CommentsThe first NGTC car to be built as rear wheel drive, which came as a result of a quirk in the regulations. The road car's longitudinal engine layout meant that the common front wheel drive sub-frames could not be used. Although four-wheel drive is not allowed under NGTC regulations there is the provision to use a 4WD base model and run as either front- or rear-wheel drive depending on engine layout.
The project got off to a shaky start, delays in build meant the team arrived at the opening round of the year at Brands Hatch with the car still unfinished. As a result, the car did not take part in any of the free practice and qualifying session, but was allowed to run a demo lap prior to the first race. In the end Dave Pinkney managed less than half a lap before the engine cut out and the car had to be towed back to the pits.
By the next meeting the car was completed but Pinkney had left the team, leaving team boss Rob Austin to take over driving duties. The car was some 150kg overweight and 100bhp down on power, and would soon earn a nickname.
One of the mechanics, Mario, was pushing it in to the truck and because it was so heavy, he called it a tank. That quickly became Sherman. It stuck.
It should be noted that the nickname swapped between cars. Rob Austin always drove 'Sherman', and his team-mate was in 'Panzer' regardless of which chassis they were actually using.
With Austin switching to the team's second chassis (RAR 002) in 2012, this car would still make the occasional outing in the hands of Will Bratt, who then stayed with the team in 2013 until the final meeting when he was replaced by Jake Hill.
Unused in 2014, the car would return in 2015 driven by Hunter Abbott. At the penultimate meeting of the year at Silverstone, Abbott had a major crash and nearly destroyed the car. With no time to properly repair the car ready for the next meeting the team bought the shell of 002 out of storage and fitted it with the running gear from 001.
Over the winter of 2015 the car was re-shelled and kept in storage.
In 2017 it was sold to it's new owner again being kept in storage.