Formula Junior Silverstone Historic Festival preview

Formula Junior race celebrates the genius of Colin Chapman The `most international' Formula of all time takes a bow at the Silverstone Historic Festival Formula Junior takes to the track at this year's Silverstone Historic Festival (August 25,...

Formula Junior race celebrates the genius of Colin Chapman

The `most international' Formula of all time takes a bow at the Silverstone Historic Festival

Formula Junior takes to the track at this year's Silverstone Historic Festival (August 25, 26 and 27) for the Colin Chapman Trophy race. This year's event promises to be the largest Historic race meeting anywhere in the world with over 450 provisional entries listed.

A variety of Lotus models will be participating in this race, highlighting the brilliant engineering talents of the marque's legendary founder, Colin Chapman. His stunningly successful, trend-setting designs were eventually incorporated into the creation of such Grand Prix giants as the Lotus 49 and Lotus 78.

Formula Junior was regarded as the major career stepping stone towards Formula One, and developed the talents of such legends as Jim Clark, Mike Spence, John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini.

The brainchild of Count `Johnny' Lurani, International Formula Junior ran from 1959 to 1963 using 1- or 1.1-litre production-based engines in scaled-down Grand Prix-type chassis. This closely-matched production-engine class provided some of the tightest racing ever witnessed at Silverstone.

A whole host of cars representing the golden age of Formula Junior will be racing on Sunday, August 26 (Race 8, 2.00pm), including Alexis, Elva, Gemini, Lola and Stranguellini designs. More than 45 entries have been received for this eight-lap race, held on the 3.144-mile Silverstone Historic Grand Prix Circuit, which will show off the classic wheel-to-wheel, driver-against-driver character of this most exciting of all Historic single-seater Formulae.

"These cars might be small in size, but their effect on Grand Prix racing was enormous," says Festival organiser Roger Etcell. "They gave so many Grand Prix stars a further rung up the ladder towards Formula One, and for that alone we should celebrate these cars. On top of that we must not forget Colin Chapman, whose memory we celebrate with this race. His genius in the design and construction of Grand Prix cars represents to many the greatest single-seaters in racing history.

"This race is yet another not-to-be-missed opportunity at this year's Festival," added Roger.

-SHF

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Vintage
Drivers Jim Clark , John Surtees , Colin Chapman