In August 1987, shortly before the Ford buy-in, Aston Martin Lagonda announced they were joining forces with Ecurie Ecosse to produce a successor to the Nimrod Aston Martin. The new Group C1 prototype was intended to become a front runner in both the Le Mans 24 Hour race and in the World Sports-Prototype Championship. Hugh McCaig’s Ecurie Ecosse team had, in 1986, just won the World Sportscar Championship C2 category with the Cosworth powered Ecosse C285 under the management of Richard Williams. Whilst the C2 car was powered by a derivative of the Metro 6R4 engine rather than an Aston V8, it could be described as a smaller, lighter development of the “evolution” bodied Nimrod. Draft proposals by FISA for new Group C regulations which were due to come into effect for the 1989 season encouraged this decision. Production block engines would be allowed, and while fuel consumption would remain limited, it was also intended that turbochargers would eventually be phased out. The turbocharged Porsche 956 and 962 had dominated the Group C class throughout the decade and their dominance could be more easily challenged under the proposed rule changes.
AML directors and shareholders, Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos persuaded Richard Williams to give up his own Aston Martin business in South London and join them as a partner in Proteus Technology Ltd., often shortened to Protech, a company set up specifically to run the racing programme for the new car.
The AMHT is grateful to Richard Williams for his help in preparation of this section of the Register.
Further reading can be found in Paul Chudecki's Aston Martin and Lagonda, published by MotorRacing Publications Ltd. (1990).