OCT 07th 2015

Video: How to drive a Mercedes‑Benz C11 around Spa

Strictly speaking, the addition of an exhaust-driven, dynamic compressor (or turbocharger) should flatten-out exhaust and intake resonance on an engine, which usually takes the edge off the noise; the usual shouty barks and howls being replaced by whistles and hisses. However, in the case of the Mercedes-Benz C11 this was most certainly not the case. Somehow it manages to run a turbo on each of its two banks of cylinders and yet it still produces the cacophonous exhaust din of an American V8 burning nitromethane. 

Andrew Jordan Lotus Cortina

Don’t believe us? Take a gander at this fine clip of Bob Berridge attacking the Spa Francorchamps circuit back in 2011. Pure V8 music, despite running (we imagine) 20+ pounds of boost. Just sensational.

In it, Mister Berridge is qualifying for a historic Group C race at the legendary Belgian venue back in 2011 and he’s not hanging around. He went on to win the inaugural Group C Championship that year which he duly added to his two Formula Ford titles, Porsche GB Club Championship and hat-trick of Historic Formula One Championships. Oh and he’s taken part in five consecutive Le Mans races, too …

The car he’s pedaling was also no stranger to the podium when it was originally campaigned in the 1990 World Sports-Prototype Championship. In fact, the winning car of Mauro Baldi and Jean-Louis Schlesser won every single race in which it was classified except for Spa where it came home eighth. Bit of a ‘steamroller’ then as far as the competition was concerned. It was so successful that when Mercedes-Benz had a few more teething troubles than it bargained for with the C291 which replaced it, it was wheeled out for part of the 1991 season and bagged three more class wins!

The C11 was said to clear 250mph and in qualifying some say it was delivering the best part of 1000bhp. So, here we have a top driver in an utterly dominant car at one of the greatest circuits there is. You might want to watch this one twice.

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