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Lot 238: 1999 Reynard Champcar Interseries Winner

Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars, Coys (30 April 2006)

Reynard Motorsport was at one time the worlds largest racing car manufacturer. Based at Bicester, England, the company built successful cars in Formula Ford 1600, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Vauxhall Lotus, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and Champ Car. Founded by Adrian Reynard in 1973 as Sabre Automotive Ltd, the company built on its success in lower formulae to progress in March 1994 to Champ Car racing and even collaborate with British American Racing from 1999 in the design of its early F1 cars. Adrian Reynard formed a very effective working partnership with friend and Ford rival Rick Gorne who looked after the sales and commercial side of the business. Gorne was one of the first people to really bring a commercial mindset to the sale of racing cars - he worked out pricing models for cars and spares (basing this on research into how often cars were damaged) and started "networking" with young drivers early in their careers so they'd be favourably disposed towards Reynard later on. Reynard acquired a reputation for being a marque whose cars won first time out, they achieved this on their debuts in Formula 3 (1985), Formula 3000 (1988) and Champ Car (1994). Reynard effectively wiped March, Lola and Ralt out of F3000 and March and Lola out of ChampCar. Lola recovered by securing the one-make contract for F3000 and reviving themselves in ChampCar in the late 1990's. Reynard were also involved with various special projects; the first competition versions of the Panoz Esperante, the Dodge Stratus touring car and an unraced and highly innovative gas-turbine powered sports prototype for Chrysler. Naturally given Reynard's involvement with BAR there were high expectations for the team's F1 debut which were not met. Reynard's success in F3 was transitory with Dallara and a revived Ralt obliterating them from the market in 1992. Adrian Reynard sought to buy Ralt but the company ended up in the hands of March. Their success in ChampCar and F3000 was more lasting though. Even when individual chassis programmes didn't work out for Reynard, Gorne usually managed to make a profit. The 1985 Formula Ford car was a disaster however, so the entire programme was sold on for a one-make series behind the Iron Curtain! Reynard acquired various other lucrative contracts for one-make racing series over the years as well as achieving numerical domination in many open-chassis formulae; the Formula Vauxhall (or Opel) Lotus single seaters of the late 1980s were designed and manufactured for several years by Reynard (picking up on the firm's spare capacity after Formula Ford 2000 died out). Outside motorsport, in the 1990's, the company became involved in a project to build lightweight carbon-fibre seats for Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline. The deal came about through friendship between Reynard and Branson. The joint-venture company that manufactured these seats was located at Reynard HQ in Brackley. As a result of its success the company was awarded the Queen's Awards for Export Achievement in 1990 and 1996. The company started preparing a Formula 1 program in 1989 to debut in 1992. Engineers were hired, such as Rory Byrne from Benetton. In 1991, Reynard was not able to push through so the entire program, including the Enstone factory, was sold to Benetton. Reynard's research data was sold to Ligier and some Reynard components (mostly F3000-based) were used by Keith Wiggins' Pacific Racing in their unsuccessful F1 car (built for the 1993 season, but not raced until 1994 for budgetary reasons). It is unlikely that the putative 1992 Reynard would have been a significant success even had the money been available to develop it - the only works engine the team could obtain was the Yamaha unit that subsequently gave Jordan Grand Prix so much trouble that year. Toward the late 1990's Reynard was primarily involved in Champ Car, Formula Nippon and Barber Dodge racing series. The company also engineered sports and touring cars. The success in Champ Car was highly profitable and led the company to diversify. The package available today consists of 2 cars, 3 engines and over £100,000 worth of an extremely comprehensive spares package. (a full listing is available upon request.) Team Rahal raced this car with Shell in the US Champcar series driven by Brian Herta and winning the Laguna Seca Race in 2003. It is excellent in every respect and was last raced by Robbie Stirling at Spa Francochamps with a 900hp bio-ethenol engine. The second, all most complete car is included as part of the spares package and is the ex-Patrick Carpentier car.

Lot Details
Auction Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars
Coys, Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit
TypeCar
Lot Number238
Estimate£50000-£70000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1999
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number991029
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors