A large proportion of us here at Gordon Murray Design are enthusiasts so, quite naturally, quite a few folks went to Le Mans and Goodwood for the Festival of Speed. I went to Goodwood on Sunday and enjoyed an excellent day meeting many of my old friends and drivers. The highlight for me was the BMW centenary celebration, as I have a long history with the company including their first Formula One win and World Championship, the McLaren F.1 road car and the Le Mans win in 1995.
It was fantastic to catch-up with some old the old F.1 team mechanics from Munich who now look after the heritage cars – my only disappointment was that my dear friend Paul Rosche was not there to share the day with me. I thought I would never have the opportunity to see 6 of my BMW powered creations in a row!
My Championship winning Brabham BT52 as part of the sculpture in front of Goodwood House was a great surprise as was the 1939 Mille Miglia BMW sports car which was also part of the sculpture. Paul Rosche and I drove that car in the 1995 Mille Miglia and we surprised ourselves with a 23rd place out of about 400 entries!
I also took the chance to catch-up with my old company, McLaren Automotive. It’s good to see that car company that Creighton Brown and I built back in 1990 is now building some very good cars again. After a rather shaky re-birth with the oddly named McLaren MP4/4 12c, the company now seems to have turned the corner under the excellent leadership of Mike Flewitt.
I recently caught up with another old friend, Mansour Ojjeh, who was very instrumental in the beginning of the car company – great to see him still so enthusiastic about the cars.
As I mentioned earlier this year, the prototype team here at Gordon Murray Design are building our heritage car collection and the first 2 cars are coming along very well. All this historic stuff has made me start thinking about the fact that next year will be the 50th anniversary of my car designing career and also 50 years since I started driving racing cars – so I need to begin planning some sort of party!!
It was an absolute pleasure for myself and a number of the team to attend the Shell Eco-marathon that took place between 30th June and 3rd July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Shell Eco-marathon is a competition for students who are passionate about developing innovative mobility solutions. The challenge for engineering, design, science and technology students is to design, build and drive the most energy efficient car. With three annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who can go furthest on the least amount of fuel.
It was incredible to see just how engaged school children were (whilst on a school trip) and their enthusiasm for science and engineering.
Walking through the paddock and connecting with the students preparing for race day, the majority of which had literally travelled across the globe, was the absolute highlight.
Huge congratulations to the Indonesian team winning the first Shell Eco Marathon, Drivers’ World Championship, and for the French teams winning the majority of Prototype and Urban Concept Gasoline, CNG and Diesel powered classes honours.
The Shell Concept Car was on show for all to see – I believe it was a highlight!
Congratulations on such a successful event! I attach some photographs for you to enjoy, along with a photo of myself and Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, the greatest player of all time!