1999 Race Results
BRDC GT Series Races
Dunlop Marcos Challenge Races
FIA GT Series
Marcos in GT racing in 1999
Above : LM600 at Daytona, 1999 - Photo courtesy Sportscar World
1999 has already seen Cor Euser's Marcos LM600 in action. The 24 Hours of Daytona saw the GT2 runner up against the massed ranks of the work's Vipers, work's Corvettes, Roock Porsches and numerous other top flight teams.
German, Harald Becker and Briton, Christian Vann once again joined Cor in the car and it ran well in qualifying, being placed nth in GT2. Come the race, the ever popular car ran strongly until delayed by diff failure and then retiring around half distance with an engine failure in the NASCAR derived V8.
There are plans to run the car in further events in the US, probably the American Le Mans series.
Not much of an off season, but Cor is a busy bee. As well as running in World and US events, he also likes to get the car out in front of his fellow Dutchmen.
The car was out a few times in the Belgian Belcar series, which is a sort of GT mixed with Touring Car series. The following photo was taken from the Belcar website and shows the car in action in Zolder where it won from a very swift Audi Supertourer.
As well as race meetings, the LM600 gets out and about to other events. The following photos, provided by Marcel Bol, show Cor at a Dutch Stock Car meeting, where the LM600 provided an interesting contrast to the machines typically found at such events.
Marcel and his team are producing an Oval Racing magazine in Holland, so if you want to know more, contact him on :
van Goghstraat 37 5991 GS BAARLO Netherlands
And whilst on the subject of LM600s in odd places, Paul Kessels snapped the road going LM600 in Holland, presumably on FIA GT homologation duties. Each manufacturer needs to show a road going version of the cars they run in the FIA GT series to prove that they are 'road cars'.
The GT1 and prototype IPC has finally been put to rest (so no more Mercedes CLK-LMs, except at Le Mans, and maybe in the US?), so the FIA GT series for GT2s will be the focus of World Sportscar racing attention in 1999. Expect to see both of Cor's cars out at some races (Silverstone and Monza will be 1000km races - 7 hours?) and there is talk of two new chassises for 1999, which would make sense if the existing two cars are to be left in the US for ALMS duty.
It seems that there will be a Marcos at Le Mans this year. However, it won't be one of the Dutch run LM600s, but a British LM500, running in the newly announced GT3 category at Le Mans.
Competition will be tough for the privateer team, with Porsche backing two semi works 996 teams, so the mid-May pre-qualifying event will be something to watch with interest. The LM500 is unlikely to have outright pace in the GT3 category, but is a well developed car now, so reliability could be a strong point if they make the race.
Finally, on a historic note, I received the following press release from Ray Green in New Zealand.
At the MG Car Club Pukekohe race meeting just south of Auckland in sunny New Zealand on January 24th, Leisure Time race series organiser Ray Green, celebrated his first ever race win and the first 40th Anniversary win for Marcos, driving his well campaigned 1970 Marcos powered by the Volvo 3 litre engine.
Ray's website contains lots of information on the racing in New Zealand, so take a look. Congratulations, Ray, on being the first winning Marcos of 1999. I bet Cor wishes his season had started so well!
Unfortunately, the chance to see a Marcos at Le Mans in 1999 has ended. The ACO, with a bumper entry, decided to refuse the privateer team the chance to pre-qualify. With a plethora of Porsche 911s and Vipers, it seems a shame that they didn't at least give a different car a crack at getting into the race, but there you are.
In Britain, the NCK, works backed, Marcos got off to a great start in the BRDC GT series. In spite of predictions in the motoring press that 99 was going to be a GT2 whitewash for the Chrysler Vipers, Thomas Erdos took GT2 pole for the first round at Silverstone and co-driver, Andy Purvis took a storming lead in the early stages, upstaging a number of 'star' professional drivers.
Above : The NCK/Works Marcos LM600 in action at Silverstone. Photo courtesy Marcus Potts
Unfortunately, an anti-roll bar mounting broke during Andy's stint and even Erdos' heroics were only rewarded with a 3rd place in GT2. However, it bodes well for the rest of the season.
This weekend sees the first round of the FIA GT series, now for GT2 cars only, at Monza. Cor Euser will be joined by former Lotus driver, and fellow Dutchman, Mike Hezemans, which promises to be the most competitive pairing in this car since the heyday of the Euser/Erdos combination who took a number of GT2 class wins in 1996. A second car is also likely to be out for most races this season.
Christian Vann, originally reported to be lined up for another season in the Marcos, has now signed to drive for Hugh Chamberlain's Viper team, so we wish him a good season of third placings in GT2 after performing well in the Marcos last year.
Monza and Silverstone, however, weren't good for Cor's team. At Monza, they wheeled out the old '96 chassis as the new one was not ready. The car started 10th, but fell to a lowly 13th by the end of the race, partly due to unsuitable tyres on the abrasive Monza circuit.
The new car was expected by Silverstone, but wasn't ready and so the entries for Euser/Hezemans and Buurmann/AN Other were scratched before practice.
In the BRDC GT championship, the Azlan supported works entry again ran well at Oulton Park for the Mayday holiday event, but was slightly frustrated come the race end. The car qualified 2nd in GT2 behind the Calum Lockie 911, but come the race, Andy Purvis took the class lead.
Above: Purvis holds off the GT2 Porsche of Cook/Lockie at Oulton Park : Photo Courtesy Photo courtesy David Lord
However, just as he started to look comfortable, he span the car out of the lead. By the end of the race, Tomas Erdos had managed to battle back into a podium position, keeping the car in contention for the GT2 title, but this probably has to count as a missed chance.
The good news, though, is that the car is clearly competitive and the Viper domination of GT2, widely predicted, has yet to manifest itself.
With Cor keeping out of Le Mans this year, Marcos racing interest concentrated on the Mantis Challenge and the BRDC GT series.
The BRDC GT runners moved onto Snetterton, where the Marcos flew in Tommy Erdos' hands, taking the GT2 pole and a second row start, albeit with a depleted GT1 entry.
Come the race, however, the car suffered a rare reliability problem with a driveshaft letting go after 31 laps. Until then the car had run well, but the newly arrived GT2 Lister in, former Marcos runners, Warnock and Schirle's hands had had the upper hand.
The Listers again dominated at Brands Hatch, with the Marcos being pushed down to third in GT2 qualifying. In the race, the Listers proved too strong, but a two way Lister battle saw the Thyrring car in the gravel, so Erdos and Purvis took a second place in class in their immaculately turned out car.
The Vipers' haven't dominated in the BRDC GT2 class, but the Storm is already 2 seconds a lap faster than the Marcos at Brands, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.
The good news to finish June's update on is that Cor expects to have his car out for the FIA GT race at Hockenheim (NOT the Nurburgring) on the 27th June. News on how he got on in the next update!
Cor has returned to the FIA GT series, but not, as expected, with his new LM600. This broke a gearbox input shaft in testing for the Hockenheim round and Euser and Buurmann were forced into the old (some reports say as old as 1996 and Eurosport commented it was the oldest car in the series in their Hungaroring coverage) car, which really is not competitive anymore.
At Hockenheim, it qualified 14th and finished 10th, whilst at the Hungaroring a week later, the car could only qualify 11th, whilst it finished a lowly 14th amongst the Porsches.
With Euser's 'home' race (in Belgium, but the closest to Holland!) coming up on the 18th July, he hopes to have the revised LM600 out for that round. Fingers crossed!
In the BRDC GT series, July 12th saw the series front the British GP support lineup. There were loads of Marcos cars out as the organisers invited Mantis Challenge competitors to take part (The Mantis series not having its own slot) and the NCK team have also entered a LM500 alongside their LM600 for Erdos and Purvis. Once again the challenge was to beat the Listers, which looked uncatchable in both GT1 and GT2! Erdos and Purvis once again took the fight to the GT2 Listers, but as at Brands Hatch, they proved too quick in qualifying. There was no contest between the fastest Porsche GT2 and the LM600, but the fastest Lister Storm was almost 2 seconds a lap faster in qualifying than Erdos could manage.
Sadly, the race proved even worse, with a gap between the Listers and the Marcos of around 3 seconds a lap! This is bad news for the Marcos team, who still finished a strong third, but also for the GT2 division of the BRDC GT series, as it becomes a virtual one make series...
The LM500 was classified 26th (after qualifying 24th), whilst Ian Jacobs and David Smith hastily borrowed a Mantis to compete in the race, after their regular, Tomb Raider backed, Venturi lost vital oil spraying 'Pisseurs' during untimed practice. This car was unclassified, having completed 22 laps of the race.
In the FIA GT series, Cor Euser dragged his old LM600 out again for the Zolder round. He managed to qualify an astonishing 4th, but come the race, he quickly fell back behind the more modern Vipers and Porsches and eventually retired.
At the Nurburgring FIA round, Mike Hezemans and Hans Buurmann finally debuted the Evo car. However, it proved slow and unsorted and failed to start the race, due to the engine not starting.
Worse was to follow, though, as the FIA ruled the Evo car illegal. The team had relocated the gearbox to the back of the car, effectively producing a transaxle. The FIA ruled that this was not permissible and Cor removed his car from the FIA series rather than modify it back. This could be the last we see of Marcos in the FIA GT series, although there is talk of Marcos homologating a transaxle option for the LM600 in 2000. Watch this space!
In the BRDC GT series, the next round was the double header at Donnington. The first round ended in disaster, as Andy Purvis put the car into the gravel, and out of the race, on the first lap! This had a knock on effect for the second round on the Sunday, as the grid was decided on Saturday's finishing position. First car out meant last on the grid!
The assembled CMI members, however, were treated to a spirited drive by Purvis and Erdos as they fought their way back to 3rd in GT2, behind the dominant Lister Storm and a rejuvenated Esprit V8 (both originally GT1 contenders).
At the next round, at Silverstone, Cor Euser brought out his evo car. This was the car's first race and it qualified 7th overall, two places behind the Erdos/Purvis car. Porsche regular, Calum Lockie was drafted in alongside Cor and was destined to drive an earlier Euser LM600 in the remaining races of the series.
The Erdos/Purvis car was running a new sequential gearbox and this, sadly, let the team down. However, the Euser/Lockie car ran stronger the longer the race went on and only lost runner up in GT2 slot in a barging match with that Esprit on the last corner!
Lockie and Ward were out in an Euser LM600 at Croft for the next round, but the car refused to fire up come the race (That engine from the Nurburging?). Erdos and Purvis challenged for class honours, but a broken differential put Erdos out. Remarkably, though a Marcos still took a podium position as Curtis Hayles drove single handed in his Challenge spec Mantis to take 3rd in GT2 in a race notable for its high attrition rate.
At Croft, Edward Horner took sufficient points to wrap up the Mantis Challenge for 1999. He says that he sees this as a stepping stone into GTs in 2000.
With the car excluded from the FIA series, Cor Euser decided to run his Evo LM600 for himself and Calum Lockie at the Belcar/BRDC GT double header at Spa-Francorchamps. After winning the class here last year, Thomas Erdos and Andy Purvis were also once again keen to go well in the much improved NCK LM600.
True to his word, Erdos took the GT2 pole ahead of former Mantis champion, Neil Cunningham, in a Viper. The Evo car was stymied though by the organisers decision that entering two races meant giving them an unfair advantage of 4 qualifying sessions! The sessions Euser chose, unfortunately meant that he had to run the BRDC GT practice with an awful misfire which left the car over a minute slower than the LM600 on GT2 pole! This didn't a lot for Calum Lockie's humour either, as he had only limited experience at Spa and only got to drive around slowly!
With typical Ardennes weather, the track was wet, but drying, when the race started. Purvis decided to start on slicks, but found them difficult on the opening lap. As they reached Rivage, the car snapped sideways after being passed by the Viper and span across the track. The engine was still running, but Porsche driver, Paul Phillips, was presented with nothing but LM600 and ploughed into the stationery car, ending the team's hope of a double there and then and doing not inconsiderable damage to the car.
Cor Euser had also elected to start on slicks, but was having more luck with the tricky conditions. After 1 lap, he was already up into 5th place, the car now running strongly and showing great pace in Cor's hands.
The pitstops shuffled things slightly as the GT2 Esprit V8 stole the lead from Lockie out in his first lap in a healthy Evo LM600. However, Calum held onto the Esprit and was able to get back past into Pouhon.
Although the LM600 was able to get a reasonable lead over the Esprit, the Dutchman Erik Roos, in his Belcar running Viper closed right up to Lockie in the closing laps. As they started the last lap, the cars were only 1 second apart, but in increasingly heavy rain, Calum held on to take the second GT2 BRDC GT victory at Spa in as many years.
A great result for Cor's team and a result which keeps Calum Lockie right in the hunt for GT2 3rd place. Further back, Curtis Hayles followed up his great Croft result with 12th place, alongside Killian Konig, in his Mantis.
The dueling LM600s were out again at Silverstone for the final round of the BRDC GT series. Cor set fastest time in GT2 early on, but Thomas Erdos knows the International circuit at Silverstone much better and he promptly stole the pole back with a blistering lap, described as incredible by one person who saw it. The Listers, for once, were left trailing in the LM600's wake.
Above: Erdos flies to GT2 pole at Silverstone : Photo Courtesy David Lord
The race started well, especially for Cor's Evo LM600 in the hands, once again, of Calum Lockie. On a track he knows well and with some experience of the car, Calum took advantage of the GT1 mayhem on the first lap to seize an early 3rd overall in the race. Andy Purvis was somewhat more cautious in the early laps, but kept the Evo LM600 and Hewland's flying Lister Storm in sight until the pitstops.
Above: Lockie takes an impressive 3rd overall in the early laps : Photo Courtesy Marcus Potts
After the pitstops the two LM600s came out in reversed order, but right together on the track. Euser was keen to overtake Erdos in the older car, but Tommy was having none of it! The two cars traded paint coming out of Abbey (Thanks guys! That's where I chose to watch the race!), reminding me of Patrese and De Cesaris clashing at a Brands Hatch 1000KMs race in the early 80s, but carried on without mishap, with Erdos pulling away from Euser's car, which started to smoke as the race continued.
Above: Euser and Erdos trade paint on way to retirement and 2nd in class respectively : Photo Courtesy Marcus Potts
Euser, sadly dropped out of 3rd in GT2 with less than 10 minutes of the race remaining with a holed piston, but Erdos set about the GT2 leading Lister (driven by professional, Thorkild Thyrring) with style. He was taking 3 seconds a lap out of the Lister regularly, despite fading brakes, but yellow flags (ironically caused by the other LM600s oil!) saw him trapped behind a Mantis and the gap betweeen the Storm and the NCK LM600 remained at 3 seconds as the race ended.
Despite not taking a win all season, the NCK team took the GT2 teams title, which is awarded based upon qualifying performance. Hopefully, the team and drivers will be back in 2000 challenging for outright race wins, if the GT1 class is dropped as expected.
Finally, I picked up this great poster at Silverstone.
Signed by Cor Euser and Calum Lockie, I've got a second one to give away in a competition, once I've decided on the format - I suspect it'll be a case of sending me photographs of Marcos cars in action, but watch this space!
Whilst the British GT series is over, events continue and Calum Lockie, Herman Buurman and Wout Reenen, are no doubt happy about that. The trio took Cor Euser's LM600 Evo to a comfortable win in the Zandvoort 500 Km on October 30.
Promisingly, the Evo was 2 seconds a lap faster in Calum's hands than the older car in Cor's, around a circuit Calum was unfamiliar with. This lap was good enough for pole and Calum drove two thirds of the 150 minute race duration to take the victory on a circuit he described as 'a fantastic circuit'.
Cor Euser was driving an older LM600, but this car failed with a seized engine.
The team plan to take in the last round of the French GT championship - at Valencia in Spain!
Meanwhile in the UK, Marcos are talking bullishly about the 2000 series. They hope to resolve discrepancies in the English and French versions of the FIA GT2 rules to get the Evo LM600 admitted to the FIA GT series in 2000, whilst LM600s will be at the front of the field in the BRDC series, with the demise of the GT1 Class.
The GT3 Mantis will soon be ready and Marcos plan to prepare cars to both the FIA GT3 and BRDC GT3 rules and have cars out in both series.
Despite it being VERY late in the season, Cor Euser's Euroracing team were still in action. First event was the 500Km race at Zaandvort, a one-off event. Calum Lockie took pole from Cor Euser, in the Evo LM600 and come the race, the Calum drove a double stint (around an hour and a half) to take victory over the mixed field of GTs and Touring Cars, with Belgian, Herman Wout.
Final race of the season for the LM600s was the final round of the French GT series held, obtusely, at Valencia in Spain!
Once again, the LM600s were on the pace, with Cor Euser taking pole ahead of the Championship regular Vipers.
In the race, two Vipers, better used to the Championship approved Pirelli tyres, pulled away, with the LM600 running in 3rd. However, after half an hour, the car came in with much smoke eminating from the engine. The oil was topped up, but a few laps later the car retired with a broken suspension wishbone.
You can read Calum's views of these races here.