Hockenheim Historic – PostponedMarch 12, 2021
PITCAST Comeback PostponedMay 8, 2021
Richard the Rocker
As a rock and pop music producer, Richard Lloyd has been equipped for a career as a quiet but ambitious and stubborn Group C team boss.
In 2008, the Englishman's life ended in one of the biggest airplane tragedies ever to rock international motorsport.
Translation of the original text from Norbert Ockenga published in PITWALK Magazine #60
So pop stars and the music business are good as a kind of basic education after all. In any case, Richard Lloyd learned how to deal with self-confident stars and extravagant desires at his first professional station - the record company Decca Records. There, as a producer, Lloyd supervised characters like Cliff Richard and Alvin Stardust for a total of six years, from 1964 to 1970.
While still at the studio controls, he tries his hand at racing - in 1967, he enters a popular sports series called "Modsport" with a used Triumph Spitfire. These "Modified Sports Cars", i.e. reworked sports cars, are very popular in England at the time as an entry-level class. This is because the chassis, cylinder head, engine block and suspension type may not be modified compared with the production car. The aerodynamics and wheel arches, on the other hand, can grow almost as massive as later in the DRM.
The modsport scene is thriving, with thick fields of starters and independent club racing events at all the English circuits. And Lloyd becomes a star performer as a 23-year-old. From this grassroots sport, Lloyd works his way up to the British Touring Car Championship, driving a massive Camaro Z28 in which he wins seven races in 1974 and '75.
On the foundation of his stints as a racing team boss, Lloyd builds his own racing team at Silverstone - for touring car racing with Golf GTIs. With disarming logic, he christened his team GTI Engineering - and immediately landed his first coup: he convinced former Formula 1 star Stirling Moss to make an unexpected return to the cockpit in the British Touring Car Championship in 1980 - after Moss had actually sworn off racing due to injury following a serious accident at Goodwood in 1963. Moss's comeback was sobering. "That was perhaps my biggest mistake," Moss will later admit. "But at the time, it seemed like a good idea."
It was precisely this period that saw a major upheaval in sports car racing-and at Porsche. In the background, the Group C rules were taking shape and would be introduced in 1982. And at Porsche, Ernst Fuhrmann wants to bury the 911 in favor of quieter, water-cooled models. Thus, the Porsche managing director plans to comply with the increasingly stringent Federal Immission Control Act as of 1984.
The plan fails. Nevertheless, one of the new models that Porsche had launched in 1976 in response to the oil crisis found its way to Le Mans: the 924 with its front-engine concept. Fuhrmann orders the 924 to race at Le Mans-in a version called the Carrera GT. From 1980, there is one German, one U.S. and one English car each, in a slimmed-down entry variant with concealed factory support.
In 1981, Lloyd's team was awarded the contract to enter the British 924 in the entire World Sports Car Championship. At the time, Jürgen Barth was head of customer sports, but also still a racing driver at Porsche, sharing a 924 with Walter Röhrl at Le Mans. "Richard Lloyd was an extremely tough negotiator, but always fair," Barth would later say.
As a holdover from his recording days, Lloyd still lives in London. His neighbor is Mick de Haas - a Dutchman who has opened a PR agency in England specializing in motorsport. The exiled Dutchman arranges for the photo giant Canon to become Lloyd's Porsche racing team's godfather and sponsor. In the two years that the team runs the 924, he lands a class victory with Andy Rouse at Brands Hatch and a second place at Monza as the driving boss.
Then Porsche terminates the project in favor of the 956, the first real Group C car for the new regulations. But Lloyd, together with de Haas, laid the foundation for a long career as a Porsche customer sports team-and also as a development leader for a late half-brother to the 956.
Jonathan Palmer, later a Zakspeed Formula 1 driver and now the owner of an operating company for many English race tracks, gets to know Lloyd in precisely these formative years. Palmer leads the overall standings of the British Formula 3 Championship in 1981. Lloyd therefore spontaneously offers him a guest start in an Audi 80 in the Tourist Trophy - a prestigious and historic endurance classic at Silverstone. Together, the two land a class victory.
Palmer still raves about the very special atmosphere at GTI Engineering. His wife Philippa Lloyd, known to everyone as "Pippa," plays a key role in this. She was a member of the dance ensemble of the television gala "Pan's People," but doesn't put herself in the spotlight in their shared London apartment - instead, she is fully at the service of the team. "She used to make us sandwiches and provide us with drinks," Palmer recalls, "so we could ponder motorsport late into the night and come up with new plans."
During one of those evening sessions in late 1982, Lloyd suddenly opened up to his stunned guest that he had bought a Porsche 956. "I couldn't believe it. At the time, it was like someone getting a Toyota TS050 Hybrid for their home these days."
Alongside Palmer, Dutchman Jan Lammers, who is as small as he is flying, is signed on. In 1983, the two take podium places at the Nürburgring, Silverstone and Mugello. A year later, the pair took their first victory at the 1,000-kilometer race at Brands Hatch.
At the time, the team had already developed a new nose wing for the 956, which stretches out like a mustache almost to its full width between the two fenders. The new air deflector, the British calculated, would bring the Porsche Group C dominator another half a second per lap.
In fact, the modification was merely the prelude to Lloyd's greatest coup: a self-developed half-sister car to the 956. The factory car was based on an aluminum chassis; Lloyd commissioned Nigel Stroud, a highly respected tinkerer in English sports car circles with similar ingenious traits to those of John Barnard in Formula 1 only a short time later, to design an identical-looking model with a honeycomb chassis and gas cell instead of the factory slab construction.
The honeycomb monocoque makes the 956 GTI lighter and yet more torsionally rigid than the factory car from Weissach. Stroud also changes the suspension of the outgoing model in one fell swoop. "Porsche never tested the car in a wind tunnel with a moving floor," says Lloyd, explaining his radical new build, which is, strictly speaking, just a replica of the actual 956. "That's why it tended to pulse. Even the auxiliary wing never stopped that completely. And Porsche could never offer a solution for it. So I just solved the problem myself."
This self-confident, homespun attitude is a phenomenon of the Group C era and of all motorsport in the eighties. Do-It-Yourself swept over all of society like a wave. More and more creative solutions loosely based on factory specifications and technology appeared on the race track. "Back then, quite a few teams were doing their own thing," Lloyd knows, "whether the manufacturers liked it or not."
Indeed, carbon fiber versions of the 956 or 962 emerge in the wake of Lloyd's offensive.
Brun Motorsport commissions English chassis builder John Thompson, whose son James will later become a mainstay in the World Touring Car Championship; Kremer Racing, Fabcar, Al Holbert and former works driver Vern Schuppan from Australia also commission their own versions of the Group C forefather.
GTI Engineering changes its name to Richard Lloyd Racing in 1985. At the world championship round in Monza, the new car is on course for victory. Then a storm and hurricane knocks down a tree in the Royal Park. The trunk crashes onto the track directly in front of Jonathan Palmer. After the race was stopped, the Kremer team from Cologne was awarded the victory.
At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Lloyd climbs into his own 956 as a driver alongside Palmer and James Weaver. "The race was on the same weekend as Live Aid"-that 16-hour parallel concert in London and Philadelphia hosted by singers Midge Ure and Bob Geldorf to fight hunger in Africa-"and I still had my connections in the music industry," Lloyd says. "So I promised Bob Geldorf that we'd put Live Aid stickers on our cars."
Palmer/Weaver/Lloyd finish second, beaten only by Joest Racing with their privately entered 956 in the hands of Klaus Ludwig/Paolo Barilla/ John Winter. After that, Lloyd's racing team also became a major player in the Black Autumn of 1985. The team skipped the world championship round at Mosport, where Manfred Winkelhock was killed in a Kremer Porsche. However, Palmer's right front tire burst in a free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday. The budding general practitioner crashes brutally into the guard rails. The offset by 1.2 meters. And the honeycomb structure of the Honeycomb monocoque absorbs much of the impact. Palmer breaks an ankle and several ribs and suffers head injuries.
The accident is a similar portent to Rubens Barrichello's Friday crash at Imola nine years later. In 1985, Stefan Bellof dies at Spa two days after Palmer's horror crash. His aluminum plate chassis folded up in the Eau Rouge on impact to such an extent that the 27-year-old from Giessen had no chance of survival.
Lloyd did not return to the race track until the world championship round in Fuji, Japan, after all his camera sponsor is a Japanese company. On Friday evening, Lloyd is dining in Hakone with Sean Roberts from Porsche's main sponsor Rothmans. Suddenly, there's a crashing thud, the restaurant's large windows shake in their frames with rapid frequency, and the tables do a twitching dance in front of them-an earthquake, quite common in the region. Lloyd and Roberts flinch in shock. But as the Japanese hosts and guests continue to hold their beers unmoved, the two Europeans also delve back into their sushi.
The earthquake is the prelude to a race weekend dominated by the elements: All European teams withdraw nine laps after the start because their imported rain tires cannot cope with the immense water masses of a typhoon. The Japanese Group C teams' domestic monsoon tires, on the other hand, displace enough water.
Lloyd and Roberts' sushi dinner has a serious business background: a year earlier, the cigarette advertiser had purchased model 956-008 from the factory, in which engineer and racer Roland Kussmaul had an accident on the test track in Weissach - and which subsequently remained stowed away for a long time in a corner of the development center. Rothmans bought it together with some spare parts from chassis 956-007 - the car in which Bellof overturned while leading the last 1,000-kilometer race on the Nordschleife in 1983. The whole package costs 25,000 US dollars.
The car is initially used as a camera car - at the time a novelty in television broadcasts in motorsport. The camera equipment is so bulky and clunky that it is only used during free practice sessions - and the recordings made during the races are played back from the archive. Rothmans uses the camera car under chassis number 007. Lloyd's team looks after the car. Among the drivers are the young Johnny Dumfries Marquis of Bute, the old Jack Brabham and Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd.
The signing of the drummer in particular raised eyebrows at Porsche and its race director at the time: "Peter Falk was worried about what kind of rocker we were letting into the car. But we brought him on board because he already had plenty of Le Mans experience. It was great publicity for us, and we even made a short film about it. Peter Falk admitted afterwards that he had been very impressed by Mason's driving skills. And Nick said he was equally impressed by how quickly he had become a Porsche works driver. He's teased me with that every time we've met since."
Lloyd sets up the car alongside the Canon Porsche from his team headquarters at Silverstone. The hangar is right next to the workshop of John Fitzpatrick-the second great Porsche privateer team boss from England in Group C days. In the blue-and-white livery of the English glowstick brand, it looks like a thoroughbred works car.
But not at Le Mans in 1984, when the Porsche works team instigated a boycott in protest against the ACO's rule changes. The camera car runs in the colors of the camera sponsor, and René Metge-who won the Dakar Rally in a Porsche 953 the previous January-also drives alongside Mason and Lloyd. The mechanics have to learn completely new moves for the routine pit stops during the endurance classic: how to change video cassettes as quickly as possible.
The crossover between rock and racing remains an ongoing theme for Lloyd. Before a race at Mosport, Mason strolls into a branch of "Sam the Record Man," then the largest record store chain in Canada, in Peterborough, Ontario, in a decidedly unobtrusive manner. He pulls four Pink Floyd albums off the shelf and pays for them normally at the cash register. And why the whole thing? "They're bootlegs," illegal concert recordings, Mason recognizes immediately. "When we get back to England, I'll send them straight to our lawyer."
At the finale at Sandown Park in Australia, Dumfries and Brabham ride together in the camera car. On the morning before the race, at breakfast in the St. Kilda Travelodge, one of those headlines so typical of the humorous, swashbuckling Group C era in the English press emerges: "The young count leans far over the table and bows to the old Australian knight.
Brabham finds the downforce Group C bolides too physically demanding to drive. Roberts recalls, "He couldn't lash the belts to the shoulder straps himself - but he never wanted to be helped either and just grumbled at anyone who got into the cockpit: 'Leave it'. He'd rather spend the whole afternoon rolling back and forth in the cockpit like a pea in a saucepan."
In 1986, the Swabian oil company Liqui Moly replaced Canon as the main sponsor. Lloyd remains loyal to his own 956 GTi, while other customer teams also rely on the newer 962C in the WRC-with a longer wheelbase that has become necessary in order to be able to use the Porsche in the IMSA series as well, with its different safety regulations. Bob Wollek/Mauro Baldi win in the Liqui Moly Porsche at Brands Catch and finish second at the Nürburgring.
Stroud has long since had his own version of the 962 up his sleeve. With the new GTI Group C, the English racing team wins the 200-mile race at the Norisring. Palmer/Baldi even beat the factory 962 from Stuck/Bell, who formed the wet-cheeked anagram "Best" from their initials in the Group C.
But the Porsche era at the top of Group C dries up as Jaguar and Sauber-Mercedes usher in the second generation of sports car giants with modern cars. Lloyd holds out until the end of 1990, when his finances dry up for entries in the expensive prototypes. He keeps the racing team going at the grassroots level by competing in the British Porsche 924 Turbo Cup, the short-lived precursor to today's Porsche Carrera Cup.
It wasn't until 1995 that Lloyd returned to the top of the world. He founds Audi Sport U.K., the official importer team for Audi. Initially for the British Touring Car Championship, which experiences a real run in STW times and is considered the best touring car series in the world. Frank Biela wins the fiercely contested BTCC in 1996 in a Lloyd A4. And the team is also among the spearheads of Audi's major attack on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the first year, it is not clear to the Ingolstadt team which vehicle concept is the more promising: the open cockpit variant in the succession of WSC models such as the Ferrari 333SP, the Riley & Scott Mk III or the Joest-TWR Porsche - or the coupé form that follows the design language and aerodynamics of the old Über-GT1.
So without further ado, Audi commissioned both body styles. Lloyd and his team developed the closed R8C, which was treated rather neglectfully by the factory right from the start. The Bavarians prioritize the open R8R, the coupe is only a stopgap in case the roadsters get into trouble.
Nevertheless, the art of the R8C is not without bread and butter for Lloyd. In 2001, he renamed his company Apex Motorsport. Apex means apex in German - and the renamed team becomes a factory partner for the new Audi subsidiary Bentley. To turn the posh cars from England into Le Mans winners, Audi imposes a strict diet on its own endurance programs. In 2001 and 2002, Apex and Bentley initially landed class victories in the closed sports car category - followed by the longed-for overall victory for the tradition-steeped brand in 2003.
Three years later, Jaguar hires Lloyd to develop a GT3 version of the XKR for the burgeoning Ratel series in GT racing. Lloyd enlists Chris Allarton as chief designer - and Scotsman David Leslie, an icon from Ecurie Ecosse in Group C2 as well as from the BTCC, as development driver.
In March, the three would like to take a private plane from Biggin Hill air base south of London to Le Ca stellet for test drives with the Jaguar. There is a private airport directly opposite the main entrance to the race track, separated only by the country road that connects the Marseilles freeway with the artists' village of Le Castel- let. Getting there is easy and comfortable, the flight takes just over an hour.
Shortly after takeoff, one of the Cessna Citation's engines fails. Mike Roberts, one of the two pilots on board, turns in over the residential area of Farnborough to make an emergency landing at Biggin Hill Airport.
But the plane loses altitude far too quickly. "We are going down," Roberts radios to the air traffic controller tower at Biggin Hill. We are going down - these are the last words in Lloyd's life.
The captain attempts an emergency landing at the edge of the settlement. In the process, one wing grazes the ground, the plane is hurled into a residential house and immediately bursts into flames.
The residents of the house are on vacation. Lloyd, Leslie and the three fellow travelers can no longer be helped.
Human & Athletic
Born February 18, 1945 in London, England
Deceased March 20, 2008 in Farnborough, England
1964 - 1970 Record producer at Decca Records, London
1967 First Modsport races in a Triumph Spitfire
1968 - 1973 Touring car and modsport racing in Commodore Z28, Morgan 4/4 Super and Lotus Elan Sprint
1974 - 1975 World Sports Car Championship in Chevron B23, March 74S and Lola T294
1981 - 1982 World Sports Car Championship in Porsche 924 Carrera GTR
1983 - 1985 Sportscar-WM as driver and team manager in Porsche 956
1986 - 1990 Sportscar-WM as team principal with Porsche 956 and 962
1991 - 1994 British Porsche one-make cups
1995 - 1998 British Touring Car Championship with Audi
1999 - 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi R8C 2001 - 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans with Bentley Exp Speed8
2006 - 2008 Development Jaguar XKR GT3
When & where?
27th, 28th and 29th August 2021
One 45-minute race on each day, with pit stops for two drivers per car directly after the lunch break.
Technical & Sport
Class 1a = Group C1 and IMSA-GTP (Year of construction 1987 to 1990)
Class 1b = Group C1 and IMSA-GTP (Year of construction 1982 to 1986)
Class 2a = Group C2, Junior, IMSA (Year of construction 1986 to 1990)
Class 2b = Group C2, Junior, IMSA Light (Year of construction 1982 to 1985)
Class 3a = Group C, IMSA, Japanese Group C (Year of construction 1991 to 1993)
Class 3b = Special invitation from the organiser
The Bosch Hockenheim Historic - The Jim Clark Revival is an established motorsport event for vintage and young timers that draws large visitor numbers from Germany and throughout Europe to the traditional racing track in Baden each year. With twelve spectacular racing series & more than 500 participants bringing the magic of past racing days back to the time-honoured Motodrom, which has served as the stage for countless memorable racing battles.• Group C Supercup
• Tourenwagen Classics
• Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge
• CanAm & Sportscars
• Historic Racer Association
• GT Classics
• VFV GLPpro
• Raceclub Germany
• Historische Formel Vau Europa
• Dunlop Gentle Drivers of the 50s - 60s
Entries & Driver Information
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Tel: +49 (0) 7261 939200
Tel.: +49 (0) 6205 950 202
Press & Media
Commpanions Werbeagentur GmbH
Tel.: +49 (0)6127 9917880
This event is not organized or affiliated with Peter Auto S.A in any manner