British racing

British racing green

British racing green

British racing green, or BRG, is a color that resembles hunter green, forest green, moss green, or Brunswick green (RAL 6005). Its name is derived from the United Kingdom’s green color used in international motor racing. Since motor racing was prohibited on British public roads in 1903, the Gordon Bennett Cup was the first event of its kind, taking place in Ireland, which was still a part of the UK at the time. The British cars had shamrock green paint applied to them as a sign of respect brithis racing green.

BRG doesn’t have a specific color; at the moment, it refers to a range of rich, dark greens. In the context of motorsports, “British racing green” referred only to the color green in general; its use to refer to a particular shade has grown outside of the sport.

Origins of the association

Count Eliot Zborowski, the father of legendary interwar racer Louis Zborowski, proposed assigning a distinct color to each national competitor back when the Gordon Bennett Cup was in existence. The driver had to be a citizen of the rival nation and every part of the vehicle had to be made there. The winner of the previous year’s race hosted the races.
Britain had to select a different color for their 1902 race than the national flag’s red, white, and blue, as those had already been claimed by America, Germany, and France for the 1900 race, respectively. It was decided that the 1903 race would be held in the Napier & Son after Selwyn Edge won the 1902 Gordon Bennett Cup race for England. held in Ireland because, at the time, driving a car on a public road in Great Britain was forbidden. Shamrock green paint was applied to the English Napier cars as a gesture of respect for their Irish hosts.

British racing green

Many of the earliest greens used on British racing cars were of a lighter olive, moss, or emerald green, in keeping with these Irish/Napier roots. Subsequently, darker hues were more popular, though HWM and other teams made a comeback to lighter greens in the 1950s. The use of color in motor racing was initially limited to the grandes épreuves, but it was later codified for use in all international motor racing events by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in the Code Sportif International (CSI).

International rise to prominence

The leading British competitor in high-level international motor racing prior to and following World War I was Sunbeam (which became a part of STD Motors in 1920). In addition to being the first (and last for several decades) British team to win the European Grand Épreuves Grand Prix in 1923 and 1924, Sunbeam racing cars with green liveries won the 1912 Coupe de l’Auto.
Leading competitors, including Henry Segrave and K.L. Guinness, were operating the green Sunbeams during those events. With their mid-to dark-green paint jobs, Bentley cars had great success at the Le Mans 24 hour races in the 1920s. When British driver William Grover-Williams drove the Bugatti in the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, it was the first known use of the deepest shade of green. British Racing Green has become the name for this colour.

British teams wearing various shades of green, including Aston Martin, Vanwall, Cooper, Lotus, and BRM, achieved success in Formula One and Sports car racing during the 1950s and 1960s. It was a very light green that the British Racing Partnership team used. Officials tolerated the use of dark blue by Scottish teams like Rob Walker Racing and Ecurie Ecosse, even though it did not strictly follow CSI regulations.
The British-licensed, Australian-owned business The Brabham team additionally utilized a BRG shade, which was later enhanced with a gold Gold, green, and yellow stripes are Australia’s national sports colors. The McLaren M2B car, painted white with a green stripe, made its debut at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, representing a fictional Yamura team in John Frankenheimer’s film Grand Prix. McLaren is another licensed team based in Britain.

Because a nation is represented in motorsports by a team rather than a constructor, British privateer teams that entered vehicles created by foreign constructors prior to the 1968 season painted the vehicles in the British racing green, for example. During the 1954 season, Stirling Moss participated in three races driving a green Maserati 250F, which was built in Italy and entered by British privateer teams Equipe Moss and A.E. Moss, respectively.

In the 1968 Formula One season, sponsorship rules were loosened due to pressure from several teams, most notably Team Lotus, who wanted to use the Gold Leaf livery on the Lotus 49 car. Following this, Lotus debuted in this new livery at the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix, making history as the first works team to paint their cars in the livery of their sponsors (second only to Team Gunston entering a private Brabham car at the 1968 South African Grand Prix).

The FIA officially exempted Formula One from the national colors rule for the 1970 season. The green color that was previously the standard vanished quickly, to be replaced by different sponsor liveries. Since then, all race series have been included in this exemption. Unless the adoption of national colors is mandated by specific regulations.

Modern usage

In 2000, Jaguar Racing brought back the renowned greens to Formula One. However, when Ford sold this team to Red Bull in 2004, Red Bull Racing adopted its own set of colors.

Since then, other historically British manufacturers have done the same. In 2001, 2002, and 2003, Bentley made a quick comeback to the Le Mans circuit, winning with the Bentley Speed 8, which was painted a very dark shade of BRG. Aston Martin has also joined the endurance racing scene in recent years, painting their DBR9s in a characteristically light BRG. In addition, Rocketsports Racing used green for its Jaguar XK in the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

British racing green

2010 saw the return of the Lotus name to Formula One following a 16-year break, with the Lotus Racing team’s dark green and yellow Lotus T127 car liveried. The new team, which is based in Britain but has its registration in Malaysia, picked BRG in an effort to “strike an emotional chord with young and old alike and bringing back memories of some of the most famous incidents in motor racing.”

British Racing Green became a well-liked paint option for British sports and luxury cars as a result of the numerous victories of British racing teams over the years. British Racing Green was once a solid color, but because modern manufacturers only offer a small selection of solids, the color is becoming more and more metallic.

Mazda created a limited edition “British Racing Edition” model in 1991 and 2001 to honor the 1960s small British roadsters (such as the Triumph Spitfire, Austin-Healey Sprite, MG MGB, and Lotus Elan) that served as inspiration for the MX-5. This version of the model featured green paint.Similar to this, the contemporary Mini Hatchback brand, owned by BMW and assembled at their factories in Oxford, Birmingham, and Swindon, offers a BRG color option. In the 2011 edition, this was changed from a somewhat murky dark olive to a lighter metallic green.

Racing Point F1 Team founder and owner Lawrence Stroll invested in Aston Martin in 2020; the following season, Racing Point would become the AMR GP F1 team. Aston Martin made a comeback to the sport as a constructor after 61 years away, and the team revealed they would be using the iconic British racing green as their livery for the 2021 season at the unveiling of their 2021 car, the AMR21. As of 2023, this livery is still in use.

Historic paint mixing formulas

Used on Jowett Cars 1948–1953, Imperial Chemical Industries, Belco Car Finishes, Color Mixing Book 1953

British Racing Green, Code 284-8120: White 7%, Black 3%, Middle Brunswick Green (19%), Light Brunswick Green (71%).
Connaught Green, Codes 284–97: Black 28%, Yellow Oxide Trace%, Light Brunswick Green 32%, Deep Brunswick Green 40%.

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