January 18, 2011

The Adventures of Flipper.

Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR 1997

A heady time in FIA GT racing, that moment when a production car derived series peaked, completely out of control.
How fabulous, Mercedes CLK-GTR vs Porsche GT1 vs Mclaren F1 GTR. Excess at its best.

Of those crazy machines, two famously flipped (one with Mark Webber), one never did. Which was your favorite?
Edit: Colin correctly points out it was not the MB CLK-gtr that flipped at LeMans but its successor, the CLR...

McLaren F1 GTR Steve Soper Donnington 1997Porsche GT1 HDR


end of post


  1. I think you have the CLK-GTR confused with the CLR. The CLR is the car that flipped at Le Mans in 1999...two completely different cars, if you look at them side by side.

  2. @Colin You are right, but why spoil a good title with the facts :).... the CLR was the V8 replacement for the this car, in 99. THAT was the one that flipped. A Porsche GT1 did flip in the same way as well..

  3. After those crashes, Aerodynamic studies showed that the side section of those cars was very similar to a wing, in terms or air stream. So a very small pitch change, like those happened in Le Mans and Road Atlanta was enough to make them airborne.

    Anyway, the most staggering thing about the Mercedes crash was the team's reaction, at least from what Webber said in an interview years later (he was part of the team and also had a great flip in LM).

    He said that after Dumbreck crashed into the trees, the team was sure that the driver was dead and started blaming him for the accident, speaking of a line mistake.
    Mark was pretty disgusted by that, and so was Peter when he knew that after emerging alive from the wreck...

  4. The early years of FiA GT was great. Not to say that it's BORING now, quite on the contrary, but, you know, the old days :P.

    Personally, i want to see more titanium underbody sliders and overrun flame balls.

    Kind of ridiculous that they built that car in 128 (First test).

    I love the old Panoz there as well. It reminds me of an old WWII fighter airplane with the long nose and the driver sitting so far back.

    Among all the cars that were running back then, i still have to admit that the F1 GTR was the best sounding. That S70 lump was just glorious.
    Wonder if one can build his own with two Euro-Spec S50 lumps :D.

    Great video as always. Love the cursing mechanics that they left in it.

  5. Any insight into the shifting mechanism on the CLK GTR? What are the two alternating gear levers (I assume) all about?

  6. I presume the alternating levers were developed for Nannini.
    Nannini after having his right hand surgically reapplied (he lost it in an helicopetr crash) was not able to have a grip powerful enough to pull the lever. So I imagine they developed the push-push dual lever for him to be able to operate the sequential shifter.

  7. I wish I knew German...

  8. I've read that Adrian Newey was fetched from a Grand Prix paddock somewhere else in Europe to come attend to the aerodynamic issues plaguing the CLR. Also, Mark Webber was onboard for two of the three crashes(!).

    The McLaren still gets me excited just looking at it. Which why there are two GTR models on my desk at work :D (Alongside an SR-71 and a P-51)


nRelate Posts Only