Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic Fer­rari F40 GT/LM, Nis­san Primera SATC, Rap­port Forté and BRM P48 make their post-re­build de­buts

Nineties GTS and sports pro­to­types crown a dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic

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The spec­tac­u­lar Gt-class su­per­cars of the Nineties and their even more rad­i­cal open­cock­pit sports pro­to­type coun­ter­parts fought it out in a new head­line race – the Mas­ters En­durance Leg­ends – at this year’s Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic. The event felt more fo­cused on the mo­tor sport of more re­cent eras than pre­vi­ous edi­tions, with no pre-war classes plus a new race for vet­eran com­peti­tors of the World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships. Else­where though, the 60th an­niver­sary of the BTCC meant that tour­ing cars stole the show.

Nis­san Primera SATC

This ex­per­i­men­tal Nis­san tour­ing car was mak­ing its UK track de­but fol­low­ing restora­tion by Club Trop­i­cana In­ter­na­tional.

‘It was built in 1997 for the South African Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship,’ said Trop­i­cana’s Johnny West­brook. ‘South Africa’s mo­tor sports as­so­ci­a­tion was the first to recog­nise that the costs of Su­per Tour­ing were get­ting out of hand, and cre­ated its own for­mula half­way be­tween Su­per Tour­ing and pro­duc­tion – this car was the first built to the new spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

‘It has 315bhp, a dog­leg man­ual gear­box, cen­tre­lock wheels, no aero­dy­namic add-ons and the en­gine was in its nor­mal place, not tilted back like a Su­per Tourer’s. Al­though built by Nis­san Mo­tor­sport South Africa, there was a lot of in­put from Sun­der­land, and fun­nily enough it ended up in­flu­enc­ing the de­sign of the 1999 Primera – one of the most ex­pen­sive Su­per Tour­ers built.

‘They had to drop the four-wheel-drive floor­pan, which had been ho­molo­gated to take on the Audi Qu­at­tros but after four-wheel drive was banned they used its in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion. On this car they de­vel­oped a twist-beam with an ad­justable link in the mid­dle.’

Fer­rari F40 GT/LM

This spec­tac­u­lar F40, re­cently re­stored by DK En­gi­neer­ing, made its his­toric rac­ing de­but in the Mas­ters En­durance Leg­ends. ‘It’s one of only seven F40 GTS built by Mich­e­lotto to CSAI-GT spec­i­fi­ca­tions,’ said Paul Barrett of DK En­gi­neer­ing. ‘Orig­i­nally it had 560bhp – later de­vel­op­ments have taken it up to 690bhp – in a pack­age weigh­ing just 1050kg, with rose-jointed sus­pen­sion.

‘Amaz­ingly, all the Mich­e­lotto GTS were road cars orig­i­nally. This was a 1989 car con­verted to GT spec­i­fi­ca­tion in 1991 for the Jolly Club to run in the 1993 Ital­ian GT Cham­pi­onship. Marco Brand won eight of the nine races, win­ning it out­right.

In 1994 it was sold to Team Taisan in Ja­pan, which got Mich­e­lotto to up­grade it to Le Mans spec­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore rac­ing it in the Ja­panese GT se­ries in 1994-1995.

‘It re­mained in this spec­i­fi­ca­tion, un­used, un­til we ac­quired it last year and re­turned it to GT spec – com­plete with orig­i­nal Monte Shell liv­ery.’

Rap­port Forté

This bizarre shoot­ing-brake, just re­stored and driven all the way from Switzer­land by its owner, Ge­org Dönni, was the star of the Jaguar En­thu­si­asts’ Club stand.

‘As far as I know, it was never pub­licly shown – it just ap­peared in pub­lic­ity pho­to­graphs,’ said Dönni. ‘In the Sev­en­ties Rap­port mainly pro­duced long­wheel­base Range Rover con­ver­sions, but it wanted to get more into the car busi­ness with mod­els such as the Ritz, which was a lux­ury wedge-shaped ver­sion of the Tri­umph Ac­claim.

‘Rap­port wanted to build its own car. De­signer Chris Hum­ber­stone ac­quired an un­known num­ber of Jaguar XJ12 chas­sis and cre­ated pro­to­types of the Forté in coupé, cabriolet and es­tate form. After launch in 1980, 12 or­ders were taken, most from Alexan­der Pa­trick of the Pa­trick Mo­tor Group, but Rap­port went bust be­fore it could build any cars. In the end Gra­ham Hud­son of Lad­broke Avon of­fered to build them – he started three but only fin­ished this one.

‘Jaguar his­to­rian An­drew Whyte tested it and said its han­dling was awk­ward. Pa­trick wasn’t sat­is­fied with it ei­ther and didn’t drive it much. When I ac­quired it in 2009 it only had 690 miles on the clock. Part of its prob­lem was that the nose only left a small inch-high slot for the V12 to take air through, so it’d over­heat after about 15 min­utes. When I re­stored it, I had to de­vise a com­pletely new and more pow­er­ful cool­ing sys­tem for it.’

BRM P48

This BRM was com­pet­ing even though its restora­tion wasn’t com­plete yet, run­ning with­out paint. ‘It’s the most suc­cess­ful P48 there ever was,’ said Rob Hall of re­storer Hall & Hall.

‘It got the best re­sults dur­ing a dif­fi­cult 1960 sea­son for BRM.’ Gra­ham Hill fin­ished third at Zand­voort, and Jo Bon­nier man­aged fifth at Monaco and River­side. Dan Gur­ney mainly drove it, in­clud­ing at Sil­ver­stone, fin­ish­ing 10th.

‘Robs Lam­plough has owned it since 1971, but it hasn’t run since then be­cause bits from it were put in a P25. We’ve spent the last five years restor­ing it and it’s still not fin­ished, but it is run­ning!’

This F40 was re­cently re­turned to its orig­i­nal flamethrow­ing GT spec

The only com­pleted Rap­port Forté Es­tate

BRM hadn’t run since 1971

South African Nis­san Primera tour­ing car in its ‘semi-su­per’ spec

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