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Land­mark BRM dis­cov­ered


One of the few sur­viv­ing ex­am­ples of BRM’S first rear-en­gined For­mula 1 car, the P48 from 1960, has re­turned to ac­tion this sum­mer af­ter a lengthy restora­tion by mar­que ex­perts Hall and Hall.

Hav­ing spent nearly half a cen­tury in stor­age, the ex-dan Gur­ney P48 re­turned to the track at the Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic in late July. The freshly fin­ished car was en­trusted to ver­sa­tile young racer Ben Mitchell, who qual­i­fied an ex­cel­lent sev­enth in a 50car field for the pair of HG­PCA races. Un­for­tu­nately, gear­box is­sues then left it un­able to start.

BRM’S first rear-en­gined F1 de­sign was a rushed devel­op­ment of the front-en­gined P25 for the 1960 sea­son and Gur­ney raced chas­sis num­ber 6. In 1960, three P48s (for Gur­ney, Gra­ham Hill and Jo Bon­nier) joined the fray at the Monaco Grand Prix. Chas­sis 6 was later used in hill­climb­ing dur­ing the mid1960s be­fore be­ing bought by racer Robs Lam­plough. The racer and avi­a­tor has been ac­tively com­pet­ing since the 1960s, when he raced at in­ter­na­tional level in For­mula 2, and still turns out reg­u­larly in cars from his ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion.

Lam­plough ac­quired the car in 1971, used some of the me­chan­i­cal parts to build up a front-en­gined P25, and put the P48 chas­sis into stor­age – where it stood in a cor­ner for more than 40 years. Fi­nally, five years ago, the chas­sis went to Hall and Hall in Bourne, Lin­colnshire, for restora­tion. Like the P25, the P48 uses a 2.5-litre four-cylin­der BRM en­gine.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic hon­our to be asked to drive it and it’s 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 lead­ing up to the Clas­sic. There are now plans to run the car again at suit­able events.

Sixty years af­ter his death at the Nür­bur­gring, British racer Peter Collins was re­mem­bered in early Au­gust in a mod­est cer­e­mony at Saint Mary’s Church in Stone, Worces­ter­shire, close to his for­mer home.

Collins died in the 1958 Ger­man Grand Prix when his Fer­rari Dino 246 flipped into a ditch and he was thrown out. His rise to F1 and sportscar rac­ing had been me­te­oric and he pro­gressed from 500cc F3 in 1950 to make his F1 de­but in 1952. He won three grands prix, in­clud­ing the 1958 British race af­ter a mighty per­for­mance, and took many sportscar suc­cesses. He also part­nered Stir­ling Moss to vic­tory in the 1955 Targa Flo­rio for Mercedes.

Collins was close to both Enzo Fer­rari and Mike Hawthorn, and his death was a ma­jor fac­tor in Hawthorn’s de­ci­sion to re­tire at the end of the 1958 sea­son.

His life was marked by the cer­e­mony and an ad­dress by re­spected com­men­ta­tor Neville Hay. A wreath in the shape of a Fer­rari steer­ing wheel adorned Collins’ grave in a fit­ting trib­ute to one of Bri­tain’s great­est driv­ers.

Dan Gur­ney in the BRM P48 at the 1960 Monaco GP. The car re­cently ap­peared at the Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic

Peter Collins made his F1 de­but in 1952 and had won three GPS by the time of his death in 1958

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