Jump to content


Photo

BMW County Championship


  • Please log in to reply
76 replies to this topic

#1 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 11 October 2010 - 22:52

I am trying to research the old BMW County Championship from 1979/80 and would be grateful for any help you can offer? I am seeking photos, stories, video footage etc. I am also keen to find out all I can about the cars and the BMW / TWR connection. Any info, no matter how small, would be much appreciated.

Posted Image

Advertisement

#2 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:39

Try a BB search, Mark. The championship has been mentioned on numerous threads, including this one:
http://forums.autosp...p;#entry2248991

Some of the photos have disappeared, so I repost them here
Posted Image
Tony Dron, Tiff Needell and Win Percy 1979
Posted Image
Martin Brundle 1980
Posted Image
Stuart Graham and Win Percy 1979

Edited by Alan Cox, 13 October 2010 - 09:21.


#3 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 12 October 2010 - 16:05

Try a BB search, Mark. The championship has been mentioned on numerous threads, including this one:
http://forums.autosp...p;#entry2248991

Some of the photos have disappeared, so I repost them here
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image



Thank you so much.

#4 Bloggsworth

Bloggsworth
  • Member

  • 7,438 posts
  • Joined: April 07

Posted 12 October 2010 - 16:24

I'm sure I recall seeing Mansell driving in the series at Silverstone, I may have pictures, I'll check.

#5 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 12 October 2010 - 21:27

Great - thank you. :cool:

#6 s2driver

s2driver
  • New Member

  • 6 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 12 October 2010 - 21:37

Martin Brundle raced for Norfolk - at the same time as racing in FF2000. I think that there were 12 counties represented. Tiff needell had a go and I think that David Sears was one of the championship winners. Struggling a bit for photos as the Mrs s2d's quest for tidiness has left all my autosports and Motor Sports in a storage unit 15 mins drive away.....

#7 JtP1

JtP1
  • Member

  • 753 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 12 October 2010 - 23:00

Like the driver who won a race without actually holding an RACMSA racing licience?

Edited by JtP1, 16 October 2010 - 01:27.


#8 Simon Arron

Simon Arron
  • Member

  • 2,259 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:03

The Lodge Corner photo in the first post is one of my mine - copied, I assume, from the British club racing picture thread. Moments later the cars of Martin Brundle and Barrie Williams were strewn across the circuit at Deer Leap. Martin insists it was all Tiff Needell's fault...

#9 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:34

I really appreciate the effort in responding guys. Thank you.

I managed to mail Tiff Needell who said he had fond memories of the series and that he would look out some old photos next time he was in the loft. He also remembers throwing away the lead on the final lap at Thruxton?

#10 jackal

jackal
  • Member

  • 74 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 13 October 2010 - 19:53

Hello

I am sure I remember jonathon palmer driving too.

Carl

#11 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 13 October 2010 - 19:58

John Bright drove the Lancashire car :)


PAR

#12 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,532 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 13 October 2010 - 20:05

John Bright drove the Lancashire car :)


PAR


Really? How odd, as somebody from Leicestershire - don't remember that. Was there nobody suitable available from Lancashire?

I saw the series a couple of times and it was absolutely idiotic - complete carnage. I can still recall the damaged cars being returned to the Oulton Park paddock after one race.



#13 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 13 October 2010 - 20:15

Really? How odd, as somebody from Leicestershire - don't remember that. Was there nobody suitable available from Lancashire?


I always found that strange.....Jim Crawford would have been my choice or of course Brian Redman


PAR


#14 Simon Arron

Simon Arron
  • Member

  • 2,259 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 13 October 2010 - 20:39

Jim Crawford would have been my choice or, of course, Brian Redman...

Not Janet McPherson, then?

Here are a couple more from the Oulton race featured in the opening post...
Posted Image
The carnage of which Mark Scanlon speaks. Martin Brundle's car is closest to the camera, Barrie Williams is in the background and Tiff Needell has scarpered, presumably on his way to sticking Nigel Mansell in the wall at Donington Park about 14 years later...

Posted Image
Rare shot of County Championship contenders not crashing. For which county did well-known Englishman, erm, Brian Muir sometimes drive?

#15 Bill Becketts

Bill Becketts
  • Member

  • 319 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 13 October 2010 - 21:25

Didn't Nigel Mansell win a BMW County race once.......his first one since racing Formula Fords if I remember correctly :)

#16 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 13 October 2010 - 21:33

Rare shot of County Championship contenders not crashing. For which county did well-known Englishman, erm, Brian Muir sometimes drive?

It was Kent, probably twinned with New South Wales. It always puzzled me why local Honda dealer from nearby Aston, Stuart Graham, drove for Berkshire.

#17 paulsenna1

paulsenna1
  • Member

  • 246 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 13 October 2010 - 22:12

Well known Englishman Dieter Quester also did one of the Oulton races.

#18 PMac

PMac
  • Member

  • 88 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:30

Well known Englishman Dieter Quester also did one of the Oulton races.

I seem to recall that Tim Stock drove for Suffolk. As he was a Suffolk-based BMW dealer, he was a shoe-in.

#19 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:42

I saw the series a couple of times and it was absolutely idiotic - complete carnage.

In a sense it was a precursor to the modern contact sport that is BSCC racing.

Advertisement

#20 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 14 October 2010 - 14:51

Good Friday Oulton Park 1980
Posted Image
Martin Brundle leads lap 1 from Philip Bullman and Kent's Brian Muir
Posted Image
Stuart McCrudden with Philip Bullman on his outside
Posted Image
Brian Muir
Posted Image
Derek Bell - Sussex
Posted Image
The much-missed Geoff Friswell
Posted Image
'Yogi' Muir again

Edited by Alan Cox, 14 October 2010 - 15:01.


#21 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 14 October 2010 - 14:55

Fantastic stuff Alan :up:

Does anyone recall what the actual selection process was for the drivers?


PAR

#22 nmansellfan

nmansellfan
  • Member

  • 249 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 14 October 2010 - 16:08

Ah the E21 BMW 323i. Tail happy enough with 143 horses in the road car, let alone the 170 plus that i've read the County Championship cars had... I test drove an E21 320 (6cyl but no fuel injection, 120bhp) when looking for my second car, and even that was the kind of vehicle that made you drive it with respect, lest it bite you on the ass. In the end I bought my friends E30 325i which had around the same horsepower as the County Championship E21 323i's, and that was a handful, but was one of the best cars I ever owned.

Who prepared the County cars? Was it the representing dealer for each car? They must have kept the spares dept. working 24/7 importing new panels!

Somewhere i have a 1982 Autosport which reviews a TWR modified E21 '335i', using the engine out of the 7 series at the time. That had 218bhp, which is low compared to the horsepower you can find in some hot hatches these days but it was staggering 28 years ago.

#23 Pullman99

Pullman99
  • Member

  • 740 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 14 October 2010 - 16:12

Well known Englishman Dieter Quester also did one of the Oulton races.


And famous West Countryman Hans Stuck (at Donington I think) too. Given that level of talent on the grid, all trying to occupy the same piece of tarmac at the same time, I was always amazed in the few races that I saw that they managed to complete the first lap! Does anyone recall that the cars were transported using normal double-deck road car transporters too?

Edited by Pullman99, 14 October 2010 - 16:13.


#24 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 14 October 2010 - 17:28

Does anyone recall what the actual selection process was for the drivers?

Who prepared the County cars? Was it the representing dealer for each car? They must have kept the spares dept. working 24/7 importing new panels.

Your queries may be answered in the attached programme note
Posted Image
How many of you still have your BMW county scarf?
Posted Image


#25 alansart

alansart
  • Member

  • 4,006 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 14 October 2010 - 18:38

Ah the E21 BMW 323i. Tail happy enough with 143 horses in the road car, let alone the 170 plus that i've read the County Championship cars had... I test drove an E21 320 (6cyl but no fuel injection, 120bhp) when looking for my second car, and even that was the kind of vehicle that made you drive it with respect, lest it bite you on the ass. In the end I bought my friends E30 325i which had around the same horsepower as the County Championship E21 323i's, and that was a handful, but was one of the best cars I ever owned.


I had a 79 323i (6cyl with fuel injection). A brilliant car if a bit tail happy, but it had a lovely engine. You could put a glass of water on top of the rocker box, give it some revs and not spill a drop :)

Edited by alansart, 14 October 2010 - 18:39.


#26 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 14 October 2010 - 18:44

Your queries may be answered in the attached programme note


Thanks Alan

BMW's PR Dept must have had a premonition of what was going to happen in the races

" Battle commences today " :)


PAR

Edited by Phil Rainford, 14 October 2010 - 18:45.


#27 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 14 October 2010 - 18:45

Really? How odd, as somebody from Leicestershire - don't remember that. Was there nobody suitable available from Lancashire?

Some of you may also recall the Porsche 924 championship with cars entered by Porsche dealers. Strangely, John Bright was selected to drive for the Manchester Porsche dealers, Ian Anthony. Perhaps he was a closet Lancastrian.

#28 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,532 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 14 October 2010 - 19:09

Some of you may also recall the Porsche 924 championship with cars entered by Porsche dealers. Strangely, John Bright was selected to drive for the Manchester Porsche dealers, Ian Anthony. Perhaps he was a closet Lancastrian.


Well the plot thickens then, Alan.

Firstly, I thought Ian Anthony was a BMW dealer - maybe they were/are as well.

But why John Bright for Lancashire? Doesn't make sense - but then the whole BMW County Championship didn't really, did it? e.g. Geoff Friswell/Buckinghamshire, Stuart Graham/Berkshire, Brian Muir/Kent, etc., etc...

Still, what fun, not (imo).

Edited by MCS, 14 October 2010 - 19:14.


#29 alansart

alansart
  • Member

  • 4,006 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 14 October 2010 - 20:00

But why John Bright for Lancashire?


He did run a team with a well known Lancastrian - if that counts :)


#30 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 14 October 2010 - 20:33

Ah the E21 BMW 323i. Tail happy enough with 143 horses in the road car, let alone the 170 plus that i've read the County Championship cars had... I test drove an E21 320 (6cyl but no fuel injection, 120bhp) when looking for my second car, and even that was the kind of vehicle that made you drive it with respect, lest it bite you on the ass. In the end I bought my friends E30 325i which had around the same horsepower as the County Championship E21 323i's, and that was a handful, but was one of the best cars I ever owned.

Who prepared the County cars? Was it the representing dealer for each car? They must have kept the spares dept. working 24/7 importing new panels!

Somewhere i have a 1982 Autosport which reviews a TWR modified E21 '335i', using the engine out of the 7 series at the time. That had 218bhp, which is low compared to the horsepower you can find in some hot hatches these days but it was staggering 28 years ago.


I actually own one of the three TWR built 335's although mine came with 240bhp and can crack 60 in 5 seconds. I also drive a modified 323 as my daily car which has a 2.7, coilover suspension etc and 200bhp and 208ft/lbs of torque. I'll post some photos once I get home. I have just taken over the e21 section of the BMW Car Club hence the unhealthy interest in all things E21. :drunk:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by MarkE21, 14 October 2010 - 21:28.


#31 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 14 October 2010 - 21:25

This is my daily driver. It's got Wilwoods, coilovers, split rims etc etc. 200bhp and great fun to drive too. Probably cost about the same as a new Fiesta?

Posted Image

This is the TWR 335 as I recently found it. It's actually 100% free of rust and I aim to have it get it's first MOT in 22 years by January.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I found this lot at an autojumble a couple of months ago. The badge is rusty but I just bought a mint one of ebay for 99p. I'm still looking for the wooly hat, scarf and unbrella though!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#32 john winfield

john winfield
  • Member

  • 1,033 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 15 October 2010 - 22:27

Mark,
I don't know whether your BMW CC paperwork confirms this but I think Hugo Tippet (Clubman racer, Aylesbury Tappet, Gordon Spice, Piranha Ignition etc) helped organise and run the BMWs for TWR. Any mention of him that you can see?
John

#33 nmansellfan

nmansellfan
  • Member

  • 249 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:20

Very nice machines both, Mark! Yes thats the review I read. 240BHP, what a Q-car! I haven't seen a Henna Red BMW for years either... :up:

I wonder what happened to the County cars after the series finished?

#34 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 16 October 2010 - 20:54

I'll have a look and see?

Thanks for the positive comments about the cars. The orange one is actually a VW orange as opposed to Henna but it suits it well. It goes OK too as this M3 owner found out at Santa Pod last month...



Do you think it's possible there could be some video footage of the County Championship? I'd love to see that.

Edited by MarkE21, 16 October 2010 - 21:10.


#35 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,672 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:39

He did run a team with a well known Lancastrian - if that counts :)


Brian Redman?

#36 alansart

alansart
  • Member

  • 4,006 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:23

Brian Redman?


:up:



#37 Simon Arron

Simon Arron
  • Member

  • 2,259 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 18 October 2010 - 15:33

The graphics for the Redman Bright F3000 truck were designed in my living room, by Mrs A...

#38 Gatmo

Gatmo
  • Member

  • 270 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 18 October 2010 - 17:21

Very bold the truck looked too, Simon. The red and white rumblestrip really stood out well.

The reason i remember it is that Redman/Bright's truck came to Mallory a few years back with an F3000 painted in two different shades of green so that Jaguar F1 personnel could evaluate how the different colour green's looked through TV cameras. Mark Stewart Productions filmed the car which was driven by Martin O'Connell. As the car was painted differently on each side it had to be driven around the track in both directions, believe me, the run down from the Hairpin to the Esses looked hairy..... :eek:

Back on topic, i had the County Championship badge too plus a couple of front spoilers from the cars. At the end of each meeting the TWR staff were seen to be snapping any damaged spoilers in half and chucking them in the bin. They looked great hanging in the family shed after a quick fix. From memory we had Notts and Herts spoilers hanging from the rafters :lol:

#39 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,672 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:28

The graphics for the Redman Bright F3000 truck were designed in my living room, by Mrs A...


Any pics of it, SA?

Advertisement

#40 Simon Arron

Simon Arron
  • Member

  • 2,259 posts
  • Joined: November 06

Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:56

Somewhere, yes, but I haven't brought any with me to Gatwick...

#41 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:53

Mark,
I don't know whether your BMW CC paperwork confirms this but I think Hugo Tippet (Clubman racer, Aylesbury Tappet, Gordon Spice, Piranha Ignition etc) helped organise and run the BMWs for TWR. Any mention of him that you can see?
John


Not that I can see.

Wiltshire drivers were Peter Lovett & John Morrison

Nottinghamshire were Frank Sytner & Doug Bassett

Essex were Stuart Cole and Stuart McCrudden

Norfolk were Patrick Neve and Martin Brundle

London were Tony Dron and Roger Bell

Kent were Brian Muir & Nick Whiting

Grampian were Andrew Jeffrey and Bob Leckie ( Bob bought a road going 323 to get experience!! )

Sussex were Andy Rouse and Derek Bell

Lancashire were Jock Robertson and Alan Minshaw

Western Counties were Win Percy, Norman Dickson & Philip Bullman

Gloucestershire were Barrie Williams, Nigel Mansell and Mike Freeman

Hertfordshire were Tiff Needell & Geoff Friswell

Surrey had Jeff Allam & Rex Greenslade


#42 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,672 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 19 October 2010 - 15:03

Jock Robertson for Lancs!!! And why no Yorkshire team, the biggest and best county......

#43 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 19 October 2010 - 15:13

Jock Robertson for Lancs!!! And why no Yorkshire team, the biggest and best county......



Were there any BMW Dealers in Yorkshire at that time?  ;)


PAR




#44 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,627 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 19 October 2010 - 15:16

... probably because the Yorkshire BMW dealer couldn't be persuaded to part with a few bob, Dan.

Here are two shots from inside the County Championship marquee, where all of the cars were assembled and fettled.
Posted ImagePosted Image
Not quite sure whether Farrah Fawcett-Majors ever wangled a drive in the County Championship.

#45 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 19 October 2010 - 17:16

I must admit, I quite fancy building a replica County Car 323i and doing a few hillclimb and sprint events.

I'm still searching for some film footage too. I'm too young to remember ( I don't get to say that often! ) but was it ever on Grandstand or anything?

Edited by MarkE21, 19 October 2010 - 17:17.


#46 Phil Rainford

Phil Rainford
  • Member

  • 5,289 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 19 October 2010 - 17:34

I must admit, I quite fancy building a replica County Car 323i and doing a few hillclimb and sprint events.

I'm still searching for some film footage too. I'm too young to remember ( I don't get to say that often! ) but was it ever on Grandstand or anything?


The BBC use to cover the "Race of Champions" which according to Alan's programme notes was the meeting of the first round of the series?


PAR

* Just noticed someone has downloaded the 79 F1 race onto You Tube *


Edited by Phil Rainford, 19 October 2010 - 17:39.


#47 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 19 October 2010 - 18:10

The BBC use to cover the "Race of Champions" which according to Alan's programme notes was the meeting of the first round of the series?


PAR

* Just noticed someone has downloaded the 79 F1 race onto You Tube *


Thanks, I'll take a look.

As for Farrah...

Posted Image

#48 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:53

Spent a most enjoyable couple of hours watching the 79 F1 race from Brands last night. You can make out a few e21's parked in the paddock too.

Hopefully, I have managed to find someone who still has a few parts including a County Car spoiler or two. Maybe I can build a replica after all?

#49 MarkE21

MarkE21
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:15

Well I managed to find a badge but the wooly hat and rosette still elude me.

Posted Image

I think I'm going to have to admit defeat on the film footage tho!

#50 Gregor Marshall

Gregor Marshall
  • Member

  • 1,249 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 27 October 2010 - 16:16

The best I can do on footage is the '82 Willhire with my late Dad and John Clark driving an ex-County car but not sure which County - was painted plain white by then and it had just been sitting at John's doing nothing since the County championship had finished.
I had a quick chat with John at the Spa 6 hour recently but it was too wet to talk out in the open for long!!