SINGLE-SEATERS, ALL THE SINGLE-SEATERS
F1 cars from the 70s and 80s to the tune of the Cosworth V8
One of the star stages of this Historic French GP will be a great excuse to take a huge leap through the history of Formula 1. More precisely, this is a chance to relive the seventies and the beginning of the eighties (until 1985) to the sound of the Ford Cosworth V8s from more than thirty single-seaters of the time. Lotus, Williams, Ligier, Tyrrell, Benetton, Shadow and other F1 cars of this generation whose cockpits still bear the names of those who drove them right to the top; Mansell, Jones, Andretti, Laffite, Rosberg, De Angelis, Alboreto and others. Today’s drivers will follow in their slipstream in the two races that make up a truly historic F1 championship.
From Fangio to Jim Clark, the 50s and 60s of Formula 1
In perfect harmony with the previous line-up, the Historic French GP also honours the oldest Formula 1 cars from the 50s and 60s (until 1965 to be specific), brought together under the aegis of the English association HGPCA and separated into two main categories: front-engined GP cars and the newer, rear-engined cars. In the first case, the star will of course be the famous Maserati 250F, immortalised in its time by Juan Manuel Fangio. Several examples of this humdinger of a car will be racing on the Paul Ricard circuit, alongside the Cooper Bristol, Gordini and other stars of this decade. For their part, the single-seaters of the early sixties will bring this blessed era back to life, when a craftsman-builder like Lotus reigned supreme. Already announced, Jim Clark’s legendary Lotus 25 will be side by side with numerous Cooper, Brabham, Lola and other F1 cars powered by 1500 cc engines, just as the regulations of the time required.
A bonus with F1 from the 2000s
The lucky public of the Paul Ricard circuit will also see some almost-modern F1 cars on the stage of the “Maxx Formula” series, where you can find Toro Rosso, Jaguar, Super Aguri and other former Formula 1s of the 21st century. During the races they will be jostling for position with other high-performance single-seaters that are already out of fashion in modern motor sport, notably GP2, F3000 and other Indy Car or Formula Nissan cars.
F2: the antechamber of F1
The only series dedicated to Formula 2 single-seaters, the “International Historic F2” celebrates the memory of the European championship in which so many great champions drove in the races from 1967 to 1978, the time specifically chosen for this tribute. As in F1, two separate races will showcase the March, Chevron, Ralt, Lotus and other Brabham from those glorious years, which the drivers of today still pay tribute to. Through a series of well-stocked starting grids, viewers will rediscover some of the most iconic driver seats of the category such as Peterson, Fittipaldi, Jarier, Jaussaud or Regazzoni.
The pivotal era of Formula Junior
A universal category created in 1958, the Junior Formula lived a glorious life until 1963 and was replaced the following year by the new F3 and F2 classifications. During this brief period, all the future great champions came into their own at the wheel of these frail single-seaters, with 1000 or 1100 cc engines, mostly designed in the workshops of Cooper, Lotus, Lola or Brabham. In its six years of existence, this category symbolised the rapid technical evolution of the time, in particular the switch from front to rear engine on all the single-seaters of the time. Drivers will come from all over Europe to take part in this double Formula Junior race.
F3 - curtain raiser for the F1
It used to be tradition to attend a Formula 3 race as a curtain raiser for the Formula 1 French Grand Prix. A category in which many apprentice champions jostled for space, anxious to be noticed by the F1 team managers. Therefore the Historic French GP is bringing this close-knit relationship back to life. In particular, the line-up will bring together the F3 single-seaters of the 1970s and those that succeeded them until 1984, just before the first carbon hulls appeared. Once again, you’ll be seeing some big names on the cockpits of some of them, as a reminder that F3 at the time was a platform used by many future F1 stars to come into their own, starting with Senna and Prost…
Formula Renault: the French branch
Formula Renault will also be honoured with the respect due to its glorious history. We will summarise this history by recalling that since the beginning of the 1970s, no French driver who made it to F1 missed this founding step. From Prost to Gasly, all of them went to the races as a pre-requisite rite of passage. During the Historic French GP, you will specifically find the models of the 80s and the beginning of the following decade on the track.
The universal Formula Ford
A schooling category that is more than half a century old, Formula Ford is wonderfully suited to a historic mode. Spectators will be able to check this easily by attending the two races that will feature a host of single-seaters built between 1967 and 1992. Cars of different origins and shapes, with a chassis fitted with the same Ford Kent engine. A schooling class par excellence, Formula Ford can boast of having given many great names in motor racing their break, including Ayrton Senna.
SPORT-PROTOS AND GT WON’T BE LACKING EITHER
On the border between the historic universe and contemporary motor racing, the “Masters Endurance Legends” stage promises to be full of fantastic surprises. It is in fact aimed at all cars that were eligible for the world’s greatest endurance races from 1995 to 2012. A broad outlook which provides a spectacular line-up and a unique opportunity for spectators to discover or relive some of the stars of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
In remembrance of the World Sportscar Championship
The prestigious “Masters Historic” series is not limited to F1. In another register, it also features the Sport-Protos and GTs that were showered with glory between 1962 and 1974 in the World Championship races. Other exciting reunions, which the spectators of the Historic French GP will be able to fully enjoy during the race, where you will find many iterations of the famous Lola T70.
GT/Touring sixties vibe
Another stage with an exciting vintage vibe and very eclectic content is the one which features GTs and so-called “Touring” cars from before 1966. Definitely worth a visit. At the invitation of the Masters Historic series, Jaguar type E will rub shoulders with AC Cobra, TVR Griffith, Shelby Daytona, Austin Healey 3000, Bizzarrini, Lotus Elan and other cherished GTs, while Ford Mustang and Ford Falcon will be at the forefront of the Touring cars.
To the glory of Colin Chapman
Born from the creative genius of Colin Chapman in the late 1950s, the legendary Lotus Seven is currently embarked on an endless sporting career thanks to the Lotus Trophy. A one-design formula that is particularly popular with historic racing drivers, where the myth of the famous English roadster has been upheld for more than three decades. Always full of spectacle and fierce battles, this Lotus Trophy will further enhance the programme of the Historic French GP.