Throughout the years motorsport has had a lot of influence on cycling, even as recently as this past year with McLaren getting involved. At Ritte, we love all forms of racing and the progress that comes along with the search for speed. It's not always about victory so much as pushing the envelope. There is one example that stands out even after 30 years, and that's Benetton's entry into Formula 1 - our inspiration for Ritte's R186 Race Jersey.
The 1980's were a wild time in motorsport - the growing popularity of turbocharging pushing cars and drivers to the limits. We saw it in the dirt with Group B rally cars and on the pavement of the Formula 1 race track. Benetton, in all their Italian flair, may well have been responsible for the forthcoming limiting of engine horsepower. With their official entrance into the F1 Constructor's Championship in 1986 Benetton, and their B186 car, were quick to make headlines.
The B186 was fitted with a BMW turbo engine, and the boost was subsequently turned up to 11. The car produced over 1,400bhp and the rumors around it swirled. Some said the BMW engineers left the motors outside to "harden" in the cold weather before being installed in the cars. Others said the engine blocks were used as urinals because of the strengthening properties of urine (we do not recommend this technique for bicycles). When the B186 set a course speed trap record at Monza, who was to say any of this wasn't true?
Ultimately, the cars proved to be a handful, with their howling turbo engines making them a bit difficult to control. Nonetheless, Gerhard Berger was able to pilot the B186 to one victory at the Mexican Grand Prix. The car's short, 1 year run, cementing its status in motorsport lore.
Images of the B186 lapping high speed circuits - its colorful, lighthearted livery concealing its terrifyingly potent engine - will forever be seared into memories. Even when it didn't win, it had a style and presence that was serious yet seriously fun. An era in racing where innovation ran wild and panache was not forgotten.
Our take on all of this? The Ritte R186 Race Jersey. The basis of the jersey being an engineered, purpose built garment with a flare that'll put a smile on your face while getting kitted up. Maybe you'll go a little faster, or have a little more fun in the dirt or on the road. Find out more about the technology on the product page, and keep your eyes on the blog for more bits of history like this.