Nine screaming V12-Engined cars, including David Coplowe’s ex-Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra MS120B, are among 20 three-litre Formula One machines which should race head-to-head with a Formula 5000 revival and lift The Force’s fledgling Classic Grand Prix series for pre-1972 ears in its second season.
Having sold his Thoroughbred GP-contending Lotus 87B (to Coplowe), Graham Willcox’s has acquired the unique ex-Denny Hulme McLaren MI4 to run, while intrepid Formula 5000 converts Frank Lyons and John Bladon are restoring a brace of Surtees TS9s to join the headline Cosworth DFV-powered class.
Pre-’72 carburetted Formula 5000s set to appear include James Denty’s Lotus 70 ‘wedge’, and Lolas fix Nick Shrigley-Feigl (T192) and Josephine Sebastian (T300). Fittingly, since Peter Gethin dominated initially in Church Farm Racing’s McLaren M10B, one of the Coke bottle-sided designs has been recommissioned by TGP Williams racer Richard Eyre.
A super five-event calendar kicks off at Nogaro, in the south of France, on April 1-2, and the COPE Data Management Consultants-backed series is also slated to visit Brands Hatch, Austria’s Al-Ring, Zolder in Belgium and Most in the Czech Republic. “With over 60 competitors expected to register, I anticipate full grids of quality cars at each event,” said organiser David McLaughlin. Several exclusive races for pre-76 Formula 5000 cars (the first at Donington on June 3-4) have attracted huge interest, with Raymond Boissoneau bringing his McRae GM1 from the USA. MP