F2 feast at Thruxton

The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire will be marked by a special celebration race meeting on Easter Monday (March 24).

Formula 2 topped the bill on Easter Monday 1968 (above) and continued to headline the circuit’s programme until 1985, and the 2008 event will showcase the European F2 Trophy.

The airfield was used for car racing in the 1950s, but the present circuit was built for the start of the 1968 season as a new home for the British Automobile Racing Club following the closure of Goodwood.

The 1968 European F2 race, run as two heats and a final, was won by Jochen Rindt’s Brabham BT23C despite the Austrian sliding off the track late in the race and crashing through an advertising hoarding.

Support races in 1968 included Formula Vee and a round of the British Saloon Car Championship, and a contemporary Formula Vee race will be back on the schedule in 2008 along with a Top Hat race for ’60s saloons.

The European F2 Trophy, including cars from the 1600cc and 2-litre era of F2 racing, is set for a bumper season in 2008 with increased competitor support and an expanded programme.

The Historic Sports Car Club’s Grahame White, who is administrator for the F2 Trophy, said: “I was the starter as well as the clerk of the course [for the 1968 races], so it will be wonderful to celebrate 40 years of Formula 2 at Thruxton.”