Cenozoic Iberianmph: Senna’s Van Diemen Ride (Kind of Legacy Photos)


What are you waiting for? Lick here (please do sanitize/decontaminate the outside of your screen first) to check out the full gallery.

This one’s slightly different in the sense that chronologically it’s in the middle of the Iberianmph saga so far, former times, days of old, mmm-yes.

Maybe 6 or 7 years ago I’d take my camera with me, while nowadays I feel more like an ugly nurse from the 19th century or The Hundred Years’ War (no idea whether they had ugly nurses back then). As things currently stand, I pack a Hendrick Motorsports protective anti-intrusion mask, a luxury hand sanitizer, and top-end hygienic tissues. The sort of attire that wouldn’t feel out of place in a sperm bank. How much is it per litre by the way? Some easy money is just the ticket.

Going back to Senna though… Y’all know the score. Young Ayrton comes to the UK, he’s great, Ralph Firman builds Senna a bright yellow and black Van Diemen Formula Ford 1600 car and the rest, as they tweet, is history. THE history.

Amazing piece of history

Amazing piece of history

What happened here with this Nº31 ex-Senna car we’re featuring today is that we went to a race meeting and voilà, on the bill was this gorgeous Van Diemen Formula Ford (Estoril Racing Weekend, 4 & 5 Oct. 2014). It seemed like a crime not to take a few photos at least. In addition, the setting was perfect as Senna’s relation with Sintra and Estoril specifically is well documented. What a great idea that somebody brought this nifty little car to that track and on that particular day.

The same chassis driven by the same dude (ANTÓNIO R. MAGALHÃES, we assume) popped up in these events until very recently. An out-of-body experience for any Senna-iac. Even the decals are period correct and are in the right places on the car! It’s also so 1980s. Ah, lovely.

It may not be your cup of tea but I find the car quite pleasing aesthetically to look at. Safety appears to be to a certain extent rudimentary but it’s pointless to judge older single-seaters from our modern-day perspective. Imagine instead all the fun that was there to be had in the early 80s, in the pre-PC world.

As always, the proof of the pudding was in the eating. I mean racing.

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