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Welcome to new customers Bailey Cars customers Jeff Mckee (USA), Eiso Bergsma(NL), Rolland Zoomers(NL) and David Peters(CA)

Bailey LMP in the Press PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 December 2010 17:46


Since the start of the Bailey project we have been a talking point of South African
and even international motorsport, here are some clips from various press houses around the world that have featured news about our car so far. The latest articles are on top



Please click on each Magazine name to read the article via Picassa

Playboy Magazine article

Top Car Magazine article

Cars In Action Magazine

The Citizen Newspaper 







                                  (BY Thomas Falkiner, The Sunday Times motoring journalist and racing driver, 22/05/2011) 

Balls to Bafana Bafana – SA’s latest sporting hopeful travels at 320km/h, can stick to walls and plans to fly our flag at the world’s toughest endurance race. Let’s hear it for the Bailey LMP2 


This week I should be telling you all about an old 1969 Mustang with a glamorous past. You know, one of those motoring stories for people who don’t really have any interest in cars. Well, instead I’ve decided to spill all the greasy nuts and bolts on one of the most ambitious racing spiels to hit the press since that old codger, Michael Schumacher, decided to make his return to F1. Yes, indeed, not only is it that lip-smackingly tasty but all the ingredients are farmed fresh from our back garden.


Packed with the sort of gritty South African goodness we sampled at last year’s Fifa World Cup, the origins of this patriotic saga can be found running through some unlikely mean streets. Normally a place you’d associate with modified VW Polos and pool-hall brekers swaggering around in stonewashed denim, Boksburg is where a company called Bailey Cars is plotting to carve their unique signature into the pedigreed flesh of the world’s toughest endurance race: the 24 hours of Le Mans.


Now just in case you don’t know, Le Mans is an annual racing spectacular that attracts many thousands of fanatical motorsport fans to its sacred curves every June. Basically, it is to sports cars what the Iron Man, Cape Argus or Comrades is to us humans: a perverse and twisted challenge designed to destroy the weak and shower those hard enough to finish with the spoils of war – champagne, fame, groupies and, most importantly, respect.


It goes without saying that failure ultimately outweighs success, but this cold, hard fact hasn’t deterred Peter and Greg Bailey. A father-and-son team who’ve already made a big name for themselves building some of the finest historic racing replicas money can buy (Porsche 917s and Ford GT40s), they’ve created a car that – if the gods of corporate sponsorship smile on them – will probably be wailing its way through the lazy French countryside in the middle of 2012.


And, oh my, what a car it is. Officially unveiled at the company’s HQ two weeks ago, this is the sort of machine that young men would happily paste up on their bedroom walls. “You know you’ve done something right,” Peter Bailey says, “when you see kids rush up to your car and shout: ‘Hey, look guys, it’s the Batmobile!’”


But it’s not just the peacock factor that makes this matte-black projectile so sinfully good to ogle over. A rare example that disproves that famous skin-deep theory, the beauty of the LMP2 is that its striking exterior has been designed to slice through the air like an angry ninja assassin packing a very sharp katana sword.


A brain-testing process largely lost on a simple-minded soul such as myself, Greg explains that every curve, kink and crease of this machine was dictated by a computer software package that “shapes” the car’s form for both maximum aerodynamic efficiency and down force. And because there’s so much of the latter, you could, in theory, and if you got up to 320km/h, drive the LMP2 upside down on the roof of a long enough tunnel.


Facts like these make the LMP2 capture your imagination. The thing is though, once you start scratching the surface, you’ll find more. For instance, this is also the first locally made racing car to sport a chassis constructed purely from carbon fibre.


What does that mean? Well, just like in your new top-of-the-range squash racket or fishing rod, this über-material allows the LMP2 to benefit from all the strength and rigidity you’d find in steel, but with none of the weight. Perfect for ensuring maximum crash protection for its drivers (one of whom happens to be Jaki Scheckter, nephew of the great Jody), it’ll also make Bailey’s Le Mans hopeful nimble enough to cling to the exhaust pipes of the competition.


Completing my brief tour of the humble Bailey Cars compound in Kelly Road, Jet Park, it’s clear that this upstart team have got the skill, enthusiasm and, quite evidently, the perfect tool for a 100% South African stab at Le Mans glory. The only thing standing between them and the camera-lined grid at next year’s event is the funding.


“Luckily, We have a few minor sponsors on board already,” says Greg, “but we’re still waiting for that big one to turn the dream into a reality.” The answer, when I ask how much it will cost to send a local team to The Circuit de la Sarthe, is: “Oh, about R15-million.”


Although this sounds like an almost insurmountable amount of money to both you and I, for a heavyweight corporate it’s a drop in the sponsorship ocean. One can only hope then that somebody out there, a captain of industry with petrol in his veins, comes to the party.


Sure, it might not offer the same season-long appeal of shacking up with a mediocre soccer team, but for 24 hours on one special weekend, it’ll give the nation good reason to dust off their vuvuzelas. 



Engine: TBC

Power: 335kW (limited)

Torque: 392Nm

Weight: 900kg

Transmission: Ricardo 6-speed sequential

Max Speed: > 320km/h


lmp colours

Hi-tech local Le Mans project on track

 The annual Le Mans 24-hour race in France is probably the world’s best known motorsport event. Every schoolboy with an interest in cars
has heard of the race and Steve McQueen even produced a full length film titled “Le Mans’ which went on to become a box office hit and is
now regarded as one of the all time great movies.
First held on 26 and 27 May 1923 there was the inevitable break while the Second World War was fought and Europe was rebuilt afterwards.
Altogether the race has been held
77 times.

 A South African team has never competed in the event, but that is set to change as
Peter and Greg Bailey aim to become the first South Africans to have a ‘made in South Africa’ car on the grid next year.
The project is not as far fetched as one might think as it is already almost two years old. “The car has been designed for the latest ACO regulations
which come into force for 2011,” said Greg Bailey, designer.

 He was at Le Mans in June and besides speaking to a number of well-known teams, he also attended the conference where the new rules for
011 and beyond were confirmed.
“Having spoken to various teams and seen other cars I know we are right in the ball park as far as technology, engineering and design is concerned.
In fact, at the moment I’d say we are ahead of almost all the manufacturers.” The Bailey LMP2 is a straightforward design using sophisticated
computer software for the aerodynamic work. “Computers have all but replaced wind tunnels at this level and we’ve gone for a car which reliability
and ease of maintenance are important. It has to be easy to work on as so much time can be lost in the pits,” explained Greg.

 Although the engine and gearbox make or configuration hasn’t yet been finalised, the car has been designed in such a way that a number of engine
options can be used. “We’ve more or less decided what we want are in the process of negotiating with the manufacturer,
but I can’t say who that is at the moment,” said Peter.

 Better known for a range of classic car recreations that includes GT40, P4 and 917 which have been exported and raced
successfully around the world, Bailey Edwards Cars has already completed most of the design work on its new LMP2 challenger.

 “South Africa has a long association with Le Mans as Woolf Barnato, son of mining tycoon Barney, won the race three times for Bentley in the late twenties.
We looked at what we’ve got in South Africa and realised how difficult it would be for South African drivers to compete at Le Mans and so the
 idea of a South African built car came about,” explained Peter Bailey.

 Although the project has been running for almost 18-months, only a handful of insiders have known about it. “We didn’t want to make a fuss about
it until there was something to see. Now we’ve got a full size fibreglass mock-up of the cockpit section and are busy doing the honeycomb carbon
 fibre panels which will be sent for testing. The FIA is very strict and everything has to be done to its specifications.

 “We have managed to source most of what we need and we’ve already done a lot of testing in-house. We also do our own carbon fibre work in house,
which presented more challenges we had to overcome,” commented Peter.

 Having studied mechatronic engineering at Tshwane University of Technology, Greg had a stint in Europe where he worked for a Dutch racing team. Soon after he returned he started doing the initial concept studies for a car that could compete at Le Mans. “As I got further into the design we soon realised that it was much
more than simply going out to buy the materials we need. An example is suspension components where the oval chrome moly tubing needed for
 wishbones isn’t available locally so we had to have it specially made.” Building a racing car from scratch has many challenges and there aren’t too
many facilities that can offer quick turn-around times on carbon fibre work. This has led Bailey building his own autoclaves
(pressurised ovens in which carbon fibre is cured). Wheel hubs, uprights and aluminium wheel lock nuts are examples of items that are also made in house.
 “We also designed and fabricated our own pedal box. We had to do this as we want the car to appeal to lots of drivers. Works drivers tend to be slightly built,
 but we’re looking at accommodating as many drivers as possible and want the car to appeal to South African drivers.”

 The original Bailey Edwards GT40 was designed in 2002 and began a close association with the Engineering Faculty of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits)
which continues to this day. “From the outset, when we first started the GT40 project, we wanted to be associated with quality, so we used top University of
Witwatersrand engineering graduates for the initial GT40 design work. Eight years down the line and we are using the Wits wind tunnel for the Le Mans car.
We have two scale models that were used to confirm we are heading in the right direction.”

 Computers have largely replaced wind tunnels and Greg uses a sophisticated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programme.
 “It is the same software which is used by major race teams around the world, including most of the LMP2 constructors. I know we are in the ball park and
the body design will essentially remain as it is although there will be changes to things like wings and splitters as we get closer to the final development work.

 “Millions of calculations are performed by computer to simulate the movement of air over the surfaces of the car. But even with powerful computers and
sophisticated software only approximate solutions can be achieved and in many cases there is still a need to check the car on the track.
It saves a lot of time compared to using a wind tunnel. Although there are two chicanes on the 5km long Mulsanne straight, cars still spend a lot of time
 at top speed so aerodynamics play a crucial role in a car’s performance. Everything from tyre wear to fuel consumption is dependant on aerodynamics.

 Peter Bailey is proud of what they have achieved so far. “It is a true South African Le Mans project. That means it will be designed, manufactured,
tested and developed using South African technicians and drivers and using as many local components as possible.”

 As Peter points out, “It is a project that will put South African engineering firmly in the hi-tech international motorsport arena. Already I’m amazed at the 
interest European teams have shown in running the car. The Le Mans promoters see the South African car as adding to the global importance of their event.

 “I think a lot of people are surprised when they discover this project is 100% South African.”

Above is an article from On the Track racing
courtesy of Vaugh Obhlidal
written by Steve Wicks


proshift website

The above was sourced from

the citizen

The above is a clip from the Citizen News Paper

The above was sourced from wheels


The above was sourced from

africa news .com

The above was sourced from

race car

The above was sourced from Race Car


The above was sourced from


The Above was sourced from Endurance

le main news paper

The above was sourced from The Le Main (french news paper of Le Mans town)


Please note that these articles are only to serve as a media reference.


Last Updated on Thursday, 19 July 2012 07:47

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