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North American Racing Team, the famous NART
Photo credit: Brun Motorsport, Wheelsage
After a long career as a gentleman driver, which began in 1966, Walter Brun, a Lucerne-based businessman with an enduring passion for racing, bought GS-Tuning in the Gundelfingen district of Freiburg in the autumn of 1982, and founded the Brun Motorsport racing team.
Initially, the team raced with cars like the BMW M1, BMW 635, and the Sechar-Ford prototype. However, in 1983, Brun made a pivotal decision that would shape the team’s destiny. He acquired a Porsche 956, a dominant force in the fiercely competitive FIA World Sports-Prototype Championship, and the first time Porsche made their championship-winning car available to customer teams. This acquisition coincided with Brun recruiting an impressive line-up of top-tier drivers, including Hans Joachim Stuck, Harald Grohs, Thierry Boutsen, and Stefan Bellof.
Walter Brun, the team's founder, along with Stefan Bellof, perhaps the most talented of its drivers who tragically passed away at the 1985 Spa 1000km.
The team enjoyed early successes, but tragedy struck in 1985 when Stefan Bellof tragically lost his life while driving a Scuderia Brun Motorsport Porsche 962 at Spa.
Bellof was one of the most promising talents of that era, and his passing was a heavy blow. Undeterred, Brun dedicated the 1986 season almost as a tribute to the late Austrian driver. His efforts paid off when the team clinched the Constructors’ Championship in the FIA World Sports-Prototype Championship by winning races in Jerez and Spa-Francorchamps, beating the factory Porsche and Jaguar teams.
Porsche's celebrative poster for the 1986 World Sportscar Championship victory, with the Brun team able to beat the official cars of the Stuttgart-based company.
Brun’s ambitions extended to Formula 1, where he sought to support his driver, Oscar Larrauri, by joining forces with the Italian Euroracing team to create EuroBrun. However, the team faced challenges and achieved limited success.
In the early 1990s, Brun Motorsport embarked on a new chapter by transitioning into a constructor role. They developed the C91, a car destined for the Group C category. The C91 was equipped with a powerful 3.5-litre Judd engine and featured an advanced carbon-fibre monocoque chassis developed by the German team. Unfortunately, the team only managed to participate in four races during the 1991 season, all of which were cut short due to technical issues. The leap had been too audacious, and the subsequent lack of financial backers and sponsors led to the closure of a racing team that had briefly established itself among the motorsport elite.
In 1990 Brun started to think big building its first car called C91. The poor reliability and subsequent lack of sponsors led to the team's closure.