Ecurie Ecosse

After an absence of over 20 years Ecurie Ecosse will return to International sports car racing at the Total Spa 24 Hour race in July.

Ecurie Ecosse which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1956 and 1957 has been dormant on an international level since the 1990’s when the team won the British Touring Car Championship running works Vauxhalls.

A driver line-up comprising of Alasdair McCaig, Andrew Smith, Joe Twyman and Oliver Bryant are set to contest The Total 24 Hours of Spa in July 2011 with Ecurie Ecosse as a partner team of Aston Martin Racing in a DBRS9 GT3. Ecurie Ecosse will sub-contract the running of the car to Barwell Motorport, a highly experienced and successful Aston Martin Racing Partner Team, and will be contesting for outright honours in the race which sees GT3 now being the top class as a result of a recent format change.

Team boss Hugh McCaig, who is behind the return and intends to use the 24 Hours of Spa as a stepping stone for Ecurie Ecosse to return to Le Mans, commented:

“This is a very exciting development for Ecurie Ecosse. I have been looking for an opportunity to take the team back into sportscar racing for some time, but the overall package had to be right. Now, with a team of ambitious and talented young drivers, together with a competitive manufacturer-backed car run by experienced engineers, I am extremely pleased that we can now take this major step forward. We have partnered with Aston Martin before and it is great to be doing it again some 20 years later. Ultimately we want to be back at Le Mans and this is a fantastic starting point.”

All four drivers have had highly successful historic racing careers so far, together with relevant and impressive modern experience, especially in the case of BRDC member Oliver Bryant who’s CV includes strong results in both the British and FIA GT series:

“I am very excited to be a part of the Ecurie Ecosse comeback. Our drivers all have substantial experience racing at Spa, and we have all driven together successfully before. The DBRS9 GT3 is also extremely well suited to the fast, flowing nature of Spa, and having tested it before myself, I have no doubt that our combination of car, drivers and team will be highly competitive.”

In 2010 Twyman won his class in the 24 Hours of Spa driving a Jota Sport Aston Martin, and in 2009 Smith claimed a front row grid position and fastest lap of the race at Spa in his British GT Championship debut.

Former Ecurie Ecosse driver and twice Le Mans winner Allan McNish is also highly supportive of the team’s return:

“I am very pleased that Ecurie Ecosse is returning to Sportscars, it has such fantastic heritage in this arena with its legendary Le Mans wins and it will be nice to see the dark blue flags flying once again. The team has supported so many famous Scottish Drivers making their way in the sport, including Le Mans winners, Indy 500 winners and F1 World Champions. Ecurie Ecosse really has been an integral part of the very successful Scottish Motorsport story past and present.”

Aston Martin Racing are backing the effort and providing technical, engineering and training support. Aston Martin and Ecurie Ecosse last teamed up at Le Mans in 1989 with the AMR1 project. AMR Managing Director John Gaw is delighted at the news of Aston Martin working with Ecurie Ecosse again:

“We are particularly pleased that Ecurie Ecosse has announced this significant return to international sportscar racing in partnership with Aston Martin Racing and Barwell, and we are looking forward to working with the team across 2011 and beyond. We will be providing as much support as we can in order to help both Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell achieve their goals.”

The team have already raised part of the budget required to compete at the event, and discussions with other potential sponsorship partners are now underway to enable them to make it onto the grid in July.

About Ecurie Ecosse

Ecurie Ecosse was formed in 1951 by Edinburgh accountant, David Murray. Under his leadership the team achieved a huge number of international race victories, the most prestigious being overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1956, and finishing 1st and 2nd in the same race in 1957. Ecurie Ecosse took the racing world by storm and to this day has an unprecedented reputation as a winning formula. In 1983, Ecurie Ecosse Association Member and Edinburgh businessman Hugh McCaig took control of the team and lead it on to further great success including:

1985 Runners-up, C2 World Sportscar Championship
1986 Winners, C2 World Sports Car Championship
1987 Winners, Index Of Performance, Le Mans 24hr race*
2nd in class and 8th overall, Le Mans 24hr race
Runners-up C2 World Sportscar Championship
1988 Winners, British Thunder Saloons Championship
1995 Winners, British Touring Car Championship
*This is awarded for the best performance in terms of the combination of speed and fuel efficiency.

Three Formula One World Champions, and every Scottish Formula One winner has raced for Ecurie Ecosse. They were the first privately entered team to beat works teams in the British Touring Car Championship. An extraordinary list of legendary drivers have raced for Ecurie Ecosse including Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart, Ian Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jack Brabham, Innes Ireland, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori, Richard Attwood, Ron Flockhart, Brian Redman, David Coulthard, Allan McNish, Johnny Dumfries, David Leslie, and Tom Walkinshaw. Ecurie Ecosse remains one of the world’s most important and influential teams still in existence, and there are very few teams in operation today that have such a rich and historical background.

About Barwell Motorsport

Barwell Motorsport is one of the UK’s most successful privately-owned professional racing teams, having been competing at the forefront of different motorsport categories during the past five decades. The Surrey-based company is renowned in British and European motor racing circles for being one of the most passionate, colourful and spirited teams in the paddock. It is a family business, founded by Richard Lemmer in the 1960s, and during the ‘60s and ‘70s it enjoyed success in a variety of racing disciplines including saloon, single-seater and sports cars. Richard’s eldest son, Mark Lemmer, then took over the reigns of the current incarnation of the team in 1988.

The team cut its teeth in the hard-fought environment of various manufacturer ‘one-make’ saloon car and GT championships in the 1990s (claiming three overall titles and over 50 race victories), before stepping up to the UK’s premier ‘tin-top’ series – the British Touring Car Championship – in 2000. It was here that Barwell Motorsport really established itself in top-flight motorsport, taking an impressive 30 class race wins over four years and claiming the Production Class Drivers’ and Team’s titles in 2003. During this time the team also contested two Spa 24 Hours events with factory support from Honda, and had successful forays in the ‘World Cup’ of Touring Cars – the Macau Guia race.

Since 2004 Barwell have branched out into single-seater and GT series competition (claiming national championship titles in both) and have also achieved significant success in endurance saloon car racing, culminating in a saloon class win in the inaugural Silverstone 24 Hours event. It has raced in the GT1, GT2 and GT3 categories around the world with cars produced by Aston Martin Racing (AMR). In 2008 Barwell attained Official Partnership Team status with AMR, and played a major role in the development of the new Vantage GT2 car during our season in the American Le Mans Series.

For the past two seasons Barwell has continued the relationship with AMR, running customer cars in the British, Belgian and Spanish GT Championships. The team has also previously contested what is now the world’s premier GT race event, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, scoring a top four GT3 finish in 2009.

Team Highlights:

British GT race-winners 2006, 2007, 2009

Britcar GT race-winners 2007, 2010

Multiple podium finishes in FIA European GT3 and British GT 2006-10

2006 British GT3 Champions

2007 British GT Overall Teams Champions

Points finish on FIA GT debut in Zhuhai, China (GT1)

First-ever British GT 1-2-3 team race result (2007)

First-ever British race series victory for a Bio-Ethanol fuelled car

Contested sportscar classics 24 Hours of Spa (FIA GT), Sebring 12-Hours and PetitLe Mans 1000-Miles (American Le Mans Series)

About Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Racing are one of the only manufacturers to have cars racing in all GT 1-4, categories competitively. The DBRS9 GT3 car is a well established and proven endurance racing car and has featured many upgrades since its introduction over 5 years ago. 2011 is no different and Aston Martin Racing are proud to have developed both performance and reliability upgrades as well as upgrades focused on making the car easier to drive over the winter and are looking forward to supporting teams using this car in what is likely to be it’s last year at the forefront of international sportscar racing as a replacement is pending announcement.

About The Total 24 Hours of Spa

The Total 24 Hours of Spa is an endurance racing event held annually in Belgium at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Conceived by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois Van Ophem just one year after the first 24 Hours of Le Mans, the race was run under the auspices of the Royal Automobile Club Belgium (RACB).

It was held for the first time in 1924 over a 9.3 miles (15.0 km) circuit on public roads between the towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot. The present 6.9760 km circuit was inaugurated in 1979.

Over the years the race has attracted the World’s greatest drivers and the illustrious list of former winners includes the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Giuseppe Farina, Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass and recent Le Mans winners Romain Dumas and David Brabham.

The event marks an annual pilgrimage for many, and thousands make the visit to support their preferred marque. On top of the on-site attendance the race is also televised live across the globe, and extensively covered in the World’s motoring press.

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