We have the pleasure to offer for sale the ex-Tony Cicale Chevron B26. While Tony Cicale may not be that well known this side of the Atlantic, he is a legendary race and championship winning engineer held in high regard in the U.S.A..
Derek Bennett, founder of Chevron Cars Ltd. was a brilliant engineer who started to build race cars in the late 50ies in a shop in North England where he quickly developed a name for himself. He could develop a brand new car in a remarkably short time but he rarely found that a fresh design was really necessary. This was certainly the case in the middle of the 1973 season when the latest Chevron B23 was no match for the Lolas and Osellas. So, Bennett decided that a clean sheet design was needed to regain competitiveness. Shortly after he was found testing the brand new Chevron B26.
What set the B26 apart from its predecessors was the aluminium monocoque. Previous Chevron sports racers had used a reinforced spaceframe design that was first used in the B6 of 1967. The new monocoque type chassis of the B26 offered similar rigidity but weighed less. Just as on the earlier cars a separate front subframe was used for ease of maintenance or replacement in case of accident damage. Adapted to the latest low profile tires, the front suspension was carried over from the final evolution of the B23 while the rear suspension was derived from the B25 Formula 2 single seater. In addition, the B26 benefitted from a simple wedge-shaped body and an integrated rear wing.
This B26, chassis B26/74/05, has continuous history from new with just a few, mostly long-term owners. The current owner bought the car in 2008 from the USA and, once imported into France, commissioned a full rebuild of the car which has now been completed. Everything has been gone through and a new zero-miles Richardson Ford BDG has been installed. The owner has now decided to sell the car as, due to a lack of time, he has not had the pleasure to use this beautiful and very fast Chevron B26.
Everything on the car is current (seat belts, fuel cell, etc.) and it is totally race-ready for making its re-appearance on the US historic racing scene. If to be raced in Europe, the car would only need a correct B26 tail and FIA HTP papers.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire a no-stories Chevron B26 with excellent provenance and in fresh, race-ready condition !
Chassis B26-74-05 was built in 1974 and delivered new to SCCA club racer Tony Cicale of New York, a high-school maths teacher who had become interested in SCCA club racing. Tony raced the B26 in SCCA and Can-Am events for four years from 1974 to ‘77. Applying his formidable maths skills, Tony would gradually reengineer this car over the years for it to become one of the fastest 2-litre prototypes racing in the SCCA. In 1975, Tony won the divisional championship and again qualified for the US Champions at Road Atlanta where he finished 2nd. In 1976, Tony took part in the Mosport 200 Miles, a round of the World Sports Car Championship. In a field packed with factory prototypes in the shape of the Martini-Porsche and Alpine-Renault turbo cars, a Can-Am Shadow, several McLaren Can-Am cars, and Harley Cluxton’s Mirage GR8, Tony brought the little B26 home in an incredible 6th place overall to win the 2 -litre class. If ever there was the perfect example of applied mathematics bringing success, this was it. Tony also qualified that year for his third straight SCCA US Champions, this time finishing 5th. In 1977 Tony moved up a gear to the revived Can-Am series which would incorporate an under 2-litre class aimed directly at the club racer running Group 6 prototypes rather than the new unlimited capacity “centre-seater” Group E cars. Although Tony never won his class, he did achieve four class podiums and only once failed to finish in the top ten overall. By the end of the year, in Tony’s eyes, the engineering potential of the Chevron had reached its limit and he decided to build his own “Cicale” under 2-litre Can-Am car of which he built a few. Tony then decided to quit driving to be become one of America's most respected development and race car engineers, firstly with Newman-Haas, then with Patrick Racing, the Porsche Indycar team, Galles-Kraco, Players-Forsythe, Team Kool Green and Andretti-Green. Cicale was Mario Andretti's race engineer at Newman-Haas from 1983-'85 and again in 1988, '90 and '91. Cicale won the 1984 CART championship with Andretti, the 1995 CART title and Indy 500 with Jacques Villeneuve, and the 2003 Champ Car title with Paul Tracy. These days Cicale is a reluctant retiree who enjoys wind-surfing. Tony sold the B26 in 1978 to fellow SCCA club racer Joe Salyer from Virginia. Joe basically didn’t change anything on the car, indeed throughout the many years he owned the Chevron he retained the exact same livery as it was with Cicale and pretty much raced it the way Tony had set-up and engineered the car. Entered and sponsored under the “Systems Mechanical Contractors” banner Joe also hired out the car to Terry Whitlock for the Mid-Ohio Can-Am, and to Bill Phaneuf for the Watkins Glen Can-Am who retired after an accident then missed the next race at Road America. Over the next five seasons of SCCA club racing, Joe Sayler, like Tony Cicale before him, would be a consistent qualifier for the US Championships. In 1983 the B26 was sold to Roger Schroer who converted it to IMSA GTP Lights spec by adding a rudimentary windscreen and roof structure. It was only raced twice in this spec, both times in 1985, once by Schroer himself at Mid-Ohio and once at Columbus with Dale Wise. They both failed to finish. B26-74-05 was then purchased in 1993 by historic racer Bob Jordan of Chicago who bought the car whilst it was being restored to proper Group 6 trim and spec. Bob finished the restoration, with the B36 type tail, and raced the Chevron until the late-90s in many U.S. historic races. After nearly a decade of owning and racing the B26 Bob sold the car to historic racer Rasim Tugberk ofVirginia. He had previously owned a B19 which he raced in US historics in the late 90s painted in “Blue Chip Racing” triple-tone blue livery. Rasim repainted the B26 in the same livery and raced the car in US historics until 2008 when he sold the car to the current owner who undertook a full restoration of the car which was recently finished.
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