The BRM Award for The Most Technologically Advanced Car in the Concours Virtual goes to
1978 F1 JPS Team Lotus type 79 chassis 3
This year is the 70th anniversary of the famous BRM Type 15 V16 F1 car’s first ever race. British Racing Motors still exists, looked after by the grandsons of Sir Alfred Owen who bought BRM in the early 1950s. Grandson Paul Owen announced the award, having correctly refused to consider any of the three BRMs in the concours, and choosing instead the 1978 JPS Team Lotus 79. This was the first Formula 1 car to make full use of ground effects, following on from the first attempt at it with the Lotus 78. The car entered into the concours is chassis 79/3, Mario Andretti’s 1978 World Championship-winning car, which is a part of the Classic Team Lotus collection.
BRITISH RACING MOTORS (BRM) was the first and the original British Motor Racing Formula One Team. Conceived after the Second World War to take on the might of the German, French and Italian Racing Teams, it has a remarkable story to tell.
Founded initially as The British Motor Racing Research Trust in 1946, and based in the market town of Bourne in Lincolnshire, the British Racing Motors name was adopted in 1949 on completion of the Iconic Type P15 – better known simply as the “V16”.
BRM participated in topflight motor racing between 1950 and 1974. Competing in 197 Grands prix and winning seventeen, BRM won the constructors’ title in 1962 and were runners up in 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1971. In 1962, Graham Hill also won his first Drivers World Championship driving the beautiful P57 BRM.
Some of the greatest and most fabled racing drivers in the history of motor racing drove in a BRM or a BRM powered car, including; Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Froilan Gonzalez, Peter Collins, Niki Lauda, Jo Siffert, Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Pedro Rodriquez, John Surtees and the late great Jean-Pierre Beltoise claimed BRM’s last Grand Prix Win at Monaco in 1972.
The team achieved 11 Pole Positions, 15 Fastest Laps and still holds the record for winning the closest ever Grand Prix Finish In the history of Formula 1 with Peter Gethin at Monza in 1971, where the first four cars were separated by less than a second. It was also the fastest Grand Prix of the 20th Century.
BRM and Ferrari are the only constructors to have won the World Championship with a car that they built completely themselves including the chassis, engine, and gearbox. BRM was always widely recognised for its engineering excellence and pioneering innovations; these include the first race car to use disc brakes, ‘drive by wire’ throttle, ground effect aerodynamics, campaigns for driver safety and enhanced medical facilities, Four wheel drive, Brand Sponsorship and telemetry data logging.
The initial Vision of Raymond Mays and Peter Berthon, Sir Alfred Owen’s subsequent investments and tenacity, together with the sheer hard work and talent of never more than 100 or so designers, engineers, mechanics, team managers and other team members based in rural Lincolnshire all worked to create something very special, and in the words of Sir Jackie Stewart
“Without the example created by BRM, and followed up with other early British motorsport pioneers, the British motorsport industry would not be what it is today”.
(Sir Jackie Stewart, June 2020)