A man from the United Kingdom is developing his own endurance race car inspired by the iconic Group C race cars of the 1980s, and he's now provided the first details.
It's called the Tertre Rouge, the name borrowed from a corner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans' Circuit de la Sarthe, and it's the brainchild of Mark Sparrow who has been a fan of Group C race cars ever since he saw them compete at Le Mans as a child in 1989.
Sparrow is a mechanical engineer who last decade was involved with the BepiColombo space probe that's currently on its way to the planet Mercury. Today he runs his own business contracting for the aerospace industry, and while he's not focused there he's working on the Tertre Rouge which he plans to make legal on the street, at least in Europe where low-volume builds don't require expensive crash testing like in the U.S.
His goal is to create a car that can match or exceed the performance of Group C race cars like the Mazda 787B and Porsche 956, and just like those race cars his Tertre Rouge will be largely devoid of driver aids like electronic stability and traction control.
Sparrow plans a steel tube-frame chassis with an integrated roll cage and a body made from various composite materials. The targeted weight is around 2,100 pounds.
Peak power of around 750 hp will come from a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 based on a Mercedes design from the 1990s, specifically the M119, and drive will be to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential transmission supplied by the U.K.'s Elite Transmissions, a company that specializes in racing transmissions.
Testing will take place both in the wind tunnel and at racetracks, including at the U.K.'s Donington Park Circuit. According to Sparrow, the body's aerodynamics are optimized for speeds approaching 250 mph.
Sparrow plans to start production of the car around 2025. No more than 20 examples will be built, each priced around 750,000 British pounds (approximately $911,000). With the funds he generates, he plans to take the car racing. Potential series include the endurance series held at the Nürburgring or even in historic racing events for Group C cars. His dream would be for the Tertre Rouge to compete at Le Mans, though.