Jenson Button at the wheel of GPX Historic’s Hesketh at Zandvoort!
The Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix provided the ideal occasion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Hesketh Racing. In 1975, James Hunt gave the “biggest little racing team in the world” its first and only world championship victory on the Zandvoort circuit. To celebrate this event, GPX Historic entrusted Jenson Button, another British world champion, with their Hesketh 308 to do a few laps of the track amid the sand dunes of the North Sea!
“We’re really delighted to have been able to give the Zandvoort spectators and millions of TV viewers these few laps on Sunday as a curtain-raiser to the Grand Prix,” exulted Pierre-Brice Mena, the GPX Historic team principal. “Our Hesketh 308 never missed a beat and Jenson Button underlined the fact on Sky Sports F1 that he had a marvellous time behind the wheel.”
Here are a few extracts from the comments of the 2009 F1 world champion straight from the cockpit of GPX Historic’s Hesketh-Ford Cosworth: “It still blows my mind that they raced these cars around this circuit when it was a lot narrower. Having the opportunity to drive James Hunt’s winning car around Zandvoort, the only [Grand Prix] victory for a Hesketh, is pretty exceptional. To think that James took this car to victory round here, being chased by two Ferraris… For me this was such an epic time in F1. A team like Hesketh could take it to the big boys.”
When he was answering questions from the former F1 driver Karun Chandhock on Sky Sports F1, Button again stated: “The rear of the car is massive and the front is quite narrow so I was hitting the apex with the front wheel and the rear wheel was basically almost on the grass! The noise of the engine was stunning. [The team] said ‘shift it nine you’ll be all good’. It was definitely an interesting experience.”
The branch of GP Extreme’s group specialised in historic racing had already taken part in the activities of a grand prix weekend. Last year, a week after running them in the context of the Historic Dubai Grand Prix Revival at the beginning of December, GPX Historic displayed nine of their Formula 1 single-seaters at the Abu Dhabi GP on the Yas Marina circuit. Thus, visitors in the Fan Zone were able to fest their eyes on the Hesketh 308 as well as the Shadows DN5 and DN8, Fittipaldi F8, Amon AF1, Maki F101, Arrows A3, Surtees TS9B and ATS HS1.
GPX Historic will be present at Goodwood on 17-18 September as well as the second edition of the Dubai GP Revival held on 25 - 27 November by Gulf Historic, another branch of GP Extreme. The biggest motor sporting event in the Middle East will host, in addition to the F1s of the 1970s, sports cars from the 1980s, GTs and prototypes from the 1990s and 2000s as well as a demonstration of F1s from the nineties!
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