Spirit Racing

Spirit Racing was a racing car constructor and racing team from the United Kingdom. Founded in 1981, it participated in the 1982 European Formula Two Championship, then in Formula One between 1983 and 1985, before competing in the 1988 F3000 season before finally folding at the end of the year. In 26 F1 races (including the non-championship 1983 Race of Champions), its best finish was seventh at the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix.

Spirit Racing
BaseSlough, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Founder(s)Gordon Coppuck
John Wickham
Noted driversSweden Stefan Johansson
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
Italy Mauro Baldi
Netherlands Huub Rothengatter
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1983 British Grand Prix
Races entered25 (23 starts)
EnginesHonda RA163E V6 (t/c) (1983)
Hart 415T L4 (t/c) (19841985)
Ford Cosworth DFV V8 (1984)
Race victories0 (best finish: 7th, 1983 Dutch Grand Prix)
Pole positions0 (best grid position: 13th, 1983 German Grand Prix)
Fastest laps0
Final entry1985 San Marino Grand Prix

Formula Two

Thierry Boutsen's F2 Spirit 201

Spirit Racing was founded in August 1981 by ex-March employees Gordon Coppuck and John Wickham with backing from Bridgestone and Honda, who were keen to re-enter Formula One as an engine supplier.[1] The initial plan was to participate in the 1982 European Formula Two Championship, and so ex-McLaren designer John Baldwin was hired to produce the Spirit 201 chassis with Coppuck, to be powered by a naturally-aspirated 2-litre Honda V6 engine. With sponsorship from Marlboro and capable drivers in Stefan Johansson and Thierry Boutsen, the car was an immediate success, taking pole position in eight of the 13 rounds of the championship, while Boutsen won three times and challenged for the title before losing out in the final round to the March of Corrado Fabi.

Formula One

Before the F2 championship was over, Honda had built prototypes for a turbocharged Formula One engine. After a dummy unit was sent to Spirit, the team modified one of its 201 chassis to meet F1 regulations, and began a testing programme with the new engine in November 1982 at Silverstone, with plans to join the F1 World Championship midway through the 1983 season. Honda were anxious to keep a low profile – much as they had been when they had first entered F1 two decades earlier – and so the team avoided testing at the same time as other F1 teams, while also taking its programme to Willow Springs and Riverside in California.[2] Then, when the decision was made to enter one car into the World Championship, Johansson was chosen as the driver – he was seen as a faded talent having made a disappointing F1 debut for Shadow in 1980, whereas Boutsen was seen as a star of the future.

After a further test at Jacarepaguá, the team made its competitive F1 debut in April 1983, at the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. In a field of 13 cars, Johansson set the second-fastest time in free practice, but suffered engine problems in qualifying and started 12th. He then retired early with a punctured radiator following a collision with the Theodore of Roberto Guerrero. Following this, the team resumed its testing programme, with sessions at Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park, before making its World Championship debut in July at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Driving a further revision of the F2 car, the 201C, Johansson qualified 14th out of 29 cars despite continued engine problems, and ran strongly in the early stages before retiring with a broken fuel pump.

The team then continued in the championship until the penultimate race of the season, the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. Johansson tended to qualify ahead of most of the naturally-aspirated cars, and finished seventh at Zandvoort, but mechanical problems continued to blight the car. In the meantime, the team was building its first purpose-designed F1 car, the 101, but at the same time, Honda were showing concern at the lack of progress and were being courted by Williams, who offered a record of success. Following a disastrous weekend for Spirit at Monza, where the 101 was presented but not driven and Johansson suffered another early retirement, the Japanese company decided to supply its engines to Williams only, and Spirit thus missed the final race of the season at Kyalami.[2]

Spirit 201C Honda Collection Hall
Spirit's first Formula One chassis, the 201C.

Spirit decided to continue in 1984 with Hart turbocharged engines. Initially twice world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and moneyed Italian Fulvio Ballabio were slated to drive. However Fittipaldi left to find a drive in Indycars after finding the machine uncompetitive and Ballabio was refused a Super Licence. Instead Mauro Baldi found funds and was nominated as the team's sole driver, Johansson being released as he could not find the funding to continue. The 101 was a neat but underpowered car and Baldi struggled to move away from the rear of the grid. Jean-Louis Schlesser had planned to take over from the third race before the threat of litigation from RAM (still owed money by the Frenchman) saw Baldi stay until Huub Rothengatter took over. When the Dutchman's money ran out Baldi found enough funds to complete the season. The team's best result was 8th place, scored by Baldi on three occasions and Rothengatter once.

The 101 chassis (having been progressively upgraded throughout 1984) was updated again for 1985 and Baldi continued to drive. Allen Berg had arranged a deal to take over the seat later in the season. Money was even tighter, however, and after three rounds Wickham decided to take up an offer from Toleman to buy out the team's tyre contract and folded the F1 outfit. Wickham initially promised to be back with a new car in 1986 but that never happened.

Formula 3000

Spirit briefly resurfaced in Formula 3000 in 1988, running Bertrand Gachot, Steve Kempton and Paolo Barilla with some success, but Wickham left the outfit midway through the season and the team folded at the end of the year.

Formula Two results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver(s) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Belgium Thierry Boutsen 12 2 3 1 4 6 2 1 Ret 9 4 1 6
Sweden Stefan Johansson Ret Ret 14 6 3 4 7 Ret 4 11 Ret 11 7

Complete Formula One results


Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1983 Spirit 201
Spirit 201C
Honda RA163E
Sweden Stefan Johansson Ret Ret 12 7 Ret 14
1984 Spirit 101 Hart 415T
Italy Mauro Baldi Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret DNQ 8 15
Netherlands Huub Rothengatter NC Ret NC 9 NC Ret 8
Spirit 101C Ford Cosworth DFV
1985 Spirit 101D Hart 415T
Italy Mauro Baldi Ret Ret Ret


  1. ^ "Constructors: Spirit Racing". Grandprix.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Watkins, Gary (July 2005). "Independent Spirit". Motor Sport. London. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
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2003 American Le Mans Series

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Cyndie Allemann

Cyndie Allemann (born 4 April 1986 in Moutier) is a Swiss racing driver.

She is the daughter of former Swiss karting champion Kurt Allemann and the sister of fellow racing driver Ken Allemann. After beginning her career in karting, she moved to cars in 2004 in Renault Speed Trophy F2000 and finished 6th. The next year she moved to the more highly regarded German championship for the same cars and finished 12th. In 2006, she moved up to the Formel 3 Cup, finishing in 9th place and winning the pole position at EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The following year she drove in the Formula 3 Euro Series for British team Manor Motorsport racing a Dallara-Mercedes, but despite participating in all 20 races, failed to score points and was not classified in the season standings.In 2008, Allemann signed to race in Firestone Indy Lights series for American Spirit Racing. She would go on to finish 14th in the final points standings with her best result being a 4th place in the second race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Course in July.

For the 2010 season she teamed up with Natacha Gachnang and raced for the Swiss Matech team in a GT1 class Ford GT. Primarily racing in the FIA GT1 World Championship she also raced in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.She drove for Hitotsuyama Racing using Audi R8 LMS in the 2012 Super GT season, in which she became the first female driver in Super GT series history (and third since 1997 including JGTC).

Gordon Coppuck

Gordon Coppuck (born 8 December 1936 in Fleet, Hampshire) is a British racing car designer who was chief designer for McLaren and later worked for March and co-founded Spirit.

Born in December 1936, he attended Queen Mary's School for Boys before becoming an apprentice at the National Gas Turbine Establishment (NGTE). In 1965 he followed his ex NGTE colleague Robin Herd to McLaren, working as his assistant.

In 1971 he became chief designer at McLaren, responsible for various models including the Indianapolis 500 M16 and world championship winning M23. When McLaren merged with Ron Dennis's Project Four in 1980, Coppuck departed, rejoining Herd at March. The following year he founded Spirit with March's Formula Two team manager John Wickham. Spirit raced in Formula Two and then Formula One before Coppuck returned to March. Coppuck's nephew Frank Coppuck is also a racing car designer.

Huub Rothengatter

Hubertus (Huub) Rothengatter (born 8 October 1954) is a former racing driver from the Netherlands. He participated in 30 Formula One (F1) Grands Prix, debuting on 17 June 1984. He scored no championship points. He drove for Spirit, Osella and Zakspeed, and his drives all either started or became available midseason. He tried to get Dutch sponsors in various ways, such as by putting a one-page advertisement in De Telegraaf newspaper. Reputedly, when Niki Lauda was asked about him, he referred to him as "rattengott" – literally "God of the rats".

Rothengatter, unlike a lot of fringe drivers who waited for phone calls from F1 teams that never came, was highly successful in attracting personal sponsorship which allowed him to 'buy' his place in the low budget teams, bringing in much needed money to them and allowing him to drive F1 when he otherwise would most likely have missed out.

Rothengatter later entered into Formula One management, as a manager for Dutch driver Jos Verstappen.

Marlboro (cigarette)

Marlboro (US: , UK: ) is an American brand of cigarettes, currently owned and manufactured by Philip Morris USA (a branch of Altria) within the United States, and by Philip Morris International (now separate from Altria) outside the United States. Richmond, Virginia, is the location of the largest Marlboro cigarette manufacturing plant. Marlboro is the global best-selling cigarette brand since 1972. As of 2017, Marlboro had 40% market share in the United States, more than the next 7 competing brands combined.

Mauro Baldi

Mauro Baldi (born January 31, 1954, in Reggio Emilia) is an Italian former Formula One driver who raced for the Arrows, Alfa Romeo and Spirit teams.

He started his career in rallying in 1972 and turned to circuit racing in 1975 with the Italian Renault 5 Cup. By 1980 he had become a top Formula 3 driver, winning the Monaco F3 Grand Prix and the 1981 European Formula 3 Championship with eight victories. In 1982 he signed to drive for Arrows before moving to Alfa Romeo in 1983, scoring a fifth place in Zandvoort. When Benetton became Alfa Romeo's team sponsor in 1984, Baldi lost his drive, and joined the underfunded Spirit team until 1985.

After retiring from Formula One he went to enjoy a successful career in sports car racing, driving for the works Martini-Lancia team in 1984 and 1985. In 1986, he switched to a Porsche 956 from Richard Lloyd Racing's outfit, returning to a works drive in 1988 with the Sauber-Mercedes team, with whom Baldi won the 1990 FIA World Sports Prototype Championship for Drivers, sharing the car with Jean-Louis Schlesser. In 1991 and 1992 he was a driver for Peugeot. He had a brief return to F1, doing most of the test driving for the Modena Lambo project.

Returning to sports cars, he won the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1994, sharing the "road-going" Dauer 962 Le Mans (a modified Porsche 962) with Yannick Dalmas and Hurley Haywood. He also won the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, both in 1998 with Arie Luyendyk and Didier Theys.

PDM Racing

PDM Racing was a racing team in the NTT Indycar Series and USAC Silver Crown series owned by Paul Diatlovich. Almost always a low budget team and affectionately (or unaffectionately) dubbed "Poor Dumb Mechanics" by one of its former owners, it is known to make the most out of mediocre equipment. The team was founded in 1996 with the inception of the Indy Racing League and ran full seasons until 2002 when rising costs forced the team to scale back to a part-time venture. The team is most known for bringing three-time champion Sam Hornish, Jr. into the league in 2000. Hornish earned the team's best finish that season, a 3rd at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The team fielded a USAC Silver Crown team with its car driven by Thiago Medeiros whom they also fielded a car for in the 2006 Indianapolis 500. The team entered the 2007 Indianapolis 500 with driver Jimmy Kite returning to the team, but they were unable to come within 3 mph (4.8 km/h) of the speed necessary to make the field and failed to qualify.

During the 2008 season the team partnered with American Spirit Racing to field Cyndie Allemann in the Firestone Indy Lights Series providing technical support and a base of operations. PDM Racing entered the Indy 500 but did not make an appearance. PDM Racing continued working with ASR to field the Indy Lights car driven by Junior Strous until the Freedom 100 when the program folded. The team has returned to Indy Lights in 2010 under its own banner with driver Rodrigo Barbosa.

Spirit 101

The Spirit 101 was a Formula One car for the 1984 and 1985 Formula One seasons, The chassis was designed by Gordon Coppuck and Tim Wright.

Spirit 201

The Spirit 201 was a Formula One and Formula Two racing car designed by John Baldwin and Spirit Racing co-founder Gordon Coppuck which was raced in European Formula Two from 1982 to 1984 and in Formula One in 1983.

In Formula Two racing, the car was powered by a 2-litre naturally aspirated engine.

In Formula One, it was powered by the 1.5 litre turbocharged Honda engine. The 201 made its Formula One debut in the hands of Swedish driver Stefan Johansson at the non-championship 1983 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. There Johansson qualified the car 12th (out of 13, Jean-Louis Schlesser's RAM March didn't record a time but still started). He retired with a blown engine after 4 laps having already moved up to 10th with laps as quick as the leaders, including what was reportedly the most powerful car of 1983, the 650 bhp (485 kW; 659 PS) Ferrari 126C2B driven by René Arnoux.

For the team's World Championship debut at the 1983 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a modified 201C design was produced, which Johansson qualified in a respectable 15th. But engine problems on race morning forced him to drive the 201 in the race, retiring after 5 laps with a broken fuel system. The 201C eventually only raced at the German and Dutch Grands Prix, with the 201 being driven in the other races. The car's best result was a 7th for Johansson in the Netherlands.

Stefan Johansson

Stefan Nils Edwin Johansson (born 8 September 1956) is a Swedish racing driver who drove in Formula One for both Ferrari and McLaren, among other teams. Since leaving Formula One he has won the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans and raced in a number of categories, including CART, various kinds of Sports car racing and Grand Prix Masters.

He is also the manager of New Zealander Scott Dixon ( winner of the 2008 Indianapolis 500), fellow Swede Felix Rosenqvist (winner of the 2015 European Formula 3 Championship), Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo and Ed Jones.


Toleman Motorsport was a Formula One constructor based in the UK. It was active between 1981 and 1985 and attended 70 Grands Prix.

Toleman TG185

The Toleman TG185 was a Formula One racing car designed by Rory Byrne and was used by Toleman Motorsport during the majority 1985 Formula One season. The car was powered by the 800 bhp (597 kW; 811 PS) Hart 415T Straight 4 turbocharged engine. The car was late in arriving for the 1985 season for no other reason than a lack of tyres. In 1984 Toleman started the season using tyres supplied by Italian company Pirelli. Part way through the season though the team pulled out of their tyre contract with Pirelli and started using the French Michelins instead. However, when Michelin pulled out of F1 at the end of 1984, the team were unable to come to an agreement to use Goodyear rubber. They were also unable to get a deal with Pirelli who were reluctant to supply tyres for the team. It was only after team sponsor Benetton bought Spirit Racing and transferred their Pirelli contract to Toleman that the team were able to run in 1985.

The car was fundamentally unchanged from the TG184 apart from a revised suspension to deal with running different rubber and revised rear bodywork. The car was initially driven by former Brabham driver Teo Fabi of Italy. He was joined in the team from the 10th race (Austria) by fellow Italian Piercarlo Ghinzani. Fabi gave the Toleman Team its first and only pole position at the German Grand Prix which was held at the new Nürburgring circuit. Fabi set his time in the Friday qualifying session and as it rained on the Saturday no one else could beat his time. He got a bad start in the race due to a slipping clutch and was only 10th going into the first corner. The clutch would be the cause of the car's retirement from the race on lap 29.

The TG185 was the last F1 car for Toleman Group Motorsport. From the 1986 season the team was bought out by main sponsor Benetton and renamed Benetton Formula Ltd. Fabi's pole in Germany was the highlight of the year. After finishing 1984 in 7th place in the Constructors' Championship with 16 points (including 3 podiums by rookie driver Ayrton Senna), the team failed to score a point in 1985. In fact, the TG185 proved almost totally unreliable with only 2 finishes all season when Fabi finished 14th in France and 12th in Italy, while Ghinzani failed to finish a race.

Following the acquisition of Toleman the planned 1986 car, dubbed the "TG186", was simply renamed the Benetton B186. That car, powered by the 1,400 bhp (1,044 kW; 1,419 PS) BMW M12 engine went on to become the team's first ever Grand Prix winner when Gerhard Berger drove it to victory at the 1986 Mexican Grand Prix.

One TG185 remains fully operational as of 2018, having been rebuilt during 2016 by Tour-De-Force Power Engineering. It is often seen in historic F1 demonstrations in the UK and Europe. It retains the original Hart 415T engine and Hewland derived gearbox.

2019 season


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