Jochen Mass is a race car driver born in Dofern, Germany, in 1946.
Jochen Mass starts his race car driver career with hillclimb races in late 60's.
He will shine in Germany, Europe and South Africa from 1971 to 1973: German champion of national GT championship DRM in 1971, Vice champion of South African Springbok Series the same year, European champion of FIA-GT in 1972, Vice champion of South Africa Formula 2 in 1973 with Surtees.
In 1974, he leaves Surtess to drive the private Yardley Mclaren M23. His results allow him to enter the factory Mclaren team in 1975, teaming up with Emerson Fittipaldi. He ends the season at the 8th place, with one victory.
Dominated by his teammates Fittipaldi and then James Hunt, Jochen Mass will leave Mclaren at the end of 1977, the year he drove this M26 i present you today.
Driving for ATS in 1978, Arrows in 1979 and 1980, Jochen Mass will have a one year break in 1981. He comes back in 1982 aboard the RAM-March. This very same year, Jochen is blamelessly involved in the fatal accident of Gilles Villeneuve.
Then he left F1 and a revival will occur in sportscar, during the glorious and epic times of the early Group C. Drigin for Porsche and the iconic 956, he wins for the second time of his carrer the German GT championship DRM in 1985.
In 1987, he finished 3rd of the IMSA GT american championship. The Apex of this involvment in Groupe C races will be the Sauber Mercedes times. Aboard the "silver arrow" Sauber Mercedes C9, he wins Les 24 heures du Mans. Mercedes then choose him to coach their new junior team in Group C.....a junior team where you find Karl Wendlinger, Heinz Harald Frentzen and...Michael Schumacher.
Now in retirement, Jochen Mass is still closely tied to Mercedes. In classic cars meeting, he drives sometimes cars of the brand.
A driver in the "old fashion" i like, able to drive F1 or big Sportscar. An "Endurance racing lord".
Few people can say: "i drive the Mclaren M23, M26, the Porsche 956, The Sauber C9....and it was my job".
Now, the car :D
The Mclaren M26, designed by Gordon Coppuck is more than an evolution of the previous M23 Design, that's a whole different car. Lighter, Wider
Despite the same livery as my James Hunt M23, the two car only share their V8 (as all V8 F1 of this time: Ford DFV/Hewland gearbox for everybody!) and one or two brick configuration.
The M26 appeared in 1976 at the Netherland GP and will be a fail, despite of its technical superiority over the good old M23.
The M26 will then be reintroduced in 1977 first at the hands of James Hunt then Jochen Mass.
It will be used up to 1978. Despite a lot of evolutions, the M26 was at its time the "chant du cygne" of pre-ground effect cars. It was good but was over-ruled by the Lotus 78 and 79 that conceived around the concept of "wing-car".
The last evolution, in 1978, will try to use the side-skirts and long and flat sidepods of wing-cars without a lot of success.
Apart this fact, this thing is purely awesome. It looks like an M23 who would have spent hours in a genetical modification/body building/jacuzzi center.
I especially like the work done by Gordon Coppuck on the overall shape of the car, that looks like a triangle from top view (From pics i've found, several aero configuration have been tested with more or less triangle shape). It is a typical pre wing-car F1, with a lot of work to find the maximum ground effect from the top of the car (where as wing cars works as...plane wing).
A more radical car had been built and tested by Mclaren, the M27...but it was a dead-end project as wing cars began to rule the F1 world.
So, for the very first time at this scale, an in exlusivity for Mocpage, here comes the McLaren M26 1:8 scale Lego!
It features all what you can see on the pics: Steering, Suspensions on four wheels, differential, Technic V8, homemade stickers.
Hoping you'll like this 23rd Big Scale car.
We are now reaching the end of my board, yep. Within several weeks, the end of the journey accross race car driving history will take form with the race number "24".
Stay tuned, gonna rock...Get ready for the BOARD FINAL, 24th BIG SCALE CAR.
God, that's just devastatingly gorgeous! I have to say that that pic from above is outstandingly beautiful. Such an elegant design with the overall triangle. I have to admit that the Lotus 78 was my ideal F1 car but this one sure would sit comfortably at second. And Jochen himself was such a great racer and to live with the Villeneuve tragedy wrongly hanging over him was astonishing. Brilliant!