to guess what it was. However some people did come forward with some useful snippets of information which I used to did a little deeper. With information ranging from someone who thought they spotted it in a race teams truck, to people who had seen it at a track day. Also a few more photos were bought to mine and Graeme’s attention. Working on a few leads, emails were sent out to various people in the hope that I could get a definitive answer.
Having spent hours searching and digging, I had found out who had built the car, but little information was given on their website. So an email was also sent to them. On Wednesday, I received a number of emails back. A couple saying they didn’t know anything about the car but two were of great help. The company I had found, Mark Bailey Racing, did indeed the build the car and managed to give me some information about it. They also told me who they thought was the current owner. The other email was received from the trackday organisers of events which this car had been spotted at. They did know the owner and had forwarded on the email I had sent them along with a link to my blog.
The owner had got in touch not long after with the information we are all desperate to find out. So here it is, in the words of current owner Paul Spencer:
‘I can solve the mystery for you as I own the car. It’s a unique car built in 2000 using Schuppan 962 bodywork and a bespoke chassis designed especially for it. Well done those of you who mentioned 965/962. It’s powered by a Nascar spec short stroke Chevy engine producing 670bhp and uses a Hewland 6 speed sequential. It had never really been used before I bought it 2 years ago and we’ve had to make a lot of changes to the suspension to make it track worthy. It’s coming together now and should end up as a really quick car. It’s as fast as the Group C cars from the 1980s and a bit of a monster to drive. I’m happy to go into more detail if anyone’s interested. I’ll take the car to a few RMA track days this year and may race it if I can find any suitable races to enter.’
I have spoken to Paul via email as I was keen to find out more and see if he had any photos we could use but he is in New York at the moment and said he would contact me when he gets back. So hopefully, there will be more to come on this unique car.
A couple of good photos of the car in action at Spa Francorhamps can be found here.
I’ve decided to write a quick blog as I am really in need of some help. Well, information to be more precise. A friend of mine, Graeme Cameron, took a photo of this car, pictured, in the back of a lorry at Snetterton. Now it is obvious it is some type of Group C sports car, but what we’d like to know is exactly what make and model it is.
It has been bugging me for ages and thoughts of Aston Martins AMR1 and Mazda’s 787b have proved fruitless as there always seems to be something not quite right. Whether it is a wing mirror, the front splitter, headlights, position of tow ring etc there is always something that has differed slightly from anything we have thought of. Also, I might be wrong but if this is a genuine Group C car and not some replica or kit car, then I think the livery is not original.
So I turn to you. Does anyone know what this car is or knows any information about it? If you do, please get in touch and let me know. Then hopefully I can sleep a bit better at night as this is driving me mad trying to work it out. Having said that, It is probably something glaringly obvious. Either way, if you know anything, please come forward! And if you have photographic evidence to back up your claim, all the better.
*No cash reward or other alternative available.
Have you ever been in a situation whilst on a night out, you notice an extremely hot girl that you can’t help but keep staring at? And whilst staring you get the feeling you recognise her? Then it hits you. It’s the girl who lives down your road or it’s the girl you go to college with? The same girl you’ve seen walking her dog, or wandering between lectures in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt? Only this time, she’s done her hair, put on her make-up, is wearing a figure hugging dress and wearing killer heels which make her legs look like they go on for miles. Does this sound familiar? You take notice because all of a sudden you realise how gorgeous she is, right?
Well this happened to me recently. Twice in fact, and ever since it has been playing on my mind. The girl in question? The Audi R8.
I’ve never really been interested in the R8. It just seemed to be an average supercar. Similar Audi styling you see on various other Audi models and nothing much to make me stop and stare. That was until I was at Donington a couple of weekends ago and more recently, Snetterton last weekend. At Donington, entered into the Dutch Supercar Challenge races was an Audi R8. I didn’t think much about it whilst browsing the entry list until I saw it. Wow! It was beautiful. A vision of Red and Black. The R8 had made me stand up and take notice.
It happened again at Snetterton. Having not been at Oulton Park for the first round of the British GT championships, it was the first time I got to see the two United Autosports Audi R8 GT3 cars in the flesh. They looked awesome. Everything a GT Race car should be, aggressive but sleek at the same time. They sounded good too. But what was it that transfixed me and left me staring? To be honest I don’t know. Maybe it was the racing body kit, the huge rear wing or the vented GT40 style bonnet. Or maybe it was just something simple, a decent livery or a combination of them all. Whatever it was, they looked fantastic and I had noticed.
This got me thinking. A good livery on a race car can make big difference to how the car looks. Stripes, straight lines, swirly patterns, two or more different colours, can all change not only the look of the car but also the perceived design of the car.A nice colour scheme will ultimately prove popular among fans and can be liked more than the next car because it looks better. I know some colour schemes can be down to the team sponsors and perhaps this might force a car to be a specific colour. But sometimes, a sponsor can create a colour scheme that is just perfect. I am of course referring to the light blue and orange Gulf colours. It has become iconic and makes any race car noticeable. It is world renowned and has probably become the most famous livery of all time, particularly within GT and endurance racing. There are of course many other Iconic colour schemes throughout motorsport history, but there have been some howlers too and some that just don’t look right. One example within the British GT championships is the two GT4 Lotus Evora’s. They run in a red and white livery which I don’t like much. I know that they would look a lot better in the iconic British racing green with gold trim.
Another topic of thought led me on to the fact that within motorsport, there seems to be the ability to make your average day to day road car look so much better when it’s race prepped. The addition of a body kit, aerodynamic improvements, lowered suspension and big spoilers is something every Chav or Wideboy tries to add to his old Vauxhall Corsa or Ford Escort to make it look ‘Cool’ yet fails miserably.Rallying is probably the best example of motorsport that can turn your average family run-around into a pure monster. The new WRC cars have turned the humble Fiesta, C3 and Fabia into objects of desire. You wouldn’t give another glance if you passed a Fiesta in the street, but if you saw the WRC version drive past, you may well have had an accident in your pants! Within GT racing, they improve what are usually great looking cars in the first place. Much like being the stylist for Kiera Knightly or Katy Perry, they already look great so you can’t go far wrong, but within rallying, you get given Susan Boyle and Janet Street-Porter to work with! For example, let’s face it, the Metro was a rubbish looking car, but the 1980’s group b 6R4 car was just incredible! Everyone loved it. It had been pumped so full of steroids, its veins were on the verge of exploding. It was a shadow of its former self, but everyone noticed it. There are many examples and I could go on for ages, but I won’t. We all have our favourites.
Throughout history, motorsport has been taking normal cars and turning them in to real head turners. This time motorsport has for me, made me turn my head and notice the Audi R8 and I’m glad it has.