HomeCar CultureLifestyleVintage racing: ‘Yellow Teapot,’ Ecurie Ecosse celebrated

Vintage racing: ‘Yellow Teapot,’ Ecurie Ecosse celebrated


Historic Miller racing cars gather again at Milwaukee.

No joke: Renault makes a real ‘Yellow Teapot’ | Renault photo

Who says the French don’t have a sense of humor? Forty years after Renault entered Formula 1 with a car nicknamed the “Yellow Teapot,” the French automaker has created an actual yellow teapot as part of an anniversary celebration.

Renault decided in 1975 to enter F1, which it did two years later with the RS01. The car was the first in F1 with a turbocharged engine, a technology soon copied by others, and still in use today.

Renault poster

“It was foreseeable – and has always been true when new or even revolutionary technologies are introduced – that technical difficulties and reliability problems would crop up, and some things were abandoned,” Renault noted in its anniversary news release.

“So, carrying the make’s colors – dominant yellow, black and white – the RS01 often entered the stands lane streaming white smoke, synonymous with engine trouble.

“Ken Tyrrell, the boss of the eponymous team, seeing the smoking car pass in front of his garage, yelled out the nickname “Yellow Teapot” as a joke. The expression was adopted by the members of his team, then by other teams.”

However, Renault points out, those teams were not laughing at the 1977 French Grand Prix where the teapot, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille driving, won the race.

Renault also notes that its new yellow teapot will be used in the kitchens of the Atelier Renault restaurant on the Champs-Elysées starting in September.



Meanwhile, in Scotland…

Ignition: Festival of Motoring will celebrate one of the greatest moments in the history of motorsports in Scotland this summer when four Ecurie Ecosse cars and the team’s famed transporter are on display at the SEC Glasgow 60 years after a historic 1-2 finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Sweeping the top two places in the race rarely happens, and even less so when the entry is from a privateer team rather than a factory-sponsored entry.

New C2 racer | Ignition photo

Also taking part in the festival is Alasdair McCaig, director and driver for the new-age Ecurie Ecosse team that recently took part in the Road to Le Mans vintage showcase.

Historic cars from the famed team going to the Ignition festival August 4-6 include:

  • The last C-type Jaguar to run the team colors back in 1953.
  • The Ecosse-Rover known as “Reggie,” a car that made its debut in the Silverstone 1000 kilometer race in 1986 and led the Group C2 category until retiring. Later in the year, however, it won Group C2 events to help give Ecurie Ecosse the world C2 championship.
  • The famed Ecurie Ecosse transporter, which carried two cars on its upper level and one car on the lower level, where it also provided sleeping quarters for 24-hour events.
  • The Vauxhall Cavalier raced in the 1993 British Touring Car Championships by Scottish drdiver David Leslie, who won four pole positions and two races to help Ecurie Ecosse Vauxhall to finish second in the manufacturers’ standings.
  • A Ligier LMP3 which represents the modern-day face of the team that leads the UK LMP3 Cup.

“We’re delighted to mark one of Scottish motorsport’s greatest hours with a celebration of all things Ecurie Ecosse, in this the 60th year of their 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans victory,” Cat Stanford, Ignition director, said in a news release.

“For a small, private garage in Edinburgh to record a 1-2 finish in one of motorsport’s biggest races was nothing short of incredible.

“We’re also pleased to feature the new face of Ecurie Ecosse with drivers Alasdair McCaig and Colin Noble set to bring their No. 79 Ligier to Glasgow, hot on the heels of a number of race wins in their debut LMP3 season.”

Building on the success of the inaugural Ignition Festival of Motoring in 2016, the 2017 event figures to be Scotland’s largest automotive showcase, offering enthusiasts the opportunity to see cars in action around a specially constructed street circuit.

Scotland’s rally heritage will be featured with many of the sports legendary drivers from across Europe attending with the cars they drove to championships.

Another feature will be a special 70 years of Ferrari tribute and an appearance by the Japspeed Drift Team.

Great Race winning team

Knowles-Gentry win The Great Race

Joe Knowles was well-known within the Great Race community and two of his cars were in the 2017 event, and one of them won. The winning car, a 1932 Ford cabriolet known as Pop’s Passion, carried Jody Knowles and Beth Gentry, of Tyrone, Georgia, to the victory — and a Expert Division $50,000 payday.

The race itself, a time/speed/distance rally on public roads, covered nine days and more than 2,000 miles between Jacksonville, Florida, and Traverse City, Michigan.

JD Capri dominates Snetterton race

In England, the Historic Touring Car Challenge was contested at the Snetterton circuit in Maldon, Essex, where a 1973 Ford Cologne Capri campaigned by JD Classics and driven by Chris Ward cruised to victory.

So dominant was the pole-sitting Capri that when it pulled in for the mandatory pit stop on Lap 17, it already was a minute ahead of the field. Ward would increase his lead after the mandatory 60-second visit to the pits. He finished more than a lap ahead of the second-place car.

Capri wins again | JD Classics photo
Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts