JANUARY 12, 2009
BRM name to be revived
The BRM name is to be revived in 2009, the 60th anniversary of the celebrated racing name entering the sport. British Racing Motors was the brainchild of Raymond Mays - who had been the major force behind English Racing Automobiles (ERA) in the 1930s. Mays established his new organisation in Bourne, Lincolnshire, in 1947 but the first car, designed by Peter Berthon, did not begin testing until 1949 and did not race until the International Trophy at Silverstone in August 1950. The team ownership passed into the hands of the Rubery Own, one of the biggest industrial empires in the world at the time, spanning 40 different corporations, and the team became known as the Owen Racing Organisation, though the cars were still referred to as BRMs. There was an upturn in fortunes in the year that followed and the team scored its first international victories in 1955. In 1961 Sir Alfred Owen threatened to close the team down if it was not a success and the new BRM P57, designed by Tony Rudd, and driven by Graham Hill swept to the World Championships. In the years that followed BRM was a competitive force in F1 with Hill, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and others. Gradually, however, Team Lotus began to dominate and eventually Owen handed over control to his sister Jean and her husband Louis Stanley but fortunes did not really improve and the team went into liquidation at the end of 1974. It was restarted as Stanley-BRM but this faded away completely by 1979. The team had competed in 197 Grands Prix and won 17 of them.
The latest BRM is the brainchild of Paul Owen, the grandson of Sir Alfred, who is managing director of Rubery Owen's Rozone Ltd, a company that develops environmental technology. The new BRM will be an electric racing vehicle and will be known as the BRM Bee Four ERV. This was designed by former Team Lotus engineer Martin Ogilvie, and is an all-electric 4WD racing machine, capable of producing 700hp. Participants in the project include Rubery Owen, Oxford University, Oxford Brookes and MIRA Ltd .
The car will participate in the 2009 British Speed Hill Climb championships with Graeme Wight Jr as its driver.