New Pilbeams Revealed

One of the biggest names in our sport is Pilbeam Racing Designs. Mike Pilbeam’s company dominated British Hillclimbing at National level for 20 years between the mid 70s and the mid 90s, winning 17 British Hillclimb Championship titles for some of the legends of our sport including Roy Lane, Martyn Griffiths, Martin Bolsover and Andy Priaulx.

Roy Lane Pilbeam MP58

The late, great Roy Lane at Martini Hairpin with his title-winning MP58-Judd (thanks to Steve Wilkinson)

 

In recent years the Pilbeam marque has focused on sportscar racing on the circuits. This, combined with the massive success of the Gould composite chassis’ which have dominated the hills for the past 15 years or so, has seen the Pilbeam star shine slightly less brightly than it has in the past.

As far as brand new cars are concerned, it has been a quiet couple of years for the guys at Pilbeam, but that has all changed in the last couple of months as a pair of new Pilbeams have rolled out of the Bourne works.

The most public reveal has been of the new for 2014 cost-capped LMP2 chassis for ACO-rules racing.

The Pilbeam MP100 is the most recent challenger for the highly successful LMP2 regulations, joining the chassis already available from Oreca, Zytek, HPD, Oak Racing, Lotus and Lola.

Powered by a Ford Turbo built by Mountune, the MP100 will build on the heritage created by the MP84, MP91 and MP93 LMP cars which ran at Le Mans in the late 90s and early noughties.

Having seen the press release about the MP100, Guernsey hillclimb Andy ‘Bugs’ Bougourd pointed us towards the Pilbeam website, which also shows us a sneaky peak at Pilbeam’s first brand new hillclimb car for a few years.

Mike Tregoning Pilbeam MP101

MP101 leaves the workshop for the first time (thanks to Mike Pilbeam)

 

News of the motorcycle-powered MP101 being built for Cornishman Mike Tregoning was revealed by us back in January, and it was hoped that the car would run before the end of the 2013 season as a shakedown for 2014. Unfortunately a few delays meant that this would not be possible and the debut of the car will now take place early next year.

The car has been built around an MP88/97 style carbon fibre tub and a supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa engine built by bike-engine whizz Mark Fisher who also builds the power units of Alex Summers, Tony Hunt and the Moyse family. According to the new story on the Pilbeam website the car will also feature what is described as ‘novel front suspension’.

We had a quick chat on the phone with Mike Pilbeam about the MP101 and he was very enthusiastic about the new project, he told us “the car is complete, having run on a rolling road, and is waiting to be painted prior to its first on track shakedown. We are very pleased with the car which is around 300kgs and the engine which has around 380bhp”.

It will be fascinating to see how this car performs on the hills, and how it stands up to the intense competition in the 2-litre single-seater class.

Check out this link and scroll down to October to see the preview of the new car.

Comments

  1. Andy Barton says:

    SCOOP!
    Any detail about the front suspension?

  2. James says:

    Comment from 2-litre driver Tim Elmer:

    “James – my guess (having looked at your pic) is that the ‘novel’ front
    suspension is moving the lower pushrod mounting to the upright rather
    than conventionally on the w/bone. Pioneered I think on the Dallara
    F311………”

    Good spot Tim, could be this.
    The Gould GR59 also has pushrods that mount directly to the upright…

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