Remembering Niki Lauda in the best possible way at 81MM

14th April 2024
Simon Ostler

At the 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport we’re celebrating several anniversaries of Niki Lauda. A three-time Formula 1 world champion, it’s 40 years since the great Austrian claimed the third of his titles in 1984, when he beat team-mate Alain Prost by half a point. It’s also 50 years since he took his first F1 victory at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix for Ferrari, and we’re marking the occasion by sending his final F1 car, the 1985 McLaren MP4/2B, out for some raucous laps of the Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The 1985 season was not a happy one for Lauda, although he raced with the number one on his nose cone, he won only a single grand prix at Zandvoort as Prost took revenge with a dominant championship title charge. He suffered ten mechanical failures over the course of the 16-race season, and duly retired from F1, for a second time, after the final race in Adelaide. It remains a tale of what might have been, however, as in the hands of Prost the MP4/2B took five wins and a further six podiums on his way to his first F1 world championship.

Seeing this astonishing car in action once again was quite the moment at Members’ Meeting. It’s first run out on Saturday afternoon was as spectacular as we could have hoped. With a 1.5-litre turbocharged TAG-Porsche engine that once produced somewhere in the region of 1,000PS (735kW) in qualifying trim, this thing is an absolute beast. It sounded it too, as it burbled away on its way down the start-finish straight, spitting flames from its exhaust as it went.

With Chris Goodwin at the wheel it was like being back in 1985, with this car looking and sounding like it was out for a qualifying session. Properly entertaining, properly evocative, every bit the celebration Niki deserved.

The 81st Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport is live now! You can watch every second of the action right here on our GRR live stream.

Photography by Pete Summers.

  • 81MM

  • Members' Meeting

  • Niki Lauda

  • McLaren

  • MP4/2B

  • Event Coverage


Members' Meeting

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