Tim Schenken and Howden Ganley, the originators of the Tiga brand, produced numerous chassis for the C2 and IMSA Lights category during the 1980s. These two former Formula 1 drivers, whose first two letters of each other's first and last names form the name Tiga (Tim and Ganley), produced more than 400 cars before operations ceased in 1989. Tiga chassis were entered in the World Sports Car Championship (and in particular in the Le Mans 24 Hours), but also in the Inter-Series, or across the Atlantic in IMSA Lights.
The Tiga offered for sale was delivered in 1986, it bears chassis number 342. She is one of the cars destined for the American market to race in IMSA Lights. As well as the C1 and C2 categories in Group C, the American IMSA endurance championship had a "junior" category called IMSA Lights reserved more particularly for private teams with smaller budgets than in IMSA.
Four participations in the 24 Hours of Daytona and two participations in the 12 Hours of Sebring
Ordered by the Hessert Racing team, it received one of the authorised engines in its category, a Mazda 13B rotary engine. In 1987, its first race was the 24 Hours of Daytona, the mythical American endurance race in which it was entered four times. The rest of the 1987 season was very active for the 342 chassis, which took the start of no less than nine races in the IMSA Championship, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, Road America etc...
After a blank year in 1988, #342 was acquired in 1989 by the Far Western Bank Canada Shoes team and entered in the 24 Hours of Daytona, then the 3 Hours of Miami. Sold to Carlos Bobeda Racing, it was then entered in the 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 31st in the hands of these new drivers.
Upgraded to GT 287 and powered by a Chevrolet engine
For the next race in Portand, the Tiga was upgraded to a TIGA GT 287 and received a new engine, a Chevrolet V6. A more conventional engine. Change of power unit, but no change of category, the Tiga no 342 will continue to race in the Lights category. In this new configuration it will participate in four races of the IMSA Championship, achieving a good 13th place in the scratch at the 2 hours of San Antonio in September 1989.
For the 1990 season, the Tiga abandons its beautiful red livery of the sponsor Far Western Bank Canada Shoes, for a yellow war paint with black stripes. Qualifying in 35th position at the 1990 Daytona 24 Hours, it passed the chequered flag in 19th position. After three races in the 1990 IMSA championship, she finished 14th in the 300 km of Portland.
The following season, it started with a fourth participation in the 24 Hours of Daytona, but ended with a retirement due to a gearbox failure.
It was the last race of the season: Registered for the 300 km of Road Atlanta, she didn't participate in the qualifications.
It was then imported to Sweden where the Malte Roggentin team entered it in the REAB Sportscar Cup series.
Group C Racing Series and Le Mans Classic
The rest of the sporting career of the #342 Tiga took place in historic races in the hands of Briton Jonanthan Fay who entered his car in the prestigious Group C Racing series as well as at Le Mans Classic where it raced in the C2 category.
Freshly out of an exhaustive restoration
Acquired in 2017 by a French collector, the latter undertook a complete restoration of the car lasting several hundred hours. The car was completely dismantled and the chassis was meticulously restored. Some of the aluminium honeycomb parts were even replaced with new ones. It has regained all its rigidity, a guarantee of performance and safety for the future. The bodywork was completely restored and repainted. The engine and gearbox have also been completely overhauled. All the running gear has been restored. The crack test of the safety components was successfully passed. A new wiring loom has been manufactured. The fuel tank was replaced in 2019 and is therefore valid until 2024.
The 4-litre Chevrolet V6 engine, fully serviced by Wasserman Racing Services, was bench tested at 405 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and develops 47 m/kg of torque at 5,600 rpm.
After this exhaustive restoration, the car was successfully tested in the autumn of 2020 at Paul Ricard. It is therefore a car that has regained maximum potential that is offered for sale today.
This TIGA GT 287 #342 thus offers its next owner the opportunity to take part in the most prestigious historic races of the Group C Racing series in Europe including Le Mans Classic as well as HSR races in the United States including Sebring Classic and Daytona Classic. It would be a return to the roots as this Tiga GT287!