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Latest news ---- Get yourself a January 2003 copy of MotorSport magazine and turn to page 72 for a seven page history and track test by Howden Ganley. If you have some spare cash go to page 135 for a full page advert for P180/02 from Hall & Hall.


Cars numbered P180/01 & P180/02

P180 /01 25 October 2001 at  

P180 /02 at Coys of Kensington BRM Anniversary at Silverstone 31/7/1999
When owned by Peter Hannen, P180 /02 was demonstrated at the BRM 50th. Anniversary at Silverstone 31/7/1999 and the Bourne parade 29th. August 1999.

Luke Chapman bought the car in November 2001. At the Third Grand Prix Historique De Monaco on 18/19 May 2002 Flavien Marcais put P180/02 on pole position only to retire on the first lap of the race with a broken fuel pump belt.

Flavien’s qualifying time of 2min. 08.863sec. was 3.7sec. ahead of the second place Brabham (five years more modern) and 4.6sec. ahead of the third place Alex Yoong (current Grand Prix driver!).
The Grand Prix De Historique, Pau meeting 25/26 May 2002 - pole position. This race saw Marcais emulate his countryman, Beltoise, and make Luke’s P180/02 a race winner again after a thirty year gap.
Nurburgring - third on both the starting grid and in the race.
Oulton Park Gold Cup - pole position and race win.

December 2002 - P180/02 was advertised for sale by Hall & Hall.


Chassis P180 Engine P142
Wheelbase 101in. Cylinders V12 60deg.
Front track 60.25in. Bore 74.6mm.
Rear track 61in. Stroke 57.1mm.
Length 165in. Capacity 2,998cc.
Width 44in. Compression 11.5 to 1
Height   Power 450bhp. @ 11,200rpm.
Frontal area   Head Alloy - four valves per cylinder via DOHC
Fuel capacity 45 gallons Transmission BRM P161
Weight 1,214lb. (830bhp. per ton) Gearbox 5-speed
    Driveline ZF limited-slip differential.
Chassis Aluminium monocoque. Clutch Borg & Beck - AP
Front suspension Double wishbones with outboard springs & Bilstein shock absorbers. Steering Rack and pinion.
Rear suspension Double radius rods and links with outboard springs & Koni shock absorbers. Brakes Lockheed discs
(Front outboard & rear inboard)
    Wheels Front 13in. x 10in.
Rear 15in. x 16in.
    Tyres 16in. x 20in. x 13in. front
16in. x 26in. x 15in. rear


1972 was to be a year of change for BRM. With their new sponsors, the Marlboro cigarette company, they had decided to run a huge team. It was to consist of a main "A" team of three cars for Beltoise, Gethin and Ganley, and also a second "B" team of Marko, van Lennep and Soler-Roig. The season was to start with the previous years P160 cars and also some of the older P153 cars, but the aim was that the "A" team would use the new P180 model as soon as possible. All of the P153, P160 & P180 models would use the 3 litre V12-cylinder engine and BRM's own gearbox - the team was a 1970's rarity in that they still aimed to produce the whole package "in house". Questions were widely asked - would the team be able to keep a full team of cars and engines in good order throughout the year and also develop the new P180?
Marlboro was following their cigarette rivals at Lotus in becoming a very high profile advertiser. Lotus had moved on from the white, red, and gold of Gold Leaf Team Lotus to the black and gold of John Player Special but the car was still a "Lotus 72" whatever colour they may have been. BRM were also following Lotus in the format of the new P180 - would it prove as difficult to bring to race winning form as the Lotus 72 had been?

The new car had a flat-bottomed monocoque with an overall wedge shape provided by complex curved upper surfaces. Twin radiators were mounted at the rear, leaving the nose free to be shaped for best combination of down-force and streamlining. The streamlining was carried throughout the car. The cockpit surround was a detachable panel that enclosed the driver to the extent that the top of the steering wheel appeared through a slot in the cowling. At the rear the car had all-enveloping bodywork, apart from various air scoops required for the water and oil radiators, inboard brakes, etc The rear bodywork was topped of with the fashionable large engine air-intake.

South African GP (4/3/1972) The first P180 was expected. It had been made and was being tested but was not in time to be taken to the race.

Spanish GP (1/5/1972) - Two P180s were taken to the race, along with the older P160/01 (for Beltoise if he was not happy with his P180), P160/03 (for Soler-Roig), P160/04 (for Ganley) and P160/05 (for Wisell). In practice Gethin (P180/01) had trouble with the brakes causing instability into the corners, he covered a total of 47 practice laps. Beltoise (P180/02) did just 16 practice laps and then concentrated on his P160 from the previous year and used it in the race.
Gethin (P180/01) started 21st. out of 25 at 1:22.43 - 4th. of 5 BRMs
Beltoise (P160/01) started 7th. out of 25 at 1:19.57 - 1st. of 5 BRMs
Beltoise (P180/01) time of 1:21.83 would have put him just head of Gethin - 21st. out of 25 - 3rd. of 5 BRMs
(pole position - J. Ickx Ferrari 312B2 at 1:18.43)
Gethin (P180/01) retired on lap 65 out of 90 with engine problems.

Monaco GP (14/5/1972) - In practice Ganley (P180/02) qualified 20th. out of 25 at 1:24.7 - 5th. of 5 BRMs
(pole position - E.Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72 at 1:21.4)
Ganley (P180/02) retired on lap 48 of 80. When Mike Hailwood (Surtees-Cosworth TS9B) slowed earlier than expected at the Gasometer Hairpin the BRM's new chisel nose slid under the rear of the Surtees putting them both out of the race.
But the rain-soaked race brought victory to Beltoise in BRM P160/01 - he did not fancy the P180 and the result proved him right!

Belgian GP (4/6/1972) - As P180/01 was in bits at the workshops and P180/02 had suffered minor damage at Oulton Park, none of the new cars were at the race.

Austrian GP (13/8/1972) - A revised P180 was to be run but as insufficient engines were available the car stayed at Bourne. Was this a sign of the failings of the "six car team" plan?

Italian GP (10/9/1972) - A single P180 reappeared with revised weight distribution, airflow and suspension geometry.
JP Beltoise (P180/02) started 16th. out of 25 at 1: 37:82 - 3rd. of 4 BRMs
(pole position - J. Ickx Ferrari 312B2 at 1:35.65)
JP Beltoise (P180/02) finished 9th one lap down - second out of the 4 BRMs all of which finished.

Canadian GP (24/9/1972) - Both of the P180s were in use.
JP Beltoise (P180/02) started 20th. out of 24 at 1: 16.8 - 3rd of 4 BRMs after a fright in practice when a rear radius rod broke.
Bill Brack (P180/01) started 23rd. out of 24 at 1: 17.9 - 4th of 4 BRMs
(pole position - P. Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19C at 1:13.6)
Bill Brack (P180/01) retired on lap 21 out of 80 - crash with minor damage.
JP Beltoise (P180/02) retired on lap 22 out of 80 - engine problems.

US GP (8/10/1972) - Both of the P180s were again in use.
JP Beltoise (P180/02) started 18th. out of 31 at 1: 44.24 - 2nd. of 4 BRMs
Brian Redman (P180/01) started 24th. out of 31 at 1: 44.93 - 3rd. of 4 BRMs
(pole position - J. Stewart Tyrell-Cosworth 005 at 1:40.48)
Brian Redman (P180/01) retired on lap 35 out of 59 with broken connecting rod.
JP Beltoise (P180/02) retired on lap 41 out of 59 with broken throttle return spring and distributor problems.

John Player Victory Meeting, Brands Hatch (22/10/1972) - The race started in damp conditions due to light rain. Many cars started with wet weather tyres including the new champion Fittipaldi in his Lotus 72. Beltoise started with "intermediate" tyres on his P180. The race got underway with Beltoise in fifth place happy with the drying conditions. The BRM P180 was able to work its way past those in front of him to take the lead by the 14th lap. His lead was consolidated as others stopped to fit more appropriate tyres. The 40-lap race was won by a little over five seconds, but that was enough to bring the P180 out of the shadows of a difficult development to the spotlight of a Formula One winner. To add to the BRM result, Vern Schuppan was fourth in BRM P160/5 and Peter Gethin was fifth in P160/6. As a final bonus the Marlboro cigarette sponsored team won the race sponsored by the rival John Player cigarette company.

So the P180 ended the year as a winner, but for 1973 BRM gave up on the car and concentrated on an improved version of the P160.

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V1.6 - 21 December 2002.

David John Hodgkinson 2000-2002. All rights reserved.