The 126 series ran from 1981 to 1984, the 126c2 being raced in 1982. Designed by Mauro Forghieri and Harvey Postlethwaite it should have been a good car. However, Villeneuve was not a fan of the car which had terrible turbo lag then kicked the power in suddenly, thus it was prone to over using it’s tyres. Giving 600bhp in qualifying is a huge power output from any engine and with it’s very stiff suspension it was very tricky to handle. Pironi seemed to be happier with the car but in reality the drivers were quite evenly matched.

       25th April 1982, a date that has gone down in infamy....  at least in the Villeneuve house hold. That terrible day when Pironi broke a gentleman’s agreement and overtook a slowing Villeneuve to win a race. Nothing worse in Villeneuve’s book and fated to cost him his life. Well that’s the movie script version and a view widely held by others.

      The race was affected by a boycott by several teams as part of  FISA /FOCA wars, This meant the field for this race had only 14 cars.

      Qualifying saw the Renaults of Arnoux and Prost take pole and 2nd place on the grid with the Ferraris of Villeneuve and Pironi 3rd and 4th respectively. With the absence of the FOCA teams that pretty much constituted and chance of a competition and the expectation was of a fairly dull race.  And so it was. The Renaults took off in the lead then broke down leaving the Ferraris to take over the lead battle with the third-placed Tyrrell of Michele Alboreto a long way behind. To protect their 1-2 result Ferrari put out the “slow” board . Their intention being to minimize the risk of  mechanical failure or running out of fuel. Villeneuve thought this also meant “maintain position on the track”, Villeneuve leading Pironi home. Pironi, on the other hand believed he was still free to race, and passed Villeneuve. Villeneuve thinking Pironi was trying to spice up an otherwise dull spectacle for the fans, duly re-passed his teammate, assuming that he would then hold station for the remainder of the race. Villeneuve was wrong and failed to protect the inside line going into Tosa on the final lap, Pironi passed him and took the win. The true meaning of the order to slow down was even a point of debate within the Ferrari team. The drivers never spoke again and Villeneuve was killed trying to better Pironis qualifying time two weeks later at Zolder.

      Despite the tragedy of Villeneuves death and some of the stories that surrounded their relationship Pironi still managed to fight on and finished in 2nd place in the drivers championship.

      As a little aside I still have the receipt for this kit. It cost me £2:72! Cheap as chips eh?!

                                                                     1/24th scale kit.

                                                                         Built by Ian. 

      Ian built this model in 2008. The Protar Kit was a little troublesome, particularly with the fit of parts and sink marks in much of the visible areas. The decision was taken to fix the body cover down in order to enhance to fit and look of the model. So Ian worked on the areas that would be on display rather than the  whole car.

      The kit has a fair amount of detail so was worth enhancing with wiring and the like. Strangley it had no seat belts at all so a photo etch set was employed to add proper life to the seat.

      The body is painted with Halfords acrylic car paints, Citadel and Tamiya acrylics as well as Humbrol enamels were used for the detail painting. Citadel inks are particularly useful for washes that add shade and stains to the model.