A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...

BritGT2013 025

GT Racecar A to Z -  

Harrier

HARRIER LR 9C in competition

 

History - Harrier Racing Ltd wereformed in 1983 by chief designer Lester Ray and his sports prototypes ran in the C2 class in world

            Group C racing and in UK Thundersports. After sportscar racing declined the company went into restoring and preparing

            historic sports cars , such as Porsche 917 , Ferrari P3 , etc.

            In 1991 along with stylist Dave Fidgeon Harrier began production of  a low volume road sports car trhe LR9 T with an Alfa

           Romeo V6 engine.The new National GT series was the ideal place to demonstrate the cars potential.

 

1993 - Entered by Team Harrier , Ian Jacobs` white Harrier LR9 C with Alfa Romeo power makes first few appearances in

            National Sports GT Challenge. No points scored.

 

1994 - Jacobs car , chassis 001 , now pink and sponsored by Metro Consulting is run under the Astatech banner. Despite its sleek

           styling Jacobs cant find the pace to challenge the top cars , 7th from 5 rounds his best finish in the GT Challenge.

           Chassis 002 entered by Astratech qualifies and runs at the Le Mans 24 hours with crew Rod Wilson , Dave Brodie and

            William Hewland. This car , a Spyder , is not eliagable to run as a GT car so is in the small protoype class but retires.

 

1995 - The Harrier name really takes off with the arrival at round 3 of the British GT. Built in just 14 weeks by Specfab a new

           yellow-painted LR 9C with Cosworth turbo power mixes it with the front runners. Indeed it coincided with another dramatic        

            newcomer in the shape of the Ascari. Veteran Win Percy steped in to replace owner Richard Austin and reported `the car

           is just beautiful to drive`.Percy takes the car to its maiden win at round 6 , Thruxton after the Ascari spins. Owner Austin

           took a 5th at Oulton Park before handing the car again to Percy to duely win from the Ascari again at the Silverstone finale.

           Ian Jacobs in GT1 and Russ Hyett in GT2 both make a few appearences. Jacobs offering chassis 001 for sale thereafter for

           25 K. At the end of the season Autosports driver / writer Chris Goodwin tested the Spec Fab turbo car that Percy had won

           twice in. `not only was the preparation to the highest standard  but the technology going into the car was state of the art as

           well `he reported. `Not since F3000 had i driven a car with so much accelaration...i began to see nearly 170 mph down the

          hanger staright...as well as impresive speed the Harrier has braking to match...`. Goodwin concluded the car was as fast as

          a McLaren F1  and as exciting to drive but at 150 k its a quarter of the cost.

 

1996 - Win Percy would record a further 3 outright wins in the Privilege-sponsored British GT series. Now in longer race format

          and many teams having 2 drivers per race Percy won his solo. Aided by 2 pace car periods at Brands `Percy stormed up from a

          lowly start after a huge shunt on sunday morning left the team with an all nighter to repair it` reported Autosport on the

          May Bank Holiday race. Wins 2 and 3 came in the final rounds , catching and passing the McLaren F1 at Oulton Park after that

          cars driver change. Likewise at Silverstone `Percy could not match Flux`s pace ( in the McLaren ) But when Ulrich took over

          , Percy -going solo in the lead Harrier - was able to claw back the deficit before going on to a superb win`reported Paul

          Lawrence for Autosport. Percy placed joint 2nd in GT1 behind Flux and Ulrich in the final standings. A second Evesham Micros

          car for Company MD Richard Austin and Valentine Lindsay ran in GT2 and claimed a best race finish in 8th. The Le Mans car

          car , chassis 002 now rebuilt asa coupe like the other LR9S , also ran in the final round in GT3 form.

 

1997 - For a third and final season the works-backed Evesham Car won another 3 rounds of the British GT thanks to Win Percy and

          assisted this time on each by Charlie Cox. That took Harriers complete tally of wins in the British GT to a creditable 8. The

          Percy / Cox combination won by 5 seconds from the G-Force Porsche GT2 after 32 hard laps of Brands Hatch in round 2. At

          Oulton Park the `97-spec car won first time outas the series continued to improve both in quality and quanity. Harrier

          competing with Lister , Ascari , Marcos , Porsche GT1 + GT2 , TVR , Lotus and De Tomaso cars. The third win came on Percy`s

          54th birthday , at the penultimate round at Croft beating the G-Force Porsche GT1 to the flag. The new car stil retained the

           Mountune 540 bhp Cosworth 2-litre but had a revised chassis , 200 kilos lighter and a air duct on the roof added. The three

          wins helped Percy + Cox to 3rd in GT1 and 5th overall . A second works car appeared  twice but the Orion Motorsport car

          running in GT2 got a 5th place finish at Croft with Michael Vergers in chassis 002 . A fourth car of Russell Morgan also raced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998 - With 2 works Listers , 3 Porsche GT1s and the EMKA McLaren the British GT was now fully in the super GT era. Harrier

           returned with new drivers and a new evolution car , the GT1-98. Team Boss Richard Austin told Autosport `The series is

           fantastic , although it is a bit daunting racing against McLaren  and Porsche is a situation like David and Goliath but we are

           confident we can win races`. Jamie Campbell-Walter was the new lead driver sharing with Graham Goode and Alex Portman

           diring the season. Three times the Harrier placed 5th , the closest it would get to a podium given the increased level of

          competition. JCW placing joint 8th in GT1 in the the now longer but still in works yellow car. A second car , the blue machine

           raced by Chris Ward and Valentine Lindsay was offered for sale after 3 races for 95k plus vat and placed 9th in round 2.

          Two of the older cars made fleeting visits to the series too , SRS Motorsport and Natty Racings old 002 chassis. That really

            concluded the Harrier story in British GT although the story continues. Richard Austin had liked the Car so much he had

           bought the company off Lester Ray. There was however a contractual issue in that the Harrier name is owned by Ford and

           leased to Lester Ray. So for 1999 Austin`s Evesham company would rename the cars Sintura , an anagram of R.Austin.

 

2007-10 - One of the yellow Harrier LR9 Cs resurfaced in 2007 in the BRSCC Euro Saloon and Sports Car Championship. Tony

         Soper , who had previously raced machinery in the Auto-Italia series finished 3rd in Class A . In 2008 he placed the Harrier

          8th , 3rd again in 2009 with one clas win and 5th in 2010 after winning the class in the first two rounds.

AWAITING PHOTO

At the height of the GT1 Supercar era Win Percy`s 8 wins in the British GT series against the likes of Porsche and McLaren was real David v Goliath stuff for a small British firm...

 HARRIER LR 9C - Cosworth

 Class : GT 1

 Raced in British GT 1995 - 98

 Outright Wins : 8

 Engine : 4 cylinder 1997 cc Turbo 

 Power : 540 BHP

 Weight : not known

 Top Speed : approx 160 mph

 

Harrier BGT8815

LR 9 c