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Winning ingredients

CARBON-FIBRE MONOCOQUE

These cars are heavy – nearly 900kilos – and they go monumentally quick, so you had two fundamental problems. First, the structure to carry everything had to be very, very stiff, and on top of that it had to be safe, because places like Le Mans had the drivers exceeding 200mph four times a lap. It was so stiff that we couldn’t torsion test it. Each monocoque cost £50,000, compared with £10,000 for aluminium, and the tooling to cure the material was bloody expensive. The safety of the structure was proved after Win Percy’s huge 200mph crash on the Mulsanne. He wrote me a very nice letter after that, thanking me for making such a strong car. It had literally saved his life.

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About Motor Sport Magazine

Featuring our exclusive lead story on Martin Brundle being reunited with his Jaguar XJR-12, an extract from Gordon Murray's new book, and our tribute to the phenomenal driver that was Niki Lauda.