John Churchill / Ron Cumming - March 'Lancia Stratos' ( 1987 )

London-based Irishman John Churchill had become a regular in GT circles with first one of the Racing Fabrications Lotus Elans in 1984 and then a Lotus Europa silhouette in 1986 when he took 4 wins in the Donington Transnational GT taking the 'big' runner-up spot.
For 1987 John debuted a new car in the shape of a Lancia Stratos ,though from my photo below you can see its actually a stretched body at the rear as it used a Formula 2 March 832 monocoque underneath and BMW M12 engine. Retaining the single-seat configuration it made for a change in GT racing from the many Esprits ,M1s and Europas. The March doner car having come back from South Africa.
John's company Churchill Construction began to sponsor the Brands Hatch-based BHRC Winter Warmer series. John won all 3 rounds in November 1988 to win outright. His fastest challenger was Ron Cumming in the ex-Paul AC 3000 silhouette and it was Ron who purchased the Stratos when the car was later offered for sale at £24k .
Ron painted the car black and won class E of the BHL Silhouette Specials in 1991 winning every round competed but had to settle to overall runner-up after missing 3 rounds whilst racing in Scotland though undefeated that season. Rupert Russell winning in his class D Davrian 97 points to Ron's 90 in the Brands Hatch-based series. The purposful all black car shouldnt be confused with the equally striking Esprit of Chris Crawford which raced around the same time.

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