Polish supercar manufacturer Arrinera Racing headed to Brooklands in the past week to present two of its new Hussarya GTs that have been inspired by its nation’s unique historical and sporting ties to Britain, as the company pushes ahead with plans for its competition debut in 2017.
The GT, which became the first Polish car to spin its wheels at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed in the summer, offers high performance through an attractive, uncomplicated, easy to drive and maintain concept that will appeal to amateur drivers looking for a strong and safe new alternative to used premium-brand racing cars.
The Hussarya is powered by an LS7 V8 engine driven through a six-speed Hewland sequential racing gearbox. Its modular steel spaceframe chassis mirrors the structures of Hurricanes and Spitfires in which Polish pilots made such a significant contribution to the allied air campaigns of World War II. But inspiration has also been drawn from Polish-related feats on the world’s race tracks, too – particularly from the pioneering days of motorsport at Brooklands.
Eliot Zborowski and his son Count Louis were both wealthy racing drivers with Polish family lineage who played key roles in British motorsport’s earliest days.
Eliot Zborowski, born in New Jersey, was an accomplished horseman before the growing tide of interest in automobiles swept him up in 1898. It is said that in 1903 it was Zborowski who suggested green should become Britain’s national racing colour – in honour of Ireland. The Gordon Bennett Cup, the precursor to Grand Prix motor races, was run in Kildare because of strict speed restrictions on British roads, and Zborowski is alleged to have made the gesture in tribute to the host country, which led to the foundation of what would become the world-famous British Racing Green. He was killed in the same year at La Turbie hillclimb in France driving a Mercedes 60 factory racer.
His son Count Louis Zborowski also caught the racing bug – and the sport claimed him, too. He died in the 1924 Italian Grand Prix at Monza when his Mercedes hit a tree. But his legacy had already been assured by the creation of two cars known as ‘Chitty Bang Bang’, which he raced at Brooklands. Zborowski and his aero-engined monsters inspired James Bond author Ian Fleming to write ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, his children’s book that was also turned into a popular movie starring Dick Van Dyke.
Piotr R. Frankowski, Arrinera’s Competition & Marketing Manager, said: “To see a pair of our Hussaryas here at Brooklands is a special moment, especially as they are resplendent in green. The feats of the Zborowskis and in particular Count Louis’ association with this true home of British motor racing is a fitting inspiration for a proud Polish company. In the Hussarya, we wanted to present a car that is beautiful, very strong and durable, easy to drive and maintain – and very safe.”
The Arrinera Hussarya GT made its world debut at the 2016 Autosport International Show in Birmingham. The car’s body is designed by Pavol Burkatskyy with aerodynamics by Professor Janusz Piechna of Warsaw Technical University, and the mechanicals engineered by Krzysztof Stelmaszczuk. It is built in Cambridgeshire and is expected to race in Britain and Europe next year ahead of the launch of a road-legal track day version.