Race of my Life: Martin Brundle on the 1991 British Empire Trophy

The latest episode in Autosport’s Race of My Life podcast series is Martin Brundle, talking about an amazing drive in his Jaguar Group C car at Silverstone that was so good it made him cry.

Race of my Life: Martin Brundle on the 1991 British Empire Trophy
Listen to this article

Race: 1991 British Empire Trophy, Silverstone

Car: Jaguar XJR-14

Even when I sat in a balsawood mock-up of that Jaguar XJR-14 it felt absolutely right. It had more grip in one tyre than my Brabham Formula 1 car altogether.

It was fun just to see how stupidly fast you could go through a corner.

David Brabham, Jaguar XJR-14

David Brabham, Jaguar XJR-14

Photo by: Sutton Images

Derek Warwick, David Brabham, Jaguar XJR-14

Derek Warwick, David Brabham, Jaguar XJR-14

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick and I did two stints each that season. I used to drive both cars and didn't score points because the other two were the main drivers. I had already finished first and second at Monza!

At Silverstone I put 'Fabi's car' on pole but started Warwick's car from second place. Quite early on the throttle cable broke coming through Woodcote and I coasted between two cones to get it back to the pits. We lost about 10 minutes fixing it, so the team decided to put Warwick in Fabi's car so both of them could score points.

After that I went out and just drove dementedly, passing cars left, right and centre.

Ross Brawn, Jaguar co-designer, with Jaguar team mates Teo Fabi and Martin Brundle

Ross Brawn, Jaguar co-designer, with Jaguar team mates Teo Fabi and Martin Brundle

Photo by: Sutton Images

Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle, Jaguar XJR-14

Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle, Jaguar XJR-14

Photo by: Motorsport Images

About an hour-and-a-half in, the team put out a board saying I was 14th and it completely did my head in. After that amount of time driving like a lunatic, I thought I would have been in the top 10 at least, so I screamed on the radio to put the board away after that.

I set the fastest lap of the race with half-an-hour to go and took three laps out of Fabi and Warwick in their car. I pulled a move on Fabi at Vale and nearly ran into him!

Read Also:

I finished third, but I had no drink in the car because I wasn't expecting to drive more than 45 minutes and I was knackered. As soon as you switch the adrenaline off, you are absolutely done for and it can have a strange effect on you.

In parc ferme, I started crying. When the team came to get me, I said, "I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm crying, I am actually OK." I was trying to laugh the situation off, but I was just crying my eyes out. I couldn't even hold my head up on the podium, it must have been a miserable sight.

Martin Brundle, Derek Warwick, Jaguar Racing

Martin Brundle, Derek Warwick, Jaguar Racing

Photo by: Sutton Images

Derek Warwick, Teo Fabi, Jaguar Racing, Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Team Sauber Mercedes. Martin Brundle, Silk Cut Jaguar, Tom Walkinshaw, Silk Cut Jaguar and TWR team principal

Derek Warwick, Teo Fabi, Jaguar Racing, Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Team Sauber Mercedes. Martin Brundle, Silk Cut Jaguar, Tom Walkinshaw, Silk Cut Jaguar and TWR team principal

Photo by: Sutton Images

In the press conference I was asked, "How hard was it to drive the whole race?" Michael Schumacher – who finished second – snapped his head around and asked, "You drove the whole race?"

I had never met Schumacher before and we're mates now, but he didn't want to give me any satisfaction so he just dismissed it with his facial expression, as only Michael could.

I laughed my head off.

Interview by Simon Strang, first published in Autosport magazine, 13 May 2010

 
shares
comments
Glickenhaus to field two hypercars in 2021 WEC season
Previous article

Glickenhaus to field two hypercars in 2021 WEC season

Next article

Vanthoor "fears the worst" for GTE after Porsche's IMSA exit

Vanthoor "fears the worst" for GTE after Porsche's IMSA exit
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Prime

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Motorsport.com writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Prime

Motorsport.com writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022.

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Prime

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Prime

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Prime

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022