1998 BMW Picchio SR2, SRL,SRP2
The Italian race car manufacturer, Picchio, produces racing cars, road cars, electric vehicle platforms. They also supply research and technical assistance to racing teams and manufacturers.
This Picchio, chassis MB1, was designed and engineered by Giotto Bizzarini. Bizzarini is a founding member of Picchio, and the famed Ferrari 250 GTO, and Lamborghini designer, as well as designer and engineer of his own Bizzarini road and racing cars.
The Picchio has raced in the FIA Sports Car Championship, formerly known as the Sports Racing World Cup. Picchios have also raced in the U.S. Grand Am Series, most recently in the Daytona Prototype division.
Picchio MB1 was sponsored by Martini and wore the famous Martini livery reminiscent of the great Martini Sports Racing and Formula One cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s, as well as today’s Williams Martini F1 team. The Picchio may have been initially tested and raced by former Ferrari F1 driver, Arturo Merzario along with Gianni Giudici in 1998. Further clarification needs to be done in this area.
In 1999, Gianni Giudici and Raffaele Raimondi raced the Martini Picchio in the FIA Sportscar Championship at in the 500 km. of Monza. The car was much better now. The Picchio finished 4th in class and 9th overall, behind four Ferrari 333 SP’s. 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 Am’s 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 most recently run in 2017.
The Martini Picchio is constructed of tubular steel with riveted and glued aluminum panels. This construction makes the much easier and less expensive to repair in the event of a prang than a monococque tub, or carbon fiber construction. The bodywork is fiberglass. The engine is the reliable L6 BMW, 3 litre engine, which was also used by several other chassis manufacturers in the period, such as Osella. The Picchio has a five speed Hewland FT 200 gearbox that was recently completely refreshed including a new clutch assembly. 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 Martini Picchio is a special, fabulous looking, historic Martini racing car that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of any of the other historic Martini endurance racing cars. It is also eligible for the Daytona Historic Races, and the Sebring Historic Endurance Race. It is a huge crowd pleaser at any vintage racing event.
We think the Picchio is an amazing value, currently being offered at about half the cost of other comparable cars in its category. The car does not currently come with spares, but the parts are available in the U.S. at Shawn Bayliff Racing in North Carolina.
For more on the original creation of the Picchio, go to: https://picchiosr2.weebly.com/picchio-history.html
Chassis Number: MB1
Engine Number: N/A