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  Ecosse C285 Cosworth      

  Article Image gallery (28) 002 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1985
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Ray Mallock for Ecurie Ecosse
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 04, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionEstablished by Scottish businessman David Murray in 1951, Ecurie Ecosse was one of the leading privateer racing teams during the 1950s. Victories at Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 were the team's biggest achievements. The original team ceased operation in 1971. A decade later the rights to the name were acquired by racer Hugh McCaig with an eye on taking the Scottish team back to Le Mans.

During its original iteration, Ecurie Ecosse ran competition cars built by the likes of Jaguar but by the early 1980s, the options for competitive customer racing cars were limited. Instead, a plan was devised to build a proprietary Ecosse racer to compete in the Group C2 class. Ray Mallock was hired to both design and drive the new car. He had previously helped create the Aston Martin Nimrod Group C car, which he also raced at Le Mans on three occasions.

A few corners were cut to get the team on the grid in 1984 by acquiring an old De Cadenent-Lola Group 6 racer that had already competed at Le Mans four times between 1977 and 1980. Mallock created brand-new coupe bodywork to transform the car to Group C2 specifications. Dubbed the Ecosse C284, the car was raced in the 1984 World Sports Car Championship until a fiery accident brought a premature end to its racing career during a Thundersports race at Silverstone in July.

For the 1985 season, Mallock created a brand new car. It followed the same lines as the destroyed C284 but with a stronger aluminium honeycomb monocoque. Power came from a Swindon Engines prepared Cosworth DFL V8. The engine was mounted in a steel tubular subframe together with the Hewland five-speed gearbox. The bodywork fitted to the new C285 was a further development of the body used in 1984. This in turn had been a scaled down version of what Mallock had penned for the Nimrod.

The new C285 debuted at the season opening Monza 1000 km, where it immediately impressed. Mike Wilds and Ray Mallock finished second in class in the race that was curtailed after a tree had fallen on the track. The Ecosse then managed to win the C2 class at Silverstone and scored two more class wins later in the year. At Le Mans, luck was not on Ecurie Ecosse's side as an oil-pump failure prompted a retirement. In the World Championship, the team was beaten only by Spice Engineering.

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  Article Image gallery (28) 002 Specifications