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  Article Image gallery (55) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Produced from:1992 - 1994
Numbers built:73
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 13, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDuring the early 1990s, French sports car broker Stéphane Ratel recognised a niche in the market. After the demise of GT racing almost a decade earlier, gentlemen drivers had few options to go racing. One exception was the Porsche Cup, which was a spec series for mildly modified 911s. Ratel decided to take a page from the Porsche book and create a single specification championship of his own.

To build the car for his friends/customers to race, Ratel turned to small French manufacturer Venturi. The company owners clearly appreciated the idea and named Ratel Venturi motorsports director. In that position, he oversaw the development of what would become the Venturi 400 Trophy. Starting in 1992, Venturi customers could compete in the six-race series for a budget of little over 100,000 French Francs.

The car was built around a steel monocoque with double wishbone suspension on all four corners. Mounted amidships was a twin-turbo version of the venerable PRV V6 engine. Displacing just under three litres, it produced 400 bhp in this application, which was reference in the 400 Trophy type name. The new Venturi racer was clothed in a carbon-fibre composite and Kevlar body, which was a development of the existing Venturi design.

The Venturi Trophy proved a resounding success, and between 1992 and 1994 a staggering 73 examples of the Venturi racer were built. In 1994, Venturi also launched the similar but fully road-legal 400 GT. Following their racing career, some of the Trophy cars were also converted to road cars. The 400 Trophy also formed the basis for proper GT racers that competed at Le Mans and other sports car races from 1993 onwards.

The 400 Trophy's lasting legacy was the formation of the BPR Series by Porsche Cup supremo Jürgen Barth, French Ferrari Challenge organiser Patrick Peter and Stephane Ratel. The new championship helped kick-start international GT racing and formed the basis of the subsequent FIA GT and GT3 series that continue to this day.

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  Article Image gallery (55) Chassis (3) Specifications