A field of 21 Formula 1 cars of the 1970s and early 1980s from Masters Historic Racing will race at the Gran Premio De Mexico this weekend as contemporary Grand Prix cars race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Provided that poor weather does not wreck the plans as it did last weekend in Texas, the fabulous spectacle of 3-litre Historic F1 cars racing in Mexico for the first time will add to the spectacle as Grand Prix racing returns to Mexico after an absence of more than 20 years.
The Formula 1 cars of the 1970s and early 1980s have a free practice session today (Friday), qualifying on Saturday morning and a first race on Saturday afternoon. The second race is scheduled for 10.30am local time on Sunday before the main race starts at 1pm.
Like the abortive Texan foray last weekend, this is a race of two worlds as the leading Historic F1 racers from North America take on a gaggle of rapid European raiders. However, the US contingent is not as strong this time around and a European victory looks entirely possible.
Included in the field are some cars rarely seen outside the US including the Penske PC4 of Doug Mockett, the Ensign N179 of sometime Ferrari driver Bud Moeller and the Wolf WR6 of Martin Lauber.
Leading the European challenge will be Goodwood star Nick Padmore, who recently took one of the two FIA Masters Historic F1 titles in Europe in Max Smith-Hilliard’s Lotus 77. For the Mexican races Padmore switches to an Arrows FA1 as Smith-Hilliard takes over the Williams FW07 that Padmore was due to race in Texas. Simon Fish (Ensign N179) will also be a very strong contender from the UK, as will Irishman James Hagan in his Tyrrell 011.
Former FIA Historic F1 champion Greg Thornton continues his trans-Atlantic season in his Lotus 91, which has spent the season in North America, while Andrew Beaumont fields his Lotus 76. Team mates Tommy Dreelan (Williams FW08) and Aaron Scott (March 761) are strong contenders in the team set up by Aberdeen-based Irishman Dreelan, while Masters founder Ron Maydon runs a Hesketh 308B.
It is a good entry for this high-profile event and the Historic F1 cars will remind everyone how Grand Prix looked and sounded more than 30 years ago.