Vittorio Brambilla in a Birel during a German F3 race in 1970, the Brabham influence is evident.


In the late 1960s Italian race organisers were offering additional money to anyone fielding an Italian car in F3 events. This led to a large number of manufacturers emerging from the woodwork, the most successful being Tecno. The legendary Brambilla bothers, Tino and Vittorio supported Birel in their efforts to create a local car, the resulting series of Brabham BT21 copies gave Vittorio some success in the final years of the 1-litre formula.


An almost direct clone of a contemporay Brabham, unfortunately for the Birel team it wasn’t as quick as the real thing and results were disappointing..


The Birel design was now beginning to move away, if only slightly, from its Brabham roots and The Brambilla brothers were now getting involved in the project. Ernesto Brambilla took a second place at Monza in May indicating the car was getting better.


The Birel now looked very like a Brabham BT21 and it was obviously going like one as Vittorio Brambilla scored several good results with it including wins at Vallelunga and Monza.


For 1970 the Brambilla’s switched to building karts but at the end of the season Vittorio took his car out of mothballs and won a race at Munich to show it was still competitive.


For 1971 the ’69 car was rebuilt with some Alpine characteristics and raced as the Birel 71. Vittorio winning one race with an Alfa Romeo-based engine and two more with a Nova version.


By 1972 the Birel star had waned, Vittorio doing 5 races with a Wainer-tuned Alfa engine and 2 with a Nova whilst Tino did 5 races with the Alfa version. The chassis was based on a Tecno chassis and used Alpine inspired bodywork. After securing only a single point each the switch to a Brabham chassis was made and the Birel name disappeared from racing history.
Vittorio Brambilla in the Alfa Romeo powered 1971 Birel.


1967 Ernesto Brambilla, Luciano Selva.

1968 Alessandro Angeleri, Ernesto Brambilla, Vittorio Brambilla, Enzo Corti.

1969 Vittorio Brambilla, “Guido”.

1970 Vittorio Brambilla.

1971 Vittorio Brambilla, Pino Pica

1972 Ernesto Brambilla, Vittorio Brambilla, Roberto Manzon