As well as his touring car successes, Spice also returned to sportscar racing in the late 1970s and was third overall in the 1980 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Rondeau. A deal between Ford and Gordon Spice Racing to contest the world sportscar championship was cancelled virtually before it got going, but the eventual result was that Spice Engineering Limited was formed to run in the C2 category.
Spice, Ray Bellm and Spice Engineering dominated C2 in 1985 with the Spice-tiga GC85, but it is the following year’s car that Spice chooses for this list.
For 1986 a deal was signed with General Motors and Spice produced its first chassis, the Pontiac Fiero-bodied SE86. The Graham Humphrys-designed machine proved competitive on both sides of the Atlantic, with Spice and Bellm again becoming C2 champions.
“The SE86 was a very easy car to drive and I’ve always liked cars that were easy,” says Spice. “It had no faults at all and you could drive it for hours on end, which I often did.
“What I liked about the sportscars was the seat time. You got much more driving – 1000km races, six hours, 24 hours. You didn’t get that in touring cars, apart from the Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hours, but I enjoyed the long races as you could really get stuck in and get into a rhythm. It was more challenging; cars had to be nursed through it.
“The C2s weren’t that much slower than the C1s. They were faster on acceleration and top speed, but we never felt we were holding people up.”
The SE86’S successor took Spice – this time driving with Fermin Velez – to his C2 hat-trick. He added another category crown in 1988 and the cars would continue to be successful after Gordon’s retirement from racing following the 1989 Le Mans.