The sight – and sound – of these fat-tyred, high-airbox and bewinged beasts will evoke memories of the European F5000 Championship that ran between 1969 and 1975, backed at various points by Guards, Rothmans and ShellSport. For 1976, F1, F2 and Formula Atlantic cars joined in, so the series lost its F5000 tag.
Great battles were fought out at all the key UK circuits during F5000’s seven seasons, with overseas visits to Anderstorp, Hockenheim, Jyllandsringen, Koksijde, Monza, Mugello, Nivelles, Salzburgring, Zandvoort and Zolder giving the series its European identity. Champions Peter Gethin (1969/’70), Frank Gardner (’71), Gijs van Lennep (’72), Teddy Pilette (’73/’75) and Bob Evans (’74) scrapped for race victories with ex-Grand Prix drivers and/or future F1 names Guy Edwards, Howden Ganley, Mike Hailwood, David Hobbs, Alan Jones, David Purley, Brian Redman, Trevor Taylor and Reine Wisell.
For the event’s second demonstration theme, lovers of 1970s endurance racing will marvel at the appearance of numerous examples of the World Sportscar Championship’s Group 5 racers, highly modified production cars built to take advantage of a 1976 regulation change that welcomed them into the series.