Alan Jones, the 1980 Formula One Champion, could star in the opening round of the 2001 FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix Car Championship if as looks increasingly likely, the series supports the Australian Grand Prix in his home town of Melbourne, next March.
Event organisers are eager that Jones, 54 in November, should contest the event. Winner of 12 GPs, he would become the first ex-F1 driver to compete in the series, which is entering its seventh year.
News of Jones’ interest has brought two offers of cars from private British owners. Andrew Wareing’s Williams FW07-4, in which he won the 1980 Argentine GP, and Luke Chapman’s FW06-2 are both undergoing rebuilds.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone whose S. Brabham BT49 won the 1996 Most and 1999 Monza rounds of the TGP series in the hands of Simon Hadfield and Ermanno Ronchi respectively has wholeheartedly supported the race initiative.
TGP co-ordinator Steve Lydon said. “We are honoured to have been invited. While contracts have yet to be signed, the interest reflects TGP’s status as the world’s finest historic championship.” More than half of the 40 regular competitors have indicated they’ll enter. MP