In the news: It’s Hunt in front at Sil­ver­stone

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

Some­one not trou­bled by speed lim­its was James Hunt, who won his first For­mula 1 race in April 1974 at Sil­ver­stone, prac­ti­cally in Lord Hes­keth’s back gar­den.

Though the In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy didn’t count to­wards the World Cham­pi­onship, it al­ways at­tracted a good en­try, this year in­clud­ing a pair of BRMs, the cur­rent McLarens and the lat­est Lotus 76 for su­per-Swede Ron­nie Peter­son. In his first full For­mula 1 sea­son, Hunt was giv­ing the new Hes­keth 308 its third out­ing – it had failed to fin­ish its pre­vi­ous two races, but now it was in pole po­si­tion. Would it last?

It didn’t start well. Hunt cooked the clutch and dropped right to the back of the field on the first lap while he let it cool down, as Peter­son dis­ap­peared into a com­mand­ing lead. But then the clutch re­cov­ered and he stormed through the field, catch­ing and pass­ing the Swede 10 laps from the end to take a tri­umphant win.

Never mind the rest of the sea­son – now it was time for a real party…

James Hunt’s F1 rac­ing ca­reer took off in 1974.

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