A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...
Engine : Vauxhall 4 Cylinder 1995cc Turbo
Power : 197 bhp ( road car )
Production : 2000 to 2005
( turbo from 2003 )
Weight : 930 kgs ( road car )
Built by Lotus using the same lightweight tub
as the Elise Series 2 but with a GM engine
and GRP sharper-styled bodywork. The low
agile car was hailed by the motoring press and
gave Vauxhall its British GT debut at round 1
Donington in 2004. The experienced Colin
Blower Motorsport ran a single red car at 5
double-header rounds running in the secondry
`Cup` class. 9th overall and 3rd in class at
round 7 Castle Combe was its best finish with
Dan Eagling and Blower driving.
Engine : GM 5700cc V8 Cylinders
The Monaro sports saloon made its debut in
the British GT Championship at round 3/4 at
Mondello Park 2004. Run by Emotional
Engineering with Valvoline sponsorship it was
a brave move for the big 5.7 litre beast as it
was pitched against the nimbler Ferraris , TVR
Porsches , etc in the top N-GT class. The initial
team pairing had twice world Superbike runner-
up Aaron Slight of New Zealand though it was
Ireland`s Matt Griffin who would be the teams
mainstay driver . Often the slowest N-GT car
Griffin placed 23rd , team mate Matt
Manderson 24th and the team 15th and last in
the 2004 standings.
For 2005 the car featured revised bodywork
with a pair of air-intake nostrils on the bonnet
and new front air dam etc. The car still was off
the top groups pace ( now called GT2 ) and the 6
points gained placed Emotional 9th out of 10
teams after 5 race events. Ryan Hooker ,James
Brodie and Matt Griffin doing the driving.
2006 and still a single car team against teams
like Ecurie Ecosse and Rollcentre they did pick
up points at 5 rounds with Steve Hyde the main
driver to place 4th of 6 teams in GT2.
Qualifying time comparisons between the big Monaro , usually the slowest the big class against the in nimble VX , usually around 8th fastest in the smaller class in the 2004 British GT series
( 2000cc GT Class wins 1971 Targa Florio and 1972
Nurburgring 1000 Kms )
ENGINE : Opel 4 Cylinder 1897 cc
TOP SPEED :
Often referred to as a baby Corvette due to its svelte lines
the Opel GT made its racing debut in 1969 mostly in national
events. However it was the Italian CONRERO tuning firm
that gave its world championship debut entering 3 cars in the
1971 Tagra Florio , which was also a round of the Italian
Sports series. The fastest qualifier of the 3 in 33rd place
of Calascibetta and Monti finished a fine 9th overall and won
the 2-litre GT class after the two other cars had retired
before half distance. The team qualified 3 cars again in the
1972 event ,Giorgia Pianta setting 16th fastest but he
DNS and the other 2 cars , one with Carlo Facetti aboard
both retired. Another car driven by Bonaccorsi and Panto
would finish 22nd and 39th in the 1973 + 74 events.
The second class win in the world championship came at the
1972 Nurburgring 1000 kms when the STEINMETZ tuned
car of Jean Ragnotti and Werner Christmann finished 19th
overall having qualified down in 50th.
The GTs career wound down after 1974 with the tuning
firms moving onto other Opels , including in world rallying.
The difference between the road version and the CONRERO Targa Florio car is well illustrated here.