Autosport International, takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on the 10-13th January 2019 and is regarded as the world’s biggest pre-season motor show. The forthcoming event will play host to the half centenary anniversary celebration of Formula 5000.
The series, whose name is derived from the cars’ engine capacity, will be honoured by the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) within the show’s dedicated historic area.
During the early to mid 1970s, Duckhams were heavily involved in this now legendary series, not only sponsoring a number of teams, but also the entire series itself. Drivers such as Tony Brise and the Belgian Teddy Pilette drove Duckhams sponsored Lola’s to victory. For a time at least, the Formula 5000 series, with its thundering, massive engines and close competition looked set to rival Formula 1.
The first race was won by Peter Gethin in a McLaren M10 at Oulton Park when the championship came to the UK in 1969. The legendary Brit went on to win the Championship both in 1969 and 1970 and he also won the Tasman Championship in 1974 driving a Chevron B24. In its heyday Formula 5000 spanned from America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia to the UK.
The HSCC will display six cars at Autosport International including an ex-Mike Hailwood 1971 Surtees TS8 and the 1970 Mclaren M10B raced by Peter Gethin. A number of drivers from the period will be at the show in January and fans can get up close to the legendary chassis on display and get an insight in to the work the HSCC, the premier organiser of historic motor racing in the UK, do.
The six-car display at Autosport International will comprise of the following:
- 1969 Lola T142 ex-Ernst Kroll
- 1970 Mclaren M10B ex-Peter Gethin
- 1971 Surtees TS8 ex-Mike Hailwood
- 1972 McRae GM1
- 1974 Gurney Eagle FA74
- 1975 Lola T400
The list of famous racers to have graced a Formula 5000 grid include Jody Scheckter, Mario Andretti, Rene Arnoux, Patrick Tambay, Alan Jones and Derek Bell.
Grahame White, incumbent CEO of the HSCC, said: “Formula 5000 played host to so many iconic names that we recognise to this day. A championship which came to the UK in 1969 and thrilled fans with some extraordinary works of engineering and raw power. We cannot wait to celebrate 50 years of this wonderful series at Autosport International in January.”
The F 5000 series is an important part of Duckhams’ motorsport heritage, so we’ll be visiting for sure – we suggest you do to. Tickets are available from: http://www.autosportinternational.com/
Photo credits: LAT Images and Steve Holmes via http://www.theroaringseason.com/