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Ayrton Senna is one of the most recognized names in the F1 world, and it was 18 years ago today, on May 1, 1994, that he passed away after a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix. To celebrate the man, German customizing company Cam Shaft has released a special one-off Senna styled V8 Lotus Espirit.
Ayrton Senna is an F1 racing legend, and anything with his name attached to it sells for a pretty penny thanks to his legacy.
Senna’s Toleman TG184-2 Formula One car will be hitting the auction block on May 16 at the spring sale hosted by Silverstone Auctions.
“Excitement is building for the auction which promises to be a must attend sale for any serious collector or motorsport enthusiast,” said Nick Whale, the managing director at Silverstone Auctions.
This car carried Aryton Senna to third place in the British GP, seventh in the Canadian Grand Prix and through a rain storm at the 1984 Monaco GP to finish second.
Other Ayrton Senna memorabilia has surfaced recently, including his helmet and race suit and a MP4/6 F1 car previously driven by Senna. The helmet and race suit fetched quite a bit more than first official estimates, so expect a real car which was raced by the man to do the same.
Weeks ago, we mentioned Ayrton Senna’s original 1991 Championship season racing suit and racing helmet were placed for auction at the Race Retro Sale of the Silverstone Auction held in the UK.
Initial estimates for the rare racing memorabilia speculated a handsom $66,000 for the helmet and $31,000 for the suit.
GALLERY: Ayrton Senna Helmet and Racing Suit
Four-time Formula 1 champion Alain Prost is officially becoming the brand ambassador for French automaker Renault, the company announced today.
“Renault’s history is intimately linked to that of motorsport and I have a deep attachment to the brand, with which I achieved some of the greatest successes in my sporting career,” Alain Prost said. “I accepted this mission with pleasure and I intend to accomplish it with professionalism.”
Serving as a brand ambassador, Prost will take part in sports demonstrations and use his technical expertise to represent the brand at various events.
His history with the company goes all the way back to 1976 when he became the Formula Renault French champion. That relationship with the company continued in an on-again off-again basis until 1983 when he placed second in Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
Ten years later he became the world champion Formula 1 driver with Williams-Renault. Most recently he drove to a 2012 victory in Trophée d’Andros at the wheel of Dacia Lodgy “Glace”.
As an aside, some may find it surprising that Prost accepted the role after his less than favorable portrayal in Senna, the 2010 documentary that chronicled the decade during which Ayrton Senna arrived in Formula 1 racing. In the movie, Prost is portrayed as a Machiavellian win-at-all-cost racer. It’s interesting that Prost would come back to work with Renault after having been shown in such an unsavory fashion.
GALLERY: Alain Prost
Last December, an auction provided a rare opportunity for racing fans and cinema buffs to bid on Steve McQueen’s original Gulf livery racing suit worn in the movie “Le Mans.” In case you missed out or couldn’t afford the $800,000 price tag, a new opportunity to own a piece of motorsport history has arisen.
Thanks to Asif Kapadia’s successful documentary that revived Ayrton Senna awareness, and even mania, there’s a growing market for Senna related racing memorabilia. Up for auction at the Race Retro Sale of the Silverstone Auction in the UK are Ayrton Senna’s original 1991 Championship season Shoei full face helmet and racing suit.
The racing helmet bears Senna’s signature and is instantly recognizable by the Brazilian color theme adorned with Nacional, Boss, Marlboro, and Honda stickers, as well as a McLaren International authentication certificate. This special championship season Senna helmet is projected to sell for a staggering $66,000.
Senna’s race suit features the Brazilian flag as well as his name embroidered along the belt. Experts estimate that the race suit will sell for more than $31,000.
Despite the astronomical price tags, wealthy bidders may consider the helmet and suit a bargain considering Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans” racing suit went for more than $800,000.
The auction will take place on February 25th in the U.K.
GALLERY: Ayrton Senna Racing Helmet and Race Suit
The documentary about the life of Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at 34 years old, has been nominated in three categories (Outstanding British Film, Documentary and Editing) by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Senna is up against some stiff competition. In the Outstanding British Film category, the film is competing against My Week with Marilyn, Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and We Need to talk about Kevin. In the Documentary category, Senna is only one of three films in the running (the other two are George Harrison: Living in the Material World and Project Nim).
The BAFTA Awards take place at London’s Royal Opera House on February 12. If you’re a fan of the movie, keep your fingers crossed, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it on Netflix and iTunes.
To the race fans and cinema buffs that missed Senna‘s limited release this summer, Christmas came early.
Unfortunately, Ayrton Senna fans that would like to have a copy on their shelf will have to wait. While the European region 2 release of the Senna DVD and BluRay have been available on amazon.com for months, the North America Region-1 NTSC DVD won’t be available until March 6, 2012 while no official release date has been announced for BluRay yet.
Check out the Senna trailer after the jump: Continue Reading…
Anyone who built model cars as a kid would appreciate should pay attention to an upcoming auction featuring an installation by artist Jay Burridge. Burridge has created a life-size “Airfix kit” out of a McLaren MP4/6, one of the greatest Formula 1 racing cars of its era.
The sculpture has some serious provenance behind it, as the MP4/6 was formerly raced by Formula 1 great Ayrton Senna.
Now this very piece can be yours if you have the highest bid at the COYS auction at the Nurburgring on August 13th. This sculpture was recently unveiled at Blenheim Palace in Oxforshire, England. Dennis Rushen, who was Senna’s manager was on hand to admire the sculpture.
“I was really impressed with the Senna sculpture. Such a clever idea and it really stands out as something really different. He was really into models and he would have appreciated the concept,” Rushen said.
COYS believes the sculpture will fetch over $50,000.
[Source: Road and Track]
Provided you haven’t illegally torrented the movie, those of you in trendy cities such as Austin, Palo Alto or Cambridge can pop on down to your local independent theater and watch the Sundance-winning biopic. Remember, support your local businesses!
Click the jump for a full list of where you can watch.
Of all the highly touted films screening at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the one we want to see most is Senna, a documentary on the life of three time Formula 1 world Champion Ayrton Senna.
Assembled entirely from previously unseen archival footage from Senna’s career (spanning from his youth karting days until his death in 1994), Senna captured the imagination of millions of Formula 1 fans around the world, leading to a global launch for the film – excluding North America.
Hopefully, the documentary will help Senna find a distributor for this market, as well the strong review in the L.A. Times. Even though Formula 1 is less than popular in the United States, the universal themes of passion, brotherhood and adventure will surely resonate with audiences who couldn’t tell you the difference between Ferrari and McLaren.
[Source: L.A. Times]
Trailer after the jump
For those, like yours truly, who grew up watching F1 racing in the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Lotus racers, draped in the classic black and gold colors of sponsor John Player Special rank as the most memorable. Driven by the likes of such greats as Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti and Ayrton Senna, they were frequent visitors to the winner’s circle as well as propelling the team to a number of driver and constructor’s championships.
However, since the end of the 1986 season, the famous black and gold livery has been notable by its absence on the F1 circuit. For 2011, that’s set to change. Lotus Racing wants to bring back the famous colors and wants F1 fans to have a hand in the final design.
“We have worked all year to make sure our fans are given unprecedented access to our team,” Lotus Racing marketing boss Silvi Schaumloeffel said. “We are all very excited about the move to a black and gold paint scheme for next season, and we want our fans to help us design the livery that will be racing around the world next year.”
Schaumloeffel also stated that the team will shortly be announcing how fans can take part in the design process, asking them to visit the team’s website www.lotusracing.my for the latest updates. Not only that but the person that is selected to design the final livery will join the team for the new car’s first testing session early next year. “For Lotus and F1 fans, it is the chance of a lifetime to help us take the next step forward in our amazing story in 2011,” said Schaumloffel.
Team Lotus will return to Formula 1 after a 16 year absence… sort of. While two cars scheduled to run in the 2010 season will proudly wear the Lotus name, the team will actually be owned and operated by Litespeed, a U.K.-based Formula 3 team.
Team Lotus rights holder David Hunt has allowed the company to use its name, in part due to the many ties Litespeed has with Lotus and its past Formula 1 efforts. Litespeed founders Nino Judge and Steve Kenchington are both former Lotus engineers.
Additionally, former Team Lotus driver Johnny Herbert will be involved in the project as an ambassador for the team and a manager for the drivers.
The new Team Lotus has also announced that vehicle design is being overseen by MGI and its owner Mike Gascoyne, a native of the Lotus stomping grounds in Norfolk.
“Team Lotus is synonymous with great British engineering and F1 innovation… both of which easily demonstrate why ex-Lotus personnel would want to bring this championship-winning name back to the formula,” said Judge in an interview with AutoSport. “Litespeed was born from a similar British background.”
“David Hunt has been the custodian of the name for so many years and we thank him for entrusting us not just with its safeguard but, more importantly, its development in the racing world of tomorrow.”
Team Lotus started in Formula 1 in 1958 after great success in the F2 series. Over the years some of the greatest drivers in motorsports raced for the team including Stirling Moss, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansel, Nelson Piquet, Mika Häkkinen and of course Ayrton Senna. The team won seven World Championships with its last race win coming from Senna in 1987. It continued on into the 1990s but struggled financially and on the track before it pulled from F1 at the end of the 1994 season.