With its short wheelbase (nearly a full meter less than the current cars) and curved lines, the MP4/8 is from an era of very distinctive McLaren racers. Although plagued by the underpowered Ford-Cosworth HB V8, at the hands of Ayrton Senna, this was still a very capable car, wining nearly a third of all races in the 1993 championship.
With only 502 road going examples ever built, 500 being black, the long named Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16v Evolution II was apparently completely sold out before it was presented at Geneva in 1990. The Evo II wore a heavily revised bodykit compared to its predecessor, this was developed in a wind tunnel at the university of Stuttgart by Prof. Richard Eppler where it famously reduced drag and increased downforce. Rumours had it, that BMW’s research and development chief, Wolfgang Reitzle commented: “the laws of aerodynamics must be different between Munich and Stuttgart; if that rear wing works, we’ll have to redesign our wind tunnel.” Apparently, they did! The Evo II went on to emphatically dominate the 1992 DTM series with the championship win and 46 podium finishes.
The 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix started off on a cold day with a wet track and darkening clouds advocating a tricky race. Ayrton started on his first ever pole in the Lotus 97T which had never been tested in the rain. The trouser browning 1.5 litre turbocharged Renault V6 with its near 1,000 bhp output held together by a 540 kg car, weren’t exactly rain friendly specs either considering the savage power delivery these early forced induction engines had. The 25 year old Brazilian mastered these variables, lap after lap, without a single fault, while conditions worsened causing seventeen other drivers, most, wildly experienced to register DNF’s. Alain Prost, curiously spun on the start finish straight just before being lapped by Senna. The race was ultimately cut short by three laps due to the two hour time limit, Michele Alboreto finished second, more than a minute behind Senna, while every other driver still racing, had been lapped. Ayrton’s first win, emerged into his first grand slam. This was the first time, the general public would have the priviledge to observe Ayrton’s mastery and telepathic communication with a race car, while teasing its limit on a track, a man who would not take second place and to which racing, owes great gratitude.
This rock star won in the DTM Championship in 1993 with the drivers Alessandro Nannini and Nicola Larini, the latter also the first in the Drivers Championship with no fewer than 10 wins out of 20 races