Time for tea? Senna makes his mark

Just how exciting can some scanned in race results be? Well, going by the number of dropped jaws when this was spotted in the PH offices quite a lot. So we thought we'd share them with you.

Worth a closer look - unbelievable!
Worth a closer look - unbelievable!
It dates from May 12 1984 and the opening of the new Nurburgring GP track. This coincided with the launch of the Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, perhaps the most un-Mercedes car ever to bear a three-pointed star. Bear in mind most Mercs of the era still had lashings of chrome and velour. And still make Garlick come over a bit funny. This one had a bodykit and a high revving 16-valve four-cylinder tweaked, famously, by Cosworth.

Car and track met in memorable style with a Nurburgring Champions Mercedes-Benz Cup. The weather was filthy, the track barely finished and bordered by mud. Hardly anyone was apparently there to watch. Which is criminal when you look at the list of names on the sheet. Pretty much any F1 driver of note and alive in 1984 was there. So you had Moss versus Hunt. Phil Hill and Jack Brabham. Jody Scheckter and Keke Rosberg. And two young upstarts, one called Prost and another called Senna.

Senna used all the new track and more
Senna used all the new track and more
The printout alone tells an amazing story and is worth studying in detail. Scheckter was clearly on a flier and was the only one to break into the 2:12s but didn't get near the podium. Old dog Jack Brabham was faster than Prost, De-Angelis, Hunt and many others. Carlos Reutemann beat the lot and was on the podium. Niki Lauda, the man whose terrible accident inspired the building of the new circuit, was in second. But at the top, having beaten quite possibly the most incredible field of drivers ever assembled in one place, was a young Brazilian. Senna. You may have heard of him.

And having gazed at the time sheet it's worth a look at this video too. In conditions more akin to rallycross than saloon car racing Senna dominated - check out John Surtees' assessment. Enzo should have listened.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (121) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Turbo Harry 25 Nov 2011

    Jody Scheckter wasn't slow was he?

    Maybe Senna was just more ruthless at overtaking.

  • Daaaveee 25 Nov 2011

    Turbo Harry said:
    Maybe Senna was just more ruthless at overtaking.
    I guess that explains how he was still pulling away when in first? wink Awesome footage, thanks for sharing.

  • Frances The Mute 25 Nov 2011

    Niki Lauda, the man whose terrible accident inspired the building of the new circuit, was in second.
    His accident didn't really inspire the creation of a new circuit.

    As a result of his accident, the Nordschleife was boycotted once and for all by F1 after several years of difficulties between the operators and the F1 administration.

    The GP Strecke was separate to this and was updated years later to attract F1 back to the region.

  • Vocal Minority 25 Nov 2011

    Without wanting to widdle all over a great story, and not disputing the credentials of a Mr A Senna for a moment, but this always gets blown a smidge out of proportion, as the other drivers were rather startled by how seriously Senna was taking it compared to them...

  • pSyCoSiS 25 Nov 2011

    Senna was absolutely amazing at what he did.

    You guys seen his film / documentary?

    He was on a totally different level.....

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