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Adrian Newey Ford GT40 owner

When McLaren technical director Adrian Newey wants an automotive fix away from his Formula One day job. he turns to his Ford GT40. He’s the proud owner of chassis P/1010. This season he has driven it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Le Mans Classic event. sharing with Paul Osborn. He also competed at the Goodwood Revival in September.

What is it that attracts you to the GT40?

When I was a kid it was always a car I admired. Over the years I have done a bit of historic rallying in a pre-war Jaguar. which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I fancied doing some competitive driving as well. So I looked around. The GT40 is a lovely, simple, robust car, and very pretty too. so I went for that. I’m very pleased I did.

How long have you had it?

For a year. But I haven’t driven it as much as I would have liked. Two days after I bought it I damaged my achilles tendon. I couldn’t drive for three months. and by then we were into wintertime.

What’s the history of your car?

It’s an Essex Wire car that was raced originally by Skip Scott. It first ran in the United States in 1965. then came over to Europe and did the Monza 1000Km in ’66. finishing second. At the end of that year it had an accident at an Oulton Park test and was written off. It was bought by Keith Sadler [who commissioned a new chassis from JW Automotive] and then by Willie Green. Its a well-used car.

Technically, does the GT40 impress you?

It’s a very solid car, with a steel monocoque which makes it very strong. For its day it was really pretty advanced . It took a while to sort it, though:1965 was a pretty tricky season. but once they had worked on it the car dominated.

Do you think it’s a good idea for Ford to introduce the new GT?

Yes. I haven’t seen one yet. but from the photos it looks very nice. They’ve done a very clever job of keeping the shape, but modernising it at the same time. It’s a very pretty car and. from what people have said, it drives well too.

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