With little over eight weeks until the 73rd Members’ Meeting, faint traces of fever are becoming noticeable here at the circuit whenever phrases like ‘Group C‘ or ‘high-airbox’ enter the conversation.
Yesterday we experienced one such fevered moment when, not only was it announced that the Shadow DN5 would be in attendance, but that it would be driven by the very man – Jean-Pierre Jarier – who campaigned it in F1 during the 1975 season.
There will be more than 25 ‘high-airbox’ cars in attendance at 73MM, representing one of the most visually-memorable periods ever in motor racing and the Shadow, with its predominantly black livery, was one of the most recognisable. Not only that, but it was a genuinely quick car. Despite not winning a race, it led convincingly at Brazil before succumbing to mechanical maladies and racked-up three pole positions and two fastest laps in the hands of Jarier and the late Tom Pryce.
This car was retired after it suffered major damage at Monaco that year, and stayed retired until a successful restoration meant it could take part in last year’s Monaco Grand Prix Historique. Monsieur Jarier himself, now 68, enjoyed a 12-year career in F1 before moving to touring and GT cars, and even stunt-driving in films like Ronin.
Also on track taking part in the high-speed demonstration will be Niki Lauda’s title-winning Ferrari 312T, Lotus 72s, and examples of Tyrells, McLarens, Marches, the Matra-engined Shadow DN7 and rarities like the Amon AF101 and Token RJ02.
Following on from last year’s Eighties turbo-era F1 high-speed demonstration was always going to be a tough ask. The signs are that the Competitions Department has nailed it!