BARC championships battle mixed conditions at Oulton Park

The British Automobile Racing Club officially kicked off the 2018 season on track this past Saturday (March 17) with four championships doing battle around Oulton Park.

Marking the start of a new campaign, competitors and spectators were met with all manner of weather conditions as sun and snow battered the Cheshire venue.

Edge-of-the-seat thrills were delivered in droves from the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres as a 33-car entry list duked it out across three encounters.

Will Gibson snatched the early advantage as he stormed to victory in the opening race of the day, pipping reigning champion John Mickel and the ever-impressive Jack Parker. Gibson was unable to repeat his performance in the second race however as Steve Whitelegg surged to victory, with Parker and Miles Rudman in tow.

Come the final at the end of the day, Connor Mills proved to be the man to beat as he led home Parker, who made it a trio of podium finishes, and race one winner Gibson to take top spot.

Like Legends, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship also boasted a bumper grid of more than 30 cars of all makes and models. Just one race instead of the timetabled two was run though and following a restart, Paul Rose emerged as the victor.

At the wheel of his Saker RAPX S1-400, Rose was in a league of his own as he took the chequered flag by more than 20 seconds. The battle for the remaining podium positions proved to be a lot closer though with just three tenths of a second separating David Harvey and Danny Bird.

The APL Health Caterham Graduates Championship also roared into life at Oulton Park with a host of new and old faces going wheel-to-wheel.

In the amalgamated Mega/Classic/Sigma/Sigman VCT races Declan Dolan continued his fine form from 2017 to take a brace of victories. The reigning Mega champion swept his way to a dominant double as Ben Winrow shadowed him in both races. Kevin Barrett and Roger Ford each picked up a third place each too.

Lee Collins was equally as dominant in the two Sigmax/Sigmax VCT races as he topped the rostrum in both. Collins led Oliver Gibson and Jamie Winrow in the opener before Winrow led the charge to try and beat him along with Ben Gillias in the second.

Rounding out action at the weekend was the Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship. In two frenetic races, some of the most iconic machines from the popular brand put on a show for those in attendance.

Piloting his MG ZR, David Mellor picked up victory in race one ahead of Martin Wells and Stuart Plotnek before Simon Kendrick, driving a MG F VVC, took the win in race two ahead of Plotnek and Stuart Philps.

For the full classification of results from all championships, click here.

Sebastian Loeb wins first-ever rallycross event held at Silverstone

Following months of build up and anticipation, Silverstone staged its maiden rallycross event this past weekend (March 17) with the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship putting on a memorable 2018 curtain-raiser, Sebastian Loeb prevailIng as the winner.

Serving as the new home for the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the Northamptonshire-based venue welcomed a bumper crowd in what proved to be arctic conditions as snow continuously fell throughout the day.

Boasting an entry list of some of the biggest names from British shores, the championship also welcomed a host of FIA World RX drivers, all of whom were keen to get an early taste of the new layout.

Team Peugeot-Hansen fielded a pair of machines for Loeb and Timmy Hansen whilst Andreas Bakkerud flew the flag for EKS. It was to be those three drivers that would prove to be the benchmark throughout the day in the Supercar category.

Bakkerud made his through the trio of heats unbeaten as he hustled his Audi S1 to three wins, placing him in a commanding position. Come the semi-finals however it was to be Hansen and Loeb that came to the fore, each winning their respective races to put them in a strong position for the final.

In what proved to be a frenetic encounter in treacherous conditions, nine-time World Rally champion Loeb produced a sensational drive to fend off his team-mate Hansen and Bakkerud, writing his name into the history books as the first outright winner at the venue.

Whilst the globetrotting world stars locked out the podium, the British contingent ensured that they didn’t all have things they’re own way. Five-time British champion Julian Godfrey, driving a Mitsubishi Mirage, made solid progress throughout the day to finish fourth in the final whilst Steve Hill was fifth.

Other notable performances included Roger Thomas in his Ford Focus whilst Ollie O’Donovan, Kevin Proctor and Mark Higgins all were in the mix too.

In the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship Marius Solberg-Hansen clinched victory ahead of Luke and James Constantine. Earlier in the day Morgan Wroot became the first official driver to win a race at Silverstone virtue of clinching top spot in his opening heat.

Jack Thorne fended off Paul Coney and Tristan Ovenden in the MSA Supernational and Super 1600 Championship final to top the rostrum whilst Keifer Hudson was the BMW Mini victor.

Simon Ovenden continued his imperious form in the Swift Sport Championship to take the win ahead of Rob Shield and Tom Llewellin. James Harrold and Chrissy Palmer rounded off the list of winners as they picked up trophies in the Retro Rallycross and RX150 respectively.

For the full list of results from all classes, click here.

The next round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championships takes place on Monday 2 April at Lydden Hill.

Ginetta gears up for milestone year with launch of flagship championships

In what is set to be a milestone year for the manufacturer as it celebrates its 60th anniversary, Ginetta are set to hit the track for 2018 with its flagship championships.

Descending on Brands Hatch on Wednesday 14th March, the Yorkshire-based powerhouse officially launched the Ginetta Junior Championship and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup for the forthcoming season.

Both part of the highly-regarded TOCA support package, the two categories are set for another blockbuster year with bumper grids confirmed for both.

Catering for drivers aged 14 to 17, the Ginetta Juniors have made a name for themselves down the years for producing plenty of edge-of-the-seat thrills in front of the ITV4 cameras and huge trackside crowds.

This year, another crop of old and new faces are set to duke it out for the coveted crown, all looking to follow in the footsteps of Tom Gamble – who walked away as champion in 2017.

Notable names to look out for as the season goes on include Adam Smalley, Matt Luff and Fin Green, all of which are back for another season and set to battle against a wealth of rookie youngsters.

Elsewhere in the GT4 Supercup, a fascinating blend of youth and experience is set to go wheel-to-wheel with all eyes fixed on replicating Callum Pointon’s achievements last year.

Carl Boardley is set to be one driver many will be keeping a keen eye on having challenged at the front of the field on countless occasions. Harry King graduates from Juniors whilst the likes of Michael Crees, Charlie Ladell and Jac Constable are all ones to watch.

Speaking at Brands Hatch, Sales Manager Ian Fletcher, said: “We are looking forward to the 2018 season, one that is a commemorative one for Ginetta as a whole.

“This year we are celebrating our 60th anniversary and the culmination of our LMP1 FIA WEC programme as well as all of our other championships.

“Once again both the Junior and Supercup championships look to be in great shape and I am sure it will be another memorable year for all involved.”

For more information on Ginetta, head to www.ginetta.com

Renault UK Clio Cup set for ‘memorable’ 2018

Following a lengthy winter break, the Renault UK Clio Cup is set for lift off following the annual Media Day at Silverstone on Thursday 15th March.

Serving as the launchpad for the 2018 season, teams and drivers from both the senior and junior categories descended on the Northamptonshire venue to kick off the forthcoming campaign.

Off the back of what proved to be an enthralling record-breaking year in the UK Clio Cup, the 2018 season is set to be just as competitive with a bumper grid confirmed.

With the likes of Max Coates, Daniel Rowbottom, Paul Rivett, Mike Epps and many more set to be in the mix for the overall title, the championship is set to hit further

Will Fewkes, Renault UK Motorsport Championship Manager, said: “Year after year the level of talent in the championship keeps rising and everyone puts on a show.

“We have always prided ourselves on our technical excellence and our heritage and I am sure that will shine through this year. Being part of the incredible TOCA package, which sees huge trackside crowds and great coverage on ITV4, is a huge benefit for everyone involved.

“For 2018 we have another exciting year ahead of us with a hugely competitive grid, a new control tyre by Michelin and a revised points structure which includes the reintroduction of the dropped score format – it is once again too close to call on who could walk away as champion.

Off the back of its inaugural season in 2017, the Junior championship is set to further flourish this year too with the opening round of the season set to take place at Silverstone on March 24/25.

Champion Jack Young returns with the coveted number one adorning his car in a bid to make it back-to-back titles; however a host of youngsters will be keen to wrestle the mantel of champion away from him.

Visiting a host of circuits throughout the year, the Junior championship’s second year is likely to be another blockbuster one.

Fewkes enthused: “When we introduced the current car in 2014 we always planned to put that into the junior market, giving them a fresh option of where to race as well as a clear stepping stone to progress their career.

“The racing last year was tremendous, the opening weekend at Snetterton was a real highlight and proved to be hugely satisfying as the work that had been put in came to fruition.

“This year we have a host of new faces set to compete and I am sure they will have a great experience and hone their craft further. We are giving away one of the biggest prizes in junior motorsport and that only adds to the brilliant spectacle I am sure it will be this year.”

To view the full entry lists for both championships, plus much more, head to the Renault UK website.

BARC kicks off new season at Oulton Park

Following months of preparation and anticipation, the 2018 motorsport season for the British Automobile Racing Club is set to get underway this weekend (March 17) at Oulton Park.

A traditional starting point in mid-March for the Club, the Cheshire-based venue will host four championships in what is set to be a blockbuster day of non-stop thrills ’n’ spills.

Boasting an impressive 33-car grid for the forthcoming season and keen to put on a show for those in attendance is the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres.

Kicking off what is set to be a frenetic 51-race season, spanning the length and breadth of the UK, the popular category will race three times around Oulton Park on Saturday, with all eyes on reigning champion John Mickel as he bids to defend his title.

Challenges to Mickel’s crown are set to come from all angles however with the likes of Ben Power, Jack Parker, Steve Whitelegg and Marcus Pett, amongst a host of others, set to take the fight to the multiple title winner.

Big grids are also expected in the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship, the jewel in the crown of the BARC’s North West Centre.

A mammoth 38-car grid has been confirmed for the opening two races of the season with a diverse range of cars set to duke it out for outright honours. One notable absentee however from the entry list is 2017 champion Joe Spencer, however he is hoping to compete in selected events later in the year.

With Spencer out of the picture, many eyes will be on the Saker duo of Paul Rose and Steve Harris who head the entry list. Throw into the miss the likes of former champion Paul Dobson, Dave Taylor and Garry Wardle and you will get just a taster of how competitive this year is set to be.

Close-quarter action is set to be a theme in the APL Health Caterham Graduates Championship too as they also roar into action for the first time this year.

Introducing a revised class structure and benefitting from the blend of old and new faces competing, the championship is set to go from strength-to-strength as it seeks to build on what was a stellar 20th anniversary last year.

Rounding out the on-track action for this one-day event is the Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship. Mixing nostalgia classics with some of the most recent models from the iconic brand, another jam-packed grid are set to battle it out for the multiple class titles that are on offer.

British Rallycross ready for blockbuster season-opener at Silverstone

History is set to be made at Silverstone this weekend (March 17) as the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship bursts into life.

Tackling the Northamptonshire venue’s brand new rallycross circuit for the first time, the adrenaline-filled championship is set to certainly leave its mark come the end of Saturday evening.

Predicting winners in rallycross is usually difficult at the best of times and this year’s season-opener is evermore difficult due a host of different factors being thrown into the mix.

A new track brings with it a host of challenges and many will be keen to get on the pace and gain an advantage early.

Whilst reigning champion Nathan Heathcote is competing this weekend (in the RX150 class) his title is very much up for grabs and there are no shortage of contenders to choose from.

Five-time champion Julian Godfrey leads the way and he will be keen to go one better than last year. One major change for Godfrey this weekend however is that he has swapped his Ford Fiesta for the Spencer Sport-run Mitsubishi Mirage RX.

Kevin Proctor and Ollie O’Donovan know what it takes to win at the highest level and will also be ones to watch as they bid to gain an the upper hand in what is set to be a championship battle full of twists and turns.

Steve Hill, Andy Grant, Mad Mark Watson and Oliver Bennett were regular fixtures on the grid last year and all are back competing at the opening round.

Three-time MSA British Rally champion Mark Higgins will pit himself against some of British RX’s established names too as he links up with Albatec Racing

If the best of British contingent wasn’t enough for the 2018 season-opener, a handful of FIA World Rallycross Championship drivers are also on the entry list as they seek to get to grips with the new circuit ahead of the May event that is being run.

Team Peugeot Total have entered two of their Peugeot 208 machines for nine-time World Rally champion Sebastian Loeb and Timmy Hansen. Andreas Bakkerud will also get his eye in at the wheel of his EKS Audi Sport.

Guerlain Chichent rounds off the list of World RX stars as he pilots a Renault Clio R.S RX, all of which is set to further add to the spectacle.

Throw into the mix the stacked supporting cast from the MSA Junior Championship, MSA Supernational Championship, Retro Rallycross Championship, RX150 Championship, BMW Mini Rallycross Championship, Super1600 Rallycross Championship and Swift Sport Rallycross Championship and you begin to understand how this weekend is one that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Porsche Carrera Cup GB roars into life for 2018

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB has officially launched for 2018 with a bumper 23-car entry list confirmed during the annual Media Day at Silverstone on Monday 13th March.

Following on from a memorable 2017 campaign where the title went down to the wire, a new name is set to be etched on the coveted championship trophy with Charlie Eastwood and Daniel Cammish both moving on to new pastures.

Introducing the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car as well as a revised points structure and a trip to Monza onto the calendar, the TOCA support series is set for another meteoric year.

In the Pro class, 2017 runner-up Dino Zamparelli leads the list of drivers that will be battling it out for the overall title, this time spearheading Redline Racing’s charge.

Tio Ellinas is also back, this time switching to Slidesports, whilst Lewis Plato is keen to build on what proved to be a strong first season with front-running outfit JTR.

Another familiar face that will be keen to impress is former Ginetta GT Supercup champion Tom Wrigley. Making the jump from IN2 Racing to JTR, Wrigley will be one to watch as he embarks on his second campaign in the series.

Other notable names to look out for include Junior Scholarship winner Daniel Harper, who steps across from the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship.

Elsewhere, the newly renamed Pro-Am class (formerly Pro-Am1) boasts a host of names, all of which can make an impact on the destiny of this year’s championship. Justin Sherwood, Seb Perez, Jamie Orton, Richard Hawken and Rory Collingbourne are just a few of the drivers that will be vying for glory.

The former Pro-Am2 class, now titled AM class, is back too with well-known drivers Shamus Jennings, Peter Kyle-Henney and Iain Dockerill. Add into the mix the likes of former BTCC racer turned team boss Daniel Welch and the level of competition is as stiff as ever in the Carrera Cup GB.

The opening two rounds of the season get underway at Brands Hatch on April 7/8.

Star-studded entry list confirmed for British Rallycross season-opener

A star-studded entry list has been confirmed for the opening round of the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship on March 17.

Taking place at the brand-new rallycross circuit at Silverstone, no less than 14 Supercars will battle it out for supremacy as they bid to get the upper hand early on.

Leading the line-up are stars from the FIA World Rallycross Championship, with Team Peugeot Total fielding cars for nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and his team-mate Timmy Hansen.

In addition, fellow WRX competitor Guerlain Chicherit will also be in action at the wheel of a Renault Clio RS.

Flying flag for Great Britain are a host of big names with seven of them having won a British Rallycross Championship event in the past. With 2017 champion Nathan Heathcote moving on to the world stage, the battle for the coveted title is set to be even more fiercely fought over.

Julian Godfrey, Kevin Proctor and Ollie O’Donovan are set to lead the charge whilst the likes of Mark Higgins, Mark Watson and Steve Hill are amongst others that can’t be overlooked.

Elsewhere in the two-wheel drive MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship a diverse 16-car grid will compete whilst there will be seven young drivers are targeting MSA Junior Rallycross Championship glory.

Bumper entries in the one-make Swift Sport and BMW Mini Championships, as well as the Retro class, also add to the spectacle with World RX commentator Andrew Coley once again getting back behind the wheel, this time in Swifts.

To view the full entry list, click here.

Nigel Mansell CBE and Murray Walker OBE to open The Thruxton Centre at 50th Anniversary Celebration

The 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell and much-loved veteran F1 commentator Murray Walker will inaugurate The Thruxton Centre during the 50th Anniversary Celebration – Sat 2 – Sun 3 June. Plus, Mansell’s title-winning Williams F1 car will also be on display.

The Thruxton Centre – Thruxton Circuit’s new, £2 million state-of-the-art hospitality facility – will be officially opened at 12:00 noon on Sunday, 3 June by 31-time Grand Prix-winner and 1992 Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell CBE alongside his lifelong friend and semi-retired motorsport commentator and journalist, Murray Walker OBE.

Thruxton’s flagship hospitality building is the latest addition to the venue as part of a comprehensive modernisation programme. The fully-catered facility will comprise a new restaurant and bar, exhibition space, function rooms, hosting suites and outside viewing terrace.

Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will take place over the weekend of 2/3 June, featuring 15 races as well as high-speed demonstrations from Williams’ 1983 FW08C and other iconic racing cars and bikes. As the stars of the eagerly-anticipated inauguration of The Thruxton Centre, Mansell and Walker will be amongst the high-profile guests, and both spoke warmly about the popular Hampshire circuit – the quickest in the country.

Mansell said: “I remember Thruxton very fondly from my early racing days, as a very fast, demanding circuit where I enjoyed several exciting and successful races.”

Walker added: “I’ve been commentating at Thruxton since the early 1950s, notably at motorcycle races, the great Formula Two events and the thrilling British Touring Car Championship. I love its friendly atmosphere and am honoured to join my mate Nigel for the opening of this superb new building.”

Mansell’s 1992 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Williams FW14B will also be on display. Penned by legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey OBE and Sir Patrick Head, the FW14B – pioneer of the sport’s game-changing active suspension technology – won ten Grands Prix, achieved 15 pole positions out of 16 and set 11 fastest laps in the hands of the Briton and team-mate Riccardo Patrese. Between them, the pair tallied no fewer than 21 podium finishes that year, with Mansell clinching the coveted Drivers’ crown as early as the Hungarian Grand Prix in August – a record at the time.

“We’re over-the-moon to be able to confirm Nigel and Murray to officially open The Thruxton Centre,” enthused Thruxton Group Managing Director, Bill Coombs. “They are both absolute motorsport royalty, not only in Britain but all around the world, and I am sure they will prove to be a huge draw at our 50th Anniversary Celebration. The new facility will truly enhance the Thruxton offering for race fans, manufacturers and corporate guests.

“For fans to also get the opportunity to see the Williams FW14B – one of the most dominant cars in the sport’s history – in the flesh will be a rare treat, and enhances the team’s presence at the event alongside the FW08C, which we announced last week. Better yet, there’s much, much more still to come – so watch this space!”

The first motorsport event to be held at Thruxton in the venue’s current guise was in March, 1968 and half-a-century on, a whole host of single-seaters, sportscars and saloons from the last five decades will hit the track for a spirited sprint down memory lane at the circuit’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Away from the race programme, there will be a raft of eye-catching demo runs, static displays and car club reunions, as well as a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display in evidence of the festival’s family-friendly appeal.

Advance tickets for Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on 2/3 June are available from just £12 for Saturday entry and £15 for Sunday – or £24 for both days. Sunday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Bernie Ecclestone awarded BARC Gold Medal

The British Automobile Racing Club and its Council has bestowed Berne Ecclestone with its highest award, a BARC Gold Medal.

Not given out every year, the accolade is awarded by the Council of the BARC for outstanding achievement in motor racing by British subjects, with an impressive roll of honour dating back to 1955 already in place.

Announced at the annual BARC Championships Awards Evening this past Saturday [17th February], Ecclestone was awarded the coveted medal for his invaluable role within motorsport over the past seven decades.

Starting out as a keen competitor, Ecclestone’s first racing experience came in 1949 in Formula 3 however he soon began to make his name within motorsport managing the likes of Jochen Rindt before going on to Brabham in the early 1970’s.

Guiding the team to a brace of Formula One World Championship titles, Ecclestone soon became the figurehead of Formula One itself having played a pivotal role in setting up the Formula One Constructors Association.

From there Ecclestone became chief executive of FOCA in 1978 where he went onto revolutionise the sport by securing a lucrative television deal that has continued to grow into what it is today. Remaining at the helm of Formula One for a number of years, Ecclestone’s reign came to an end in early 2017 however he still works on a number of projects to this day.

Speaking on awarding Ecclestone with a Gold Medal at the event, BARC Chairman Tony Scott-Andrews said: “It is not every year that we award someone with a Gold Medal but when we do it is somebody that truly deserves it and is recognised for their hard work.

“When deliberating with the rest of the Council members, Bernie was the first name mentioned when it came to a Gold Medal. We all know of the mark and contribution he has made to motorsport.

“He has pushed helped push motorsport onto the global audience and has done a lot for the Club down the years too. Bernie therefore is immensely deserving of this accolade.”

Predecessors of Ecclestone that have been awarded a BARC Gold Medal include four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Christian Horner, Ron Dennis and Allan McNish.

In the coming days you will be able to watch the full Bernie Ecclestone video on BARC TV.

Champions celebrated at BARC Championships Awards Evening

Proving to be one of the marquee nights on the calendar, the great and the good of UK motorsport came together on Saturday (17th February) for the annual BARC Championship Awards Evening.

Held at the Mecure Daventry Court Hotel for the first time, Alan Hyde hosted what proved to be a memorable night where a host of prestigious awards were handed out. In-keeping with the new venue there were also new trophies, provided by Aford Awards.

More than 30 drivers were awarded during the evening with Dunlop MSA British Touring Car champion Ashley Sutton leading the coveted list.

Alongside the championship awards, a further three illustrious accolades were handed out to unsuspecting winners.

The Densley Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding female driver in the BARC, went the way of Mighty Minis champion Alice Hughes whilst Junior Saloon Car title winner Will Dyrdal picked up The Peter Collins Memorial Trophy, awarded to the most promising newcomer competing in BARC events.

The Presidents Cup, which is presented to the most successful driver below international level, was awarded to BARC King Henry’s Taverns Clubmans champion Mike Evans.

Prize-giving didn’t just stop with those that sit behind-the-wheel however with two marshals picking up awards too. Di Hardy picked up the BARC Marshal of the Year Trophy whilst Dave Hodgson was bestowed with The Sir Clive Bossom Trophy, virtue of completing the most volunteering days.

Commenting on the evening, BARC Chief Operating Officer Drew Furlong said: “As always our annual awards night proved to be a fitting and memorable night to commemorate our champions of 2017.

“Last year proved to be another memorable season across all of our championships with many of them going right down to the wire and producing non-stop entertainment along the way.

“Evenings like this are a great way to commemorate everyone from the drivers that compete to those that work behind-the-scenes on putting together the events – as well as everyone in-between.

“It proved to be another awards evening to remember and has set everyone up for the season ahead.”

On top of the trophy presentation, the Club also awarded Formula 1 figurehead Bernie Ecclestone with a Gold Medal for his contribution to motorsport, which spanned countless decades.

Finally, as has become a tradition on the night, a total of £1595 was raised and donated to the BARC Marshals and Rescue Fund.

Ex-Rosberg 1983 Williams to star at Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary

The Williams FW08C raced by Keke Rosberg in the 1983 Formula 1 World Championship is set to return to the track as part of Thruxton Circuit’s eagerly-anticipated 50th Anniversary Celebration this spring.

Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will take place over the weekend of 2/3 June. The first motorsport event to be held at the venue in its current guise was on Easter Monday, 1968 and half-a-century on, a whole host of single-seaters, sportscars and saloons from the last five decades will hit the track for a spirited sprint down memory lane.

Away from the race programme, there will be a raft of eye-catching demo runs and static displays, car club reunions and a smattering of famous faces, as well as a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display in evidence of the festival’s family-friendly appeal.

With its 540kg aluminium honeycomb chassis powered by a three-litre Ford Cosworth DFV V8 engine punching out 530bhp and a six-speed gearbox, the Williams FW08C will both look and sound phenomenal as it scorches around Thruxton’s flat-out sweepers in the hands of a yet-to-be-confirmed high-profile driver. The last time an F1 car was driven at Thruxton in anger was all the way back in 1993, when Damon Hill averaged an eye-watering 147.25mph in the title-winning Williams FW15C.

“We are thrilled to be able to confirm the attendance of the Williams FW08C for a high-speed demo run at our 50th Anniversary Celebration,” enthused Thruxton Group Managing Director, Bill Coombs. “We are grateful to Williams Heritage for agreeing to supply the car.

“I have no doubt that the FW08C will make for a quite incredible spectacle in June. It is what I would call a ‘proper’ F1 car – with its screeching V8 engine and wide rear tyres – and it will surely bring back many evocative memories for those like me who were lucky enough to have witnessed it competing during its heyday. This really will be very special indeed.

“Best of all, this is only the first of several exciting announcements we have in the pipeline for our 50th Anniversary Celebration, so stay tuned to find out what else we have in store for an event that promises to be a race meeting with a difference and much, much more besides.”

Rosberg was the reigning Formula 1 World Champion in 1983, and the moustachioed Finn remained a major player as the complexion of the sport began to change with the advent of the legendary turbo era. Although the FW08C’s ageing, naturally-aspirated Cosworth powerplant was at a disadvantage around some circuits, at the higher-downforce tracks, it truly came into its own and Rosberg was the architect of a superbly-judged wet/dry victory in Monte-Carlo that year.

He went on to finish fifth in the world championship standings, with the additional points scored by French team-mate Jacques Laffite securing Williams fourth spot in the constructors’ classification.

The FW08C is now part of the esteemed Williams Heritage portfolio, which was created in 2014 to manage the British outfit’s collection of historic Formula 1 cars. It is headed up by Jonathan Williams and run by long-time former Williams mechanic and team manager Dickie Stanford.

Since the team’s debut in the top flight back in 1978, Williams cars have won 114 grands prix and no fewer than 16 world championships.

Advance tickets for Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on 2/3 June are available from just £12 for Saturday entry and £15 for Sunday – or £24 for both days. Sunday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.