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  3. BENTLEY BLOWER TO RETURN TO RACING

BENTLEY BLOWER TO RETURN TO RACING

28 Mar 2023

The first car of Bentley’s Blower Continuation Series – known as Car Zero – is set to invoke the history of its ancestor by racing at a series of events across 2023. Completing its purpose of engineering validation while honouring its genealogy, Blower Car Zero will take to tracks in the UK, France and Belgium in a set of races that will test its performance and endurance.

The Blower Continuation Series

The Blower Continuation Series

The Blower Continuation Series – the first pre-war continuation series ever created - has been built by hand using a combination of modern laser-scanned data and original drawings. Both the blueprints and the 3D data were taken from the 1929 4½-litre supercharged Team Car #2 – the most famous Bentley in the world, and one of the icons of the Bentley Heritage Collection. 93 years after that car competed at Le Mans (and elsewhere), Car Zero will assume the original Blower’s mantle and race to win – including at the Circuit de la Sarthe, in what will be the first Bentley works car to race at Le Mans since the Speed 8’s victory in 2003.

Modifications to allow Blower Car Zero to go racing have been minor, and safety-related. They include the installation of a rain light, wing mirrors, towing points, a fire extinguisher and a battery isolation switch. The car also now holds an Historic Technical Passport (HTP), the certifies the car as eligible to compete in FIA-sanctioned events for historic vehicles.

Blower Car Zero will compete at three tracks in 2023:

• Donington Park, UK, 29-30 April

• Le Mans, France, 29 June – 3 July

• Spa, Belgium, 28-30 September

12 further Blower Continuation Series cars have been commissioned through Mulliner – Bentley

12 further Blower Continuation Series cars have been commissioned through Mulliner – Bentley

After Car Zero, 12 further Blower Continuation Series cars have been commissioned through Mulliner – Bentley’s bespoke and personalisation division - with eight delivered and four still in-build. Some of these customer cars will compete alongside Car Zero at Le Mans in the summer, together with original Bentley Team cars from the 1920s.

Paul Williams, Mulliner’s Chief Technical Officer, comments:

“By going racing with Blower Car Zero, we will prove the performance, authenticity and durability of our Continuation Series by taking on the original competition, and give our customers confidence that they too can take their continuation cars to the track. We’ve already proved the quality of the engineering within the car by completing a tough test of several hours at race pace around Goodwood, and it’s now time for the car to be unleashed for real racing. We’ll take the learnings from this race programme and apply them to the upcoming Speed Six Continuation Series, for which the first engineering car is in build now.”

To prepare for its racing debut, Car Zero recently completed a six-hour endurance test at full race pace, at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Driven by Stuart Morley (GB), the car performed flawlessly throughout the test, covering 380 miles and averaging 83 miles per hour.

Drivers for the race programme will be confirmed shortly, and will feature a mix of experienced motoring journalists with racing credentials alongside professional racing drivers.

Motor 283

BY Motor 283

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Italian Government Pressures Alfa Romeo to Rename Milano SUV to 'Junior'

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In a surprising turn of events, Alfa Romeo has announced that it will be changing the name of its recently unveiled Milano SUV to "Junior" after facing pressure from the Italian government. This decision comes amidst criticism from Italy's industry minister, Adolfo Urso, who expressed concerns over the marketing of a foreign-manufactured vehicle bearing an Italian name.

Auto China 2024 and beyond: Mercedes-Benz to showcase its focus on China with new products and localised developments

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At and around Auto China 2024, Mercedes Benz underlines its commitment to delivering dedicated products and technologies to Chinese customers. As the largest single automotive market in the world, China plays an important role in the long-term strategy of Mercedes Benz. Running up to the show, the company will maintain its leadership position in this market, headlined by the world premiere of the all-new electric Mercedes Benz G Class.

China is home to the company’s largest production site and the most comprehensive R&D hub outside Germany, playing a significant role in Mercedes Benz’s global R&D network. In recent years, Mercedes Benz strengthened its R&D capabilities in China, particularly in electrification and digitalisation. In 2021, the company opened the new R&D Tech Centre China in Beijing, equipped with state-of-the-art testing labs, including E drive, battery, charging, NVH, and more. In 2022, Mercedes Benz established the new R&D Centre Shanghai, focusing on connectivity, automated driving, plus software and hardware development. This April, a new building will be added with advanced hardware and software facilities designed to accelerate local development in cutting-edge digital innovations. Besides the R&D Centre, the existing Design Centre will continue to promote the digital dimension in Mercedes Benz designs.

Gordon Murray Automotive reveals all T.50s commemorative names ahead of prototype global dynamic debut

16 Apr 2024
Gordon Murray Automotive reveals all T.50s commemorative names ahead of prototype global dynamic debut

Premium British vehicle manufacturer Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) has announced the 25 commemorative names to be paired with the 25 T.50s Niki Lauda chassis. Each of the track-only T.50s supercars will celebrate Gordon Murray’s rich racing heritage with their names commemorating the dates of his first 24 Grand Prix wins at different circuits, and a special endurance race victory.

Already allocated to their owners, each of the T.50s chassis is themed chronologically, starting with Murray’s first race victory – 1974 South Africa at Kyalami – and continuing with each subsequent win at unique locations: 1974 USA at Watkins Glen; 1975 Brazil at Interlagos; 1975 Germany at Nürburgring; 1978 Sweden at Anderstorp; 1980 Italy at Imola; 1980 Netherlands at Zandvoort; 1981 Argentina at Buenos Aires; 1982 Monte Carlo at Monaco; 1982 Canada at Montreal; 1983 Brazil at Rio; 1983 Italy at Monza; 1983 UK at Brands Hatch; 1984 USA at Detroit; 1985 France at Paul Ricard; 1988 Mexico at Mexico City; 1988 UK at Silverstone; 1988 Belgium at Spa; 1988 Portugal at Estoril; 1998 Spain at Jerez; 1988 Japan at Suzuka; 1988 Germany at Hockenheim; 1988 Hungary at Hungaroring; 1988 Australia at Adelaide; 1995 France at La Sarthe.

The news comes ahead of the global dynamic debut of the T.50s Niki Lauda prototype on 13 April at the UK’s Goodwood Motor Circuit. The first public outing for the T.50s prototype will headline the 81st Goodwood Members Meet where more than 15,000 track spectators will enjoy the first outing of the race-spec car revving through to its 12,100 rpm redline. The T.33 mule ‘James’ will also make its dynamic debut at the event marking the progress made by the GMA R&D team and enabling the public to hear the GMA.2 V12 engine for the first time.

The Goodwood event will celebrate the career of famed racer Niki Lauda – the 1970s and 1980s F1 driver whose name appears on every T.50s. Raising the occasion’s significance further, GMA will explain the unique connection between the T.50s and the iconic Brabham BT46B ‘Fan Car’ that Niki Lauda drove to a commanding victory at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.

Conceived by Gordon Murray during his 17-year tenure as Chief Designer at the Brabham Formula One team, the BT46B rose to instant iconic status due to Murray’s innovative addition of a ground-effect fan system. Having dominated and won its inaugural race at Anderstorp, Sweden in the hands of Niki Lauda, the model was withdrawn by Brabham to pacify other teams for the good of the championship.

Gordon Murray, CBE – Executive Chairman, Gordon Murray Group: “The dynamic debuts of the GMA T.33 mule and GMA T.50s XP1 mark an important milestone in the development of both supercars. I’m also proud that we will participate in honouring a man who was a one-of-a-kind racer and a great friend by showcasing the T.50s Niki Lauda at Goodwood. Additionally, revealing the 25 historically significant motor racing names for our track-only T.50s is the perfect way to celebrate a favourite event for me and the whole GMA team.”

GMA’s Dario Franchitti will present attendees with an insightful overview of the story of the BT46B and its significance in the design and engineering of the T.50 supercar and its track-spec T.50s sibling. The GMA team will also be joined by His Grace the Duke of Richmond who will take a tour of the Murray display of heritage race cars and modern-day GMA supercars.