Car addict or not, you have likely heard at least a little bit about Ayrton Senna. He made history in Formula One while driving for Toleman, Lotus, McLaren and Williams. Unfortunately his career ended tragically when he was involved in a tragic accident on May 1st, 1994 during the San Marino Grand Prix.
Even though 19 years have passed since his fatal accident, people are still remember him. As a testament to his legacy, Hungarian magazine totalcarmagazine.com put together a very nice tribute video.
It presents the best moments from Senna’s racing history, but also the moment of the crash. To make the tribute even better, professional touring car driver Norbert Michelisz got behind the wheel of an Acura NSX and pushed it to the limit. The model was chosen because it was the model driven by Senna while donning the Honda helmet.
Check the video and let us know what you think about Ayrton Senna.
Ayrton Senna was arguably the greatest racer to have ever competed in Formula One, and even though Michael Schumacher’s record may look a little better on paper, statistics don’t tell you the true story of what made Senna the stuff of legends. Not only is Ayrton’s nephew Bruno Senna currently racing for the Williams F1 team, the great man himself has even had a film dedicated to his illustrious career, ending with his untimely death at Imola in 1994.
However, all Senna fans out there have a chance to own a one-off piece of memorabilia which is expected to sell for around $20,000. And, it’s none other than the very first steering wheel Senna used in his first race way back at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix, and if you ask us, $20,000 seems to be a bargain.
Sure you could by a small sports car like the Mazda MX-5 Miata for that money, but if this estimated price proves to be accurate, it’ll be a hell of a lot cheaper than his helmet which recently sold for $114,000 and one of his racing suits which was sold for $54,000. Silverstone Auctions has been on a Senna memorabilia selling frenzy over the past few months, selling the aforementioned pieces as well as his Toleman TG-184 F1 car which sold for an undisclosed amount last month.
What makes this particular piece so special is that it’s signed and dated by Senna himself, so chances are it will gain value in the coming years.
In 1984, the late Ayrton Senna made his debut in F1 racing by taking second place in a rain-shortened Monaco Grand Prix while driving a Toleman TG184-2 open-wheel racer. You can see this exact car overtaking second place at the 2:33 mark in the above video. Ten years later, in the 1994 racing season, Senna’s life ended abruptly during a freak accident at the San Marino Grand Prix. The legend of this three-time F1 World Champion lives on, as Silverstone Auctions has announced that the Toleman TG184 that Senna made his debut in is coming to auction on May 16, 2012.
Despite the age of this race car, its 1.5-liter engine is still a highly technical piece of machinery that produces horsepower in the range of the 2.4-liter V-8 engines used in today’s F1 series. Though this vehicle is not one that is setup for road driving, it is something that would be neat for a collector to have in his garage. However, it is not without its flaws and uncertainties.
Hit the jump for more details on Ayrton Senna’s F1 race car.
Automotive fanatic or not, there is no one in this world that hasn’t heard the name Ayrton Senna. He is considered by many as the greatest Formula 1 driver ever. He entered Formula 1 in 1984 and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions.
In 1989, when he raced at Suzuka, he was driving for McLaren. At the Suzuka Circuit in Japan that year, he had a little collision with Prost - also working for McLaren. After the collision, Senna pitted to replace the damaged nose of his car, and rejoined the race in which he inevitably ended up crossing the finish line in first place. Unfortunately, he was disqualified by the FIA for cutting the chicane after the collision and for crossing into the pit lane entry. Senna’s disqualification caused Prost to be given the win. Senna finished the season second with six wins and one second place.
Ayrton Senna won his last world driving championship in 1991, driving the McLaren MP4-6 with a Honda V-12 engine. Senna won seven of 16 races that year, a feat he’d never again duplicate. At the end of the 1991 season, McLaren tore down one of Senna’s MP4-6 cars and gave some of the parts to artist Jay Burridge, who in turn created a sculpture he describes as “the world’s largest Airfix (plastic model) kit.” The art will be offered for sale at an upcoming Coys Auction, to be held at Germany’s Nürburgring on August 13, 2011.
Whether you love or hate the idea of a historically significant race car being transformed into wall art, there’s no denying that the piece is unique and would be a stunning addition to anyone’s collection. Much of the car is missing, such as Senna’s seat and steering wheel, and the Honda V-12 engine is another glaring omission from the sculpture. Coys describes the piece as using “Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4-6 from his last season as world champion,” but it’s not clear on whether the chassis used in the display was Senna’s primary car or a backup car.
If you’re interested in bidding, be prepared to part with a significant amount of money to acquire this particular piece of sculpture. Thanks to the success of the Ayrton Senna biopic, “Senna,” any memorabilia relating to the Brazilian driver is in high demand. Pre-auction estimates have the sculpture selling between $50,000 and $80,000, but as anyone who’s ever attended an auction will tell you, there’s no limit in a bidding war.
Car enthusiast or not, there is no one in this world who hasn’t heard about Ayrton Senna or about his tragic end. This three time Formula One world champion is a man that will be remembered in the racing world as a true legend, and Hublot is paying tribute to this phenomenal racer with a very special timepiece called the Hublot Ayrton Senna Tourbillon Watch. So special, in fact, that only 10 of them will be produced, all made from an array of high-tech materials used in Formula One.
This tributary watch comes in a case made entirely of carbon fiber and features a new ceramic bezel formed in the shape of a F1 brake disk. The strap is made with a synthetic fiber developed by Dupont De Nemours called Nomex, which, thanks to its very low combustibility and thermostability, is also used to make the racing garbs donned by Formula One drivers. The watch is made from 269 components and features a special in-house movement named HUB 6300.
Making this timepiece even more incredible is the fact that in comes in an exceptional Hublot presentation case. This case is made entirely of carbon fiber and features a perfect replica of Ayrton Senna’s helmet on the back.
Six of the type 99T chassis were manufactured by Team Lotus for the 1987 season for drivers Senna and teammate Satoru Nakajima. This particular car, however, was exclusively driven by Senna and earned him the top tier of the podium at both the Monaco and Detroit Grands Prix. He raced the car in 11 GPs taking a total of six podiums that season.
The 1.5 liter Honda turbo V6 engine produces a mind-boggling 1,000 horsepower. Acceleration (0-62mph) takes an astonishing 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 205mph. During race time, engines would be replaced at a maximum of 311 miles. Super soft qualifying tires lasted 12.5 miles and harder race tires lasted up to 199 miles. You didn’t actually drive this – more like clung on for dear life. It’s these cars and drivers from the turbo era that made F1 racing so exciting – much of which is gone nowadays.
Ayrton Senna will be forever remembered for his skill both behind the wheel and in the garage, and his sheer tenacity on the circuit. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and visit this mad machine at Top Gear Live being held at Earls Court from November 4th-7th and the NEC in Birmingham between November 11th-14th.
Ask any true car and racing fan who the greatest race car driver in history is and one name will be mentioned more often than the others.
With all due respect to Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio but majority of people will tell you that the greatest racer of all time is Ayrton Senna.
Tragically, the great Senna isn’t around to bask in the glory of his place in the racing hierarchy. But it doesn’t mean that all his fans – us included – can’t appreciate the man and the legend, even if it’s through a documentary.
Believe us, if there’s one documentary that you should watch, it’s this one. The biopic, which is being called ‘Ayrton Senna – Beyond The Speed Of Sound’, gives us the first look at the man behind three Formula One world championships. We’ve seen some Senna documentaries in the past, but none of them have gone to great lengths to portray the man as this documentary has done. From the triumphs, to his feud with Alain Prost, and sadly, to his untimely death, Beyond The Speed Of Sound paints the clearest picture of who the man many say is the greatest race car driver of all time.