Way back when, the division of classes within motor sport was pretty simple. Grand Prix cars complied with the contemporary Formula 1, open-wheeled racing cars with a centreline single-seat for the driver. Sports cars were two-seater open cockpits, with bodywork enclosing the wheels front and rear. GT cars followed the sports cars recipe, but roofed-in. Minor-Formula cars such as 500cc Formula 3, or 2-litre, 1,500, 1,000 or 1,600cc Formula 2, 1,100cc Formula Junior, or 1,000cc ‘screamer’ Formula 3, were all of them centreline single-seat, open-wheeler GP cars in miniature. Modern times brought different developments – different strokes for different folks.
A brief history of Le Mans prototypes
Doug Nye began writing about racing cars at ‘Motor Racing’ magazine in 1963-64. Today he is a multiple award-winning motor sports journalist and author of over 50 years’ experience, with some 70 books to his name. He is Goodwood Motorsport’s founding Historian and consultant and fulfils similar roles for Bonhams Auctioneers and the Collier Collection/Revs Institute in Naples, FL, USA. He is a member of the National Motor Museum Advisory Council at Beaulieu, Hants, and is a regular columnist for ‘Motor Sport’ magazine, while contributing to many other specialist periodicals worldwide.