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Racing Life after F1: Martin Brundle

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Racing Life after F1: Martin Brundle
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Jun 16, 2020, 12:24 PM

Martin Brundle is best known now as an expert Formula 1 commentator and analyst, whose grid walks have become legendary in the sport.

But he is also someone who has enjoyed a very successful racing career. He may not have won a grand prix, but there were titles and wins in other categories.

On this day back in 1996, Brundle started his 150th F1 race, finishing sixth for Jordan in the Canadian GP, so it gives us the perfect opportunity to look at what he did after his grand prix career was over.

And while titles and race win were not easy to come by in this phase of his career, Brundle showed his versatility by competing in a vast range of machinery.

Martin Brundle, Jordan 196 Peugeot

Martin Brundle, Jordan 196 Peugeot

Photo by: Motorsport Images

1997: Le Mans 24 Hours

That 1996 season where he celebrated his 150th race was his final in F1, soon after that he started to co-commentate on F1 races together with Murray Walker for the BBC. His racing focus returned to being sportscars, where he had been ultra-successful before F1.

In 1997, he entered the Le Mans 24 Hours with Nissan Motorsport to drive an R390 GT1 together with Jorg Muller and Wayne Taylor. They qualified the car in 12th place but had to retire the car in the race because of a spin.

#21 Nissan Motorsport Nissan R390 GT1: Martin Brundle, Jörg Müller, Wayne Taylor

#21 Nissan Motorsport Nissan R390 GT1: Martin Brundle, Jörg Müller, Wayne Taylor

Photo by: Sutton Images

1998: Le Mans 24 Hours

The next year was pretty much the same story. This time he raced for Toyota when it entered the Le Mans 24 Hours with the Toyota GT-One. With French teammates Emmanuel Collard and Eric Helary, they qualified the #28 Toyota on the front row, but on lap 191, after more then 13 hours of racing, they had an accident and retired the car.

#28 Toyota GT-One TS020: Martin Brundle, Eric Helary, Emmanuel Collard

#28 Toyota GT-One TS020: Martin Brundle, Eric Helary, Emmanuel Collard

Photo by: Sutton Images

1999: Le Mans 24 Hours & WRC

In 1999, Brundle stayed with Toyota for the Le Mans 24 Hours, this time with Collard and Vincenzo Sospiri. They qualified the Toyota GT-One on pole position but a puncture on lap 89 meant another retirement for Brundle and his teammates.

As a driver for Toyota, Brundle got the chance to compete in the WRC Rally of Great Britain behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla WRC. Arne Hertz was his co-driver and Brundle set twice a 20th time overall before he had an accident on Special Stage 14 that ended his only outing in the WRC.

Martin Brundle, Arne Hertz, Toyota Corolla WRC

Martin Brundle, Arne Hertz, Toyota Corolla WRC

Photo by: Motorsport Images

2001: Le Mans 24 Hours

After a one year absence, Brundle returned to Le Mans in 2001 with Bentley. He teamed up with Stephane Ortelli and Guy Smith to race a Bentley Speed 8 in the LMGTP class powered by an Audi V8 double Turbo. They qualified seventh but retired the car after less then five hours with a gearbox problem.

#7 Team Bentley, Bentley EXP Speed 8: Martin Brundle, Guy Smith, Stéphane Ortelli,

#7 Team Bentley, Bentley EXP Speed 8: Martin Brundle, Guy Smith, Stéphane Ortelli,

Photo by: Sutton Images

2008: Formula Palmer Audi & Goodwood

In 2008, Brundle made a comeback in single seaters when he competed in a round of the Formula Palmer Audi at Spa-Francorchamps. From the three races, a sixth place was his best finish but this was all just for the experience and the fun of racing. Racing for fun was also the main reason for his outing at the Goodwood Revival Tourist Trophy in a Jaguar E-Type.

Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle, Jaguar XJR-14

Teo Fabi, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle, Jaguar XJR-14

Photo by: Motorsport Images

2010: VW Scirocco R-Cup & Goodwood

In 2010, Brundle raced twice in the German-based VW Scirocco R-Cup. He finished third on the podium in the Hockenheim race after he had started from second place. At the Goodwood Revival he raced in a Jaguar MK1 and a Ferrari 250 GTO.

Martin Brundle Ferrari 250 GTO

Martin Brundle Ferrari 250 GTO

Photo by: Jeff Bloxham / Motorsport Images

2011: Daytona 24 Hours & Radical Euro

Brundle had won the Daytona 24 hours race in 1988 with Jaguar, and came back there in 2011 when he was one of the four drivers of the #23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing. Behind the wheel of a Riley DP powered by a Ford, Brundle, Zak Brown, Mark Blundell and Mark Patterson qualified the car in ninth.

The foursome led three laps in the race but finished fourth on the same lap as the winners after 24 hours. Brundle also competed in the Radical Euro Masters and won one race.

#23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley: Mark Blundell, Zak Brown, Martin Brundle

#23 United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley: Mark Blundell, Zak Brown, Martin Brundle

Photo by: Sutton Images

2012: WEC & Le Mans 24 Hours

Brundle was contacted by Greaves Motorsport to race for them in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours in the LMP2 class. The team entered a Zytek Z11SN powered by a Nissan V8 engine for Brundle to race with his son Alex and Lucas Ordonez. They managed to finish in 15th place overall and in eighth place in class. This was the first time since he had quit F1 that he made it to the chequered flag in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

With the same team and teammates, he also entered the Silverstone Six Hours in WEC and also here they saw the chequered flag, when they were classified in 12th place overall and 5th in LMP2.

#42 Greaves Motorsport, Zytek Z11SN - Nissan: Alex Brundle, Martin Brundle, Lucas Ordonez

#42 Greaves Motorsport, Zytek Z11SN - Nissan: Alex Brundle, Martin Brundle, Lucas Ordonez

Photo by: Daniel Kalisz / Motorsport Images

2016: Le Mans Cup (LMP3)

In the last couple of years Brundle has still raced from time to time – including in the VLN series at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

His last most notable race at Le Means was in the Le Mans Cup in 2016 where he lined-up with Christian England for United Autosports in the LMP3 class. He had qualified the Ligier JS P3 on pole position and, after 13 laps and almost one hour of racing, they finished second.

#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Martin Brundle, Christian England

#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Martin Brundle, Christian England

Photo by: Nikolaz Godet

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Martin Brundle
Author Jan Sergeant