The Formula One (F1) car in which the late Ayrton Senna first scored points in the motorsport championship is about to go up for sale.
Cars International are offering the chance to collectors to buy this very car in this, the 20th anniversary year of his death.
Senna was killed during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix when his leading Williams car sped off the Imola track and hit a concrete wall. He is the last person to have died at the wheel of an F1 car, only a day after the rookie driver Roland Ratzenberger sped off the track during the qualifying race.
Having claimed the title of World Champion three times, Senna is still regarded to this day as one of the all-time greatest F1 drivers.
His first point scoring car, the TG183B that is to be sold by Cars International, was designed by Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds for the privateer F1 team Toleman. Back in 1983, this team was struggling to get good results against those that were led by manufacturers.
However, their luck began to change when the team’s managing director Alex Hawkridge signed Senna. At the time, this racer was a rising star and was the current F3 Champion.
Getting behind the wheel of this TG183B, Senna made his F1 debut as part of the Toleman team. Within the first two races, he and the team were in the spotlight and his F1 career and icon status got underway.
Speaking about the decision to hire Senna, Hawkridge told Keith Adams of Classic and Performance Car in 1990: “We couldn’t hire a superstar [too expensive] or even a current experienced driver on a minimum retainer – our cars wouldn’t get a fair showing in the hands of an average Formula 1 driver.
“We had to go for young talent. We had to have someone good enough to progress the car, and we knew that Ayrton was capable of doing that.”
Chassis no. 5 first appeared to the public with Senna behind the wheel in his first F1 race at The Grand Premio do Brazil in Rio De Janeiro on March 25th 1984. In this race, Senna qualified in 17th place overall but then suffered Turbo failure less than ten laps into the actual race, making him the first retirement.
Senna and Toleman had more luck in future races, though. The car was used in the first four rounds of the 1984 F1 season. During Kyalami, Senna qualified in 13th and finished in 6th place, resulting in his first championship point. Next, he took part in the Belgium Grand Prix at Zolder and qualified in 19th and finished in 7th. His standing was later promoted to 6th because of a disqualification. His last race in the TC183B 05 was was at the San Marino Grand Prix Imola and was the only race where he didn’t qualify.
After that, the car was retired and retained but has not been repatriated back to the UK. It comes with an original Hart Turbo engine, a spare block from Toleman team and documentation of its history in full since it left Toleman.
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