Offbeat

By Charles Wade-Palmer

A 1989 racecar created by the world famous Aston Martin is estimated to sell at over half a million pounds.

The AMR1 Group C racecar which can reach speeds over 200mph and has competed in three world championship races is now up for auction for the first time.

The stunning track day-ready car which has been raced by Grand Prix driver Brian Redman and Le Mans winner Stanley Dickens, will go under the hammer on 24th February 2017 at Stoneleigh Park.

It was the fifth and final version of the car developed by Aston Martin.

Previous versions have been auctioned off but this is the first chance to bid on the final AMR1 which has continued to be maintained and raced until 2014.

Nick Whale, managing director at Silverstone Auctions, said: “This car represents a major piece of motor racing heritage with unquestionable provenance, superb build quality, and with a proven ability to win.

Pic from Jakob Ebrey/Caters News

“Group C racing stands out to this day as one of the most sensational and spectacular eras in the history of motorsport, and this car would be an ideal entrant to the Classic Le Mans race in 2017 and historic Group C racing championship.”

The racecar will headline Silverstone’s dedicated competition car sale, Race Retro next week.

The vehicle made its debut at Donington Park in 1989, and came in with an impressive seventh place.

Later that season, at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, AMR1/05 finished 7th, driven by Redman and Dickens.

At the final round in 1989 in Mexico City, also the final race for the Aston Martin, AMR1/05, now upgraded from a 6.0 litre to a 6.3 litre ‘Version Two’ engine producing 740bhp, finished 8th, securing 6th place overall for the team in the championship.

Sold in 1990 after the factory team was disbanded, AMR1/05 has been professionally maintained and regularly campaigned at an international level in historic Group C and IMSA racing in the UK, Europe and USA.

Pic from Jakob Ebrey/Caters News

At its historic race debut at Silverstone, the car finished in ninth position and went on to achieve its first-ever international victory at Monza in 2003, most aptly with David Leslie at the wheel, also setting the fastest lap.

After years of sterling service in Group C racing, the current owner gave the controls to GT3 winner Andy Meyrick, who put AMR1/05 on the front row of the grid at Donington in May 2013, taking the flag for the car’s first ever win on UK soil.

At the car’s next outing in 2014, Le Mans LMP2 winner Tom Kimber-Smith took the wheel at the Le Mans 24hr support race, in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 people, placing the car fifth in qualifying and finishing in second place.