Norma M20: 30 Cars Built
Last week, Norbert Santos delivered the last three of seven Norma M20s used by Patrice Roussel’s racing school “Extrême Limite”.

In one year, 30 of these small sportscars have been built, an unusual figure in French racing history, only matched by single seater maker Mygale. A real challenge too, when you consider Norma’s modest base is located miles away from Paris or Le Mans, in a Pyrenean village named Saint Pé de Bigorre.

Two M20s figure in the CN 17 class and they look surprisingly like March 75s. Power comes from a Group N BMW M3 engine, good for 400 hp. The gearbox is a French SADEV limited to 5 speeds to satisfy the rules. The frame is classically made of aluminium panels.

Pascal Malateste and Alain Castellana (photo) both use them in hill climbing. Le Mont-Dore near Clermont-Ferrand is a famous one, part of the European Championship: with a tired engine, Castellana took a good fourth in the prototype category recently, alone among a myriad of Osella PA 20s.

The gap between CN and LMP2 seems not impossable. Norbert Santos admits it, but suggested that, “a carbon fibre frame and a bigger engine would be needed”.

But Norma’s soul appears not ready for a fourth (far from perfect) Le Mans attempt: “My boys are working full time on the M20s, my crew chief and I are present every weekend in hill climbing or Van de Vyver meetings and we have now to respond to international interest in M20s. At the moment, an LMP2 project is a dream, a costly and ambitious dream.”

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