If you’re like me, you were absolutely exhausted after King Of The Hill on Sunday (for our overseas readers, KOTH is the warm up rally before Rally Barbados, the biggest rally event in the Caribbean). I almost didn’t bother to make this post as Sunday was gone, but there was too much quality content last week to go to waste. So without further ado, welcome to another
Lazy Sundays video compilation!
We’ll start things off with another drag racing video from Down Under. It’s well known that Australians are not afraid to go down the path less (or never) traveled with their car builds – recall the 2JZ Honda S600 from the last Lazy Sundays – and this drag racer is no exception. A 4G63 powered Datsun 1200 pickup (or ute in Aussie terms) is a unique concept on it’s own, but the paddle-shifted Lenko transmission takes it from crazy to epic. The setup works well too, with the little Datsun posting consistent 7s. If even that isn’t enough, the cherry on top is that its driver is a very talented woman. If this video doesn’t perfectly explain the term ‘breaking the mould’, I don’t know what will.
The next video hearkens back to the glory days of Group C. For those unfamiliar with Group C, it was the highest class of endurance racing in the 80s and early 90s and was second in popularity only to Formula 1. The main difference compared to Formula 1 was that Group C made restrictions to fuel consumption instead of engine size. This allowed manufacturers to be creative in their engine solutions (although they had to be based on homologated road car engines). Other than dimensional and weight restrictions, manufacturers were pretty much allowed to be as innovative as they wanted in terms of chassis and aero development as well, resulting in monsters that could easily exceed 240mph down the old Mulsanne straight at Le Mans. Then in 1991, the FIA abandoned the fuel restriction formula in favour of restricting cars to 3.5L naturally aspirated engines, similar to Formula 1. The plan ultimately backfired, as only major manufacturers could afford to develop new engines for competition. Privateers and small manufacturers competing in the junior C2 class were priced out of competing as well, further thinning the field. Ultimately, lack of entrants and interest lead to Group C’s demise in 1992. Thankfully though, historic racing events, such as the Spa Classic, still give us the opportunity to see these cars take to the track. The Jaguar XJR-12 in this particular video is actually the No. 4 car that retired from the 1990 Le Mans race with mechanical issues, but now wears the No. 3 in homage to the winning XJR-12. Watching it scream it’s way up Eau Rouge in it’s iconic Silk Cut livery is enough to make the older readers miss the limit pushing madness of 80s motorsports.
This video follows the same theme as the previous one, an iconic race car being driven around the iconic Spa Francorchamps racetrack at a historic racing event. This time the race car in question is the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’. After the BPR Global GT Series became the FIA GT Championships in 1997, the rules for the top GT1 class changed, allowing homologation specials that were race cars before road cars to be entered. Such cars include the legendary Porsche 911 GT1 and Mercedes Benz CLK GTR. In order to remain competitive, extensive modifications were made to the original F1 GTR blueprint, most noticeably the rework of the body styling that gave it its nickname, aimed at creating as much downforce as possible. The Team BMW Motorsports and Team Davidoff Longtails claimed 2nd and 3rd in the Team Championships that year, losing out to Mercedes-Benz and their immediately fast CLK GTR. Unfortunately, the dominance of the upgraded CLK LM in 1998 caused the GT1 class to be cancelled for the 1999 season – as no other manufacturer wanted to challenge Mercedes – and the F1 GTR Longtail’s story in FIA GT ended. This particular Longtail is the very first one made, used as a development and promotion car. It then competed in the JGTC under Team Goh from 1997-98, then Team One Take from 1999-2002. After retirement it returned to the UK and was repainted in the original promotional livery and now graces us with its presence at historic racing events like the Spa Classic.
To finish, we’ll slow things down from the motorsport theme with this beautifully shot feature of the Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary. Introduced in 1988, the 25th Anniversary was the last hurrah of the legendary Countach. Designed by Horacio Pagani himself, it featured a number of aesthetic modifications including redesigned rear intake ducts, engine cover and a new rear bumper that extended out past the rear of the body. The restyling wasn’t received very well, with many calling it overkill (not that the Countach was ever subtle to begin with). The changes did improve aerodynamic efficiency and engine cooling, however, making the 25th Anniversary the most refined version of the Countach. The car in this video was also given the straight pipe treatment, creating a glorious scream when the 5.2L V12 is put through its paces. The emotion and sense of occasion that this video exudes makes me wonder which modern cars genuinely have a chance of living on in legend like the Countach has. Maybe we’ve lost the soul in pursuit of numbers. What do you think?
That’s all we have for this week. Apologies again for the late release and be sure to share any thoughts or video links in the comments below.