Thundersports was a variety of sports car racing introduced by John Webb of Brands Hatch fame.
Sports car racing is a form of motorsport road racing which utilizes sports cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels. They may be purpose-built (Prototype) or related to road-going models.
Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit in West Kingsdown, Kent, England. First used as a grasstrack motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently hosts many British and International racing events. The venue is owned and operated by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation.
Webb saw it as a replacement for the Aurora AFX Formula One championship as a spectacular class that could headline national-level meetings, and a partner for the Thundersaloons series for silhouette-bodied touring cars.
The British Formula One Championship, often abbreviated to British F1, was a Formula One motor racing championship held in the United Kingdom. It was often referred to as the Aurora AFX Formula One series due to the Aurora company's sponsorship of the series for three of the four seasons.
Thundersports was essentially a sports-car version of Formula Libre with cars from Sports 2000, Group 5, Group 6, Can-Am, Group C and various other prototype categories all eligible; a number of hybrid cars appeared in the series. Even the odd Clubmans car appeared.
Formula Libre is a form of automobile racing allowing a wide variety of types, ages and makes of purpose-built racing cars to compete "head to head". This can make for some interesting matchups, and provides the opportunity for some compelling driving performances against superior machinery. The name translates to "Free Formula" – in Formula Libre races the only regulations typically govern basics such as safety equipment.
Sports 2000 is a restricted-rules class of two-seat, mid-engined, open-cockpit, full-bodied sports-prototype racecar used largely in amateur road racing. Sometimes known as S2000 or S2, the class was developed by John Webb, then of the Brands Hatch racing circuit in England, as an affordable form of sports car racing, essentially a sports car version of Formula Ford 2000. The key attributes of the class were a body design reminiscent of two-liter Group 6 sports racing cars like the Chevron B21 and Lola T-212 but with an ultra-reliable and inexpensive drivetrain comprising a two-liter "Pinto" overhead camshaft engine with very limited allowed modifications and the well-proven, VW-based Hewland Mk 9 transaxle. S2000 aerodynamics continued to evolve beyond their 1970s Group 6 roots, with very 'slippery' cars featuring spats over the wheels becoming the norm.
Group 5 was an FIA motor racing classification which was applied to four distinct categories during the years 1966 to 1982. Initially Group 5 regulations defined a Special Touring Car category and from 1970 to 1971 the classification was applied to limited production Sports Cars restricted to 5 litre engine capacity. The Group 5 Sports Car category was redefined in 1972 to exclude the minimum production requirement and limit engine capacity to 3 litres. From 1976 to 1982 Group 5 was for Special Production Cars, a liberal silhouette formula based on homologated production vehicles.
The series ran from 1983 to 1989, with grids slumping from 1983's average of around 20 to about 10 cars by the end. When the series was terminated it was effectively replaced by a short-lived BRDC C2 Championship for prototypes.
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of automobiles for competition.
Lola Cars International Ltd. was a racing car engineering company founded in 1958 by Eric Broadley and based in Huntingdon, England. Enduring more than fifty years, it was one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.
A Le Mans Prototype (LMP) is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Le Mans Prototypes were created by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The technical requirements for an LMP include bodywork covering all mechanical elements of the car.
Formula Atlantic is a specification of open wheel racing car developed in the 1970s. It was used in professional racing through the IMSA Atlantic Championship until 2009 and is currently primarily used in amateur racing through Sports Car Club of America Formula Atlantic.
Group C was a category of motorsport, introduced by the FIA in 1982 for sports car racing, along with Group A for touring cars and Group B for GTs.
The World Sportscar Championship was the world series run for sports car racing by the FIA from 1953 to 1992.
The All Japan Sports Prototype Championship (全日本スポーツプロトタイプ選手権), abbreviated as JSPC, formed by the Japan Automobile Federation, was a domestic championship which took place in Japan for Group C and IMSA GTP prototype cars and also featured cars that were eligible for touring car racing in its earlier years. Class A and Class B for production cars which were defined by the FIA and the lead category, Class C would be for cars that are similar to IMSA's Camel Lights and the WEC's C2, whereas Class D was for C1/GTP cars.
The 1990 World Sportscar Championship season was the 38th season of FIA World Sportscar Championship racing. It featured the 1990 FIA World Sports-Prototype Championship for Drivers and the 1990 FIA World Sports-Prototype Championship for Teams, both of which were contested over a series for cars running under the FIA's Group C formula. The series ran from 8 April 1990 to 7 October 1990 and was composed of nine races.
The Circuit Trois-Rivières is a street circuit located in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada and has been the home of the annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières since 1967. The circuit is located on the Terrain de l'Exposition (fairgrounds) and is unusual in that it passes through Porte Duplessis, the narrow concrete gateway of the grounds at turn 3.
The BRDC C2 Championship was a short lived sports car racing series which ran from 1988 to 1990. The series was for Group C cars which fit into the smaller, less powerful, and cheaper C2 category. All races were run in the United Kingdom. The British Racing Drivers' Club ran the series during its lifetime.
The Australian Motor Racing Championships was a collection of national motor racing series travelling to a series of circuits across Australia under a single banner. These race meetings represent the banner race meetings for the Australian Auto Sport Alliance who sanction the series through circuits aligned to the AASA. The series has since collapsed due to poor entry numbers.
The European Sportscar Championship was a name used by several sports car racing championships based in Europe. Initially created in 1970 by the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA) as the European 2-Litre Sports Car Championship for Makes, the series increased in popularity and eventually became part of the World Sports Car Championship in 1976 even after a troubled 1975 season. Only two years later, as interest in sports-prototypes faded, the championship was downgraded from World Championship status and a European championship returned once more, only to be cancelled after its sole 1978 season.
The Lola T600 was a racing car introduced in 1981 by Lola Cars as a customer chassis. It was the first GT prototype race car to incorporate ground-effect tunnels for downforce. The revolutionary aerodynamic design of the T600 was widely imitated throughout the 1980s by International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Group C prototype cars. The Lola T600 ran initially in the U.S.-based IMSA GT series and later in European Group C races.
John Bartlett is best known as a former WSCC racing driver and team owner in the 1980s. He first started racing FF1600 cars in 1979 before moving into sports prototypes.
Robin Donovan is a British former racing driver. He is best known for competing in 14 editions of the Le Mans 24 hours race; his best result there being 6th overall, 3rd in class (LMP1) and 1st privateer home driving with 5 x Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE and Daytona 24 hours winner Jurgen Lassig in 1994 with the Gulf Racing entered and sponsored Kremer Porsche K8.
The Ford C100 is a sports racing car, initially built and run as a Group 6 car, but later as a Group C car. The C100 was built by Ford in 1981, and initially featured a 4-litre Cosworth DFL V8 engine, which was replaced by a 3.3-litre version of the same engine in 1983, after the car had passed to private hands. Five cars are known to have been built. Although the cars were often very quick in qualifying, reliability problems plagued them, and restricted their successes to two Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft victories in 1982, and a single Thundersports victory in 1983. Following the end of Ford's involvement in the C100 project in 1983, Zakspeed modified one of the chassis into the C1/4, which used a 1.8-litre turbocharged in-line 4 from their Group 5 Ford Capri. The C100 was also evolved into the Zakspeed C1/8, which used the 4-litre Cosworth DFL in a C1/4 chassis. The Zakspeed cars would prove to be far more successful than the C100 had ever been, and Klaus Niedzwiedz used a C1/8 to win the Interserie in 1984.
The Thundersports Series was a domestic championship which took place in mainly at Brands Hatch ran circuits, for prototype sportcars and also featured cars that were eligible for Can-Am and Group C2 racing. To bring some real excitement, noise and spectacle back into British motor racing, after the demise of the British Formula One Championship, the BRSCC invented Thundersports. The new series had its debut on Easter Monday 1983 and the country's first major sport car race since the mid-1970s was a resounding success.
Royale Race Cars was a British constructor of race cars in the 20th century. The company produced single seaters as well as sports cars.
F4 Danish Championship is a Danish motor racing series for open-wheel cars complying with FIA Formula 4 regulations. The inaugural championship was contested in 2017.