European circuits will once again shake to the thunder of packed F5000 grids next season thanks to the new Force F5000 Transatlantic Challenge. Series organiser David McLaughlin, encouraged by the success of a one-off race at Brands Hatch last year, has now tracked down more than 60 up-and-running cars and believes that over 30 of them will race in 2001.
“Lolas and McLarens abound, but there will be rare cars too,” he said. “Ian Giles has bought an Eagle and has tested it over in the US. We also expect three Trojans, and should have the two VDS Chevron B28s raced by Peter Gethin and Teddy Pilette. There will be three Surtees — two TS8s and a TS11.”
Entrants have been attracted to the series by the low running costs incurred by big stock-block Chevys compared to DFV-powered F1 cars.
The calendar has yet to be finalised, but is expected to kick off at Nogaro on 1 April and McLaughlin hopes to have six or seven rounds, including races at Mondello Park and Brands Hatch GP. Other venues should include Zolder and Dijon. Further spice will be added by a Europe vs America element. Said McLaughlin: ‘We’ve spoken to Brian Redman, who lives over in the US and was so successful in F5000 there, and he’s keen to come over and race a Lola.” PF