Thursday 19th November 1981
Nimrod Racing Automobiles (NRA) was officially launched at Goodwood, England, with James Hunt and Sterling Moss performing demonstration runs in their Aston Martin powered cars. Three cars. NRA/C2s were built for competition in 1982, with two being run by the works team while the third was sold to Dawnay Racing, a team owned by the then AMOC president Viscount Downe. The cars were capable of running both in the World Endurance Championship’s Group C specification and IMSA GT’s GTP specification. Combining a production-based V8 engine from the V8 and V8 Vantage models, the engine was refined by Aston Martin Tickford to handle the increased output. Eric Broadley designed the chassis while his employer Lola Cars International built the tubs. Ray Mallock would later evolve the NRA/C2’s design into a B-spec model for the 1983 season.
Debuting at the 1000 km of Silverstone, Nimrod entered one of their own cars alongside the Dawnay Racing privateer entry. Nimrod faced mechanical troubles and did not finish, although Viscount Downe had a sixth-place finish. Problems continued for Nimrod Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where their race was ended early with an accident. Nimrod’s only success for the season came at the 1000km Spa, where one of their two cars finished, taking eleventh place. The combined results of Nimrod and Viscount Downe earned Aston Martin third in the constructors championship that year.
For 1982, with the evolved NRA/C2, Nimrod Racing would turn to the IMSA GT Championship in North America due to EMKA Racing taking over Aston Martin’s factory-backed efforts in Europe with their own car. Nimrod suffered throughout the season, earning their only success as the 12 Hours of Sebring with a fifth-place finish, third in the GTP class. The team would struggle to finish races for the rest of the season before financial trouble eventually forced them to return to Europe.
Following their disappointing return to Europe, Nimrod Racing Automobiles closed due to continued financial troubles, ending the short life of the project. A new chassis had been under development at the time, known as NRA/C3, yet was never completed before the team was dissolved. Privateers continued to use Nimrod’s NRA/C2 until the middle of 1984, when both privateers running the chassis folded.