One of 200 homologation specials is to go under the hammer, and it’s all sorts of 1980s brilliant
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Buy the Stig’s* old Benetton!
A historic 1991 Benetton Formula One racing car once driven by Michael Schumacher - who once tried to be the Stig, remember - is coming up for auction later this week.
Why historic? It’s the car that seven-time world champion Schuey scored his first ever Formula One championship points in.
Quite a bit of history wrapped up in its yellow flanks then. At the start of the 1991 season Benetton had Nelson Piquet and Roberto Moreno as drivers, but after Schuey’s blistering performances in the Jordan, Benetton team boss Flavio Briatore signed him mid-season, ousting Moreno.
Schumacher’s switch from Jordan to Benetton caused quite a stir, but it was the start of his transformation into F1’s very own Terminator. Making his debut in the yellow racer at the 1991 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Schumacher would go toe-to-toe with the likes of Mansell, Senna, Prost, Alesi and Berger. Mansell took the top spot ahead of Senna, but Schuey scored his first ever points in Formula One by finishing fifth.
He followed it up in the next race at Portugal with a sixth followed by another fifth in Spain. Though his season fizzled out thereafter - he retired in both Japan and Australia - Big Schu had nevertheless made his mark.
This car was retired from the Benetton team at the end of 1991 (its successor, the Benetton B194, helped Schuey lift his first-ever world title just three years later), and has since been subject to a complete restoration, including the 3.5-litre 730bhp Ford Cosworth V8. It’s race-ready, and comes complete with Pi dashboard, a data acquisition system, spare set of wheels, assorted spares and comprehensive history file.
It’ll go under the hammer at Coys Nürburgring auction later this week, and the estimated price is not given. Expect it to be quite a large number. Any TopGear.commers fancy popping down to the ‘Ring to purchase a bit of F1 history?