Ignition Festival of Motoring
Classic F1 cars take over the streets of Glasgow
The first Shadow, and the Arrows that Damon Hill spent a controversial year driving after his championship win, headlined an exciting celebration of motor sport at the second Ignition Festival of Motoring in Glasgow, alongside an unprecedented five rally world champions driving the cars that made them famous.
Arrows FA13 and A18
‘It’s the first time these cars have been seen in a historical context,’ said collector and racing driver Eddie Mclurg of his Arrows F1 cars. ‘I bought the FA13 from Arrows and raced in the BOSS [Big Open Single Seater] series in the Nineties, but they’re not eligible for historic race series so they don’t come out very often.
‘The Footwork Arrows FA13 was driven by Aguri Suzuki and Michele Alboreto in 1993. At the time it had a Honda V10 but you can’t get parts for them any more, so it’s now running a Hart DFR. The A18 was driven by Damon Hill after he was controversially sacked by Frank Williams after winning the F1 World Championship for him. Very harsh, but Williams thought Heinz-harald Frentzen could beat Michael Schumacher.
‘The A18 ran a Yamaha engine in period, but after the firm withdrew from F1 it had all its engines tracked down and destroyed, so it now runs an Ac-ford Formula 3000 unit. Hill’s best result was second in Hungary – he was on course for a win when something broke on the last but one lap and he was overtaken by Jacques Villeneuve. I found it in France where Michelin had been using it for driving experience days.’
Ex-arrows race engineer Chris Tee now looks after both cars. ‘The Footwork was the most reliable of all the F1 cars thanks to its Mugenhonda V10. It could’ve gone faster but after Tyrell, which was running the same engine, put Stefano Modena on pole at Monaco, Ron Dennis lobbied the organisers and got the Mugen engines detuned. After that, Alboreto said to us, “If I finish seventh again I swear I’ll bin it!” You only got points for the top six places back then.
‘I also worked with Hill at Williams during his championship-winning year. We did lots of airflow
research because he’s tall for an F1 driver so his helmet would block the air intake – he had to tilt his head to the side on fast straights.’
Shadow DN1 6A
It’s the first time this Shadow, one of the first eight built for the 1973 Formula One season, has been in action in Europe since it was new. ‘It’s been in a private US collection for a long time, liveried as George Follmer’s car from the 1973 US Grand Prix,’ said Rick Hall of Hall & Hall. ‘It was Tony Southgate’s first post-brm design, and shares a lot with the BRM P180 with its wedge shape and rear-mounted radiators, but its V8 created vibration problems, because Southgate was used to working with V12s. There were fractures in the engine mounts – the BRM V12 hadn’t been a stressed chassis member, unlike the Shadow’s Cosworth DFV.
‘It was mainly driven by Jackie Oliver, whose best finish in it was third in the Canadian GP but, as part of the conditions of sponsorship, UOP boss Don Nichols wanted an American driver. Reigning Canam champion George Follmer was brought in and drove this car in the US Grand Prix, finishing 14th.
Hugh Mccaig, current proprietor of Ecurie Ecosse, arranged an imposing eight-vehicle centrepiece display highlighting the team’s successes from the Fifties to the present day, including the first historic appearance for ‘Reggie’, the Austin Rover Group’s foray into Group C racing.
‘It started life as De Cadenet-lola number three, which had been written off at Silverstone in 1984, so we bought the remaining bits,’ recalled Mccaig. ‘We built Reggie in 1986 with outboard rear brakes – the inboards had cooling problems. It looked funny alongside the other Group C cars with its small wheels and no ground effect, but they were because of the Seventies Lola origins – it was a real fag-packet design.
‘We had a deal with Austin-rover to use a four-cam Honda V6, which John Davenport, ARG’S competitions manager, said was a fantastic engine – but it blew up after three test laps of Oulton Park. John Dunn of Swindon Engines said, “The bloody thing’s shredding its cambelts, there’s not enough wraparound,” so engine builder Guy Wood did another fag-packet redesign and got Uniroyal in Edinburgh to make us some new belts. We took it to Brands Hatch and won the C2 category.’
Vauxhall Cavalier Super Tourer
Appearing in public for the first time since the Nineties after spending years in a private collection beyond the Arctic Circle, the ex-david Leslie BTCC Vauxhall (pictured left) was instantly recognisable. ‘It came about as a result of Peter Livanos selling Aston Martin to Ford,’ said Mccaig. ‘Ford wasn’t bothered about racing, which left engineer Ray Mallock high and dry. During a British Racing Drivers’ Club dinner in London, slightly inebriated, I said, “Let’s do the BTCC.” After all, Mallock had run an Opel Manta in Thundersaloons in the Eighties. We built this car for 1992.
‘The other teams were great at building bodyshells, but Mallock put things on such as motorcycle-derived disc brakes at the rear when everyone else was using heavy road-car-derived items, and a kart-derived sequential column shift. His attention to detail made all the difference.
‘We won the TOCA shootout, which resulted in Ecurie Ecosse being given the contract to run the works Vauxhalls for 1993. It was just a pity we couldn’t bring David Leslie with us – not only was he fast, he was a fantastic test driver. I found him an interim drive with HKS in the Japanese Touring Car Championship, but he said he didn’t want to leave his wife and kids, and signed for Mazda instead. That was David!’
Clockwise from above: DN1 6A enjoyed first European run-out in Glasgow; ‘Fag-packet design’ Ecurie Ecosse-lola rebuilt from write-off; ex-hill Arrows A18; ex-alboreto FA13; ex-david Leslie BTCC Cavalier