HSCC to honour Formula 5000 at Autosport International

Filed under: Classic News,Racing |
The Lola T400 used by Michael Lyons to win this year’s Derek Bell TrophyThe Historic Sports Car Club will celebrate 50 years of Formula 5000 in a spectacular display at Autosport International at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham (January 10-13).

The Club will mark the 50th anniversary of the UK debut of the spectacular category with a showcase six-car display of the mighty 5-litre single-seaters. Cars from Lola, McLaren, Surtees, Gurney and McRae will be on show, as now raced in the Club’s Derek Bell Trophy race series. A number of drivers from the period are expected be at the show in January.

Based on the American Formula A category, Formula 5000 arrived in the UK for the 1969 season and in period Formula 5000 rivalled Formula 1 cars for speed. The F5000 cars joined the grid for the traditional early season non-championship F1 races like the Silverstone International Trophy and the Brands Hatch Race of Champions. Notable F5000 racers included Peter Gethin, Mike Hailwood, Mario Andretti, Rene Arnoux, Patrick Tambay, Alan Jones and Derek Bell.

Formula 5000 was introduced to the UK by John Webb from Brands Hatch and the inaugural race was at Oulton Park over the 1969 Easter weekend. At its peak in the early 1970s, Formula 5000 was active in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

The HSCC display at Autosport International will feature six cars owned and raced by Club members including the ex-Mike Hailwood 1971 Surtees TS8 of Chris Atkinson and the 1970 McLaren M10B raced by Peter Gethin for Sid Taylor’s team. The 1969 ex-Horst Kroll Lola T142, now raced by Adam Simmonds, will represent the early cars, while the 1975 Lola T400, now raced successfully by Michael Lyons in the HSCC’s Derek Bell Trophy, is one of the ultimate F5000 designs.

Grahame White, CEO of the HSCC, said: “Formula 5000 played host to so many iconic names that we recognise to this day. It was a category which came to the UK in 1969 and thrilled fans with some extraordinary works of engineering and raw power. These cars now race in our Derek Bell Trophy series and continue to make a fabulous spectacle.”