Mardi Gras Motorsport
Mardi Gras Logo

Mardi Gras title
Unit 45 & 46,
Silverstone Circuit,
Silverstone,Towcester, Northants, NN12 8GZ

Tel: +44(0)1327 858006
Fax: +44(0)1327 858800
info@mardigras.co.uk
 

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Mardi Gras Motorsport was formed in 1987 to build & maintain a Ford Fiesta for participation in the Ford Credit Fiesta Championship.The Team taking its title from an amalgamation of the names of the founding members, MARtin, DIck and GRAham. This was considered appropriate as Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) is indeed a Fiesta. The Team was an immediate success winning seven races and the Championship in its first year.

From 1988 onwards the team principles, Dick Richards, Martin Sharpe and Paul Hetherington continued the teams winning trend.

Our early association with Honda started in 1988 with the Honda CRX "one make" championship. In 1990 we were the first team in Europe to race the Honda Civic EF9 "Vtec" model, winning 21 races and the Group N championship for two years in succession.

The "Team Castrol" Honda's were built from Japanese specification road cars in our own workshops. They were stripped to bare shells, fully seam welded, roll cages installed and then rebuilt to Group N regulations. We designed and manufactured the specialised parts on the cars, building our own engines and gearboxes. The Team drivers were chosen from young racing drivers under the age of 25.

This proved to be a successful season, ending with 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th in class, and 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th overall.

The winning driver James Thompson subsequently went on to drive factory cars in the British Touring Car Championship for Vauxhall and Honda.

In 1994 we ran a team of three "Team Castrol" Honda's and once again we won the championship outright and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in class

The Championship winning driver on this occasion was Simon Harrison who went on to drive for the 1995 Works Peugeot Touring Car Team.

Alongside the championship results, we had two very successful years in Snetterton 24 hour race. In 1993 we dominated the 1600cc class taking the top 5 places, and managed 3rd, 4th, 5th 6th and 7th overall In 1994 we dominated the 1600cc class again taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and managed 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall

1996 - Jason takes the Renault Spiders by Storm

This was the first year of Renault Spiders and the team ran Jason Plato and Dave Cox. Jason won the championship with ten wins and was rewarded with a Renault Touring Car drive the following season. He also won the European Spider Cup round at the British Grand Prix against the top Spider drivers in Europe.
Not to be out done Roger Moen took the National Saloon title with seven wins in a Honda Civic and Richard Meins the Slick 50 Championship while Stephen Day had a good year in a Rover Turbo.
  • 1996 Renault Spider Champions with Jason Plato
  • 1996 Saloon 2000 Champions with Roger Moen
  • 1996 Slick 50 Champions with Richard Meins
  • 1996 2nd Rover Turbo Championship with Stephen Day

37 wins in total! this was going to be extremely difficult record to beat!

1997 - A varied Year

In July 1997 we were commissioned by Honda Motor Europe to prepare a Honda lntegra R Model to Group N Race specification to use in an attempt to break lap records for this category of car at various racing circuits in Europe. The idea being to create media interest to coincide with the European launch of this model. Eight lap records were broken in seven countries between the six drivers, Marco Werner, James Kaye, Altfred Heger, Gabrielli Tarquini, James Thompson and Thierry Thassin.

1998 - British Touring Car Championship Beckons

1998 was the first year that the Team was to become involved in the British Touring Car Championship. We used a Honda Accord Super Touring car for the Norwegian driver Roger Moen with sponsorship from ViMenn Magazine, Auto Borsen, and Hasco Motor AS.

Sharpie

A 'rare' picture of SharpieThe famous walking stick and bow tie1999 was a season of highs and lows with success in Renault Spiders and the sad loss of Martin Sharpe. A former bike racer, he was one of the group of friends who formed Mardi Gras in 1987. He was characterised by his bow tie and walking stick, the legacy of a bike racing accident.
A tribute was made at the April Touring Car Round at Silverstone, the week-end after he died. Several past Mardi Gras drivers sported the above sticker in Martin's memory.

Tribute to Sharpie

After Martin passed away Paul Hetherington took over as team manager to complete a successful season in the Renault spiders

Jason Plato's Renault Spider Championship for Mardi Gras in 1996 had always been a high point for the team but this seasons one, two, three in the Championship surpassed their previous achievement.

Andy Priaulx - Mardi Gras MotorsportWhen the season kicked off at Donington Park on Easter Monday who would have thought that Mardi Gras's Andy Priaulx would end the year unbeaten? For a driver who had previously never won a circuit race, he not only completed a clean sweep of the Championship, winning every race, but also starting from pole and set the fastest lap in each round, an unprecedented feat! Other drivers challenged him and, on several occasions, he had to come from behind but Andy finished each race at the front.

Tobia Masini - Mardi Gras Motorsport Phil Bennett - Mardi Gras MotorsportThe year was dominated by Mardi Gras with Tobia Masini and Phil Bennett taking second and third in the championship. Masini, in his second season with the team in Spiders, frequently chased his team leader, while Bennett impressed as he took a step up the racing ladder despite his modest experience.

Two of the seasons highlights were at Brands Hatch and Croft where we had all three of our drivers on the podium.

In the 1999 National Saloon Cup, Mardi Gras Motorsport driver, Roger Moen was an early front runner for the championship.

Stephen Day, did well in his two outings with a second at Brands Hatch and fourth at the Silverstone British Grand Prix meeting.


2000

National Saloon Cup
2000 was a successful year for the team, with Tobia Masini Winning at Brands Hatch, Croft and Snetterton, along with third at Donington Park, while being a championship contender for most of the season the final few rounds saw this slip, leaving him third in the championship.

Clio Cup 2000 was also a successful season for Clio Cup with Stuart Clarke taking his first podium victory coming 3rd at Donington Park, he also managed a 2nd at Oulton Park and a 3rd at Silverstone. He also completed his first night race after coming in eighth at Snetterton

Spa 24 Hour In August Mardi Gras took a Honda Integra to the Spa 24 Hour race, after a difficult race they finished 7th in class and 14th overall
2001

Clio cup
Mardi Gras ran two cars for the 2001 Clio cup season with drivers Duncan Vercoe and John George .
Duncan won a sensational start to flag victory at Thruxton, and again made the top step of the podium at Silverstone.
2002

Clio cup
Mardi Gras ran two cars for the 2002 Clio cup season with drivers Daniel Buxton and John George .
Daniel managed a a win at Silverstone, with a 3rd at Knockhill and a 2nd at Donington Park. With these results he came 8th in the championship, John came 26th in the championship which meant that Mardi Gras finished 6th overall as a team.

Willhire 6 hour race
Mardi Gras continued its success at Snetterton endurance races when they won their class and 4th overall at the Willhire 6 hour race as Snetterton. The team was made up of Phil Bennett, John George
and Phil Wadsley .

EERC
This year Mardi Gras entered two Honda Integras into two rounds of the EERC, Simon Harrison and Kevin Wells running in the brand new Integra DC5, the first Type R to make it to the UK. We also ran Desmond Smail and Richard Meins in the older spec car.
Simon Harrison and Kevin Wells won their class and were 4th overall at the 2 hour Silverstone event, and again winning their class and came 2nd overall at the 100 minute race at Brands Hatch.
2003

EERC

We had a another successful year in the EERC running three Honda Integras, and one BMW. We ran two new shape DC5 Integra Michael McInerney and Sean McInerney and a second one for Kevin Wells and Simon Harrison And one DC2 Integra for John George .

It was a successful year with numerous class wins, and John George leading to taking a class win in the championship

Clio Cup
We ran two Clio Cup cars for Ed Pead and John George .
After starting the season winning both races at Snetterton, for Ed Pead started the season well, he went on to have numerous podium finishes, giving him 2nd in the championship. John George managed 13th in the championship.
Giving Mardi Gras 3rd in the team championship.

2004

BTCC
This year we ran a Gas Powered Honda Civic Type R in the British Touring Car Championship for John George , which due to being too heavy, was then swapped for an Peugeot 406. It was a eventful year, with both cars needing to be developed, John George managed to fight in the middle of the pack throughout the season.

Clio Cup
This year we ran two Clio Cup cars, we continued running a car for Ed Pead and welcomed Fulvio Mussi to the team.
Ed Pead set the year off to a good start at Thruxton taking a win and a second in the two races respectively. He went on to win Silverstone rounds outright winning both races, and another win at Thruxton, along with numerous podiums throughout the year. This gave him second in the championship.

EERC (Britcar)
Another successful year in the EERC for the team, with Sean McInerney and Michael McInerney in the Honda Integra.
They achieved class wins and class podiums throughout the year, and managed a class win and 7th overall at the Willhire 5 hour event.
2005

Clio Cup
Fulvio Mussi began his second season with us in the Clio Cup championship, and he was joined by Amy Chambers and Steven Colbert , to complete the three car team.
Steven Colbert had the best finishes this season, with regular fourth places.

Britcar
Mardi Gras ran Keven Wells Honda Civic for the first two races as the McInerney's could not compete in their DC5, but the McInerneys took their first win at Snetterton in July, to their elation. The 24 hour race this year saw Mardi Gras Motrsport take 1st and 2nd in class and 9th and 12th overall, with John George's Honda Civic and the McInerney's Honda Integra Respectively
2006

Clio Cup
Mardi Gras fielded Stephen Colbert and Robert Lawson this year. Stephen Colbert had three second place finishes in an improved Clio season, whilst Robert Lawson had an impressive first season with a best of 5th at Croft.

Britcar
Mardi Gras ran three cars to start this season, the McInerney's Porsche which had a 1st in class at race Silverstone, the John George Honda Civic, which had a class win at Snetterton and Brands Hatch. We also ran the McInerney's Integra, with a 1st in class at Silverstone.

24hour Silverstone
The 24 hour race proved too much for the McInerney's Porche which retired after 18 hours. The John George Honda Civic finished 12th overall.
2007

Clio Cup
Mardi Gras Motorsport purchased one of the new shaped Renault clios to start the championship with Ed Pead in their own car and also running John Lancely, Aron Smith and Chris Rice in their own cars.
Ed Pead took the first victory in the new shaped Clio at Brands Hatch which turned out to be his only win of the year. Aron smith gradually improved with a best place of 7th in his first season. Chris Rice Had a best place of 20th and John Lancely did not complete the full season.

Britcar
Just two races this year, SPA with Desmond Smail in his Integra with a 1st in class and the 24 hour race at Silverstone , which after accident damage in the night the team finished in 24th place overall.
2008

Clio Cup
We ran three Clio Cup cars this season, running Gavin Pyper, Aron Smith and David Dickenson.
Gavin Pyper had a good season with numerous podium finishes, while Aron Smith was a regular contender at the front of the pack, along with David Dickenson.

Silverstone 24 Hour
In the 24 hour race we ran the Honda Integra DC5, for Desmond Smail , Julian Rouse , James Sutton and Westley Harding . The race got off to a good start with the car in 2nd place overall after 2 hours, but unfortunately due to problems with the driveshafts, the car finished, 21st after all.
2009

Clio Cup
Mardi Gras Motorsport ran David Dickenson this season who steadily improved throughout the year, with a best place of 8th at Brands Hatch at the end of the season.
Stephen Hodgetts joined the clio cup team for a one off race at the World Series by Renault and took the race by storm to secure two outstanding victories. Leading to Mardi Gras winning the team championship

Dunlop Sports Maxx
Mardi Gras joined the series in July and were asked to run the celebrity car alongside Simon Shaw's Seat and were victorious in the first outing with wins for both drivers in the first race meeting and then subsequent wins for Simon Shaw who also took the Dunlop Sports Maxx Championship at Snetterton in September.
2010

Mardi Gras ended their long standing relationship with Renault in order to compete in Production Touring Cars with Kevin George and also the new Fiat Abarth championship with Stefen Hodgetts and Paul Smith .
Stefen Hodgetts proved to be a multiple race winner in the Abarths with Paul Smith Leading to Mardi Gras winning the team championship. A mid field runner. Kevin George competed in Class B of the Production Touring Car Trophy with an impressive three race wins at Pembrey
2011

Production Touring Car Trophy
Kevin George switched to class A in a Vauxhall Astra for this season and came an impressive second place in his first outing in the new car.

GT4 Championship
Julian Reddyhough and Desmond Smail competed most of the season in Julian's Aston Martin N24, it was Julian's first ever race season after obtaining his ARDS license earlier in the year

Britcar 24 Hour Race Silverstone
Mardi Gras competed in Desmond Smail's Honda Integra DC5 with co drivers Richard Meins, Wesley Harding and Christopher Lillington-Price, taking a 6th in class and 14th overall

There is a much more detailed version of our history that can be found here
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