The March 881 In Action
The March 881 used the Judd V8 engine and was consistently the fastest speed trapped ‘atmo’ car of the 1988 season, with Capelli clocked at a class fastest 312 km/h (194 mph) on the first straight at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix.
Capelli and his March 881 was the only non-turbo car/driver combination in 1988 to lead a Grand Prix, when he briefly took the lead from Alain Prost in his McLaren-Honda as they crossed the start-finish line on lap 16 of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. This was also the first time since the 1983 season that a naturally aspirated car had led a Formula One race.
Capelli finished the season in 7th place with 17 points, meanwhile Gugelmin impressed, finishing his debut season in 13th place with 5 points. March finished the year 6th in the Constructors’ Championship with 22 points.
In 1989, the team’s car – the CG891 – was only ready in time for the third race of the season, and only for one driver. This meant that the team ran the March 881 for the first three races – the Brazilian and San Marino Grands Prix, plus one car at the Monaco Grand Prix. Gugelmin drove the 881 to third place at his home race in Brazil, close behind the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell and the McLaren-Honda of Prost.
This show car was used as a full-size wind tunnel car during the development of the 881; its chassis has not competed in any races and was used by Leyton House March Engineering F1 Team for promotion and display purposes. The chassis doesn’t have a PU.
It also features many original parts, believed to be GRP test moulding for the subsequent carbon tubs, the wheels, suspension, brake discs, the bodywork and the wings. The rear suspension is hung from an original gearbox casing, and it has a correct steering wheel and original instrumentation.