Action-packed Easter in store at Thruxton

The Easter Revival hits Thruxton this Easter

The Easter Revival hits Thruxton this Easter

First published in Sport
Last updated

The unmistakeable roar of Formula 5000 will resonate around Thruxton next weekend as a marauding pack of 5.0-litre, V8 monsters vie for glory in the Derek Bell Trophy races at the eagerly-anticipated Easter Revival.

Back in its 1970s heyday, Formula 5000 attracted star names from the heady heights of Formula 1, with Jody Scheckter clinching the US-based SCCA Formula 5000 crown in 1973 and Patrick Tambay, Alan Jones and Jacky Ickx sharing the Can-Am laurels between them from 1977 to 1980 in Formula 5000 machinery.

Peter Gethin actually launched his F1 career off the back of consecutive European F5000 Championship titles in 1969 and 1970, later adding the 1974 Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand to his trophy cabinet.

Gethin also won in Formula 5000 at Thruxton in 1970. The spectacular single-seaters have not been unleashed around the ultra-fast circuit in almost a decade, and it is close to 40 years since the track hosted its final dedicated Formula 5000 race – but now, they are back.

One of the undisputed highlights of the second Historic Sports Car Club-organised Easter Revival will be the two Derek Bell Trophy races, which will see a plethora of powerful Formula 5000 behemoths from the 1960s and 1970s take on a pack of lighter and nimbler Formula 2 rivals.

It is approaching half-a-century since the very first Formula 2 event was held at Thruxton in 1968, won by Jochen Rindt in a Brabham BT23C. The Austrian – Formula 1’s only posthumous world champion – made it a hat-trick with triumphs in 1969 and 1970, in a Lotus 59 and Lotus 69 respectively. Following his death, the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) commissioned the Jochen Rindt Trophy, which will again be awarded next weekend.

Formula 5000 entries will include Paul Campfield and reigning FIA Masters Historic Formula One Champion Greg Thornton in Chevron B24s – the latter driving an ex-Peter Gethin car – as well as husband-and-wife Frank and Judy Lyons in a Gurney Eagle FA74 and Lola T332 respectively and Ian Ashley in a Lola T300. The former F1 racer was a Formula 5000 race-winner at Thruxton in 1974 and 1975.

Classic Formula 3 will also play a key part with the impressive entry list including an ex-Derek Warwick Chevron B38, ex-Martin Brundle Ralt RT3, period racer Richard Trott in a Chevron B43 and an ex-Tony Brise Modus in the hands of Mark Hulme.

The Guards Trophy Sports Racing Car category is headlined by McLaren test-driver Chris Goodwin in a McLaren M1B, with Marcus Mussa piloting a similar car. Among the two-litre brigade, a gaggle of Chevron B8s includes an entry for circuit manager Pat Blakeney, who is sharing the driving seat with Stephen Jones.

The unmistakeable roar of Formula 5000 will resonate around Thruxton next weekend as a marauding pack of 5.0-litre, V8 monsters vie for glory in the Derek Bell Trophy races at the eagerly-anticipated Easter Revival.

Back in its 1970s heyday, Formula 5000 attracted star names from the heady heights of Formula 1, with Jody Scheckter clinching the US-based SCCA Formula 5000 crown in 1973 and Patrick Tambay, Alan Jones and Jacky Ickx sharing the Can-Am laurels between them from 1977 to 1980 in Formula 5000 machinery.

Peter Gethin actually launched his F1 career off the back of consecutive European F5000 Championship titles in 1969 and 1970, later adding the 1974 Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand to his trophy cabinet.

Gethin also won in Formula 5000 at Thruxton in 1970. The spectacular single-seaters have not been unleashed around the ultra-fast circuit in almost a decade, and it is close to 40 years since the track hosted its final dedicated Formula 5000 race – but now, they are back.

One of the undisputed highlights of the second Historic Sports Car Club-organised Easter Revival will be the two Derek Bell Trophy races, which will see a plethora of powerful Formula 5000 behemoths from the 1960s and 1970s take on a pack of lighter and nimbler Formula 2 rivals.

It is approaching half-a-century since the very first Formula 2 event was held at Thruxton in 1968, won by Jochen Rindt in a Brabham BT23C. The Austrian – Formula 1’s only posthumous world champion – made it a hat-trick with triumphs in 1969 and 1970, in a Lotus 59 and Lotus 69 respectively. Following his death, the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) commissioned the Jochen Rindt Trophy, which will again be awarded next weekend.

Formula 5000 entries will include Paul Campfield and reigning FIA Masters Historic Formula One Champion Greg Thornton in Chevron B24s – the latter driving an ex-Peter Gethin car – as well as husband-and-wife Frank and Judy Lyons in a Gurney Eagle FA74 and Lola T332 respectively and Ian Ashley in a Lola T300. The former F1 racer was a Formula 5000 race-winner at Thruxton in 1974 and 1975.

Classic Formula 3 will also play a key part with the impressive entry list including an ex-Derek Warwick Chevron B38, ex-Martin Brundle Ralt RT3, period racer Richard Trott in a Chevron B43 and an ex-Tony Brise Modus in the hands of Mark Hulme.

The Guards Trophy Sports Racing Car category is headlined by McLaren test-driver Chris Goodwin in a McLaren M1B, with Marcus Mussa piloting a similar car. Among the two-litre brigade, a gaggle of Chevron B8s includes an entry for circuit manager Pat Blakeney, who is sharing the driving seat with Stephen Jones.

The well-subscribed Guards Trophy Championship, meanwhile, unites a wide variety of marques from Jaguar to Sunbeam, Lotus, Chevrolet, Triumph, TVR, Marcos, Jensen, MGB and Turner.

The opening rounds of the new HSCC Super Touring Car Championship offer a mouth-watering prospect, with 1990s BTCC heroes John Cleland and Patrick Watts returning to the wheel of their former steeds and Historic Touring Cars will similarly be out in force, with a quartet of Ford Mustangs preparing to do battle with a Jaguar MKI, Jaguar MkII, Ford Galaxie, Ford Anglia, Lotus Cortinas and Hillman Imps. With the ‘70s Road Sports Championship, Historic Formula Junior, Historic Formula Ford and Classic Clubmans embellishing the appeal, an action-packed weekend is certainly in-store.

Easter Revival tickets are on sale from just £10 and can be purchased either online via the official http://www.thruxtonracing.co.uk/ website or by calling the ticket office on 01264 882200 .

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