The Italian race car manufacturer, Picchio, produces racing cars and supplies research and technical assistance to racing teams and manufacturers. Picchio has raced in the Sports Racing World Cup, later known as the FIA Sports Car Championship, as well as in the U.S. Grand Am Series, most recently in the Daytona Prototype division.
This Picchio, MB1, was constructed in 1999. It was sponsored by Martini, and wore the famous Martini livery reminiscent of the great Martini Sports Racing and Formula One cars of the 1960ís and 1970ís.
Gianni Giudici and Raffaele Raimondi first raced the Martini Picchio in the FIA Sportscar Championship at in the 500 km. of Monza. The Picchio finished 4th in class and 9th overall, behind four Ferrari 333 SPís. At Spa the Picchio dropped out with gearbox problems. At the RAC Tourist Trophy at Donnington, the Picchio came 4th in class and 15th overall in front of 18,000 spectators. The Martini Picchio was running a close second at the SportsRacing World Cup at Brno, when a wheel nut problem sidelined the car. The Picchio was disqualified at the ADAC Sportwagen Festival at the Nurburgring, its final European race. The car was not disqualified for mechanical reasons, but instead the team was disqualified for assaulting an official!
In 2000, the Picchio was entered by GPM Racing, with works support, and driven by Mauro Prospero and Angelo Amadori. At the ATP Trophy race at Catalunya the Picchio dropped out. At the Aprimatic Trophy Race at Monza, the Picchio claimed its first podium finish with a 3rd place. However, the Picchio failed to finish at Spa, and did not reappear again until Brno, where it finished 7th. At Donnington, the day ended with a spin off the track.
The Picchio was then brought to the United States with its sister car to race in the 2002 Grand Am Series with the highly successful G & W Motorsports team. The team was managed by 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Price Cobb.
Research to date indicates this Picchio was used as the test and promotional car to help introduce the Picchio brand in the U.S. The car was returned to its original Picchio yellow color, matching the sister car raced by Andy Lally and Darren Law. The sister car achieved multiple podium finishes, including second at the Nextel 250 at Miami Homestead, second at the Yamaha Indy 400 at California Speedway, and second yet again at the United Auto 200 at Phoenix. The Picchio also finished 6th in class at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Picchio later became the first foreign manufacturer to be approved to construct cars for the Grand Amís Daytona Prototype class.
Because of its use as a test promotional car, this Picchio has relatively little time on it, just a couple of seasons from brand new. The car was last raced in 2008, and most recently run in 2010.
The Martini Picchio is constructed of tubular steel with riveted and glued aluminum panels. The bodywork is fiberglass. The engine is the L6 BMW, 3 litre engine, which was also used by several other chassis manufacturers in the period, such as Osella. The Picchio has a Hewland FT 200 gearbox. The current owner has returned the Picchio back to its European Martini racing livery. The car is currently featured in a museum quality showroom display.
The Martini Picchio has demonstrated speed and success. It was among the quickest SR2 cars in all of Europe. Its sister car was one of the quickest in the U.S. Grand Am SRP2 class. The Picchio runs the strong, reliable, and easy to maintain BMW L6 engine, which is well known to BWW enthusiasts as the M3 engine.
The Martini Picchio is a special, fabulous looking, historic Martini racing car that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of the other historic Martini endurance racing cars. It is also among the very last of the famed Martini racing cars. It has FIA racing history. It is also eligible for the Daytona Historic Races, and the Sebring Historic Endurance Race in the U.S. This is an investment level car that will provide great ownership and driving pleasure at a very low entry level price, and low maintenance costs.
Chassis Number: MB1
Engine Number: N/A