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Thread: Spice SE88P Ferrari 1991

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    Jan 2007

    Spice SE88P Ferrari 1991

    The Curious Case of Spice SE88P Ferrari

    From The history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is ripe with examples of cars with unique shapes and characteristics. A virtual technological lab in real-life conditions, the legendary race has always allowed great engineers, as confidential preparers, to express themselves through their race cars. Today, we focus on a certain sort of prototype. So far, nothing extraordinary since this class is one of the most emblematic and represented since 1923. Except the car in question was powered by Ferrari. That narrows the field of potentials does it not?

    It was the early 1990s and in order to participate in the Sport-Prototype World Championship, and therefore the 24 Hours of Le Mans, private teams had their choice of a plethora of chassis available to order for a wide variety of engines. Brothers Gordon and Derek Spice had established a solid 10-year record after having amassed wins and titles in the world C2 class as well as overseas in the IMSA GT Championship. Though it was not surprising to see a good number of British C2 chassis at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the presence of the constructor Spice in the head class (Groupe C1) was more remarkable. On Tuesday, June 18, 1991, at the second day of technical and administrative verifications at the 24 Hours, spectators enjoyed the presence of a particularly unusual car which brought to mind Jaguar, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and Mazda.

    The Euro Racing team had entered the car for drivers Justin Bell, Franco Scapini and Syunji Kasuya. Its red paint, recognizable by all, revealed specificities which could strike fear in anyone. The emblem with the black prancing horse on the bright yellow of the city of Modena was clearly visible on the sides of the car. This SE88P model Spice was indeed powered by a Ferrari engine - more precisely, a turbocharged 3.5L V8. Though the effort was entirely private, far from the Scuderia's preoccupations in Formula 1, this car demures unique in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A story unfortunately cut short, the time clocked by Justin Bell at qualifying proving insufficiently fast (5:09:145) to hope to be present on the starting grid of that 59th edition.
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