We are at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, in Monza, Italy, the home Italian motor racing, for round three of the 1987 World Sports Car Championship. The Porsche vs. Jaguar scrap is set to continue. It’s German turbo power vs. British V12s. Swiftair Ecosse is looking to depose Spice and get their first win in Group C2. A fly in the ointment could be the oh so often mentioned Martin Schanche Lucky Strike Argo Zakspeed. Don’t underestimate Thorkild Thyrring in the factory Tiga Ford either. Once again, the Dane is sharing with Sweden’s Leif Lindstrom in the Duckhams sponsored car.
Reigning World Sports Car teams’ champions Brun Motorsport have not found form in 1987 yet. Jaguar seems to have all the ingredients right now. Speed, reliability, and confidence are the keys to racing, and they have each of these in spades. Rothmans Porsche wants to win, so much so that Chief Executive Schutz and Race Director Dr. Bott have come to Monza. 21 cars are entered this weekend for the Monza 1,000 Kilometers, the Trofeo Filippo Carraciola. Jaguar are going for the hat trick here at Monza. Will they get it? Hans Stuck will make sure they don’t do that. Dudley Wood, Raul Boesel, Martino Finotto, Maurizio Gellini, Stanley Dickens, Gianfranco Brancatelli, Ray Mallock, Jan Lammers, Rudi Seher, Frank Jelinski, Piercarlo Ghinzani, and more, go out to qualify as the marshals take a piece of paper from scrutineering that said you passed, off the windscreen of each car before they can go out.
We have a new entry, too, car #127 in the C2 class. This is the Chamberlain Engineering Spice powered by a Hart engine, a four cylinder unit built by the legendary Brian Hart, and equipped with one Holset turbocharger, for Costas Los, Britain’s Nick Adams, and South Africa’s Graham Duxbury. Gordon Spice and Fermin Velez have the #111 Danone Spice. Stuck claims pole position and shares his optimism with Dr. Bott. Stuck is again sharing with Derek Bell, and as always, here at Monza, tires will be critical. Porsche and Jaguar both rely on the Kevlar walled Dunlop Denlok tires.
The factory 962 Porsche’s are running 3.0 liter turbocharged flat six engines. Rothmans Porsche has to make up ground to Jaguar, having finished second and third in the two Spanish races to open the season. Hans Stuck is quickest in practice and feels good about things, but they will use the regular gearbox. The pistons for hydraulic pressure in the semiautomatic gearbox are in need of reliability. The Porsche brass will see how hard the Rothmans team works. Oscar Larrauri though, he has spoiled both Jaguar and Porsche’s party, by putting the privateer Gaggia, Guffanti, Brun Porsche 962 at the sharp end of the grid.
So, the Argentinian ace will have something to say once this motor race gets underway. He is sharing with team and car owner Walter Brun. Larrauri is a fast driver, who is a former Formula 3 single seater champion. Bob Wollek and Jochen Mass will start the #18 Porsche in third place. Car chiefs Roland Kusmal and Walter Najer confer with team manager Peter Falk and Jochen Mass. Rothmans Porsche are delighted with first and third fastest times. Tom Walkinshaw and Ron Elkins at Silk Cut Jaguar are not concerned, because without turbo power, they can’t match Porsche during qualifying, despite the displacement advantage of their giant V12’s.
The Jaguar’s qualify fourth and fifth on the grid. Lammers and Watson are ahead of the sister car of Raul Boesel and Dane John Nielsen. What the Jaguar’s lack without a turbo, they make up for in grip on the road, and low end torque from their 7 liter V12s. John Nielsen is filling in (alongside Raul Boesel) for Eddie Cheever, who is racing Formula 1 for Arrows Megatron in the opening event of the 1987 Formula 1 World Championship at Jacarepagua in Brazil. Boesel sets quick time for the #4 Jaguar, 400ths of a second off of the sister car. How close do you like it?
Boesel has done extremely well transitioning from IndyCar racing to sports cars. He already has one win under his belt, and he is confident. He knows Jaguar has good backing and is very happy and impressed with the team. Joest Racing maintains their good track record, having won two consecutive Le Mans 24 Hour races in 1984 and ’85. Joest also beat Rothmans Porsche here at Monza in 1983. Klaus Ludwig of West Germany, and Piercarlo Ghinzani share the driving duties in the #7 Joest Racing Porsche 962. Reinhold Joest is running his cars without factory assistance. Ghinzani qualifies sixth fastest. Bruno Giacomelli is the comedian on his team, joining fellow Italian Mauro Baldi aboard the #15 Britten – Lloyd Racing Porsche 962C.
The car has its honeycomb monocoque chassis, and separate rear wing. Gianfranco Brancatelli has qualified eighth in the #2 Torno Brun Porsche 962C he shares with Massimo Sigala. Brun have experienced blown engines this weekend. Brancatelli says that the fuel regulations for commercial fuel, cause the customer Porsche engines to destruct themselves. Brancatelli says, “I blew the engine after five laps, had no chance to use qualifying tires, and was slower. Our practice engine was a bigger 3.2 liter unit.” Brun is the only squad on the C1 grid to use Michelin tires rather than the almost standard Dunlop Denlok rubber. The second Joest Porsche 962C is the #8 Sachs liveried car for West German’s Klaus Ludwig and John Winter, and Sweden’s Stanley Dickens.
Yves Courage has brought out his 1987 spec Cougar Group C racer for the first time with a Porsche 962 lump in the back of it. What is the lump, you ask? That’s the engine. The Cougar C20 is being shared by Belgian Herve Regout and Frenchman Joel Gouhier. Will Hoy takes pole with the Zakspeed powered Argo sharing with Martin Schanche. The car has a definite horsepower advantage over it’s rivals from Ecosse and Spice. Martino Finotto, the Italian, is racing for the first time in 1987 with his Alba Carma, sharing with countrymen Ruggero Melgrati and Pietro Silva.
Fermin Velez has the Danone yogurt Spice qualified third on the C2 grid. The customer Spice which is in Metaxa Brandy livery, for Costas, Nick Adams, and Graham Duxbury. The car still runs fourth quickest despite the mechanical issues. Luigi “Gigi” Taverna of Italy, is fifth fastest in C2 in his #116 Alba Ford Cosworth sharing with fellow Italian’s Pasquale Barberio and Oscar Berselli. Like most C2 cars, the Giordano wine sponsored entry runs on Avon tires. Also, look out for car #106 in C2. This is the Tiga Ford Cosworth that won the 1985 championship in the hands of Spice Engineering, and is now in Kelmar Racing colors for the all Italian team of Maurizio Gellini, Ranieri Randaccio, and Vito Veninata.
For France, ALD present their #177 ALD 02 powered by the BMW 3.5 liter M88 inline six cylinder normally aspirated motor, in the hands of an all French lineup. Gerard Tremblay sharing with Dominique Lacaud, and Jacques Heuclin. Just 300ths of a second behind is the #101 SwiftAir Ecosse, the Mallock/Leslie car, as that driving duo look to score their first C2 win of ’87, here at Monza. These guys have come in second to Spice in the first two races, sponsored by the little British post office, Royal Mail. Team boss Richard Williams is overseeing the operations this weekend along with the drivers.
The West German URD Junior Team with car #104 had rear bodywork blow off the car and had to pull an all-nighter to ready their car for the race, which will be driven by the German trio of Hellmut Mundas, Rudi Seher, and Dieter Heinzelmann. The Lucas sponsored Tiga, car #190 owned by Roy Baker is back, with Brit Val Mussetti and Frenchman Rudi Thomann at the wheel of it. Two other listed drivers never got into the car, including Australian Michael Hall and Briton David Andrews. Thorkild Thyrring was down the order in qualifying as the Ford powered Tiga was dealing with a persistent misfire.
Charles Ivey Racing’s Porsche 962 powered Tiga, #123, can’t set a time due to a cold engine. Mark Newby and Dudley Wood will have their work cut out in this race. Duncan Bain is back, making his first 1987 appearance with the new Dune Motorsport Tiga GC287 with the Rover 3.2 liter normally aspirated V6 powering it. Bain is sharing with Aussie Neil Crang. This engine was good enough to give Ecurie Ecosse the 1986 C2 championship, but Austin Rover Group pulled the plug on their factory effort at the end of last year.
Jaguar is sponsoring this race at Monza. Is that a good omen for them? We have Chamber of Commerce weather blessing us here at this most revered circuit at Monza, on Sunday morning prior to the start of the Monza 1,000 Kilometers. The Tifosi are here to cheer on the Italian drivers. Here’s the top qualifying places.
- #17 Stuck/Bell Porsche 962C Rothmans Porsche
- #1 Larrauri/Brun Porsche 962C Brun Motorsport
- #18 Wollek/Mass Porsche 962C Rothmans Porsche
- #5 Lammers/Watson Jaguar XJR8 Silk Cut Jaguar
- #4 Boesel/Nielsen Jaguar XJR8 Silk Cut Jaguar
- #7 Ghinzani/Ludwig Porsche 962C Joest Racing
- #15 Baldi/Giacomelli Porsche 962C Britten-Lloyd Racing
- #2 Brancatelli/Sigala Porsche 962C Brun Motorsport
- #3 Jelinski/Pareja/Larrauri Porsche 962C Brun Motorsport
- #8 Ludwig/Winter/Dickens Porsche 962C Joest Racing
Here’s the top ten in C2.
- #117 Hoy/Schanche Argo JM19B Zakspeed Team Lucky Strike Schanche
- #130 Finotto/Melgrati/Silva Alba AR6 Carma Alba Carma
- #111 Velez/Spice Spice SE86C Ford Cosworth Spice Engineering
- #127 Adams/Los/Duxbury Spice SE86C Hart Chamberlain Engineering
- #116 Berselli/Barberio/Taverna Alba AR3 Ford Cosworth Techno Racing
- #106 Veninata/Randaccio/Gellini Tiga GC85 Ford Cosworth Kelmar Racing
- #177 Tremblay/Lacaud/Heuclin ALD 02 BMW Automobiles Louis Descartes
- #101 Mallock/Leslie Ecosse C286 Ford Cosworth Ecurie Ecosse
- #104 Mundas/Seher/Heinzelmann URD C81/2 BMW URD Junior Team
- #190 Musetti/Thomann Tiga GC286 Ford Cosworth Roy Baker Racing
The field forms up behind the Jaguar safety car, going through the Parabolica. We’re racing at Monza! Porsche and Jaguar pick up their battle once again. Velez takes the C2 lead. Will Hoy stalled the Argo on the grid as the cars were coming to the green light. Thorkild Thyrring has no more electrical gremlins to worry about in the Tiga. Jaguar and Rothmans Porsche are locked into a serious battle, and the privateer teams will have to pick up the scraps. Hans Stuck has put a tremendous amount of daylight between himself and the Jaguars already.
Klaus Ludwig in the Joest Taka-Q Porsche is best of the rest at the moment. This is Joest’s first 1987 WSC race. John Nielsen once again, is sharing with Raul Boesel. Eddie Cheever is racing the Formula 1 season opener at Jacarepagua in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Velez is harrying the Spice through Monza’s tight chicanes to keep his pace in C2. Thorkild Thyrring is up to third in C2 as well. After stalling on the grid, Will Hoy, the fastest qualifier in C2 is down the order. Stuck leads as Jan Lammers is pressurizing team mate Raul Boesel for second place. Klaus Ludwig is also in this scrum. Bob Wollek gets passed for third as they slide through the daunting and fabulous Parabolica.
Boesel snags the lead away from Stuck. These boys are running this race like a ten lap dash for cash on a Saturday night at your local short track, than they are a 6 hour enduro. Pit stop time, albeit unscheduled, for Stuck, with a punctured Dunlop tire. Bob Wollek assumes the lead having taken both Jaguar’s in one fell swoop. Jan Lammers runs ahead of Raul Boesel. Stuck heads back into the race. Jaguar #5 is now in the lane for service. It’s game over for Klaus Ludwig and Piercarlo Ghinzani as Joest Porsche #7’s engine went bang. In the meantime, it’s Fermin Velez and Spice heading the field in C2.
The #18 Wollek/Mass Porsche 962C is out of the race as well. The turbo has mysteriously swallowed a stone, put the Frenchman and the German out, and the two Jaguars assume the lead, battling each other. Lammers sweeps past Nielsen. Derek Bell is still third with the delayed sole Rothmans Porsche in the race. Frank Jelinski holds fourth spot in the #3 Fortuna Brun Porsche he shares with Jesus Pareja and Oscar Larrauri. Germany’s Uwe Schafer is listed as a reserve driver who is not needed.
Spice reigns supreme in the C2 stakes at the present time. But, there’s another plot twist. It’s raining in the closing stages here at Monza, and so, the wet tires will have to come out. Jan Lammers pits from the lead. Hans Stuck also pits from third. Both Hans Stuck and Jan Lammers, are rainmeisters. Fermin Velez makes it back to pit lane despite spinning out in the wet on slick tires. Raul Boesel is not so lucky. He slides off the road and into the gravel trap before he can get the second place Jaguar to the lane for service. Be that as it may, it’s another win for Silk Cut Jaguar, their third of the season, and the second for Jan Lammers and John Watson.
Velez and Spice take the hat trick, winning three straight races in C2. Hans Stuck and Derek Bell come back, luckily, to finish in second spot. Frank Jelinski and Jesus Pareja score Brun’s best result of 1987 so far, finishing on the podium in third. Jaguar has dominated the first three races and has a convincing teams’ championship lead. Let’s look at the standings.
- Silk Cut Jaguar 60 points
- Rothmans Porsche 42 points
- Brun Motorsports 26 points
- Kremer Porsche 25 points
Here too, are the driver’s championship points, tallied up after Monza.
- Derek Bell 42 points
- Hans Stuck 42 points
- Jan Lammers 40 points
- John Watson 40 points
- Raul Boesel 32 points
- Eddie Cheever 32 points
- Kris Nissen 25 points
- Volker Wiedler 25 points
- Jesus Pareja 24 points
Here are the teams’ points in C2, where Spice is already dominant.
- Spice Engineering 60 points
- Swiftair Ecosse 45 points
- URD Junior Team 20 points
- Team Tiga Ford 12 points
- RBR Tiga Team 12 points
Here’s what the C2 driver’s points look like.
- Gordon Spice 60 points
- Fermin Velez 60 points
- Ray Mallock 45 points
- David Leslie 45 points
- Rudi Seher 20 points
- Helmut Hundas 20 points
The next race is the Silverstone 1,000 Kilometers at the famous Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, England, in a month.