Verdon-Roe wins F1 title

Former GT and sports car racer Bobby Verdon-Roe has clinched the 2009 FIA Historic Formula One Championship title at the wheel of the ex-James Hunt McLaren M26.

Verdon-Roe (above), who is now resident in Portugal, won the title with a fine campaign in class B and is now considering a switch to a later car from the ground-effect era for a title defence in 2010. A later car would allow him to challenge for overall race wins rather than just class success.

“This was a step into the unknown for me,” said Verdon-Roe of his move from FIA GT and LMS racing into Historic F1. After several races in 2007 with the 1978 McLaren (left) he had planned a full campaign last year, but a hefty accident in qualifying at Monaco left the front of the car badly damaged. “We rebuilt it over 2008 in Portugal and did the Estoril race at the end of the season,” he said.

“This year went very smoothly and it is a special feeling to win the title,” added Verdon-Roe, who managed a small team with chief engineer Eugenio Zeindler. “I’d like to defend the title and we’re on the lookout for a ground-effect car.”

The Historic Formula 2 title went to Martin Stretton in his 1600cc March 712, who jumped ahead when Matthew Watts missed the final two races after suffering a blown engine in his March 772 in testing at Dijon.

Among the other key historic racing titles settled in October was the Orwell Supersports Cup, which was won by Italian racer Michele Liguori in his Lola T296.