In Spring 1973 Julien Verneave (BMC works driver and distributor of Leyland Cars Belgium) ordered the build of a Dolomite Sprint Group 1 race car. Chassis 2493 was taken from the Triumph Coventry factory in August 1973 and with factory support from Abingdon Motorsports department (with BMC guru Don Moore allocated to the engine) the car was built over the winter of 1973. Verneave, a long established BMC works driver had collaborated with Abingdon and Moore for many years during his time in Mini Coopers, with which he had achieved European Touring Car Championship success in the late 1960’s. Verneave also won the 1966 Marathon de la Route (84 hours of Nurburgring) with Andrew Hedges beating the Ferraris to finish 1st with the works MGB entry “Old Faithful”.
Chassis 2493, originally Mimosa Yellow and sponsored and supported by combined Butch Tailors Racing Team/Broadspeed, campaigned the Belgian Touring Car Championship through the mid 790’s visiting Spa on multiple occasions. The car entered Spa 24 Hours in both 1974 and 1975 paired with works driver Julien Verneave and John Handley. The car showed great promise on both occasions, however failing to finish in 1974 and placing as high as 8th in 1975 before retiring in the early hours of the morning.
The car was sent back to the UK at the end of 1975 to receive the latest works homologated upgrades (a new thick block engine and Weber 48’s) and at the request of BL repainted in Leyland Cars works livery, in which it remains today. The car returned to the race tracks of Belgium and The Netherlands to campaign the Belgian Championship again this time sharing with Rene Metge and works rally driver Tony Pond. The car performed well with a number of outright podiums, multiple class wins and some lap records.
The car was retired in 1978 and was then kept for several years in the Verneave British Leyland showroom in Gent. In the early 1980’s Verneave lent the car to the Abbye de Stavelot Museum st Spa Frncochamps before selling the car to Spa stalwart Barry Sidery Smith in 1986 when Verneave was unwell (something he always regretted doing when he recovered!). Barry kept the car in the Museum until bringing the car back to the UK in 1989. He raced the car once at Oulton Park in 1998 and again lent the car to the Stavelot museum where it remained until 2009 when it was bought by Anthony Robinson.
Robinson recommissioned the car having the original Don Moore engine and gearbox rebuilt in 2016 by Warren Heath Engineering. In 2019 both were refreshed by Warren Heath and the car has new FIA HTP papers.
Following the introduction of the headline race, the Gerry Marshall Trophy at Goodwood Members Meeting, Group 1 racing has gained a new momentum and this car is a regular class winner.
The car comes with its well-known history fully documented and a spares package that includes the wheels and slicks last used by Verneave in 1977!!£100,000.00 ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS VEHICLE